DBRP- WEEK 1, Day 3, Wednesday, 3 Jan 2018
Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 3 Jan 18:
1. Genesis 5:22 – “Enoch walked with God.” The Bible only uses the phrase “walked with God” to describe the lives of Enoch and Noah, both used mightily by God. Our goal should be to make that our epitaph!
2. Genesis 6:8, 9 – “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” In a corrupt world, Noah stood out as faithful. In his fidelity, God revealed to Noah what no one else could see and used Noah to play a critical role in redemptive history. We should seek to blameless on our generation. Are you willing to defy the entire world for God?
3. Genesis 6:9 – “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” Who are you walking with? Your actions reveal the answer.
4. Genesis 6:13 – “And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh.’” God reveals His plans to His faithful servants, those who can be trusted with revelation as evidenced by their response to God’s commandments.
5. Genesis 6:19 – “They shall be male and female.” Gender confusion does not come from God.
6. Genesis 6:22 – “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Again, Noah could be trusted to obey completely. Note that Jesus commanded that His disciples make disciples who would “obey all that I have commanded.” Obedience is the proof of faith, hope, and love.
7. Genesis 6:22 – “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” Noah was known for total obedience, making him usable by God to do great things. Be known for total obedience to God.
8. Proverbs 3:3 – “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you.” Love and faithfulness go hand-in-hand. If you love God, you will obey Him. If you struggle to obey, understand that it is a heart problem. Don’t simply try to strengthen your resolve, get to the “heart” of the problem. In your failure, turn closer to Jesus, not further away. Don’t give up, surrender instead. Turn your life over to Jesus more completely.
9. Proverbs 3:4 – “So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” Success is defined by God. Success is found in fulfilling God’s purpose for your life which is becoming one with Him. When you have success with God, you will be respected by the respectable.
10. Proverbs 3:5-8 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” Another critical theme throughout the Bible – You cannot know what you should do apart from the guidance of the Holy Spirit. To be guided by the Holy Spirit, you must seek to walk in God’s word, to obey God’s word, to make the decision to turn away from evil (disobedience). Only God can keep your path straight. If you choose to trust in self, you will walk away from God no matter how much you ask God to bless what you have chosen to do. God does not follow you, you must follow God.
11. Proverbs 3:9, 10 – “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” When you are working for God, when your life is dedicated to Him, you give Him your best, not what is left. You put God first with your focus, your time, your energy, and your resources. When God is first, you will no longer struggle to find time for Him.
12. Proverbs 3:11-12 – “My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” Are you grateful for God’s discipline in your life? How do you respond?
13. Proverbs 3:19 – “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens.” When you walk in the wisdom which only comes from God, you walk in harmony with all creation. You tap into the powers that control the universe, the power of the Creator! Nothing can compare to that.
14. Proverbs 3:24-26 – “If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence.” The prohibition most repeated by Jesus in the Bible is “Do not fear”, or “Fear not”. When you are walking with Jesus, you never need to worry about your circumstances. Even in death, you can trust that your perfectly loving, all powerful Father is giving you the very best for you, far greater than you can imagine.
15. Proverbs 3:27-28 – “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.” God’s greatest commandment for us is love, and He expects instant and willing obedience. Don’t hesitate in your obedience by withholding love, even for a second. If you see a need, meet the need immediately. See what happens.
16. Matthew 3:1, 2 – “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” As with Jesus, John the Baptist’s first message was “repent”. We don’t hear that word used much anymore, though it remains critical to the Gospel message. Damnation must be understood before salvation can be appreciated. We must remember that we are saved, not from the earthly consequences of our sinful behavior, but from the wrath of The Holy God. You must know the bad news before you can appreciate the Good News.
17. Matthew 3:4 – “Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.” John the Baptist was not focused on the comforts of life. He was focused on preaching the word of God.
18. Matthew 3:7 — “You brood of vipers!” Today, few would dare talk to others about their sin as John the Baptist did for fear that they would be labelled as “judgmental”. Jesus used the same sort of language several times, and even physically attacked people in the Temple. In John 7:24, Jesus says, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” How do you make sense of that?
19. Matthew 3:8 – “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” True repentance produces fruit revealed in a changed life.
20. Matthew 3:8 — “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” His message mirrors that of Jesus, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) A confession of faith starts with repentance. The Greek word is metanoeō, which means to “change your mind”, or to change the ‘intent of your heart’. (Acts 8:22) Of course, the expectation is that with a changed heart comes a changed life, the ‘fruit of repentance’, the product and evidence of faith. Today, we read the story of Noah who “found favor in the eyes of the Lord…. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 5:8, 9) I prefer the King James translation in this verse: “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” The word ‘grace’ here being the Hebrew word chên, “kindness and mercy imposed by a superior to an inferior.” The order of the verses in this account matters – Moses received “grace” and was made “righteous” or ‘right’ in the eyes of God; Moses then, in response to grace, lived righteously and “walked with God”. What does it look like to walk with God? “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.” (Genesis 6:22) Noah lived “by every word that [came] from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3) In today’s readings, we see Jesus exemplify the fruitful life of obedience by being Baptized by John the Baptist though Jesus was without sin – “But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” (Matthew 4:15) Noah was certainly not perfect when God called him, and as we will soon read, Noah still messed up terribly after God called him; nonetheless, Noah ‘pursued’ righteousness and obedience, rendering him usable by God for a critical task requiring much attention to detail (obedience in the smallest of matters). We should encourage one another to walk with God in obedience, confident in grace.
– Isaiah 1:19 — If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
– Acts 6:7 — And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
– Romans 1:5 — through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
– Romans 5:19 — For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
– Romans 6:16 — Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
– Romans 6:17 — But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,
– Romans 15:18 — For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,
– Romans 16:19 — For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil.
– Romans 16:26 — but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—
– 2 Corinthians 2:9 — For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything.
– 2 Corinthians 7:15 — And his affection for you is even greater, as he remembers the obedience of you all, how you received him with fear and trembling.
– 2 Corinthians 10:6 — being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
– Philippians 2:8 — And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
– Titus 3:1 — Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
– Philemon 1:21 — Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.
– Hebrews 5:8 — Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.
– 1 Peter 1:2 — according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
– 1 Peter 1:14 — As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
– 1 Peter 1:22 — Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
21. Matthew 3:12 – “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Jesus separates the true followers of God from everyone else.
22. Matthew 3:15 – “But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’” Again, Jesus modelled obedience and submitted Himself to the will of the Father in humility. He is our example of obedience.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 3 Jan 18: Resolve to develop a reputation, first and foremost, as a person who walks with God. Resolve to stand out as holy, pure, and faithful. Make your first priority, your daily goal to reveal Christ to others in both your words and your deeds. Stand out in such a way that all credit and glory is given to Jesus and none to you. Judge your success today and every day based on how well you serve as an agent of reconciliation between people and Jesus — 2 Corinthians 5:18-20: “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (See today’s reasons)