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This morning as I read where God asked Solomon what he wanted...I wondered how someone with so much wisdom eventually fell.So I asked God to give me a will after His will and to conform my pleasures to His.
"And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life."..........
This verse for some reason kinda shows me God's mercy...yep weird I know but that's what went through my mind as I read it this morning.What's the purpose of having a long life if you're not obeying God?A long life of getting God mad at us...I'd prefer a warning,a chance to repent....and a "get up here before you become satan's" call.Since God knows our hearts and where we're headed...sometimes a short life but one with God is better than a long life that started off with God then ended up on satan's side...

1 Kings 3:3-4:34

Hmmmm, Israel was told by God,

When you come to the land which the Lord your God gives you …and then say, We will set a king over us …You shall surely set as king over you him whom the Lord your God will choose. … you may not set a foreigner, who is not your brother, over you. But he shall not multiply horses to himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to multiply horses, since the Lord said to you, You shall never return that way. And he shall not multiply wives to himself, that his [mind and] heart turn not away; neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold. And when he sits on his royal throne, he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, out of what is before the Levitical priests. And he shall keep it with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn [reverently] to fear the Lord his God, by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes and doing them, That his [mind and] heart may not be lifted up above his brethren and that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left; so that he may continue long, he and his sons, in his kingdom in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:14-20 AMP)

Did Solomon really need to forge an alliance with Egypt by marriage? It may have worked in the short term but what price would have to be paid in the future? Solomon was given wisdom because he ask for wisdom in leading God’s people, but having wisdom and properly applying that wisdom in all areas of his life is a different story.
I as a believer have been given the Wisdom of God, Jesus Christ. Have I used the Wisdom that I have effectively and efficiently? In truth I have to say, “NO.”

My goal is to move from having a mental assenting of the knowledge of the Word, to incorporating and infusing the Word I have been given into every fiber of my being.

Mike,

Your explanation of Acts 6:2 ""We apostles should spend our time preaching and teaching the word of God, not administering a food program," is right on the money, in my humble opinion. Too often, we think the Pastor’s job is to do everything and be everywhere to help me, myself and I. His job is to feed the sheep, milk the goats and kick out the wolves.

God made the family first then the church. So the pastor’s responsibility is to meet the needs of his family then as his vocation tend to the sheep. One of the things your Blog is doing is helping Christians to mature in the faith so we will become mature in the faith and be a help to the ministry. The more “Word” we know the more we “Grow” and the more we become accountable for what we know.

In the King James that 2nd verse reads “waiting on tables,” instead of administering a food program. I’ve come to understand “waiting on tales” as meaning doing what one has not been called to do. In the natural world when a tool or machine is not used according to its design, it will be useless, ineffective and inefficient, and just break down. Iif you use an item that comes with a warranty wrongly the manufacture will not honor the service contract.

I Kings 2:2-4:34
I am rather troubled by this line in verse three of chapter three:
“…except that Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned incense at the local altars”
Aaron’s descendents were the only priests allowed to handle sacrifices and I believe the offering was to be on one alter alone and that place would be designated by God.

In the seventeenth chapter of Deuteronomy God gave instructions for Israel’s kings to follow,

14 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you and have taken possession of it and settled in it, and you say, "Let us set a king over us like all the nations around us," 15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite. 16 The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, "You are not to go back that way again." 17 He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.
18 When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites. 19 It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees 20 and not consider himself better than his brothers and turn from the law to the right or to the left. Then he and his descendants will reign a long time over his kingdom.

Solomon begins to deviate slightly from these instructions and we may tend to overlook some things when all is going well, the subjects stomachs are full and every family has their own property, yet one can be off just slightly at the beginning of one’s journey and end up miles off course as time goes by. We can be so “pumped up” by the blessings that have come upon us and overtaken us we become careless in handling the Word of God.

The Wisdom Solomon had was not his but God’s. The wisdom Solomon had was not because Solomon was so great and righteous but it was because he recognized his own inadequacy to rule God’s people and asked for Wisdom. It is the ask, seek, and knock principal Jesus spoke about. (Matthew 7:7)

My prayer is that I don’t become foolish in my use of what God has given me and that I recognize that there is nothing in and of myself that distinguishes me from any other person. Everything I have has been given to me by God I am just a steward over what he has placed in my hands. My job is to remember that fact.


Acts 6:1-15
In reading through this passage again, I recognize a pattern of behavior begun with Cain back in Genesis. If Stephen’s face is shinning in the midst of false accusations, it would seem that the crowd would understand that they are not dealing with an ordinary event. This is clearly a “sign,” yet instead of allowing their hearts to be convicted, they try to quench the Light they all have seen in Stephen’s face.

Cain is told by God after bringing the wrong kind of offering,

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Instead of correcting his behavior, repenting and doing what is acceptable, he kills his brother. It seems that this pattern continues today though murder and character assassination. We feel it is better to remove the other person then to repent. How sad.

Psalm 126:1-6
5 Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.

6 They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest

What Christians have been called to do is not easy; however, the benefits far outweigh the pain.

Proverbs 16:26-27

I believe the hunger talked about in verse twenty-six is not just the hunger of our natural stomach, but a hunger in our bellies for the things of God. That emptiness can drive us to acquire “junk food” which will satiate the hunger pains but have no nutritional value, or it can drive us to seek the true nourishment that only the Bread of Life, Jesus, can bring.

I am trying to imagine how it was for Solomon, growing up in the palace, not the first son of the King (David), nor the second, nor even third.

Were his siblings kind to him?

What kind of teachers/tutors did Solomon have that helped him to understand the value of wisdom and knowledgle?

What bearing did the story of his older sibling's death as a result of David's sin have on Solomon in his household and in his community; those who knew of Uriah's honor and of Bathsheba's infidelity?

It does take a village, doesn't it?

___________________________

The book I am reading, "Always Ready, Directions for Defending the Faith" by Greg L. Bahnsen relies heavily on the notion (truth) that ALL WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE come from God; Solomon is another testimony to that truth.

THESE MEN BEGAN TO ARGUE WITH STEPHEN, 10BUT THEY COULD NOT STAND UP AGAINST HIS WISDOM OR THE SPIRIT BY WHOM HE SPOKE.

Here again, we have that "wisdom" that only comes from the Spirit of God, against which they could only lie, twist the truth, and stir the people up!


15ALL WHO WERE SITTING IN THE SANHEDRIN LOOKED INTENTLY AT STEPHEN, AND THEY SAW THAT HIS FACE WAS LIKE THE FACE OF AN ANGEL.

~ ~ ~

Interesting text to ponder.

What does the "face of an angel" look like to you? Is it a cherub?

Is it a beautiful woman like is seen at the top of a Christmas tree?

Is it like the commercials for cream cheese?

Or is it like those angels who were fierce in appearance, who guarded the garden of Eden?

Or was it holy like the men Abraham entertained when they told him of Isaac's birth?

Or like those same men he accompanied partway to Sodom and Gomorrah?

Have you ever seen Scripture depict an angel as child-like or feminine?

What description to you think the "angel" fits for what the Sanhedrin perceived in Stephen's face?

I Kings 3 (NKJV)
3
And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.

~~
NOTE: Why is that we, as those who claim to know the Lord and who genuinely want to love Him, often still hang onto something that does not please God?

Another way of saying this is to see that this truly is evidence of what C.S. Lewis says. He mentions how there is a power of darkness in the universe—not equal with God—but thinking it is great enough to oppose God. That “power” is the devil, who was made good but who chose to rebel. He seeks allies in its battle with God. Every inch of the universe is in this battle—either in darkness or in light.

Jesus is Lord. May we not allow anything to remain in our hearts that will separate us from any of Himself or any of His best will for us.

I Kings 3 (NKJV)
12
behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
13
And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
14
So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.

~~
NOTE: Truly, God is a wonderful God of grace. Thank God that we can seek Him even when everything is not right in our hearts and we can still offer all of ourselves to Him.

There is abundant grace while on earth. After death, comes the judgment.

Psalm 37 (Amplified)
Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Acts 6 (NKJV)
7
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

~~
NOTE: We are all given at least one gifting or “charisma” by the Holy Spirit. Because of that, we are all ministers, and we each have a ministry.

Many will come to know Jesus as we all truly intercede for the lost, for the Body of Christ, and as we encourage one another to be all God wants us to be. Then, as we are unified in the purpose of glorifying Jesus, the world will see Jesus through ALL of us as ONE body.

Jesus has literally given all of us the glory of the Father—so He provides Himself to glorify Jesus!

John 17 (NKJV)
22
And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23
I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Psalm 126 (NKJV)
5
Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6
He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

~~
NOTE: History shows that God is a God of process—working patiently thousands of years to make sure that the world knows who He is as the true and living God through the people of Israel, through Jesus, and through the Church of Jesus Christ.

Thank God! Process is a good word. Process—as we seek the Lord and press into Him—allows us to be like Jesus. Where are hearts are not right and where we are failing, is where we need to be persistent in planting seeds of righteousness through the Word of God, prayer, fellowship, and obedience.

Then, we can fully—in every aspect of life—become who we already are spiritually in Christ.

Philippians 3 (Amplified)
14
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
15
So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.
16
Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.

Vance


Apart from wisdom, I am also hungry for good relationships with Jesus and people, as well as health (both physical and spiritual).

"But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

Literally every time I pray, I ask God for wisdom. I always conclude my verbal prayers with, "I want to please You. Give me wisdom. I want to make You smile. Teach me how."

We as people get ourselves into a lot of messes (financially, relationally, etc.). I don't want to expect God to get me out of the messes I make. What I do expect is that He will give me the wisdom to get myself out, and to stay out!

P.S. My worship album is coming out in July! Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/dancogan/

Hey everybody! Today when I read Proverbs 16 verse 26, "It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on." and then the comment on June 5th being national hunger day I had an idea!! I work for a non profit called Nourish The Children, an affilliate of Feed the Children. I have a website where you can contribute and help feed starving children. If you are interested please email me, or visit the site www.cmcmichael3.my-ntc.com
or email me at [email protected] and i'll help you set up an account!!! Thanks! God bless!

A great way to start off this chapter: "And Solomon loved the LORD". I wish this could be said of me, someone known to love th Lord. His love is proven because as it goes on, Solomon walked in His statues, He obeyed. He sought to please the Lord by desiring wisdom above all else.
Just by reading the Proverbs you can see a glimpse of the tremendous wisdom God gave him.

I love in Acts that they appointed the various people to different tasks, not that one was less then the other. we kinda tend to think certain callings are higher up, but they arent, they are God appointed. whether its being a pastor or a toilet scrubber! we all are different parts of the church, whether seen by others of not. Stephen was a server, like a waiter and that was his place. God used him greatly, and going down in history as being the first martyr who prayed for those who killed him. no matter what we do, we should do unto the Lord, for Him, and joyfully.
I like that they said the council looked at Stephen and "saw his face as the face of an angel".

I love Ps v. 5: "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy." what this is saying is those who cry tears of repentance! when we fall down and repent and see ourselves as we are compared to Christ, i think we all have wept our eyes out! May this be a lifelong thing, not just at conversion, but when we sin, we should feel great pain n sorrow. But God bestows such an overflowing joy when we receive forgiveness and let go of the the past and realize God has put our sins far from us and so should we. We arent to carry guilt around. Once i felt such guilt over a sin, it haunted me for years, though i knew God forgave me, I didnt let it go. thats not trusting God. I realized the enemy is the accuser of the brethern and would love for me to hold on to guilt and shame and feel like i am of no use to God and give up, thats the enemy's goal. but God casts our sin as far as the east is from the west and we should respect Him and believe Him that its forgiven. Sometimes we may want to hold on to guilt cause we think we deserve it. and, we do. but God is gracious and wants us to be free!! repent and move on! there is no sin too great that Christ did not take upon Himself, if we ask and receive His forgiveness and mercy! Its a gift, we didnt earn it nor do we deserve it. I dont understand it, but I'll take it!

Verses that stood out for me today:
1 Kings 3:8-9 "And here I am in the midst of your own chosen people, a nation so great and numerous they cannot be counted! 9 Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
1 Kings 4:29 "God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore".
Acts 6:3 "And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility".
Acts 6:10 "None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke".
Psalm 126:6 "They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest".
Proverbs 16:26 "It is good for workers to have an appetite; an empty stomach drives them on".

I just LOVE Proverbs 16:26!!!! I read it and I was like "Yes!!!! I'm on fire!!! I'm hungry for your Word, God!". I love reading the Bible! My daily bread! We just finished our Bible Study, about an hour ago. And here I am, reading the Bible again for 1YrBible and Rene (my husband) is sitting here on the coutch as well, reading his Bible. We are so on fire, people! Hungry to love Jesus more. Hungry to learn more. It's just so great!!!! I really want to keep this hunger forever. I always make time to read the Bible, make time to pray, make time to have my quiet time with God. I can't imagine my life without God and His Word!

We're having street ministry again tomorrow, followed by witnessing ... wooh hoo! I can't wait! Please pray for us, pray that we will talk to open people and that they will let us tell our testimony, pray for visitors that evening. There will be a big tent, with music, drama, testimonies etc. It's going to be awesome! I wish all of you could be there!!!

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