Worship God, Then Reign with God

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of 2 Chronicles and there are many powerful lessons we can learn from today’s passage, 2 Chronicles 1:1-17. Let’s go!

2 Chronicles 1:3-6 (NIV)
3 and Solomon and the whole assembly went to the high place at Gibeon, for God’s Tent of Meeting was there, which Moses the LORD’s servant had made in the desert.
4 Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.
5 But the bronze altar that Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made was in Gibeon in front of the tabernacle of the LORD; so Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there.
6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

On verses 1-6: Solomon is now the new king of Israel in place of his father David (v1). After speaking with his leaders, Solomon’s first order of business is to go and worship the Lord and inquire of Him. But then here’s a question: where should Solomon go to inquire of God?

Jesus Your Sacrificial Lamb and the Paul’s In Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Philemon 1:17-25.  Let’s go!

Philemon 1:17-19 (NIV) 
17  So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.
18  If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.
19  I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back–not to mention that you owe me your very self.

On verses 17-19:  Earlier in verses 8 to 16 we saw Paul acting as a mediator between Philemon and Onesimus, trying to help Philemon and Onesimus reconcile with one another.  But here in these verses we see Paul going beyond what a typical mediator would do.  For while a mediator’s role is help two warring sides reach an agreement, a mediator normally does not sacrifice himself just so that the two sides can reconcile.  But that’s what Paul does.  Paul writes in verses 17-18, “So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.  If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.” To emphasize how serious he is about this, Paul even takes his secretary Timothy’s pen and writes these words himself on the scroll: “I will pay it back” (v19).

Your Gentle Mediator is Jesus

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Philemon 1:8-16.  Let’s go!

Philemon 1:8-11 (NIV) 
8  Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
9  yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul–an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus–

On verses 8-9:  Paul had a special role in Philemon’s life.  For one, Paul was the one whom God used to lead Philemon to Christ (v19).  In this way Paul was like a spiritual father to Philemon.  Not only that, Paul’s disciple Epaphras was the one who started the church in Colosse that met in Philemon’s home and so, like a spiritual grandfather to the Colossian Christians, Paul’s words carried special weight.  Yet instead of throwing his weight around and using his rights and authority to order Philemon to do what he should do (v8), Paul appeals to Philemon gently and meekly “on the basis of love” (v9) – not as an authoritarian apostle, but as “an old man” and as “a prisoner of Christ Jesus” (v9).   From this I learn an important lesson:

If You Love That Person, Do THIS Before You Challenge or Criticize Them

Hi GAMErs,
 
Today we begin the book of Philemon, a letter Paul wrote during his first imprisonment in Rome between 61 to 63 AD (imprisoned for preaching the gospel).  Here is some background you will find helpful: 

Paul wrote this letter to a man called Philemon.  Who was Philemon?  Philemon lived in the city of Colosse and came to faith in Christ through the ministry of Paul (v19).  Later on Philemon would open up his home for the church in Colosse to use as their meeting place.  The fact that Philemon had a home large enough to host a church and owned slaves like Onesimus suggests that Philemon was wealthy.
Paul’s reason for writing Philemon personally is because one of Philemon’s slaves, called Onesimus, had stolen something from Philemon, ran away, only to meet Paul in Rome and become a Christian under his ministry.  Onesimus becomes useful to Paul’s ministry, but Paul feels it is best to send Onesimus back to Philemon, encouraging Philemon to forgive his former slave and take him in again. 

The Most Important Thing You Can Do

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 29:21-30.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 29:22 (NIV) 
22  They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the LORD that day. Then they acknowledged Solomon son of David as king a second time, anointing him before the LORD to be ruler and Zadok to be priest.
 
On verses 21-22:  It touches my heart deeply to think that David’s last act as king of Israel, before he handed the reigns of his kingdom to his son Solomon, was to lead his people in worshiping the Lord, both through giving the most generous offering they could muster together (v1-9) and giving God praise through prayer and song (v10-20).  And now, one day later, the people are at it again, giving God worship through generous sacrifices and offerings (v21).  They eat and drink together with great joy before recognizing and anointing Solomon as their king and ruler (v22).  What can we learn from this? The most important thing you can do with the power God has given you is lead others to know and worship the Lord.  Like David, may you do it until you don’t have the power to do it anymore.

Your Wealth Is From God and For God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 29:10-20.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 29:10 (NIV) 
10  David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.

On verse 10-13:  Having given the most personal and precious offering he has ever given, and having seen how his officials and the people respond in kind by giving willingly and generously toward the building of the temple as well, David praises God.  Notice a few things about how David praises God:

David is the king of Israel, the most powerful man in his country, and yet David says to God, “Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor…Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.” (v11)

Great Leaders Lead by Example

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 29:1-9.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 29:3 (NIV) 
3  Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple…

On verses 1-9:  After commissioning his son Solomon to build the temple and encouraging his top leaders in chapter 28, here in chapter 29 David addresses the whole assembly of Israelites.  He tells them of the great vision ahead of them to build a temple for the Lord.  He also tells them of the great challenges that are before them as they pursue this vision (v1).  Then David announces that he has already donated a tremendous amount toward this cause from all his own personal resources, which probably consisted of spoils that he had acquired over time as king (v2).  Now David says he is about to make an even greater personal donation (v3-5a).  This greater personal donation – which in the Hebrew means “my most personal treasure” – consisted of 3,000 talents of gold from Ophir (the most coveted gold in the region at that time) as well as 7,000 talents of refined silver.   Then he asks the entire assembly “Who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” (v5b), meaning “Who will give of themselves personally toward building the temple?” (In fact, the word “consecrate” in Hebrew literally means to “fill the hand”.) 

You Are Planned and Precious to God

HI GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 28:11-21.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 28:11-13 (NIV) 
11  Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the portico of the temple, its buildings, its storerooms, its upper parts, its inner rooms and the place of atonement. 
12  He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things. 
13  He gave him instructions for the divisions of the priests and Levites, and for all the work of serving in the temple of the LORD, as well as for all the articles to be used in its service.

On verses 11-13, 19:   One of the key words in these verses is “the plans”.  David gives to Solomon the plans for the temple, plans which David says were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  What can we learn from this?  God is a planner.  He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).  

The Biblical Formula for Success

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 28:1-10. Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 28:4-6 (NIV) 
4  “Yet the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from my whole family to be king over Israel forever. He chose Judah as leader, and from the house of Judah he chose my family, and from my father’s sons he was pleased to make me king over all Israel. 
5  Of all my sons–and the LORD has given me many–he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. 
6  He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
 
On verses 1-6:  In these verses, David addresses the leaders of Israel (political officials, tribal leaders, military commanders, warriors and others).  First, David recounts how he originally had it in his heart to build a temple for the Lord where the ark of God could rest (v2), but that God told him that he was not the one to build the temple due to his having shed other people’s blood in battle (v3).

God’s Calling On Your Life

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 27:1-34.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-22:  Here the Chronicler gives attention to the commanders and officers who served King David and led his army which consisted of 12 divisions of 24,000 men each.  Several of the army commanders listed here are also named among David’s mighty men in 1 Chronicles 11 and 2 Samuel 23, such as Jashobeam (v2), Benaiah (v5), Asahel (v7), Ira (v9), Sibbekai (v11), Abiezer (v12) and possibly others too.  These men came from various backgrounds but all became leaders who served David and led his army divisions.

What can we learn from this?

For any team to move forward and be successful in the long run, there needs to be clarity on who the leader is.  Is there a team you belong to where the question of “Who is our leader?” needs to be answered more clearly? 

Notice that Benaiah’s dad Jehoiada was a famous priest (and one of the most famous priests in Israel’s history) (v5).  Most sons would follow the vocational calling of their fathers.  Yet in Benaiah’s case, Benaiah had a calling that was different from his dad’s. Benaiah would become one of the greatest warriors in Israel’s history.