Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 27 December 2022:
1 Chronicles 22:5 – For David said, “Solomon my son is young and inexperienced, and the house that is to be built for the Lord must be exceedingly magnificent, of fame and glory throughout all lands. I will therefore make preparation for it.” So David provided materials in great quantity before his death.
God’s people plan for and invest in an eternal plan and think generationally. It takes faith to put all your energies into a future you cannot see.
Godly parents set their children up for success, never stop supporting them as adults and pass on an inheritance to their children and even their grandchildren. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” (Proverbs 13:22) Many have over spiritualized this verse, suggesting that the inheritance to which it is referring is merely spiritual, not tangible. However, Proverbs 19:14 adds context – “House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.” God expects parents to produce a tangible inheritance for generations.
- 1 Timothy 5:8 — But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
1 Chronicles 22:13 — Then you will prosper if you are careful to observe the statutes and the rules that the Lord commanded Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Fear not; do not be dismayed.
Salvation is a gift that cannot be earned through works, but many blessings we receive on earth depend upon obedience and faith. Our actions have consequences. God wants you to trust Him with what only He can do and to stop expecting Him to do what He has told you to do. He will not let you shirk your responsibility, so stop praying for God to be fruitful and obedient for you. You must put in the work. God’s principle of the farm (you reap what you sow) applies to all areas of life: If you desire riches, you have to work for them; if you desire relationships, you have to work for them; if you desire knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, you have to work for them. If you desire Christlike character, which is God’s will for your life (Romans 8:29), you have to work at it. True, it is only possible with God, but if you are a Christian, He has already made it possible for you through Christ. Now, do what God has empowered you to do, and be who God has enabled you to be through the Spirit He has put inside of you already.
When God put Adam and Eve in the Garden (paradise), He expected them to work the land to make it fruitful. When God freed the Israelites from captivity in Egypt, they had to survive in the desert for 40 years. When God let the Israelites cross the Jordan River and enter into the Promised Land, they had to fight the Philistines and Canaanites. The challenges come with the blessings so that you will become the sort of person who will rightly handle the blessings. Blessings received without the requisite character to handle them turn into curses. When you work, the work works on you, building you up and preparing you for the outcomes. There are no shortcuts to sustained growth. So, stop asking God to keep you from the work; instead pray that He will show you how to enjoy the work, to work wisely, and to allow the work to make you the sort of person God wants you to be.
- 2 Timothy 2:6 — It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
- Proverbs 12:24 — The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
- Proverbs 13:4 — The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
- Proverbs 14:23 — In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
- Proverbs 16:3 — Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
- James 1:2-4 — Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 — Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Chronicles 22:19 — Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God.
We were made to serve God on earth. All of your work should be assigned by God and dedicated to Him. Don’t pursue your own work that is dedicated to your own personal kingdom on earth. Seek first and foremost the Kingdom of God and the Lord’s will in all that you do. Solomon was to build a physical temple on earth for the Lord, but God now says that you are the temple of the Lord with the Holy Spirit inside of you (1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19), and we must build ourselves up through His power to be worthy of that calling. According to our readings today, to build the temple of the Lord God, you must “set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God.” To serve God today as His temple, you must do the same.
Revelation 19:2 – …for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.
We should pursue truth and justice because truth and justice are God attributes of God’s character and are His will for us.
Revelation 19:10 — Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
We must not give undue honor to others that belongs only to Jesus. For example, don’t put people behind pulpits on pedestals. We must not follow others only Jesus. All Christians have equal access to Jesus and all maintain a direct relationship with Him. We need no person to be our intermediary. Regardless of social status or position, no Christian has special rights or special access to God over another. If you are a Christian, you are empowered by the Holy Spirit, you have God’s word, and you have the opportunity to draw near to Him in obedience. What you do with what you have been given is up to you, and your relationship with God is between you and God. Other mature Christians should help you in your growth, but they don’t cause your growth. Jesus said, “Follow me,” not “Follow someone else who is following me.” The reality of human nature and human pride has inspired some religious sects to establish human ‘gatekeepers,’ so called religious authorities who claim that they are the entry point to the Father and the administrators of grace. This should never be! Jesus was clear, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
- 2 Corinthians 6:3 — We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry….
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 27 December 2022: Today, pray that God will help you see how He has already given you the answer to your prayers by enabling you to overcome your difficulties through your own efforts. In the areas of life in which you are struggling, pray for God’s guidance and provision, and then take appropriate action – step out in faith. If you are praying over a financial issue, keep praying while you take appropriate actions, perhaps by changing your spending habits or your work habits. If you are praying about a relationship problem, keep praying while you actively and sacrificially seek reconciliation. Just do what God’s word has already instructed you to do, and don’t use prayer as a form of procrastination. Praying is an act of faith, but so is obeying; do both simultaneously and continuously.