Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 9 July 18:
1. 2 Chronicles 13:6 — Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, a servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord….” To rebel against God’s chosen workers is to rebel against God.
2. 2 Chronicles 13:8 — “And now you think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, because you are a great multitude and have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods.” No number is sufficient to defeat God’s plan.
3. 2 Chronicles 13:9 – “Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes for ordination with a young bull or seven rams becomes a priest of what are not gods.” God chooses His leaders; they are not chosen by powerful men.
4. 2 Chronicles 13:11 – “They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and incense of sweet spices, set out the showbread on the table of pure gold, and care for the golden lampstand that its lamps may burn every evening. For we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken him.” God’s true disciples are revealed by how they prioritize and emphasize worship.
5. 2 Chronicles 13:18 — “The men of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers.” With God on your side, nothing and nobody can defeat you. Nothing on earth can thwart God’s plan for your life if you are willing to trust Him and obey Him. The faithful rely on God through seemingly impossible circumstances and are rewarded by God.
6. 2 Chronicles 13:20 – “Jeroboam did not recover his power in the days of Abijah. And the Lord struck him down, and he died.” God knows those who oppose Him and will judge them in His ways and His timing.
7. 2 Chronicles 13:20 — God blesses your faith.
8. 2 Chronicles 13:22 – “The rest of the acts of Abijah, his ways and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.” God’s account of your life will focus on your relationship with Him and your fidelity to Him, not so much on your accomplishments.
9. 2 Chronicles 14:1-5 – “Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment.” True leaders lead others to obey and seek the LORD.
10. 2 Chronicles 14:3-5 — Faith leads away from substitutes for God and toward obedience to God.
11. 2 Chronicles 14:6 – “He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace.” Only the LORD can give you rest and peace.
12. 2 Chronicles 14:11-15 – “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.’ So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians….” God provides when His obedient people cry for help.
13. 2 Chronicles 14:18 — “And Asa cried to the Lord his God, ‘O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.’” Again, when you are doing God’s will and people oppose you, they are attempting to oppose God and have no chance. No one can thwart God’s plan. Faith is not only trusting God, it is walking in the will of God and watching God work through His power to accomplish what you couldn’t in your power.
14. Proverbs 9:6 – “Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight.” Jesus said that leaving the way of the world to follow Him would bring the fullness of joy in life. Are you still shortchanging your life in compromise with the world?
15. Proverbs 9:12 – “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.” You are responsible for your own actions and their inevitable outcomes. Don’t blame someone else.
16. Proverbs 9:13 – “The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing.” Foolish people are loud and lustful.
17. Proverbs 9:17 — “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” Don’t be deceived – there are no shortcuts in life, and you don’t get something for nothing. There is no way around obeying God and following Jesus to get to where you need to go.
18. Colossians 3:1 – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” While everyone else is seeking worldly security and comfort, Christians are seeking to grow closer and closer to Jesus as their only priority.
19. Colossians 3:5 – “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Idolatry is desiring what you shouldn’t, seeking fulfillment outside of God and His provision.
20. Colossians 3:5-15 – “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry…. put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another…. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…. forgiving each other…. put on love…. And be thankful.”
– Here is a practical test to see how well you are guarding your heart and growing in Christ. Which attributes are most apparent in your life? How consistent are you in those attributes. Have you “put to death” and “put away” the negative attributes, and have you “put on” the positive ones? Are you clothed in Christ?
– The more real God is in our lives, the less we care about the things that cause lust, hurt, and hate. God makes the pursuits of men meaningless. If we still desire what the world desires, we simply do not know God well enough.
21. Colossians 3:11 – “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” Christians should never acknowledge, in positive or negative way, and man-made social stratifications such as race, ethnicity, or economic status, that have historically divided people. We must rise above this perspective to the perspective of God who only sees saved and unsaved.
22. Colossians 3:13 – “As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Christians should be the perfect example of forgiveness as their whole hope for eternal life depends on undeserved complete forgiveness. God forgave you freely, even while you continued to sin. You have no choice but to forgive unconditionally. God expects us to forgive others in the same way He forgave us, taking the pain upon ourselves in selfless sacrifice for those who hurt us, responding only in perfect love, offering grace rather than demanding our rights, responding as a complete slave though we are mighty children of God.
23. Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” We should be known for peacefulness, unity, and thankfulness.
24. Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We must learn the art of admonishing others in a positive, encouraging way.
25. Colossians 3:16, 17 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” We must never forget that our sole mission in life is to preach and to teach God’s word, to make not just believers in Jesus but obedient disciples or followers of Jesus. We are not here to just be good people who spread good, moral ideas; we are here to be Ambassadors for Christ. We don’t point to morality, we point to the person of Jesus.
26. Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” We should publicly proclaim Jesus Christ in all that we do.
27. Colossians 3:18-21 – “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Households are schoolhouses for character development and spiritual growth. This is we learn how to love God by loving and serving others. How we treat our family is a primary act of worship and demonstrates how much we really love God. Parents teach their kids about God and how to love God by how they demonstrate love in the house.
28. Colossians 3:22 – “Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.”
– God always looks beyond actions to judge the heart behind those actions. God wants you to do what is right with a sincere heart, motivated solely by love for Him and for others, not motivated by fear, pride, greed, or even duty – only love.
– We are to serve those in authority over us as if they were God. We must treat those subordinate to us as Jesus would, as a servant.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 9 July 18: Use Colossians 3:5-15 today to see how well you are guarding your heart and growing in Christ. Be careful though not to assess yourself based solely upon what you say and do, rather look at the genuineness of your heart. Test your motivations to expose what isn’t love. (Colossians 3)