Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Monday, September 1, 2014
Sunday, August 31, 2014
2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive, and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”
The temple doors were closed. The utensils had been offered to idols. There were no sacrifices and no worship. The result was that the wrath of God had come against them. The fathers had fallen by the sword, and the sons, daughters, and wives had been taken into captivity.
God’s prescription for this mess was that the ones who were still in the land should repent and restore their own fellowship with the Lord. The result would be that God’s Face of blessings would be turned toward them, and their loved ones in captivity would not only find compassion but be brought home.
It’s hard to believe that our faithfulness can impact captives who are miles away, but it can. Not only can it lighten their burden, but also our faithfulness can be instrumental in their deliverance. Simply doing what we are supposed to do can change the world. Nothing special or unusual is required, just faithful obedience.
We will have ample opportunity this week to draw close the Lord and we must choose whether to increase our faithfulness or continue in the status quo. Some of the people we will encounter are struggling with their hurts, their sin, their pasts, and the grief of their hearts. They are desperate for deliverance. Your faithful obedience and close relationship to Jesus can impact and help to bring about their deliverance. Your obedience may be a vital part of their deliverance. How willing are you to sacrifice for the welfare of those people God brings your way?
Saturday, August 30, 2014
2 Chronicles 31:1 “Now, when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the Asherim, and pulled down the high places of the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim, Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all.”
When they had completed reopening the temple, giving their sin offerings, celebrating the Passover, sacrificing peace offerings, and giving thanks for twice the prescribed time, they were ready to do something about the idols in their lives. This is an important principle that we need to understand clearly. They had a renewed relationship with the Father FIRST. The actions that followed were an outgrowth of relationship.
Picture this if you can. Idols filled the land. There were altars to false gods throughout Judah at the same time that the Passover was ongoing. God did not require them to get “cleaned up and holy” before they came before Him. God allowed them to come back to Him just as they were, with all the idols still standing. The problem, you see, was not with the pile of stones in the altar. The problem was with the stony hearts that worshipped at the altars of stone. He knew that, when their hearts were right with Him, they would willingly remove the idols in their lives.
Perhaps you feel unworthy to serve the Lord or even to be in His presence. Maybe there are idols in your life that need to go. Please don’t hold back in service because of the junk in your life. Remember that our Lord Jesus came because He knew that you could not clean your heart up on your own. He came to pay for the sin in your life and to set you free from its hold on your life.
Come to our Lord in the same way Judah did. Repent, allow Him to deal with the consequences of your sin, renew your relationship with Him, then allow Him to empower you to remove those sources of sin altogether. When He removes your stony heart and replaces it with a heart like His, the altars of stone will be quickly demolished.