~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Kings 3:1-4:17 ~ Acts 14:8-28
Psalm 140:1-13 ~ Proverbs 17:22
Old Testament - In 2 Kings 3 verse 3 today we are reminded that King Jeroboam's legacy is held out as a unfavorable legacy... "Nevertheless he (Joram) continued in the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led the people of Israel to commit." That is an interesting thing to think about - a legacy. Jeroboam's legacy was obviously not one we'd like to have. So, what type of legacy would you like to have? And what type of legacy are you in fact leaving these days? The more I think about my legacy, the more I simply hope and pray that my legacy is something along the lines of "one who loved God and loved people." Pretty simple really. But also really tough in our modern world full of so many distractions! And I am not so sure that I am really leaving this legacy some days. I don't want to pursue this type of legacy for the wrong reasons - for any sort of appearing "righteous" or prideful reasons. But I in fact I really do want to spend the rest of my days simply loving God and loving people. Whatever else I do - career, ministry, whatever - pales in comparison to loving God and loving people. I even hesitate to write this hope for a legacy on this blog - I feel like I should go back and delete everything I just wrote. Except - I think this might be the type of legacy we are called to as Christians. Remember the two great commands Jesus gave us in Matthew 22:37 & 39 - "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself." Love God and love people. So - whaddya think? Is this a good legacy for us to aim for? Should we be aiming for a legacy at all? What will your legacy be?
2 Kings 4 verse 8 definitely demonstrates that in addition to being a prophet, Elisha was a very wise man! "One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she invited him to eat some food. From then on, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there to eat." :)
Bible.org's commentary on today's 2 Kings readings titled "The Rebellion of the Moabites" is at this link, "Elisha Prepares to Hear God’s Word" is at this link, "The Victory Over Moab" is at this link, "God’s Supply in the Midst of Poverty" is at this link, and "The Shunammite Woman Receives a Son" is at this link.
New Testament - Wow... amazing readings today... the thing that went through my mind while I was reading about Paul today was a very modern / punk-type Christian song by Jonah33 called "Faith Like That" that goes like this -
"Oh I, I want Faith Like That
Whatever the cost
I'll suffer the loss, Oh I
I want the Faith That can move any mountain
and send them to the sea
I want the Faith that can break every stronghold
That keeps you, keeps you from me"
Do you see the depth and strength and love of Paul's faith in verses 19 & 20 - "Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe." Paul is stoned and then gets back up and keeps going forward in his minstry for God! Next thing you know he is praying and fasting for elders in churches - after nearly getting stoned to death! I want a faith like that... Also, it is wonderful to read in today's readings how Paul and Barnabas tear their garments because they are so distressed that people were worshiping them as if they were gods! Would we react so quickly to stop people from worshiping us today I wonder... ?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Mission Accomplished" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 140 is a prayer for deliverance from evil. And this Psalm certainly should be a good reminder of the Lord’s Prayer, where we pray – “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” What is the one thing that can truly deliver us from evil? Can we deliver ourselves from evil on our own? Or do we need something beyond ourselves for this deliverance?
Verse 7 in this Psalm gives each of us something to consider and should be an encouragement – “O Sovereign LORD, my strong savior, you protected me on the day of battle.” Do you believe God is your strong savior who will protect you from evil on the day of battle? Do you believe that perhaps every day is a day of battle? Do you believe that Satan or evil ever rests in attempting to tempt people? Should we pray for protection from evil on a very regular basis? The Lord’s Prayer / Our Father is one great way to do this each day…
From 1928’s Book of Common Prayer - “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” Lord, teach us how to pray...
Proverbs - Proverbs 17 verse 22 for some reason reminds me of Paul again from today's Acts readings - "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." Think back again to Paul being nearly stoned to death in today's readings. Think he would have a good "reason" to have a broken spirit after something like that happened to him? But.... we see what he goes and does for the Kingdom just after that tragic incident! My hunch is that Paul had a very cheerful heart - because he was in such close relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. And his cheerful heart was certainly good medicine for him. He did not allow himself to have a broken spirit - even after nearly being stoned to death! Seriously, I'm trippin' off how amazing Paul is - don't worry, I'm not worshiping him... :) I am just amazed at how in love he was with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit - and how he let that love guide him and propel him forward no matter what. So, back to this Proverb - do you think it is possible for us at times to "decide" whether to have a cheerful heart or a broken spirit? All of us have something bad happen at some time or another. Is it possible that we can "decide" to be cheerful or broken after something bad happens to us? If it is possible to be cheerful after something bad happens to us, why? I think we could learn from Paul's example. If we are so close in relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I pray we can weather any storm that life might bring. Any storm. Do you believe this is true?
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!