Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Thursday, 13 October 2022:
2 Samuel 17:14 — And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the LORD had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the LORD might bring harm upon Absalom.
God arranges circumstances and changes hearts to fulfill His will. How important is it for us to live aligned to God’s will?
2 Samuel 17:17 – A female servant was to go and tell them….
God will use seemingly insignificant people whose actions seem inconsequential to accomplish great, even historic works. God may use people you hardly notice (or never notice) to have a tremendous impact on your life. Also, the small, unrecognized roles you play may not be small at all in God’s economy.
2 Samuel 17:23 – When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
Ahithophel lost all hope when his counsel was ignored. On what do you base your hope? “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)
1 Peter 3:4 — …a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
A gentle and quiet spirit is “very precious” in God’s sight, but is not the way of culture today. At one time not long, men of respect were called “gentlemen,” and women of noble character were referred to as “ladies.” Now these words are virtually meaningless. Who today prides themselves on a “quit spirit?” Note in 1 Peter that even when we are defending the faith, we are called to do it “with gentleness and respect.” You might recall that in Proverbs, Folly is described as “loud.” Proverbs also says, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit (Proverbs 15:4).” Of Himself, Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29).” Do you want to be like Jesus? You must be gentle with a quiet spirit.
- Galatians 5:22-24 — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
- 1 Timothy 4:11 — Aspire to live quietly….
1 Peter 3:8 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
The Christian promotes unity, not disunity. However, unity must be unity in Jesus. Read John 17 again.
1 Peter 3:9 — Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.
You are called and commanded to bless those who curse you, to return grace for abuse. This is a test of your faith.
1 Peter 3:10-12 — Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
The Bible is so very clear, but we tend to create complex philosophy to explain away God’s clear commands and to justify or excuse our disobedience. Do you desire to see good days?
1 Pet 3:13-17 — Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
No one likes a zealot, except God. Always stand for the truth, but do it respectfully and lovingly, not to be liked but to reflect the character of Jesus.
We are saved by faith, not by works. Obedience is the product of our faith, is how we show reverence for God, and is a testimony before the world. Our obedience is an act of love toward God and toward man; obedience is an instrument through which to build our character. Someone once said, “Pain is God’s chisel.” When I consider the pain I have had in my life, I realize that most of it was self-induced. My own sin has caused most (not all) of my pain. Even when I was the victim of others’ sin, my inappropriate responses to their actions caused most of my suffering. Why suffer needlessly by walking outside of God’s Word? “Better… to suffer for doing good that for doing evil.”
1 Peter 3:20 — …when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
God’s patience endured until only eight godly people remained. God displayed similar patience in Sodom and Gomorrah. We now live in a time of God’s patience. Will you be one of the few who remain faithful when everyone around you turns away from God? Remember, during the time of Noah, plenty of people were going to church, but their religiosity was empty.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 13 October 2022: Today, focus on how you treat those who frustrate you. Make it your aim to show them mercy, grace, peace, and love. Seek to be a reconciler. (1 Peter 3:9)