Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 21 January 2023:
2 Chronicles 19:2 — But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord.”
God will hold His people accountable if they partner with the ungodly. We are not to become entangled in the world’s affairs or partner with unbelievers, even under the justification of building relationships of influence. Some mistakenly believe that refusing to partner with the world is the same as isolating oneself from the world. You can have relationship and can influence without syncretism.
2 Chronicles 19:6 – …and said to the judges, “Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord. He is with you in giving judgment.”
As Ambassadors for Christ and as priests, we can no longer represent anyone else’s interest other than Jesus Christ’s, and His position on a matter will almost always differ from world opinion.
2 Chronicles 19:7 — Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you. Be careful what you do, for there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality or taking bribes.
You are God’s representatives on earth, and He holds you to a very high standard in all that you do. He will not tolerate Christians misrepresenting Him. Yes, he responds to us in grace, but He, nonetheless, expects you to honor Him with your words and deeds before the world.
2 Cor 19:10 — …then you shall warn them, that they may not incur guilt before the LORD and wrath may not come upon you and your brothers. Thus you shall do, and you will not incur guilt.
We are guilty if we don’t warn the sinner.
Psalm 7:9 – Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!
God knows your mind and heart, and He uses circumstances to reveal your mind and heart to you. He knows your heart and knows you don’t. You can’t fix what you can’t see or what you are not willing to be honest about. Your spontaneous fit of anger is God’s revelation to you that your heart is not right. So, what are you going to do about it?
Psalm 7:11-13 – God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.
The Bible is a double-edged sword of Good News and Bad News. (Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16) To really appreciate the Good News of the Gospel, we must understand the Bad News. The Gospel declares salvation, entrance into the kingdom of heaven, and eternal life for all who repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation (John 3:16, 35–36; Acts 2:38–39) – this is the Good News. But the flip side is the Bad News – the wrathful judgment of God and eternal damnation for all those who do not repent from their sin and trust in Jesus. Today, most people, even many professing Christians reject the notion that God would condemn apparently good people who don’t believe in Jesus, accepting the popular notion that there are many paths to heaven. Believing in salvation through Jesus Christ alone is considered narrow-minded and bigoted. However, Jesus is very clear — “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) Only Jesus can save us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10) The following link provides 100 Bible verses concerning the exclusivity of Christ for salvation — https://www.openbible.info/topics/jesus_being_the_only_way
- Acts 4:12 — And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Psalm 7:12 – If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow.
The first word of Jesus’ message was “Repent.”
The message hasn’t changed, though fewer and fewer churches are proclaiming it.
Proverbs 21:1 — The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
God uses all leaders for His purposes, to bless or discipline people. If you don’t like your leadership, ask yourself why God allowed them to lead.
Proverbs 21:2 — Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart.
God defines right and wrong not people.
Proverbs 21:3 – To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
God wants obedience, not empty religion.
Proverbs 21:9, 19 – It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife…. It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
God’s word warns you to make wise marriage choices.
Proverbs 21:11 – When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
Better to be a person who will follow God’s word than to be a person who requires God’s discipline.
Proverbs 21:6-8, 13, 15, 18 — God’s desire is that you foster environments of justice and mercy.
Proverbs 21:17 – “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”
God warns you of the consequences you receive when pleasure becomes your substitute for God.
Proverbs 21:27 – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
God does not honor religion that is not motivated by true love. Most people don’t consider themselves wicked, and most Americans consider themselves to be Christian, though their lives don’t look much different than the ungodly. God searches the heart to see the motives behind the actions. Good deeds done out of selfish motivation or out of a sense of self-righteous duty are not acceptable to God. The first and greatest command is love, which is selfless, focused solely on God first and then others. Search your heart for the true motives behind your actions.
Proverbs 21:30-31 – No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord. The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.
When you do not include God in your planning, your plans become futile.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 21 January 2023: Today consider deeply the true motives behind your actions. Are your motives love for the Lord and for others, or for self? Pray that God will help you become the embodiment of His word, the embodiment of true love.