June 1 STRATEGY
Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, From the tumult of those who do iniquity.
Any athlete going into a game would do well to remember that the other team has a coach, and it is his job to figure out a way to defeat their team. It’s not just a team running around, but there is a strategy to defeat their team. They should become aware of the strategy and how this can be countered. All believers in Jesus should be aware that their enemy has a strategy to defeat them. We are not simply living our lives. Our enemy has a play to cause us to be ineffective for God and to destroy us ultimately. We should be aware of his schemes. Are you looking to God for His strategy for your life?
2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You to dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.
Do you remember what it felt like to be chosen to be on a team? In school, being chosen for the relay team or the math competition felt so good. And if you were chosen first, wow! Do you remember what that felt like? Being chosen can give you greater confidence and even boost your level of play. There is no greater honor for a Christian than knowing that the King of Kings has chosen you. It wasn’t based on our ability, so we shouldn’t be prideful. It should give us confidence and change how we live our lives. How do you feel about being chosen by the King of Kings?
2 Samuel 19:11-20:13
June 3 TEAMWORK
He rules by His might forever; His eyes keep watch on the nations; Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
Sometimes people begin to feel they are so great they don’t have to live by the same rules as everyone else. They want to make their own rules. The belief is that their ability gives them the right to live according to their wishes. The problem with this is that their right to rule is based upon a temporary foundation. God is the only one who has the right to make rules that last forever because His ability to rule and reign will last forever. And He can see how His rules impact other people. Who makes the rules in your life?____________________________________
2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
June 4 RULES
Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Because of the greatness of Your power, Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You.
Many times people are given special privileges and are given things by people who admire their abilities. This “hero worship” can sometimes cause those people to think that they are special or better. In truth, their abilities were given to them by God, so all they are doing is using them. There is only one who is truly great and worthy of our worship. He deserves our admiration and devotion. We should be careful not to give praise that belongs to God to the people whom God created. Who do you worship?
2 Samuel 22:1-23:23
GETTING INTO SHAPE
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.
Boot camp is something soldiers dread. It is a time of severe testing of their physical and emotional abilities. Why, then, do athletes do this? Because they know in the end, they will be in better shape and will be able to perform at a higher level during the time they are enlisted. They know it only lasts a short time. This is a perfect example of the suffering in the life of a Christian. It lasts for only a short time, but it tests us sometimes to the point we think we will break. In the end, though, we emerge stronger and better able to live for God. Is God getting you into shape?
2 Samuel 23:24-24:25
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear;
One of the crucial characteristics of a winning team is team chemistry. Not only do they play well together, but they enjoy being together.
One of the upsides of these relationships is that you can ask things of each other, and because of the relationship, they will do them. Without these relationships, these requests would not get done. In our teamwork with God, the right relationship is just as meaningful. We can’t ignore God, live in violation of His laws, and expect Him to answer our prayers. How we live daily is so important. Would God hear your prayers today if you asked?
1 Kings 1:1-53
June 7 YOUR’RE ON THE TEAM
God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Trying out for a team can be difficult. You want so much to belong, but the decision is up to the coach. You can go and give all you’ve got and hope that it is good enough. That moment when you are told you are on the team is priceless. You belong. Now you have gone from an outsider to a member of the team. God has done that for us. And it wasn’t based on our performance, athletic ability, or our looks. It is based on His great love. If you come to Him, He will adopt you into His family, no questions asked. How does it feel to be on God’s team?
1 Kings 2:1-3:2
June 8 DID YOU HEAR THAT?
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”
Sometimes when someone important speaks, we want to make sure everyone heard what he said because it was important. Often we will use the phrase, “Did you hear that?” We don’t want other people to miss this vital information. As important as that might be, there is another person who, when they speak, we all should listen. His name is God. Truly what He has to say is more important than what any of us will ever say. We all should desire to make sure that everyone is hearing what God says. We should turn to the person next to us and say, “Did you hear that?”
1 Kings 3:3-4:34
May those who wait for You not be ashamed through me, O Lord God of hosts; May those who seek You not be dishonored through me, O God of Israel,
As a member of a group or a team, you are expected at all times to remember that and behave in such a way as to bring honor and respect to them. When someone’s actions reflect poorly on the group, it is a moment of shame. Sometimes it leads to discipline. You are expected to behave in a certain way. As a believer in Jesus, things are the same. As members of God’s family, our lives are to reflect His goodness to us constantly. When we make poor choices, it brings shame to us, our fellow believers, and the reputation of Jesus. Is there anything in your life that, if known, would bring shame to Him?
1 Kings 5:1-6:38
June 10 FINALLY
Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified.”
Athletes and musicians have been known to spend hours in practice trying to perfect a particular move or skill. They are motivated by the desire to accomplish this goal. Then that moment comes when after much frustration and the skill is perfected. They stand in triumph, feeling like they finally have accomplished this. As a believer, we should be just as motivated in the pursuit of our relationship with God. We should be willing to spend the time to accomplish this goal. When we do this, there will come that moment when we can say, “Finally!” Will we be walking in the joy of the Lord? Are you seeking Him?
1 Kings 7:1-51
June 11 WON’T HAPPEN
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
In the back of an athlete’s mind is the knowledge that he won’t be able to play his sport forever. There will come that dreaded moment when, because of age or accumulation of injuries, they won’t perform at the level to keep playing on their team. They may think that it won’t happen to them, but it will. As a believer in Christ, there will never come a time when He will say that you are too old to serve Him. He will never cast us aside and say, “I do not need of you.” It won’t happen. He may move us around, but He will never get rid of us. Have you put your trust in Him?
1 Kings 8:1-66
JUNE 12 CHEERLEAD-ING
My mouth is filled with Your praise And with Your glory all day long.
It is enjoyable to hear people cheering for you. It is interesting to hear, before the game, the cheers that state the sure victory for their team. Sometimes these are quickly silenced by the other opponent or another competitor. Other times, they seem to go on continually as your team moves towards victory. This cheering is a shadow of the praise that belongs to Jesus. He will never be defeated. We can sing songs of victory because of His great power. The singing of His greatness and glory brings joy to our lives. Is your mouth filled with the praises of God?
1 Kings 9:1-10:29
For I was envious of the arrogant As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
One mistake common to people is envy. When we watch a great person perform, we want to be like them. We try to copy their moves and hope that others will call us great one day. Envy is a one way trip to disappointment. We don’t all have that person’s unique abilities or experience. We should focus on developing our own unique skills and abilities. Christians have this same problem too. We shouldn’t want to be someone else. We should want to be the unique person that God made us to be. Be the best you, you can be. Are you focused on being who God made you to be?
1 Kings 11:1-12:19
June 14 FINAL WHISTLE
“When I select an appointed time, It is I who judge with equity.“
For an athlete, when you know it’s coming to the end of the game, you want to push to give your last bit of energy to win. The drama increases when you don’t know when the final whistle will blow. Games are often won and lost in these final moments. Some cheer, and others are sad when the whistle sounds. The same is true in our lives. Someday, no one knows just when our whistle will blow, and our life will be over. Nothing can be done after the whistle to change the result. We all know it’s coming. Will you be happy or sad when the final whistle sounds?
1 Kings 12:20-13:34
June 15 REMEMBER
I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; Surely, I will remember Your wonders of old.
Have you ever had an off day? We don’t wish to be remembered for that one day. In fact, we would rather you forget about that day and remember all the good days that you have had in the past. It would not be very reasonable to judge a person in just one day. Sometimes we judge God when He doesn’t do as we wish. We should think back to the many times that God has taken care of us in the past. Sometimes we are judging God when He is not working. Knowing what God has done in the past, we should trust Him in the present. Are you reminding yourself of the faithfulness of God?
1 Kings 14:1-15:24
June 16 KEEP YOUR WORD
Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; Let all who are around Him bring gifts to Him who is to be feared.
When a person commits to another person, that person expects him to keep his word. The keeping of his word can determine a person’s future with another person or company. No one wants a mate or a coworker that they can’t count on to do what they promise to do. Unreliable people don’t last long. As Christians, we should be careful about making promises to God. Only make promises you can keep. How foolish it is to make promises to someone who knows everything if we don’t intend to keep them. Making a promise and keeping it is a path to blessing. Do you keep your word?
1 Kings 15:25-17:24
June 17 COMPLAINING
Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath, And a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also mounted against Israel.
Few things upset people faster than complaining. When a person complains, they focus everything on themselves, not thinking about anyone else. They must trust those in charge to do what is best for them. When it comes to our relationship with God, the same is true. God is more interested in our character than our comfort. When we complain, we are saying that God is not doing what is best for us. We need to trust Him. Are you complaining about something in your life?
1 Kings 18:1-46
June 18 LIMITS
Again and again, they tempted God And pained the Holy One of Israel.
No one would want to say that they limited their team or made them less successful than they could have been. There is something about us that wants to say that we are winners. However, if they choose not to follow the instructions or the plan we have been given, we can limit our success because we no longer follow the same plan. Even as Christians, when we choose not to follow God or work with other Christians, we can limit God’s blessings to us and His work in other people’s lives. Are you limiting God?
_____________________________________ READING PLAN:
1 Kings 19:1-21
June 19 NOT ABSENT
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let there be known among the nations in our sight, Vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
At critical moments, it is important that someone step to the forefront. Sometimes the pressure of the moment or the fear of failure keeps them from stepping up. When this happens, others suffer from them not filling the role. They are absent even when they are there. As Christians, we all will face challenging moments and will have to decide what to do. For some, the pressure of the moment or fear of failure causes us to shrink back. We need to step up when the going gets tough. We should take courage because our God will always show up and take charge of the situation. Are you trusting in God when the going gets tough?
1 Kings 20:1-21:29
JUNE 20 LEADERSHIP PART 1
So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
To be a leader, you should have certain attributes. One of these is integrity. To have integrity, you cannot have divided loyalties or competing agendas. A lack of integrity will destroy your credibility as a leader. It would be best if you lived what you talk. To be a Christian leader, this is also a must. It would be best if you lived out what you talk about. This integrity gives you credibility when you speak. If you want to influence others, you need to live what you say. Then people will follow you. Do you practice what you preach?
1 Kings 22:1-53
June 21 LEADERSHIP PART 2
And guided them with his skillful hands.
Another prerequisite to being a coach is to know your “stuff.” A huge part of leading is teaching others how to do their job well. This knowledge requires time and effort in learning about your job. You can’t teach what you don’t know. A lack of knowledge will make any leader ineffective. As Christian leaders, we should spend time and effort getting to know God and the Bible. Then we can lead and teach others. Again you can’t teach what you don’t know. People will benefit as we share what we have learned about God. Are you growing in your knowledge of God?
2 Kings 1:1-2:25
June 22 MOMENTUM
The Lord knows the days of the blameless, and their inheritance will be forever.
Every race car driver wants to have momentum on their side, but there is no set way of achieving it. Momentum usually occurs when a driver does what he has trained to do and gets the desired results. It doesn’t happen by accident. It only rewards those who have put in the work and are ready for the moment. As Christians, we should be even more diligent in our preparation. There will come a moment when our preparation will make a difference. When we do what we have prepared to do and see the results in someone else’s life, this will encourage us to keep working. Do you have momentum in your life?
2 Kings 3:1-4:17
Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god.
When a player joins a team, he is expected to devote himself to that team’s success. To wear a jersey supporting another team would be considered disloyal. A player is expected to show his loyalty through what he does and what he does not do. Loyalty is very serious, and disloyalty will not be tolerated. As a follower of Jesus, we should be devoted to the success of the mission of Jesus. We should show our loyalty both by what we do and what we don’t do. With God, loyalty is far more serious than sports. Are you loyal to Jesus?
2 Kings 4:18-5:27
June 24 COMEBACKS
O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.
There comes the point in a career when things are no longer moving forward. To not do something would guarantee a further downhill slide. Sometimes they find a new job, and they work longer and harder to improve their skills. They know the truth that to improve, they will have to change what they are doing. As Christians, there will be times we need to make some changes to continue to grow as we need. As we use renewed effort and work on the basics of our faith, we will grow. Are you ready to make a comeback?
2 Kings 6:1-7:20
June 25 NOT FOOLED
Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him, and their time of punishment would be forever.
Have you ever known anyone that only did their best when people were looking or checking up on them? These people may have great talent, but they never accomplish much because those in charge are not easily fooled. What should have been a great career becomes a disappointment. For Christians, we can perform when other people are around, but how about when we think no one is looking? The reality is that God is always looking, and He never misses anything. We should live our lives to please Him. Are you trying to fool God?
2 Kings 8:1-9:13
June 26 STANDARDS
How long will you judge unjustly And show partiality to the wicked?
Some people feel that they should get a different, easier standard than others. They believe all rules should be slanted to their benefit. Unfortunately, some are allowed privileges when they are younger because of their abilities, and this lack of standards eventually destroys their lives. Fortunately for believers in Christ, the rules never change. They are consistent, which helps us to know boundaries that help us to live productive lives. The same rules apply to all. Are you following God’s standards?
2 Kings 9:14-10:31
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You.
In sports, there is always an advantage to playing at home. The team’s performance and winning percentages are much higher at home. Whether it is on your field, having more fans, or some other factor, no one is sure. Everyone is convinced that you want to do it at home if you are going to play an important game. For Christians, there is nothing like being in the presence of the Lord. We live better and are genuinely happier there than anywhere else in the world. Our joy in life is tied to spending time with the Lord. Are you enjoying the advantage of walking with the Lord?
2 Kings 10:32-12:21
June 28 OPPORTUNITY LOST
So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices.
As an employee, the relationship with your leader is important. It is a relationship built on trust. When the leader no longer has confidence that an employee is listening and following instructions, he will receive fewer opportunities. His opportunity to pursue his career is lost. God is, in many ways, like our leader. He wants to teach us and guide us so that we can experience joy and bring Him glory. At times, we might not be listening to God, so He moves on, and our opportunity to walk in His favor is gone. Are you in danger of losing your opportunity?
2 Kings 13:1-14:29
June 29 WAITING TO HEAR
I will hear what God the Lord will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.
For a. child, there is no higher praise than the voice of his parent. Other people may praise you, but when your parent praises you, it is even more special. In a sense, we wait to hear what a certain person has to say before we really know how to feel about our performance. Praise should only be given when it is due. For a believer in Christ, what the Lord has to say is more important than what other people have to say about our lives. We need to be listening to be quick to obey, and quick to celebrate his pleasure in our lives. Are you waiting to hear what God has to say?
2 Kings 15:1-16:20
LEADING THE WAY
Righteousness will go before Him and will make His footsteps into a way.
New employees in a business or new students always look to the experienced ones to show them how things are done in that business or at that school. They learn how everyone dresses, what procedures to follow, and even special things they do to motivate each other. By following their example, they begin to fit in much quicker. As a follower of Jesus, we look to how He lived His life. His example is there for us to follow. The more we follow Him, the quicker our lives are changed to please Him. He is leading the way; are you following?
2 Kings 17:1-18:12