April 24, 2 Chronicles 13-16

 

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If I had one message left to preach, that message would be on the cross and the resurrection.  If I had two messages left to preach, the other message would be from our reading today.  I have often thought about King Asa as an example of so many Christians.  Asa served the LORD in one season in his life, but was not serving the LORD as his life came to a close.  In chapter 14, we read that King Asa removed the pagan altars.  He relied on the LORD for success in military battles.  In chapter 15, we read that Asa was a person who gained the respect of others and influenced them to a point of serving God.  However, all of that changes in chapter 16.  Asa ceased to rely on God, and instead, relied on another king.  When confronted with his sin, Asa was so enraged that he put his “confronter” in prison.  Then, in a very sad commentary, we read that Asa died seeking help only from the physicians, but not from the LORD.

How does this backwards transformation happen?  I think we have our clue in 2 Chronicles 16:9.  Whatever good may be said about Asa, it must have been that his heart was not fully committed to God.

As you think about Asa’s story, allow me to leave you two thoughts to ponder.  First, understand, that your relationship with God today says nothing about your relationship with God tomorrow.  That is, you must strive to be fully committed to God every day.  If not, you may slowly drift in your relationship to Him.  Second, ask yourself today if there is anything in your life that gives evidence of not being fully committed to God.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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April 23, 2 Chronicles 10-12

 

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Have you noticed how the kings mentioned throughout our readings are memorialized as either doing evil in the sight of the LORD or doing right in the sight of the LORD?  We will continue to see this description as we read the rest of 2 Chronicles.  Ask yourself how history would record your life?  Are you satisfied with that description?

As we read about Rehoboam, today, we read that he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.  Herein is the foundation to whether your life is pleasing or displeasing to the LORD.  Can you honestly say today that your heart is set on seeking HIM?

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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April 22, 2 Chronicles 6-9

 

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You have probably heard of 2 Chronicles 7:14.  It is usually offered as a prayer for revival or a prayer for a nation.  Notice, though, that 2 Chronicles is not a prayer, but rather God’s response to the prayer offered by Solomon.  God’s response is a reminder that He will keep His covenant with Israel.  In addition, God’s response is a reminder that He does hear when we pray.

Solomon begins his prayer with praise and humility.  Solomon’s prayer contains the attitude of complete dependence upon God.  Real prayer starts with acknowledging that we are completely dependent upon God.  Until we recognize our total dependence on God to work, all of our praying is rather mechanical and mundane.  Finally, Solomon’s prayer acknowledges the importance of repentance in God hearing our requests.

Solomon’s prayer, like those read in 1 Chronicles, also serves as a model for our praying.  Indeed our families, churches, and nations are in need of prayers that are humble, attitudes that are dependent upon God, and hearts that are repentant of sin.  Then, and only then, will God hear and heal. 

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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April 21

 

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One of my favorite parts of 1 Chronicles is the prayers that are recorded.  Every prayer recorded in the Bible can become a model for our prayer life.  Consider making these prayers your prayers.  Here is a sampling of the prayers of 1 Chronicles.

The Prayer of Jabez (4:9)—Your perspective of Jabez’ prayer should be enhanced by reading the Bible through verse by verse.  A pattern of the person that God blesses has been clearly established in the verses of the Bible before 1 Chronicles 4:9.  God blesses that person who is obedient to Him.  God’s blessing and disobedience never intersect. The only way to truly pray the prayer of Jabez is in obedience.

The Prayer of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the ½ Tribe of Manasseh (5:20)—“They cried out to Him.  He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.”  Do we truly trust God when we pray?  God answers prayer because of our obedience, but He always answers prayers as a result of our trust.  Remember the words of James, “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.”  (James 1:6-7)

The Prayer of David for Wisdom (14:10-16)  “Shall I go and attack the Philistines?”  Notice how the directions change in verse 14.  What if David would have assumed the answer to his request based on past experience?  With God, the relationship that is built through struggling over the answer is more important than the answer itself.  Don’t miss the opportunity to pray a matter through until you hear from God.  Henry Blackaby says that God speaks to us by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.  Be a David—inquire of the Lord in all that you do, even if you think you know the answer.  The relationship that you build with the Lord will often be a better reward than receiving the answer.

An Extended Prayer of Awe (17:16-27)  Notice first the posture of David’s prayer—He sat before the Lord.  This probably is an indication of an extended period of prayer.  In addition we see the humility of David in this prayer and his complete amazement that God has selected him as the servant to be king over Israel.  Here is a powerful prayer of praise!

David’s Offering Prayer (29:10-19)  In this prayer is David’s recognition of his complete unworthiness in giving an offering to God.  As we give our offerings, let us be reminded that we are not doing anything for God.  He has given us what we are giving.  Giving is not about what we are doing for God.  Rather, giving provides us the opportunity to remind ourselves of all that God has given us.  How’s that for a different perspective on giving.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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April 20, 2 Chronicles 1-5

 

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The book of 2 Chronicles begins with the story of Solomon’s reign (1-9) and then proceeds to tell the story of the kingdom of Judah.  Again, we must remind ourselves that the time described is the same as that of the book of 1 and 2 Kings.  Greater detail is added at times to the “religious” aspects of the lives of these kings.

At the very end of our reading today, we read an interesting comment concerning the priests in the Temple.  They were so overwhelmed with the glory of God filling the Temple, that they were unable to perform their duties.  I began thinking about what fills our minds when we attend public worship.  If we are not careful our focus will be on such ordinary things.  I cannot tell you how many times as a pastor that the focus of the church gathered has been on how hot or cold the building was, a song that was sung, a chair that was in the wrong place, a parking place available or not available, and a thousand other things that really ought not to matter.  Pray that on your next trip to God’s House you will be so absorbed with the glory of God filling the House that you will not have time to see the things that might be slightly off the mark of your human expectations.

Devotional by Steve Horn. Scripture links by www.biblegateway.com. Animated video by www.thebibleproject.com

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