The Grace of God

 

Rest

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 32 – 33 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Romans 1 – 4; Psalm 119; Proverbs 25)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Matthew 6:33

Read the “0525 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.” – (2 Chronicles 33:12 & 13)

In our passage today we see a beautiful picture of the grace of God. The theologians degine “grace” as an unmerited or undeserved favor. In chapter 33, we have the account of King Manasseh who was arguably the most wicked king that the southern kingdom of Judah ever had. He had undone many of the wonderful things that his father, Hezekiah, had done for the nation. Manasseh was into witchcraft, and even made two of his sons “pass through the fire”, which means he sacrificed them. Manasseh was a bad dude, as bad as they get.

In verse 10, the Scripture tells us that God “spake” to Manasseh, but he didn’t listen. God then came in and judged Manasseh by sending in the armies of the Assyrians. Now that got Manasseh’s attention, and he was ready to listen to God. The Scripture says he “besought” the Lord in his affliction. Manasseh was truly a “new creature” after this moment, and he dedicated the rest of his life to serving the Lord. Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to undo all of the evil that he had committed before he was redeemed, and even though he finished well, he still has the reputation of being a wicked king.

The first thing that I would like to point out from this passage is that God saves bad people. It is hard for us to fathom the salvation of a man like Manasseh, but God has been in the business of saving wicked men and women for a long time. By the way, it is kind of arrogant on our part to decide who “deserves” salvation. None of us deserves to be saved. We are all sinners, and are all capable of all of the depravity that we have seen in the life of Manasseh. The amazing thing is not that God would save someone like Manasseh, but rather that he would save any of us.

The second thought I would like to pull from this passage is that God had to bring Manasseh down, before he could get his attention. I have often prayed for specific lost people that I know, and I have noticed that God will often allow tragedy to come to their lives in order to get their attention. People who are on top of the world, tend not to take notice of God; but let them go through a severe trial, and they will often re-think things. Though I do not enjoy watching people suffer, I know that the affliction that they may be experiencing today may be the very thing that causes them to turn to the Lord.

The third thought from the passage is that even though it is a wonderful thing that God’s grace reached Manasseh, and that He was saved before it was eternally too late; he still did a lot of bad things in his lifetime. I’ll bet he wished that he could go back and re-do some things. But once our time is up, it is up. Manasseh had an appointment with death, and when that appointment came, there was no more time to get things right. We all need to redeem the time, because our time is running out as well.

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” – (Hebrews 2:9)

Did you catch that? – every man – even someone as bad as Manasseh – even someone as bad as me


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Living for the Lord – A Formula for Success

to-love-is-to-live-in-god

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 29 – 31 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 25 – 28Psalms 116 – 120; Proverbs 24)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Micah 6:8

Read the “0524 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Soulwinning in 2 Chronicles

“And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.” (2Chronicles 31:20-21)

I think one of the main reasons that God wants us to daily spend time in His word is because that it serves to remind us daily of the basic truth that God will bless those who seek Him and serve Him.  As we have been reading in these historical books, we have seen over and over again the blessings of God upon the godly kings; and conversely the judgment of God upon the wicked.  Of course, none of the kings were perfect: all made mistakes; but when they sought the Lord for forgiveness, God would always respond in mercy.  Even the bad kings that humbled themselves before God would receive mercy.  As we look today at the life of Hezekiah we see the same principle in place.  Hezekiah “wrought that which was good and right and truth before the Lord his God…with all his heart”, and God prospered him.

Child of God, the same applies to you and me today.  I am not trying to over-simplify the Christian life, but the principles of succeeding in life are really very easy to understand.  Find out what the will of God is for your life; and then fulfil it with all of your heart.  Give it everything you’ve got.  Live for God!  I’m not saying that every day is going to be amusement parks and sunshine; but you will have that abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.  It’s your choice:  live for God, and your life will be blessed of God; live for self, and you will look back with regret.

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” (Psalms 1:1-3)


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What AREEEEEEEEEEEE Ya Doin’? – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 25 – 28 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 22 – 24; Psalms 111 – 115; Proverbs 23)

Read the “0523 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

“Amaziah was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.” (2Chronicles 25:1-2)

“Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.” (2 Chronicles 26:3-4)

“Jotham was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Jerushah, the daughter of Zadok. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.” (2Chronicles 27:1-2)

“Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.” (2Chronicles 28:1-2)

Good morning. In todays readings we have four kings, from four chapters, with four lessons to learn. Our first king, in 2Chronicles 25, did that which was right in the sight of the LORD. After God gave him victory over the Edomites…

“Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them. Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?” (2Chronicles 14-15)

“Now after the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent to Lachish after him, and slew him there.” (2Chronicles 25:27)

The lesson we should learn here is to give God the glory…

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)

What are you doing? Uzziah, our second king, 2Chronicles 26, did that which is right in the sight of the Lord according to all that his father Amaziah did. He reined as king for 52 years…

“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.” (2Chronicles 26:5)

He thought he was above God’s law, and went into the temple to burn incense like the priests, but they stopped him. And Uzziah became angry with the man of God…

“Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (2Chronicles 19-21)

Uzziah may have thought it was a good thing to burn incense before the Lord, but God assigned that duty to the sons of Aaron. The lesson he should have know from Israel’s first king, king Saul, is that obedience is better than sacrifice…

“And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal. And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (1Samuel 15:20-23)

What are you doing? Look at 2Chronicles chapter 27 as we see the history of Jotham, son of Uzziah…

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly.” (2Chronicles 27:2)

There may be a little something to ‘Lifestyle Evangelism’. Verse 6 says…

“So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.” (2Chronicles 27:6)

Jotham may have had a personal relationship with God, but verse 2 tells us that he never went to church, and the people were still corrupt. May be if the people saw their king going to church, they would have followed. Others are watching us. To walk the walk and not talk is wrong. You need to walk the walk and talk the talk, and your walk should match your talk…

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:23-25)

The lesson he should have learned for the sake of his people was that we should not forsake the assembling together of ourselves. What are you doing? Our fourth king, of 2Chronicles 28, did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD: he did not walk with God. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. King Ahaz…

“For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.” (2Chronicles 28:2-4)

“And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.” (2Chronicles 22-25)

When he died, they buried him in Jerusalem, but not with the other kings. The lesson king Ahaz should have learned: salvation is of the Lord.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Issiah 45:22)

The Word of God says we are all sinners…

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…[and] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:10 & 23)

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

We see what Ahaz aught to have done. What are you doing?

Peace.


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Too Dependent on the Preacher

preacher

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 21 – 24 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 19 – 21; Psalms 106 – 110; Proverbs 22)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31

Read the “0522 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s reading passage – “How Will You Be Remembered?

“And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.” – (2 Chronicles 24:2)

“Thus Joash the king remembered not the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but slew his son. And when he died, he said, The LORD look upon it, and require it.” – (2 Chronicles 24:22)

The story of King Joash is certainly a fascinating account. After the death of his father, King Ahaziah, he was rescued as a baby from his grandmother, Attaliah, who had all of her grandchildren assasinated so that she could be queen. Joash was hidden in the house of God for six years, and was influenced greatly by Jehoiada the priest. When Joash finally became king, the influence of Jehoiada remained with him, and Joash was a great king, serving the Lord by repairing the temple, and replacing all of the vessels of gold and silver that were used in the service of the temple. Unfortunately, Jehoiada the priest “waxed old and died”, and King Joash went downhill afterward. It seems that without the influence of a man of God in his life, the peer pressure from some of the wicked men in his kingdom began to overpower him. He eventually went as far as having Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, put to death after being rebuked by him.

There are two principles that I would like to consider from this passage. The first is that we need to be careful that our faith is in God, not a man. I have seen this in my ministry, where people become too dependent upon me. They look to me to solve their problems for them. The problem with this is that I cannot possibly deliver what these folks expect from me, because I am not God. Eventually I will let them down, and they will throw the towel in on their faith. As a preacher, it is my job to strengthen people’s faith and relationship with God. As John the Baptist said regarding Jesus, “He must increase, but I must decrease”. I must point them to Christ. I must work to strengthen their relationship with Him, not me. I will certainly have to give special attention and nurturing to the new believers; but I eventually want to work myself out of a job, so that if I blow it, or God removes me from their lives, their faith will remain strong.

The second principle that I would like to pull from this passage is that Joash did well as long as he was being influenced by a preacher. When “his preacher” died, he then divested himself from the influence of all preachers. We need to always place ourselves under the influence of a church, and sound Bible preaching. When we get away from the church, our lives will get out of the will of God. Stay in the church where the Word of God can influence your life for good.


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“Besides” … by the Real Travis Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 18 – 20 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 16 – 18Psalms 101 – 105Proverbs 21)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 27:15

Read the “0521 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Keep Your Eyes on the Lord.”

“Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand. But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?” (2 Chronicles 18:5-6)

A couple of weeks ago I preached the longest message I have ever preached. The portion of scripture was 2 Chronicles 20, and now I am writing a devotion on chapters 18, 19, and 20. I’m going to just touch on chapter 18:

Here in 2 Chronicles 18, we have Jehoshaphat making an alliance with Ahab, which is kind of odd, and really a whole separate devotion in, and of itself. Ahab was wicked, and Jehoshaphat was good. I believe Jehoshaphat allied with Ahab to try to bring him back to the Lord. Verse 3 states: “And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.” Jehoshaphat said he would go, but he said first we need to see what God has to say about it. Ahab agreed. Jehoshaphat asked 400 prophets and they all said, “go, God is with you.” You would think that would of been enough for Jehoshaphat. If four hundred prophets said God is going to give you victory, you would think that would be the “green light” that Jehoshaphat needed. My response, if I was Jehoshaphat, would have been, “great – let’s win this battle in the name of the Lord!” Jehoshaphat had a different response here in 2 Chronicles 18:6: “But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might enquire of him?” The key word that stuck out to me was “besides.” Jehoshaphat had 400 hundred people in agreement of what God wanted. Most of the people who are reading this are Baptists, and we know it’s hard to get 4 preachers to agree on what God wants let alone 400. Here Jehoshaphat wasn’t concerned about what the people may have agreed upon. He ultimately wanted what God wanted.

Then another prophet, named Micaiah, comes in. In verse 16 Micaiah says: “…I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the Lord said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.” The thought would be this: The conclusion of 400 out of 401 prophets wasn’t enough. The agreement of 99.7% of the prophets saying God would bless wasn’t enough. What is “enough” for you to claim that it is of the Lord?

I love counsel. Proverbs 11:14 says this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” I’m for Counsel. When I make big decisions in my life there are people I go to for counsel; Pastor Erickson being one of them. I heed their counsel, but that is not the say all to where I formulate my answer. Proverbs 25:2 says: “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” We need to search out each matter. You may have gotten counsel, but have you prayed? You may have prayed, but have you fasted? You may have fasted, but have you searched the Scriptures?

When Jacob stole the blessing from Essau, Jacob made Isaac think he was Esau in every area except one; Jacob’s voice didn’t match Esau’s. Genesis 27:22 states, “And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” Issac still blessed Jacob. If Issac would have questioned Jacob’s voice, he may have realized it wasn’t Esau. What decision are you making that checks all the boxes? Is there something “besides” that God may want us to search out? Let’s make sure we look into the “besides. Our spiritual life may depend on it. 

 

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark.
Travis is an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Caldwell, NJ.

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Clear the Land … by Chaniece Clark

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 13 – 17 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 13 – 15Psalms 96 – 100Proverbs 20)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Read the “0520 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read previous posts from this passage – Asa – He Started Well But Finished Poorly“;  “Don’t Shoot the Messenger”; and “Trust in the Lord”

“And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.” (2 Chronicles 15:8-9)

I’m sure Asa had thoughts in the back of his mind of how the people would react to him removing the altars of the idols and renewing the altar of God. The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 15:8, “…he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land…” We’ve seen it before. The people of Asa’s day could have had an uproar just as the people did when Gideon tore down the idols of his day in the Book of Judges. Yet, Asa, without hesitation, took upon himself to redirect the people’s hearts back to God. But in this chapter, we see a different outcome. Asa’s bold move proved to impress all he ruled over, for verse 9 states that the people, “fell to him out of Israel in abundance…” Why did the people suddenly fall into submission of their king’s sudden changes? The end of verse 9 gives the answer, “when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.”

That poses the question I want to bring forth. Who wants to follow God because of our relationship with him? The people did not just begin to believe God. The Bible says in verse 12, “And they entered into a covenant to seek the God of their fathers with all their heart and all their soul;” Are others not just believing in God, but are they wanting to fall into complete submission to our God because they see him all over us? In what ways are we trying to “clear the land” of our lives from idols so that we are strong leaders for the Lord?

Travis, Chaniece, and Ember Clark

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A True Report … by Paul Meyer

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 9 – 12 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 10 – 12Psalms 91 – 95Proverbs 19)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

Read the “0519 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage – No Longer Happy

“And she said to the king, It was a true report which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:” (2 Chronicles 9:5)

Reading through this passage this morning, this particular verse caught my eye. By trade I am an analyst. Specifically I am tasked with compiling, building and delivering reports to an audit team, board of directors, and governmental regulators. In the business world there are many kinds of reports. Some are straight-forward, fact based and objectively inarguable. Others are skewed, manipulated and used to illicit a desired response, or even better – funding. Our life is filled with data; human’s are constantly compiling statistics – how many times our heart beats, how many steps we take, how often we take a breath. Think about the millions of minute decisions you make on a daily basis – now think about those decisions being compiled into a report. Our report, wether good or bad, should always be a true report. A true report is about being real, being genuine, being vulnerable. A true report is willing to show your strengths and weaknesses.

In this passage the Queen of Sheba has heard of the splendor of Solomon, she’s heard of his wisdom, his riches, his glory. Despite hearing all of these good reports, she could not believe it, she had to see it for herself. In our life, even the good reports are met with doubt, we must confront doubt with truth. Not only do we see the compilation of a report in this passage but we also see the reception of the report. Notice how in this recollection there is no mention of confrontation from Solomon, in fact the Queen states that the reports she had heard were conservative at best! “Howbeit I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was not told me: for thou exceedest the fame that I heard.” Solomon not only was wise, but he was humble. He understood the importance of being genuine with those around him. In Proverbs 27:2 he writes: “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.” Solomon had the proof, that the Queen of Sheba’s preconceived notions were wrong, but instead of confronting her about them, he chose to build a true report with her.

In our lives each of us creates a report with those around us, our relationship with these individuals is based on the data we collectively share and produce. Pride always correlates with image – Nebuchadnezzars pride was shown in his buildings, Absalom’s pride was in his hair, Samson’s in his strength, The Pharisees in their religiosity. The truth is, regardless of the decadence of our pride externally, God see’s the true report “for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” The Lord has many things to say about outward appearances – Matthew 23:27 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” So why does the Lord care about our true self, our true report so much? Because who we truly are reflects in our worship – John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” 

During this time of quarantine I’ve tried to take time to self reflect – Am I creating a true report with my family? With my friends? With my church family? With my coworkers? Or am I masking my vulnerabilities with pride? God already knows my true report and it is this – I am a sinner in need of a savior. No matter how well I dress, how often I go to church, how much I read my Bible or how long I pray. I need the same amount of grace and mercy every day, not a day goes by where I need less of God. May we spend our days embracing these truths and may it reflect in how we worship the true God! 

Paul and Abi Meyer

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The Fire Came Down

The Fire Fell

Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 6 – 8 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 7 – 9; Psalms 86 – 90; Proverbs 18)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0518 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read another post from today’s reading passage – “Hear Thou From Heaven and Forgive”

“Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’S house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” – (2 Chronicles 7:1-3)

I love passages of Scripture like these chapters here in 2 Chronicles. Everything is as it should be. The people are in a right relationship with their God, and the Lord is blessing the people tremendously. In chapter 7, verse 1, God sent down a visible manifestation of His approval of the new temple when He sent the fire down from Heaven. It was if He was saying “Amen” to the prayer that was just made by Solomon in chapter 6. How I wish I could have seen that awesome display of the glory of God.

God still sends His fire down today, though it cannot be seen with the physical eye. The fire He sends down today is the manifestation of His Spirit upon His people when they are pleasing Him. I have witnessed God’s fire fall upon some of the church services which we have had here at our church. I wish that I could say that all of the services had the fire of God on them, but I do cherish the times that He makes His presence among us so apparent that every last individual in the church recognizes it. Why can’t we have services like this every thime we meet together? I believe it is because all of the ingredients are not present; and the same ingredients are necessary today, as were present the day that Solomon dedicated the temple. So what was present in 2 Chronicles, and what must we have today, in order for God to send His fire down from Heaven?

1 There must be unity – These people were all “in one accord”. They all had one heart, one mind, and one purpose that day. Their attention was completely focussed on the Lord.

2 There must be praise – Look at 2 Chronicles 5:13 & 14. God truly does inhabit the praises of His people. They were praising the Lord in song, and with instruments; and the Lord was glorified.

3 There must be humility – I noticed in chapter 6 that Solomon got down on his knees before all of the people. Solomon was a “big shot” , but Solomon yielded and bowed to the One who was infinitely greaer than him.

4 There must be obedience – These people were doing exactly what God wanted them to do.

We could see the manifestation of God’s presence today just as much as Solomon did if we simply get with God’s program.


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The Glory of the Lord Filled the House

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Today’s Reading – 2 Chronicles 1 – 5 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 4 – 6; Psalms 81 – 85; Proverbs 17)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0517 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “Just Ask Him

“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.” – (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

Nothing pleases the Lord more than the praise and worship of His people. Here in the first five chapters of 2 Chronicles we see Solomon building the temple of God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. All of the preparations had been made; all of the materials had been provided for; all of the instruments of worship, and the ornate furnishings had been created; and everything had been put in its proper place. Finally, this temple, which was first conceived through the Lord in the heart of David, is now almost complete. I say almost, because God does not arrive on the scene until His people in one accord begin to worship and praise Him. It isn’t until then that God shows up, and fills the temple with his glory.

Two things caught my attention from this passage. The first is that they played and sang “as one”. That tells me that there was unity and harmony. God loves when His children are dwelling together in unity. The second thing is that God is well pleased with the praise of His people. This is one of the things that sets us apart from other religions. God does not force us to worship Him. Nothing about true worship is forced. Worship and praise are voluntary expressions of our love for the Lord.

As I am writing this passage, I am burdened about many things in my life, and in the life of our church. I have been thinking lately that something is missing in our church. I could not put my finger on it before, but I think God has shown me something here. We are not praising the Lord as we should. We are not singing as we should with a heart filled with praise and adoration for our God. The song service in our church should be more than just some obligatory precursor to the preaching. It should be a time when we as God’s children stop everything and focus our attention on Him completely, lifting up our hearts and voices to Him in praise. It’s really pretty simple isn’t it? Maybe if we start praising and worshipping God as we should the glory will fill our house as well.

 


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Praise His Glorious Name – The Saturday Morning Post

Today’s Reading – 1 Chronicles 28 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Acts 1 – 3; Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16)

Read the “0516 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” (1Chronicles 29:11-13)

Good morning. Our God has all the greatness. Our God has all the power. Our God has all the glory. Our God has the victory, all of them. And Our God has all the majesty. And He is the Creator. He created us in His image for a specific purpose. And He gave us a specific expiration date…

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)

Heaven is forever, our life on earth is not. Now the LORD may be merciful to you if you ask Him to save your life…

In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.” (Isaiah 38:1-8)

So the LORD added fifteen years to king Hezekia’s life. Others He did not and they died at their appointed time. What would you say to the LORD? How about Tyndale not crying out with pain, but crying out boldly as the flames consumed his body…

At last, after much reasoning, when no reason would serve, although he deserved no death, he was condemned by virtue of the emperor’s decree, made in the assembly at Augsburg. Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, A.D. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, “Lord! open the king of England’s eyes.” (John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs)

God gave Tyndale the grace to come home to Heaven. I can’t speculate on whether or not Tyndale felt pain; Peter walked on water, but when he saw the wind and waves, he started to sink. But just as Peter was sinking, Jesus pulled him up and set him in the boat. I’d like to think, and I do think, that as Tyndale was burning, God’s amazing grace, and marvelous mercy protected him, as the LORD picked him up and set him in Heaven. What about you? Many today have a great fear of the Corvid19 virus. Is not your God greater than this virus? As Jesus would not jump off the temple and tempt His Father, so we should take proper precautions in dealing with the virus. So you have to wear a mask. So you have to stand in line six feet apart. When it’s your time, it’s your time. The LORD will give you the same grace He gave to Tyndale.

Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.” (1Chronicles 29:11-13)

One day we will all be together with one task to do…

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

Praise His glorious name! Heaven is going to be great. I pray that God uses this to comfort you and ease your worry. He is the Almighty. Remember His words…

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)

Have you come to Jesus? The Bible says…

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Then you can praise His glorious name!

Peace!


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