If you return to the LORD, then your brothers and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will come back to this land, for the LORD your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him. -2 Chronicles 30:9
True revival brings conviction, repentance, confession, and the conversion of sinners and recovery of backsliders. Through King Hezekiah, God brought forth both revival and reformation to Judah. He had a heart for God and wanted the entire nation to return to the Lord, reunite in repentant worship centered around the temple, and be restored to the Lord’s covenant favor. Though many mocked Hezekiah, some responded openly and humbly. The same is true today for those who witness for Christ. Because Christianity is constantly under siege in the government and in our education systems, it is getting harder and harder to publicly express our faith with others. But. . . it can and should be done while there is still opportunity. The Lord our God is gracious and compassionate and will not turn his face from those who come to Him with repentant hearts.
Gracious Lord: You are the God of compassion and mercy; daily I seek Your forgiveness and grace. Give me strength and wisdom to reach the lost in a world that frowns on Biblical Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
CHICKEN RANCH TACOS (crockpot)
2 -3 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet ranch mix
1 cup chicken broth
Pour both dried mixes into crockpot; add broth and mix well. Add chicken breasts. Cook on low 4 – 6 hours or until chicken starts to fall apart. Remove from crockpot and shred. Serve with taco shells and toppings.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14
This was God’s response to King Solomon’s prayer concerning provisions for the people when they sinned. Though God was addressing the Israelites (His people), it is also for Christians today. To humble means to submit; so God is saying that if we submit to Him, pray with a true repentant heart, seek to be in His presence and know Him passionately, and TURN from our sin and wickedness, He will hear our prayers, forgive our sin, and heal our land. True repentance is more than asking to be forgiven – it is changing our behavior. Whether we sin individually, as a group, or as a nation, we must follow these steps God gave us that lead to forgiveness. It is then that God will answer our earnest prayer and heal our land.
Heavenly Father: With a submissive heart I repent of my sin and seek your forgiveness and grace. As I abandon the wickedness in my life help me to be strong and courageous when temptation comes. I prayerfully submit my will to Yours, and look for healing for my family, my church, my country, and me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
HONEY LEMON PEPPER SALMON
4-6 salmon fillets
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
Place salmon on greased baking sheet. Drizzle butter and honey over the top. Sprinkle with lemon pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.
I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time. So now I charge you in the sight of all Israel and of the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God: Be careful to follow all the commands of the LORD your God, that you may possess this good land and pass it on as an inheritance to your descendants forever. -1 Chronicles 28:7,8
God told King David that his son Solomon would take his place of sitting on the throne as King of Israel. But Solomon had a condition to meet before he could establish the kingdom God entrusted to him. If Solomon would not swerve from carrying out the commands and laws of God, his kingdom would be forever established. God warned Solomon to be careful to follow all His commands in order to possess the promises He had for him and his descendants. God’s Word is Truth and rules above anything and everything else in our lives. If we are obedient to God’s commands, He is faithful to keep His promises to each one of us.
Uncompromising Father: You deserve all glory, honor, and praise! I am so grateful to you for giving me hope and a future. Because I have chosen to obey your commands and laws, your blessings are mine to hold. Thank you Jesus! In Your Name, Amen.
CHICKEN FAJITAS (crock-pot)
3-4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 peppers (green, red and yellow), sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 package taco seasoning mix
Flour or corn tortillas
Toppings – sour cream, cheese, guacamole, lettuce, salsa, etc.
Slice peppers and onions; place on bottom of crock-pot. Put chicken on top. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Cook on low 6-8 hrs (or high 3-4). Shred chicken and mix with peppers and onions. Serve with tortillas and toppings.
Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. -1 Chronicles 22:13
David knew that it takes total dedication to please God – obeying with every fiber of our being (22:19). This requires both right decisions (good judgment), and right attitudes (strength, enthusiasm, courage). It isn’t enough to understand what God wants; our hearts must be totally dedicated to Him. Jesus told us in Luke 9:62 that if we let ourselves be distracted from the work He has called us to do we would not be fit for the Kingdom of God. David wanted his son Solomon to carry out God’s plan in building the temple. But, to do so would require removing all the distractions that would pull him away from doing the job wholeheartedly. David encouraged Solomon to be devoted to the LORD and obedient, or his accomplishments would be meaningless. We too must shed all the baggage and worldly distractions that hinder us from following God to our fullest potential. If we do, we too will have success.
LORD: Your decrees and laws are the ultimate plan for my life and today I choose to be careful to observe them. Just as You told Moses to be strong and courageous, I too must heed this command for my life. Help me to not be afraid as I walk this road with you by my side. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
CHICKEN AND BLACK BEANS (crockpot)
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can or 1 pound frozen corn
1 (15-ounce) jar salsa, any kind
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
Put first 4 ingredients in crockpot. Cook on high 4-5 hours, until chicken done. Add cream cheese and heat until melted. Serve over rice or with tortillas.
And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life. -1 Kings 3:14
Solomon had taken over as king, replacing his ailing father, and more than anything he wanted the will of God in his reign. One night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream where God told him to ask for anything from Him. Solomon responded humbly that what he wanted was a discerning heart to govern his people, and to distinguish between right and wrong (1 Kings 3:9). God was pleased with Solomon’s request and told him that He would not only bless him with what he asked for, but He would also give him a long life. But, for this to happen, Solomon would need to be obedient to the Lord. God is also pleased with us when we sincerely seek Him and pray for godly wisdom and discernment. God’s promises were true then for Solomon, and they are true for us today. But, they are conditional. God has already done His part; now we must do ours and walk in His ways and be obedient to his statues and commands.
Thank you Lord for providing me with a discerning heart and wisdom to know right from wrong. If I am obedient, Your blessings are mine. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, Amen
TEX-MEX MACARONI CASSEROLE
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package taco seasoning
1 can nacho cheese soup
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside. In large pan brown ground beef; drain. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until tender. Add garlic, taco seasoning, soup, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, and half the cheese. Cook, stirring until blended and bubbly. Add macaroni; mix and pour into greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake 10-15 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese melted.
“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, 3 and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go 4 and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’ -1 Kings 2:2-4
When King David was old and about to die he gave a charge to his son Solomon who would succeed him as king over Israel. David was a strong man of valor and dedication to his Lord, and he wanted this for his son, also. David knew that Solomon would have his share of dealing with troublemakers in his kingdom, and the new position would not be for a weak and wavering individual. Solomon was a young man and had not fought in the battles in which David had fought. Solomon was rather soft in his ways, and David wanted to make sure he would not vacillate in his position of authority. Solomon was to realize that he had a calling and thus a stewardship from the Lord as king over God’s people. This was a huge responsibility that every king needed to come to grips with before the Lord. Each of us as Christians also has a calling and thus a charge before the Lord for our lives. If we, like David’s charge to Solomon, are strong and follow the decrees God has set before us in His Word, we too are promised prosperity in our lives.
Thank you Lord for calling me to be strong and unwavering in my walk with You. I offer myself daily to the council of Your Word. Help me in my weak times to be strong and courageous in keeping Your decrees. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
3-INGREDIENT BAKED CHICKEN
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package Italian salad dressing
½ cup brown sugar, packed
Combine dressing pack with sugar. Coat chicken well with mixture. Put in well-greased baking dish and sprinkle with leftover mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, basting every 15 minutes.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. (If you do) Then you will be prosperous and successful. –Joshua 1:8
To meditate means to think about, mull over, or ponder something. In the Hebrew it means to mutter. So, if we mutter God’s Word over and over to ourselves, our actions would more than likely line up with what God is instructing us in the Book of the Law (the Bible). Reading a short devotion in the morning, or going to church on Sundays is not enough. God instructs us to think about or ponder over the Truth of His Word both day and night. Why does He want this for us; does He not think we have anything else to do? It is because of the vast amount of love He has for us, and His desire to see us prosper and be successful. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), but obedience brings us favor in His sight. We must be careful to stay close to our Lord and not give the devil a foothold into our lives (Ephesians 4:26-27). If we meditate on the Word of God, and are careful to do everything written in it, victory in Jesus will be ours.
Thank you God for providing a plan and purpose for my life. If I want to call myself a Christian and live a life of success and honor, I must meditate on and obey your Word. Help me Lord to put You first and follow your instructions. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
HOMEMADE RICE A RONI
½ cup spaghetti noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces
¾ cup raw (uncooked) white rice
1 (14½-ounce) can broth (chicken or beef)
2 tablespoons butter
In skillet, sauté broken noodles in butter until light brown. Add rice, stirring until noodles are darker brown. Add broth; simmer until liquid absorbed and noodles and rice are tender (about 15 minutes). For extra flavor, a small chopped onion and 1 teaspoon dried parsley may be added when rice is added.