Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 28 June 21:
1 Chronicles 28:4 — Yet the Lord God of Israel chose me….
1 Chronicles 28:20 — Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.
1 Chronicles 29:14 — For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you….
1 Chronicles 29:18, 19 — O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.
Philippians 2:13 — …for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
A key point which jumps out from the readings today is that God does it all, not us; and it is all about Him and not about us. God chose us and empowers us to fulfill His purposes for His glory, and He remains faithful even though we often don’t. Our salvation rests secure in His perfect love for us, rather than our imperfect love for Him, though His will for us is that we grow to love Him wholeheartedly and faithfully as we were created to do, producing the fruit of His Spirit in our lives which is love. There is absolutely nothing we can give to Him that He hasn’t first given to us, and it is He who gives us the ability to believe in Him and to love Him –
- 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.
- 1 John 4:19 — We love because he first loved us.
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 — But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 — Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Not only does our ability to obey come from Him, but so does our desire to obey. (1 Chronicles 29:18, 19; Philippians 2:13) We ultimately do what we really want to do, and it is God who gives us a heart to want Him over everything else and the desire to obey Him in love. Love is the fruit of the Spirit, not human will. The key is to seek Him, walk with Him, rest in Him, and trust in Him. It is all about our relationship with Him, and communication is essential to any relationship. Pray earnestly for a greater heart for Him, remain in His word, and seek Him throughout the day rather than chasing the things of this world. If what you want today is not Him and His will, ask God to change your wants. Likewise, the Bible says, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) If you don’t honestly consider others more significant than yourself, pray that God would change your heart, and then step into your relationships with the confidence that “He will surely do it.” Pray that God would give you a heart that truly desires nothing more than “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10, 11)
- Psalm 37:4 — Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
- Mark 9:29 — And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
- Matthew 6:9-10 — Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
- John 17:22, 23 — The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 28 June 21: “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.” (Philippians 1:6) Seek the Lord with all your heart, but trust Him to complete the work He had begun in you. Abide in Him today with joy and confidence. Remain in prayer and in His word, and walk with Him today peacefully. Stay focused on the goal of knowing Him and making Him known. “Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.” (Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253)