Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 29 June 18:
1. 1 Chronicles 21:1 — “Then Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.” Satan’s objective is to come between you and God by getting you to disobey Him and seek your own will.
2. 1 Chronicles 21:3 – “But Joab said, ‘May the Lord add to his people a hundred times as many as they are! Are they not, my lord the king, all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it be a cause of guilt for Israel?’” Often people close to you can see the error of your ways better than you can.
3. 1 Chronicles 21:8 – “And David said to God, ‘I have sinned greatly in that I have done this thing. But now, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.’” Repentance addresses God, admits sin, accepts the foolishness of personal acts, and asks for forgiveness.
4. 1 Chronicles 21:13 — “Then David said to Gad, ‘I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.’” Better to be disciplined by God who loves you than to be persecuted by people who can’t love you. You can trust God’s love when He disciplines you.
5. 1 Chronicles 21:14, 17 – “So the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel, and 70,000 men of Israel fell…. And David said to God, ‘Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done great evil. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father’s house. But do not let the plague be on your people.’” Your sin may cause many others to suffer.
6. 1 Chronicles 21:15 – “And God sent the angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he was about to destroy it, the Lord saw, and he relented from the calamity. And he said to the angel who was working destruction, ‘It is enough; now stay your hand.’ And the angel of the Lord was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.” In His mercy, God does not give you the punishment you deserve.
7. 1 Chronicles 22:5 – “For David said, ‘Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.’ So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.” God’s people plan for and invest in an eternal plan and think generationally. It takes faith to put all your energies into a future you cannot see.
8. 1 Chronicles 22:13 — “Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.” Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned through works, but many blessings we receive on earth depend upon obedience and faith. Our actions have consequences.
9. 1 Chronicles 22:19 — “Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God.” We were made to serve God on earth. All of your work should be assigned by God and dedicated to Him. Don’t pursue your own work that is dedicated to your own personal kingdom on earth.
10. Proverbs 29:1 – “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” God forgives and heals, but there is a point where the sickness of sin becomes terminal.
11. Proverbs 29:4 — “By justice a king builds up the land, but he who exacts gifts tears it down.” Godly leaders are motivated by justice, not influenced by political interest group donations.
12. Proverbs 29:7 — “A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.” Godly leaders are not influenced by money.
13. Proverbs 29:9 — “If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.” Don’t waste your energy arguing with fools. Proclaim the truth, but don’t argue.
14. Proverbs 29:10 – “Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless and seek the life of the upright.” If you stand for truth, you will be targeted.
15. Proverbs 29:11 — “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Have the wisdom to control yourself. Wise leaders show restraint when confronted.
16. Proverbs 29:12 — “If a ruler listens to falsehood, all his officials will be wicked.” Ungodly leaders bring ungodly subordinate leaders.
17. Proverbs 29:18 — “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” A nation that drifts away from God’s word will drift into lawlessness. When the church loses its salt and light and fails to do its job as the conscious of the state, national lawlessness prevails and the nation crumbles. The problem with the nation is not unbelievers but rather compromised, unfaithful, unholy, believers.
18. Proverbs 29:19 – “By mere words a servant is not disciplined, for though he understands, he will not respond.” When a person or people refuse to listen to the word of God, physical discipline must be applied.
19. Proverbs 29:20 — “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Godly leaders are careful with their words.
20. Proverbs 29:22 — “A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.” Godly leaders do not stir up strife.
21. Proverbs 29:26 — “Many seek the face of a ruler, but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice.” Our hope is not in political leaders or in courts but in God alone. Our nation needs revival above elections.
Note: Check out this video overview of Philippians as you prepare to read the book — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE9qqW1-BkU
22. Philippians 1:1, 2 — “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus… Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s letter offers some very important insights into his perspective on our role in Christ: We are called to be servants and saints as Christ’s ambassadors on a mission of reconciliation, proclaiming grace and peace on behalf of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are all partners in the gospel, sharing in God’s grace. Christians have a heart for one another, continually and joyfully praying for one another as we all endeavor to grow more Christ-like each day and struggle to remain faithful to our calling under the great challenges presented by the world, the flesh, and the devil. As Christians (“people of the book”), we know that love must be accompanied by knowledge and insight so we can understand specifically what God’s will is in order to pursue purity and holiness and to truly live a life of fidelity, worthy of the Gospel of Christ. Our aim is to courageously and fearlessly proclaim the gospel, and we know that the more courageous we are, the more we inspire others to confidence (iron sharpens iron). We preach God’s truth not because we are judgmental “haters” but rather out of love and goodwill. We are not ashamed of the Gospel, and we are not afraid of the world’s response to our message, because we have already been crucified with Christ and no longer live, but Christ lives in us. Our suffering for the gospel is fellowship with Christ. Our suffering on behalf of Christ is for us a gift from God, and in faith, we stand firm in unity before a sinful world.
23. Philippians 1:6 — “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” You are a work in progress.
24. Philippians 1:7-11 — “You are all partakers with me of grace…. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Living by Grace, we are called to grow day-by-day in ever-increasing love, purity, and righteousness, through the power of Christ in order to bring glory to Him. Grace is not an excuse to continue in sin.
25. Philippians 1:12-14 — “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” God places you in challenging circumstances and with difficult people so that you can spread the Gospel while God also builds up your godly character. Don’t resent the circumstances God has given you. Be thankful.
26. Philippians 1:15-16 — “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love.” There are those who use the word of God for the wrong motives. But Bible doesn’t tell us to just speak the truth but rather to “speak the truth in love.” God knows everyone’s motives and judges the heart. Check your own heart before you challenge others with the word of God; make sure you are not being motivate by fear, pride, anger, envy, or anything other than love.
27. Philippians 1:24, 25 — “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.” In Christ, our only goal for life on earth should be to grow closer to Christ and to bring others closer to Christ. Nothing else really matters. To draw closer to Christ, you must obey Him. If you obey Him, all the issues of life will be resolved.
28. Philippians 1:27-28 — “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ… standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” God intends for you to “strive” with other Christians to advance the Gospel with boldness. Striving is no small effort. The Greek word used here is “sunathleō,” from where we get the word “athletics.” The root word athleō was used of gladiators fighting in the arena. Paul pictured us fighting together, side by side in the arena of this world in a life and death battle to advance the gospel – “and not frightened in anything by your opponents.” Are you courageously striving for the Gospel? Who is fighting at your side?
29. Philippians 1:29 — “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” Suffering for God is a special trust granted to you by God Himself. You should be honored to suffer for Him.
Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 29 June 17: God has called you to proclaim the Gospel to the world, to go into the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey all that Jesus commanded (Matt 28:19-21), to be an Ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5:20), proclaiming the mission of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19), to dedicate your whole life and all of your energy to spreading the Good News (Philp 1). So, today, evaluate your mission accomplishment so far, and rededicate yourself to total commitment. Don’t waist your life chasing after things that don’t matter.