~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Chronicles 14:1-16:14 ~ Romans 9:1-24
Psalm 19:1-14 ~ Proverbs 20:1
Old Testament - Today in 2 Chronicles chapter 15 we read about Asa's religious reforms. Verse 16 tells us - "King Asa even deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down the pole, broke it up, and burned it in the Kidron Valley."
New Testament - Powerful readings from Paul today in Romans chapter 9. A portion of verse 6 made me think about Christians today - "Not everyone born into a Jewish family is truly a Jew!" Do you think that everyone born into a Christian family today is truly a Christian? I know our various denominations will have various degrees / times / ceremonies that will mark becoming a Christian. But I think we'd pretty much agree that just because you are born into a Christian family doesn't mean that you are necessarily Christian. Meaning, I think there has to come a time in each of our lives where we consciously believe in faith that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. We need to own our faith at some point - not just be a "cultural" Christian because it's what our family and friends are. I believe at some point in our life we need to enter into relationship with God through his son Jesus through faith. Again, I know this is going to be viewed a bit differently by different denominations in the body of Christ. Let us pray for our friends and family members who are perhaps currently "cultural" Christians. Let us pray that they will enter into a loving and growing relationship with God through Jesus. Side note - I was prayed into the Kingdom by some amazing friends! (thanks Chad & Becky & Becky & others!) It is true. Prayer for your friends and family is powerful. Please pray for them regularly.
Psalms - Today we read Psalm 19, which is one of my favorite Psalms! In large part this Psalm is one of my favorites because one of my former pastors taught from this Psalm a few years ago in such a powerful way. (Actually, this same pastor is participating with us in the One Year Bible readings this year – hi John! :) Thanks for your powerful ministry!) I find verse 14 in this Psalm to be so powerful – again in large part because this pastor wrote a worship song that simply repeats this verse over and over again – and what a beautiful prayer it is for each of us to repeat over and over again – “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Are the words of your mouth and the meditation of your heart pleasing in God’s sight? Is God your Rock? Is God your Redeemer? Why would the Psalmist use the word “heart” in this verse? Why is the heart so important to God? Do you live your life from your heart? Do you worship God from your heart?
Bible.org's commentary on Psalm 19 is at this link.
Proverbs - Proverbs 20 verse 1 today reminds me of the need for and success of our modern day Alcoholics Anonymous - "Wine produces mockers; liquor leads to brawls. Whoever is led astray by drink cannot be wise." I don't have personal experience with AA, but have heard very good things about it from so many folks. I do love the AA Serenity Prayer - I think this prayer is a great prayer for all of us - "God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference." Amen.
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!