“Giving: God Weighs the Heart” July 14

 

Giving: God Weighs the Heart - It’s amazing to me, how many people will spend $4 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or $25 to go to the movies, or $80 or $100 for a pair of tennis shoes, but who give grudgingly or not at all to the work of God. God is the One who weighs our hearts, but giving is one good indicator of our spiritual condition.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 23 & 24
Psalm 83.9-18
Proverbs 21.2-3
Acts 18.1-28

 

Giving: God Weighs the Heart

 

2 Chronicles 23 & 24:

Separation of Church and State?

 

Wicked Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, had killed all her grandsons and seized the throne in Judah. That is all except one, Joash, who was just an infant. His sister had hidden and protected him. John MacArthur says:

This is one of the most dramatic moments in messianic history. The human offspring of David have been reduced to one, Joash. If he had died, there would have been no human heir to the Davidic throne, and it would have meant the destruction of the line of the Messiah. However, God remedied the situation by providentially protecting Joash (2 Chr. 22:10–12) and eliminating Athaliah (1 Chr. 23:12–21).

When Joash was seven years old the High Priest, Jehoiada, and other faithful men stepped forward and began to set things right.

¹ In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and made a covenant with the captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the chief fathers of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem.

Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David. (2 Chron. 23)

They protected and crowned Joash king and killed Athaliah. With Jehoiada’s wise and godly counsel the King restored the temple and temple worship and brought about a revival. Sadly, after the High Priest’s death Joash fell into apostasy, even killing Jehoiada’s son.

We hear a lot about separation of church and state, which by the way is not even in our Constitution. But did you notice who God used to preserve the last heir to the Davidic throne? It was the High Priest, Jehoiada, who was not afraid to get involved in civil matters like … who should be king.

 

Cheerful Giving

 

Giving: Are You a Cheerful Giver?

In chapter 24 we see the king commanding an offering be taken up to support the work of God (2 Chron. 24.9]). Look how the people responded in verses 10-11:

10 Then all the leaders and all the people rejoiced, brought their contributions, and put them into the chest until all had given. 11 So it was, at that time, when the chest was brought to the king’s official by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, that the king’s scribe and the high priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it and returned it to its place. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.

Notice “all the people rejoiced” that an offering was taken up. How do you respond when the offering is taken at your church? Do you rejoice in the opportunity to give to the work of God? Or do you give because you wonder what people will think or because you think God demands it? Do you give at all? Paul said:

“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9.7).

And look at today’s reading in Proverbs …  Continue reading

“Could We Turn the World Upside Down?” July 12

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down? - In the first century a small army of believers turned the world upside down in a matter of a few years without TV, radio, or mass media. They simply believed in the power of the Gospel to change lives and the Holy Spirit working through them. And they did it in the face of intense opposition. Could we turn the world upside down again if we had the same faith and commitment?

Also:

What’s the real problem with the leadership in our nation? Is it party affiliation? A lack of compassion for the poor? Too much politics or too little experience? The answer is really pretty simple.

One of the greatest evils in our nation today is our failure to defend unborn babies. Will God hold us, as a nation, responsible?

Can being unequally yoked in marriage, in business, and in our close friendships affect our walk with God?

And finally, today’s readings contain one of the greatest prayers recorded. It was prayed by a man who fell short like us, but who understood where to turn for help.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Chronicles 19 & 20
Psalm 82.1-8
Proverbs 20.29-30
Acts 17.1-15

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down?

 

Acts 17.1-15:

Faithful Men & Women

 

In verse 6 the Thessalonians said about the disciples, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Beginning with the original Apostles, as they evangelized and discipled others who in turn evangelized and discipled still others, the world was turned upside down in a matter of a few years without TV, radio, or mass media, just the Word of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

I wonder what you and I are doing or could do to turn the world upside down. Are we as committed to share the gospel as those in the first century? Would we still be willing to blog about God and His Word if knew we could be arrested? Would we still attend worship services? Do we invest the time and effort necessary to influence the world around us for Christ?

Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 

This is discipleship. Discipleship takes time and faithfulness. It’s coming alongside someone. It might mean going through a book on marriage with a young wife or a new believer. It might mean working through a book or Bible study on the character of God, the basics of the faith, or some other subject. It might mean teaching a young couple how to be godly parents or a newlywed how to keep house for the glory of God.

 

Could We Turn the World Upside Down?- Are we so busy with the things of this world that we are too entangled to come alongside someone else?Paul went on:

You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 

Are we so busy with the things of this world that we are too entangled to come alongside someone else?

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

The Gospel is not limited to our great persuasive ability, a huge platform, or who is in the White House … just our faithfulness.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes (Rom. 1.16).

Let’s turn the world upside down with the Gospel!

Today’s Other Readings:

 

2 Chronicles 19 & 20:

Ungodly Friends

 

Yesterday, Jehoshaphat, a relatively good king was hanging out with, of all people, Ahab, one of the most wicked kings of the Northern Kingdom. He and his wife Jezebel took the nation of Israel deeper and deeper into idolatry. Today’s reading begins:  Continue reading