“Giving: God Weighs the Heart” July 14

 

Giving: God Weighs the Heart - God is the One who weighs our hearts, but giving is one good indicator of the condition of our hearts.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. Just saying!

 

CHEERFUL GIVING 

 

generous

Then in chapter 24 we see the king commanding an offering be taken up to support the work of God (v. 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 being taken. How do you respond when the offering is taken? 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

“Unborn Babies, Ungodly Friends & Turning the World Upside Down” July 12

 

Unborn Babies, Ungodly Friends & Turning the World Upside Down - As a nation we will answer to God for our failure to defend the fatherless. Pray that our nation as a whole and our leaders, in particular, would repent and change. In the meantime, let's commit to do all we can for the most innocent and helpless of the fatherless, our unborn babies. Can being unequally yoked in marriage, in business, and in our close friendships affect our walk with God?As a nation we will answer to God for our failure to defend the fatherless. Pray that our nation as a whole and our leaders, in particular, would repent and change. In the meantime, let’s commit to do all we can for the most innocent and helpless of the fatherless, our unborn babies.

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

With all the evil in the world, can believers still turn the world upside down?

 

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

 

Unborn Babies, Ungodly Friends & Turning the World Upside Down

 

Psalm 82.1-8:

Our Failure to Defend the Fatherless

 

The word “god” here refers to world leaders. All authority comes from Him and ultimately all the world’s leaders will answer to Him. This phrase from our reading in 2 Chronicles comes to mind, “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD …  therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you.”

Verse 3 says, “Defend the poor and fatherless …” If there is any area where our leaders, the political movers and shakers, the media, and people as a whole, have lost any fear of the Lord, it’s in this area.

We may be defending the poor, though not necessarily wisely, but we have horribly ignored the second part, that of defending the fatherless. Instead, as a nation, by making abortion a woman’s right, we have decided to simply destroy many of the “fatherless” as an inconvenience! Pray that the fear of God would once more rule our country!

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

2 Chronicles 19 & 20:

Rebuked by God for the People with Whom He Associated

 

Verses 19.1-2, “Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned safely to his house in Jerusalem. And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehoshaphat, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Therefore the wrath of the LORD is upon you.'”

Here was a man who loved God and obeyed Him in many areas, but God was greatly displeased with him because of the people with whom he associated!  Continue reading

July 30 “The dangerous spiral of sin”

imagesCAC72NT4 A lack of willingness to accept and believe the truth can start an individual or a society as a whole on a downward spiral of sin. But sadly, it’s not a lack of truth, rather a suppressing of the truth, not that most people don’t know the truth, but because they just don’t want to hear it.

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 12 & 13
Psalm 89.30-37
Proverbs 22.3-4
Romans 1.1-32

Well, here we are finishing up the book of Nehemiah. Do you realize we have finished well over half of the Old Testament, 16 books in total and a good portion of Psalms and Proverbs? We’ve finished the four gospels and the book of Acts, the historical books of the New Testament.

Now we are starting the Epistles of Paul in the New Testament, beginning with the book of Romans and tomorrow we’ll start the book of Esther in the Old Testament. It’s exciting to see the progress we’re making.

Romans, Bible If you have gotten behind, jump back in here with Romans. It’s an incredible book with so much to teach us, as does all the Bible. 2 Timothy 3.16-17 says:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Well, on to the word … Continue reading

July 14 “Giving & the weight of your heart” & LINKUP

giving heart

God doesn’t want us to give grudgingly or of necessity, but giving is a good indicator of our hearts.

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

2 Chronicles 23 & 24:

Separation of church and state?

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 (ch. 23).

Giving generously

Then in chapter 24 we see the king commanding that an offering be taken up to support the work of God (v. 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. Continue reading

March 31 “Judging God”

Too often as we read the Old Testament, we’re tempted to judge God by our human standards.

judging God

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 23 & 24
Psalm 39.1-6
Proverbs 13.1-3
Luke 5.17-39

Deuteronomy 23 & 24:

God’s Holy Standard

Oh, thank God that we live in an age of grace! Think about it, everything we have read in the law, even the parts that are hard to understand or hard to justify by our human standards and understanding, were intended to point us to our need for His grace. As I said yesterday, the law was intended to help us see our complete inability to keep God’s standard, so that we would see our need for a Savior!

It seems harsh in today’s world to say that a person who was born illegitimately could not go into the temple (23.2). Oh, that God would help us understand that He is holy. In Isaiah’s vision the seraphim cried out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”

The only way any of us can come to that throne in heaven, which was represented by the Mercy Seat inside the Holy of Holies in the temple, is through the blood of Christ which takes away our sins. God had to help the people understand His holiness. He wants to help us understand His holiness, too, as we read these Old Testament passages. Continue reading