YEAR 2, WEEK 10, Day 7, Sunday, 12 March 2023

Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 12 March 2023:

Note: See this video summary on Job:

Job 1:1 – Job… was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.

The one who fears God turns away from evil.

Job glorified God with his life. His obedience and integrity were the product and evidence of his love for the Lord. However, Satan challenged his motives: was he obedient because he genuinely loved the Lord, or was he obedient merely because he wanted blessings from the Lord? Did Job love God, or what God did for him? If God took everything away from Job, would Job love God just the same?

In Luke, Jesus explains that his followers are obedient: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” But then he chastises the Pharisees for their false “obedience” that came from wrong motives – pride, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness.

Why do we do what we do? What motivates our behavior – fear, pride, jealousy, anger, greed, or is it love? Men see our outward actions, but the Bible says that the Lord “tests the heart.” (Proverbs 17:3, 1 Thes 2:4) When I look at myself, I know that I have all the character traits of a child – it’s a growth process, and Dad teaches us along the way. I have to listen intently to my Father and work to obey Him as best as I can today. My love is growing stronger every day and the fear is diminishing, but it has not vanished. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) None of us are perfected in love and free of fear and pride, but we should strive for increased love and confidence in Jesus.

Job 1:5 – …he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all.

Godly people are characterized by prayerfulness. Job never stopped praying for his family. To describe the holiness of Job, the Bible comments on his obedience and his prayer life.

Job 1:9, 10 – Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.”

These verses reveal that God does, in fact, put a hedge of protection around His people, but He might also open us up to challenges for His purposes. Satan questioned whether Job truly loved God or merely the blessings of God. If God took all the blessings away, would you still love Him the same? How about you? What is required for you to truly love God? What circumstances might cause you to question God’s love for you and become disobedient?

Job 1:13-19 – “…and I alone have escaped to tell you.”

Many died tragically at the hands of Satan, ultimately to fulfill God’s purposes. From our perspective, we tend to place man’s desires and lives supreme over God’s purposes, but God has a higher plan in which we all play a part; this is almost impossible to understand. Some tragedies are simply unfathomable, and in those times, God might seem distant or silent. This is when faith is required, faith based upon our confidence in God’s word and promises over our very limited perceptions.

Job 1:20-22 – Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.

In terrible, unexplainable calamity, Job worshipped God and did not blame Him.

Psalm 29: 1-2, 10-11 — Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

One of the main reasons we often feel weak, overwhelmed, and defeated is because we don’t acknowledge God’s sovereignty, and perfect, love, faithfulness, and provision in our circumstances. Strength comes from the realization of who God is and who we are as His children. When the LORD is your LORD, you can have complete confidence that He will work all things out in your life to provide you only what a perfectly loving, all powerful Father would give to His precious children. Who or what can get between you and your Father’s love? Nothing!

Psalm 30:5 – Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Your trials won’t last forever.

Psalm 30:6, 7 – As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” By your favor, O Lord, you made my mountain stand strong; you hid your face; I was dismayed.

God will give you challenges to remind you of your total dependence on Him.

Proverbs 12:9 – Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.

What matters is what you really are, not what you say you are.

Proverbs 12:16 – The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.

It is wise to overlook an insults in order to preserve peace. As stated previously, it takes the power of the Holy Spirit to have this kind of wisdom.

Proverbs 12:18 – There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Your words will either hurt or heal. Today, only speak healing words.

Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

God takes lying very, very seriously.

Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Anxiety comes from a lack of trust and a lack of faith and hope in God — a deep-seated belief that your consequences and your future depend solely upon you, along with the recognition that you really have no control over either your consequences or your future. The Sabbath rest, the tithe, forgiveness, and giving are rebellious acts against a self-centered perspective that teach you to trust in God and that end anxiety promote a heart of peace and rest.

Proverbs 12:26 – One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

The measure of leadership is to what degree the leader leads others towards righteousness, and we know that righteousness is only found in Jesus Christ.

“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 12 March 2023: Today, despite how you might feel, trust God with your circumstances, and rejoice in His perfect love for your and provision, again, no matter how you feel. Your experiences, perceptions, interpretations, and feelings are deceptive, but God never is.

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