VIDEO King Jehoshaphat

 

When President Trump declared September 3, 2017 a “Day Of Prayer”, I thought of this incident with King Jehoshaphat from the Bible. It made my heart rejoice.

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2 Chronicles 20:1-30

1 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi).

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah.

The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard

and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.

Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying,

‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.

11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance.

12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of  Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.

17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord.

19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.”

21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c]holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord,

for his love endures forever.”

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.

23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.

25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.

26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah to this day.

27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies.

28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.

29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.

30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

by lafayetteangel

King Jehoshaphat

How Much More!

If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:13

In October 1915, during World War I, Oswald Chambers arrived at Zeitoun Camp, a military training center near Cairo, Egypt, to serve as a YMCA chaplain to British Commonwealth soldiers. When he announced a weeknight religious service, 400 men packed the large YMCA hut to hear Chambers’s talk titled, “What Is the Good of Prayer?” Later, when he spoke individually with men who were trying to find God in the midst of war, Oswald often quoted Luke 11:13, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

The free gift of God through His Son, Jesus, is forgiveness, hope, and His living presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit. “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (v. 10).

God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is available to each of us today.

On November 15, 1917, Oswald Chambers died unexpectedly from a ruptured appendix. To honor him, a soldier led to faith in Christ by Oswald purchased a marble carving of a Bible with the message of Luke 11:13 on its open page and placed it beside his grave: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” This amazing gift from God is available to each of us today.

Father, You are the giver of all good gifts. We thank You for the great gift of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and guides us in Your truth today.

Learn more about the legacy of Oswald Chambers at utmost.org.

 

God’s gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives is available to each of us today.

By David C. McCasland 

INSIGHT

Would you want a God who gave you everything you asked for? Or would that be a bit frightening? While Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1–4), He described God as being like a loving Father who would not give them a scorpion if they asked for an egg.

Was He just assuring us that God is good? Or was He gently suggesting something about us? Was He hinting that sometimes we don’t know how to pray for our own good? (Rom 8:26). Maybe that’s why He promised that His Father would share His Spirit with those who trusted Him for what is best (Luke 11:13).

Mart DeHaan

Using Time Well

Matthew 25:14-28

The Lord gives us resources and abilities, and He desires that we use them well. One such gift is time.

In order to manage our coming days effectively, we should continually review the one we’ve just lived: What activities did we choose? How much time did each take? What were the results? This discipline will reveal what is most important to us.

In looking closely at our assessments, we can determine what drives our decisions about how to use time. Some people merely respond to circumstances for a majority of their day. They jump from one thing to the next, handling whatever appears in their world at the moment—whether personal, family, or business matters. But this style of living misses the mark.

Other people spend their time according to desires. They want to relax, so they get home and watch television for the evening. Or they love to hunt, so they use their time to research equipment and locate wildlife in the forest. Desires are not bad, but they should not drive the bulk of our actions.

Thankfully, there are also people who live according to what they deem important. Loving God and serving others, for instance, are two biblical values that should, ideally, determine what we do with our time.

If you itemize your activities and their time consumption over the course of a week, you might be surprised at which are the predominant events. Each moment is a gift, so set aside a few minutes each evening to plan the next day. Then revisit how you spent the last 24 hours. This will help you to live purposefully.

 

The Grace of Being Content

“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Timothy 6:8)

The last of God’s Ten Commandments—and probably the most difficult to obey—deals with the sin of covetousness. “Thou shalt not covet . . . any thing that is thy neighbour’s” (Exodus 20:17). “Take heed, and beware of covetousness,” warned the Lord Jesus, “for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). This warning introduced His parable of the rich man whom God called a fool. “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).

And how does one become rich toward God? “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. . . . seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:20, 25, 33).

We Christians—especially in an affluent society such as ours—all too easily fall into the trap of being possessed by our possessions and may even think these possessions are somehow God’s reward for our “godliness.” But Paul says those who suppose “that gain is godliness” are “destitute of the truth.” We need to remember that in God’s sight “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:5-6). And with Paul, we should strive to be able to say sincerely that “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

God has promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19) if we are faithful stewards of what He has entrusted to us. Therefore, God’s Word commands: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). HMM

His bread shall be given him

1 Kings 16:9-34

We must now turn from the comparative quiet of the history of Judah to the troublous annals of the more sinful nation of Israel. The house of Jeroboam was rooted out by Baasha, who reigned wickedly twenty-four years, but was not able to found a dynasty, because his sins brought upon his house the same doom as that which had befallen Jeroboam’s family. His son Elah, and all his descendants, were murdered by his captain, Zimri, while drinking at Tirzah. After a week’s reign, Zimri was vanquished by Omri, a rival commander, and perished among the blazing ruins of the palace at Tirzah. Omri had a troubled and wicked reign of twelve years, and was then succeeded by the notorious Ahab, of whom we shall now read.

1 Kings 16:31

The strong-minded Jezebel completely mastered the vacillating Ahab, and became the real ruler of the land, slaying the prophets of Jehovah, and compelling the people to reverence her demon deities.

1 Kings 16:34

It was a time of monstrous deeds of evil, when the fear of God was disregarded, and men gloried in defying the Most High. Infidelity usually flourishes side by side with superstition, and where some are worshipping a thousand deities, others are always to be found who deride the one only Lord: yet even in such days the purposes of the Lord are being accomplished. Hiel, the Beth-elite, in his arrogance, did exactly as the Lord had declared.

1 Kings 17:1-6

1 Kings 17:1

He leaps into the arena, like a lion from the hills. Who he was, or what he had been, we are not told. He comes in thunder, and speaks lightning. The times were fit for an Elijah, and Elijah was fit for them.

1 Kings 17:2-4

God is a good master, and never suffers his servants to starve. He will provide for his own, even if all the land be wasted by drought.

1 Kings 17:5, 6

He had plain but sufficient fare, but what unlikely providers! Ravens are rather robbers than caterers, yet they forgot their own hunger and the cries of their young to feed the prophet. Perhaps they fetched the bread and meat out of Ahab’s larder; there was very little to be found anywhere else. Well does an old writer observe, “O God! thou that providest meat for the fowls of the air, wilt make the fowls of the air provide meat for man, rather than his dependence on thee shall be disappointed: O let not our faith be wanting to thee, since thy care can never be wanting to us.”

 

More likely to rob than to feed,

Were ravens, who live upon prey,

But when the Lord’s people have need,

His goodness will find out a way.

 

He lions and ravens can tame,

All creatures obey his command:

Then let me rejoice in his name.

And leave all my cares in his hand.

 

Be Careful of What You Dump On Those Who Are Listening to You!

Hebrews 12:15

My Grandfather Miller lived on a large parcel of land that was located just outside Tulsa. Right in the middle of his land was a small lake that the local people called “Dead Man’s Lake,” because a dead body had been found at the bottom of the lake many years earlier.

The water in that little lake was muddy red and terribly dirty because the entire lake bed was comprised of red clay. I can remember fishing with my grandfather on the banks of that lake, thinking with great distaste that we were actually going to eat the catfish we pulled out of that filthy water!

That little lake was fed by a notorious little river in Oklahoma called Bird Creek. Not only was Bird Creek known for being muddy, but it was also well-known for the oversized water moccasins that would slither over the branches and debris floating in its waters. This little river was so close to my grandfather’s property that my family would cross over a Bird Creek bridge every time we drove to his house.

Nearly every spring during the Oklahoma tornado season, the waters of Bird Creek would rise during heavy rains. It would rise and rise until, finally, those filthy, stinking waters would spill out of the banks of the river and inundate the entire local area. Of course, whenever the waters of Bird Creek rose, they would also rush into Dead Man’s Lake on my grandfather’s property. The grimy waters would then flood out of the banks of that little lake and literally slime my grandfather’s entire property with gunk and goo.

As a boy, I thought it was fun when my grandfather’s property got flooded because it meant we had to get in our own boat, pull the motor, and ride across highways covered with water in order to reach Grandfather Miller’s house. He and his wife would be standing on the porch, waiting and waving, as we pulled up to the house in our boat.

But when the waters finally receded, the fun was over. Now it was time to clean up the stinking mess left by the flood. Everything in sight was slimed with filth by those rising waters. Believe me, the mess left by a flood was always pretty nasty!

I always think of those messy floods of my boyhood when I read Hebrews 12:15, which says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Earlier we looked at one part of this verse (see September 4), but today I want to take you further so you can see what eventually happens if a person doesn’t surrender his hurts and grievances to the Lord.

As noted earlier, the words “trouble you” in this verse are from the Greek word enochleo, which means to trouble, to harass, or to annoy. It refers to something inside that bothers and upsets you so much that you are constantly pestered by thoughts about it.

The word enochleo pictures a person who is continually troubled, harassed, and annoyed by thoughts of how someone else wronged him. The offended person is now so troubled that he is almost emotionally immobilized. Instead of moving on in life, he gets stuck in the muck of that experience, where he wallows day after day in the memories of what happened to him. If that person doesn’t quickly get a grip on himself, he will eventually fulfill the next part of the verse, which says, “… lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled.”

The word “defiled” is the Greek word miaini. It means to spill, to spot, or to stain. Here is what Hebrews 12:15 is telling us: If you are inwardly upset with someone and don’t get rid of those raw emotions, it won’t be too long until you open your mouth and begin to verbalize those ugly inward emotions. As Jesus said, “… Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34).

According to Jesus, what you are full of is exactly what you will talk about! If you’re filled with joy, then joy will come out of your mouth. But if you’re filled with bitterness, anger, disappointment, frustration, or rage, then eventually those attitudes are going to show up in the words you speak! Like a rising river, what is inside you—if not corrected by the Spirit of God—will eventually flood out of the banks of your soul and spill out of your mouth, adversely affecting everyone around you.

This is what happens when we fail to deal with our hearts and instead allow wrong attitudes to fester inside us. Eventually we will begin to “run at the mouth” and say bad things about someone else, which has a devastating effect on those who hear us. As our negative attitudes rage out of control, our words taint, spot, soil, and ruin the way our listeners perceive the person we are speaking of. Thus, by permitting our mouths to be the spout for the mess that festers inside us, we end up sliming other people with our own stinking attitudes and destructive words.

Let me give you an example of how one person’s root of bitterness can result in many being defiled. Suppose a father who has always loved his church becomes offended by something that happened in the church. Rather than go to the Lord, release the offense, and forgive, this father goes home and fumes about what happened. The longer he fumes about it, the more angry he becomes. As his anger grows, he starts venting and talking about how upset he is with that church!

Prior to this, this father’s children loved their church. But day after day, they listen to their father rage about how bad the pastor is, how badly their father has been treated, and so on. The father doesn’t realize it, but his words are having a profoundly negative effect on his children. Soon the children begin to feel what their father feels. They see what he sees and believe what he believes. Although no one in the church has ever wronged any of these children, it isn’t long before they are carrying the same bitter feelings toward the church that their father carries.

In this case, the children have been tainted, stained, and spotted by a father who should have gone to the Cross and allowed the Spirit of God to liberate him from those bitter emotions. Instead, he opened his mouth and dumped his bitterness on his family. Now he’s not the only one who has an attitude problem; he has imparted his bad attitude to his children as well. And the truth is, if his children have a negative attitude toward the church when they grow up, much of the blame will be laid at that father’s feet because he didn’t keep his mouth shut and act more mature.

What a pity to dump all your negative garbage on your friends and loved ones, defiling them with a spiritual problem that may hound them for years. How much better it would be for you to go to the Cross and deal with it rather than open the spout and let a flood of filth and slime defile those around you!

It may seem hard to keep your mouth shut and to go to the Lord when you’re dealing with a difficult attitude challenge. But it is much easier to take this route than to spew a lot of garbage that you’ll later have to clean up! So I urge you today to let the Holy Spirit help you overcome your inward struggles. As you do, you will keep yourself free of bitterness and make sure others around you are not defiled by ugly words that you are tempted to speak!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, please help me refrain from speaking words today that will negatively affect other people. I am so sorry for the times I’ve “run at the mouth” and said things I shouldn’t have said. I realize how wrong this is and how I’ve stained other people’s opinions because I didn’t control my mouth and emotions. I am turning to You for help, and I’m asking You to help me control my tongue as I deal with these issues that have festered inside me. Holy Spirit, please help me to overcome the flesh and to allow You to have Your way in me!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I carefully monitor the condition of my heart and regulate what comes out of my mouth. Because my words are seasoned with grace, those who are near me today will be positively impacted. I speak words of kindness, and I refrain from speaking ugly words that I would later regret. My heart is clean toward others, and my mouth speaks only words that build up and edify those who are listening.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Have you ever been guilty of “running at the mouth”—saying ugly things that negatively affected the people who were listening to you? Did you leave your listeners in better shape because of what you said, or did you “slime” them with your bad attitude?
  2. Can you think of an example of parents who ruined their children’s opinion of a pastor or church because the parents refused to keep their mouths shut and to control their tongues?
  3. Is the Holy Spirit speaking to you today about certain attitudes in you that need to change? If so, what are those attitudes? Who are the individuals in your life whom you need to forgive?

If you’re filled with joy, then joy will come out of your mouth. But if you’re filled with bitterness, anger, disappointment, frustration, or rage, then eventually those attitudes are going to show up in the words you speak! Like a rising river, what is inside you—if not corrected by the Spirit of God—will eventually flood out of the banks of your soul and spill out of your mouth, adversely affecting everyone around you.

 

Could This Be Next?

“‘Dear Mom:

 

‘Gosh, can you believe it’s 2023 already?… It seems just yesterday I was sitting in first grade celebrating the century change. I know we haven’t really chatted since Christmas. Sorry. Anyway, I have some difficult news and I really didn’t want to call and talk face-to-face. Ted’s had a promotion and I should be up for a hefty raise this year if I keep putting in those crazy hours. You know how I work at it. Yes, we’re still struggling with the bills.

 

‘Timmy’s been ‘okay’ at kindergarten although he complains about going. But then, he wasn’t happy about day care either, so what can I do? He’s been a real problem, Mom. He’s a good kid, but quite honestly, he’s an unfair burden at this time in our lives. Ted and I have talked this through and through and finally made a choice. Plenty of other families have made it and are much better off.

 

‘Our pastor is supportive and says hard decisions are necessary. The family is a ‘system’ and the demands of one member shouldn’t be allowed to ruin the whole. He told us to be prayerful, consider all the factors, and do what is right to make the family work. He says that even though he probably wouldn’t do it himself, the decision is really ours. He was kind enough to refer us to a children’s clinic near here, so at least that part’s easy.

 

‘I’m not an uncaring mother. I do feel sorry for the little guy. I think he overheard Ted and me talking about ‘it’ the other night. I turned around and saw him standing at the bottom of the step in his PJ’s with the little bear you gave him under his arm and his eyes sort of welling up. Mom, the way he looked at me just about broke my heart. But honestly I believe this is better for Timmy, too.

 

‘It’s not fair to force him to live in a family that can’t give him the time and attention he deserves. And please don’t give me the kind of grief Grandma gave you over your abortions. It is the same thing, you know. We’ve told him he’s just going in for a vaccination. Anyway, they say it is painless. I guess it’s just as well you haven’t seen that much of him.

 

Love to Dad:

 

Jane'”

 

You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13)

 

 

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