2 Kings 3:1-4:17 ~ Acts 14:8-28 ~ Psalm 140:1-13 ~ Proverbs 17:22
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Old Testament - In 2 Kings 3 verse 3 today we are reminded that King Jeroboam's legacy is held out as a unfavorable legacy... "Nevertheless he (Joram) continued in the sins of idolatry that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led the people of Israel to commit." That is an interesting thing to think about - a legacy. Jeroboam's legacy was obviously not one we'd like to have. So, what type of legacy would you like to have? And what type of legacy are you in fact leaving these days? The more I think about my legacy, the more I simply hope and pray that my legacy is something along the lines of "one who loved God and loved people." Pretty simple really. But also really tough in our modern world full of so many distractions! And I am not so sure that I am really leaving this legacy some days. I don't want to pursue this type of legacy for the wrong reasons - for any sort of appearing "righteous" or prideful reasons. But I in fact I really do want to spend the rest of my days simply loving God and loving people. Whatever else I do - career, ministry, whatever - pales in comparison to loving God and loving people. I even hesitate to write this hope for a legacy on this blog - I feel like I should go back and delete everything I just wrote. Except - I think this might be the type of legacy we are called to as Christians. Remember the two great commands Jesus gave us in Matthew 22:37 & 39 - "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself." Love God and love people. So - whaddya think? Is this a good legacy for us to aim for? Should we be aiming for a legacy at all? What will your legacy be?
2 Kings 4 verse 8 definitely demonstrates that in addition to being a prophet, Elisha was a very wise man! "One day Elisha went to the town of Shunem. A wealthy woman lived there, and she invited him to eat some food. From then on, whenever he passed that way, he would stop there to eat." :)
Bible.org's commentary on today's 2 Kings readings titled "The Rebellion of the Moabites" is at this link, "Elisha Prepares to Hear God’s Word" is at this link, "The Victory Over Moab" is at this link, "God’s Supply in the Midst of Poverty" is at this link, and "The Shunammite Woman Receives a Son" is at this link.
New Testament - Wow... amazing readings today... Do you see the depth and strength and love of Paul's faith in verses 19 & 20 - "Now some Jews arrived from Antioch and Iconium and turned the crowds into a murderous mob. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead. But as the believers stood around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe." Paul is stoned and then gets back up and keeps going forward in his ministry for God! Next thing you know he is praying and fasting for elders in churches - after nearly getting stoned to death! I want a faith like that... Also, it is wonderful to read in today's readings how Paul and Barnabas tear their garments because they are so distressed that people were worshiping them as if they were gods! Would we react so quickly to stop people from worshiping us today I wonder... ?
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Mission Accomplished" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 140 is a prayer for deliverance from evil. And this Psalm certainly should be a good reminder of the Lord’s Prayer, where we pray – “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” What is the one thing that can truly deliver us from evil? Can we deliver ourselves from evil on our own? Or do we need something beyond ourselves for this deliverance?
Verse 7 in this Psalm gives each of us something to consider and should be an encouragement: “O Sovereign LORD, my strong savior, you protected me on the day of battle.” Do you believe God is your strong savior who will protect you from evil on the day of battle? Do you believe that perhaps every day is a day of battle? Do you believe that Satan or evil ever rests in attempting to tempt people? Should we pray for protection from evil on a very regular basis? The Lord’s Prayer / Our Father is one great way to do this each day…
From 1928’s Book of Common Prayer: “Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.” Lord, teach us how to pray...
Proverbs - Proverbs 17 verse 22 for some reason reminds me of Paul again from today's Acts readings: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength." Think back again to Paul being nearly stoned to death in today's readings. Think he would have a good "reason" to have a broken spirit after something like that happened to him? But.... we see what he goes and does for the Kingdom just after that tragic incident! My hunch is that Paul had a very cheerful heart - because he was in such close relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. And his cheerful heart was certainly good medicine for him. He did not allow himself to have a broken spirit - even after nearly being stoned to death! Seriously, Paul is amazing - but don't worry, I'm not worshiping him... :) I am just amazed at how in love he was with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit - and how he let that love guide him and propel him forward no matter what. So, back to this Proverb - do you think it is possible for us at times to "decide" whether to have a cheerful heart or a broken spirit? All of us have something bad happen at some time or another. Is it possible that we can "decide" to be cheerful or broken after something bad happens to us? If it is possible to be cheerful after something bad happens to us, why? I think we could learn from Paul's example. If we are so close in relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, I pray we can weather any storm that life might bring. Any storm. Do you believe this is true?
Worship Video: 2nd Kings today reminds me of the song "Legacy" by Nichole Nordeman:
Do you want to leave a legacy? Click here for the true Legacy!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your heart is cheerful, through the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit living within you through your faith in Jesus. Pray that you encourage others in their spiritual journeys to have cheerful hearts as well. Pray that you will minister to those in your life with a crushed spirit.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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II Kings 3-4:17
What I love about the bible are all the personal stories of the Patriarchs, the Prophets and kings. To me their stories are like Case Studies that I can observe, study and see all the warts, mistakes, miss-steps and obedience to God or lack there of. Since we live in a “Cause and Effect” world, I don’t have to bop myself upside the head repeating the same mistakes they did. If I study carefully their choices and the subsequent consequences, I can avoid failing down the same well they did. There are so many traps laid out to catch us and it is wonderful to have inside knowledge of how the devil operates, as well as avoiding those choices that eminent from my focus on “self.”
Jehoshaphat again aligns himself with Ahab’s family. This time it is his son, Joram. The last time this happened he almost got himself killed (I Kings 22), yet he again forms a pact with Israel. However because Jehosaphat is with Joram, the prophet Elisha, given the Word of the Lord regarding the battle, tolerates Joram and God gives them a great victory. How many people think they are all that and a bag of chips because they have been involved in something that is successful; however, the success of the project is not because they have clean hands or favor with God, it is because someone on the team is being honored by God because God is giving them respect and favor. I know I have been guilty of that.
We would laugh if we found out that the donkey Jesus rode on in his triumphant entry into Jerusalem thought that all the cheering was for him. But we are like the donkey when we take credit for things that succeed because we think it’s all about us; instead of realizing that the victories we experience, the favor we have, come because God sees us through the prism of His Son, Jesus. When God looks at me, a Christian, He does not see me He sees Jesus.
6We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.
When someone who can walk is injured and has to stay off their feet for even one week, when they become ambulatory again, they have a problem with balance. If someone is immobilized for an extended period, they usually go to a rehabilitation hospital to learn to walk and move again. This man that was healed had never walked before so not only did he receive strength in his feet to walk, he got instantaneous control of muscles he had never used before. That is just awesome.
I imagine that David wrote this Psalm as he dodged King Saul’s dogged attempt to catch and kill him. Instead of trying to ambush and kill Saul or using the two opportunities that walked into his life to take Saul out, David gave the job of extracting vengeance over to God. David is such a role model to follow when others have wronged us and we want to get our pound of flesh. God takes care of all those who come against His servants and children. That is knowledge that I need to get deep down inside of me.
How we approach the day, how we respond to our situations and circumstances is a matter of choice, always was, is and will be. Circumstances shouldn’t color our day, we should color our circumstances with a joyful attitude. Happiness is based on circumstances; joy is based on knowing the outcome. As Christians, we are more than conquers which implies that we will have things to conquer, but we win!
As the Apostle Paul states, 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (Philippians 4)
Grace and peace,
Posted by: Ramona | June 21, 2021 at 08:58 PM