WEEK 35, Day 6, Saturday, 3 September 2022

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 3 September 2022:

1 Samuel 8:7 – “And the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.’”

From Henry T. Blackaby: “The Israelites were to be a nation unlike any other.  Every other nation had a king or ruler, but Israel’s king was to be God Himself!  Still, the Israelites complained that they wanted to be like other nations and have an earthly ruler!  As we read about the Israelites, we marvel at their foolishness.  Yet we are prone to make the same mistake, choosing our human wisdom over God’s leadership.  There is much discussion these days about leaders and managers.  According to popular teaching, leaders have the vision and set goals for people or organizations to follow.  Managers handle the day-to-day marshaling of resources under their charge.  In the Christian life, God is the leader of our lives, our families, and our churches.  God sets the direction; He establishes the priorities; He provides the resources.  We are the managers.  We take what He gives us and do with it as He directs.  The biblical term for leader is Lord.  As our Lord, Christ has the authority to reveal the direction for our lives.  As Lord, He chooses our careers, leads us to our marriage partners, and helps us set our daily priorities.  We are to be good managers of the mind, body, and spiritual life He gives.  He is the Lord of our families.  He knows what is best for our children.  He knows how to make marriages strong.  Our responsibility is to obey Him as He leads our families to Christlikeness.  Christ is the Lord of our church.  He takes responsibility for expanding it (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:18).  Only He knows what is best for our church.  Our task is to faithfully perform the role He assigns us.  Do not foolishly trust in human wisdom and leadership as the Israelites did.  Follow your Lord and trust Him alone.

Psalm 100:2 — Serve the Lord with gladness!

Are you serving the LORD gladly today?  Can others see your gladness?

Psalm 100:4 — Enter his gates with thanksgiving.

Do you have a spirit of thanksgiving today, confident that the LORD is your God, that you are His beloved, and that He loves you perfectly and unceasingly?  Do others marvel at your thanksgiving?

Proverbs 3:3, 4 — Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.  So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

Both God and man value love and faithfulness.  Love and faithfulness go hand-in-hand.  Are you known for your love and faithfulness?  Have you remained faithful before God and man?

Proverbs 3:7 – Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 

C. S. Lewis said, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”  The account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10-11) demonstrates how education, technology, political stability, and economic prosperity cannot overcome the sinful condition of man.  Rather, it only magnifies the problem as mankind becomes more capable in sin.  In Genesis, God mercifully hinders mankind’s abilities in order to limit mankind’s capacity for evil.  God does the same thing in the lives of individuals, mercifully holding them back from destroying themselves.  Perhaps there are things you would love to have or to be that God has prevented for your own sake.  Perhaps you are not ready for more opportunity because you are not yet ready to be faithful with more opportunity.  There is a principle in the Bible that states that fidelity in small things brings trust in bigger things.  This is true even in our spiritual development as the Bible says, “He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20) We must be faithful in our love for those around us to be ready to love God.  We often think big when God is trying to get us to think small.  As someone once said, “Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to help mom do the dishes.”  What we do in the small decisions today has a tremendous impact on what God puts in front of us tomorrow.  Also, as we focus on fidelity with what God has placed in our hands, one day at a time, we should also keep our eyes opened, noting that global technology is building for the world another ‘Tower of Babel’, which some believe is the “great city of Babylon” spoken of in Revelation.  There is only one hope for the world, Jesus Christ.  We are his Ambassadors on the mission of reconciliation. Be faithful in your mission today.

Proverbs 3:9, 10 — Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Abraham gave the tithe before the written Law, and Jesus commended tithing in the New Testament.  Tithing comes with a promise.  It is an act of faith that often doesn’t seem to make sense from a human perspective.

Proverbs 3:11, 12 — My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. 

Faith trusts the Lord through discipline, understanding that His discipline, though painful, is an act of love.

Proverbs 3:19 — The Lord by wisdom founded the earth….

God made the natural laws and the ethical laws that govern all creation.  He holds us accountable to both.  There are basic principles for living that hold true because God made them.  If you choose to disobey either His natural laws or His ethical laws, you will suffer needlessly.  For example, if you don’t take care of your physical body, you will suffer needlessly; if you don’t live by love, you will suffer needlessly.  Though God gives us grace, He also holds us accountable for the word He has given us, particularly since He has given us access to the Holy Spirit for supernatural strength and self-control.

Proverbs 3:27, 28 — Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

God expects you to meet the needs of others if you have the ability, with no delay. Don’t overthink it. If they need it, and you have it, give it.

Proverbs 3:32 – …the upright are in his confidence.

Are you close enough to God to hear His whisper?  God confides in the upright.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 3 September 2022:  Today, seek the Lord’s leadership, guidance, direction, and resourcing rather than simply relying on worldly wisdom and support.  And remain in continual prayer to the Lord with a thankful heart, always rejoicing.

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