Who was Jotham?

2 Chronicles 27-6Nestled at the end of the book of 2 Chronicles, there is a short chapter about one of the kings of Judah. 

Jotham. 

He was the son of Uzziah. His mother was Jerusha. He became king at 25 and reigned for 16 years.

There are literally 9 verses in this chapter. Just 9. Not 10 and not 56.

Just 9.

The reason there are only 9 verses in this chapter can be found in verse 6: …because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God. 

There was no drama. There were no idols. No witchcraft. No sacrificing of his children. He just rebuilt and built and went to war like kings do. 

That’s it.

In today’s world, he was boring. Just plain ole faithful, get the job done and right, Jotham. He didn’t have a “testimony” in that he went off the deep end and then came back to the LORD. No, he just walked steadfastly before the LORD his God.

I think sometimes as Christians we think that without some deep, dark abyss of sin in our past, we don’t have anything to say. Quite the contrary. We have a lifetime of following God and being faithful to Him. 

That’s our testimony.

Because Jotham’s dad and his son did not do everything right so you know temptation was swirling all around him. You know it was. Yet, he chose to live faithfully to the LORD his God. 

I pray that you will continue to seek your Heavenly Father with a steadfastness like Jotham did. 

 

Hunger and Thirst

Matt 5-6Righteousness.

If we don’t quite know what that word means, we might be tempted to be scared by it. Maybe we even choose to ignore it because we think it sounds too churchy, too legalistic, too Miss Goody-too-shoes. 

But all righteousness really means is walking in the right way according to God’s standard. Righteousness is right-way-ness.

What this verse means to me is this: if I hunger and crave for the right things, the things of God, I will be satisfied. If I hunger and crave temporal things, satisfaction will be outside of my grip. 

I don’t know about you, but I have to be constantly aware of where my cravings are focused. God must be at the top of my cravings list. For when He is, my life will be better. Richer. Fuller. 

Satisfied.

What about you? What do you crave? If you consistently find yourself unsatisfied and longing for more, then it’s likely that your cravings are misdirected. 

Pray with me: Father, may we desperately and deliberately desire, crave, run after the things that you consider right and true. Help us to hunger and thirst for You for you always satisfy and never let us down. Replace our wrong and addictive desires with a strong desire for You. In Jesus’ name…

I Know What To Do And So Do You

james-3-verse

The other day I asked my friends, my girls, my tribe this question: How do I deal with the jealousy that I sometimes have?”

Because these women love Jesus and know the Word of God, they gave me a abundance of answers, suggestions and godly wisdom. I knew they would and it’s the reason I asked them.

I left that cyber conversation that took place on Group Me, and after praying for God to help me, I began to implement what they said. 

But y’all, I already knew what they said. The information they shared was not new information to me. In fact, I’ve given out that wisdom and advice to others many times myself. So, why did I ask? 

Because I was hoping that there was an easy fix to this dilemma I’ve found myself struggling with. I hoped that I wouldn’t have to do the hard work of finding joy in where I am and counting my own blessings instead of looking at the blessings of others. I’ve grown a bit weary battling this lately because it seems to just strangle me at times.

(Yes, I’m a published author and leader in my church, and I still struggle with jealousy sometimes.) 

Don’t we do that often? We are facing an issue, a struggle and we know what the Bible says to do. We know what advice our friends are going to give us. We know the steps we need to take. BUT…we are hoping, just hoping that maybe there is a magic pill we can take that will allow us to sidestep the more challenging path. We hope that someone will say something that will be an “aha!” moment for us and it will all just instantly go away. Sometimes it does, but most of the time it doesn’t. 

So, why do I write about this today? Because my guess is that someone, one of you reading this post is in a place where you feel discouraged, beaten down, frustrated with something that continues to plague you and paralyze you. You may think you don’t know what to do, but my guess is that you do. In fact, here is a way that might help you know whether you really know your next step or not:

Whatever you are facing in your life that you need guidance on, pretend someone just told that to you. What advice would you give them?

And remember this: Above all else, before going to a pastor, instead of spilling your guts to your spouse or best friend, go to your Heavenly Father. He sees, He knows, and He is willing to comfort, guide, protect, and advise you along your path. 

New Year. New Day.

Lam 3-23

The year of 2016 has arrived. A new beginning. A fresh start. A brand-new opportunity.

While most everyone I talk to gets excited about a new year, the excitement wanes rather quickly when the first resolution fails. We get so down on ourselves and literally say, “Well, there goes this year.”

But why? Why do we throw away an entire year of good intentions and pure motives one day when we could start over the very next?

Scripture says that God’s faithfulness is great and that his mercies are new every morning. My friend, they are new every, stinkin’ morning. Why not take advantage of those new mercies every day? Why only use them once a year on January 1st?

God knows you will make mistakes. God knows you will set goals and not always reach them. God knows that you will resolve to do something consistently that you won’t follow through on. God knows. And that is exactly why He has provided His Word to give you hope and comfort.

Enjoy the beginning of this new year. There is something so sweet and pure about a fresh start. But don’t let this be the only fresh start you take. If you find yourself not doing what you wished or planned to do at any given point in this year, start over the next day. Because His mercies, well, they are just waiting for you to grab them. 

Let’s Boast!

2 Cor. 12-8-9

The “it” that the Apostle Paul is referring to is the “thorn in his flesh, a messenger from Satan” mentioned in verse 7. He is not talking about a literal thorn in his flesh. If it were only that easy. No, he is talking about this thing, this issue, this struggle that continues to hang onto him. Day in and day out. 

How many times have I asked, begged the Lord to remove my own thorn. Oh, I have one. You do, too, I’m sure. After 45 years, it is still not gone. It’s still there. Still a daily battle I have to fight. Because my flesh is strong and it wants what it wants.

Paul goes on to say in verse 10 that he is glad to boast about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through him. Never once have I boasted in this weakness. Never. I have always just tolerated it and prayed it away. Never once have I taken pleasure in my weakness. Maybe that’s my next step toward freedom from this thorn. Maybe I need to be more boastful in how weak I am because that is when Christ’s power works best. 

Will my thorn ever be removed? I am not sure. But I do believe that when I begin to boast in my weakness, God will show his majestic muscles off and display his might and splendor. I, for one, want to see that happen. In my life. In your life.

Takeaway: What’s your thorn? What continues to bombard and overwhelm you? Meditate on this passage in 2 Corinthians 12. Ask God to help you boast in this weakness. And while you’re at it, meditate on these verses as well: James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7; Galatians 6:9; and Hebrews 12:1-2. Write them down. Dig into them. Memorize them. Find hope in them.