1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36 ~ Romans 1:18-32 ~ Psalm 10:1-15 ~ Proverbs 19:6-7
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Old Testament - Today in First Chronicles chapter 15 we read about David dancing before the Ark as it enters Jerusalem!
David's song of praise in 1 Chronicles 16 is phenomenal. Verse 8 begins his praise with: "Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness." These are two things that I'm afraid I do not do enough - give thanks to God & proclaim his greatness. I am amazed really at how little I give thanks to God. I mean, yes, I say grace and thanks before meals. And I'll maybe give a little prayer of thanksgiving here or there to God on occasion - but it is just very occasionally. Why am I not giving thanks to God frequently?? I am not sure. I think it maybe has to do with the human condition - we always want more. Things are never really good enough. But if we really stop and think about it, we are so fortunate to have lived the # of years we have lived in our lives! Each day in our life has been and is a gift from God. How about you? Do you give thanks to God frequently? Now, as for proclaiming God's greatness, I think I stumble in this area too. I think sometimes I forget the wise saying of - "God is God, and I am not." I think sometimes I try to fall back on my own power and might and strength and spirit - when really all that I have comes from God. I pray that I begin to proclaim God's greatness more and more often.
New Testament - Wow... Paul's writings today in Romans are such a true and stern warning about the dangers of sin. I really can't imagine how sin can be written about much more truthfully. Verse 21 is a strong warning: "Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused." I do believe that this is such an accurate description of what sin does to our minds - it makes our minds dark and confused! Things can get so fuzzy and hazy in our mind due to unchecked sin that we can even get to the point of where we do not realize we are sinning. How sad to live life knowing God, but not worshiping him or even giving him thanks. And then to come up with wacky ideas of what God is like.... ever hear any wacky ideas about God out there? :) The result is that people's minds become dark and confused because of sin... sad. Let us live our lives so that we share the Light of the Gospel of Jesus in the dark places in the world.
Today's readings in Romans chapter 1 verses 18 through 32 consist of Paul describing the sin of the Gentiles, which is probably most of us. In chapters 2 & 3 Paul will describe the sin of the Jews. So, these chapters set the stage that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God - Gentile and Jew alike. Yep, that covers each of us. An interesting thing to note from today's readings is that Paul writes about "general" revelation - meaning, God is revealed to all people in all times generally through nature. In addition to general revelation, there is also "specific" revelation - God is specifically revealed to us through his Word and his son Jesus. But, as Paul writes today, general revelation is enough for all people to not have any excuse to not believe in God and to continue on in our sin. And yet, sin we do... Thank God for sending us the specific revelation each of us knows about - and hopefully we each personally know - God's own son Jesus!
Bible.org's commentary on today's Romans readings titled "No Excuse for the Heathen" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 10 is a prayer for rescue from attacks from the proud and wicked. Wisely, you'll note that this Psalmist is not taking punishment into his own hands - but asking God for punishment. We would do well to remember that punishment is the Lord's... For some reason much of this Psalm reminded me way too much of our world today - and I realized that not much has changed over 3,000 years! Verse 4 in particular rang true to me about much of our world today: "These wicked people are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead." Only about 100 years ago the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche uttered those exact words - "God is dead." And I know that this viewpoint of many expressed in this Psalm 3,000 years, and 100 years ago by Nietzsche, is still a viewpoint of many in our world today. What a sad thing. What can we do in our lives today to show the world that God is not dead? How can we live our lives to demonstrate that God is alive? Let us share with this hurting and dying world with all that we are that God is not dead. Obviously, He Lives. What are you doing with your life today to show others that He Lives?
Psalm 10 verse 1 also stood out to me today: "O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?" Have you ever felt like this? I know I have. However, I also have realized later on that just when I thought God was no where near me, he was actually as close as could be taking care of me. Even though it may have seemed that God was "hiding" from me, he was actually right there with me all along!
Proverbs - The second half of Proverbs 19 verse 6 really stands out to me today: "Everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!" This is obviously very true when we think about our human relations. But what about with God? Who anywhere gives better gifts than God? Who else literally gives us the gift of life? Who gives us every good and perfect gift in our lives? And yet... does everyone rush to be God's friend? I would guess that many of us reading this blog would consider God to be our friend. But what about the rest of the world? Why isn't all of the world rushing to be friends with the giver of all good and perfect gifts? And even us who consider God to be our friend - do we consistently treat God like we do our other friends? Do we spend time with God? Do we laugh, cry, and enjoy life with God? Are you a true and consistent friend of the Giver of every good and perfect gift?
Worship God: - Per my Proverbs reflection above about being a friend of God, below is a video of Israel Houghton performing the awesome song "Friend of God." Enjoy!
Are you a friend of God? Click here and meet your true Friend!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Romans 1:21 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you know God, glorify Him, give thanks to Him and have a saving relationship with Him through Jesus. Pray for your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors who do not know God. Pray that their foolish and darkened hearts will be redeemed through their saving faith in Jesus.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!