2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28 ~ Romans 12:1-21 ~ Psalm 22:19-31 ~ Proverbs 20:8-10
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Old Testament - Today in Second Chronicles 24 verse 1 we read - "Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years." This is quite a young age to be crowned king! (yep, that's Joash on the right in the image below - the priest presenting him to the people is on the left)
Did you notice in today's readings that Joash followed God in his early years, when Jehoiada the priest was alive (verses 1-16), and then turned to evil and idolatry after Jehoiada's death (verses 17-27)? One of the saddest parts was Joash's murder of Jehoiada's grandson Zechariah in verse 20. (Note that the text says son, but scholars believe Jehoiada's son was Berekiah, and Zechariah was Berekiah's son - Biblical genealogies sometimes skip a generation.) Jesus Himself references the atrocity of this murder when facing His own murderers in Matthew 23:35! This quote of Jesus' comes just after delivering his seven woes in Matthew 23: "And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar."
New Testament - Wow! Could Romans chapter 12 be one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible?? I love this chapter... Please take a moment to re-read this chapter if you can. Verses 1 through 3 have been so powerful for me personally since the early days of my Christian walk - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." I really don't know what commentary I could add to these words of Paul's. I love the thought of our bodies being living sacrifices to God. (There is of course the old joke that the only problem with a living sacrifice is that it tends to crawl off the altar... :) And the warning to not conform any longer to the pattern of this world is so so so true.... and we all know it. But I find myself still falling prey to the pattern of this world. Its temptations do not cease. But! We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds to test and approve what God's will is. Through a loving and growing relationship with Jesus, we can overcome the temptations and the death this world will offer us all too frequently. In view of God's mercy, will you offer your body today as God as a living sacrifice?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "The Road to Renewal" is at this link and "Thinking Straight about Spiritual Gifts" is at this link and "What is this Thing Called Love" is at this link. Below are 2 wonderful images for Romans chapter 12 verse 2 and verses 4 & 5:
Psalms - What's one good reason to go to church at all? Check out Psalm 22 verse 22: "Then I will declare the wonder of your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among all your people." Praising God with other brothers and sisters through worship, tithing, learning, serving and being in community in church is a great reason to go to church! To declare the wonder of God's name! To praise God among all his people. Wow... yes... this is church!
Proverbs - Proverbs 20 verse 10 is convicting - "The LORD despises double standards of every kind." I am afraid that I often do have double standards in the way I live my own life. I am afraid perhaps we all do to a degree. We hold ourselves to one standard when we are at church and among our friends and maybe even typing on this blog... :) But, then, late at night or early in the morning or during the day perhaps we let this standard - this Christian standard - simply go. We become judgmental. We gossip. We complain. We lust. We give in to our old addictions. We fall prey to a double standard. Please don't ever forget that God calls us to the highest standard! And he sent us his Son Jesus to set us free from the bondage of sin from the bondage of double standards. Through faith in Jesus we are gifted with the Holy Spirit living within our very bodies, which is an amazing blessing to consider! God gives us everything that we need to live a life of high moral standards. Will we pray unceasingly to let our double standards go? Will we leave the double standards behind once and for all? Will we stop living our lives with two faces?
Worship God: Romans chapter 12 today reminded me of JJ Heller's fantastic song "True Things:"
Are there true things inside of you? Click here for Truth!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:1-2 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are offering your body as a living sacrifice to God today. Pray that you are not conforming to the pattern of this world, but are being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Pray you are walking and living in the center of God's will for your life - His good, pleasing and perfect will.
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!
II Chronicles 24-25:28
I’m not sure if I’ve covered this in my writing before but I’ve been focused, obsessed whatever the word used, with Proverbs 25:28 for at least three to four years. I meditate on it, I ask God for a clearer understanding of what it means, and it reads like this in the Amplified translation,
He who has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down and without walls.
(Pro 25:28 AMP)
The notes in the Amplified cross-reference this verse with the sixteenth chapter and the thirty-second verse,
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, he who rules his [own] spirit than he who takes a city.
(Pro 16:32 AMP)
Self-control as opposed to external control seems to be key in walking with God. I do not believe we have it within ourselves to maintain control of ourselves outside of Jesus Christ. External controls do work in most instances; however, once those controls are removed, well…who we really are comes out. Joash operated under pressure of external control, Jehoiada the priest. His son, Amaziah, operated under the external pressure of fear; as long as he was under the threat of an invading army, he looked to the Lord. When God defeated that army, Amaziah became like most of us, he took the glory for himself. Pride led him to believe that he now was “All that and a bag of chips.” Wouldn’t it be a shame and silly for the donkey, that Jesus rode on when he entered Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds, to think that the palms, the cheers the shouts of Hosanna, were for him? Yet we take credit every day for the things God has worked out for us. We think we are, “All that and a bag of chips with a Sneakers Bar thrown in.”
Internal controls will keep us, I believe, from operating with duel personalities, one way with folks and the other way when we think no one is looking. Who we really are is who we are when we are by ourselves. That is really, really scary and unsettling to admit.
It is amazing how these readings fit together, a theme from the Old Testament dovetails right into the New
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Rom 12:1-2 KJVR)
I just love the poetry of the King James in these two verses. The key, I believe to gaining self-control can be found in these wonderful two verses. We need to have our minds renewed, we need to change the way we think. We need to come out of thinking as the world thinks and begin to think as God thinks. This renewing of the mind really hit me the end of last year.
I have a two-bedroom apartment, which has three-sided exposure, north, east and south. In November 2004 I found out that the external and the inside walls between the kitchen and bathroom as well as one of the bedrooms were loaded with mold. And because the bricks had not been pointed for probably ten years, the inside external walls had mold also. I had a complete gut renovation in my apartment with my furniture inside and covered up (dust, no matter how well you cover everything will get in that is what dusts does). With no walls, no bathroom, no radiators and no kitchen sink I bunked at my neighbors and God showed me what it means to renew one’s mind, as well as the insidiousness of sin as represented by mold (leprosy in a house) in the Book of Leviticus (14:34-55).
On deep inspection, my apartment walls were of two minds they looked fine on the outside but on the inside, things were rotten and moldy. They could not spray it out or clean it with a mixture of bleach, the walls had to come down. The Greek word translated, “Renew” in the King James Version came to life for me and God continually brought Romans 12:1-2 to my mind for the three weeks I slept on my neighbor’s couch.
From G341; renovation: - renewing.
We have been so ingrained in the thinking of the ways of the world instead of the ways of God, we need gut renovations of the mind. There are walls that need to come down. This Site provides the opportunity for everyone who comes through these portals to begin that renovation so that the duality of thinking we have become so use to stops. I also saw in that process of renovation how uncomfortable I felt while the walls I had become so accustomed to came down and finally were no longer there. There were no radiators, no toilet, no bathtub and sink. I had to use someone else’s facilities (Could this have been an example of how Christian Brothers and Sisters “bear” up one and another when someone goes through this process of renovation?).
The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.
People from every nation will bow down before him.
For the LORD is king!
He rules all the nations.
When things don’t seem to be going well, when people look like they are getting away with murder, figuratively and literally, these two verses let us know that God will rule and all of us who are rebellious will bow before the Lord and acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
At first glance, the eighth verse appears to be kind of off,
8 When a king judges, he carefully weighs all the evidence, distinguishing the bad from the good.
If I think back in history and even looking at the kings in the Bible----well, they didn’t judge fairly let alone distinguish right from wrong, good from evil. But then I looked again. One who is a “true” king and the one who is the True King will judge fairly and righteously. Having a crown on one’s head has as much to do with making one a king as a mouse falling into the cookie jar making it a cookie.
And to top it all off, verse nine and ten overarch everything in today’s readings that deal with hypocrisy, duality of one’s thinking and just straddling the fence when it comes to our Christian walk,
9 Who can say, "I have cleansed my heart; I am pure and free from sin"?
10 The LORD despises double standards of every kind.
I truly believe this; the above cannot be done until we walk in full submission to God. We can try on our own strength but we will fail. Unless we submit to God, presenting our bodies by placing ourselves on the Alter of God and allowing Him to set us on fire burning off everything that is not of Him, and leave those fire extinguishers home.
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | July 28, 2010 at 10:06 PM
People who follow Christ leads others in the right direction.
Posted by: cora valencia | July 28, 2010 at 11:49 PM
If there could only be a
one chapter bible I would vote for Romans 12
Posted by: Luch | July 29, 2010 at 06:02 AM