Wednesday’s Word ~ 2 Chronicles 15


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2 chron 15 15

2 Chronicles 15

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress.But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

As soon as Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep.12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest all around.

16 Even Maacah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider:

1. Who was Asa? Was he a godly or ungodly man? What are the two alternatives and their consequences that Asa was given by Azariah in verse 2?

2. Why did Azariah recite Israel’s history for Asa in verses 3-6? Why was Israel “without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law” (3) for a long time? (Hint- see verse 8). What happened when Israel repented? (4)

3. Why was it so important to get rid of all the idols (8) to the point that the death penalty was imposed on anyone who would not seek the Lord (13)? Does God really take idolatry that seriously? If God considers idolatry so awful, how does this apply to the church, and individual Christians, today?

4. Getting rid of all the idols was an act of r_______. This was followed by sacrifices to God and an oath that the people would seek only Him. These were acts of w_______. How do the “big picture” ideas in this chapter of sin, followed by repentance and faith, followed by forgiveness and worship, foreshadow the gospel?

5. How do verses 12 and 15 connect to Matthew 22:34-38? How do Asa’s actions in verse 16 relate to Matthew 10:34-37?

Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 10-6-15


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meet-the-bereansMeet the Bereans– But Satan doesn’t always deploy his deceptions through shallow charlatans—he also carefully cloaks them in the garb of orthodox Christianity. More and more false teachers conceal their heresies in the Trojan horse of sound doctrine.


Screenshot_2015-10-05-14-25-45_kindlephoto-9823985Greetings From Heaven: A Modern History of Heaven Tourism– The heaven tourism genre has proven remarkably lucrative to authors and their publishers, tallying well over 20,000,000 books sold over the past decade….I have teamed up with Josh Byers to prepare an infographic…


Top-10-Strangely-Beautiful-and-Unusual-Spiders-8Top 10 Strangely Beautiful and Unusual Spiders– If like me you are not a lover of spiders I am hoping I can change both our minds…maybe they are misunderstood and should be admired and respected. The truth is some spiders can be strangely beautiful…


I’m a Christian But I’m Totally Not… (BuzzFeed Parody)


45710 Winners From 2015 National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest– Anyone can do it, so next time you are out travelling be sure to take a few snaps – you never know what amazing images are waiting to be captured!



TheEucharistWhy You Must Leave the Roman Catholic Church– While I have spoken to many Catholics and have yet to meet one who can explain the Gospel, I am sure that at least in America there has to be some believers who Sunday after Sunday are attending RCC’s. If you are one of these people, here are four reasons you need to leave today.


JustinTaylor_93_100John Calvin’s Beautiful Description of the Gospel-Centered Life– It is the power of God for the salvation of all those who believe. It follows that every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in this same Jesus Christ alone.



Missions Monday ~ 10-5-15


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Missions Monday is designed to expose you to some awesome missions and evangelism stories, resources, and information in the shameless hope that you will be moved to get more involved in supporting and participating in missions and develop a greater burden for sharing the gospel with those around you.


NinaNina and Her Bible– Some of the other Shan teens were attending a Bible study together. She joined this study and a whole new world opened for her as she began to read the Thai Scriptures herself for the very first time.



kirkwitness_kindlephoto-17230563School of Biblical Evangelism– How would you like to be able to make an atheist backslide- in two minutes? Or learn to use the incredible, yet forgotten, biblical principle of bypassing the intellect and speaking directly to a sinner’s conscience as Jesus did?


mapinfo-dykyn-2Americans Engage the Unreached Nations in Their Backyard– Most of us are not seminary-trained missionaries, ministers or pastors. We don’t speak multiple languages, nor are we familiar with other cultures. How can we reach the 41.3 million immigrants and internationals living next door with the gospel?


Global Impact


ThankYouPastorIn Honor of Your Pastor– October is Pastor Appreciation Month. You can honor your pastor with a GideonCard designed specifically for thanking pastors. Your GideonCard purchase will also help send copies of God’s Word throughout the world.


amyAmy Carmichael: 55 Years Without A Furlough– That afternoon Amy sought God privately in her room anguishing over the idea of what would last in eternity from her own life. The lessons of obedience and sacrifice from that day would echo through the rest of her life.


imagesHow To Witness to Friends and Family– One of the great misnomers of friendship evangelism is the idea that it is more difficult to witness to strangers than it is to people with whom you have a developed and committed relationship. Yet most Christians, when asked who are the most difficult people to reach in their sphere of influence, will say that it is friends and family.



Homemade Catechism: 11 Scriptures for Real Life Parenting Situations ~ at Satisfaction Through Christ


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Homemade Catechism

Teaching your children the Bible might sound like a big task, and it is, but, if you think about it, we already catechize our children in so many ways we’re not even aware of. How many times have you asked your child, “What’s the magic word?” or “What do you say to Aunt Margaret for the nice present?” It usually doesn’t take long for them to get the hang of coming up with the right answer.

So don’t be scared. If you’ll take things moment by moment, intentionally bring Scripture into the circumstances that come up in every day life, and explain how it relates to those circumstances, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your children will grasp and apply the verses you’re teaching them. And they’ll be learning the most important lesson of all: God’s word is authoritative, and we are to obey it in every situation in life.

Do you catechize your children in the Scriptures? We do, well, sort of informally. Take a look at these eleven Bible passages we’ve used over the years to teach our children to apply the Bible to their lives in my recent article for Satisfaction Through Christ, Homemade Catechism: 11 Scriptures for Real Life Parenting Situations.

What are some verses you use in your family’s “catechism”?

Throwback Thursday ~ The 10 Commandments of Parenting- 4


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Originally published March 13, 200810 Commandments Parenting 4


Thou shalt make a pro-active decision
that thy household will be a Godly one.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;”
Psalm 127:1

When you build a house, you don’t simply wish it into existence. You have to have plans drawn up, buy the right materials, find the right place to build, and actually get out there and start sawing and hammering.

The same is true of having a Godly household. It doesn’t just happen by virtue of the fact that you and your spouse are Christians. You have to sit down together and make a definite decision, preferably before you even get married, that your home will be run in a Godly way.

Where will we attend church? How often will we have family devotions? What is our understanding of what the Bible has to say about what is and is not acceptable behavior for us as spouses and for our children? How will we respond when one of us sins or when the children are disobedient? What will we do if one of us feels that God is presenting us with an opportunity for a new career or to move to a new location?

Naturally, you can’t foresee every scenario that might come up in the future, but if you lay a Godly, Biblical foundation from the start, you won’t have to re-invent the wheel every time a new situation arises. You will have developed a Godly “policy and procedure” for facing life.

Wednesday’s Word ~ 1 Chronicles 21


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1 chron 21 241 Chronicles 21

Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the army, “Go, number Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, and bring me a report, that I may know their number.” But Joab said, “May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?” But the king’s word prevailed against Joab. So Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came back to Jerusalem. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to David. In all Israel there were 1,100,000 men who drew the sword, and in Judah 470,000 who drew the sword.But he did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, for the king’s command was abhorrent to Joab.

But God was displeased with this thing, and he struck Israel. And David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” And the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and say to David, ‘Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer you; choose one of them, that I may do it to you.’” 11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Choose what you will: 12 either three years of famine, or three months of devastation by your foes while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me.” 13 Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

14 So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, “It is enough; now stay your hand.” And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 16 And David lifted his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven, and in his hand a drawn sword stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 And David said to God, “Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father’s house. But do not let the plague be on your people.”

18 Now the angel of the Lord had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at Gad’s word, which he had spoken in the name of the Lord. 20 Now Ornan was threshing wheat. He turned and saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and paid homage to David with his face to the ground. 22 And David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the Lord—give it to me at its full price—that the plague may be averted from the people.” 23 Then Ornan said to David, “Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems good to him. See, I give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for the wood and the wheat for a grain offering; I give it all.” 24 But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” 25 So David paid Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site. 26 And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering. 27 Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.

28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time in the high place at Gibeon, 30 but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


Questions to Consider:

  1. Verse 1 says that Satan “incited” (other reliable translations say “moved,” “urged,” and “provoked”) David to sin by numbering Israel. Did David have a choice in the matter? Was he forced to sin? What are some ways you can resist Satan when he tempts you?

2. First Corinthians 10:13 says God will always provide us a way of escape from temptation. What was one way of escape God provided to David? (3)

3. What was David’s response to God’s wrath over his sin- did he attempt to justify himself or did he repent? (8) Even though God would be pouring out His wrath on Israel, which attribute of God did David focus on and depend on in making his choice? (13)

4. How did David’s sin as a leader affect those under his authority? (14) Why is it extremely important for Christians in leadership (in the home, at work, at church, etc.) to walk in obedience to the Lord? Can you think of an example of how your sin has affected those around you or under your authority? What should you have done differently in that situation?

5. What were David’s first (16) and second (26) responses to God staying His hand? Did God accept David’s worship and forgive him? Why did David insist on paying Ornan for the site and materials for the sacrifice? (23-25) Is it really a sacrifice if it doesn’t cost you anything?

Lesley’s Lagniappe ~ 9-29-15


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MosesRescued_FromTheNileDear Moms, You Do More than You Know– Three woman of different ages, different nationalities, and different social standings all doing their part to fulfill God’s great plan of redemption, though none of them knew the part they were playing and one of the three did not even belong to the people of God.


eve-9781501101427_hr copyEve– On the positive side, I think [William] Paul Young has become a markedly better writer since The Shack. On the negative side, he continues to use his writing to undermine and redefine Christian theology.



Butterfly8Stunning Macro Photos of Delicate Butterfly Wings– One of the most exquisite creatures, butterflies have unique designs and patterns on their wings that sport amazing colors. They stand out from the rest of the nature due to their catchy patterns. However, have you ever wondered how they would appear if you have a closer look?


What the Bible Says About the Pope?


Movie-Misconceptions-2-685x40035 Hilarious Examples of How Movies Are Out of Touch with Reality– All too often things that rarely happen in real life (but that possibly could) are portrayed as completely normal in film. Reddit users took to exposing these things in a hilariously relatable thread.


10209740045_85b7d32e0c_b5 Ways to Spot the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing– While we want to assume the best of everyone sitting across from us in the pews, Jesus told us to be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing seeking to infiltrate the body.



Screenshot_2015-09-28-15-03-07_kindlephoto-5749173Willow Creek’s “The Practice” Blends New Age & Catholic Mysticism– No, it’s not a joke waiting for a punchline. It’s an experiment called The Practice, and it’s the brainchild of Pastor Bill Hybels’ son-in-law, Aaron Niequist…Be warned; you are about to hear a lot of New Age lingo.

Missions Monday ~ 9-28-15


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Missions Monday is designed to expose you to some awesome missions and evangelism stories, resources, and information in the shameless hope that you will be moved to get more involved in supporting and participating in missions and develop a greater burden for sharing the gospel with those around you.


Calvinist-Evangelist-2_620_kindlephoto-5666476A Calvinist Evangelist?– If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.”



WeReallyNeedToTalkWhen You Have to End Support– There are various reasons that you might want to stop supporting a missionary: financial problems, loss of a job, or a realization that you do not want to support their ministry any longer maybe due to theological or methodological convictions. Whatever the reason, I thought that I would offer some suggestions for if and when that day comes…


9marks-bailbag-270x250What Are Some Tips for Churches to Best Support Overseas Missionaries?– Communicate often and openly. Expect misunderstandings, and try to ward them off by communicating freely and frequently. Seek to build a close, trusting relationship with every worker you support.


Brian Free And Assurance: Go Tell the World


imagesDid You Tell Anyone?– Do you really believe the gospel? Well, will you tell anyone?




Taiwan: Kaohsiung temple during Chinese New Year3 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Pray for the Persecuted Church– David didn’t have a heart for North Korea by accident. He had a mother and father who modeled for him how to pray for the nations, for people who are without Christ and those who are living out their faith in other parts of the world where it costs a lot to follow Jesus.


4-years-teachingFour Years to Harvest– Four years. The rocket scientist who thought he got nowhere planted seeds with scores of engineering conversations. Others watered and pulled out weeds. But God brought the harvest.




Faultfinders Contending With the Almighty


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Nobody could ever accuse Christianity of being easy. A religion that tells you to die to self and take up your cross daily is no walk in the park. And there’s no magical moment in this life when you’ve suddenly “arrived” at the top level of spiritual 1 tim 2 12maturity where everything in the Bible makes perfect sense, your prayer life is phenomenal every day, obeying Christ’s commands is a breeze, and you’re floating around on a little cloud of holiness.

We are all messed up, muddling through, and constantly battling the flesh, from the person who got saved five minutes ago to the theologian who’s been walking with the Lord for decades.

It’s hard enough to obey the Scriptures we embrace – love one another, be kind, be matt 6 15truthful – but then we encounter Scriptures that, for whatever reason, we butt heads with. Scriptures to which our initial, fleshly reaction is, “No way. I’m not doing that.” We argue with them. We look for loopholes and ways we can get around them. We reason out all sorts of caveats as to why that Scripture doesn’t apply to us or why we don’t have to obey it.

I was abused as a child. There’s no way I’m going to honor the person who did that to me.

God gave me a special gifting and called me to preach. It doesn’t matter that I’m a woman.

Why should I forgive him? He’s never even said he’s sorry!

You have no idea how badly she hurt me. I’ll never be able to love her or pray for her.

ex 20 12There’s no denying it, sometimes obeying a certain Scripture will be the hardest thing we ever do. But slaves to Christ are not given the option of saying “no” to their Master. If you’ll look in your Bible at the verse you’re struggling against, you’ll notice there’s no asterisk next to it that says, “except you.”

When we approach one of God’s commands to Christians and decide we’re not going to obey it because we don’t want to or shouldn’t have to or it’s too hard, what we’re really doing is setting ourselves above the Bible in judgment of it and coming to the conclusion that we know better 1 pet 3 1 2than God.

Yeah, that’s not a good idea. Especially for Christians.

Ever read the book of Job? Job went through some pretty awful stuff. Stuff that I certainly would have argued against and questioned God about just like he did. And yet, despite all of Job’s suffering, God didn’t give him a pass.

And the Lord said to Job:
“Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?

He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Then Job answered the Lord and said:
“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?

I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”
Job 40:1-5

 And how does this grab you?

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? Romans 9:20-21

Do you get the sense from these verses, which address very different situations, that God isn’t crazy about people questioning His sovereignty, His decisions, or His word, regardless of their circumstances?

God is God. We are not.

God sets the rules for Christianity, not “everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes.”

matt 5 44Lots of times we think we have to “feel comfortable” with a certain Scripture if we’re to obey it, but the truth is just the opposite. When we say, “Lord, I don’t want to do this, but I’m going to do it anyway because I love You and Your word says so,” guess what happens? God begins to change our hearts. In time, He helps us grow to embrace the Scriptures we once rejected. He helps us to love others and see them through His eyes.

Yes, it is going to be hard. There are going to be times when we have to grit our teeth, hold our noses, and obey Christ even when everything inside us screams, “NO!

But we have a precious Savior who has promised to give us the strength to do anything He puts in front of us.

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I’ve fought. I’ve cried. I’ve whined, “I can’t!” And every time God has brought me back to this verse that says, “Yes, you can, and I’ll help you.” And you know what? He did.

Obedience is hard, but Christ is worth it.

Throwback Thursday ~ The 10 Commandments of Parenting- 3


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Originally published March 7, 200810Commandments3


Thou shalt have a Christ-centered marriage.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

There are so many little details to attend to when you’re planning a wedding. Will the guests throw rice or blow bubbles? Will the bouquets be wrapped with pink ribbon or white? Will the groomsmen wear bow ties or regular ties? For someone like me who has to see absolutely every option available to her before making a decision, it can be a daunting and time-consuming task. Such was the day I sat down to pick out napkins for my reception.

Before I undertook the planning of a wedding, I never would have guessed that it would take more than about 30 seconds to choose napkins. You just pick out some napkins that go along with the color scheme of the wedding, right? Au contraire. There are huge ring binders (yes, that’s binders, plural) chock full of hundreds of napkins in every imaginable color, size and texture. Once you nail down those preferences, you have to choose what you want embossed on the napkins. There, too, the choices are nearly endless.

So, I flipped through page after page of embossment designs, finding them either too corny, too plain, or otherwise unacceptable. Finally, I came to a very interesting one that I eventually chose. It quoted the second half of Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart,” with a picture above the verse of a cord of three strands wound together. The ends of the outer two strands were tied to wedding rings, and the end of the middle strand was tied to a cross.

I had never noticed this little verse before that day, but I thought about how beautifully the principle behind the passage could apply to a Christ-centered marriage. When a person is alone, she can quickly become overwhelmed. A spouse can help to bear the burdens of life, but the strength of a marriage of only two people pales in comparison to a marriage centered around a third Person- Christ.

The primary reason our marriages must center around Christ is that it brings Him glory. But there are certainly blessings to our homes that go along with honoring and obeying Christ in our marriages. Study after study has shown that children do best in a home where their parents are married to each other. They are physically and emotionally healthier, do better in school, are less likely to commit crimes, etc. But when you add in the component of spouses treating each other in a Godly manner and striving to set a Godly example for their children, the quality of the home environment rises even higher. Just as putting God first in our own personal lives makes us better parents, so, putting Christ first in our marriages glorifies God and benefits us and our children exponentially.


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