~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Chronicles 19:1-20:37 ~ Romans 10:14-11:12
Psalm 21:1-13 ~ Proverbs 20:4-6
Old Testament - Today in Second Chronicles chapter 19 verse 7 we read – “Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you.” It is important to realize that this verse was said not as a curse upon someone, but really as a blessing and perhaps a warning. Jehoshaphat says these words to judges he is appointing. Why would Jehoshaphat say these words to judges? Why should judges have the fear of the Lord upon them? What is the fear of the Lord? I believe it is a healthy and strong sense of God’s presence – a sense so strong that it would prevent these judges from administering any injustices. Because they know God is in the room. How about for you and me in our lives today? What if I were to say to you right now – “Now let the fear of the Lord be upon you.”? Would you accept this as a blessing? Or would you think of this as some sort of curse? Do you want the fear of the Lord to be upon you? Why or why not? Right now in your life – is the fear of the Lord upon you? Will you consider praying for the fear of the Lord to be upon you?
Below is an image from today's readings from Second Chronicles 19 verse 1 through 3 - "When King Jehoshaphat of Judah arrived safely home to Jerusalem, Jehu son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him. "Why should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD?" he asked the king. "What you have done has brought the LORD's anger against you. There is some good in you, however, for you have removed the Asherah poles throughout the land, and you have committed yourself to seeking God."
New Testament - Romans 10 verses 14 & 15 are a powerful call to share the Gospel with a world that so desperately needs it! "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"" Are you bringing good news to people in your life? Do you realize that you do not necessarily need to go abroad to share the Gospel with people who really have probably never heard it before? Yeah, sure, maybe in our hometowns people have heard the name Jesus. But have they really heard about the love and life and forgiveness and healing that Jesus offers? Do they really know who Jesus truly is? How will they know unless you tell them? Will you tell them?
Psalms - Psalm 21 today follows up Psalm 20 from yesterday - yesterday's being a prayer for victory for the king as he goes out to battle - and today's being a psalm of praise for victories granted to the king. I like the credit given to God in verse 1 - "How the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD! He shouts with joy because of your victory." The king is not rejoicing in his own strength. He is not claiming victory as his. He is giving credit to God! How about you in your life today? Do you give credit to God for the blessings and gifts he has given you? Do you shout for joy and rejoice simply because God is in your life?
Proverbs - Proverbs 20 verse 6 definitely gives me something to think about - "Many will say they are loyal friends, but who can find one who is really faithful?" This is a challenging Proverb for me because I feel like I have many good friends. Many who are loyal. And some who even seem faithful. But... yet.... there are still times on occasion when these friends do let me down. Or I know for a fact, I let them down on occasion. It's our human nature. Fortunately for us, long after this Proverb was written, we were given the most faithful friend we could ever dream up or imagine in Jesus. Jesus really should be our best friend. I had a friend kind of shock me with this thought by continually referring to Jesus as his best friend at a lunch we had a few years ago. For some reason I was very comfortable with Jesus being my savior. But my friend? My best friend? Well, it was a new concept to me. And maybe this is a new concept to you. I do honestly believe Jesus wants to be our best friend. And he will undoubtedly be the one true and loyal and faithful friend we all can have - now and forever. So, is Jesus your best friend?
Speaking of Jesus being our friend forever - are you familiar with the Delirious song called "What A Friend I've Found"? It's beautiful. The chorus repeats the name of Jesus 3 times and then says "friend forever". Check out lyrics to the song at this link. You can listen to a brief sampling of the song online at amazon at this link - surf down to Disc 2, song # 4 to sample.
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!