Satan rose up against Israel and caused David to take a census of the people of Israel.
But Joab replied, “May the Lord increase the number of his people a hundred times over! But why, my Lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”
God was very displeased with the census, and he punished Israel for it. Then David said to God, “I have sinned greatly by taking this census. Please forgive my guilt for doing this foolish thing.”
Why was God displeased with the census that David called for?
Because David fell to Satan’s temptation
David’s curiosity was spurred on by his arrogance
His faith was in his own strength rather than in God’s strength
If we feel self-sufficient and put confidence in our strength apart from God, we soon fall to Satan’s schemes
In self-sufficiency we lose our contact with God
To escape temptation examine your inner desires to understand why the external temptation is so appealing
David did not consult God or listen to Joab’s advice, and the nation suffered terribly
When face with important decisions, we should ask for God’s direction first. He may send his answer in a number of ways, often in the form of advice from others. Although advice that goes against our plans is tough to hear, it may save us from tragic consequences
Many want to add God and the benefits of Christianity to their lives with out acknowledging their personal sin and guilt
But confession and repentance must come before receiving forgiveness
Like David, we must take full responsibility for our actions and confess them to God before we can expect him to forgive us and continue his work in us.
*** source of notes from Life Application Study Bible Notes on 1 Chronicles 21:1, 3, and 7, pg. 752 ***
We often hear people say, “It doesn’t matter.”
But many of your choices will be irreversible-they will stay with you for a lifetime.
What you do when you’re young does matter.
Enjoy life now, but don’t do anything:
that will prevent you from enjoying life when you are old.
*** Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 7 May 2015 ***
Waiting for perfect conditions will mean inactivity.
This practical insight is especially applicable to our spiritual life.
If we wait for the perfect time and place for personal Bible reading, we will never begin.
If we wait for a perfect church, we will never join.
If we wait for the perfect ministry, we will never serve.
Take steps now to grow spiritually.
Don’t wait for conditions that may never exist.
*** Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 6 April 2015 ***
I gave up a very long time ago looking for a perfect time, place, church, and ministry to make that change that was so needed.
You may have been hurt by that imperfect church or perhaps that imperfect person who said god awful things to you. Or perhaps that imperfect person did something to you that hurt you so bad that you said until I find the perfect church or ministry I am never going to church again.
Let me be the first to share with you that there is no such thing as a perfect church nor is there a perfect ministry.
Many ministries would like for you to believe that they are the perfect ministry, but I am afraid that is not totally true because there still exist in those supposedly perfect ministries that one imperfect person who will most assuredly say something out of the way to you or even do something out of the way to you that will ruin your experience, Sorry!
That is just the way it is in this imperfect world of our. That is why we need a Saviour and a God that delivers us us from evil and imperfect people and imperfect ministry.
We must begin looking for God in these imperfect situations to stand up and be God all by Himself. When you focus on Man instead of God you are doom to forever see only the imperfect situations rather than what God can do with a broken or imperfect situation.
Remember that God used cracked pots to change the world. Cracked pots like Saul who became Paul and wrote most of the New Testament in the best seller in all the world, The Bible.
How about that Cracked pot Mary who was 16 and engage to be marry and found herself expecting before her marriage, she gave birth to the son of God. Jesus change our status with God by becoming the Lamb of God and taking on our sin so that we might have right standing with God the Father
You can’t forget the Cracked Pot fisherman who betrayed Jesus on the very day that Jesus really needed a real friend. This Cracked pot ran away at first but the Lord was able to convince him to be filled with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This Cracked pot stood up and proclaimed Jesus when it was not popular to do so and 3000 people made a decision for Christ that same day.
It is not about perfect, it is about allowing God to use your brokenness in imperfect situations. He can flow through you such an anointing that can and will shake those imperfect situations for his Glory. Will you plow the ground today and prepare for the amazing harvest that can only come from the user of cracked pots? Quit Waiting and Get busy, You are needed!
From one Cracked Pot to another!
Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax.
If your tool is dull, you should sharpen it to do a better job.
Similarly, if you lack skills, you should sharpen them through training and practice.
In each situation, sharpening the ax means recognizing where a problem exists, acquiring or honing the skills (or tools) to do the job better, and then going out and doing it.
Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.
*** Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 5 April 2015 ***
It is much better that you discover where you lack skills than to have others tell you that you are to stupid to preform some task. There was this guy that work as a janitor at this very large church, he took care of this large building by himself and he also had to cut grass around the church and an extra lot across the street. During the winter he was required to shovel snow as well. He was well liked by most of the people of this church and there were no complaints regarding his work. This fellow went about his work with a song in his heart and worked as though he was working for the Lord. One day he notice the church secretary struggling with her computer and he stop what he was doing and went in to see if he could help her resolve her issues. He took time to explain that while in the military he had run into the same issues. So he began to show the secretary some useful work arounds to solve her issues. While he was working with her some of the members of the church walk in and saw the Janitor working with the secretary’s computer, while the church secretary kept saying what are you doing here serving as a janitor, you know way more than I do when it comes to computers. But, in the background those members who had walked in and saw the janitor working with the secretary’s computer, begin to question each other loudly, “Hey isn’t that the janitor in there on the secretary’s computer, we ain’t paying him for that, all he is good for is chasing dust bunnies and cleaning the bathroom, get him off that computer before he breaks it. Wait there goes a dust bunny now you need to chase that down and make sure our church is really clean. That was the straw that broke the camels back because some of the members of this church believe that all this fellow was capable of, was chasing down dust bunnies. They didn’t believe he was capable of anything better and they thought he had reach his highest goal in life, that, being their janitor and that is all he was capable of being as far as they were concern. End of the story, right! No, that fellow took his axe and had it sharpen and he became a computer repairman, and move on into a masters degree in information technology. He now teaches at the university level and of all things Computers, all because those nice people at that large church insulted him by saying that all he was capable of was chasing dust bunnies.
The dull ax is no longer dull, everyday I am working on my ax. Oh, I forgot to tell you that this is a true story. The janitor in this story was me. And I am happy to say that this was the best thing to happen to me because I would have never known how dull my ax was without those wonderful words, “All you are good for is chasing dust bunnies.” I don’t chase them no more as a carreer. Now I am teaching and loving it . I owe those wonderful people a great big sloppy kiss for waking me up to real potential and a new life.
Let me echo one more time the above statement. “Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.”
These Misfits found usefulness, how about You
You are going to give your life for something. What will it be:
None of these will have lasting significance.
Service is the pathway to real significance
As we serve together in God’s family, our lives take on eternal importance. Paul said, “I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less… because of what you are a part of.” (1 Corinthians 12:14a, 19 MSG)
God wants to use you to make a difference in his world. He wants to work through you. What matters is not the durations of your life, but the donation of it.
If you’re not involved in any service or ministry, what excuse have you been using?
Abraham was old; Jacob was insecure; Leah was unattractive; Joseph was abused; Moses stuttered. Gideon was poor; Samson was depressed; Jonah was reluctant; Naomi was a widow. John the Baptist was eccentric to say the least; Peter was impulsive and hot-tempered; Martha worried a lot. the Samaritan woman had several failed marriages; Zacchaeus was unpopular; Thomas had doubts; Paul had poor health; and Timothy was timid. And then there was me, I was unpopular, left-handed, clumsy, big feet, not really handsome, bumps all over my face, wet the bed until I was a teen, laughed at and ridicule by family and friends. Yet I have seen God do great things through this clod of clay named Bruce.
That is quite a variety of misfits, but God used each of them in his service. He will use you, too, if you stop making excuses.
***Thoughts from Rick Warren’s Daily Devotions 15 Dec 2013***