Category Archives: 2 Chronicles

I will trust God

“Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen?  Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand.” 2 Chronicles 16:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 16, 2 Chronicles 15-16, Colossians 1.

It is an easy place to fall into: trusting God selectively.

Some things are so big that they are beyond God’s reach.

Some things are so small that we can handle them without His help.

Total folly involved in both ways of thinking.

I need God every second.  There are no “little” things or “too big” things with God.  Anytime I exclude God from my thinking is a mistake.

How often I generalize prayers in the early going of the day, “Lord, direct my path today so that I will always do Your Will.”  Sadly, as the day unravels I have lost connection to Him.  I have drifted into my own ways without consulting Him for guidance.

I must be filled with the Holy Spirit.  That filling is an ongoing thing.  It takes so little to slip away from Him.  Later, I wonder why I wasn’t more aware of Him.

“Lord, there are counterfeit gods that lure me away from You.  There is also an unwillingness on my part to hold on to You full-time.  I start the day wanting to but that hold doesn’t last as it should.  As a result, I miss so much of You.  I need You.  Take me over and prick my conscience when I am loose from You.  I love You, Father.”

Will I commit to full-time trust in God?

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Humble pie

“The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, ‘The Lord is just.’”  2 Chronicles 12:6.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 12, and Philippians 3.

God is watching our attitudes.

Great attitude displayed in this verse.  God had judged them harshly and they are saying that they deserved it.

Am I ready to admit that I am mistaken?  Do I always want to be right?  Sometimes and often.

I often fool myself into thinking that my good qualities outweigh my not-so-good qualities.  I imagine God seeing the balance sheet reflecting more goods than bads.

God doesn’t see things that way.  He sees what I really am………..and it’s not good.  I have no business thinking that my being good carries weight with Him.

God would rather that I see my weaknesses.  This will keep me from self-righteousness.  I will be certain that I absolutely need Him involved in all that I do or else I will mess things up.  Even if things go good, I’m likely to take credit for it and ignore God.

“I am a sinner deserving nothing from You, Father.  Yet You took care of my sin problem.  You carried them away as far as the East is from the West.  They are no more.  Hallelujah!  I turn to You in weakness and ask for Your Holy Spirit to overwhelm my life.  To make it worthy of being Your child.  I need You every second.”

Has anyone ever suggested that you/I are humble?  Why not?

 

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What does rightly representing God look like to others?

“And Hiram added: ‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth!  He has given King David a wise son (Solomon), endowed with intelligence and discernment.’”  2 Chronicles 2:12.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 4-5, 2 Chronicles 2, Psalm 101, and 2 Thessalonians 3.

Hiram was the King of Tyre.  Solomon had negotiated a deal with Hiram to get the temple built.

Ordinary dealings with neighbors usually involved military might with the loser turning over to the winner everything they had.  Solomon went about things differently and Hiram took note of it.

Hiram credited God for Solomon’s behavior.  That was how extraordinary the behavior was.  Is my behavior Godly?

The New Testament is filled with behavioral recommendations for every level of society.  There are no levels in which selfishness is advised.  Love for all others carries the day.

Because of my part-time job, I have gotten a good taste of what it is to work for someone else.  There are guidelines that I’m expected to follow.  There have been times when a boss told me that I had done things wrong.  I didn’t like to hear that!  However, if I want to rightly represent the company, then I must do the jobs assigned correctly.

God has expectations of me, too.  I must ever-so-frequently make certain that I am doing what He wants and avoiding the things He wants me avoiding.  I can never assume that I will figure things out apart from Him.

I do NOT need the praise of others if I am doing what God wants.  Why?  Because He is more important to me than others are.  If I am doing what He wants then we are both pleased.  That’s enough for me.

“Lord, I am intent on rightly representing You everywhere and in everything.  I cannot do this without being filled entirely with Your Holy Spirit.  I ask for that filling right now.  Take me over.  Guide me, O thou great Jehovah.  I love You, Lord.”

I must do, in His strength, what He wants in every situation.

 

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Trouble ahead for sure

“But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.”  2 Chronicles 36:16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 25, 2 Chronicles 36, Jeremiah 40-41, and Revelation 12.

There are folks who operate in ignorance about God.  They just haven’t sorted out what He is all about.

Then there are those who do know about God, and what He’s about, and who willfully reject Him at every level.  Those folks are the ones being spoken of in today’s chosen verse.

God loved Israel and had done amazing things on their behalf in their history but He is also willing to punish them when they disobey Him.  The usual pattern of sin/punishment/repentance is not happening in this case.  The sinning is but the threatened punishment is not serving as a deterrent.  The Israelites ignore the warnings and have no interest in changing their ways.

God uses Nebuchadnezzar to exact a very serious punishment (exile) on them.

In the United States and elsewhere we have many who live in ignorance of God.  They aren’t interested in discerning what God is about but they aren’t hostile to God in their thinking.

We have others who have heard about God and have become zealots in their opposition to Him.  They know what God wants from them (total surrender) and they deliberately rebel against doing that.  They do not fear God.

Both groups need to know the Good News of what God has done for them.

Based on today’s verse I can’t help but be especially concerned for the fate of the anti-God zealots.  When God’s anger is aroused against them their judgment will be severe, I suspect.

My goal in life must be to please God at all levels.  I must seek His direction for my life and align myself to His wishes.

“Lord, forgive me for missing so much of what You want me to do.  Guide me, I beg.  Reveal to me the errors of my way so that I can repent and change direction.  You know what is best.  I totally surrender to You now.  Open the hearts of those in my midst who are misled about what Your Good News means.  They need You.”

You don’t want to fall into the hands of an angry God, do you?  Take His Good News as fact and live accordingly.

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Will you go all in?

“The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord – to follow the Lord, and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.”  2 Chronicles 34:31.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34, and John 6.

Josiah goes all in.

Nothing half-hearted about the young king’s intentions.

Josiah vowed in public to do whatever God wanted Him to do.  He vowed to obey everything that was in the Book of the Laws.

Josiah might not be able to always obey everything but he committed before others to try to.

What is the level of your commitment to God?  What is mine?  Are we intent on doing what He wants?

I read today’s verse and was impressed by not only the level of Josiah’s commitment but his willingness to let everyone know about it.

How easy it is to have a “private” trust in God.  A “private” willingness to please Him.  No repercussions when things start sliding.  Josiah wouldn’t have that luxury.  People knew what he had promised.

I must fully commit myself to God.  I can’t help but think that in my case it can’t be a one-and-done commitment.  I must at least do it daily.

What would happen if I declared daily at the start of the day that I was committing myself to God?  What if those in my midst were alerted by me of my commitment?  I could have myself be accountable.

“Lord, I surrender this day to You.  Help me to renew that commitment as often as it takes for it to affect the way I live.  I want to please You.  Help me, Lord.”

Could you commit to God the way Josiah did?  God wants nothing less.

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Where can pride take you?

“But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.”  2 Chronicles 26:16.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Isaiah 6-7. 2 Chronicles 26-27, and Philemon.

King Uzziah took the fast track to disaster.

He did something he wasn’t supposed to (burn incense in the temple), was confronted, and then got angry.

The unfortunate result of all this for Uzziah was leprosy for the rest of his life.

We live in a culture that encourages pride.  But is that a good thing?

Every good thing I have is a gift from God.  I don’t create the circumstances for success, so why should I gather the credit?

Uzziah’s pride came from successes.  He got the notion that he (Uzziah) had brought them about.  In an earlier verse (seven) in the same chapter we learn otherwise: “God helped him against…..”   God did the “heavy lifting!”  Yet Uzziah forgets this and off to an unhappy life he plunges.

No Scripture is written about my life specifically.  However, I should easily and often apply the verse starting, “God helped him,” to my life.  But do I?  And if I do, is it often enough?

I can sit here in my office and take direct note of “God help’s” in here.  When I go outside, I am deluged by flowers and other pleasant sights.  Do I make the unfortunate mistake of crediting myself for any of it?  I shouldn’t.

“Lord, You have helped me to have every good thing in my midst.  Forgive me for ever thinking I have created any of it.  Prick my conscience when I am messing this up.  Uzziah should have known better and I should know better as well.  May I not miss Your greatness in my midst.  I love You, Father.”

Do you really believe that you have gotten all the good things you have in your own strength?  Seriously?

+9 discipline

hm-73

 

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“Amaziah, what are you thinking?”

“The anger of the Lord burned against Amaziah, and he sent a prophet to him, who said, ‘Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?’” 2 Chronicles 25:15.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 2 Kings 13-14, 2 Chronicles 25, and 2 Timothy 3.

God helps Amaziah win a victory and Amaziah brings homes the gods of the people he defeated and worships them.

Dumb!  You have to wonder where this guy’s brains are.

You just can’t rationalize this sort of behavior.  Or can you?

Think of the things in our lives that we put our trust in.  Our job.  Our health.  Our family.  Our finances.  Those are just a few.

Think of the times God blesses us.  We get something we don’t think we’ll get.  Some pain goes away.  Some bad situation becomes better.  Those are just a few.

How soon thereafter do we get overwhelmed by circumstances?  Do we turn to God or do we latch onto the failed idols for our strength?  Dumb!

Money is terminal.  Health is fleeting.  The job may end.  BUT God is constant.

God is a jealous God.  He wants our full trust.

“Lord, forgive me for losing my connection to You.  Forgive me for chasing counterfeit gods.  Forgive me for ever relying on counterfeit gods.  My trust must be in You.  Whether things go my way or not, I can be sure that trusting You is the way to go.  Help me to get my priorities straight.  I love You, Father.”

Why trust counterfeit gods?

+9 steady but too high

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