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II Chronicles 26:1-28:27

Here we have another king, Uzziah, who sought the Lord only as long as the High Priest, Zechariah, lived. God gave this man success as long as he sought the Lord,

5 Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. And as long as the king sought the LORD, God gave him success (26:5 NLT).

Success, real success comes from the Lord when we follow after God. The first time I remember hearing this concept were in the words God spoke to Joshua before he lead Israel into the Promise Land.

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Jos 1:8 AMP)

Success does not mean prosperity the way we usually think of it; in fact one can be prosperous in man’s eye and not have “good” success. The use of the adjective “good” before the word success implies one’s success can be bad. Today I read in the paper that a very wealthy man, who others said taught them how to love and loved his family, Arthur Zankel, jumped out of the ninth floor window of his apartment building. He was indeed prosperous: but was he successful in God’s economy.

It seems that godly success had a inherent trap for us, illegal conversion. We take what belongs to God, done under the power of God and covert it to success accomplished by me, myself and I, the unholy trinity. Studying the rise and downfall of Israel’s and Judah’ kings should be a warning and example for us in what NOT to do when we are blessed with success done God’s way.

Romans 13:1-14

Rom 13:1-2 NET. Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God's appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. (2) So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment

Hmmm, so we ARE supposed to obey our governing bodies, even when they are not Christian. Paul wrote this as a citizen of the Roman Empire, a not so very nice government. So what was that thing about not paying taxes because …

There are a lot of us Christians who think we are above the law of the land. We justify our breaking of the laws. We even justify not obeying rules and regulations of the local church body we attend. “Yes, I know we are asked not to leave before the Pastor dismisses us and especially when the alter call has gone out and we are praying for those who have accepted Jesus Christ, but I have an emergency.” Then latter you find that emergency is being the first on line to get the tape or CD of the message Pastor just spoke on about obedience. If we cannot obey and honor the laws of the land, our church and our jobs given be the people we can see; do we really think we are going to obey God whom we cannot?

Joh 14:15 NET. "If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”
Who is speaking? Jesus.

Psalm 23:1-6
I know this Psalm is read at funerals; however, I’ve always been uncomfortable when it is read over a deceased body or when death is talked about, but that is my thing. I look at the transition from verses two and three, which state, “He maketh me…; He leadeth …; He restoreth …,” then in verse four, “Yea, though I walk…” Shepherds lead and sheep follow, but sometimes they walk off and follow something else. Yet the Good Shepherd goes and looks for the lost sheep (John 10:11). That looking for the lost sheep and finding them is where I see verse four coming in.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
(Psa 23:4 KJVR)

If Jesus is light and life, then death is not with Him. If I have taken it upon myself to walk after a hireling, someone who doesn’t love the sheep, then I will find myself in the Valley of the Shadow of death. A shadow has no substance; it is not the real thing. A shadow is, (1. darkened shape of something in light: a darkened shape on a surface that falls behind somebody or something blocking the light-- Encarta® World English Dictionary [North American Edition] © & (P)2005). I’ve never been bitten by a shadow of a dog but I’ve been bitten by the real thing.

The rod and staff of a shepherd is used to fend off wild animals, or people, and to pull the animal out of crevices, holes and bramble bushes the wandering sheep might find themselves in.

As stated in the beginning this is my problem and something I’ve thought about over the years.

Proverbs 20:11

Hmmm, there is this way of thinking that ALL children are born sin free. They not born bad, they become bad by their environments and the people surrounding them. This eleventh verse makes no mention of the parents or the neighborhood. Life is all about choices and even a child can choose to do good or do evil no matter the neighborhood or their parentage. And if even children are known by their acts, then what follows, as Mike has stated, we adults are definitely know by our acts, not our words or intentions.

When we excuse our behavior using our intentions as justification and we turn and judge others by their acts/behavior we are being hypocritical based on yesterdays readings. Yikes!

Grace and peace,

Paul says in Romans to give what is deserved and pay what is owed. Lets follow his line of thinking here..., if honor and respect are not owed, then we are not to give it. If taxes are not owed, then we are not obligated to pay them.

Amen,Mike, on the Proverbs comments.I have grown weary with the grace message being proclaimed way out of context!

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