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? 

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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.

Day 122: The Peace of God (1 Kings 3-5; Luke 23:1-26)

King Solomon was a man who made a simple request of God: wisdom, knowledge,  and a understanding heart so he could efficiently lead the people in the Kingdom of God. God was very pleased with his request and in return not only did he fulfill his request by making him a man of wisdom, but He also blessed Solomon to live in protection, prosperity and peace!

Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders. -1 Kings 4:24 NLT

But the Lord my God has given me peace on every side: I have no enemies, and all is well. -1 Kings 5:4 NLT

The peace of God is one of the most amazing gifts that we can receive in our lives! Serenity, calm, tranquility and restfulness – all of these descriptive words are part of the experience we receive through faithfulness, trust and obedience to Him.

Just like King Solomon, I have one simple request to God that includes all of us: I pray that each of us, our entire nation, will continue to pray for unity, forgiveness, and receive the beautiful blessing of God’s peace!

Day 121: Never Too Far Gone (1 Kings 1-2; Luke 22:54-71)

“And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So Peter went out and wept bitterly.” -Luke 22:61-62

After denying Jesus three times, Peter could have given up. He could have said, “It’s not even worth getting up in the morning, because tomorrow I will fail again… I’m too far gone.” But he didn’t. And as such, God did indeed build a church through him.

That is our weakness – that we walk away from God. Because it’s never God that walks away. Recently, someone shared this metaphor with me:

A man and a woman sat at opposite ends of one of those vintage cars where the front seat is one piece (without a center console). When the wife complained about the distance between them, the husband’s answer was simple: “Honey, I never moved, I’ve been driving the entire time.” They started side by side, but as life passed by, the distance between them grew until they were on opposite sides.

The moral of the story is this: we are the ones who choose to create distance between ourselves and God. Peter did it – very publicly and multiple times. He literally denied knowing Christ. The same Christ who called Peter to be His disciple and promised to make him the cornerstone of the church of Christ. If that was me, I don’t know if I would have the guts to show my face around anything to do with Christ again.

Maybe this is where Peter first truly experienced the depth and power of our God’s grace and great love. Because instead of letting that distance grow, He came back to the foot of that cross. He went back out there and made happen what he was called to do.

So, no. You are never too far gone. And if you doubt me, look at Peter. If God could build a church on a “traitor” like that, then surely He can work with whatever you think is separating you from Him. But, girl, you have to take that first step. Make your way back to your beloved. He’s there. He always has been. 

Day 120: Your Mess = Your Message (2 Samuel 23-24; Luke 22:31-53)

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

When you first read this verse, did you notice what Jesus said: “Satan has asked for you”?! Satan had to ask God for permission to test Simon Peter. This left me in awe as much as it disturbed me. On the one hand it portrays that God is the Highest One (even the devil didn’t dare to tempt Peter without letting God know beforehand), on the other hand it shows us that God gave Satan permission for his devilish plans. Say what now?!

But stick with me for a moment, because Jesus stated more in this verse than the devil’s request. Jesus continues: “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail.” Now we start seeing the bigger picture: Jesus warns Peter that trials are coming. Then He says that He already prayed for Peter, as to say: “Dearest, danger is on its way, but I prayed for you, so you don’t have to worry.” And it gets even better: “and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Mind that Jesus didn’t say ‘if you return to Me.’ He said when! At last, He tells Peter: “strengthen your brethren.” In the end, Peter’s mess will become his message!

Now, I want you to imagine God saying this to you: “Dear daughter! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

Yes, you will face temptations. Maybe you’re facing them at this very moment. And, at times, you will fail. But know that Jesus already prayed for you; know that He will not expose you to battles you cannot conquer; and know that His ultimate goal is always to strengthen you (and, through your faith, the people around you).

He wants our mess (read: trials, temptations, battles) to become our message!

What battles do you see coming in your life?

What battles are you facing at the moment? Can you still see that God is good?What mess of yours has become your message?

If you’re having a hard time dealing with your battles, let us know, so we can “strengthen our sisters.” We love you and, most importantly, God loves you! I already thank God for your victory. Your mess WILL become your message!