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II Chronicles 30-31:21
There were six passages in today’s readings that really struck me, four are in the thirtieth chapter.

1) 4 This plan for keeping the Passover seemed right to the king and all the people.

Interesting how when we don’t know what to do, the first place we have a tendency to go is our sense of fairness of right and wrong. However, as we’ve learned in reading through the book of Judges (17:16; 21:25), what seems right could be deadly wrong. However, this time it turned out good.-- There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. (Pro 14:12 AMP)

2) 10 The messengers went from town to town throughout Ephraim and Manasseh and as far as the territory of Zebulun. But most of the people just laughed at the messengers and made fun of them. 11However, some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem.

When we make a decision to submit to the Will of God and walk the narrow path, we must be prepared to face ridicule and isolation. That old gang of ours probably won’t be as supportive as they were when we were on our way to hell.

3) 18 Most of those who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not purified themselves. But King Hezekiah prayed for them, and they were allowed to eat the Passover meal anyway, even though this was contrary to God's laws. For Hezekiah said, "May the LORD, who is good, pardon those 19 who decide to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors, even though they are not properly cleansed for the ceremony." 20 And the LORD listened to Hezekiah's prayer and healed the people.

We can mess up and be wrong, wrong, wrong; however, earnest heartfelt prayer for those in error can bring those who are out of step with God’s commands, back into favor. God is Good!

4) 25 The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced, including the priests, the Levites, all who came from the land of Israel, the foreigners who came to the festival, and all those who lived in Judah. 26 There was great joy in the city, for Jerusalem had not seen a celebration like this one since the days of Solomon, King David's son. 27 Then the Levitical priests stood and blessed the people, and God heard them from his holy dwelling in heaven.

“God heard them…” Why did God hear them? Sometimes we think that we must do all kinds of jumping through hoops for God to hear us. I’ve heard people asking for others to join in with them to pray for a situation because they want to “Storm the Gates of Heaven,” as if we have to force the Grace of God in order for God to act. Grace by its very nature cannot be earned or merited; the Grace of God is free. He hears us because we are His. I believe God heard them from his holy dwelling in heaven because there was joy in the city. --- He said to them, "Go and eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Neh 8:10 NET.)

5) 1 Now when the festival ended, the Israelites who attended went to all the towns of Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh, and they smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and removed the pagan shrines and altars. After this, the Israelites returned to their own towns and homes.

Society today tells us that we must be tolerant of the religious practices of others, and I believe we should. However, these idols and sacred pillars and Asherath poles that were smashed and cut down did not belong to foreigners, but to fellow Jews who considered the Holy One of Israel, just one of the many gods. How much tolerance should I show, if any, to those who call themselves Christians, yet worship at the alters of idols, both things and people that are placed above God.

6) 21 In all that he did in the service of the Temple of God and in his efforts to follow the law and the commands, Hezekiah sought his God wholeheartedly. As a result, he was very successful.

Our success, true success does not come from following the latest marketing trends and business models discussed in Forbes or Business Week and the Wharton School of Business, but in following the Word of God. That is the only success that will last and satisfy.

Romans 15:1-22
I seem to be really focusing on specific scriptures in today’s reading. The fourth verse states, Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises.

We are on this journey, reading through the Bible in one year, to not only form a relationship with God, God and His Word are One (John 1:1), but to find out about God. We are journeying to discover the patterns and principals He desires us to adhere to so that we can be a success, and to encourage us by reading how God dealt with His people in the past and to truly know in our very fiber of being that God is Love.

Psalm 25:1-15

3
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Wow! We can find ourselves so tied up in knots because we are in bondage to what other people think.. We tremble in our beds, in the midst of a crowded room, on our jobs because we are afraid that our mouths, our actions may cause us to be disgraced. And if we do put our size ten feet in our mouths, we allow that “shame” to hound our every waking moment, and that ain’t good. But this word says, only those who try to deceive others will be disgraced.

Here is some free advice, if embarrassments come because of missteps which come to anyone and everyone, then laugh it off and live a life free of the shame that can totally paralyze you. Now, if disgrace came because of deception and deceit, repent and go ask for forgiveness and do not do it again.

Proverbs 20:13-15
13 If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!

I got this feeling this verse is talking about spiritual sleep, and not the forty winks and eight hours of rest kind of sleep. There are many different Hebrew words translated poor or poverty and they all don’t mean, lacking resources.

Decided to do a quick “Word Study” by seeking out my friend, Mr. Strong and in his dictionary I get confirmation that this sleep and poverty has more to do with one’s spiritual condition then sleeping too long in one’s bed:

H3423 (Strong’s Number)
ירשׁ ירשׁ
yârash yârêsh
yaw-rash', yaw-raysh'
A primitive root; to occupy (be driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place); by implication to seize, to rob, to inherit; also to expel, to impoverish, to ruin: - cast out, consume, destroy, disinherit, dispossess, drive (-ing) out, enjoy, expel, X without fail, (give to, leave for) inherit (-ance, -or), + magistrate, be (make) poor, come to poverty, (give to, make to) possess, get (have) in (take) possession, seize upon, succeed, X utterly.

This poverty comes by not taking care of business.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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