1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11 ~ Romans 4:1-12 ~ Psalm 13:1-6 ~ Proverbs 19:15-16
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Old Testament - In First Chronicles chapter 24 today we read about the divisions of the priests and the Levites. It is important to note that the priests and Levites had differing roles. The priests actually performed the sacrifices whereas the Levites assisted the priests in their duties - including assisting in the sacrifices, playing music, baking goods, and care of the Tabernacle/Temple (to name a few things the Levites did). Both priests and Levites were from the tribe of Levi, but the priests also had to be descendants of Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. More details on the duties of the priests and Levites are at this link.
Ever wonder why we have music in church today? First Chronicles 25 verse 1 could be where the stage is set for the tradition of music in our worship services! "David and the army commanders then appointed men from the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to proclaim God's messages to the accompaniment of harps, lyres, and cymbals." Do you find music in church to be inspiring? Do you worship God with music in church? Why do you suppose music moves people so profoundly in church? Do you think music can bring people closer to Jesus? Has music brought you closer to Jesus?
New Testament - We have great writings by Paul today in Romans how we are declared righteous before God! Verse 4 is powerful - "When people work, their wages are not a gift. Workers earn what they receive. But people are declared righteous because of their faith, not because of their work." Our right relationship with Jesus is a gift. We do not work to earn it. It is given to us as a gift. Our right relationship with God is not because of our work - but because of Jesus' work on our behalf on the cross. Have you accepted the gift? If not, will you accept Jesus' invitation to receive this free gift today?
Paul's writings about Abraham's faith are wonderful in today's readings. Verses 9 & 10 stands out: "Well, what about Abraham? We have been saying he was declared righteous by God because of his faith. But how did his faith help him? Was he declared righteous only after he had been circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? The answer is that God accepted him first, and then he was circumcised later!" These verses are an example of Abraham being accepted into a right relationship with God through faith - not works (circumcision in this case). I do believe our good works are desired and appreciated by God - he wants us to ultimately live holy & loving lives where we love God and love people. But, faith in Jesus and acceptance by God comes first, then our good works for the Kingdom come as fruits of our faith. Abraham was an example of this as we read in verse 3 - "For the Scriptures tell us, "Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous."" Below is an portrait of Abraham being called by God by artist Guy Rowe:
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "An Old Testament Illustration of Justification by Faith" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 13 is thought to be a prayer by David for recovery from a grave illness, based on verse 3: "Restore the light to my eyes, or I will die." Yet, even in the midst of this serious illness, David amazingly proclaims in verse 5: "But I trust in your unfailing love." How about you? When you are sick or in the midst of a very challenging or sad situation, do you trust in God's unfailing love? Always? No matter what is going on around you? Do you trust that God will ultimately restore the light to your eyes?
Proverbs - Proverbs 19 verse 15 is quite true - "A lazy person sleeps soundly--and goes hungry." Have you ever had lazy periods of your life? Are you maybe in one now? Do you realize that when you are lazy you are slowly starving yourself? That you are going hungry? I believe this can apply to being lazy about our physical world - as well as our spiritual world. When we are lazy in our faith, yes, I believe we can appear to "sleep soundly." But - meanwhile we are starving ourselves spiritually, which is a grave risk. Are you in a physically or spiritually lazy place right now? If so, will you turn to Jesus for your work orders - and for your very food? If you are in a lazy place right now, please do not continue to sleep quite so soundly...
YouTube - A while back I listened to one of Joshua Harris' sermons for the first time, and it was one of the best sermons I've heard in a while! He just started a series on "Discernment" and the sermon I listened to was Biblically based and incredibly thought provoking for our lives. The sermon is based on First Thessalonians 5:21-22 - "Test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil." You can download the MP3 of this sermon at this link. Below is a brief YouTube clip from this sermon on Discernment (5 minutes of a 51 minute sermon! :) -
Have you discerned God in your life? Click here for Discernment!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "Lazy people sleep soundly, but idleness leaves them hungry." Proverbs 19:15 NLT
Prayer Point: Pray that you are not a lazy person. Pray against laziness in your life. Pray that you will rest well and enjoy Sabbath rest, but that you will not be lazy nor idle nor hungry.
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!