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Jeroboam had a son that caught God's attention...it is said he was the only one who God found anything good in.A thought just hit me....most of us get to become christians when we realise we can't go on in life without God...most times it's when we hear stories of how people got into trouble and prayed to God...not really even sure if He existed.Well if we're not really sure God existed,then why pray to Him....point is,we all know God exists...and He is a God who has shown us the way to worship Him.Most times we try to deny his existence because we want to rule our lives and have Him answer our beck and call.
Jeroboam was given quite a number of chances to correct his path(could it be because his son was praying to the true God?)but refused...When he did call on God for help,it was more like going to a fotune teller to find out the future,he had no plans to seek God earnestly and submit to Him....but He knew God was real and sovereign!
Twice it is written that Rehoboam's mother was an Ammonite,her name Naamah was also given..I guess there's something about her name....or maybe God wanted us to see what the consequences of Solomon's choices(foreign wives)were.
Asa was a man whose heart was fully after God:he got rid of ALL the idols his father made,removed his grandmother from the role of queen mother because of her gods....yet he didn't remove ALL the high places...I can't help wondering if his feet became diseased because he let the high places remain...
I have heard the story of Cornelius before but never thought of how God prepared Peter to meet him using Simon the tanner until John mentioned it yesterday....I have to say Cornelius is quite an encouragement.A roman who had it all...position,money...yet he chose to worship God.Not because it was popular nor convenient but because?....I have to say I'm pretty curious to know what his conversion story is....
I have to say Mike,I have a person who works for world vision in my church and it really is a good idea to be consistent in my giving.I know of an org I volunteered with in Nigeria a couple of times,its called Pro-Health international...it'a a medical team that goes into rural areas that have no health care and gives free health care for a week(including surgeries) as well as preach the gospel.It was a great experience for me and truly made me realise just how much we need to be like Cornelius.
God bless you all

1 Kings 14-15:24

I have read right through I Kings 14 regarding the account of Jeroboam’s son, Abijah; however, the last time I read this, last year, I commented that the wife, who remains nameless here, could have prevented her son from dying by not stepping foot back into the city. Although a possibility and something to make you go, “Hmmm!” The Prophet also told her to return home, which she did. Yet as I type this I’m thinking, “Well they didn’t listen to the prophet’s warnings before, why is Jeroboam now seeking it now now,” and, “Why is he now willing to listen and receive info. What is so different now?”

One of the things that the text doesn’t say is how old this son was. Was it a child younger then thirteen, was he a teenager? It just doesn’t say but I was lead to find a scripture in the book of Isaiah that would explain why God would allow him to die if the child/son was beloved by God.

THE RIGHTEOUS man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; and merciful and devout men are taken away, with no one considering that the uncompromisingly upright and godly person is taken away from the calamity and evil to come [even through wickedness]. He [in death] enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walks straight and in his uprightness. (Isaiah 57:1-2 AMP)

Anka, if this son was a young man, old enough to know right from wrong and seeking the Lord the above passage explains why, “The Good die young.”


In the 15th chapter we learn that Asa remained faithful to God all of his life; however, like David, did he slip up by trusting his ability to buy allegiance against Israel’s King Baasha instead of relying on God? The Proverb reading for today seems to hint at the “appearance” of help/allegiance/a-leg-up so to speak, with the emphasis on the word, “seems” when a bribe is given. I’ll pay you to be my friend, yikes.

8 A bribe seems to work like magic for those who give it; they succeed in all they do.

Regarding supporting ministries: I focus on supporting my church because we support ministries and causes worldwide. We are able to do that because of the size of the congregation and its centrality in the community, we are able to raise considerable amounts of funding in one day, over a quarter million, and that outside of the regular offering.

In reference to Mike's question re organizations that do good work around the world for the poor in the name of Jesus, I would highly recommend two:

One is www.mercyships.org. These are ocean vessels that bring hope and healing to the poor. One of our young adults has just joined mercy ships for one year working in war infested Sierre Leone. Unbelievable needs, but also outrageous grace is being poured out through the Mercy Ship ministry.

My own involvement with Compassion Canada in Honduras has also opened my eyes and heart to the plight of poor children. Compassion is committed to helping release children from poverty in the name of Jesus. They are visibly focused on meeting material needs and are also very clear about their desire to introduce the children through the churches they work with, to Jesus. www.compassion.org

1Kings14

[Sigh!] Well you can tell I have never read the whole Bible before this blog :( I posted yesterday about the northern tribes not protesting against idol worship, the Levites leaving for the south,...

And now today we read that the south did basically the same thing under Abijah (or Abijam) the King of Judah for three years.
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I could not figure out why, when the cloak was torn or God spoke it was ten tribes and one tribe. I knew the Benjamites had been decimated in "Judges", but they still existed.

[Later, when the Kingdom of Israel was divided, the Tribe of Benjamin joined with the Tribe of Judah to form the Kingdom of Judah, while the other tribes formed the reduced kingdom of Israel which was subsequently conquered and the people exiled. Benjamin was very much the minor partner, as the ruling House of David came from the far more numerous and powerful tribe of Judah. Thus it was the tribe of Judah who in time became identified with the entire people of the southerly Israelite kingdom, and gave their name to the Jews.]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tribe_of_Benjamin

1Kings14:9
"..And have cast Me behind your back": This was a powerful description of intense contempt towards God, as in Ezekiel 23:35 - Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, therefore you shall bear the penalty Of your lewdness and your harlotry.

i. "The last reason implies a neglect, a scorning of God. It is the same figure of speech used to describe God's forgiveness of our sins. He puts them behind His back, or in other words, He forgets them. That is good news when it describes God's treatment of our sins [Isaiah 38:17], but it is tragically bad news when it describes a person's treatment of God." (Dilday)
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Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem:
"Sheshonq I (Shishak) had founded the Egyptian (Libyan) Dynasty XXII (945-924 b.c.) and his raid into Palestine in this year (925 b.c.) is well attested on the Amon temple reliefs at Thebes (Karnak). From the one hundred and fifty place-names recorded there, his aim seems to have been to reassert Egyptian control over the main trade routes throughout Palestine and the Negeb." (Wiseman)

He also took away all the gold shields which Solomon had made: 1 Kings 10:16-17 mentions these 500 shields, 200 large and 300 small. These shields made beautiful displays in the House of the Forest of Lebanon, but they were of no use in battle. Gold was too heavy and too soft to be used as a metal for effective shields. This was an example of the emphasis of image over substance that began in the days of Solomon and worsened in the days of Rehoboam.

i. According to Dilday, each large shield was worth about $120,000. The smaller shields were worth $30,000. $33 million was invested in gold ceremonial shields - and now in the hands of the Egyptians.

King Rehoboam made bronze shields in their place:. The replacement of gold with bronze is a perfect picture of the decline under the days of Rehoboam. They dynasty of David went from gold to bronze in five years.

http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/1114.htm

Acts 10

vs.2
"He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly." NIV

"Cornelius was in the category of what the Jews called God-fearers (one who feared God). These were Gentiles who loved the God of Israel and were sympathetic to and supportive of the Jewish faith. Yet they stopped short of becoming full Jews in lifestyle and in circumcision."- David Guzik

The Three Kinds of Gentiles

Cornelius was "a devout man" (Ac. 10:2). That means he was pious and honestly religious--he feared God. The phrase "feared God" became a technical term for Gentiles. There were three kinds of Gentiles in the mind of a Jew.

1. A GENTILE

2. A GOD-FEARER

A Gentile who had become sick of his own religion--of its immoralities and idolatries--and had come to the conclusion that the God of Israel is the true God, was termed "a God- fearer. " This type of Gentile began to pray to God, and perhaps became involved in the worship at a synagogue (e. g. the eunuch whom Philip met in Acts 8:26-39). The God-fearer believed in the ethics of the Old Testament, but had never been circumcised. He was not a full proselyte.

3. A PROSELYTE

The third level of Gentile was the proselyte who had come all the way to Judaism. He had actually gone through the act of circumcision and become fully identified with Israel. He was considered a Jew in a spiritual sense.

a. Cornelius Was a God-Fearer

He was not a full Jew, so he was considered a Gentile. Cornelius was sick of the immorality and emptiness of his own religion, and had attached himself to the Jewish religion. He probably didn't accept the ceremonial laws and circumcision, but there is no doubt that he often attended worship. He believed in one God and in the ethics of the Old Testament.

When Paul went into the synagogues of the Gentile cities he journeyed to, he usually would lead the God-fearers to Christ first. They were the people who had lived up to the light that they had been given. When Paul arrived, they received more light and were saved. As Paul moved from city to city, small groups of God-fearers were saved. They became a terrible threat to the Jews in each city.
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I COULD NOT AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT MORE:

"Cornelius was a very religious man, yet someone can be very religious and not be saved...."

In Acts 11:14 Peter later related that the angel in Cornelius's vision said this: " [Peter] shall tell thee [Cornelius] words, by which thou and all thy house shall be saved. " Cornelius was not saved--he was not a Christian. He did not know Jesus Christ. He did not belong to the body of Christ. But he was living up to the light that he did have, and God was moving to give him more light. Until he heard the gospel from Peter, he did not have enough information to be saved. There are many unsaved religious people involved in many religious activities who aren't seeking God. But Cornelius's religion was honest--He was seeking the true God with a true heart. God always honors that.

Unless otherwise noted - thoughts came from John MacArthur sermon.
http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1734.htm

(Harvesthome.org) is a great outreach in Kansas City,Mo. for the poor and homeless in the city. And for the poor in spirit (spiritually poor in lacking Jesus and being bound by immoral strongholds) try pureliferevolution.net to see what the youth in Nashville are doing in standing for purity by peacefully praying blindfolded in front of a Hustler porn shop. Some customers have even been saved through it.

I love it when you're reading through scripture and something just kind of catches you off guard. I Kings 15:23-24 did just that for me. Here we have read about various kings and their reigns. Then it talks about Asa, says that these things are recorded in another book, then just after that it says "In his old age his feet became diseased." Then it moves on.

The scriptures were very convicting. I am guilty of exaggerating and worse! And I wonder what my idols are? What do I put in front of my wholehearted love of God? Family? Friends? Work? Instant Gratification? Entertainment? Shopping? I wonder.

I Kings 14-15:24

I’m always amazed by how stubborn we humans are. How can Jeroboam experience the Word of God, see it come to pass and totally turn his back on God? In making that statement I realize there is “Nothing new under the Sun,” and we continue to repeat the pattern of Jeroboam’s rebellion. And what about Jeroboam’s wife? The word to her was, "Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die….” I don’t know if I would have went home. Maybe I am just grasping at straws, but given a choice between the life of my son or going back to the palace, I hope I would choose the life of my son and run away from home.. And you would think that a lot of repenting would be going on but there wasn’t. Hindsight is 20/20 and being distant from any given time, culture and place one can say, “Well I wouldn’t have done that!” But truth be known I would more than likely be repeating the sins of those who went before me.

God states in Jeremiah 17
,
9"The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?

Even under Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, Judah becomes wild and crazy. What keeps her from becoming destroyed as another descendent takes over is God’s Word to David. How many of us are and were spared from judgment because of God’s Word to our forefathers and mothers who were faithful to Him and walked in His ways. And while we are going our merry way doing all kinds of things thinking we are, “All That and a Bag of Chips,” it is someone else’s’ relationship with God that is keeping us from being totally destroyed. For me that is a sobering thought.


Acts 10:1-29
There is a Big Lesson in this story for me that I have never seen before. When God gives you a Word that he is about to bring something or someone into my life, don’t assume that every Tom, Dick and Harry might be the person fulfilling that Word. If someone walks into my life looking for me, I need to ask, “Why have you come?” If their answer doesn’t match up with what God has revealed to me, they ain’t the one.

If I had seen that in this text before, I would have saved myself a lot of agony and angst. Both Cornelius and Peter were given Words from God one by an angel the other through a vision, and both messages complimented and supported each other.

Psalm 133:1-3
I’m glad the NLT uses the word “Harmony” to describe how we should live. Harmony, musically, doesn’t mean that everyone is on the same note and playing at the same time, There are different types of Harmonies. Yet each type brings about a different mood, a different purpose using varying cords. Each instrument or voice may play or sing at the same time or they may not. Everything depends on the score the composer has set. God is the great composer and we must keep our eyes not only on the sheet music before us but we must keep our eyes on the Great Conductor to accomplish the Harmony He has planned and set for our lives.


Proverbs 17:7-8

Mike, I wish I had thought of this but I didn’t; however, I use it a lot,

Half the truth = A whole lie.

Exaggeration is lying. There is element of truth within a lie but we add on to it calling it exaggeration to try to clean it up, but it is still is a lie. The Devil doesn’t trick us with out and out lies, he uses a lot of truth with a little bit of lie. It’s the same way poison is used. It is very difficult to kill someone (not that I’m going to do it) with straight poison. To do the deed you use a scrumptious meal sprinkled with a little bit of poison over an extended period.

We have a problem with dealing with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because we walk in fear of others, fear of who we think we really are as opposed to what we want to be. We lie to look good because we think we are not.

I'm wondering the meaning of the psalm 133,2 when it says that living together in unit compared to the preciuos oil running down to Aaron's beard. Why Aaron's beard?

Other good Christian organizations that help the poor are Food for the Hungry (based in Phoenix) and also a local area rescue mission. Most, if not all, big and medium sized cities have one. The web page for the one in Phoenix is http://www.phoenixrescuemission.org/

I really love Psalm 133:1 ...
Do you consistently seek harmony in your interactions with others? Do you pray for peace? ~ Yes I do pray for peace. I pray for World Peace, pray for everybody to live in harmony. I really try to seek harmony in my interactions with others. Sometimes it's a struggle for me, to do the right thing. Because I'm a Christian, I don't want to get into fights, I want to do what's best for the other person, I want to do the right thing, I want the harmony. But what if other people are treating you like crap? Most people think that when you constantly do good, you'll only receive good. But too bad it's not always like that and sometimes I wonder what to do, you know what I mean? Do I hang on, because I'm a Christian? I've come to learn that there's another way to this, thanks to some wonderful friends I've come to learn that 'letting go of someone' doesn't mean that I 'dump' someone. I need my own peace and harmony, that's important to. And to pray and love someone from a distance will help them to.

"Cornelius stared at him in terror. "What is it, sir?" he asked the angel."
This verse stands out to me in todays reading. I ask myself why was every one so afraid every time an angel would appear? In the Bible in many instances they just looked like men. For example; when 3 angels went to visit Abraham. They looked like men. So what is the big deal?
Well, in many cases they looked like men BUT there are other cases when they looked real scary.
For example:

The angel that appears to Daniel..."Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:
His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude."............Sounds scary HUH?

Also the angel that rolls the stone were Jesus was buried..... "And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men."

I believe there was a reason why the angels always said FEAR NOT every time they appeared.
Now a days people like to paint angels like little cute babies and decorate there houses with these images. But, it is all human imagination. I believe that many times they did look sacry and other times they looked like human men, but never like cute babies.


Another verse that stands out in todays reading is: "And the angel replied, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have not gone unnoticed by God!"
If we are to call ourselves Christian we should give to the poor and needy. This shows the love of Christ to others. For if we give to them it is as if we gave to Christ.

Have you found a consistent way to give gifts to the poor? I help support an orphanage in India were there are 34 children who have been taken off the streets and given a good home and a Christian education. This ministry is called "Grace total life Ministries". The founder of this organization is Pastor Sunder Lal.

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