Small Group Devotionals
Good vs. Godly
After David, the king Israel, had consolidated his kingdom he desired to build a permanent temple for the Lord in Jerusalem. We read in 1 Chronicles 17:1-4, however, that the prophet Nathan revealed to David that God would not permit this because David had the blood of war on his hands. In the end, God's servant told David that the building of the temple would be completed by his son, Solomon.
The Best Things Are Free
The fact that Solomon was the wisest man ever is not a conclusion drawn from reading his books, it is a declaration about him made by God (I Kings 3:10-13). The Lord gave Solomon a measure of wisdom that had never and would never be given again to mortal man. Solomon’s experience teaches us several important lessons about wisdom itself:
Psychologists often use the method of “role-play” in order to help their patients understand themselves and others better. This counseling tool works well because there is the “actor” in all of us and we love to pretend we are someone else, even it it’s just for a little while.
Think of your worst sin. It could be that you aborted a child long ago. Perhaps you secretly harbor shameful thoughts or desires. Your worst sin could be a treachery against a loyal friend or partner. There are any number of evil things we are guilty of or capable of if the situation presented itself.
The Blessings Of Obedience
In Genesis 18:19 the Lord said to Abraham that He had chosen him to lead his descendents in the way of the Lord by doing what was right and just. It is a privilege (not a burden) to be chosen by God to obey Him, because obedience brings many blessings. For example:
The Ritual of Dying
After witnessing death so often, I have come to notice that many people often neglect an important part of this very natural part of life. Sudden, accidental death notwithstanding, the probability of one’s imminent passing should engage us in the timeless ritual of dying so necessary to give final meaning and closure to our lives.
In the tenth chapter of his gospel, Mark describes a scene where Jesus heals a blind man who had been desperately calling out to Him for help. Once restored of his vision, the evangelist says that the man began to follows Jesus -- a person he had never even seen! This episode teaches us several valuable lessons about the Lord and His way of dealing with those who call on Him:
The Millionaire Mirage
Inasmuch as television mirrors our society, the recent quiz shows offering millions of dollars to contestants are accurate reflections of a nation obsessed with money. Whether it’s by answering a few trivia questions or clicking you way to a fortune as one of the ever growing number of e-traders, everybody has become a "player" in the great American game of striking-it-rich.
Judas: The Epilogue
I don't know anyone by the name, "Judas". It seems that no one wants to be associated in any way with the man who betrayed Jesus. This being the case, I wonder why so many try to save Judas posthumously by excusing his behavior with claims that he was politically confused or emotionally depressed.
History vs. Racism
When called upon to defend his preaching to the Jewish leaders of the time, Peter the Apostle replied, "…Men of Israel why do you marvel at this … you disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the Prince of Life…"
"Dear Lord, I know why these things happen and that they happen even to us, your children. We are always in your hands and for better or worse, we continue to trust in you."
They said computers would simplify our lives. They didn't tell us that this would only happen if we kept up with the software upgrades.
A recent survey on the word most commonly used for Internet searches was the word sex. It said that men looked for web sites that featured pornography and women checked out opportunities to talk about sex. Either way, according to this research America’s top priority as far as the Internet is concerned, is virtual sex in its many forms.
One of the things we as a society have pretty much eliminated is the ability to delay our gratification. Whether it be a burger or a standard of living, we want what we want now!