Prover 31 Ministry

Trying Not to Crash and Burn

Karen Ehman

KAREN EHMAN

July 20, 2018
“But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.” Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)
Mom, quick … look at that lady!” My 14-year-old son shouted as we headed down the interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. “She should not be doing that,” he added for emphasis.

Devotion Graphic

I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when he’s training behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my Driver’s Ed patrolman had spotted.

Next to us was a woman cradling her cell phone on her right shoulder, holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand, ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand … all while steering her car with her knees!

What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely if she kept up this multitasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.

I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive, I smugly thought to myself. Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law. Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving expert, the apple doesn’t fall far from the “Honey-you-didn’t-use-your-blinker-back-there” maternal tree.

It wasn’t until later that night it hit me. Sure, I might not dangerously multitask when driving, thereby risking collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my “sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me” way? I sometimes dangerously multitask to the point I am heading for a crash.

Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how “good” they might appear to be, can often render us ineffective for service to God. Yet, He knows our limits. He understands our capacities. He is willing, if we’ll ask Him, to help us navigate the busyness and activity that often trips us up.

On one of my so-busy-I-couldn’t-breathe days, I opened my Bible and read today’s key verse: “But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly” (Psalm 31:14-15).

While I’m sure the psalmist David was talking about actual physical enemies — men who could chase, catch and ultimately hurt you — I realized that day my enemy was busyness. Too many activities and responsibilities outside my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, cornered me and worst of all, were about to go in for the kill.

Thankfully, God can rescue us from the barren life of busyness. He invites us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, allowing Him to scrape off all the activities and responsibilities. Then, He’ll place only the items HE longs for us to possess back on our plates.

When this happens, we can create space in our calendar to retreat, places of sweet respite in our days where we connect with God. Times when we slow down and sit still to listen and learn from the Creator of time itself.

So, how about it friend? Let’s allow God to scrape off our distractions before we crash and burn!

Dear Lord, forgive me for allowing busyness to overtake my life — crowding out others and worst of all You. Help me as I purpose to place only those items on my plate that You long for me to have. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

<!–Truth For Today–>

Truth For Today

Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (ESV)

Genesis 2:2, “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” (ESV)

Today’s Reading By CS Lewis

On the lord’s prayer

If you are interested enough to have read thus far you are probably interested enough to make a shot at saying your prayers: and, whatever else you say, you will probably say the Lord’s Prayer.

Its very first words are Our Father. Do you now see what those words mean? They mean quite frankly, that you are putting yourself in the place of a son of God. To put it bluntly, you are dressing up as Christ. If you like, you are pretending. Because, of course, the moment you realise what the words mean, you realise that you are not a son of God. You are not being like The Son of God, whose will and interests are at one with those of the Father: you are a bundle of self-centred fears, hopes, greeds, jealousies, and self-conceit, all doomed to death. So that, in a way, this dressing up as Christ is a piece of outrageous cheek. But the odd thing is that He has ordered us to do it.

From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By

Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.


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Daily Audio Bible Study

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2 Chronicles 1-3

Solomon’s Request for Wisdom

Solomon son of David strengthened his hold on his kingdom. The Lord his God was with him and highly exalted him. Then Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel—the family heads. Solomon and the whole assembly with him went to the high place that was in Gibeon because God’s tent of meeting, which the Lord’s servant Moses had made in the wilderness, was there. Now David had brought the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had set up for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem, but he put the bronze altar, which Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, in front of the Lord’s tabernacle. Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. Solomon offered sacrifices there in the Lord’s presence on the bronze altar at the tent of meeting; he offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?”

And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great and faithful love to my father David, and you have made me king in his place. Lord God, let your promise to my father David now come true. For you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of yours?”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, unlike what was given to the kings who were before you, or will be given to those after you.” 13 So Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was in Gibeon in front of the tent of meeting, and he reigned over Israel.

Solomon’s Horses and Wealth

14 Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills. 16 Solomon’s horses came from Egypt and Kue. The king’s traders would get them from Kue at the going price. 17 A chariot could be imported from Egypt for fifteen pounds of silver and a horse for nearly four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents.

Solomon’s Letter to Hiram

Solomon decided to build a temple for the name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself, so he assigned 70,000 men as porters, 80,000 men as stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as supervisors over them.

Then Solomon sent word to King Hiram of Tyre:

Do for me what you did for my father David. You sent him cedars to build him a house to live in. Now I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God in order to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for displaying the rows of the Bread of the Presence continuously, and for sacrificing burnt offerings for the morning and the evening, the Sabbaths and the New Moons, and the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is ordained for Israel permanently. The temple that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than any of the gods. But who is able to build a temple for him, since even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain him? Who am I then that I should build a temple for him except as a place to burn incense before him? Therefore, send me an artisan who is skilled in engraving to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and with purple, crimson, and blue yarn. He will work with the artisans who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, appointed by my father David. Also, send me cedar, cypress, and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut the trees of Lebanon. Note that my servants will be with your servants to prepare logs for me in abundance because the temple I am building will be great and wondrous. 10 I will give your servants, the woodcutters who cut the trees, one hundred thousand bushels of wheat flour, one hundred thousand bushels of barley, one hundred ten thousand gallons of wine, and one hundred ten thousand gallons of oil.

Hiram’s Reply

11 Then King Hiram of Tyre wrote a letter and sent it to Solomon:

Because the Lord loves his people, he set you over them as king.

12 Hiram also said:

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He gave King David a wise son with insight and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 13 I have now sent Huram-abi, a skillful man who has understanding. 14 He is the son of a woman from the daughters of Dan. His father is a man of Tyre. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, with purple, blue, crimson yarn, and fine linen. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and to execute any design that may be given him. I have sent him to be with your artisans and the artisans of my lord, your father David. 15 Now, let my lord send the wheat, barley, oil, and wine to his servants as promised. 16 We will cut logs from Lebanon, as many as you need, and bring them to you as rafts by sea to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.

Solomon’s Workforce

17 Solomon took a census of all the resident alien men in the land of Israel, after the census that his father David had conducted, and the total was 153,600. 18 Solomon made 70,000 of them porters, 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.

Building the Temple

Then Solomon began to build the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the site David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. These are Solomon’s foundations for building God’s temple: the length was ninety feet, and the width thirty feet. The portico, which was across the front extending across the width of the temple, was thirty feet wide; its height was thirty feet; he overlaid its inner surface with pure gold. The larger room he paneled with cypress wood, overlaid with fine gold, and decorated with palm trees and chains. He adorned the temple with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was the gold of Parvaim. He overlaid the temple—the beams, the thresholds, its walls and doors—with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.

The Most Holy Place

Then he made the most holy place; its length corresponded to the width of the temple, 30 feet, and its width was 30 feet. He overlaid it with forty-five thousand pounds of fine gold. The weight of the nails was twenty ounces of gold, and he overlaid the ceiling with gold.

10 He made two cherubim of sculptured work, for the most holy place, and he overlaid them with gold. 11 The overall length of the wings of the cherubim was 30 feet: the wing of one was 7½ feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was 7½ feet, touching the wing of the other cherub. 12 The wing of the other cherub was 7½ feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was 7½ feet, reaching the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced the larger room.

14 He made the curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarn and fine linen, and he wove cherubim into it.

The Bronze Pillars

15 In front of the temple he made two pillars, each 27 feet high. The capital on top of each was 7½ feet high. 16 He had made chainwork in the inner sanctuary and also put it on top of the pillars. He made a hundred pomegranates and fastened them into the chainwork. 17 Then he set up the pillars in front of the sanctuary, one on the right and one on the left. He named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Romans 6

The New Life in Christ

What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, since a person who has died is freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him, because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over him. 10 For the death he died, he died to sin once for all time; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, so that you obey its desires. 13 And do not offer any parts of it to sin as weapons for unrighteousness. But as those who are alive from the dead, offer yourselves to God, and all the parts of yourselves to God as weapons for righteousness. 14 For sin will not rule over you, because you are not under the law but under grace.

From Slaves of Sin to Slaves of God

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Absolutely not! 16 Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching to which you were handed over, 18 and having been set free from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness. 19 I am using a human analogy because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? The outcome of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life! 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 16

Psalm 16

Confidence in the Lord

A Miktam of David.

Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you.
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have nothing good besides you.”
As for the holy people who are in the land,
they are the noble ones.
All my delight is in them.
The sorrows of those who take another god
for themselves will multiply;
I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
and I will not speak their names with my lips.

Lord, you are my portion
and my cup of blessing;
you hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I will bless the Lord who counsels me—
even at night when my thoughts trouble me.
I always let the Lord guide me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad
and my whole being rejoices;
my body also rests securely.
10 For you will not abandon me to Sheol;
you will not allow your faithful one to see decay.
11 You reveal the path of life to me;
in your presence is abundant joy;
at your right hand are eternal pleasures.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 19:20-21

20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction
so that you may be wise later in life.

21 Many plans are in a person’s heart,
but the Lord’s decree will prevail.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.