Thursday, May 31, 2012

+DEV+ Living Stones

Date: May 31, 2012 1:45 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Living Stones

Living Stones

"As you come to him, the living Stone you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."   (1 Peter 2:4-5)
Scripture Focus: 1 Peter 2:4-10

Have you ever eaten boneless ribs or jumbo shrimp? Maybe you've spoken in a loud whisper or referred to something as awfully nice? Each of these phrases is an oxymoron, the term given when two seemingly contradictory words are combined.
"Living stones" is also an oxymoron. Stones are dead. In fact, they never had life. What a perfect way to illustrate our condition. When Adam sinned in the Garden, the spirit in him - that part of him that enabled him to commune with God - died. From that day, every human being has been born with a dead spirit.
The only way we are made spiritually alive is by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This happens when we receive the gift of salvation our heavenly Father offers through His Son, Jesus. When the Holy Spirit unites with our spirit, He brings new life. We become living stones, able to be fitted together with other living stones to build the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Through Him we have life and purpose.

Insight: How Are You Bringing New Life To Others Through Jesus Christ? Join With Other Living Stones To Advance His Cause And Build His Kingdom.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

+DEV+ Holding It Together

Date: May 29, 2012 11:15 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Holding It Together

Holding It Together

"So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.'"  (Mark 12:8, 10-11)
Scripture Focus: Mark 12:1-12

Holding it all together seems to be more difficult with each new day. Husbands and wives must fight against a moral standard of "anything goes." Parents race to keep up with their children's schedules. Individual employees struggle to perform tasks once completed by two or more workers. More and more people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Christians have another option.
In biblical times, the capstone was the highest stone in a structure. It secured two walls where they met. The capstone was a crowning point in the building even as it tied the walls together.
The Bible refers to Jesus Christ as our capstone. The apostle Paul tells us, "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:17). Paul spoke in the context of creation, but this also applies to each one of us. Jesus is the crowning point of our lives and He is the One who holds us together. In our marriages, in our families, and in our work places, He enables us to build our lasting foundation on Him.

Insight: Where Do You Turn For Help In Coping With A Hectic Life? Rest On Your Capstone And Trust Jesus To Hold Your Life Together.

Monday, May 28, 2012

+DEV+ Guard What You Build

Date: May 28, 2012 9:28 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Guard What You Build

Guard What You Build

"I said to them, 'While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.'"  (Nehemiah 7:3)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 7:1-7

 "Never put a fox in charge of the hen house." This lesson applies far beyond raising chickens. Whenever we trust the untrustworthy, we put a fox in charge of the hens.
Nehemiah carefully chose individuals to guard what he built. He selected "a man of integrity" who "feared God more than most men do" to protect the city (Nehemiah 7:2). He knew it was not enough to build well and then leave his work vulnerable to enemy attack. Without vigilance, his labor would be undone.
Let's be watchful as we serve God today. The apostle Peter tells us that our "enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). While we work to build strong families, the devil toils to destroy our relationships. As we build bold testimonies, our enemy seeks to trap us with secret sin.
But this same enemy has been defeated by the cross of Christ. Jesus is our Savior and our Guardian. He enables us to stand firm and protects us from harm as we serve Him.

Insight: Are You Alert To The Schemes Of The Enemy? Stand On The Victory Of Christ And Rely On Him To Guard You As You Serve.

+DEV+ Fix Your Eyes

Date: May 28, 2012 12:12 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Fix Your Eyes

Fix Your Eyes

"I sent messengers to them with this reply: 'I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?'" (Nehemiah 6:3)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 6:1-14

Have you noticed how easily a child is distracted? He focuses on a worm until a butterfly flits past. She's happy with a piece of cake until she sees a larger slice on her brother's plate.
Sometimes adults are not any better. Families are destroyed when a spouse leaves for someone who seems more attractive. Finances are damaged when we fail to distinguish between wants and needs. God's work is halted in our lives when we exchange His Word for a spiritual fad.
Nehemiah refused to be distracted from his task, no matter how much his enemies tried to stop him in his work. He trusted that the God who called him to build would protect him as he worked.
It's not unusual for political or economic news to distract us from serving Jesus. Or we can feel defeated by personal failures, broken relationships, and poor choices. But Hebrews 12:2 says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." As we remain faithful to the Lord, He will call us to the work and uphold us as we work.

Insight: Have Events Or Activities Distracted You From Your God-Ordained Work This Week? Fix Your Eyes On Jesus Christ And Trust Him To Uphold You!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

+DEV+ The Joy of Co-Laborers

Date: May 24, 2012 9:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Joy of Co-Laborers

The Joy of Co-Laborers

"Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart."  (Nehemiah 3:1; 4:6)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 3:1-15

Some have described teamwork using the acronym T E A M: Together Everyone Achieves More.
Nehemiah understood the value of teamwork. He could not rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by himself, no matter how many supplies the king had given him. He needed all hands on deck. Priests and goldsmiths, perfumers and rulers, Levites and merchants - they all worked together to rebuild the city's walls.
Christians also need to work together. We need each other to serve the Lord. Together we make up the body of Jesus Christ on earth, and He has given us all we need to serve Him. However, we will not get very far working alone. The Lord does not want us to be Lone Rangers.
The apostle Paul reminds us of this in 1 Corinthians 12:7, when he notes that we each have different gifts "given for the common good." God does not equip us for our own personal gain, but so the entire church body might benefit. As we work together to serve Jesus, we can build great things for Him and give Him all the glory.

Insight: How Are You Working With Other Christians In The Body Of Christ? Use Your Gifts To Benefit His Church And You Will Benefit, Too!

+DEV+ Accurate Assessments

Date: May 24, 2012 12:11 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Accurate Assessments

Accurate Assessments

"Then I said to them, 'You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.’ "  (Nehemiah 2:17)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 2:17-20

What do you do when you are confronted with unpleasant truth? Do you face it head on or retreat in denial?

Denial is often our initial response when we do not want to face unpleasant facts. When we ignore the truth, we fool ourselves into thinking we don't have to deal with it. Still, the truth remains.

Nehemiah knew better than to deny the truth, no matter how distasteful it was. After he inspected the city's walls and gates, he called the Jewish leaders and spoke plainly. He told them of trouble, ruins, and fiery destruction. Only then did he challenge them to rebuild.

In our enthusiasm to build great things for God, we may prefer to avoid facing the ugly truth of our sin. But the Lord does not want us to avoid it; He wants us to bring it to Him. When we do, He takes the brokenness in our lives and makes us whole. Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross covers all of our sin - no exceptions. Then He gives us the power to serve Him in truth because He is truth!

Insight: Is There An Unpleasant Truth You Have Been Denying Or Avoiding? Face The Truth With The Help Of Jesus Christ, The One Who Is Truth.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

+DEV+ Inspect to Detect

Date: May 22, 2012 10:36 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Inspect to Detect

Inspect to Detect

"By night I went out, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire, so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. (Nehemiah 2:13, 15)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 2:11-16

Builders often have a rocky rapport with inspectors. Inspectors must sign off at each stage of work. If anything is amiss, construction stops until the error is fixed.
Nehemiah faced a major building project. Yet when he arrived in the city, he first spent three days listening and learning. Then he inspected the walls and gates. He did not speak to anyone else of his plan to rebuild.
It is easy for us to want to achieve grand things for God without first listening to what the Holy Spirit has to say. However, submission to the Lord's inspection of our hearts will often reveal hidden sins or failings that could delay or derail our plans.
Before we attempt great things for God, let's submit to His loving inspection on a daily basis. Instead of feeling condemned by what He reveals, we can bring those things to the cross of Christ and receive the forgiveness He so willingly offers. As the Lord straightens the crooked places in our lives, He builds His kingdom.

Insight: Will You Ask The Lord To Reveal The Hidden, Crooked Places In Your Heart? Accept His Loving Forgiveness And Watch Jesus Work Through You Today!

Monday, May 21, 2012

+DEV+ Don't Waste the Wait

Date: May 21, 2012 11:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Don't Waste the Wait

Don't Waste the Wait

"May I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the king's forest?"  (Nehemiah 2:7-8)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 2:1-9

Does God have you in His waiting room?

Nehemiah fasted and prayed about the news from Jerusalem, but he did not act until God gave him clearance. He used this time in other ways as well, planning for his trip and preparing his requests for the rebuilding project. As a result, when he stood before the king, Nehemiah could give detailed answers to each question.

It's easy to run ahead of God as we prepare to build great things for Him. Even our activities during waiting times can take our eyes off of the real focus: Jesus Christ.
As you pray for the salvation of a friend, be ready to share with him the gospel of Jesus Christ and what He has done for you. As you ask God to enlarge your ministry, be faithful in your present ministry to your family. As you plead for God to heal a relationship, consider whether you first have forgiven the other person. In God's "waiting room" may we learn to say with the psalmist, "I wait for the Lord, and in his word I put my hope" (Psalm 130:5).

Insight: How Can You Prepare As You Wait For An Answer To Prayer? Don't Waste Your Wait, But Be Careful Not To Run Ahead Of God.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

+DEV+ Begin with Prayer

Date: May 20, 2012 10:23 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Begin with Prayer

Begin with Prayer

"O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man."  (Nehemiah 1:11)
Scripture Focus: Nehemiah 1:1-11

What's the first thing you do when starting something big for God? Some seek the aid of their pastor or church members. Others rally their family. Still others post it on a social website such as Facebook. Of course, we also pray, right? Typically, we tell others, enlist help, and then pray the Lord will bless our efforts.

Nehemiah faced a huge task. He had heard the reports from Jerusalem. The city was in bad shape, and the Jews there were in danger. Still, before he spoke with anyone else, he mourned, fasted, and prayed. He addressed God, first with praise, then in confession. He prayed God's words back to Him. Finally, he pleaded for favor before he spoke to the king.

When Jesus faced the cross - when His "hour had come" - He came to the Father in prayer. Everything His earthly ministry had led to would not move forward until He pleaded with and talked with His heavenly Father. Let's start, end, and bathe all we do in prayer. When we do, we find He has built something great through us.

Insight: When You Begin A New Work For God, Is Prayer Your First Step Or Your Last Resort? Begin With Prayer And Watch The Lord Work!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

+DEV+ Renounce the Ruins

Date: May 17, 2012 9:50 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Renounce the Ruins

Renounce the Ruins

"Then the LORD said to Joshua, 'See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands' Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: 'Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho.'"  (Joshua 6:2, 26)
Scripture Focus: Joshua 6:1-26

Joshua's first military victory in the Promised Land was at Jericho. There the Lord showed His people how they would achieve their victories: not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit.

Joshua could have set up a monument to memorialize his victory. Instead, he obeyed God's command to dedicate the city and its contents to destruction. Then he moved on to the next task God had for him.

Sometimes we're so focused on past triumphs that we miss how God may want to use us today. The apostle Paul knew this and wrote, "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" (Philippians 3:13). We often apply this verse to how we are to treat failure. But Paul was speaking of his successes (3:7-8). God does not want us building monuments to the past; He wants us to rely on Him for the future.

Some things are not meant to be rebuilt or revisited. Like Paul, we can forget what is behind - good or bad - and take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us (3:12).

Insight: What Victory (Or Defeat) Do You Find Yourself Memorializing? Leave It Behind And Cling To What Jesus Christ Has Built For You!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

+DEV+ Demolition Experts

Date: May 16, 2012 11:00 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Demolition Experts

Demolition Experts

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated."  (Proverbs 14:1, 17)
Scripture Focus: Proverbs 14:1-12

A popular television program builds a new home for a special family during each episode. Before they are able to construct a new house, they must first demolish the old one. The crew finds creative ways to tear down the original homes. They have run them over with monster trucks, blown them up, or crushed them with tanks.

Apart from television and the movies, demolition is rarely amusing. The Bible warns us of the danger of the "demolition" that can ruin our homes through resentment, lack of forgiveness, and foolishness. When we tear down each other with our anger, arrogance, or deceit, the results are damaging.

We can rush to demolish others or we can welcome the life-giving message of Jesus that creates clean hearts, heals the downcast, and makes all things grow. He gave His life for us so that we will be prepared to serve Him and to build up other believers (see Ephesians 4:12). As we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, He gives us His wisdom to build up others for His glory.

Insight: Do You Tear Down Others Instead Of Building Them Up? Ask God For Wisdom To Build Up Others As You've Been Built Up In Christ.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

+DEV+ Poor Construction

Date: May 15, 2012 11:17 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Poor Construction

Poor Construction

"Because they lead my people astray, saying, 'Peace,' when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore it is going to fall."  (Ezekiel 13:10-11)
Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 13:1-16

Many homeowners live with the effects of toxic drywall. Over time, the inferior wallboard emits gases that corrode appliances and plumbing. Painting over it doesn't help. The only way to fix the problem is to gut the house and replace the drywall.

 In Ezekiel's time, false prophets built their status with corrupt counsel. They claimed to speak for the Lord, but lied to the people. They spoke of peace, even as God prepared a nation to punish Israel. The people needed to confess and repent of their sin instead of relying on false promises. God rebuked and judged the false leaders.

Today people still rely on false promises rather than on God's Word. Our culture tells us that a loving God would not judge sin. It says truth is relative and there are many ways to God. But Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John14:6). No spiritual whitewash can cover our sin and enable us to stand before God. Nothing but the blood of Jesus can do that.

Insight: How Have You Fallen For The World's False Promises Instead Of Believing God's Truth? Follow The Truth Of Jesus Christ Today.

Monday, May 14, 2012

+DEV+ Why Do We Build?

Date: May 14, 2012 10:49 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Why Do We Build?

Why Do We Build?

"When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel."  (Ezra 3:10)
Scripture Focus: Ezra 3:8-13

Why do we want to build great things? Is it to impress others with our abilities? Perhaps we want to impress God with what we are doing for Him.

When the Israelites returned to their land and rebuilt the temple, they started with the foundation. But it was not enough to use the right materials; they also had to build it the right way. Once they laid the foundation, the religious leaders came together to praise God for who He was and for how He loved His people. Their focus was not the building. Rather, it was the One for whom it was being constructed.

How we build the foundations of our lives is also important for Christians. Not only must we build solidly on Jesus Christ, we also need the right motive. Like the early Israelites, we are to build our lives on a foundation of praise and worship. If our focus is not on the Lord Himself, then everything else we do will deteriorate into empty ritual. Let's be established on praise for our great God who redeems us and builds our hope in Jesus.

Insight: How Can You Ensure That You Have The Right Motives When You Build? Praise God Today For What He Is Building In And Through You.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

+DEV+ Solid Foundation

Date: May 13, 2012 11:27 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Solid Foundation

Solid Foundation

"The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock."  (Matthew 7:25)
Scripture Focus: Matthew 7:24-29

The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, stand 1,453 feet high. The towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1997 through 2003. They are also famous for their deep foundations. Bedrock in Kuala Lumpur is located far below the earth's surface, so builders were required to dig 394 feet to create a stable base for each of the skyscrapers.

Jesus taught us the importance of building our lives on a sure foundation. The world tells us to place a priority on pursuing our own interests. But Jesus said that when we build our lives on the solid rock of His Word, we gain a stable foundation for life.

As Christians, we might not think of rejecting the Word of God outright. Still, we often treat His commands as suggestions. We delay obedience or rationalize why we have chosen not to obey at all. Then we wonder why we lack the strength to withstand the temptations and trials of life. Rest solidly on Jesus Christ - He is the only foundation on which to build lives that will glorify Him.

Insight: Do You Receive God's Word As A Suggestion Or As Your Solid Foundation? Follow The Holy Spirit's Prompting To Obey His Word Today.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

+DEV+ Already Built

Date: May 10, 2012 10:44 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Already Built

Already Built

 "When the Lord your God brings you into ‘a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build’ be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."  (Deuteronomy 6:10, 12)
Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 6:10-25

Have you ever walked into a blessing? You had no part in building it, yet you enjoyed the fruit of someone else's work.
The Israelites understood what it was to enjoy someone else's labor. After the nation spent hundreds of years in slavery and wandered in the desert for forty years, they finally entered the Promised Land. There they took over cities and houses others had developed and built.
This may not seem fair, but the Israelites had not been able to enjoy the work of their own hands during their time of slavery. Further, the Promised Land did not belong to the people who lived there, nor did it belong to Israel. It belonged to God, the sovereign Creator, and He could do as He wanted with it.

Jesus Christ is still sovereign, and He has welcomed us into the ultimate already-made haven: His Father's house. In John 14:2 He gave words of comfort, assuring His disciples and us that the home already prepared for us awaits when we put our trust in Him.

Insight: Do You Delight In Knowing That Jesus Already Built Your Foundation Of Faith In Him? Use Your Blessings To Bless Someone Else Today.

+DEV+ If You're Not the One

Date: May 10, 2012 12:04 AM
Topic: +DEV+  If You're Not the One

If You're Not the One

"This is what the LORD says: 'Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? ...I will raise up your offspring He is the one who will build a house for my Name.'"  (2 Samuel 7:5, 12-13)
Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 7:1-13

Do you dream of building great things for the Lord? Maybe you're an artist, hoping to be discovered. Perhaps you're a writer, crafting the next bestseller. But what if God does not intend for you to fulfill your goal? Might He want you to use your talents and resources to help someone else build for Him instead?

King David wanted to build a temple for Jehovah. Until then, the Ark of the Covenant had been housed in the tabernacle, a portable structure dating from the time of Moses. But David was not to build the temple. His son, Solomon, would be the one to do it. Still, David used the delay to prepare a notable supply of resources for Solomon's use.

Our culture insists that success comes from building something significant. However, our significance comes not from what we build or do. It comes because we have been purchased and freed by the blood of Christ, the One who is building us! As we rest in His salvation, the privilege is ours to help others along the way in Jesus' kingdom work.

Insight: Is There A Solomon In Your Life? Ask God What You Can Do To Help Him Or Her Build What God Has Assigned.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

+DEV+ Follow the Plan

Date: May 9, 2012 4:00 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Follow the Plan

Follow the Plan

 "So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. This is how you are to build it" (Genesis 6:14-15)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 6:9-22

God gave Noah exact dimensions for the ark -  measurements so precise that readers are often tempted to skip these seemingly boring details. Yet, each number was critical to the ark's ability to survive the massive flood that was to come. After the water receded, humanity once again flourished thanks to the Master Builder's plan and Noah's obedience.

Building something of lasting value requires not just reading good blueprints, but following them, too. No one would buy a house whose builder forgot to put in a door or placed the bathtub in the middle of the kitchen.

If we want to use our lives to build something of eternal value, we need to start with the right blueprints: God's Word. However, it is not enough for us to just read the Bible. We must obey it. God has enabled us to withstand the rising floodwater's of sin by giving us saving grace through Jesus Christ. Jesus is the "ark" in which we all can hide, and we are confident that when we pass through the waters, He will be there (Isaiah 43:2).

Insight: What Command In God's Word Are You Struggling To Obey? Determine To Obey What He Says Today Without Further Hesitation.

Monday, May 7, 2012

+DEV+ Priorities

Date: May 7, 2012 10:55 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Priorities


"Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 'Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?'"  (Haggai 1:3-4)
Scripture Focus: Haggai 1:1-15

In what areas do you cut back when money is tight? Dining out? Movies? Vacations? While some financial obligations like rent or mortgage payments are fixed, we may reduce other expenses and spending to ensure that we make ends meet.

The work of the Lord does not stop during economic slumps. More people turn to the church for help with food, bills, or counseling when times are tough. Yet, giving to the church is often one of the first items to drop from the family budget.

After the Persians allowed the Israelites to return to their land, the people were more concerned with building their own homes than with rebuilding the temple. God rebuked their priorities and challenged them to put Him first.

We, too, may allow the economy, to affect our giving to build Christ's kingdom. When we fail to trust God's care, we cheat ourselves out of seeing Him meet our needs as only He can. Since our greatest need has already been met in Jesus, we can trust Him to see us through.

Insight: How does your financial situation affect your giving? Give God what is His, then rest in his care as you work for his kingdom.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

+DEV+ Skills and Abilities

Date: May 6, 2012 11:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Skills and Abilities

Skills and Abilities

"He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers - all of them master craftsmen and designers."  (Exodus 35:35)
Scripture Focus: Exodus 36:1-7

Constructing a building requires a greater range of skills than we may first realize. Carpenters, electricians, and plumbers are needed, but so are masons and roofers. And don't forget the glaziers, drywall hangers, and metal workers.

The building of the tabernacle also required a variety of laborers. When God told Moses to direct the process, He gave the people all of the skills they needed for their tasks. They were to adorn the simple frame structure with fine fabric, embroidery, and metal work to honor the Lord.

Do you have a special skill? You may sing, repair cars, or have a green thumb. Even if you are not sure of your skills, God has given you gifts to fulfill His plan for your life. Perhaps you have an ability to encourage, teach, or lead others. You may have a gift of hospitality or a desire to serve behind the scenes. Whatever our gifts and skills may be, let's use them to help build up His Church and point others to Jesus, just as the beauty of the tabernacle pointed to Him.

Insight: What Skills Have You Used For Jesus This Week? Find A Need In Your Church And Glorify God With The Skills He Has Given You.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

+DEV+ Is Your Altar Pretty?

Date: May 3, 2012 10:27 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Is Your Altar Pretty?

Is Your Altar Pretty?

"If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it."   (Exodus 20:25)
Scripture Focus: Exodus 20:21-26

What is your church's altar like? Is it wood, metal, engraved, or covered with fine linen? Altars in the Old Testament were used for sacrifices. Some were made of earth, others of stone. Later, when God told the people to build the tabernacle, He told them to fashion a bronze altar befitting His purposes for them.
In this passage, God directed Moses to build an altar of earth. He also said they could make altars of uncut stones. These altars were not built to be pretty. Their forms were rough, since tools could not be used to shape precise stones. Why would God require this?
First, the altar would not resemble a created thing, so it would not become an idol. The people also would not admire the altar as a work of art, which might distract them from its purpose. The focus was always the sacrifice that lay upon it.
Does what you do distract from what Christ did for you? Know that Jesus' sacrifice alone makes us acceptable to God.

Does What You Do Distract From What Christ Did For You? Know That Jesus' Sacrifice Alone Makes Us Acceptable To God.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

+DEV+ The Desire to Build

Date: May 2, 2012 10:29 PM
Topic: +DEV+  The Desire to Build

The Desire to Build

"'Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.'"  (Genesis 11:4)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 11:1-8

Can you name the tallest building in the world? It changes every few years. The Empire State Building in New York held the title from 1931 to 1972. New York's World Trade Center was tallest for a while. Taipei 101 in Taiwan was tallest from 2004 until the Burj Khalifa opened in 2010 in Dubai.

Beginning with the Tower of Babel, people have been eager to leave their mark on the world. But these structures don't last. The hands of time and the sands of history wear away what at first seemed permanent. Even if buildings survive time's passage, they can be brought to rubble in an instant by those bent on destruction.

God created us to be His workmanship to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). But not just any good works. The only works that last are those God prepared for us to do. The most lasting work built in us was done by Jesus, our strong tower, not atop a building, but upon a cross. What God builds in us through the sanctifying work of His Son will be for our ultimate good and for His glory.

Insight: Will You Replace Good Works With The Better Works God Planned For You? Listen For The Holy Spirit's Prompting To Build Something Of Eternal Value.

+DEV+ Accountability

Date: May 2, 2012 12:13 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Accountability


 "The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."  (Genesis 2:7)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 2:4-25

Building processes begin long before the land is cleared or the first brick is laid. Architects rely on input from engineers, surveyors, and others. Permits are filed to meet building codes. Then the concrete is poured and the frame erected. At each stage, the builder must comply with the architect's plans to meet standards for quality and safety.

The Bible tells us of another kind of accountability. God made man and woman for His glory and honor. Whether we admit it or not, we will answer to the Lord. Those who reject the creation account in Genesis deny the reality of a creator. If we are not accountable to God, then our thoughts, words, and deeds do not need to meet His holy standards.

Just as a builder answers to an architect, we are accountable to the Architect of our lives, Jesus Christ. We may not like all of His standards, but we cannot ignore them. Still, we can rejoice that He has met every standard and kept perfect accountability for us so that we can spend eternity with Him.

Insight: How Does Your Life Reflect Your Accountability To God? Determine To Use God's Word Daily As Your Standard Of Righteousness.