Tag Archives: Christmas
2 Chronicles 3 New Living Translation (NLT)
Solomon Builds the Temple
3 So Solomon began to build the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David, his father. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Araunah[a] the Jebusite, the site that David had selected. 2 The construction began in midspring,[b] during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.
3 These are the dimensions Solomon used for the foundation of the Temple of God (using the old standard of measurement).[c] It was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide.[d] 4 The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet[e] wide, running across the entire width of the Temple, and 30 feet[f] high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.
5 He paneled the main room of the Temple with cypress wood, overlaid it with fine gold, and decorated it with carvings of palm trees and chains. 6 He decorated the walls of the Temple with beautiful jewels and with gold from the land of Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the beams, thresholds, walls, and doors throughout the Temple with gold, and he carved figures of cherubim on the walls.
8 He made the Most Holy Place 30 feet wide, corresponding to the width of the Temple, and 30 feet deep. He overlaid its interior with 23 tons[g] of fine gold. 9 The gold nails that were used weighed 20 ounces[h] each. He also overlaid the walls of the upper rooms with gold.
10 He made two figures shaped like cherubim, overlaid them with gold, and placed them in the Most Holy Place. 11 The total wingspan of the two cherubim standing side by side was 30 feet. One wing of the first figure was 7 1⁄2 feet[i] long, and it touched the Temple wall. The other wing, also 7 1⁄2 feet long, touched one of the wings of the second figure. 12 In the same way, the second figure had one wing 7 1⁄2 feet long that touched the opposite wall. The other wing, also 7 1⁄2 feet long, touched the wing of the first figure. 13 So the wingspan of the two cherubim side by side was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced out toward the main room of the Temple.
14 Across the entrance of the Most Holy Place he hung a curtain made of fine linen, decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with figures of cherubim.
15 For the front of the Temple, he made two pillars that were 27 feet[j] tall, each topped by a capital extending upward another 7 1⁄2 feet. 16 He made a network of interwoven chains[k] and used them to decorate the tops of the pillars. He also made 100 decorative pomegranates and attached them to the chains. 17 Then he set up the two pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one to the south of the entrance and the other to the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[l]
- 3:1 Hebrew reads Ornan, a variant spelling of Araunah; compare 2 Sam 24:16.
- 3:2 Hebrew on the second [day] of the second month. This day of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred in April or May.
- 3:3a The “old standard of measurement” was a cubit equal to 18 inches [46 centimeters]. The new standard was a cubit of approximately 21 inches [53 centimeters].
- 3:3b Hebrew 60 cubits [27.6 meters] long and 20 cubits [9.2 meters] wide.
- 3:4a Hebrew 20 cubits [9.2 meters]; also in 3:8, 11, 13.
- 3:4b As in some Greek and Syriac manuscripts, which read 20 cubits [9.2 meters]; Hebrew reads 120 [cubits], which is 180 feet or 55 meters.
- 3:8 Hebrew 600 talents [20.4 metric tons].
- 3:9 Hebrew 50 shekels [570 grams].
- 3:11 Hebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters]; also in 3:11b, 12, 15.
- 3:15 As in Syriac version (see also 1 Kgs 7:15; 2 Kgs 25:17; Jer 52:21), which reads 18 cubits [8.3 meters]; Hebrew reads 35 cubits, which is 52.5 feet or 16.5 meters.
- 3:16 Hebrew He made chains in the inner sanctuary. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
- 3:17 Jakin probably means “he establishes”; Boaz probably means “in him is strength.”
1 Chronicles 16 New Living Translation (NLT)
16 They brought the Ark of God and placed it inside the special tent David had prepared for it. And they presented burnt offerings and peace offerings to God. 2 When he had finished his sacrifices, David blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he gave to every man and woman in all Israel a loaf of bread, a cake of dates,[a] and a cake of raisins.
4 David appointed the following Levites to lead the people in worship before the Ark of the Lord—to invoke his blessings, to give thanks, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. 5 Asaph, the leader of this group, sounded the cymbals. Second to him was Zechariah, followed by Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel. They played the harps and lyres. 6 The priests, Benaiah and Jahaziel, played the trumpets regularly before the Ark of God’s Covenant.
David’s Song of Praise
7 On that day David gave to Asaph and his fellow Levites this song of thanksgiving to the Lord:
8 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.
9 Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
10 Exult in his holy name;
rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
11 Search for the Lord and for his strength;
continually seek him.
12 Remember the wonders he has performed,
his miracles, and the rulings he has given,
13 you children of his servant Israel,
you descendants of Jacob, his chosen ones.
14 He is the Lord our God.
His justice is seen throughout the land.
15 Remember his covenant forever—
the commitment he made to a thousand generations.
16 This is the covenant he made with Abraham
and the oath he swore to Isaac.
17 He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
and to the people of Israel as a never-ending covenant:
18 “I will give you the land of Canaan
as your special possession.”
19 He said this when you were few in number,
a tiny group of strangers in Canaan.
20 They wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
21 Yet he did not let anyone oppress them.
He warned kings on their behalf:
22 “Do not touch my chosen people,
and do not hurt my prophets.”
23 Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!
Each day proclaim the good news that he saves.
24 Publish his glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.
25 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
He is to be feared above all gods.
26 The gods of other nations are mere idols,
but the Lord made the heavens!
27 Honor and majesty surround him;
strength and joy fill his dwelling.
28 O nations of the world, recognize the Lord,
recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong.
29 Give to the Lord the glory he deserves!
Bring your offering and come into his presence.
Worship the Lord in all his holy splendor.
30 Let all the earth tremble before him.
The world stands firm and cannot be shaken.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice!
Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise!
Let the fields and their crops burst out with joy!
33 Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
35 Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation!
Gather and rescue us from among the nations,
so we can thank your holy name
and rejoice and praise you.”
36 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
who lives from everlasting to everlasting!
And all the people shouted “Amen!” and praised the Lord.
Worship at Jerusalem and Gibeon
37 David arranged for Asaph and his fellow Levites to serve regularly before the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, doing whatever needed to be done each day. 38 This group included Obed-edom (son of Jeduthun), Hosah, and sixty-eight other Levites as gatekeepers.
39 Meanwhile, David stationed Zadok the priest and his fellow priests at the Tabernacle of the Lord at the place of worship in Gibeon, where they continued to minister before the Lord. 40 They sacrificed the regular burnt offerings to the Lord each morning and evening on the altar set aside for that purpose, obeying everything written in the Law of the Lord, as he had commanded Israel. 41 David also appointed Heman, Jeduthun, and the others chosen by name to give thanks to the Lord, for “his faithful love endures forever.” 42 They used their trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments to accompany their songs of praise to God.[b] And the sons of Jeduthun were appointed as gatekeepers.
43 Then all the people returned to their homes, and David turned and went home to bless his own family.
1 Chronicles 14 New Living Translation (NLT)
David’s Palace and Family
14 Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber, and stonemasons and carpenters to build him a palace. 2 And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had greatly blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
3 Then David married more wives in Jerusalem, and they had more sons and daughters. 4 These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5 Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7 Elishama, Eliada,[a] and Eliphelet.
David Conquers the Philistines
8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, they mobilized all their forces to capture him. But David was told they were coming, so he marched out to meet them. 9 The Philistines arrived and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. 10 So David asked God, “Should I go out to fight the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?”
The Lord replied, “Yes, go ahead. I will hand them over to you.”
11 So David and his troops went up to Baal-perazim and defeated the Philistines there. “God did it!” David exclaimed. “He used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood!” So they named that place Baal-perazim (which means “the Lord who bursts through”). 12 The Philistines had abandoned their gods there, so David gave orders to burn them.
13 But after a while the Philistines returned and raided the valley again. 14 And once again David asked God what to do. “Do not attack them straight on,” God replied. “Instead, circle around behind and attack them near the poplar[b] trees. 15 When you hear a sound like marching feet in the tops of the poplar trees, go out and attack! That will be the signal that God is moving ahead of you to strike down the Philistine army.” 16 So David did what God commanded, and they struck down the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
17 So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the Lord caused all the nations to fear David.
Sin is more contagious than covid-19
A Matter’s End
(#362 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning. The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
Is it because “it was finally over” that Solomon writes such things. What was he expressing within the exhale of such words as they vibrated over his vocal cords? Would you consider the character of Yahweh in every process loved one? Would you credit the pleasure and the pain, the victories and the defeats, all as the working of His hands?
The process should never culminate with a concession; “I just need to get through this.” A healthier introspection would yield a different inference, “Yahweh has orchestrated this to remove some idol in my life, to decimate a stronghold in my ego.” Pain in the thought world always equals the death of improper attachments to something in the physical realm. And so the conclusion of the matter is the removing of deadly adhesions to unholy things; it is the intent of the supernatural process. And because the intent is supernatural, its conclusion will have supernatural results: “The end of a matter is surely better than its beginning! And patience is always better than pride.”
Yahweh is very patient in removing the pride within you that actually keeps you from Him. Imagine a great love that never fails, His only way of loving, and then imagine how that love longs to envelope your entire being. But by being true love, it has no option but to wait (1 Corinthians 13:4)! This unsearchable perfect love, which longs to envelope you, waits patiently while all that rejects it is removed from within you. All fear must be cast out in order to dwell in perfect love (1 John 4:18). All pride gives way to meekness; and all boasting becomes wrapped in humility (1 Corinthians 13:4). Listen closely to the conclusion of the matter. Because you have been given revelation of this pattern, understanding and wisdom about this process, you can then participate in the supernatural; you can praise Him and give thanks even during the process (Psalm 100:4).
“Be pleased when things go well, but when things seem bad, consider this: Yahweh has made the one as well as the other, so man shall never know what lies ahead of him.” (Ecclesiastes 7:14) And even though you do not know what lies ahead, you do not need to wait for the end of a matter to praise Him; the end is ALWAYS better than the beginning!
Personal Note: As always, I never read the devotions until I open them to edit. But what has transpired in my life over the last few weeks is this EXACT process. I have actually thought this very thing, “I just need to get through this.” I have counted the days until that day that I would not be “REQUIRED” to sit at my computer for hours to write and edit. “I just need a few days off,” I would reason. My arm, hand and wrist have been in agony. I’ve had to change my position and change from mouse to the internal track pad and then to an external pad and back again. It has gotten to the point that on any given day I have to go back and forth between the three just to get through the day, just to manage the searing pain in my wrist. “Just a few more weeks, just a few more days,” I would concede.
But then Yahweh spoke to me. He showed me that this was my “self”, the remnants of my ego (pride) that was scratching and clawing to hang on to the last vestige of hope that it would NOT HAVE TO DIE. I felt as if I could not think straight anymore. After hundreds of days in a row, my mind was blank, numb and in pain. I was confused, angry, depressed and unmotivated. After hundreds of days in which I was 100% confident in His supernatural direction for each devotion, every word edited, and all the scriptures I was inspired to add, I was all of a sudden blank! Nonetheless, each morning when I would wake to read today’s devotion, what came from what seemed to be a blank, numb and unmotivated mind yesterday, was completely heavenly and inspired. What He was showing me was, “None of you, Jeff. All of Me! It has always been Me.” And then on the 361st day of the year, just four days till the end, as I sat to edit this devotion, number 362, I opened to read “A Matter’s End”! All I could say was, “O, Yahweh You are faithful and true. You must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) And the end of a matter is surely better than its beginning.
If you want your Prayers Heard, Give Reverence to Yahweh
Here is the video to watch The Insanity of God https://www.revelationmedia.com/watchinsanityofgod/?_thankyou=Y
(#325 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“For which of you who plans to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, to see if you have enough to finish?” (Luke 14:28)
Consider this: the tower is an expansion of thought processes from carnal to spiritual. Sitting down is the meditation before and about what you intend to step into. The cost is nothing less than the sanctification of your entire spirit, soul, and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The ability to finish is none other than agreeing to nail your “self” to the torture stake. Whoever rejects the stake, or refuses to utterly forsake everything, even his own life, cannot be His disciple (Luke 14:26-27; 33).
And now a proper perspective of forgiveness is warranted. Reflect on this question; “Why would Yahweh ever forgive that which He has said to die to?” Stated another way, “Is His forgiveness for the man whom He says must lose his life, or is His forgiveness for His Son alone?” Here is the clue; “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in the Messiah the Mighty One forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) It is in Yahshua alone that we have forgiveness from Yahweh!
So, if it is in Him alone that forgiveness resides, then we must begin to question if the practice of the modern “altar call”, each plea to come forward, is merely a continuation of Catholic dogma. Is it just a resurrected religious code that sacrifices (sacraments) the Messiah over, and over, and over again? This may make you feel very uncomfortable, but how you feel about it does not matter. What matters is truth!
The message for everyone who claims to be a disciple is to count the cost before you say, “forgive me.” It costs everything and the forgiveness is in Yahshua alone, who will authorize and perfect your faith. It will require every ounce of what you had formerly valued to be utterly shattered!
Now, who would like to come to the altar and receive? Would you? Yes indeed, come as you are, but be ready to be crushed, to never be the same again. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for [His] sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39)
Your sin requires that you be annihilated into nothingness. It is time for the modern day altar call to become the altar cry. Yes, he who takes warning will save his own life. (Ezekiel 33:5) They hear the cry of the true watchman. “Blow the trumpet and warn the people!” (Read Ezekiel 33:1-9)
(#317 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
Gold: a precious metal with timeless value because of its rarity.
Fool’s gold: a shiny, brassy gold counterfeit confused for real gold but which has absolutely no value because of how common it is.
The Law from Your [Yahweh’s] mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. (Psalm 119:72) How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. (Proverbs 16:16) Gold is rare and valuable; but applying Yahweh’s Law and wisdom brings even greater treasures. In contrast, presumptions are like fool’s gold. They are far more common and lead to disappointment and sorrow.
Gold is to fool’s gold as real is to the counterfeit. When His wisdom and commands invade your entire mindset then His reality sets in and all lies are exposed. His reality is the only truth there is. All else is an imposter. Yes indeed, this is reality according to Yahweh, rather than… [fill in your name]. The moment you move away from His reality you risk disappointment and sorrow, and experience the pain of feeling separated from Him.
“Everything was going so good, and then at the last minute…” This type of mindset expresses the belief that it is only good if it ends up the way you had hoped. If Yahweh works all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28), then why still judge certain outcomes as if they are not good? False presumptions, as such, are what set you up for disappointment and despair and, at moments like these, there’s a disconnect from Him.
Every moment is His loved one, every second of every minute of every hour of every day. He forms His vessels in the palms of His Hands. He never lets go of the vessel until it reaches the place where He alone says, “Perfect!” The only thing that can stifle that perfection is self will. This is why He proclaims that “All things work for good!” unless, of course, you get in the way. For those the Mighty One foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)
Never determine what the end result of anything should look like, other than that you will be One with the will of Yahweh. Let go! His hopes and dreams for you can only be achieved when you lose your life (Mark 8:35), when you release control. And your hopes and dreams pale in comparison to His hopes and dreams for you (Ephesians 3:20). Let go and let every moment be His. He would never lie to you.
“Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” (Psalms 19:13)
Things Unsaid (Four)
(#300 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
www.sufferwell.org Individual wisdom (insight, revelation) for you individually:
Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at My rebuke! Then I will pour out My thoughts [the mind of the Messiah] to you, I will make known to you My teachings.” (Proverbs 1:20-23)
Here is the next step in the pattern to receiving the revelation of your calling. You must receive and apply wisdom. Wisdom is learned, earned and discerned.
Wisdom is learned from the word itself. “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget My words or turn away from them.” (Proverbs 4:5) Apply the word from Genesis to Revelation directly to all circumstances. Constantly seek the mind and ways of the Creator Himself.
Wisdom is earned through an obedient lifestyle. “Be very careful, then, how you live your life–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16) Solomon showed his love for Yahweh by walking according to the instructions given him by his father David (1 Kings 3:3). Obedience in the natural leads to the supernatural. Obedience, first, to the elementary matters opens the door to the weightier matters of His purpose, and then to an inner knowing of His plan for your life. That inner knowing becomes the compass for all you might endeavor to do.
Look at the beauty of the pattern in 1 Corinthians 2:
1. First the elementary matters: “And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about the Mighty One. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Yahshua the Messiah and Him impaled. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might NOT REST ON HUMAN WISDOM, but on the Almighty’s power.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
2. Then the weightier matters: “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare the Mighty One’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that the Almighty destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have impaled the Master of glory. However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived the things the Almighty has prepared for those who LOVE HIM’ [If you love Him, keep His commandments.—John 14:15] —these are the things the Almighty has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of the Mighty One.” (1 Corinthians 2:6-10)
3. And finally an inner knowing: “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of the Mighty One except the Spirit of the Mighty One. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from the Almighty, so that we may UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ALMIGHTY HAS FREELY GIVEN US. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of the Almighty but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of Yahweh so as to instruct Him?’ BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF THE MESSIAH!” (1 Corinthians 2:11-16)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7) Learn the word of the Most High; reject human wisdom; love Yahweh and obey His commands, understand what the Almighty has freely given you; and put on the mind of the Messiah. Then you can discern the voice of your Creator.
Wisdom is discerned for specific times and reasons. “So give your servant [Solomon] a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:9) Wisdom is unique to each person and each situation; and understanding her motives is another key principle. “All the kings of the earth sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that the Almighty had put in his heart (mind).” (2 Chronicles 9:23) Read about Solomon’s wise discernment as he orders the child to be cut in half in 1 Kings 3:16-28. You are also given such wisdom in all circumstances if you are willing to learn, earn, and discern.
Wisdom denies all personal desire and prefers the greater good of another. Wisdom dies on a stake while completely innocent and forgives those who murder her. Wisdom’s heart cry is echoed so well by the words of Alfred, Lord Tennyson in The Charge of the Light Brigade, October 25, 1854:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.