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It takes work

Reading: 1 Kings 2:46

Solomon’s kingdom is finally established, but wow, what a job to get it that way. Think back to the first chapter and all that had to be done to stop Adonijah the first time.

One of the biggest problems with society and culture today is that we want “established” now without the time and effort it takes to get it that way. If you want an established yard, it takes a lot of work and time to have it look just right.

All my life I have tried to make work as easy as possible. Any little thing I could do to lessen the load or do something in “mass” I always will. As I age, more and more I realize that some things just cannot be done easier. Success only comes before work in the dictionary!

“It is observable that God has often called men to places of dignity and honor when they have busy and honest employment of their vocation. Saul was seeking his father’s donkeys and David his father’s sheep when called to the Kingdom. The shepherds were feeding their flocks when they had their glorious revelation. God called the four apostles from their fishing and Matthew from collecting taxes, Amos from the horsemen of Tecoah, Moses from keeping Jethro’s sheep, Gideon from the threshing floor, Elisha from the plows. God never called a lazy man. God never encourages idleness and will not despise persons in the lowest employment.”

 —D. L. Moody

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Don’t push the limits

Reading: 1 Kings 2:35-46

Some might say, “Don’t press your luck.” Shimei got off easy, but he had to try Solomon. All he had to do was stay in town and not leave. He was under “town arrest" so Solomon had him executed.

Why is it we push the limits? We seem to want only the things we cannot have. Think of ways we push limits. My doctor tells me not to eat doughnuts. This just causes me to want them more. I don’t crave fruit like I do doughnuts. Maybe if someone told me I couldn’t have it. I can drive 55, so I’ll go 60-62. My bill is due the 1st, but I won’t get a fee until the 15th.

Don’t push the limits. Have Character. Especially with spiritual matters.

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Be Careful What You Wish For

Reading: 1 Kings 2:26-34

Benaiah asks Joab to come out to Solomon. Joab says, Nope, I’ll die right here. Solomon simply says, “Do as he hath said…” Be careful what you wish for…You might just get it! We really have to mind our words don’t we!

“Watch your thoughts; they become words.

Watch your words; they become actions.

Watch your actions; they become habit.

Watch your habits; they become character.

Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”

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Do it Right the First Time

Reading: 1 Kings 2:12-25

Why is Solomon once again having to deal with Adonijah? He should’ve fixed this problem to begin with and wouldn’t have had to deal with it again. Have you ever just patched something up knowing you didn’t really fix it? It always seems to reoccur & need attention at the worst times. Then something else suffers because you have to focus on the problem you didn’t originally take care of. This applies with many areas of our lives: bitterness, unconfessed sin, debt, etc. Do it right the first time.

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Reading: 1 Kings 2:12-25 (spec. v.15)

Adonijah convinced himself he was one step ahead of everyone else. He went to a woman, women were looked at by this culture as ignorant and not understanding a man’s business. Adonijah assumed Bathsheba would never know what he was up to, and that Solomon would emotionally not be able to refuse his mother. This is a pretty good plan. He didn’t care to marry, rather he knew by custom, “claiming the widow of a deceased king was an indirect way of claiming the right to the vacated throne.” But, he really did know the truth (v.15).

Bathsheba was smarter than Adonijah. She realized what he was up to. If she was just trying to “match-make” she might’ve reacted differently to Solomon’s anger. Think about this, why would she want to setup or even be involved with the man who almost kept her and her son out of power and the young girl who spent the last few days with her dying husband? Knowing what Adonijah was up to, she went along and approached Solomon in such a way as to anger him into killing Adonijah. This should’ve happened before now anyway. By going ahead with asking Solomon for Adonijah, Bathsheba assumed she would anger Solomon and cause him to finally act.

Don’t just assume you are smarter than everyone else. You may not be ahead of the game as much as you think. Manipulation seems to never permanently workout for the one making the plans.

Proverbs 26:27, "Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him."

Be honest, straightforward, say what you mean.

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Trust, until given a reason not to...

Reading: 1 Kings 2:12-18

Solomon made a deal with Adonijah that he would spare his life if Adonijah would stay out of trouble. But, from his previous attempts to take over the kingdom, Adonijah cannot be trusted. Now, it is obvious that he is back up to something.

If you read this without knowing about Adonijah, you could easily just think he wanted a wife. In fact, Adonijah himself says that he is NOT…"up to something"! “Comest thou peaceably? And he said, peaceably.” Knowing Adonijah, you must assume he is up to something. He has proven that he cannot be trusted so let’s look at his actions without giving him the benefit of trust.

  • Why approach Bathsheba and not Solomon?
  • Why is he trying to build up to what he wants to say?
  • Why have her agree before knowing what she is agreeing to?
  • Adonijah is handsome, why does he need the King to give him a wife?

Trust. We should trust people and assume the best. We should trust others and try to befriend and relate to them, until given a reason not to. We will see later that Adonijah was up to something and had he been trusted he would have caused more problems. Once someone has given you a reason to no longer trust them, you will always question their actions. Love them, help them, do all you can for them, but all the while be alert of their true intentions.

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Never Abandoned

Reading: Numbers 21-24

Being a parent has its rewards and its challenges. There are times when my children do as I ask or they play well together or they eat their vegetables, and I just beam with motherly pride. Other times, I have to give them the same instructions over and over, or they fight, or they want brownies instead of broccoli! These are small things right now, but as my children grow older, they will continue to make decisions that will either please me or disappoint me. But the fact will never change that they are my children and I will always be their parent. Even if they grow up and disown me, it will not change their bloodline-they will always be my children, whether we are in fellowship or our fellowship is broken. 

Just for today, I will realize that being out of fellowship with God doesn’t mean I have lost my kinship in Christ. On more than a dozen occasions, the Bible speaks of how the Israelites spake and murmured against God.   Yet, when Balak instructed Balaam to curse the Israelites, God told him that they were His people and that they were blessed (22:12. 23:8,20; 24:1). “Although our state may require God’s discipline, our standing is eternally secure and perfect”. As a child of God, we can rest in our eternal security! Even when God has to discipline us, we still belong to Him.

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Fruitful or Blind

Reading: Numbers 17-20

2 Peter 1:5-9, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."

Have you ever been outside on a bright, sunny day? If so, you’ve probably had to squint your eyes to see something in the distance, and chances are, you were unable to see it well. This is the context of the word ‘blind’ in this passage. In the verses preceding verse 9, Peter mentions things that we need to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity.  When we fail to ‘put on’ the fruit of the Spirit, we no longer recognize that we once were in desperate need of someone bestowing these things upon us. It is important that although we shouldn’t dwell on our past, it should ever remind us that we were once in an ‘horrible pit’ (Psalm 40:2). David remembered where he was in verse 2 (“an horrible pit” and “the miry clay”) before he thanked God for where he was in verse 3 (“And he hath put a new song in my mouth”). We must remember where we were so that we don’t become ‘blind’ to the need of those around us. After all, that is our responsibility to man-to show them the love of Christ.  

Just for today, I will remember. I will remember the longsuffering and goodness of God and I will in turn show that to others.

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Reading: Numbers 13-16

I have some really great memories of my grandmother, or ‘Granny’ as we called her. She was a preschool teacher, so she always had really fun games for us to play. She even made Barbie doll clothes for my sister and me. And she really loved to embroider things. As a little girl, I remember her always having a needle in hand working on something. Sometimes, I would take out her embroider rings to get a better look at her handiwork. Looking at the top, it was so pretty-a bird, a forest scene, or a Bible verse. However, when I looked at the bottom, there were small knots where the thread had to be tied and there were loops and strings hanging from the back of the canvas that didn’t appear so beautiful. But the canvas wasn’t made to view from the bottom, it was made to be viewed from the top. 

When God’s needle stitches a pattern in our lives, we look up and can only see the bottom of what He is doing. But when He looks down, He sees a display of beauty in our lives. Sometimes, we can only see the threads from the bottom of God’s design, but child of God, remember that when we see threads, He sees a Master design. Isn’t it easy to get our eyes on the wrong things? The world and our flesh would have us focus on those things that would keep us physically depressed and spiritually discouraged. Each situation that we face can be viewed in one of two ways-we can choose to see God at work or we can choose to stare at a situation that is too overwhelming for us to handle. 

Just for today, keep a positive outlook. All twelve spies saw the same land, but two chose to see God’s strength while the others chose to focus on their weakness.

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Reading: Numbers 9-12

Waiting is difficult in this Fast Paced world today. Think about it…we have drive thru’s for food, dry cleaning, medications, and just about anything else you can think of. NOW, NOW, NOW!!! Everything is timed and well orchestrated so that we can finish and get to where we need to be next. We base our opinion of a service on the timeliness in which they provide it. But it is important that we do not put God in that same mold. We know that God works things according to His time, and His time is not our time. While we take that and believe it, our foolish, impatient heart wants to proceed without his direction. 

I like to relate it to our children when we ask them to stay put and we’ll be right back. Well, we know that a child’s idea of right back and our idea of right back are not quite the same! When the child wanders, he can get lost, become frightened and scared, and he causes himself needless worry. All he had to do was be patient and wait for the return of his Mother, however, his impatient heart was unwilling to stay put. 

Will we allow ourselves to do the same thing to our Heavenly Father? Has He asked you to momentarily stay put? If so, make your wait pleasant. Impatience will not help your answer come any sooner. It may be in this time of waiting that God wants you to strengthen your ability to trust. Could it be that is the sole purpose for your waiting?  

Just for today: Everyone is waiting for something, even if it is something small. Today, reflect on what you can learn from your waiting.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

We find great obedience at this time by the Israelites (9:17-23). When the cloud moved, they moved, and when the cloud stayed, they stayed. They knew the cloud was for their protection and guidance, and they willingly stayed in the safety of its boundaries.

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September 26, 2022

Fall Schedule

Groups & Times beginning October 1st

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