My Name

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:11-22 (day two) 

and My people who are called by My name…vs. 14a

I don’t remember the exact way that he used to phrase it, but I certainly remember what he meant. Whenever I would go on field trip, or to a camp, or just out with a group my dad would say things like: remember where you’re from, act like you should, and remember…you’re a Hufty. My actions, whether I wanted to accept it or not, were a reflection on my family. In a small town, that meant something. We weren’t Kennedys, Rockefellers, or Bushes, but my character was inevitably tied to my family name. Do you see how profound that is? God doesn’t just say if my people humble themselves. That would be something, wouldn’t it? We speak in terms of my team, or my ministry, or my country and we do so with affection and endearment. There are many things that bind those groups together, but God takes it a step further. He says, if my people who are called by my name…We have been grafted into a family whose head is the creator of the universe. That carries a different weight and authority altogether. Remember today that you bear the name of the LORD.

Lifeline

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 7:1-10 (day two) 

Then on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people to their tents, rejoicing and happy of heart because of the goodness that the Lord had shown to David and to Solomon and to His people Israel. vs. 10

Not every day is a festival day. Not every experience is on the mountain. These are moments that when totaled are far outnumbered by the regular, the mundane, and even the bleak, but they matter. They matter because of their uniqueness. Those times when you feel so near to the Lord can be a lifeline for the times when you are searching for his presence. It doesn’t mean that the Lord has left you, but perhaps you have allowed other things to cloud your vision. If you are in one of those times of distance right now stop and remember when you felt the overwhelming presence of God in your life. May that serve as a buoy for your heart right now, and inspire you to move once again toward him.

A Way Back

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:12-42 (day two) 

…if they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39 then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place, their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You. vs. 38-39

In the midst of all the wonderful descriptions about the Temple and all of its contents, this stands out to me the most. The building is vast and grand beyond description, but the message of forgiveness is greater than any amount of gold. Solomon recognizes here that God’s people will not always dwell in the magnificence of the building; they will eventually come off the mountain and lose sight and memory of the closeness they once had with the Lord. There is a way back,  however, and that is the theme of the Gospel. God has made a way for those who love and follow him to be restored. It is through repentance. Have you forgotten the wonder of the presence of God, do you need forgiveness? Good news, it is waiting for you.

What Part Will You Play?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 6:1-11 (day two)

 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘Because it was in your heart to build a house for My name, you did well that it was in your heart. vs. 8

According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Isn’t it so gracious of the Lord that he remembers the hopes and dreams of King David? Solomon is also quick to acknowledge that the vision of a Temple was his father’s dream. This kind of generational legacy is not lost on the Apostle Paul. He reminds us that we are all playing a crucial role in the working out of God’s plan. We may have a great vision, and it is important that we give voice to it, but that does not mean that God will use us to complete it. Frustrating? Possibly, but remember the promise God gave to David. The role we ultimately play in this may not exactly fit our plan, but remember what a privilege it is to play a part at all.

What Fills You Up?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 5:1-14 (day two)

the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud…vs. 13

What fills you up? Not in the sense of cuisine, but what occupies the most space in your heart? The idea of the presence of God filling a space so completely that there is room for nothing else is overwhelming. That, however, is the hope of our relationship with Jesus. When we give him our hearts, are we simply rearranging furniture, or are we turning over the keys to the apartment? I continually struggle to turn over those stubborn areas of my life to Jesus, but my desire is that when I am confronted with them I will act in a way that prefers him and not me. Have you taken an inventory of what occupies your heart lately? Have you tried turning over everything to him? When he fills you, there can be no room for anything other. May we continue to work for a full heart of Jesus.

Promises Fulfilled

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 3:1-17 (day two)

Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.” Genesis 22

The Lord in his great wisdom never lets a teachable moment pass by. The very spot where God would consecrate his covenant with Abraham would become the plot where the temple would be constructed. This temple would rise and fall, and be rebuilt. It would serve then as the backdrop for the crucifixion of Jesus, and the sealing of the new covenant. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises as we count time, he moves at the fulfillment of his design. We are wise to look at the continued work of his hand throughout history and trust that he is still at work.

Big Task

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 2:1-12 (day two) But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? vs. 6

Have you ever been completely overwhelmed by a task that you are certain that you were given to do? As you think about that moment perhaps you looked at the totality of the project and you had no idea where to begin: scope of the project, resources both financial and human, time frame, etc. These can be daunting factors, and Solomon could have certainly felt similar, but he knew this task was for him, just not for him alone. The wisdom required to outsource can be God sent. Friend, you may know you have a job to do, but that doesn’t mean it is up to you alone. Take stock of the resources God has placed before you. That is stewardship, that is wisdom.

Who Can Rule?

Re:Verse passage – 2 Chronicles 1:1-13 (day two) Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours? vs. 10

It is an old saying in ministry, but one worthy of repetition: God does not call the equipped, he equips the called. One of the best assessments that Solomon made of himself at the outset of his rule was his inability to rule without God. This kind of humility is often difficult to find as people gain power and authority. Solomon rightly discerned that his kingship was not a right, but a responsibility handed to him by God himself, and to effectively reign he must recognize his reliance on God. The same is true for us. Whatever the Lord has placed in front of us is not a test to see if you are worthy, it is an opportunity to ask for the Lord to strengthen your hands, your, heart, and your resolve for the task at hand.

Get to Work

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 29:1-11 (day two) for the temple is not for man, but for the Lord God. vs. 1b                                                                                       Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the Lord?” vs. 5b

David has had a desire to build this temple for years. He has amassed large amounts of money and materials to accomplish his vision. Now as he hands the plans over to his son to complete the task his charge to the people shows the true condition of his heart. A building project like this could easily become a monument to a man, to the person who conceived or oversaw the construction. David is clear that this grand vision was for the glory of the Lord alone. He also rightly discerned that something on this scale requires many skilled hands dedicated to the task who also believe in the dream. How often to we sit on the sidelines when something great is taking shape? Do we sit and watch as others cast a vision for what the future could look like? Perhaps, we think, we will wait and see where this goes before we cast in our lot. How about consecrating ourselves to the work of the Lord and getting about the business of building the body of Christ? Sounds like something we can all get behind.

Strong and Courageous

Re:Verse passage – 1 Chronicles 28:11-21 (day two)

Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished. vs. 20

I love the consistency of scripture, don’t you. The admonition to be strong and courageous sounds like the encouragement Joshua received from Moses and from God. 

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. Joshua 1:7

These words are encouraging, yes, but also an acknowledgement that the road ahead will be filled with challenges. Just because you are called to a God-sized task does not mean that you are God. You will fail, but that does not disqualify you from your assignment. You should also remember:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” ‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭