~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11 ~ Romans 4:1-12
Psalm 13:1-6 ~ Proverbs 19:15-16
Old Testament - Ever wonder why we have music in church today? I think 1 Chronicles 25 verse 1 is a great argument for the tradition of music in our worship services! "David and the army commanders then appointed men from the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to proclaim God's messages to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals."
New Testament - Great writings by Paul today in Romans how we are declared righteous before God. Verse 4 is powerful - "When people work, their wages are not a gift. Workers earn what they receive. But people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of their work." Our right relationship with Jesus is a gift. We do not work to earn it. It is given to us as a gift. Our right relationship with God is not because of our work - but because of Jesus' work on our behalf on the cross. Have you accepted the gift?
Paul's writings about Abraham's faith are wonderful in today's readings. Verses 9 & 10 stood out to me - "Well, what about Abraham? We have been saying he was declared righteous by God because of his faith. But how did his faith help him? Was he declared righteous only after he had been circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? The answer is that God accepted him first, and then he was circumcised later!" These verses are an example of Abraham being accepted into a right relationship with God through faith - not works (circumcision in this case). I do believe our good works are desired and appreciated by God - he wants us to ultimately live holy & loving lives where we love God and love people. But, faith and acceptance by God comes first, then our good works for the Kingdom. Abraham was an example of this as we read in verse 3 - "For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous."" Below is an portrait of Abraham being called by God by artist Guy Rowe -
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "An Old Testament Illustration of Justification by Faith" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 13 is thought to be a prayer by David for recovery from a grave illness, based on verse 3 - "Restore the light to my eyes, or I will die." Yet, even in the midst of this serious illness, David amazingly proclaims in verse 5 - "But I trust in your unfailing love." How about us? When we are sick or in the midst of a very challenging or sad situation, do we trust in God's unfailing love? Always? No matter what is going on around us?
Proverbs - Proverbs 19 verse 15 is quite true - "A lazy person sleeps soundly--and goes hungry." Have you ever had lazy periods of your life? Are you maybe in one now? Do you realize that when you are lazy you are slowly starving yourself? That you are going hungry? I believe this can apply to being lazy about our physical world - as well as our spiritual world. When we are lazy in our faith, yes, I believe we can still "sleep soundly." But - meanwhile we are starving ourselves spiritually, which is a grave risk. Are you in a physically or spiritually lazy place right now? If so, will you turn to Jesus for your work orders - and for your very food? If you are in a lazy place right now, please do not continue to sleep quite so soundly...
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!