Job 34:1-36:33 ~ 2 Corinthians 4:1-12 ~ Psalm 44:1-8 ~ Proverbs 22:10-12
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Old Testament - Elihu continues his strong discourse from yesterday! There is a lot of good stuff in his words today. Chapter 34 verse 12 is awesome - "There is no truer statement than this: God will not do wrong. The Almighty cannot twist justice." I pray you believe this verse to be very true...? In chapter 35 the beginning of verse 26 really stood out to me - "Look, God is exalted beyond what we can understand." This is a powerful verse to meditate upon. It is so true! Certainly in this life we can know many things about God. We can read God's Words in the Bible. We can surrender our lives to God's perfect Son, Jesus. We can allow God's Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. And yet, even after all of this, isn't God still exalted beyond what we can understand? This is beautiful to think about. Beautiful to know. We will not fully understand God this side of heaven. But I do think we can certainly begin to know more and more about God and His holy love and righteousness and grace as we go through our lives. God's glory is so immense that we have a lifetime of adventure before us as we learn and experience more and more of God's glory. And then, as we pass on to the other side of this life, there is an eternity with God! The God of all glory. Who is exalted beyond what we can fully understand this side of heaven. Preach it Elihu!
New Testament - I love Second Corinthians chapter 4 verse 1 today. In fact, if there is nothing else you remember from today's readings I hope you will remember the last 4 words of this verse always - "And so, since God in his mercy has given us this wonderful ministry, we never give up." We never give up. That is powerful for each of us to remember. Why? Because we will have good and bad days. Days when we are happy. Days when we might be feeling sad. And there will be days when we make mistakes. When we will stumble. When we will fall. But you know what has often gotten me through days like those? This simple prayer or statement or something that fortunately comes into my mind - "I'm not giving up!" We shouldn't say this as justification for our falling short of God's plan for our life. But, when we do fall short, I have found it helpful. Or, if I haven't fallen short, but bad stuff is happening to me, I say it. And I don't say it just to myself - as if my own will power will get me through the tough times. I say it to God. I say it really as a prayer. I say it almost as a statement against the devil, who would love nothing more than for us to give up. The devil would love it if we stumbled and stayed on the ground. If we decided this Christianity thing was just not for us. But you know what - don't give up! When times are tough. When you stumble, pray it to God - "I'm not giving up." Tell it to yourself. We're not giving up! We're never giving up.... (go frog!) :)
Verse 7 today is indeed a wonderful reminder that we humans are but jars of clay - "But this precious treasure--this light and power that now shine within us--is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.'" We really do have very fragile bodies. They are wonderful! But they are fragile. They break. They will die. As one writer puts it, "our condition is terminal." And it's true. This side of heaven, our bodies will eventually wear out. But - as Paul tells us in this verse - there is light and power that shines within us when we are in relationship with Jesus! The Holy Spirit indwells our earthen vessels. Our jars of clay. And hopefully we and others recognize that the glory within us is not our own. It is of God. And it is a glory that is available to anyone. Free of charge. It is grace and it beckons us to receive God's glory in our jars of clay so that we will live eternally in heavenly bodies. But for now, we are simply in the hands of the Potter...
Psalms - Psalm 44 verse 3 is a wise statement about where the Israelites and our true strength and victory in life comes from - "They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strength that gave them victory. It was by your mighty power that they succeeded; it was because you favored them and smiled on them." As you look back on your life and at the good things that have happened to you, do you think that these things occurred because of your own power or work alone? Or, do you think it is possible that God's hand was blessing your life through all of those good things - even if maybe you did not notice God was there at the time?
Proverbs - Proverbs 22 verse 12 is convicting - "The LORD preserves knowledge, but he ruins the plans of the deceitful." This Proverb reminds me that we truly need to examine our motives. Why do we do what we do? Why do we give? Why do we love? Why do we volunteer? And this list goes on. And I think we need to continually pray that we are doing what we do for pure motives. Not for any hidden agendas. Let us not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. Because, if we are acting with hidden agendas - selfish motives - it is deceitful. Deceitful to others and deceitful to ourselves. We may be tricking ourselves into thinking we are doing something for pure motives when truly there is a selfish agenda in the shadows. God's grace and love and knowledge can of course heal us of our impure motives. And this indeed may be a process over the course of our lifetime. I guess this Proverb jumped out at me because I am realizing that there are times when I do not act with pure motives - particularly when it comes to doing something that on the surface looks good. I am unfortunately oftentimes subconsciously looking for some glory. And ultimately, I know that selfish plans will fail. They will be ruined. How about you? Why do you do what you do? Why do you give? Why do you love? Why do you volunteer? Is it all for the glory of God? Or is there any hint of wanting your own glory?
Worship God: Today's readings in Second Corinthians about "Jars of Clay" reminds me of this Jars of Clay :) song called "Two Hands:"
How are you using your two hands? Click here to raise them High!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that though you may be hard pressed on every side that you will not be crushed, through your saving faith in Jesus. Pray that that though you may find times in your life that you are perplexed, that you will not despair. Pray that if you are ever persecuted, you will not feel abandoned, but know that Jesus holds you in His hands.
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!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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"Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, from the Almighty to do evil.
(Job 34:10 NET.)
Elihu is absolutely correct in his assessment; however, he like Job and his friends assume that it was God that brought this turn of events upon Job. Like all tests given to people the test maker devises the test to measure how well the person has learned the lessons. However, in Job’s case, in our case, God is not the one who creates the tests, the devil and our own sins create the trials and temptations we encounter; however, God uses those trials as tests. He, God doesn’t have to tests us because he knows everything about us, the one who needs the information the test scores brings is US and possibly the devil.
If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small, (Proverbs 24:10 AMP) so the writer of Proverbs states. Crises do not come to take us out; they come to reveal the cracks. Growth comes by way of crises, plans come by way of crises and truth, the truth about ourselves come by way of crises. All truth is confrontational especially the truth about ourselves.
Now why did I go off on that tangent?
ELIHU PROCEEDED and said, Bear with me and wait a little longer, and I will show you, for I have something still to say on God's behalf. (Job 36:1-2 AMP)
Are Elihu’s words presumptuous here, not forgetting that he is sort of a Blow-Hard, but does God really need us to speak, work on His behalf? Has God become senile, has He become weak? What we “do” for God I believe God alowss us to do, He always us to be Co-laborers with Him and in that we should be blessed and in awe of His graciousness and His mercy.
Hmmm, the process of evaporation was known back in the 10th century B.C., Just a little side note.
Behold, God is great, and we know Him not! The number of His years is unsearchable. [I Cor. 13:12.] For He draws up the drops of water, which distil as rain from His vapor, Which the skies pour down and drop abundantly upon [the multitudes of] mankind. (Job 36:26-28 AMP)
II Corinthians 4:1-12
I like this,
Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2 MSG)
I love Paul’s integrity, his faith in God and His Word, his faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross can be clearly seen in the first two verses of this chapter. Jesus said, “And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me." (John 12:32 MSG). Paul preached, “…nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:2 NET.)
Today, we have chicken dinners, great singers, bands, flash, lights, smoke and mirrors to attract folks to church. Where is the “Jesus Christ and Him crucified” message?
Do many fall away because we present a Christ that is not true, do we subvert the message because we don’t really believe in it and its power to change the lives of people? As the Newsweek article that Mike linked stated, American’s are looking for the spiritual, they want an experience with God. But is the experience we Believers are giving them is it God? No every sprit is of God.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NET.)
In the vernacular of the masses, this Psalm can be summed up in one sentence,
It Ain’t about you, or us, it’s all about God!
Hmmm, 10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting, quarrels, and insults will disappear. Sooo does that mean if you have fighting, quarreling and insulting behavior in the midst, which is an effect then there must be a mocker as the cause. What’s going on on your job, in your home?
Does this verse go along with what is written in the Book of James?
For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices. (James 3:16 AMP)
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | August 29, 2017 at 08:03 PM