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Hey You!

Did the boat get your attention? That's why I used it. We live in a world of information overload. When you scroll through Facebook, do you stop on the posts with pictures and skip those without? I do a lot of times. It seems that we have been trained to stop and look at catchy or cute or compelling pictures.

Have you ever thought about the ways God tries to get your attention? As believers, if we are not careful, we will tune God out because He doesn't catch our attention like the boat did. And yet, His pictures are all around us in creation, in His Word, in other people, and the way the Holy Spirit speaks to us. Our main problem is we just aren't interested in His message like Facebook posts without a picture or cartoon.

God is so much more interesting than anything else we give our attention to. Let me encourage you to look for God this week and discover His message to you.

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In our daily Bible readings this week, we've read the story of Jeroboam and Rehoboam. Jeroboam was the king of Israel after it split from Judah following the death of Solomon. Jeroboam decided to create his own temple, altars, ordain his own priests, and set up worship in the north. This was done to keep the people from taking the required pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship God. Thinking if they did, then they might not follow him anymore. As a result of his disobedience God tells him, "The LORD will raise up for Himself a king over Israel, who will eliminate the house of Jeroboam." In addition, "He will uproot Israel from the good soil that He gave to their ancestors." (1 Kings 14:14, 15) A prophetic word about the exile.

Rehoboam, Solomon's son and king of Judah, wasn't much better. 2 Chronicles 12 tells us that Rehoboam abandoned the Lord. As a result the king of Egypt came up against Judah. After their battle, King Shishak carried off the holy vessels of gold and silver from the temple and palace. Rehoboam did repent and was not destroyed, but the damage had been done.

These two stories illustrate that there are consequences to our actions, especially when we sin against God. God does forgive us and promises to cleanse us when confess (1 John 1:9). This can restore our relationship with God like Rehoboam did, but we still have to live with the consequences of our actions. We see this principle throughout the Scripture. So what do we do? We study the Word of God and do our best to learn all we can so we can discern how to live for God everyday of our lives and reap blessings rather than the bad consequences.

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How Are You Doing Spiritually?

How are you doing spiritually? Has anyone ever asked a question like that? I was reading an article recently about discipling others and entitled "Seven Questions To Use In A Discipling Relationship." One of the questions was simply, "How have you seen God work since we last met?"

That's an interesting question, where have I seen God at work? Offhand I couldn't think of anything. Then as pondered a little more, I began to see God's hand at work around me. The first place was in my daily reading. The Holy Spirit pointed out to me that Solomon knew he was sinning against God when he married Pharaoh's daughter. So much so, that he had to build a house for her outside of Jerusalem because the city was a holy place as it housed the Ark of the Covenant. Apparently, he knew she was not a part of the covenant people, God's people, and she couldn't stay in God's city. A few chapters later we learn that Solomon married many more foreign women and God judged him for his disobedience.

How many times do we sin and know it's a sin and do it anyway? We think we can hide it from God or others, so we go ahead and commit the sin. However, God knows everything we do and no matter how hard we sin where no-one can see, God still does. Our fellowship with God will be broken until we confess and repent.

What has God shown you that is sinful in your life? Is it something that everyone else is doing, so it must be okay? Solomon like other kings married women to form alliances, yet God had strictly forbid that practice. Just because others do it, doesn't mean it's okay.

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