WEEK 47, Day 7, Sunday, 27 November 2022

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Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 27 November 2022:

2 Kings 16:2, 3 — He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even burned his son as an offering, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

This is a shocking display of double-mindedness and infidelity. Ahaz was a believer who, nonetheless, followed the practices of the world, and the Bible describes the height of his sin to be the equivalent of modern-day abortion.

2 Kings 16:8 — Ahaz also took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king’s house and sent a present to the king of Assyria.

Ahaz robbed the house of the Lord to pay for partnership with the ungodly. Do you give the whole tithe? How much do you give the government and bankers? Compare the average American Christian’s financial support to the church and ministry to the amount they pay in financial debt, though they are far from starving.

2 Kings 16:10 — When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.

Wow! Ahaz liked the Assyrian alter more than the one God prescribed so he removed God’s alter and replaced it with the Assyrian alter. Ahaz then commanded that the daily offerings of worship to the Lord take place on this new altar. 2 Chronicles 28 gives more details of Ahaz’s incredible offenses before God as well as the consequences. Ahaz worshipped in a way that was right in his own eyes but wholly offensive to God, and Ahaz dragged others with him down the path of destruction. If you had the opportunity to talk with Ahaz, he would have likely told you that he was a godly and very religious person, but he had made himself an enemy of God. How have we defiled holy things and robbed God of his due honor through compromise to the world?

2 Kings 16:10 — When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.

Ahaz partnered with the world and blended pagan worship practices with worship to God, which, of course, is wholly unacceptable to God. Unfortunately the priest went along with him, validating his horrific sins. How has the secular world influenced the church and its “worship” today? Syncretism is perhaps the greatest threat to the modern-day church.

Psalm 137 – God wants you to share your resentment of others with Him and turn it over to Him. Remember, God knows what is happening to you and remains in complete control. Vengeance belongs to Him and not you. Be honest with God in your prayers, for your sake, not His. Praying to God is not like speaking to another person. You can’t hide what is really on your heart – He knows your heart far better than you do. When you are honest with God in prayer, it might be the only time you are truly honest with yourself too. This confession is good for your soul. Remember, in prayer, you are in the presences of the Omniscient, Almighty, Holy God. Present to Him the full sacrifice of self in prayer. Only pride causes you to pray vanities and platitudes. It takes total humility to freely expose the whole ugly you to Him, and it takes confidence in His love, mercy and grace.

Psalm 137:1-6 — There are two pains: the small daily pains of disciplined obedience or the crushing pain of regret while reflecting upon what you have lost to sin. Choose the path of the disciple who is willing to live the disciplined life for the Glory of God and to experience the fullness of joy.

Psalm 137:4-6 — How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land? If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its skill! Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy!

As the psalmist resolve to not lose perspective in a foreign land, we must not lose sight if Jesus in an ungodly world. How will you sing the LORD’s song where you are today? Make sure today, your highest joy remains Jesus, all day and every day! Praise God in all situations.

Psalm 138:1 – I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart.

Half-hearted worship is unworthy worship. Give thanks to the Lord will you whole heart.

Psalm 138:6 – For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar.

God being Spirit is not subject to distance in the physical sense. Nearness or farness from God relates to fellowship, love, and obedience. The prideful, disobedient, and unrepentant are far from God spiritually.

Psalm 138:8 – The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

No matter what you are going through, you can have complete confidence in the fact that God will fulfill His purpose for your life. Trust and obey Him through all things.

Proverbs 27:1 – Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Be faithful with today. Be faithful one day at a time.

Proverbs 27:2 – Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.

Do not allow praise from others to become a part of your motivation. It is a trap to start caring about what sort of praise you receive from others. Don’t seek praise from anyone but God.

Proverbs 27:5 – Better is open rebuke than hidden love.

Love sometimes demands uncomfortable rebukes. To remain silent in the face of sin in order to avoid needed conflict is unloving.

Proverbs 27:6 – Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Friends tell you the painful truth. True love speaks the truth in love.

Proverbs 27:7 – One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.

What you desire the most changes your perspective on everything else. When your heart’s desire is Jesus, all the little things that once bothered you, concerned you, or influenced you seem to vanish. When you begin to take for granted all that God has provided you, He may give you times of need so that you once again appreciate the simple blessings of life.

Proverbs 27:8 – Like a bird that strays from its nest is a man who strays from his home.

Compromise as a result of discontentment is destructive.

Proverbs 27:13 – Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.

Love often involves protecting someone from themselves. Where people lack self-control and discipline, they need protection from others who are stronger. Leaders have the strength to lead self so they can then lead others.

Proverbs 27:14 – Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing.

All messages must be communicated with consideration and timing. We are not just responsible for what we say, we are also responsible for how, when, and why we say it.

Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

You are not designed to grow alone. God made you for relationship. Friends should make you better, not worse; they should draw you closer to Jesus, not further away. If you don’t have friends like this, you need new friends.

Proverbs 27:23-27 – Spend your productive years building production capacity so that you possess the ability to be financially self-sufficient.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 27 November 2022: Today, pray that you will worship and glorify God wholeheartedly and share the Gospel in a powerful way.

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