July 30

1 Chronicles 28:12, 19 (NIV) 12He gave him the plans of all that the Spirit had put in his mind for the courts of the temple of the LORD and all the surrounding rooms, for the treasuries of the temple of God and for the treasuries for the dedicated things... 19"All this," David said, "I have in writing from the hand of the LORD upon me, and he gave me understanding in all the details of the plan."

There is a tendency to think God was more visible and directly involved in Old Testament times in more dramatic ways than in this age. As David was sharing the plans of the Temple with Solomon, he told how he received the inspiration for the plan. He did not have a vision or experience some kind of autonomic writing. He did not have a vivid dream or spirit travel to heaven. The Spirit of God put it in his mind. The hand of the LORD was upon him and gave him understanding of the details of the plan.

The LORD often works with us in the same way. If (and that is a great big "IF") we are seeking Him and His will with all our heart and have been walking with Him for some time to learn discernment, the Spirit inspires our thoughts. As we walk with the hand of the LORD upon us, we will discern Spirit inspired thoughts.

Thoughts come from one of three sources: suggestions from the demonic, our own soul, or the Spirit of God. As we mature we learn to discern the difference and become more and more attentive and obedient to the Spirit inspired thoughts and quick to reject the enemy's temptations. When we pray we will notice the thoughts for whom to pray for enter our mind. As we approach daily difficulties, we will notice solutions that we had not thought of. Be careful to give God all the credit and the glory for those. That is what David was doing when he said, "He gave me understanding in all the details of the plan." "I can't take credit for one little detail. God inspired my thoughts." We find the same experience today as we go about working on the temple with living stones.

Remember: Grab those God inspired thoughts and give Him all the glory when you see the good fruit.

July 30

Acts 17:2-4, 11 (NIV) 2As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3explaining and proving that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ," he said. 4Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and not a few prominent women.

11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Paul usually began working in a city from the Jewish synagogue. It was a place where he could speak to people with some background in prophecies about the Messiah. His approach was to show the people that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. He explained that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. To explain why Jesus had to suffer is to explain His sacrifice in our place.

Seeing that the prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus, some of the Jews were persuaded, along with a large number of God-fearing Greeks. Even in those early days, women seem to have more readily accepted the Gospel. The Jews who did not accept Paul's teaching were jealous of them winning the crowds. They stirred up a riot, and Paul and Silas had to leave.

The next town, Berea, met the message with a more noble character. Instead of emotion and competition, they searched the Scriptures every day to see if Paul and Silas were speaking the truth. The church today has the same response to teaching. Some just get upset and boot the new speaker, in spite of the new people coming into fellowship. They are jealous of a loss of power. Others search the Scriptures to see if the new speaker is teaching Scriptural truth.

Consider: When you hear a message that teaches something unfamiliar to you, do you act like a Thessalonican or a Berean?