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2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10 ~ Romans 7:14-8:8 ~ Psalm 18:1-15 ~ Proverbs 19:24-25
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Old Testament - Today in Second Chronicles we read about Solomon's dedication of the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem! Below is "King Solomon praying before the Temple" by Neapolitan painter Giuseppe Bonito, c. 1750:
I meant to do this in yesterday's posting - show an exterior and interior image below of what's now often referred to as "Solomon's Temple." Even though it was clearly the Temple of the Lord, it's referred to as Solomon's Temple based on Solomon building it - and we'll read about some more Temple's later on in our readings in the One Year Bible this year, including Ezekiel's Temple, which is fascinating! Anyhow, below are two images of Solomon's Temple, but let me also highly encourage you to take a few moments to check out all of the cool images of the interior and exterior of Solomon's Temple at this link. (make sure you scroll down quite a bit on this link to see all the images) I think this link will help you visualize the Temple much better! Also, at the home page of that link above, you can read up on the Temple Mount area of Jerusalem today where Solomon's Temple was believed to have been located, along with the Second Temple. And now where the Dome of the Rock mosque is located. Very interesting stuff on that web page! And tons of links. Can't say I agree with it all... but it's a website worth exploring.
New Testament - Romans chapter 7 today has some amazing teachings about struggling with sin. I imagine that all of us at one point or another have concurred with Paul - and remember this is the apostle Paul writing this! - in verses 15 through 17: "I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things." These verses get at Original Sin in a big way. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sin can live inside of us and make us do evil things that we hate doing. What do you suppose - or Whom do you suppose - frees us from this bondage to sin? Jesus. Yes, Jesus frees us. How? He paid the penalty on the cross for our sins. And he gives us the free gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit to free us from the bondage of sin. Take a look at these verses again above from Paul. Is sin living inside of you making you do things you hate? Do you want to be free from this slavery to sin? Will you pray to accept Jesus as your savior today and allow him to free you from you bondage to sin? Please do. It's the best decision you will ever make. Please spend a few minutes prayerfully at this website - http://needhim.org/
Bible.org's fantastic commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "The War Within" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 18 is an amazing one! We'll get this Psalm for the next 3 days of readings, which is great. And then comes Psalm 19 which is off the charts awesome! Verse 1 today is so beautiful: "I love you, LORD; you are my strength." How often do you tell God that you love him? One thing that one of my former pastors does when he prays publicly, which absolutely moves me, is that he closes out just about every prayer with "God we love you. And we pray all of this in the name of your son Jesus." The last line of course is the powerful line! But, that second to last line... is just beautiful. Just telling God that we love him. I'm not sure I tell God that I love him often enough. God may not "need" to hear it. But I think that I need to say it more often. I love you God!
Proverbs - I hope you don't relate too well to Proverbs 19 verse 24... but I'll confess that I have been able to relate to this in my past - "Some people are so lazy that they won't even lift a finger to feed themselves." There were days in my past were I was literally this lazy. What a sad state of affairs. It's hard to say exactly why I was being so lazy - other than one clear reason: I was not in a relationship with Jesus. I was living for myself and myself only. So I thought it was fine to sleep and watch TV 24 x 7. What did it matter? Well... it mattered a lot. Being lazy like this is a scary place to be. I think it allows the Enemy to move into our lives in big ways. So - thankfully - as we know from our recent Romans readings, we can be free from our lazy ways! Being in relationship with Jesus has literally cured me of my laziness. Don't get me wrong - I still chill out and rest on occasion - we really need to take a Sabbath day of rest once a week.... but let us not live our lives as couch potatoes! Let us get in the game of Life!
Couldn't resist this cute potato sack race image below... :)
These 2 are definitely not lazy couch potatoes!
Worship God: Based on that wonderful painting by Bonito at the top of this post of Solomon lifting his eyes to heaven, I think this video montage of Scripture and images set to Bebo Norman's song "I Will Lift my Eyes" is perfect. So, lift your hands and worship God with me if you would!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!