Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 2 June 18:
1. 1 Kings 13:6 — “And the king said to the man of God, ‘Entreat now the favor of the LORD your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.’ And the man of God entreated the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before.” The king was only concerned about his arm, his physical health and comfort, rather than his relationship with God and God’s anger over sin.
2. 1 Kings 13:18-24 — Do not be deceived by those who claim to be spiritual leaders but who speak contrary to God’s word. The consequences for being led astray are deadly.
3. 1 Kings 14:6 — “I am charged with unbearable news for you.” We are called to tell the truth, not what people want to hear.
4. 1 Kings 13:22 — “Your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.” There are no excuses for disobeying God, and He holds everyone accountable for their behavior.
5. 1 Kings 14:22 — “Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done.” Rehoboam the son of Solomon was given by God a tremendous responsibility – to be king of Judah, “the city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there.” Rehoboam was a terrible king who defiled the land and led to people into the same sort of idolatry and sexual sin practiced by the pagans around them – “They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.” Under Rehoboam’s leadership, the Israelites had lost their light and where now pure darkness. How could the son of Solomon allow this to happen on his watch? The Bible, in 2 Chronicles tells us: “And he did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the Lord.” (2 Chronicles 12:14) This simple statement is worth repeating — Rehoboam did not “set his heart to seek the Lord.” You too have been given a tremendous responsibility that comes with salvation. You are to be “salt and light,” an Ambassador for Christ, a priest within a priestly kingdom, a witness; you have been called to go into to the world and make disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all the Jesus commanded, all under the authority of Jesus Christ. Have you “set your heart to seek the Lord?”
– Deuteronomy 6:5, 6 — You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
– Deuteronomy 8:17 — Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’
– Deuteronomy 10:12 — “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart.
– Deuteronomy 10:16 – Circumcise… your heart, and be no longer stubborn.
– Deuteronomy 11:16 — Take care lest your heart be deceived.
– Deuteronomy 11:18 — “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart.
– Deuteronomy 15:9 — Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart.
– Deuteronomy 30:10 — obey the voice of the Lord your God…. turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
– 1 Samuel 12:24 — Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
– Psalm 4:4 — Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
– Psalm 40:8 — I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
– Psalm 40:10 — I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
– Psalm 86:11 — Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
– Psalm 119:7 — I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
– Psalm 119:32 — I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!
– Psalm 119:112 — I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.
– Proverbs 3:1, 3 — My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments… Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.
– Proverbs 3:5 — Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
– Proverbs 4:23 — Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
6. Proverbs 2:1-5 — To truly know God, your relationship with Him must be your life’s pursuit.
7. Proverbs 2:4, 5: “…if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” Your relationship with God and your spiritual development takes hard work. Not everyone has a heart for the effort.
8. Proverbs 2:6-10 — “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.” The Lord gives wisdom. It is not something that can be obtained by man apart from God’s enabling. You must be born again to “understand righteousness.” Wisdom must “come into your heart” (not just your mind), and it must “be pleasant to your soul.” Jesus clearly explained to Nicodemus (see John 3) that you must be “born of the Spirit” to have true wisdom, and we cannot give spiritual birth to ourselves, it must come from God. We are “dead to our sins” until we are saved through Christ and come alive with the Spirit within us. And it isn’t that we choose to be born, it is that when we were still not alive (powerless), God chose us and chose to pay for our sins. As today’s Psalms explain: “When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts (Psalm 65:3, 4)!” Wisdom is knowledge rightly applied. No matter how smart you are or become, you can never understand enough within your human abilities to rightly apply knowledge. The Bible says that our thoughts are infinitely removed from God’s thoughts. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that reveals to us the mind of God and reveals to us what we don’t have the capacity to know otherwise. We then need the conviction of the Holy Spirit to have the self-control (a fruit of the Spirit) to do what we know we should do. You have been chosen by God; now what?
9. Proverbs 2:7, 8 – “…he is a shield to those who walk in integrity….” God’s shield does not protect you if you are not behind it.
10. Proverbs 2:10 – “…for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul….” True understanding requires knowledge to move from your head to your heart through the Holy Spirit, which is wisdom. With much knowledge of the Bible, and much commitment in the name of God, Paul persecuted Christians, until God impacted his heart and taught him a true understanding of God’s word. Knowledge will never be enough. You must have a deep knowledge of God’s word, but you must also have the Holy Spirit leading you into true understanding. Information is not transformation.
11. Psalm 64:10 — “Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him! Let all the upright in heart exult!” Don’t worry about your situation. Trust and obey God.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 2 June: Today, make sure you don’t hide God’s love from others or keep it a secret. How unloving would that be? Rather, show your love for God and for others today by sharing Jesus with as many as you can.”I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.” (Psalm 40:10)