The blog contains daily devotions and notes from the weekly messages.  We encourage you to review the notes during the sermon or through the week!  Most of the posts will have an audio and/or video link at the end of the notes.  From time to time the pastors will share other insights and devotions here.

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Seize the Moment – Day 822

Keep Your Focus on Jesus!

1 Kings 11

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, June 17.

 

As I read about the sad ending to Solomon’s life in 1 Kings 11, I couldn’t help but to reflect on how I want to finish my racewith my eyes on Jesus. Solomon experienced a long season of peace and prosperity during the first half of his kingship, but his final years were marked by anxiety and turmoil. Solomon lost focus on God! In 1 Kings 11:11-13, God declared His verdict onSolomon for his idolatry:

 

Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.

 

God raised up adversaries against Solomon, including Jeroboam, the man who would be the one to fulfill this prophetic judgment. Ahijah the prophet declared Jeroboam to be the future king over ten of the tribes of Israel, diving the kingdom after Solomon’s death (29-39).

 

God had given Solomon’s kingdom great peace and abundant prosperity for many years, but instead of using that time and that wealth to lead his nation to more deeply love and worship God, Solomon sought pleasure from many women and privilege from his position. His loss of focus destroyed his life and divided Israel. It’s amazing how one person’s focus can bring life or death, blessings or curses, upon themselves and others.

 

Seize the moment and keep your eyes on Jesus, all the way to the finish line of your life (Hebrews 12:1-3).

God bless you!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 821

 

Something Greater Than Solomon!

1 Kings 10

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, June 16.

 

Have you ever had a chance to meet a powerful or famous person? Did that person live up to your expectations?

 

King Solomon received many important visitors, and one of the most famous was the Queen of Sheba. After spending time with Solomon and inspecting every aspect of his kingship, she concluded in 1 Kings 10:6-7, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. Nevertheless I did not believe the reports, until I came and my eyes had seen it. And behold, the half was not told me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard.

 

As a point of comparison, Jesus referenced this story in Matthew 12:42, “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

 

To further illustrate this contrast, 1 Kings 10:23-24 explains of Solomon’s power and fame, “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. All the earth was seeking the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom which God had put in his heart.

 

What can possibly be greater than the greatest king on Earth?It is the Kingdom of God, the sovereign rule of God over all creation, Heaven and Earth, through the rightful kingship of the King of Kings, God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus declared that He was ushering in “something greater,” and that was His wisdom, His riches, and His rule, which far exceed all who had ever come before Him, including King Solomon. Jesus has put all things in subjection under His feet (1 Corinthians 15:23-28).

Seize the moment and put your faith in King Jesus because He will never fall short of the power and fame ascribed to Him.
 
God bless you!
 
If you wo’uld like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 820

The Score at Halftime!

1 Kings 9

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, June 15.

 

What is the least important statistic in sports? The score at half-time!

 

Fast forward 20 years and King Solomon’s building projectswere finished (1 Kings 9:10). As we get this glimpse of Solomon’s kingship, at the halfway point of his 40-year reign, we see that he has been blessed by God and was prospering in every way. Unfortunately, there were also strong indicators of his eventual defeat if he didn’t shore up his weak areas. God, like a good coach who challenges his players to play like champions in the second half of the game during the half-time locker room talk, confronted Solomon in 1 Kings 9:6-9:

 

But if you or your sons indeed turn away from following Me, and do not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight. So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house? And they will say, Because they forsook the Lord their God, who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them, therefore the Lord has brought all this adversity on them.”

 

Solomon did not heed the Coach’s wisdom and all of God’s warnings were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in Jeremiah 52. Regardless of the score at half-time in your life or ministry, live like a champion today, all the way to finish line (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

 

Seize the moment and finish strong, persevere until the end(Matthew 24:13).

 

God bless you!
 
If you wo’uld like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 819

Blessed to be a Blessing!

1 Kings 8

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, June 14. 

 

The word blessed has become common place in our culture recently. There is nothing wrong with using it if you know that God’s blessings always come with a stewardship responsibilitya charge from God to be a blessing!

 

There was a big celebration in Jerusalem, and throughout Israel, as the ark of God was relocated to the temple. As it was placed inside the most holy place, the cloud, the glory of God, filled the house of the Lord (1 Kings 8:1-11). God was with them! King Solomon spoke (12-21), gave a prayer of dedication (22-54), and then in verses 56-61, he blessed the people:

 

Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. May the Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Himself, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances, which He commanded our fathers. And may these words of mine, with which I have made supplication before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant and the cause of His people Israel, as each day requires, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else. Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes and to keep His commandments, as at this day.

 

Solomon’s blessing was filled with gratitude and faith, yet it also charged the people to live for God wholeheartedlyaccording to His commandments, and to bless the nations for His glory.

 

Seize the moment and walk in God’s blessing by living out God’s charge upon your life – you have been blessed to a blessing!

God bless you!
 
If you wo’uld like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 818

Acquire Wisdom and Get Understanding!

1 Kings 7

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, June 13.

 

While it is important to be a competent and capable person, your character is of the greatest importance.

 

The construction of the temple was complete, and it was time for the intricate details to be crafted. Accordingly, in 1 Kings 7:13-14, King Solomon called upon the best artisan, a skilledworker who was filled with wisdom and understanding, “Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze.

 

This passage is reminiscent of God’s words to Moses, during the building of the tabernacle, in Exodus 31:1-3: 

 

“See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

 

When God chooses a person for an important job, it is not only for their competency, but also for their character. The skilled artisans, who were selected by Solomon and Moses, were people of wisdom and understanding. This pairing of “wisdom and understanding” in the Bible is used to describe the quality of a person’s spiritual maturity – they feared God and listened for His instructions. Isaiah 11:2a details this truth in a messianic prophecy, “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding.”

 

God desires for His people to be empowered by His Spirit in all their work, and to not lean upon their own understanding, no matter how educated or trained. It is good to further your education and pursue your training, but don’t neglect the fear of the Lord!

 

Seize the moment and “acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

God bless you!
 
If you wo’uld like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Train to Live on Mission – Week 17

Establish a Strong Defense!

Proverbs 10:9-12 (NAS95)

 

Today, we are going to walk through the four action steps of a soldier’s training routine to learn the next battle drill – “Establish a Strong Defense!”

 

Action Step #1) Know the Field Manual.

The battle drill we are going to learn and apply this week is from Proverbs 10:9-12:

 

He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out. He who winks the eye causes trouble, and a babbling fool will be ruined. The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.

 

To better understand how I am applying this Scripture, you need to hear these verses in their context, as a part of the whole of Proverbs 10. Read from the Bible. This is what the Field Manual says, let’s now take the second action step to learn how to apply today’s battle drill to our everyday lives as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

 

Action Step #2) Train together as one unit.

While Proverbs was written by King Solomon, I’m not sure if Solomon did a great job of personally living out the wisdom that he was given by God to rule Israel and to pass on to others through his wisdom literature.
 
As I’ve been studying his life through my writing of daily devotions in the book of 1 Kings, and then sharing those with you through the daily phone calls, I am reminded that it was Solomon’s bad decisions in his personal life that led to his ultimate fall, as explained in 1 Kings 11:1-6:

 

Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians and after Milcom the detestable idol of the Ammonites. Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord fully, as David his father had done.

 

Ironically, the very words of Solomon in Proverbs 10:9 are illustrated through Solomon’s life, “He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.” God was angry with Solomon because “his heart was turned away from the Lord” (1 Kings 11:9) and God judged Solomon accordingly in 1 Kings 11:11-13:

 

So the Lord said to Solomon, “Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

 

Solomon had taken steps to ensure a strong national defense through the vanquishing of enemies, successful treaties, successful administration of his kingdom, and a strong conscription program for the temple project. But Solomon did not set up a strong personal defense against his own flesh! As my friend recently said to me, “It is so easy to busy ourselves with perfecting what is visible, to the detriment of that which is invisible.” Solomon missed that his true enemy’s strategy was subtle, and that evil had a foothold in his heart! We must learn from Solomon’s positive words, and, also, from his negative example. Paul explains about the enemy within in Romans 7:14-25, from whom we all need to establish a strong defense:

 

For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

 

A significant reality of establishing a strong defense is to forsake the three major forces of the fall that must be brought into submission to God’s will – the devil, the structures and systems of this present age that are in rebellion against God (i.e., the world), and the flesh (our self-will that seeks to make life work out on its own terms). We have spent time, and will continue to spend time, learning how the battle drills of a good soldier must be trained into our lives so that we live a victorious life and not be distracted or derailed by either of these three forces.

 

From today’s chapter, Proverbs 10:29 states, “The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the upright, but ruin to the workers of iniquity.” To keep God first and foremost in our lives is to make Him our stronghold, and that is the greatest defense against the devil, the world, and the flesh. To do so we must learn to live for the approval of God alone and not be so easily seduced by lesser things. That takes us to the third action step of being a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

 

Action Step #3) Seek the Commander’s approval.

According to 1 Corinthians 10:12-14, Paul teaches us that we have a way of victory in every situation, which means there is nothing that can prevail against us, no enemy, external and internal, that can defeat us in God’s stronghold:

 

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

 

What is essential about this truth is that the victory is not from us, but from God – He is our stronghold. God provides the way of escape so that we can persevere to the end. But we must choose His way and the key to that is that we must have our eyes and ears, hearts, and minds, open to seeing God’s way of victory. Often, the way of escape is well before the potential threat even appears, and we must faithfully walk in the way of Jesus, daily, so that we don’t walk down the wrong street through bad decision making. As I’ve taught you before, sometimes it’s too late to ask, “WWJD” because Jesus never would have allowed Himself in that dangerous situation in the first place. The way of victory was in not taking the exit ramp of the flesh – stay in the easy yoke of Jesus! Paul makes this clear in Galatians 5:16-26, as he teaches us the training regimen of a soldier for Jesus to set up God as our strong defense against the enemy within, our flesh:

 

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.

 

Do you remember what God said about Solomon at the conclusion of his life? It was the exact opposite of God’s verdict of his father, David’s life! David was a man after God’s own heart; whereas, in 1 Kings 11:9, “the Lord was angry with Solomon because his heart was turned away from the Lord.” Once again, it is ironic that it was Solomon who wrote in Proverbs 4:23, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”

 

It was not for lack of wisdom that Solomon fell, it was from his disobedience to God’s ways in the most intimate places of his life – he didn’t watch over his heart with all diligence! Maturity as a Christian is not in how much Bible information you have in your head, but how much of what you know gets in your heart and establishes God as the stronghold of your life! Because Solomon did not guard his heart, the enemy got a foothold through his lust, ultimately making his heart a place of idol worship. It is only when our hearts are the throne room of God, His stronghold, that we can establish a rescue mission for God in this world. That takes us to the last action step.

 

Action Step #4) Live on mission.

It’s only by God’s strength that we can CM – continue the mission that Jesus Christ came for. As Zechariah 4:6 declares, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.” We must pray for the Father’s purposes (God’s will) to be done in us through the Holy Spirit so that God’s will can be done through us in Jesus’ name!

 

This cannot be done by our own power! In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus commanded his disciples to pray in Matthew 26:36-41 because He knew the flesh was weak:

 

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

 

If Jesus couldn’t fulfill His mission on Earth apart from prayer and the Spirit’s consolation of His spirit, then how much more do we need to pray and seek the power of the Holy Spirit to empower us to preserve in the mission? Paul confirmed Jesus’ words in Galatians 3:3, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

 

The best defense you can establish for this life and the life to come is to put your faith in Jesus Christ. It is only by believing that you can do anything to further the Kingdom of God on Earth; to do the Lord’s will on Earth as it is in Heaven. Jesus explained this to us in 1 John 5:4-5, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

 

Jesus promised the way of victory will come with tribulations, but don’t fear, find rest in the easy yoke of Jesus, and walk in the Spirit – His way of victory is belief. This is how you establish a strong defense. Make this battle drill a reflexive, instinctive, and habitual part of your Christian life so that you can CM – Continue the Mission! Therefore, live on mission today and train the battle drill of the week for the glory of God. Let us pray.

 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 816

Today’s hymn focus will be

Rock of Ages

Psalm 18:2 (NLT)               

 

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.

He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

 

Augustus Toplady first published this hymn in 1775 in an article entitled “Life a Journey”, stating: “if you fall, be humbled and do not despair. Pray afresh to God who is able to raise you up, and set you on your feet again.” He wanted people to realize that no matter how big the debt of our sin account, it is only the blood of Jesus that could pay that debt in full.  He rejoiced in the fact that Jesus is our place of safety and the rock to which we can anchor the ship of our life.

 

            Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee,

            Let the water and the blood, from Thy wounded side which flowed

            Be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure.

 

We need to wake up and realize the truth of this ancient hymn that reminds us there is no one like our God. He is our Rock, our Hope and our Salvation. When in doubt, sing this song to remind your heart and mind Who our Rock is!

If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 
If you’d like to hear the song, click on the link below:
 
1
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
 
2
Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
 
3
Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
 
4
While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
 
 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 815

 

The Heart of Worship!

1 Kings 6

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, June 10. 

 

Why do we gather as the church? What is the heart of worship? Is it about a building, or a service with songs and a sermon, or is worship something more than all of these?

 

The detailed description of Solomon’s temple has two distinct parts in 1 Kings 6. Verses 2-10 describe the exterior and verses 14-38 describe the interior. While most of this chapter is focused on the details of the construction of the temple, the heart of the temple project is found in 1 Kings 6:11-13:

 

Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon saying, “Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

 

Obviously, the temple was an important place, but it should not be surprising that God would remind His people that at the heart of its construction, and its future usage, was the life of obedience to His commandments. God taught the heart of worship previously in 1 Samuel 15:22-23a, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.

 

While building projects, event planning, song selections, and sermon writing are important parts of how we practice our faith in contemporary Christianity, let us never forget that the heart of worship has always been, and will always be, obedience to God and His ways. We are the temple of His presence on the Earth (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

 

Seize the moment and worship God by obeying His Word.
 
God bless you!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 814

 

The Heavy Burden of Forced Labor!

1 Kings 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, June 9.

 

Have you ever been forced to do a job you didn’t like or want to do? Imagine being conscripted by the President to be a forced laborer for a grand national project in Washington DC.

 

First Kings 5:13-16 explained how Solomon conscripted 183,300 workers to do the hard labor of building the temple:

 

Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in relays; they were in Lebanon a month and two months at home. And Adoniram was over the forced laborers. Now Solomon had 70,000 transporters, and 80,000 hewers of stone in the mountains, besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were over the project and who ruled over the people who were doing the work.

 

These men quarried and cut the stones for the foundation of the temple, as well as transported and prepared the necessary timber for this grand national project in Jerusalem. Unstated in this account are the countless farmers, laborers, and servants who would support this undertaking and provide for the terms of the purchase agreement with Hiram, the king of Tyre (1-12).

 

We read through all this way too quickly! We remain deaf and blind to the suffering of the people living under the heavy burden of Solomon’s aggressive agenda. In 1 Kings 12:4, after forty years of Solomon’s rule, the people petition Solomon’s son Rehoboam, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” When he refused, the people rebelled (1 Kings 12:13-19). People can only take the heavy burden of forced labor for so long!

 

Seize the moment and find rest for your soul from the oppressive regime of sin by breaking the world’s heavy yoke and getting in the easy yoke of Jesus, His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

God bless you!
 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 813

 

God Keeps His Promises!

1 Kings 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, June 8.

 

Are you waiting on God to fulfill a promise?

 

King Solomon’s reign was unique in the history of Israel. It was a time of rest for the nation as they experienced  the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, according to 1 Kings 4:20-21, and 25:

 

Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing. Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life. … So Judah and Israel lived in safety, every man under his vine and his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.

 

You may recognize the phrase “as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore” because it was a promise of God given to Abraham in Genesis 22:17, “indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.” God later reiterated this promise to Israel (Jacob) in Genesis 32:12.

 

God yoked the promise of abundance and the promise of rest with the giving of the Promised Land, which He covenanted to give to Abraham in Genesis 15:18. That was later affirmed by Moses to the twelve tribes of Israel in Deuteronomy 12:10, “He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security.”

 

Just as God’s promises of abundance and rest were fulfilled in the days of Solomon, so they are today in Christ Jesus (John 10:10; Matthew 11:28-30; 2 Corinthians 1:20).

 

Seize the moment and wait upon the Lord with faith, hope, and love; God never fails to keep His promises!

God bless you!
 
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YOUTUBE:

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