Old Testament – It is interesting to read about the various gatekeepers, treasurers, officials, military commanders and leaders in today’s First Chronicle readings! In some ways it is sad to read about how well organized things were – knowing that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the exile to Babylon is coming up. All of this organization will be destroyed. Why? Because of sin. Sin destroys. Sin kills. So sad. It is true that the lineage from Abraham to Judah to David will of course continue through to Jesus and now to us as spiritual descendants. But, the nation of Israel at this time of First Chronicles, with all of it’s great organization, will later fall because the leaders and people will turn their backs on God in sin. In disobedience.
- Is there a lesson for us in this today?
- Do you see the dangers of sin?
- Of how it can destroy everything you hold dear?
Please – flee from sin. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin. Don’t lose everything you hold dear to something as stupid as sin. Sin will sell you lies and leave you with nothing.
New Testament – Wow. Romans 5 verses 1 & 2 are so true: “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” It is important to note that these verses are talking about more than just a “sense of peace.” They are talking about literal “peace with God”! Peace with God is gifted to us through faith in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to redeem us from the depravity and consequences of our sin.
- Have you experienced literal peace with God?
I think we can certainly distract ourselves enough or make ourselves worried or frantic enough that we might think the peace is gone. But eternal peace doesn’t ever leave us. I do think we need to take time to connect with and rediscover Christ’s peace within us each and every day. Reading, prayer and meditation on Scripture are great ways to do this. I have also found getting outdoors and taking a walk in nature helps me connect with Christ’s peace again.
- What are other ways that you connect with Christ’s peace within you?
- Please post up in the Comments section below for others to learn from! Thanks!
Verses 3 through 5 are incredible today as well: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us–they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Note that these verses are not saying to rejoice “because” of problems and trials (that would be morbid), but that we can still rejoice even “when we run into” the problems and trials. It is often difficult for us to remember to rejoice when problems and trials come our way – but please do remember these words of Paul in Romans about rejoicing during a time of trial. Remember our readings in Acts? Paul was ridiculed, beaten, jailed and shipwrecked – and yet, he never gave into a defeatist attitude. He kept preaching God’s love! If anyone knows about trials and problems, it is Paul. And he tells us to rejoice through problems and trials because in this we learn to endure. I love that Paul says that character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation! And that this expectation will not disappoint!
- Do you believe this?
- Do you have a confident expectation of salvation?
Psalms – Psalm 14 could be seen at first glance as a discouraging Psalm for us as we look at verse 3: “But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!” I think it is important to keep in mind that there is truth in this verse (particularly if we ever start thinking we’re “good” and others around us are not…). But also I think it’s good to keep in mind that this verse was written before Jesus came to the earth. Jesus was perfect. And through His resurrection we are called toward greater holiness and ultimately perfect goodness once we meet Jesus face to face in heaven. Jesus gives us the hope spoken of in the closing of this Psalm in verse 7: “Oh, that salvation would come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel! For when the LORD restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice.”
- Do you recognize the salvation that has come to us?
- Are you shouting for joy for this salvation? Are you rejoicing!?
Proverbs – Today in Proverbs 19 verse 17 we read – “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”
- Do you believe that when you are kind to the poor you are actually lending to God?
- Are you someone who is consistently kind to the poor?
- Are you kind to the spiritually, emotionally, materially poor that God has brought into your life?
- Are you also kind to spiritually, emotionally, materially poor that you do not know?
- Do you believe this kindness is noticed by God?
- Do you believe it is rewarded?
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: “All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. “ Psalm 14:3 TNIV
- Pray that you know that you are a sinner by nature and choice and have lived corruptly.
- Pray that you have repented of your sins and placed your faith in Jesus as your Lord and Savior.
- Pray that you are now able to do good in your life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day:
- What verses or insights stand out to you in today’s readings?