Day 130: Compromising God (1 Kings 21-22; John 3:1-21)

“There was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord” – Kings 21:25

Today, we saw Naboth being stoned to death because he refused to compromise God’s gift to him. What a display of courage and strength! However, most of us compromise the Lord one way or another, and we may or may not do it intentionally.

Being a Godly woman in today’s world is quite challenging. Even Christian women end up twisting the Bible so that it falls in line with their lifestyle. It’s become so natural, we even encourage each other into sin without realizing what we’re truly doing.

Now, lets look at Nicodemus – the very learned man. He was a real practical man; he liked facts and real life evidence. Its no wonder he couldn’t believe Jesus was his Savior. How many of us struggle with honestly believing Jesus walked this earth, died here, and rose on the third day?

Both Ahab and Nicodemus knew God’s word, but their hearts and minds were not obedient enough to follow through.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” -Hebrews 11:1

Are you an Ahab or a Nicodemus?

What areas of your life are you compromising God?

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Day 129: Still Small Voice (1 Kings 19-20; John 2)

“Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a still small voice.” -1 Kings 10:11-12

Y’all this is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, because it reminds me to be still. We’ve gotten so good with filling our world with noise today. Our worries, to-do lists, Spotify playlists, social media, the news, and dozens of other things fill our hearts and minds each day. Then, when we get to church, we keep the noise  as loud music drowns out everything else.

You can’t hear a still, small voice amongst all that noise though. Not even the “Christian” noise.

When was the last time you silenced all the noise in your world to just sit still and listen to what your God has to say to you? When was the last time your Bible study was filled with the Holy Spirit, not someone else’s commentary or your to-do list rushing you through the daily reading? Or how about the last time you turned off the worship songs, turned off the phone, and spent 30 minutes on your knees conversing with the Lord?

For a lot of people, the answer may be never. Because nowadays, we just don’t do silence. Especially not at church. But the Lord speaks in a still small voice (with some exceptions when He’s especially angry and then earthquakes and fires pale in comparison!). So, if you want to hear that voice, you must learn to be still and silent.

Day 127: Undeserved Life (1 Kings 14-15, John 1:1-28)

Have you ever received something that was not earned? Something that someone else fought for so you could receive it?

That is the story that we see in 1 Kings 14-15. In these chapters, the author lists king after king that fails or follows God. There is no pattern to their faithfulness, just a history of whether or not they were after God’s heart or their own success. Yet all of them ruled over Israel. All of them were in some way appointed by God. And all of them were given grace. Why? Because of David’s faithfulness.

That is the same scenario we see in the gospel. We are all given a relationship with the Father through the Word, the Son (John 1:1-18). The Word became flesh. The Word existed before the world. The Word is grace and truth. The Word is Christ Jesus.

In Jesus we are given a new life, a new chance at living. We are given communion with the Father and an eternity with Him. We are given hope, love, joy, peace and fulfillment. In Christ we are complete, lacking in no good thing (Psalm 34:10). And all of it is undeserved. All that we bring to our salvation is the sin that makes it necessary.* Christ brings restoration and redemption.

So as you go through your day, ask yourself: How can I focus my heart on Christ’s faithfulness? Am I seeking what I can earn on my own or what is freely given to me in the gospel? 

*Josh Lawrence, Pastor at The Bridge Church, Wilmington, NC.

Day 126: Godly Advice (1 Kings 12-13; Luke 24:36-53)

In my lifetime I’ve asked for advice and also given advice, but lately I have been learning more about godly and wise advice. I take responsibility that I’ve steered people and have allowed myself to be steered in the wrong direction…which brings me to the question: How exactly do you know that your giving/receiving wise, godly advice?

Then King Rehobaom discussed the matter with the older men who had counseled his father, Solomon.”What is your advice?” he asked. How should I answer these people?” -1 Kings 12:6

King Rehoboam is asking the “older men” that “counseled Solomon” meaning they helped advise his own father (who did quite well in all his affairs!). The advice of the elders was wise and came from experience and watching Solomon lead with God.

But Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men and instead asked the opinion of the young men who had grown up with him and were now his advisers. -1 Kings 12:8

King Rehoboam’s decision to casually disregard the elders advice is relatable to most of us. For example, not listening to our parents or even an elderly person because we think because of their age difference, or the world we live in today, they couldn’t possibly have any idea on how to help. As a result, just like King Rehoboam, we choose to listen to advice from our peers – who are often young and quite ignorant themselves. As we’ll learn in Chapter 12, that doesn’t always end well.

Wise, godly counsel should be centered around God’s word and lead to positive answers. Does the advice you’re giving and getting consistent with God’s standard? 

Day 125: He Was There From The Beginning (1 Kings 10-11; Luke 24:1-35)

“And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” -Luke 24:27

If you’re reading along with us, then I hope you’re experiencing some of what the disciples experienced in this moment: the big picture coming together. Starting with Moses, we begin to see the foreshadowing of the Messiah. When we get to the Prophets, you’ll see the story of Jesus written in the most beautiful ways – centuries before He was even born! It all comes together.

That’s the God we serve: the Creator and the One who has every one of our stories written out long before we even came on to this Earth.

We only get to see the big picture in hindsight though: in history books and after the journey ends. But in the meantime, we can trust the author of our stories. Because He sees the big picture. And if we allow Him, He will guide us every step of the way. And when we utter, “It is finished,” we will finally get to look back and see how every moment, every relationship, every hardship, and every moment wove together the most beautiful story.

Today, I want to challenge you to find one foreshadowing of Jesus as the Messiah in the Old Testament from what we’ve read so far and how it connects to Jesus in the New Testament (hint: check out portions of the New Testament – like when Jesus is preaching – that quote the Old Testament!).

This takes some Bible study and, yes, it’s slightly more time consuming than just reading this devo or just the assigned reading. But, please do it and share with us in the comments. It really is a wondrous thing to connect the dots for yourself!

 

Day 124: Why I Pray (1 Kings 8-9; Luke 23:39-56)

And he said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing mercy and loving-kindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart.” -1 Kings 8:23

I used to get on my knees and ask God to give me things.

Then I began to study my Bible. The word of God became my plumb line, my measuring stick, my mirror – so then I prayed He would change my heart to be more like His.
Now, I get on my knees and all I can do is praise Him. Because He is so good.
Because He gave me more than I could ever even think to dream of.
He transformed my heart of stone into a heart of flesh.
He gave me new dreams and new hope. He cultivated and filled the dry places with living Water and planted seeds of faith.
Most importantly, He unveiled more of Himself to me. The Lord showed me to whom I belonged – whose daughter I was and that He loved me even when I had nothing to offer Him.
So, I pray – just like King Solomon did – because He is my King, Father, Creator, Savior, and the One who knows me better than anyone in the world.
Today, my prayer for you is that your prayer life may flourish and that praise may forever be on your lips. Whatever this life may bring, He is good.

 

Day 123: He is Enough (1 Kings 6-7; Luke 23:27-38)

“And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the christ, the chosen of God.'” -Luke 23:35

Do we need miracles to believe in God? It seems as if the people crucifying Jesus had an underlying layer of wanting proof that Jesus was the son of God even as they mocked Him.

I’m ashamed to admit that I too have asked God for proof of His power and existence. I wanted something big – a miracle or an encounter to truly know He’s real. But like those people at the cross that day, I missed the point – the truth. I demanded miracles while forgetting to see the Son of God on that cross dying for my sin. What more can I ask for? I don’t want to miss the quiet, humble gift of mercy and salvation on that cross as I wait for flashes of thunder and miracles. Because the miracle is that I am here today – alive, forgiven and loved by the King of Kings. And that should be enough for me.