Archive for June, 2003

Straight Priorities – 1 Kings 4-7

Four chapters in the book of 1 Kings discuss the building of the temple and the building of Solomon’s palace. It is great to see that Solomon truly was a wise man who understood his priorities as King. Of these for chapter, less than half of one of the chapters is dedicated to the building of the palace and it is placed in chapter three. Most of the space is dedicated to describing the building of the most holy place – the Temple of the Almighty God. Solomon understood that if he put God first in his life than everything else would be added unto him (i.e. palace, children, wealth etc.). This is a great lesson for everyone – including myself – especially myself. In Matthew 6:33 is says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I try to live out this passage the way Solomon lived it out long before Matthew was ever written, but I often fail. Each day I must continue to focus on God so he can keep my priorities straight and help me to seek him first.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to never take my eyes off of you. You are my source of priorities, righteousness and all things that make my life worth living (wife, children, and friends). Help me to serve you as you want to be served. Thank you for loving me and setting me on your path. Thank you for correcting my path when I make mistakes. Forgive me when I fail you and other and help me to be more like you. I love you. Amen.

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Straight Priorities – 1 Kings 4-7

Four chapters in the book of 1 Kings discuss the building of the temple and the building of Solomon’s palace. It is great to see that Solomon truly was a wise man who understood his priorities as King. Of these for chapter, less than half of one of the chapters is dedicated to the building of the palace and it is placed in chapter three. Most of the space is dedicated to describing the building of the most holy place – the Temple of the Almighty God. Solomon understood that if he put God first in his life than everything else would be added unto him (i.e. palace, children, wealth etc.). This is a great lesson for everyone – including myself – especially myself. In Matthew 6:33 is says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” I try to live out this passage the way Solomon lived it out long before Matthew was ever written, but I often fail. Each day I must continue to focus on God so he can keep my priorities straight and help me to seek him first.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to never take my eyes off of you. You are my source of priorities, righteousness and all things that make my life worth living (wife, children, and friends). Help me to serve you as you want to be served. Thank you for loving me and setting me on your path. Thank you for correcting my path when I make mistakes. Forgive me when I fail you and other and help me to be more like you. I love you. Amen.

True Wisdom – 1 Kings 1-3

Solomon becomes king of Israel after his father David. He is the promised King. He has known he would be King for some time, yet he is still humble. He tells the Lord the only thing he requires is God given wisdom. Due to his humility he is given this wisdom as well as wealth and honor. This shows that Solomon had true wisdom even before God gave him his wisdom. Most people would run for the gold if they could ask for and get anything they requested. Solomon understood that if he had wisdom everything else he needed to rule over Israel would come to him. Wisdom will often bring wealth and honor and if wealth or honor did not come he would not need them to serve the Lord as king. Solomon understood this human nature and set out at the very beginning to not fall into this trap of self congratulation and aggrandizement. That is true wisdom.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to look to you every day as my source of wisdom. Help me to see that you are the only source I need and the only source that truly has wisdom. Forgive me for those times I chose to go off on my own and I fail. Thank you for loving me enough to let me fail and then to pick me back up. You are the most high God and I worship you. Lead me into all wisdom and righteousness. Amen.

True Wisdom – 1 Kings 1-3

Solomon becomes king of Israel after his father David. He is the promised King. He has known he would be King for some time, yet he is still humble. He tells the Lord the only thing he requires is God given wisdom. Due to his humility he is given this wisdom as well as wealth and honor. This shows that Solomon had true wisdom even before God gave him his wisdom. Most people would run for the gold if they could ask for and get anything they requested. Solomon understood that if he had wisdom everything else he needed to rule over Israel would come to him. Wisdom will often bring wealth and honor and if wealth or honor did not come he would not need them to serve the Lord as king. Solomon understood this human nature and set out at the very beginning to not fall into this trap of self congratulation and aggrandizement. That is true wisdom.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to look to you every day as my source of wisdom. Help me to see that you are the only source I need and the only source that truly has wisdom. Forgive me for those times I chose to go off on my own and I fail. Thank you for loving me enough to let me fail and then to pick me back up. You are the most high God and I worship you. Lead me into all wisdom and righteousness. Amen.

Relying on Jesus – Colossians 1-4

I am a strategist and a planner. It is in my nature to look at any particular situation, diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. Often the solution will require radical change within an organization. Unfortunately, this is often met with what could be described as a lack of enthusiasm if not hostility. After reading Colossians I am reminded that Jesus Christ is in control. If situations don’t work out the way they should we just have to remember that it is not our responsibility to fix the world. Instead, we just need to do the best with the part of the world over which we have some control. Colossians even goes on to talk about the fact that worldly institutions are flawed and will continue to refuse to think outside the box. This is not easy for me to accept, but it must be accepted to the extent my influence does not go far enough.

Dear Jesus,

I love you and adore you. Help me to change the things I can, accept the things I cannot and to have the wisdom to know the difference. I truly love and adore you. Help me look to you each and every day as my source of strength, wisdom and integrity. You are worthy to be praised. Amen.

Relying on Jesus – Colossians 1-4

I am a strategist and a planner. It is in my nature to look at any particular situation, diagnose the problem and come up with a solution. Often the solution will require radical change within an organization. Unfortunately, this is often met with what could be described as a lack of enthusiasm if not hostility. After reading Colossians I am reminded that Jesus Christ is in control. If situations don’t work out the way they should we just have to remember that it is not our responsibility to fix the world. Instead, we just need to do the best with the part of the world over which we have some control. Colossians even goes on to talk about the fact that worldly institutions are flawed and will continue to refuse to think outside the box. This is not easy for me to accept, but it must be accepted to the extent my influence does not go far enough.

Dear Jesus,

I love you and adore you. Help me to change the things I can, accept the things I cannot and to have the wisdom to know the difference. I truly love and adore you. Help me look to you each and every day as my source of strength, wisdom and integrity. You are worthy to be praised. Amen.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due – 2 Samuel 21-24

“When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God” – 2 Samuel 23:3b. This statement is just one example of how David’s close relationship with God made him an excellent ruler. He understood that he could only rule with justice and strength when he was listening to the Lord. How often in our own lives do we find ourselves making bad choices and taking rash actions when we are not listening to God? Each of us could look to David life as both examples of what happens when you listen to God and what happens when you do not. The worst hardships of David’s life occurred when he did not listen do God (Bathsheba, Rape of his daughter, death of two of his sons). The greatest successes of his life came when he was walking in close relationship to God. In fact, David’s success really was not about his accomplishment. David’s success was actually about his relationships – most importantly his relationship with God. David had good relationships with those who served him – Joab, the three, the thirty and his people. David’s failures were also about bad relationships – Absalom, Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) etc.

Dear Lord,

Help me to look at you each day as the source of my success. Help me see success in terms of relationship. Help me be a mentor, coach and teacher – not a dictator. Thank you for having a relationship with me. I don’t deserve your company, but desperately desire it. I love and adore you. Amen.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due – 2 Samuel 21-24

“When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God” – 2 Samuel 23:3b. This statement is just one example of how David’s close relationship with God made him an excellent ruler. He understood that he could only rule with justice and strength when he was listening to the Lord. How often in our own lives do we find ourselves making bad choices and taking rash actions when we are not listening to God? Each of us could look to David life as both examples of what happens when you listen to God and what happens when you do not. The worst hardships of David’s life occurred when he did not listen do God (Bathsheba, Rape of his daughter, death of two of his sons). The greatest successes of his life came when he was walking in close relationship to God. In fact, David’s success really was not about his accomplishment. David’s success was actually about his relationships – most importantly his relationship with God. David had good relationships with those who served him – Joab, the three, the thirty and his people. David’s failures were also about bad relationships – Absalom, Uriah (Bathsheba’s husband) etc.

Dear Lord,

Help me to look at you each day as the source of my success. Help me see success in terms of relationship. Help me be a mentor, coach and teacher – not a dictator. Thank you for having a relationship with me. I don’t deserve your company, but desperately desire it. I love and adore you. Amen.

For the love of a father to his son – 2 Samuel 18

David’s son betrays him and tries to have him killed. Most would think that David would finally take the life of his son. After all, his son had killed his brother, betrayed him and caused a civil war that caused the death of over 20,000 of his people. Instead, David gave order for the soldiers to be merciful to his son. While, I can understand while Joab, commander of David’s armies, killed Absalom against the king�s order, I am glad our God works a lot more like David. Maybe this is one of the reasons God later says David was a man after his own heart. Did David understand God’s sense of mercy? I am so glad that God is merciful and teaches us mercy.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for setting a standard of mercy that is high. Thank you for helping me each and every day to come to understand this mercy a little better. Thank you for loving me so much that you have provided and continue to provide mercy. I love you. Amen.

For the love of a father to his son – 2 Samuel 18

David’s son betrays him and tries to have him killed. Most would think that David would finally take the life of his son. After all, his son had killed his brother, betrayed him and caused a civil war that caused the death of over 20,000 of his people. Instead, David gave order for the soldiers to be merciful to his son. While, I can understand while Joab, commander of David’s armies, killed Absalom against the king�s order, I am glad our God works a lot more like David. Maybe this is one of the reasons God later says David was a man after his own heart. Did David understand God’s sense of mercy? I am so glad that God is merciful and teaches us mercy.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for setting a standard of mercy that is high. Thank you for helping me each and every day to come to understand this mercy a little better. Thank you for loving me so much that you have provided and continue to provide mercy. I love you. Amen.