Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 26 June 18:
1. 1 Chronicles 15:2; Deut 10:8 – “Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever.” We must obey God. God’s word reveals what God commands. We must know, through diligent study, God’s’ word to know God’s commands. Obedience to God’s word enables our success.
2. 1 Chronicles 15:13 — “Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” Honoring God involves obeying Him as God. You cannot be complacent with God’s commands. Only after David truly understood God’s word did David understand why God had disciplined him and caused him to fail. It would have been much better if David had understood and followed God’s word in the first place. (see 1 Chronicles 13:7)
3. 1 Chronicles 15:16, 25 – “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy…. So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing.” God wants worshipful obedience to bring joy to you.
4. 1 Chronicles 15:22 – “Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it.” God assigns ministers based upon the skills He has given them. What God has enabled you to do is for Him, not for you.
5. 1 Chronicles 16:9 — “Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!” God wants His works in your life to be the primary topic of your conversation with others.
6. 1 Chronicles 16:11 – “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Seeking the LORD is a continuous, wholehearted endeavor.
7. 1 Chronicles 16:12 – “Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered….” Worship should include recounting all the things God has done in your life.
8. 1 Chronicles 16:19 – “When you were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it….” God begins mighty works with the few faithful among the masses.
9. 1 Chronicles 16:20-22 – “…wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,
he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, saying, ‘Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!’” God protects you when you have no strength, power or status. Have comfort in knowing the no one can take you outside of God’s will or protection. Whatever happens to you is intended by God for a greater good you cannot imagine.
10. 1 Chronicles 16:23 – “Sing to the Lord, all the earth! Tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” God expects you to tell everyone about your salvation through Jesus. God wants you involved in His mission to redeem the lost world.
11. 1 Chronicles 16:25-26, 31 – “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens…. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’” God alone has power. God loves you unconditionally and with all power – rejoice in that! The world does not know or accept that “The LORD reigns.” This is even more reason to proclaim that truth.
12. Proverbs 26:11 — “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.” You repeat what you don’t repair. Don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Surrender to the Holy Spirit, learn and grow.
13. Proverbs 26:12 — “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Spiritual growth requires spiritual humility. Don’t be prideful in your spirit.
14. Proverbs 26:13 — “The sluggard says, ‘There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!’” People come up with all sorts of excuses for why they ‘can’t’ do what they should do.
15. Proverbs 26:27 — “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.” Don’t get wrapped up in competition with other people, trying to undermine them. When you fight other people, you get hurt too. As the old saying says, “Don’t wrestle with a pig in the mud because you both get dirty and the pig likes it.
16. Ephesians 4:1-3 — “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Are you walking worthy?
In grace, God expects us to “walk with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
17. Ephesians 4:4-7 – “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” We must strive for unity at all times because God’s character seeks unity and because He brought us to unity with Him through grace, giving us relationship with Him despite our ugliness.
18. Ephesians 4:9-16 — We must strive for unity with those who are hard to deal with, considering what depths Christ sank and what wounds He suffered to unite us with the Father. No one compares worse to us than we compare to the One who saved us.
19. Ephesians 4:11-14 — “He equip[ed] the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” You were made to help others get closer to Christ and to grow in the true knowledge of Him.
20. Ephesians 4:15 — “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” You cannot love without speaking the truth, but you must speak the truth in a way that draws others closer to Christ, not further away. True love speaks the truth in love.
21. Ephesians 4:16 — “…the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” God’s people should be as united and as mutually supportive as a human body, all responding to the desires of the Head, Jesus.
22. Ephesians 4:18 — “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”
– A lack of wisdom is a heart problem.
– People are far from God because of the hardness of their hearts, not because God has made Himself inaccessible.
23. Ephesians 4:19, 20 – “They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!” When people reject God they turn to impurity. When people turn to Christ, they pursue the purity modelled by Christ.
24. Ephesians 4:26 — “Be angry and do not sin.” Anger is not sinful. Misapplied anger is sinful.
25. Ephesians 4:26-32 — Un-forgiveness, idleness, and careless talk enable the devil in your life.
26. Ephesians 4:29 — “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up.” If it isn’t helpful, don’t say it.
27. Ephesians 4:1-3, 22, 24, 30 — “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…. put off your old self…. put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness…. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
– God has called us to pursue holiness with all our might (every effort). You have been saved by grace, through faith in Christ; now “live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” What is that calling?
— called to be set apart for the gospel of God (Rom 1:1)
— called to belong to Jesus Christ (Rom 1:6)
— called to be saints (Rom 1:7)
— called to be holy (1 Cor 1:2, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pet 1:15)
— called into fellowship with Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor 1:9)
— called us to live in peace (1 Cor 7:15, Col 3:15)
— called to be Christ’s slave (1 Cor 7:22)
— called to be free in Christ (Gal 5:13)
— called to know hope (Eph 1:18)
— called to share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thes 2:14)
— called to eternal life (2 Tim 6:12)
— called to follow in the footsteps of Christ (1 Pet 2:21)
— called to inherent a blessing (1 Pet 3:9)
— called to eternal glory in Christ (1 Pet 5:10)
– The Bible says that we “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that [we] may declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Today Paul is urging us to wake up and grow up – to stop living like the world and to be holy because God our Father is holy – to attain “the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Don’t we realize that we were “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness?” It is time to live up to our calling.
28. Ephesians 4:31-32 — “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” More attributes to measure yourself against.
29. Ephesians 4:32 – Forgive others the way Christ forgave you.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 26 June: Right down the Christian attributes mentioned in Ephesians 4, and place them where you can review them regularly. Pray for the spiritual strength to grow in them, and evaluate yourself regularly and prayerfully.