Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 22 June 18:
1. 1 Chronicles 7:22 – “And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him.” Family should be a source of comfort during times of mourning, stopping what they were doing to give full support.
2. 1 Chronicles 7:23 – “And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house.” Even in hard times, God wants His people to act on hope, investing in the future and continuing to grow a family.
3. 1 Chronicles 7:24 – “His daughter was Sheerah, who built both Lower and Upper Beth-horon, and Uzzen-sheerah.” It is noteworthy that Sheerah is mentioned in the Bible — she was obviously a powerful leader, noted for building towns in strategic locations, one of those named after her. Women play prominent roles throughout the Bible.
4. Proverbs 22:1 — “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” You must choose character over prosperity. Character may bring you prosperity, but prosperity will not bring you character.
5. Proverbs 22:6 — “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Parents play a critical role in God’s plan.
6. Proverbs 22:7 — “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” God does not want His people to have debt.
7. Proverbs 22:9 — “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Do you have a bountiful eye that brings you blessings?
8. Proverbs 22:15 — “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” Do you obey God’s word on your own, or does God need to give you some incentive in the form of discipline? Better to listen and obey instantly.
9. Proverbs 22:17-19 — “Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the LORD, I have made them known to you today, even to you.” Obeying God’s word will be pleasant to you. To bring you fullness of joy in life, God has done an amazing thing: He has given you His very word. Memorize it, and let it guide your every move.
10. Proverbs 22:24, 25 — “Make no friendship with a man given to anger, nor go with a wrathful man, lest you learn his ways and entangle yourself in a snare.” Be careful not to let the bad habits of others be a greater influence on you than God’s word.
11. Proverbs 22:26-27 — “Be not one of those who give pledges, who put up security for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?” Again, God doesn’t want His people to have debt.
12. Proverbs 22:29 — “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” God wants you to be excellent in what you do so you will have a greater influence on the world to God’s glory.
13. Ephesians 2:1-3 — “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ungodly people are led by both passion and intellect. They essentially see themselves as gods to themselves, doing whatever they justify as best. They refuse to submit to God. God’s people are led by the Spirit.
14. Ephesians 2:8-10 — “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
– We were saved by grace – we did nothing to earn it, and we cannot boast in anything of ourselves that deserved God’s gift to us as salvation. But we were saved for a purpose – “for good works.” Before we were saved “we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Now in salvation, we are a “new creation,” and the hostility that once existed between us and God has been “killed.” Now, with “access in one Spirit to the Father,” we are to “walk in” the “good works” which God has “prepared in advance” for us. This is what we are to do in life.
– Ecclesiastes 12:13 — The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
15. Ephesians 2:10 — “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” God created you specifically to serve Him. God prepares the good works, not you. Don’t just do what you think is good. Do only what God directs.
16. Ephesians 2:11-13 — “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility….”
– You have total peace with God and complete access to Him in Christ. You are a vital part of God’s family and have a unique fit (like a stone in a building) in God’s Kingdom. You are no longer part of the world and the kingdom of the air (which is no kingdom at all). Alive in Christ by God’s grace, we were created to good works which God has prepared for us that we might glorify the Father and the Son before all Creation and experience the fullness of joy in Him. The Bible says that Christians are ALL saints (in Christ), priests (Ex 19:6, Is 61:6, Rom 15:16, 1 Pet 2:5, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10, Rev 20:6 – what do we expect from a priest?) and Christ’s Ambassadors (representatives to a foreign kingdom) on this earth. We no longer behave as the worldly do, “gratifying the cravings of the sinful nature,” because we are motivated by love, gratitude, and an understanding, spiritually “seated… with [Christ] in the heavenly realms” (What are you willing to do seated next to Christ?). “Do you really believe what you say you believe is really true?” Today, reflect upon the reality of your position in Christ, and remember your “priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God.”
17. Ephesians 2:19 — “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” You were saved to be a part of a family in Christ. You were not created to be independent or dependent on others but rather interdependent.
18. Ephesians 2:22 — “…the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” You are to be united to other members of the church as closely and as intentionally as stones of a temple, and Christ provides the means to unity and purpose. There is no daylight between stones of a temple.
Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 22 June 18: Today, commit to finding your specific place within the family of God and to whom you should be directly attached (the other stones) in order to fulfill your purpose. (Ephesians 2:22)