~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34 ~ Romans 4:13-5:5
Psalm 14:1-7 ~ Proverbs 19:17
Old Testament - It is interesting to read about the various gatekeepers, treasurers, officials, military commanders and leaders in today's First Chronicle readings. In some ways it is sad to read about how well organized things were - knowing that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the exile to Babylon is coming up. All of this organization will be destroyed. Why? Because of sin. Sin destroys. Sin kills. So sad. It is true that the lineage from Abraham to Judah to David will of course continue through to Jesus and now to us as spiritual descendants. But, the nation of Israel at this time of First Chronicles, with all of it's great organization, will fall because the leaders and people will turn their backs on God in sin. Is there a lesson for us in this today? Do you see the dangers of sin? Of how it can destroy everything you hold dear? Please - flee from sin. Jesus can set you free from the bondage of sin. Don't lose everything you hold dear to something as stupid as sin. Sin will sell you lies and leave you with nothing.
New Testament - Wow. Romans 5 verses 1 & 2 are so true - "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory." I do think one of the most amazing things about the Christian Walk is the sense of peace that is given to us. Christ's peace is gifted to us through the Holy Spirit. Have you ever had this peace? Do you have it now? I know that we do not always sense the peace - but I do not think it leaves us once we've entered into a relationship with Jesus. I think we can certainly distract ourselves enough or make ourselves worried or frantic enough that we might think the peace is gone. But I don't think it leaves us. I do think we need to take time to connect with and rediscover Christ's peace within us each and every day. Prayer and meditation on Scripture are great ways to do this. Reading the Bible of course. I have also found getting outdoors and taking a walk in nature helps me connect with Christ's peace again. What are other ways that you connect with Christ's peace within you? Please post up in the Comments section below for others to learn from! Thanks!
Verses 3 through 5 are incredible today as well - "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." How's that for a paradigm shift? When we are in relationship with Jesus, we can REJOICE! when we run into problems and trials. :) I know I'm smiling here - but it so true. It is often difficult for us to remember to rejoice when problems and trials come our way - but please do remember these words of Paul in Romans about rejoicing during a time of trial. Remember our readings in Acts? Paul was ridiculed, beaten, jailed and shipwrecked - and yet, he never gave into a defeatist attitude. He kept preaching God's love! If anyone knows about trials and problems, it is Paul. And he tells us to rejoice because through problems and trials we learn to endure. I love that Paul says that character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation! And that this expectation will not disappoint! Do you believe this? Do you have a confident expectation of salvation? If not, do you want to pray to God for some trials and problems to help get you to this confidence? :)
Psalms - Psalm 14 could be seen at first glance as a discouraging Psalm for us as we look at verse 3 - "But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!" I think it is good to keep in mind that there is truth in this verse - but also to keep in mind that this verse was written before Jesus came to the earth. Jesus will fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament and give us the hope spoken of in the closing of this Psalm in verse 7 - "Oh, that salvation would come from Mount Zion to rescue Israel! For when the LORD restores his people, Jacob will shout with joy, and Israel will rejoice." Do you recognize the salvation that has come to us? Are you shouting for joy for this salvation? Are you rejoicing! Below is an image of Mount Zion -
Proverbs - Today in Proverbs 19 verse 17 we read – “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” Do you believe that when you are kind to the poor you are actually lending to God? Are you someone who is consistently kind to the poor? Are you kind to the spiritually, emotionally, materially poor that God has brought into your life? Are you also kind to spiritually, emotionally, materially poor that you do not know? Do you believe this kindness is noticed by God? Do you believe it is rewarded?
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!