King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Friday, June 14, 2019
Chapters: II Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 136
Message: Proper Devotions With God
Hello My Friend,
It never fails, every time I try to get ahead of myself and use a devotional from a previous year to get an idea for what to write today, God tells me I am wasting time because it is not what He wants me to teach about. If I stay focused, talk to Him as I am reading and preparing what to write, it takes me about three hours to do this, but if I try to get ahead of myself it takes five hours. I am telling you this to show you that God does not want repetition, He wants sincere, and honest devotions with Him. “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” – Matthew 6:6-8.
“use not vain repetitions,” Devotions should always begin with prayer, if we want God’s attention, we have to let Him know. Do not confuse this with asking God for something until He gives you an answer, we are encouraged to keep asking until God either grants it or tells us no. Vain repetition is chanting and repeating the same words over and over again, especially in public. Both Jews and Muslims publicly do this still today, and it is no more acceptable now than it was back then. When we go to God in prayer, even if it is in public, we need to do go to Him in private, with a sincere heart. We have been reading about Solomon having the first temple for God built, II Chronicles goes into more detail about Solomon dedicating the temple, after the dedication Solomon climbed up the giant scaffold he had made, turned to the crowd, knelt, and raised his hands up to heaven.
“And said, O LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Now therefore, O LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me. Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive. Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee. Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” – II Chronicles 6:14-16,21,39-40.
“and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” I always ask God to open my eyes, and ears so that I can be attentive to what He is saying to me, but I never thought to ask Him to do the same. We are to always be open to whatever it is that God has to show and speak to us, and never be afraid to ask Him to do the same. Every Sunday morning, my preacher comes down from the pulpit, kneels in front of the congregation and all who is watching online, and prays for us. It is a very humbling, touching, and convicting moment, it is when you realize that the preacher does not see himself above the rest of us, that he truly loves and cares for the sheep Jesus put in his care, and that we need to be doing the same thing. Devotions should always include recognizing when God hears you. After Solomon prayed something incredible happened.
“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And the priests waited on their offices: the Levites also with instruments of musick of the LORD, which David the king had made to praise the LORD, because his mercy endureth for ever, when David praised by their ministry; and the priests sounded trumpets before them, and all Israel stood. Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brasen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.” – II Chronicles 7:1-3,6-7.
“Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD:” There were thousands of animals being offered up to God, and it was there that God Himself came down as fire, and consumed the offering, acknowledging that He heard his prayer. We are to never forget what he has already done, and always praise, and thank Him for it. “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever: And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalm 136:1-3,22-26.
“Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:” God may call Israel His people, but it does not mean that He limited any other nation from coming to know Him. God used Israel to prove to the rest of the world that He is the only living God, who is blesses those who love and are faithful to Him. Being one of God’s people has nothing to do with race, it has everything to do with our faith, and willingness to love Him with all our heart. When we devote ourselves to God He will let us know that He hears, and sees us. Later that night God spoke to Solomon.
“And the LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said unto him, I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. And as for thee, if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe my statutes and my judgments; Then will I stablish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.” – II Chronicles 7:12,14,17-20.
“will I cast out of my sight,” You see, God’s love may be unconditional, He will save all that come to Him through His Son, but His blessings are conditional, if we want them, we need to be devoted to Him. God already knew what was going to happen, even Solomon started worshiping the gods of the many wives he had. Even though it would be centuries later that most of Judah would be taken captive to Babylon and then lost the throne, there will be a time when God will restore the kingdom, and that will be when Jesus returns. God used Israel to prove that He is God, and is merciful and gracious to even the worst offenders. I mean let’s face it, Israel was and still is the worse example of their faithfulness to God, most refuse to even acknowledge Christ. Yet God gives every person the opportunity to know His Son. It is up to each one of us to humble ourselves to acknowledge and come to the Son. “Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” – Romans 2:9-11.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.” – II Chronicles 7:1.
Today’s Prayer: God, I know You are the same today as You were yesterday, I know You can still turn things around, and overwhelm me with so many blessings that I cannot help, but cry for all You are doing for me. Lord, When I want to give up, Your strength keeps me going. When I mess up You mercy endures, and when I cannot stand your grace holds me up. During these trying times when we do not know if we will even have tomorrow, let me never lose sight of Your devotion to me, and Your willingness to give me the things I need and desire through my faithfulness to You. Keep Your eyes, ears, and heart on me, open mine to see You, and love as You love. Teach me, grow me, and walk with me as I seek to be devoted to You at all times. I love You Lord, and pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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