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May 2020

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Books for the Journey:

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14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents,
but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

I sent this verse to my husband with the subject line that read "Where I came from." And a smile:-)

Being 64 and having studied the Scriptures for more than 40 years, I have really been blessed by our readings in Chronicles as this was one book that I only skimmed over in the past. This morning I am realizing what a tremendous change took place in David’s life when he totally accepted the will of God. As king of Israel, David constantly was torn between his desire to recognize his own power and his desire to recognize God’s power. This is something we all struggle with even now.

Think of all the things David did to misuse the power that came from being king. Just to name a few of them: (1) He satisfied his lustful desire and committed adultery with Bathsheba, (2) He ordered the murder of Bathsheba’s husband, (3) He ordered a census taken just so he could be prideful and boast, (4) He wanted to be the one to receive the glory from building the temple.

God said “NO” to David when he wanted to build the temple and told him that Solomon his son would have that honor instead. David at last totally accepted God’s will and power as being greater than his own desires and David finally put God ahead of and above everything else in his life.

What a different David we see in the study of Chronicles 22 –23! David not only accepted that he would not be the one to build the temple, but he even got in the materials and workmen that Solomon would need to get the job done. David took the time to explain to Solomon the importance of doing God’s will and always obeying the Word of God. Then David did the totally unthinkable – HE TOOK OFF THE CROWN THAT HAD GIVEN HIM ALL THE POWER HE CRAVED AND HE CROWNED SOLOMON AS KING OF ISRAEL! This was something that was just not done – kings were either dethroned because God or the people chose another king to replace them or they remained king until the time of their death. Kings didn’t just willingly and gladly give up the kingship and the power that went with it and turn it over to someone else. Why did David do this – he did it so that time would not be wasted in fulfilling God’s will. He did it because his love of God became greater than his love of self.

WOW! What a new man David became when he made God the center of his life, and what a difference it makes today when we make God the center of our lives. Ever wondered how David could have been held in just high esteem with all his weaknesses and iniquities? Today’s reading tells us why just as reading about Paul’s conversion explains why he is held in such high esteem. Through the total acceptance of our Lord and His word and through the total dedication of our life to the Lord, the Lord will make us into a totally new person! How wonderful and exciting that is! Praise the Lord!

1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children; and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:22 JPS)

What I love about this particular passage is the model it leaves us with, God, and thus His children, leaves an legacy for His children. Mike talks about recognizing that we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us, but those who stand before the future generation must realize and accept the responsibility that we must leave an inheritance for those who come after us. God is a God of generations.

Too often, we demand our children to build on a foundation that we have not laid. We have parents that tell their little offspring to “Go to college; Stay in School; Do something with your life; don’t repeat my folly,” yet they fail to give them the tools and materials to accomplish the goals. All around me I see people demanding of their children and others what they are unwilling to do for themselves. However, I do believe that no matter what we have been handed, or haven’t been given, we are responsible for placing into the hands of the next generation tools to help build a successful life for the generations to follow.

David shows us a generational outcome. Yes, Solomon has been chosen by God to do what David desired to do but is commanded not to do, yet David ensures that Solomon has everything needed to build the Temple according to the plans given him. What kind of building materials have I left for the next generation? Have I left tools of construction or deconstruction?

Again, the words of Scripture remind me of my focus for going through the Bible this year, “Notice the way God does things; then fall into line. Don't fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what he has made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13)

Grace and peace,

Romans 2:17-29

[If it is not clear that Paul was talking to moralists, Jews or both before - in verse 17 Paul specifically addresses the Jewish people and the LAW.]

If you know God, know His Will, know and ascribe to the LAW, teach and preach the Law - DO YOU OBEY THE LAW?

Very convicting. We know from history that the nation of Israel, in fact, broke the Law all the time.

As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

No greater example than David and Bathsheeba. After all was said and done - the people knew what David had done, the Gentiles knew, and they mocked David and God.

"Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die." NIV

Paul is saying the same thing goes on today - you talk the talk - but do you walk the walk. The result is Romans, Greeks, all enemies of God mock God and blaspheme Him because of your actions.

By Circumcision the Jew was asserting to be a member of God's people, the ones who received the LAW - and were to follow the LAW.

[i. The Jew believed that his circumcision guaranteed his salvation. He might be punished in the world to come, but could never be lost.

ii. In Paul’s day, some Rabbis taught that Abraham sat at the entrance of Hell and made certain that none of his circumcised descendants went there. Some Rabbis also taught “God will judge the Gentiles with one measure and the Jews with another” and “All Israelites will have part in the world to come.”

iii. Circumcision (or baptism - or any ritual in itself) doesn’t save anyone. In the ancient world, Egyptians also circumcised their boys but it did not make them followers of the true God. Even in Abraham’s day, Ishmael, the son of the flesh, was circumcised, but it did not make him a son of the covenant.

iv. Circumcision and baptism do about the same thing that a label on a can does. If the outer label doesn’t match with what is on the inside, something is wrong! If there are carrots inside the can, you can put a label says “Peas” but it doesn’t change what is inside the can. Being born again changes what is inside the can, and then you can put the appropriate label on the outside - David Guzik]

If a Gentile were to keep the righteous requirement of the law (through his conscience, as Romans 2:15 shows) within his heart, would he not be justified, instead of the circumcised Jew who did not keep the law? The point is emphasized: having the law or having a ceremony isn’t enough. God requires righteousness. - David Guzik

verse 29
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.

Rightness before God is:

not about works - How many would that be 50, 100, 1,000, 10,000? and even then you have to deal with your sin before God.

not about parentage

It is about God's work in our hearts, which shows itself in fruit - and that only happens when you accept Christ and put God in charge of your life.

Doesn't matter what men say about your life. you can trot a million witnesses out before God saying - 'He is a good guy', it matters only how God judges you on that day.

I don't think any of us want our judgment based on every little thought and action we have had in our lives - we need Christ as our intercessor, as our Redeemer, as our Savior. So when God looks at us - God only sees Jesus.

Romans 3:1-8

So what advantages to being a Jew?
- many - Nation of Israel is God's chosen people, God made wonderful promises (covenants) to the patriarchs, God entrusted them with His Word, God promised them a Redeemer,etc. Much was given to Israel, (and much was expected).

Shouldn't the lack of faithfulness on Israels part nullify God's faithfulness? Nope. God sent the Redeemer as he said, and His covenants will be fulfilled. How many times in Old Testament readings did we read '[God speaking] I am not doing this for you, or because you merit it - but because I PROMISED your forefathers.'

God will be true to his word and fulfill all he promised. We as Christians would not have it any other way. For if God went back on his word to the Jewish people, why couldn't He go back on his word regarding Salvation.
vs 5-6
"But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?" NIV

In theory, the most dramatic example of someone who might ask this question is Judas. Can you hear Judas make his case? “Lord, I know that I betrayed Jesus, but You used it for good. In fact, if I hadn’t done what I did, Jesus wouldn’t have gone to the cross at all. What I did even fulfilled the Scriptures. How can You judge me at all?” The answer to Judas might go like this: “Yes, God used your wickedness but it was still your wickedness. There was no good or pure motive in your heart at all. It is no credit to you that God brought good out of your evil. You stand guilty before God.” David Guzik

Another example (diff. spin):
You have a child. Child is kidnapped, treated heinously, and killed. Person is arrested and goes to court.

You (the parents) sit there, and judge says - 'You know, I am feeling kind of good today, full of mercy and love, and compared to you (defendant) I look even more righteous than I did yesterday - [bangs gavel] Case dismissed.'


I imagine you would be horrified. You would cry for justice. You would want a fair, honest, righteous judge to try the case. One whose characteristics above did not change from day to day - a consistent judge.

'The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow'.

NOTE: "Whoever you are - even if you are an unbeliever - you do believe that some people ought to be judged. Now you may not think you ought to be, but you believe somebody ought to be judged. Everyone believes that. We have that innate sense within us today, and God has put it there." - J. Vernon McGee

Here's the deal - Because Jesus (God)is not capricious, but immutable - HE is that fair, honest, righteous judge, and HE will judge everybody. He has the right to judge the World, because He created the World and everything in it.

There will be no specious arguments, there will be no lawyer's tricks, there will be no excuses,..—If the "Let us do evil that good may result" argument comes up - well, I don't think it will go over too well.

For the "saved": varying rewards.

For the unbeliever: varying punishments.

Romans 3:9-20



Paul says, 'Jew or Gentile we are all under sin.'

"under sin":
1)Man is a sinner by Act.
2)Man is a sinner by nature. (Sinning does not make the sinner, we sin because we are sinners.)
3)Man is a sinner by imputation (later in Romans).
4)The estate of man is under sin. We all are under sin - the entire human family. - J. Vernon McGee

"Under sin is a powerful phrase. It speaks of our slavery to sin, literally meaning “sold under sin.” By nature every person knows what it is like to be a slave to sin, both Jews and Greeks." - David Guzik
This look at the human condition is depressing. What’s the point? The Apostle Paul wants us to understand our complete inability to save ourselves. The fall touches every part of man’s being, and the inventory of body parts corrupted by the fall demonstrates this. - David Guzik

The charges (to mankind before God steps in):
1)" one righteous, not even one.."

When God finds none righteous, it is because there are none. It isn’t as if there were some and God couldn’t see them. There has never been a truly righteous man apart from Jesus Christ. “Even Adam was not righteous: he was innocent - not knowing good and evil.” (Newell)

2)" one who understands"

Man is unable to comprehend the Truth of God, or grasp His standard of righteousness. - John MacArthur

3)" one who seeks God

"We deceive ourselves into thinking that man, on his own, really does seek after God. Don’t all the religion and rituals and practices from the beginning of time demonstrate that man seeks after God? Not at all. If man initiates the search then he doesn’t seek the true God, the God of the Bible. Instead he seeks an idol that he makes himself." - David Guzik

4)"All have turned away.."

Turned away (their hearts), detoured, like lost sheep.

5)"..they have together become worthless..

The word worthless has the idea of rotten fruit. It speaks of something that was permanently bad and therefore useless.

6) "..there is no one who does good, not even one."

"All of this is viewed from the divine perspective. This is not to say that a man never does any thing good and kind for his fellow-man. Paul is not saying that men have no good thoughts or aspirations AS JUDGED BY MEN. He is saying that man has nothing to commend himself to God. Man is incapable of doing anything to please God and to earn His approval, for man is born an enemy of God." [CAPS MINE]


"Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God." NIV

"Remember that many Jewish people of Paul’s day took every passage of the Old Testament describing evil and applied it only to the Gentiles - not to themselves. Paul makes it clear that God speaks to those who are under the law." - David Guzik

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin." NIV

Since the standard is too high, no one will be declared righteous by imperfectly observing the Law - What's the point?

It is to make man aware he is a sinner, that he sins, always has and always will.

[Well, another purpose also - but that is for the next post :)]

Goodmorning Mike,
What really stood out to me in todays message,is that we should help others even if we do not know them, and that Jesus knows when we do this. Also, the card board box about the women with two small children that lost her house to a fire.Is this true, or is this just a example, the reason I ask, is because this was my 3yr old daughter and I about two months ago,we lost our home to a fire, and people that we did'nt know helped us to get our lifes back together.I believe that I am truley blessed.

Blessing, Lori Olivares

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