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B Moments, idolatry

Do You Avoid the Many Shades of Idolatry?

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about the many shades of idolatry.

In this series, we’ve been studying Solomon’s missteps. His first misstep was when he allowed the influences of this world to pull him further and further away from God. His next misstep came when he allowed his heart to become divided. He ended up doing things God’s way one day and his way the next.

His ultimate misstep was when he allowed idolatry to creep into and take over his life. We know that shortly after Solomon was named king, his number one priority was to build God’s temple. Solomon took constructing God’s temple seriously, only hiring the most skilled laborers and only purchasing the finest building materials.

Once the temple was built, Solomon offered several thousand sacrifices, and he knelt before everyone to dedicate the new temple. Yet shortly thereafter, Solomon started to build his own house. It took him seven years to build the temple for God, but it took him thirteen years to build his house, which ended up being larger than the temple. Even though Solomon started out with the highest intentions, over time, idolatry crept in.

We see that idolatry has many shades—that desire to have the most and the finest. We can even idolize others and their opinions of us. Let us be conscious of the many shades of idolatry by remembering these words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t let anything become more important to you than God.

B Moments, marathon

Your Purpose Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Today I am thinking about how my purpose is more of a marathon than a sprint.

When I look at the Scriptures, I think there’s one person who is an excellent example of looking at his assignment from God as more of a marathon. That man would be Zerubbabel. We read about him in the book of Ezra. He was a descendant of King David, and his task was to rebuild Solomon’s Temple.

While he was rebuilding the temple, he faced a lot of opposition both in and out of the rebuilding camp. There was a lot of infighting among the workers on the inside, and there were a lot of difficulties on the outside among the local citizens. There were also construction delays over which he had no control. It was a large, difficult project for numerous reasons, but Zerubbabel was up to the task.

The key lesson I take away from Zerubbabel’s example is that he knew how to define a short term distraction. He did not allow those short term issues to deter him from his long term focus. He kept a clear vision of his end goal. He essentially saw his work for God as a marathon and not a sprint.

Sometimes I can confuse the two so to get back on track, I stand on this scripture, “ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, realize that God has a marathon and not a sprint for you to run.

B Moments, stand

Challenge the Status Quo for God

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: James 4:17 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how we can occasionally move so far away from what really matters to God. When this happens, we have to challenge the status quo and take a stand for what really matters to Him.

This is what Jesus did when he saw that the temple had become a marketplace. It’s important to note that all stories about Jesus aren’t reflected in each gospel, but this story is told in all four gospels, hence its significance.

Let me set the scene. The Israelites were coming to Jerusalem from all over to celebrate Passover. In addition to the tithes that they paid when they arrived, which were a tenth of their earnings, there was also a temple tax that they had to pay for the upkeep of the temple.

Because the Israelites traveled from several different places, they arrived with multiple currencies. Therefore, there were also money changers on hand to exchange those currencies, and they often did so at a premium exchange rate.

Since it was Passover, people in the temple were also selling animals to be sacrificed. It was clear that the central objective of the operation was to get as much money out of the people as they could. This made it much more like a marketplace than a house of worship. In fact, the people at the temple had moved so far away from what mattered to God that Jesus had to chase them out.

In your community or your place of worship, do you need to challenge the status quo? As you think about that, remember these words: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, take a stand for what matters to God.

B Moments, promptly

God Will Respond to Your Prayers Promptly

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Today, I am reminding us about how promptly God responds.

In this series, I am thinking about all of the ways God will move to comfort us. One way He comforts us often is by hearing our prayers and responding to them promptly.

This was precisely the case for King Hezekiah, who strived to follow in the footsteps of King David. He also genuinely trusted in God as he took away all of the shrines and false gods that his people had been worshiping for years.

However, fourteen years into his reign, an enemy king named Sennacherib came against Judah. He demanded that Hezekiah pay him eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold. To get that much, Hezekiah had to take all of the silver from the temple and all of the gold off of the doors.

Yet even after Hezekiah paid him, Sennacherib came back asking for more. This time, he wanted to take over Judah entirely.

When Hezekiah learned this, he went to the temple, crying out before the Lord and begging God to open His ears to his prayers. God heard his cries and responded promptly. That very night, an angel of the Lord killed 185,000 men in Sennacherib’s army, including Sennacherib himself.

Whatever situation you need God to respond to, remember that you serve a God who has the ability to respond promptly. As you turn your situation over to Him, remember these words: “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that He is responding now.

B Moments, promptly

God Will Promptly Respond to Comfort You

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Today, I am reminding myself about how promptly God responds.

In this series, I am thinking about all of the ways God will move to comfort us. One way He comforts us often is by hearing our prayers and responding to them promptly.

This was precisely the case for King Hezekiah, who strived to follow in the footsteps of King David. He also genuinely trusted in God as he took away all of the shrines and false gods that his people had been worshiping for years.

However, fourteen years into his reign, an enemy king named Sennacherib came against Judah. He demanded that Hezekiah pay him eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold. To get that much, Hezekiah had to take all of the silver from the temple and all of the gold off of the doors.

Yet even after Hezekiah paid him, Sennacherib came back asking for more. This time, he wanted to take over Judah and its people.

When Hezekiah learned this, he went to the temple, crying out before the Lord and begging God to open His ears to his prayers. God heard his cries and responded promptly. That very night, an angel of the Lord killed 185,000 men in Sennacherib’s army, including Sennacherib.

Let us be inspired today that God will also bring us comfort by responding promptly to our prayers. As we think about that, let us cling to these words: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that He is comforting you.

B Moments, personal sanctuary

Get Closer to God Through Your Personal Sanctuary

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 6:6 (ESV)

Today, I am appreciating the value of my own personal sanctuary.

Even though I read the Scriptures, I’m always fascinated by the additional details that I learn about certain events that are described in them. For example, at the exact time of Jesus’ death, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom. I learned that this was to represent the free and unlimited access people would now have to God due to Christ’s sacrifice.

Although I didn’t know that detail before, I feel as though it underscores the importance of having access to a personal sanctuary or haven where I can take advantage of this glorious gift that Christ gave to us.

This story also reminds me of a time when I was feeling somewhat forsaken by God and I reached out to a pastor. The pastor said to me that maybe it wasn’t that God had moved away from me, but that I had moved away from Him. Having a personal sanctuary helps me feel closer to God and reminds me to be in constant relationship with Him.

If you have a great agenda set forth for 2018, make sure you have a personal sanctuary so that you can converse with God about those things on your agenda. As you do that, keep these words in mind: “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, claim your personal sanctuary.

Your Small Gift Has a Big Impact

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 11:25 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about the impact of small gifts.

Sometimes we can be reluctant to give a small gift because we fear the gift might not have a big enough impact. Yet it is important to remember that the way God measures giving is different than the way society measures it. This is made crystal clear in the story about the widow’s offering.

The story tells of one day when many rich people put large sums of money in the treasury of the temple. They deposited all types of coins in donation as they were giving from their abundance.

However, there was a widow who came in, and she only deposited a couple of coins. Unlike the others, she was giving from her heart, and she was giving what she had. That got Jesus’ attention enough to talk to his disciples about this type of giving.

Therefore, remember that He sees us and He knows the motivation behind our giving. In this spirit, as we are in the giving season, let us not shy away from giving a small gift because we don’t think it will have a big enough impact since we know who’s watching us give.

Let us give, and as we do so, cling to these words: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, let your small gift have a big impact.

B Moments, precise

God’s Timing Is Precise

B Moments, precise

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Isaiah 60:22 (NLT)

Today, I am thinking about the precision of God’s timing.

Just a few days ago, I had a talk with one of my girlfriends about how I felt like I was in my season. In other words, I felt like the stars were finally aligning for me.

Then, the door I believed would open next stayed firmly closed. I was completely thrown off and couldn’t believe that God didn’t guide me where I had previously expected.

However, I had to remind myself about the precision of God’s timing. Sometimes, we may be in the right season, but it still may not be the right time for something to materialize for us.

This incident reminded me of a time when Jesus was in the temple and the Jewish leaders attempted to arrest him, but couldn’t. Jesus was, in fact, in his season since shortly after that incident he was arrested. Yet, he had to be arrested at the precise moment that was created for him in order to maximize the impact.

This precision in timing inspires me because it reminds me that so much is going on behind the scenes. Although it feels as though God isn’t answering, He is actually creating the perfect moment to answer your prayers.

Join me today in being inspired that your next door will open, your prayer will be answered, your house will sell, your new relationship will come—but it will come at the precisely right moment. Let us cling to these words to remind us: “At the right time, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” Isaiah 60:22 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that God’s timing is precise.

B Moment, time

Prioritize Your Time With God

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how quickly idolatry can creep in if we’re not careful. This thought came to me as I was reading about Solomon and his preparations to build God’s temple.

During this period, building the temple was obviously Solomon’s number one priority. He took care to secure all of the necessary skilled labor. He even went to great lengths to secure special stones which would replace mud as building materials. It was clear that Solomon was doing great work and that he was on the right track.

It’s very interesting though, that over time, God’s work began to be subordinated to Solomon’s desires. For example, it took him only seven years to build God’s temple, but it would ultimately take him thirteen full years to complete his home. Solomon’s house actually ended up being even larger than God’s house of worship.

Through this story we learn that although we sometimes start out with the best intentions, we can become consumed by them. There are times when our work becomes a larger presence in our lives than the presence of God.

In my life, I am often consumed by work. There are times when I realize that my job has consumed most of my day, and that I’ve only squeezed in a very small amount of time for God.

So the next time we’re struggling with the cares or possessions of this world, let us be reminded of this timeless scripture: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t even let something you believe to be worthy encroach on your time with God.