Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 23 December 2022:
1 Chronicles 18:6 — And the LORD gave victory to David wherever he went.
David was victorious for one reason: The LORD gave him victory. Yes, David still had to do his part and fight for it, but his efforts would have been futile without the LORD. Never forget that everything you have, including your talents, skills, and abilities are gifts from the LORD, and your successes and failures are in His hands. Understand also that He expects you to act on your faith in Him by faithfully and obediently taking action and working hard, not anxiously but rather with thankful anticipation, to realize the outcomes He intends for you. From the beginning, God made man to be the instruments of His grace, and the first thing God gave Adam after the garden was the job of tending to the garden that it would abundantly produce fruit. The second thing God gave Adam was not just a wife but a helpmate, a co-laborer. Work was meant to be part of God’s blessing. Only sinfulness made work toilsome. Work with, through and for the Lord as well as for the benefit of others, and He will bring you success.
1 Chronicles 18:14 – So David reigned over all Israel, and he administered justice and equity to all his people.
God wants leaders to administer justice and equity over people as agents of His common grace. God is Justice, and a person can never fully understand true justice or equity if they don’t know Jesus. Unfortunately, many who would demand justice and who have been given the authority to administer justice have no real capacity to achieve justice or equity. In pursuit of the justice, equity, peace, and security God offers as part of His common grace to the world, Christians must serve as the conscious of communities, the light in a dark world and as ambassadors for Christ in order to show people the only Way to achieve justice, the only Way to know the truth, the only Way to understand life, and the only Way to achieve righteousness and peace. As the priests of the earth, we are called to be the predominant influence on Earth in the Name of Jesus that justice, mercy, and grace would increase. How influential is the Christian community today within the social and political discourse today? How influential are you? And are we (you) preaching politics or the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
Revelation 17:1, 2 — Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.
The world’s powers offer enjoyment and success, but they are evil, opposed to God, and will not win in the end. God will judge all infidelity, marital infidelity but even more so, spiritual infidelity, rebellion against God, which is compared to adultery. Corrupt, godless systems, promote corrupt, godless leaders, who lead the corrupt, godless people who put these leaders in office and participate in the whole system.
Revelation 17:6 — And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
The wicked take pleasure in persecuting Christians, and God allows His people to be persecuted for His purposes, but the faithful are honored by God in the end.
Revelation 17:7-14 – World powers are tied to Satan who was defeated at the cross, but still exercises power until end time. The idea that Satan controls certain leaders and systems is increasingly hard for people to understand and accept in this age where such notions are viewed as unscientific, ignorant, superstitious, fanatical, and even dangerous. However, Paul reminded the Ephesians, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Jesus Himself explained this reality when He addressed those Pharisees who sought to kill Him:
“They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are doing the works your father did.’ They said to him, ‘We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.’” (John 8:39-47)
Revelation 17:9 — This calls for a mind with wisdom.
Understanding God’s word requires more than just intellect, it requires wisdom. Many have a mind (intellect) without wisdom. Wisdom comes only from God — it is not something we can achieve without the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Only God can show us what we cannot possibly understand from our own knowledge. You must have Holy Spirit given wisdom to study and understand this book.
Revelation 17:14 — They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.
True followers of Jesus are both chosen and faithful to Him.
Revelation 17:17 — For God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
God’s people seek with great daily diligence to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16; Phil 4:7), while the wicked have the mind of Satan. Both groups have unity, the Christians unified in Christ and everyone else unified in Satan. Today, there are many calls for unity, but unity apart from Jesus results in collective destruction.
God will use evil earthly powers in His plan to defeat evil. He remains in control, allowing the evil to believe that they have succeeded in their plans.
Revelation 17:18 — And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.
The woman appears to be a world system (government, economic, values, etc.) that controls seven major nations (v9), five nations fall to one major power who reigns under the one-world system for a while and is replaced by another nation who reign under the one-world system for a while. (vs 9, 10) An eighth power will rise with ten kings. (vs 11, 12)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 23 December 2022: Promote justice, equity, and peace today by proclaiming the Truth of Jesus Christ to everyone.