July 3, 2015

Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 11

Pretty cool moment to open this chapter: God uses a prophet named Shemaiah to avert a civil war. Wouldn’t you love to be that guy? Well, you can be. Here’s all we know about him up until this point: he was a man of God (v.2). That seemed to be enough for the Lord to use him in a huge way. The bloodshed that could have been caused among God’s people would have been horrific. He delivered this simple message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Do not fight against your relatives. Go back home, for what has happened is my doing!’” And what happened? “So they obeyed the message of the Lord and did not fight against Jeroboam.”

The schism in Israel caused lots of issues. As Abraham Lincoln once put it, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This, in many ways, was proved true by the infighting of Jeroboam and Rehoboam. People moved in order to take sides, and surely there were plenty of hard feelings to go around. But the Lord used this to continue His sovereign plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.

What can we learn from this in a spiritual sense? I think we can draw parallels to our homes from this time in Israel’s history. Our houses must be marked by the gospel. This must include virtues such as accountability, unity, fellowship, compassion, and mission. We must fight against this type of schism in our Christian homes. Far too many husbands and wives live in discord, much to the detriment of their kids. But I think we can also draw these same parallels to the body of Christ. I love what Augustine of Hippo says in this vein: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” This is what the world needs to see in the Church. And frankly, this is what Christians need to believe about the Church, because this is what the Church gets right when yielding to the Spirit and being engulfed in the gospel.

What did the Lord teach you through this passage? I’d love to read about it in the comments section below.

Posted by: Todd Thomas


July 2, 2015

Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 10

It is amazing to read about King Solomon in these chapters. He was a great man, a great king, and God certainly used him in tremendous ways! Solomon was blessed by God with wisdom, wealth, prosperity, peace, and success in all he did. When I read through the account of Solomon’s life I am tempted to think that he was perfect, somewhat of a super human, who never made mistakes. But, the reality is, if you look more closely into Solomon’s life you see that he struggled to serve God fully. Even though he had been given everything this world has to offer and he began his life so faithfully serving God, he didn’t finish serving God the way he started.

1 Kings 11:1-6 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

God had asked the Israelites not to intermarry with people from the surrounding nations because they were pagans and He knew that the Israelites would be led into worshipping false gods as well if they married these pagan people. But, even Solomon, God’s chosen King and the wisest person in the entire world, disobeyed God and gave his heart to other gods. The results of his idolatry were catastrophic! To the nation of Israel and also to his own family.

After Solomon’s death, his son Rehoboam was set to take the throne of all Israel. But, because of the idolatry of his father and by taking some bad advice from his peers; the kingdom of Israel would be divided and ultimately overthrown by Babylon.

This is what happens when we allow someone, or something, to have the throne of our hearts instead of giving it fully to God! We are foolish to think that we are too smart, or too mature in our faith, for an idol to slip into our lives. It happened to Solomon, the wisest person to ever live! When we give someone else (boyfriend/girlfriend, boss/co-worker, our kids, our spouse), or something else (money, work, sex, success) the throne of our hearts instead of God, our idolatry will affect all the areas of our lives and the people in our lives as well.

So, how do we combat idolatry in our lives and avoid the catastrophic results that it brings?

1. Stay intimate with your savior: Staying intimate with Jesus essential in the fight against idolatry. His Word must be constantly ingested into our hearts and time must be consistently spent communicating with Him in prayer. No exceptions!
2. Stay connected to His body: Fighting idolatry in our world today is tough! We must stay connected to other believers who can empathize with our struggle for righteousness and exhort us to battle sin in our lives. Can you be a Christian and not be connected to the church?? Not one who is growing in your faith. Get connected and stay connected to the church!
3. Confess your idols to Christ and turn from them: You must make the decision to turn over your idols to Jesus and let Him have the throne of your heart back. Jesus is either Lord of all or not at all! Even if you think it is something small and not that big of a deal. Solomon probably figured that taking a few foreign wives wasn’t such a big deal, but it led to greater idolatry in his life and the life of his family and his nation.
What idols do you have on the throne of your heart that are taking the place of God?

Pray that God would reveal those to you today. Confess those to Him.

Make a commitment to stay intimate with your savior, connected to the church, and turn your heart completely over to Jesus to be the Lord of your life. The consequences of idolatry are bad! But, the result of giving Jesus the throne of your heart will not only impact your life for good, but the life of your family, and everyone in your world!

Posted by: Matt Mofield

July 1, 2015

Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 9

The Proof Of A Great Leader…

Most leaders, by means of their position and authority, can get their followers to work towards a goal. Yet, getting people to do what you ask is not the mark of great leadership. There is a better way to measure great leadership: happy followers.

Desiring God posted a great article recently on this passage, and I am taking much of this main idea from 2 Chronicles 9 from them, and hope it is an encouragement to you.

So, as we look at this text, we see the Queen of Sheba visit Solomon. His fame was renowned. So much so, that even the queen had to come see it with her own eyes. The result was that she was even more impressed than the rumors had previously left her. She was amazed! His wisdom, his riches, his house, his food, the obedience and attendance of the leaders in his care, and even his servant’s clothing; it all took her breath away!

And starting in verse 5, she responds to Solomon with praise. She praises him, and ultimately then praises his God. But what is interesting is that her praises to/about Solomon show something much more praiseworthy than wealth. She is captivated by something far greater than his wealth. She is amazed that the people under Solomon’s care are happy.
Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

I’m sure Sheba knows the perils of leadership. Which is one of the reasons I think this is so surprising to her. She probably knows how difficult it is to rally people around a vision, make sure everyone is doing their job, and yet cultivate their joy.

Whether you are a parent leading your children, a boss leading your company, a pastor leading your church, or a husband leading your family, one of the greatest testaments to your great leadership will be the genuine joy of the people God has entrusted to your care. Does this mean there is no suffering, no hard moments, no chaotic and tension-filled complexity, or no suffering? Not at all. But what it does mean is that throughout it all there is an underlying happiness, because of a context of genuine love and a belief in the good intentions. There is a mutual love for one another, a desire for glory far beyond our own self-focused existence.

The greatest demonstrator of this type of leadership is God, Himself. One of my favorite parables is found in Matthew 13:44. It says that the kingdom of God (God’s reign and rule in our lives) is like a man who finds a treasure in a field, and because of the surpassing worth of this treasure, in his JOY he goes and sells everything he has to buy the field, so he can have the treasure.

Having God as our leader produces and promotes joy in our lives. And our leadership should cultivate joy in the hearts and lives of those whom God has entrusted to our care.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

June 30, 2015

Today you should read: 2 Chronicles 8

Yesterday Solomon brought the heat with his prayer dedicating the temple of the Lord. By God’s grace, the rebuilding of the temple was one of Solomon’s greatest accomplishments when he ruled as Israel’s king and probably one of the most memorable things about him. However his legacy did not end with the temple as chapter 8 shows us how he rebuilt cities and then populated them with God’s people during his reign as well. He didn’t just provide a place for God’s people to worship but a place where God’s people could live out their worship daily. The temple was significant in the Old Testament as the place where God would meet His people and forgive them of their sin. He wanted to show them that they are His and that they are different then the surrounding countries around them. However that wasn’t just concerning the temple. God used Solomon to take care of their daily lives in this chapter and vs. 16 indicates that God knew the building of the temple wasn’t the purpose but instead the sacrifices and feasts instituted after would show his faithfulness.

This is a great reminder to us, center point church, as we encouraged to look beyond our schools and building that we meet in and live out our worship daily. We are grateful for the places we can meet to worship God but don’t look past what God has done for us in our homes and to the places He has set us up and sent us to. God is not done with us after the next service is added or by giving us a bigger building to meet in. He will look at us as faithful once we are living it daily through our life, which is now God’s Holy Temple.

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Posted by: Erik Koliser