1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32 ~ Romans 3:9-31 ~ Psalm 12:1-8 ~ Proverbs 19:13-14
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Old Testament - Today's readings in First Chronicles chapter 22 reminded me that none of us does anything in life on our own. We always rely on those that came before us. We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. The thing that made me think about this was how many preparations David worked on for his son Solomon to then later build the Temple of the Lord. Solomon would not have been able to build the Temple as quickly (or probably as well) without his father David's help. Solomon was standing on the shoulders of his father David. Do you realize that many good things that have happened in your life are thanks to those that came before you? Do you realize you are standing on the shoulders of your parents, your teachers, your pastors, and your community leaders? And, to take this a step further, do you realize that in the future people will be standing on your shoulders? They are going to need your shoulders! So, like David was making preparations for his son Solomon and the future Temple of the Lord, are you making preparations for others in your life for their future? Perhaps even for people you may never meet? Let us always remember we are standing on the shoulders of those that came before us - and that there will be others who will need to stand on our shoulders in the future!
Okay, quick flashback to yesterday's readings - you'll recall we finished up the readings with David buying Araunah's threshing floor to build an altar to the Lord to offer sacrifices on to stop the plague (which occurred due to the sin of the census). Well, to continue the story, today in First Chronicles 22 verse 1 we read this: "Then David said, "This will be the location for the Temple of the LORD God and the place of the altar for Israel's burnt offerings!" This is Araunauh's threshing floor that is going to be the location for the Temple. The very interesting note about Araunah's threshing floor is that it is believed to have been located on Mount Moriah! Yes, the same Mt. Moriah where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac. And the same spot where the Temple was to be built by Solomon! So, this brings to light the importance of David actually buying the threshing floor from Araunah and not just taking it for free, as was offered in yesterday's readings. David not only bought the threshing floor to build the altar for the burnt & peace offerings, but he bought the land for the Temple of the Lord to soon be built on by his son Solomon! Below is an image of Araunah the Jebusite offering his threshing floor to David:
New Testament - Today in Romans chapter 3 verses 22 through 24 we read – “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Please take a moment to re-read these verses and meditate upon them. How do they speak to you? Do you believe that humans are righteous on our own? (One way to consider this is to imagine what a city would look like without a police force, for example – think we would just naturally be good and kind and righteous to each other? Or might there be crime and maybe even anarchy and survival of the fittest – ala Lord of the Flies. . . ) Do you believe God is righteous? Do you believe we can be made righteous before God through faith in Jesus? Have you sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Are you justified freely by God’s grace and through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ?
I want to focus a bit more on verse 24 because I think this is one of the most important concepts for us to understand: we "are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Justified. That's an important word to understand! Per the NIV Study Bible, Paul uses the Greek verb for justified 27 times, mostly in the letters of Romans and Galatians. The term describes what happens when people believe in Jesus as their Savior. God declares them to not be guilty and credits (or imputes) righteousness to them. Jesus' righteousness is credited to believers as their own, with a few key characteristics that we read in verse 24 (look at this verse above again): 1. It is freely given as a gift, 2. by God's grace, 3. through the redemptive act of Jesus on the Cross, where He paid the price for our sins and redeemed us, 4. and through faith. Got all this? :) Have you been justified with the free gift of grace and faith through Christ's redemption? If not, today will you dive into the river of everlasting justification through faith in our Lord Jesus? Please jump into the river of faith!
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans 3 titled "Some Bad News, And Good News" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 12 verses 1 & 2 are intriguing verses for me - "Help, O LORD, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth! Neighbors lie to each other, speaking with flattering lips and insincere hearts." Are there days when you feel like this? I think there are some days when I do... but not too many. I guess I sometimes wonder about the state of my heart - or if I've gotten enough sleep the night before :) - when I feel like this Psalmist does. It is interesting how this verse goes into people talking with "flattering lips and insincere hearts". I do notice right away when that's happening... particularly the insincerity. Maybe this is something we should ask of ourselves - do we talk at times with flattering lips or insincere hearts? Or are we sincere people? I like that thought... being a sincere person. I pray that we all are and can become more and more "sincere" in our dealings with each other and that we would just simply be sincere people. Are you a sincere person? Do you want to be sincere? Was Jesus a sincere person?
Proverbs - Proverbs 19:14 today teaches us: "Parents can provide their sons with an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the LORD can give an understanding wife." This is interesting to consider in light of my "standing on the shoulders" comments in First Chronicles above. Parents may try to give us material things, but they can't provide us with an understanding spouse! A wise wife or husband is a gift from God. Praise God for the gift of understanding spouses in our lives!
YouTube: Per my reflections on diving into the river of faith in Romans above, check out Steven Curtis Chapman's video for his awesome song "Dive!"
Have you Dived in to the River of Faith? Click here and Dive!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you realize that you have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Pray that you have or will put your faith in Jesus to take the punishment for your sins on the Cross. Pray that you have repented of your sins and are born again through a 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!