2 Chronicles 10:17 Dwelling Near

2 Chronicles 10:17 (KJV)
But as for the children of Israel that dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

Each of the tribes of Israel had a piece of the Promised Land apportioned to them. It was theirs and they had a right to dwell on it. But they were not obligated to do so and some of them had elected to live in Judah instead.

Israel as a whole had never been overly friendly with David as their King. They had been loyal to Saul and even when God gave the kingdom to David, they only followed grudgingly. Sentiments were ripe for division as soon as there was opportunity to do so.

But there were people among the tribes of Israel for which this wasn’t true. Those who dwelt in Judah had made their habitation closer to the God ordained authority and were thus not affected by the rebellion.

This reminds me of the circumstances for a backsliding heart. There dwells in every one of us the potential for backsliding and rebellion against the Lord. The sin nature is never so mortified that, given the right circumstances, we might turn back into the world. There is only one way to insure we are less likely to follow those who lead in a turning from Christ. That is to dwell closely with Him.

No truly saved person can ever lose their salvation any more than Israel’s rebellion made them no longer Jews. But by walking near to the Lord we are more than saved, we are faithful unto the end.

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2 Chronicles 10:17 Dwelling Near

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2 Chronicles 7:21-22 An Answer for “Why?”

2 Chronicles 7:21-22 (KJV)
And this house, which is high, shall be an astonishment to every one that passeth by it; so that he shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and unto this house?
And it shall be answered, Because they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath he brought all this evil upon them.

When it came to disasters and difficult trials, people had the same questions in Biblical days as today. They asked “Why?” Specifically they asked why God would allow such suffering.

Though today the numbers of people who would evoke the name of God in a trial may seem fewer, this is still people’s first impulse, “Why would God allow or do such a thing?” But today people seem to have changed from then. God told Israel to tell the people that it was because they had turned against God to follow other gods. Today it is considered:

  • Hate speech
  • Politically incorrect and
  • Bad form

to insinuate that God would ever judge a person or that any god is better than another.

Bad form or not the truth is still true. Furthermore no advancement can be made if these truths are withheld. Before any of our troubles can really be put to rest we must demand that false gods be put in their place and that the true and living God be lifted up before the people.

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2 Chronicles 7:21-22 An Answer for “Why?”

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2 Chronicles 6:1-2 The Darkness Lifted

2 Chronicles 6:1-2 (KJV)
Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.

Solomon must have meant by “thick darkness” the heavens.

We know that God dwells in the heavens and, when we look into them we see two distinct things – darkness and depth (thickness) By dwelling in this thick darkness we realize immediately:

The vastness of God
1 Kings 8:27 says,
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

What awesome thoughts conjure in our heads when we think of the greatness of God. He is:

  • Too high for us to comprehend,
  • Too big for us to contain and
  • Too powerful for us to capture

The invisibility of God
We cannot understand Him. We come short of His glory. The natural man is hidden from the view of God and the saved man sees only through a glass darkly.

But then there is,
This gracious condescension of God
Though the heavens cannot contain Him, He chose to dwell in the house Solomon built for Him. This is a type of the grace of God who, though separated from man by sin, became a man to take away our sin. He who dwells in the thick darkness, lighted the world with His own glory in Jesus Christ.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Chronicles 6:1-2 The Darkness Lifted

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Acts 26:22 What the Faithful Preacher Preaches

Acts 26:22 (KJV)
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

There is no doubt that Paul was:

  • Called of God
  • Filled with the Holy Ghost and
  • Possessed gifts of the Spirit

Paul was used of God to record for us more than half of the New Testament. God spoke to him directly and through dreams and visions. Peter testified that what Paul wrote is Scripture. But Paul carefully explained that nothing he said crossed outside the parameters of what was already the revealed Word of God in the Old Testament.

The modern day Charismatic and Pentecostal preachers should have taken a cue from Paul. Their claims at having the spiritual gift of prophecy and then to preach things not found in the Bible and, in some cases, contrary to the Bible, abuse and dishonor the very Spirit they claim has gifted them. Paul practiced what preachers today are bound to practice; the careful study of God’s Word and the exposition of that Word. Paul preached with confidence and authority but never with arrogance. He never strayed outside what God had already said. He never contradicted the prophets or countermanded their message.

A faithful preacher preaches “none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.”

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Acts 26:22 What the Faithful Preacher Preaches

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Acts 25:16 Darkness in High Places

Acts 25:16 (KJV)
To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

When I consider the treatment of Paul by the Romans after his incarceration, I am impressed with the reasonable character of that treatment followed by the brutal end of his life.

The Roman guards’ initial response when they took Paul into custody was to beat him. That changed quickly when they learned he was a Roman citizen. From that moment on their chief concern was to treat him justly.

  • They removed him from Jerusalem when they heard there was a plot there to kill him
  • They required not once but on numerous occasions that his accusers carry the burden of travel to Caesarea to accuse him to the face
  • They gave him the right of appeal to Caesar rather than simply passing this off as a Jewish thing
  • They were careful and patient to find what charge to write against Paul but
  • They were quick to allow him to defend himself when his accusers did arrive
  • They allowed his friends to minister to his needs
  • They refused to kill him when the shipwreck threatened to free the prisoners onboard

The system worked-until Paul got to the highest authorities. It was in Rome before Caesar that Paul found corruption.

The United States of America styles its government much after the pattern of ancient Rome. Our American system of government works. There are occasional glitches and evidences of lower level corruption, but the system overall works. Where the temptation for great corruption exists is in the highest levels. It is there we must exercise the greatest precautions in whom we elect to those offices.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 25:16 Darkness in High Places

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Acts 24:16 Paul’s Exercise Routine

Acts 24:16 (KJV)
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

At fifty-seven years old I now find that I have a great deal of pain in my body. Things are getting tired and muscles long neglected are being less forgiving than in my younger days. I am coming to realize that, if I am to keep moving, I am going to have to exercise carefully and regularly.

Paul exercised too. But the sort of exercise he spoke of was on a much more important level than merely to mitigate pain. Paul’s exercise plan involved two key elements, each related to the other; he exercised to have a conscience void of offense:

Toward God
This, I am sure is in order of priority. His first concern was toward God. He one time wrote that he preached not as pleasing men but God. Paul strove in exercise to see that his conscience was right with God. This would have required that he knew God’s will, character and word. We can’t have a conscience right with God unless we know what is right with God.

Toward men
This can be a complicated thing since men are so diverse and even the same man can be fluid, pleased by one thing today and another tomorrow. Paul must not have meant that he tried to make everyone happy. To have a conscience void of offense toward man means to do for every man what we know and believe to be in that person’s best interest.

This strategy of exercise has led to Paul’s effective ministry two thousand years after his own passing. His regular exercise cost him at the moment but paid off eternally.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 24:16 Paul’s Exercise Routine

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Acts 23:11 What Cheered Paul

Acts 23:11 (KJV)
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Paul had earlier stated that he was willing not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem. Here the Lord encourages him that he would not die there, but be a witness also in Rome.

There is nothing in this promise that implies relief of the trial. There is only a promise

  • That the Jews will not kill him
  • That he will be given further opportunities to witness

Cheer can happen in the most unsuspecting ways. Paul was cheered:

By the Lord Himself
Find your joy in the Lord and you can be happy anywhere.

By an acknowledgment of his testimony
That God has been a witness of our ministry can be a great encouragement. We are not alone even when no one stands with us. We might feel like we have failed. But God has been in the stands cheering us along.

By a promise of future service
He hadn’t cast Paul away or put him on a shelf. He wasn’t confining Paul to ineffectiveness. He was merely opening new doors of opportunity.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 23:11 What Cheered Paul

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2 Chronicles 2:6 Come to Church

2 Chronicles 2:6 (KJV)
But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

The temple Solomon desired to build was meant to represent the greatness of God but not to contain it. It was a representative for the sake of man and not God. God did not need it nor could He truly dwell in it. Man, on the other hand, needs somewhere to make his conscious and purposeful worship toward God. That place should rightfully command the respect we have for God.

It is with fair regularity I meet up with someone who has abandoned (or never embraced in the first place) the practice of regular organized “religion”.  They claim they worship God at a lake or in the mountains and that God does not need churches. It is true that God is everywhere and could be worshipped anywhere. But honestly, does anybody really do it? On top of that it was Jesus, not the apostles, who said He would build His church.

God does not need a church building. But He does expect Christians to assemble there.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Chronicles 2:6 Come to Church

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Acts 21:4 Pay It Anyway

Acts 21:4 (KJV)
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

When Paul went to Jerusalem he went fully aware of the risks he was taking. God had provided brethren, who were led of the Holy Spirit of God to tell him. That these disciples were speaking through the Holy Spirit and not their own is apparent to us; their prophecies came true. This leads to a more challenging question, why did Paul disobey the Spirit of God? Men like John R. Rice clearly believed that Paul did wrong in not listening and paid dearly because of it.

I understand that Paul was a man and subject to making mistakes but I don’t believe that he made a mistake here. I believe the lesson is that God’s Spirit can speak truth to us through another person but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are obligated to obey it. What the disciples said through the Spirit was true, but what Paul was responsible to do with that message was personal, between him and God.

We are wise to hear godly counsel but we should not necessarily follow it. From time to time faith requires us to step out where we most certainly cannot succeed in order that God might teach us greater lessons.

Paul did not disobey the Spirit of God. Instead he pressed on with what he believed to be God’s will, being fully aware of the cost.

Sometimes you count the cost, find it to be greater than you can pay, and for the sake of righteousness, pay it anyway.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 21:4 Pay It Anyway

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1 Chronicles 29:16 His All Along

1 Chronicles 29:16 (KJV)
O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

It had come to David’s heart to build a house for God. When God spoke and told him that he wasn’t to build it but his son, who would sit on the throne after him, David took it upon himself to make preparations for his son.

  • David had given personally
  • David had contracted with other countries to lay in store materials and
  • David had inspired his fellow countrymen to give

But when he looked at all they had stockpiled for the construction David said that all of it had been God’s all along.

God has graciously given us opportunity to participate in His work, first by faithfully tithing and then by giving above that to the things of God. In order to accommodate those gifts,

  • We have Faith Promise giving conferences
  • We have special speakers of one sort and another
  • We set up designated accounts and
  • We publish charts and graphs with the results

The resources come from our wallets and banks accounts. We have earned them by our labor and work. But the healthy, holy and proper way to view every one of those gifts is that they come of God’s hand and have always been His own.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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1 Chronicles 29:16 His All Along

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