Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 19 November 2022:
2 Kings 8:1 — …the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.
Once again we see that God uses nature for His purposes and is in complete control of all circumstances. We also see how God reveals His plans to His prophets.
2 Kings 8:5, 6 — And while he was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the produce of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.”
God will arrange the timing of circumstances for His purposes and to reveal Himself to His servants. There are no chance encounters. How have you seen this happen in your life?
2 Kings 8:11 — And the man of God wept.
God’s people hate to see others suffer. A real man cries for those who are suffering.
2 Kings 8:12-15 — Through the power of God, Elisha could see the evil in Hazael that Hazael could not even see in himself. What caused the man of God to weep caused the ambitious man to be excited.
2 Kings 8:18 — And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD.
An ungodly spouse can be more influential on a person than their godly parents were and can lead a person astray. The Bible warns Christians not to marry unbelievers, not to be unequally yoked, so that the Christian won’t get pulled in the wrong direction.
2 Kings 8:18 –
Bad company corrupts good morals.
Psalm 133:1 — Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
The mark of spiritual maturity is unity with Christ and with fellow Christians. Supernatural unity in Christ demonstrates the power of God to the world and glorifies Him. As mentioned previously, this unity was Jesus’ prayer for us to the Father and described by Jesus as evidence to the world of who He is and who we are in Christ, a demonstration of the power of the Gospel in our lives – “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.” (John 17:22, 23)
- 1 Corinthians 1:10 — I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
- 1 Peter 3:8 — Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.
- Philippians 2:1-8 — So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- Colossians 3:14 — And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
- Ephesians 4:1-6 — I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Romans 12:16 — Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
- Philippians 1:27 — Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel….
- Romans 15:5 — May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus….
Those who are in Christ “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3) Conversely, the Bible says those who cause disunity are void of the Spirit – “It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19) “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him.” (Titus 3:10)
Many call for unity around many ideas, organizations or people, but there is no real unity outside of unity in Christ – “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23) “Woe to the shepherds who… scatter the sheep of my pasture!’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:1)
Unity in Christ puts to death all which divides the unbelieving world, and for those whose identity is in Christ, there is no consideration for identity politics – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Proverbs 19:2 – Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
You must have a plan for success, and you must have a plan for peace. “…those who plan peace have joy.” (Proverbs 12:20)
Proverbs 19:3 – When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin, his heart rages against the LORD.
Don’t blame God for the consequences of your actions.
Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Do you respond to offenses in an honorable and glorifying way?
Proverbs 19:16 – Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die.
God’s grace will not always protect you from the consequences of your actions. God expects you to obey, particularly after having already received forgiveness.
Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
If your plan is not God’s plan, you are wasting your time and effort. Apart from the counsel of the Holy Spirit, you can do nothing of value.
Proverbs 19:22 – What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.
Did you catch the only thing that is really desired of you? Did you catch that lies are always unloving and counter to your life purpose?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 19 November 2022: Today, while so many are calling for unity around philosophies, political affiliations, and/or social identities, demonstrate unity in Christ, and proclaim unity in Christ alone.