6 Practical Ways You Can Draw Near to God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 16:7-18.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 16:7 (NIV) 
7  That day David first committed to Asaph and his associates this psalm of thanks to the LORD: 

On verses 7-18:  David wrote this song and instructed his worship band to lead it on the day that they brought the ark to Jerusalem (v7).  You can find part of it in Psalm 105. 
Want a simple and effective plan for drawing near to God and experiencing His joy and peace?  Take each of the following lines in David’s song and live it out.  Verses 8-18 give us 6 practical steps you can take to draw near to God today. 
For example:
1 Chronicles 16:8 (NIV) 
8  Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 

Be a Participant in Worship, Not a Spectator

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 15:25-16:6.  Let’s go!
1 Chronicles 15:25-28 (NIV) 
25  So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 
26  Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 
27  Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the singers, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 
28  So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.

On verses 26-28:  Here David leads all of Israel in welcoming the ark into Jerusalem with rejoicing (v25), sacrificing (v26), singing (v27), shouting (v28) and musical instruments (v28).  If that is the way God’s people in the Old Testament worshiped in God’s presence, how much more do we have reason to rejoice, sacrifice, sing, shout and play music in the presence of the Lord, who died for us, rose again and is alive today.

Accessing the Presence of God

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 15:1-24.  Let’s go!
1 Chronicles 15:13 (NIV)
13  It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
On verses 1-15:  Here David makes a second attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem.  The first time David tried moving the ark, he didn’t inquire of God as to how to do it.  The result was death for one, and trouble, grief and embarrassment for many.   This time David has learned his lesson and done his research.  He has searched the Scriptures so that he can understand what is God’s prescribed way for moving the ark.  In accordance with Scripture David makes sure that only the Levites are to transport the ark and that they are to do so by carrying it on poles, rather than pushing it on a cart. 
What can we learn from this? 

1. Here we see the importance of inquiring of God before you make an important decision.  Before you make an important decision, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Get into God’s Word.  Spend quality time in prayer.  Seek godly counsel.  This will save you trouble, embarrassment and grief later on. 

Don’t Let Fear Keep You from Experiencing God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 13:1-14.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 13:1-4 (NIV) 
1  David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.
2  He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us.
3  Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.”
4  The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.

On verses 1-4:  When considering whether or not to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, David confers with his leaders to determine the best course of action.  What can we learn from this?  When making an important decision, get good advice.    As Proverbs19:20 (MSG) says, “Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well.”  Is there a decision you are in the process of making where you would benefit from consulting others?

United and Fighting for the Same Goal

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Wednesday January 31, 2018 on 1 Chronicles 12:23-40.  Let’s go!

On verses 23-37:  Here the Chronicler lists how many men from each tribe of Israel came to David to help turn Saul’s kingdom over to him.   Notice how often these verses repeat the words “armed for battle” or “ready for battle”.  What can we learn from this?  When you want to join with others in seeing God establish His kingdom where you are, you need to be ready and prepared for battle.  That is why Paul says in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the full armor of God so that when our enemy comes we will be ready to take our stand against Him.  As Peter says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.   Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-10)

How do you get yourself ready for battle? Spend time in God’s Word daily.  Ask His Holy Spirit for help and depend on Him.  Meditate on God’s Word often.  Pray often (for with much prayer comes much power).  When you face different situations, ask the Holy Spirit for insight, discernment and an alert heart.

Unity Makes Us Unstoppable

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 12:1-22.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 12:18 (NIV) 
18  Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: “We are yours, O David! We are with you, O son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands. 

On verses 1-22:  In these verses we see gifted and outstanding leaders from various tribes of Israel – from Benjamin (v1-7, 16), Gad (v8-15), Judah (v16) and Manasseh (v19-21) – rallying around David.  They came at a time when David was running for his life from a jealous King Saul and masquerading as an ally of the Philistines.  You can sense the pressure and hurt David has been through when he says in verse 17, “If you have come to me in peace, to help me, I am ready to have you unite with me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our fathers see it and judge you.” It’s because David has been hurt before by people he trusted, so now David is wary of too trusting others too quickly. 

The Fighters on Your Side

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 11:20-47.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 11:22-25 (NIV) 
22  Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.
23  And he struck down an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rod in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.
24  Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty men.
25  He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

On verses 21-25:  Continuing his description of David’s mighty men, the Chronicler turns his attention to Abishai  and Benaiah.  Benaiah was the son of a priest and a valiant fighter, whose exploits in verses 22-23 could be made into a movie.  Benaiah was so trustworthy and loyal to David that when David’s son Solomon became king, Solomon made Benaiah his own commander-in-chief over Israel’s army (1 Kings 4:4).  It’s appropriate that Benaiah’s name means “edified” for he certainly edified King David and King Solomon.

Giving Power and Getting Power

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 11:1-19.  Let’s go!
1 Chronicles 11:1-3 (NIV) 
1  All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. 
2  In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD your God said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'” 
3  When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a compact with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the LORD had promised through Samuel.
On verses 1-3:  David stepped into his destiny as king of Israel with the affirmation, encouragement and empowering of others.  Who is someone who could use your affirmation, encouragement and empowering today?  When you go out of your way to affirm, encourage and empower another person, you help them step into their God-given calling. 

How to Live Life with Courage

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 10:1-14. Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 10:11-12 (NIV) 
11  When all the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard of everything the Philistines had done to Saul, 
12  all their valiant men went and took the bodies of Saul and his sons and brought them to Jabesh. Then they buried their bones under the great tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

On verses 1-12:  Saul is wounded in battle against the Philistines.  So that he would not be killed by his enemies, Saul falls on his own sword and eventually dies on the hill of Gilboa.  His sons Jonathan, Malki-Shua and Abinadab are killed as well.  The Philistines find Saul’s body, strip him, cut off his head, and hang his dead body and the bodies of his dead sons on the city wall of the Philistine town of Beth Shan (1 Samuel 31:10).  They also place Saul’s head in the temple of their god Dagon (v10).  When they saw that Saul and his sons had died, most Israelites abandon their towns and flee for their lives (v7), with one important exception: when the people of Jabesh Gilead hear about what the Philistines have done to Saul’s body, the men of Jabesh-Gilead enter the Philistine city of Beth Shan, take down the bodies of Saul and his sons, bring them back to Jabesh Gilead and give them an honorable burial. 

Restoring the Worship of God in Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 8:1-40.  At first this might seem like nothing more than a list of names, but the Holy Spirit taught me some powerful lessons we can learn from this passage.  Can I share them with you?  Let’s go!

On verses 1-34:  Starting in 605 BC, and then again in 597 BC and 586 BC, the people of Judah are deported to Babylon in three stages (This three stage deportation is described in 2 Kings 24-25).   The Old Testament writers see this deportation as God’s way of disciplining the people of Judah for their unfaithfulness to Him (v1).  Now the Chronicler fast forwards several decades to 538 B.C. when Cyrus King of Persia has conquered Babylon and allows the Israelites to return to their towns (v2).  What was Cyrus’ reason for letting the Judahites return to Jerusalem?   It’s because Cyrus believed that God had appointing him to build a temple for the Lord in Jerusalem.  As Ezra 1:2-4 says:

Ezra 1:2-4 (NIV) 
2  “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.
3  Anyone of his people among you–may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem.