Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Wednesday, 14 December 2022:
1 Chronicles 9:1 – And Judah was taken into exile in Babylon because of their breach of faith.
Sin limits God’s blessings in your life and warrants God’s discipline.
1 Chronicles 9:1, 13; Proverbs 23:12, 24:1, 23:19 — The people of Judah were taken captive to Babylon because of their unfaithfulness…. Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord…. Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge…. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off…. Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path….
Don’t be taking captive by your unfaithfulness. We should be motivated by faithfulness inspired by love. Love and faithfulness go hand in hand. As Psalm 85:10 says, “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” The Book of Proverbs has this to say: “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (3:3)…. But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness (14:2)….. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil (16:6)….. Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure…..” There are unavoidable consequences to unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness dishonors God and causes pain, sorrow, and destruction. It robs you of your joy and hurts the innocent. Unfaithfulness can have an impact that affects generations. Let love and faithfulness never leave you.
1 Chronicles 9:2 – Now the first to dwell again in their possessions in their cities were Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the temple servants.” Priests should lead the way in dedication and closeness to God. Christians are all called to be “priests.” The leader in any room is the one closest to Jesus who is committed to drawing those around him closer to Jesus. Leaders “know the way and show the way.
Jesus is, “The Way, The Truth, and The Life.” If you are not leading others closer to Jesus, you are leading them astray.
1 Chronicles 9:10 – Of the priests: Jedaiah, Jehoiarib, Jachin….
God knows everyone of His servants by name and also recognizes them by their family. God deals with you personally, but He also deals with you through your relationships, particularly through your family. Family is a vital part of God’s plan for people. God gives very specific responsibilities to spouses and parents, and He also tells children to honor their fathers and mothers as a path to His blessings. Jesus obeyed His mother as an example to us.
1 Chronicles 9:13 – …heads of their fathers’ houses…
God expects fathers to lead their families and to raise up leaders who will keep the faith for generations.
1 Chronicles 19:20 – And Phinehas the son of Eleazar was the chief officer over them in time past; the Lord was with him.
Of Phinehas, the Bible specifically says that the Lord was with him. Is that what people say about you? More importantly, is that what God says about you?
1 Chronicles 9:28 – Some of them had charge of the utensils of service, for they were required to count them when they were brought in and taken out.
Management can be an act of worship, vital to the work of the ministry. Your God-given abilities were provided not that you could build your own kingdom on earth but rather that you could serve the Kingdom of God.
1 Chronicles 9:33 – Now these, the singers, the heads of fathers’ houses of the Levites, were in the chambers of the temple free from other service, for they were on duty day and night.
Music was considered so vital to worship that the singers had no other responsibilities and were on duty 24/7, 365.
Revelation 10:4 — Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.
God has not revealed everything to us about End Times. Be very warry of those who say they have it all figured out. Many people who are obsessed with end times are not focusing enough attention on remaining faithful today, just as many who are obsessed about the world situation are not focusing enough on their own daily journey to Christlikeness. Have an eye on the future, but focus on your faithfulness today –
- Matthew 6:34 — Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
- Psalm 118:24 — This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 — So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
- Colossians 4:5 — Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
- Ephesians 5:15-17 — Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
- Galatians 6:10 — So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
- Psalm 90:12 — So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Revelation 10:10, 11 — And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter. And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
God’s prophecy is usually hard for the prophet to stomach, and prophesying judgment to people you genuinely care about is very difficult. The prophet rejoices in God’s righteousness and hungers for God’s sweet word, but finds no joy in seeing the sinner reject God’s word and face condemnation. So, God’s word is bitter sweet. It proclaims grace and eternal life for some but also eternal damnation for others. Christians should mourn deeply over those who will reject God, and we should do everything within our power to reach the lost. A loving heart has a passion for evangelism.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 14 December 2022: Choose today to lead your family to Christ as your first priority. If you have no family at all, choose today to lead those closest to you to Christ. To lead others to Christ, you must, but definition, be close to Him. (1 Chronicles 9)