Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 20 December 2022:
1 Chronicles 15:2; Deut 10:8 – Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever.
We must obey God. God’s word reveals what God commands. We must know, through diligent study, God’s’ word to know God’s commands. Obedience to God’s word enables our success.
1 Chronicles 15:13 — Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.
Honoring God involves obeying Him as God. You cannot be complacent with God’s commands. Only after David truly understood God’s word did David understand why God had disciplined him and caused him to fail. It would have been much better if David had understood and followed God’s word in the first place. (see 1 Chronicles 13:7)
1 Chronicles 15:16, 25 – David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy…. So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing.
God wants worshipful obedience to bring joy to you.
1 Chronicles 15:22 – Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it.
God assigns ministers based upon the skills He has given them. What God has enabled you to do is for Him, not for you.
Revelation 14:1 — Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
God’s people are marked with the Father’s name. They are the property of the Father, and God does not surrender His property.
Revelation 14:4 — It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
God’s people follow Jesus wherever He goes. Look and see — everyone in the Bible who was used mightily by God had to leave their planned course to go where God led them, an unplanned path with a destination that had not yet been revealed to them. This is the walk of faith. Without faith to walk into the unknown because God told you to, it is impossible to please God.
Revelation 14:4, 7, 12 — It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes…. Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water…. Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
God’s sheep follow their Shepherd, Jesus, ‘wherever he goes,’ and glorify God, not simply by believing in Jesus but rather by believing AND keeping “the commandments of God” with saintly endurance, even unto death. This is genuine worship. True faith is obedient faith. We cannot obey both the Truth and unrighteousness. We are called to obey Christ “with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart,” and to “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling.” Even our thought-life must be obedient. The fact that we fall down doesn’t give us an excuse not to get up.
- John 3:36 — Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
- Acts 5:29 — But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.
- Acts 5:32 — And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
- Romans 2:8 — but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.
- Romans 6:12 — Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
- Romans 6:16 — Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
- 2 Corinthians 10:5 — We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
- Galatians 5:7 — You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
- Ephesians 6:1 — Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
- Ephesians 6:5 — Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,
- Philippians 2:12 — Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
- Colossians 3:20 — Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
- Colossians 3:22 — Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:8 — in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:14 — If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.
- Hebrews 5:9 — And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,
- Hebrews 11:8 — By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
- 1 Peter 4:17 — For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
- 1 John 5:2 — By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
Revelation 14:5 — Their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.
Again, notice how much the Bible has to say about the words that come out of your mouth.
Revelation 14:6 — Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people.
All people will have a chance to hear the Gospel.
Revelation 14:7, 8 — And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
It is never too late to Fear the Lord and worship Him.
Fearing God and giving Him glory involves controlling your passions and urges to sin and obeying Him rather than submitting to temptation.
Revelation 14:9, 10 — If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath.
Every person is either marked by the beast or by the Father. There is no middle ground. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Luke 11:23) “So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16)
Revelation 14:12, 13 — Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”
The Christian life requires endurance in obedience through suffering. Life is not about temporary comforts; it is about fidelity to Jesus. The lovingly obedient are blessed and find rest.
God’s people will patiently obey God’s commands and remain faithful to Jesus while the whole world turns to evil and persecutes them. Many will die for the Lord and will be called blessed.
Revelation 14:19 — So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
In God’s time, He will separate His true followers from the wicked, including those who pretend to be Christians but really are not.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 20 December 2022: Follow Jesus today wherever He goes. (Revelation 14:4)