Tag Archives: daily walk

July 1; Reaping and Sowing

Hosea 5:8-9:17; 2 Kings 16:10-18, 15:30-31, 7:1-2; 2 Chronicles 28:22-25

God doesn’t mess around with disobedience. And He doesn’t stay where He is not honored. Hosea 5:15 says:

Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face; in their misery they will earnestly seek me.

That pretty much sums up the history of man. And the history of me.

The Jews entertained worship of pretend gods. Idolatry was often tolerated, and sometimes became the nation’s religion. They knew better. They knew God (or should have). Their ancestors had walked with God. They knew God blesses obedience, and punishes disobedience. Certainly they had heard the stories.

Sometimes the Jews chose disobedience anyway. That disobedience was always met with disaster of one kind or another. But I think the most devastating consequence for disobedience was when God removed Himself from their presence, when He left them to their own devices.

Famines were bad. Plagues were awful. War was brutal. But life without God has to be the worse.

What we see in almost every book of the Bible is people sinning, people going their own way, and God disciplining their disobedience. Sometimes that discipline involved God turning His back on them; but He always did that with one purpose: for them to seek Him in their misery, in order to bring them back to Himself.

The Bible also reveals a loving, faithful God who forgives His children every time they (we) repent.

Galatians 5:7-8 comes to mind:

Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

I’ve found all of that true in my own life. I know what it’s like to be totally void of His Presence when I’ve held on to sin, when I reap the fruit of sin. I could put on a Christian front, but my fellowship with God was severed. That, my friend, is the definition of lonely.

I also now what it’s like to fall on my knees and beg God for forgiveness, to feel His Presence one again when I am washed by the blood of Jesus. I know what it’s like to reap the fruit of the Spirit.

So, how does your garden grow? What are you reaping? You will reap what you sow.

June 29; Are You Willing To Take The Chance?

2 Kings 15:6-7, 17-29, 32-38; I Chronicles 5:11-17, 22-26; 2 Chronicles 26:22-23, 27:1-9, 28:1-4; Isaiah 6:1-13

Uzziah and his son Jothan, who ruled after him, were both good kings. The Bible tells us they did what was right in the eyes of the Lord – sort of. It seems both rulers turned a blind eye to the pagan worship that took place on the high places, while at the same time they themselves worshiped God in the temple.

We don’t know what prompted them to allow the Jewish people to worship idols. We just know they did. Maybe, like so many people today, they thought it’s ok for people to believe what they want to believe. Maybe they thought there was no harm in the worship of idols because idolaters are good people, and sincere in their worship. Live and let live, you know.

Maybe they felt their faith in the True God was so strong, idolatry couldn’t touch them, that they could exist along with the sin of idolatry without it having any effect on their faith. They were wrong if that’s what they thought.

Jothan died, and his son Ahaz became king. Ahaz became a full-blown idolater, who even threw his own son into the fire as a sacrifice to a pretend god. Grandpa Uzziah and Daddy Jothan might have successfully escaped idolatry, but the next generation was deeply involved in the worship of lies.

Parents, you have got to be training up your children in the fear and adoration of the one and only God. You can’t assume your children will automatically follow your footsteps. I’ve heard that some parents think their children have the right to choose for themselves who or what they will believe, so they don’t talk about spiritual things or take their children to church.

Oh, your children have the responsibility to choose for themselves as soon as they understand sin and its consequence, and what Jesus died to give them. But are you going to allow someone else, the media, Hollywood, Oprah or Joel Osteen, or even the guy down the street guide your children in spiritual things?

That’s your job. It’s your responsibility and privilege to talk about the Truth, to live that Truth, and to guide your children in the Truth. Are you willing to take the chance that your kids will just somehow figure things out on their own?

You are taking a chance with their eternal souls. Is that a chance you are willing to take?

June 23; As Surely As I Live

2 Chronicles 24:17-25a, 25:1-40; 2 Kings 12:17-21, 4:1-44, 13:4-11, 8:1-2

It spoke to me this morning when I read about the Shunamite woman. She had treated Elisha with kindness, and as a result, God blessed her with a son. But years later, the boy died suddenly. The Shunamite woman, without hesitation, went straight to Elisha.

When Elisha heard her story, that her son had died, he immediately sent a servant with specific instructions. Then the woman said this to the man of God:

As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.

So often we hear of people facing hardship and loss and their response is to get angry with God, and walk away from Him. The woman had the opposite response.

And that’s the response I want to have myself. Whether good times or bad, I never want to leave God. I’ve lived long enough to have gone through some hard times. I’ve had loss, and faced giants. I can honestly say I’ve never been tempted to walk away from my Lord. In fact, I will say I was probably the closest to Him during those hard times.

As surely as You live, I will not leave You, Lord.

June 22; Sitting On A Fortune

2 Kings 11:4-12:16, 13:1-3,22-23; 2 Chronicles 24

Young King Joash gave a directive to the priests. Go and collect the taxes from the people in Judah, and use the money to repair the temple. Then he waited. And waited. Repairs were not being made.

He went again to the priests and asked them why they weren’t using the tax money to repair the temple like he’d told them to. The result of this meeting was the temple repairs.

I’m not sure why it took so long for the priests to get the job done. Maybe they were hoping the stock market would make an upward turn or something. They were sitting on a fortune. Just sitting. I guess the “why” doesn’t matter.

I’m not about to criticize the priests, because I’m not always so quick to get started on things God asks of me, either. “Go into all the world…,” and I can’t even walk across the street. “Love one another…,” and I can hold back from showing love to people I think don’t deserve it. “Be holy…, come out from among them and be separate…, offer your body as a living sacrifice..,” and I continue to blend in with the world.

So many things God has commanded come to mind right now. And I realize I am sitting on a fortune without using it for what it is intended. I have Jesus. I have forgiveness through His precious blood. I have eternity in paradise. I have the Truth, and sometimes I just sit on it.

“Why” doesn’t matter. But now that I realize my sin, what am I going to do? The answer to that question matters a lot!

 

June 14; Leadership

I Kings15:16-24,32-34 16:1-34, 22:41-46; 2 Chronicles16:1-14, 17:-18:, 20:31-34

What makes a good leader? The divided nation of God’s chosen people had some good, and some really awful kings. History has recorded kings, presidents, and dictators throughout the centuries, some of whom considered good, others bad for the countries and the world. Our own nation of only a couple hundred years has seen its share of good and bad presidents. So how do you know which is which?

I guess it depends on which side of the political aisle you sit.

Some may think a good leader is one who has a strong military. Others might say a strong economy is the evidence of a good leader. Still others might consider how the poor are treated, and whether health care is free, and minimum wage is a living wage. Are those the measure of a good leader?

I decided to look at what God has to say about that. In the Old Testament it is clear that God considers those who do evil in His sight are the bad leaders. Those who do what is right, are good leaders. Those who worship idols are bad, those who worship Him are good. That’s pretty self-explanatory.

Then I went to Google and typed in “leadership in the Bible.” Here are some verses that speak to leadership. It’s a list that has me looking at myself, the way I interact with people, and the kind of leader I am in the tasks God asks me to do.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Matthew 5:37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ’No,no;’ anything beyond these is of evil.

Matthew 23:11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

I Timothy 6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

What I take from my time in the Word today is, I need to put God first and only. I need to be honest and caring and self-sacrificing. I need to stand firm on the Truth of Scripture, and not mess around with anything else.

I can sit back and judge President Trump or Nancy Pelosi. That’s the theme of the day for many Americans. But God would have me judge myself first. I believe we are all leaders in one capacity or another; in our families, on our jobs, in our churches. I would encourage us all to ask ourselves what kind of leaders we are in those positions.

Will we be known as a leader who did right in God’s eyes? Or will it be said of us we did evil in His sight? I think you know how I am praying.

 

June 13; Make Something Happen

I Kings 14:1-20, 29-15:15,25-31; 2 Chronicles 12:15-16, 13:1-20, 14:8-15:19

When Asa, King of Judah, heard Azariah prophecy, something happened.

Azariah told Asa that the Lord was with him. For a long time, Azariah said, Israel had removed themselves from God. They’d ignored God’s law and had paid the price. They were in turmoil. It wasn’t safe to travel, and Israel was being crushed by their enemies.

Then, in their distress, Israel returned to God. Azariah said that when they sought the Lord, He was found by them. Then Asa heard these words we read in verse 7 of 2 Chronicles 14:

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

When he heard that, Asa sprung into action. He removed the evidence of idolatry, and the people began to worship God.

Hear God say the same to each of us today. When we seek Him, He is found. When we obey Him, He blesses. When we get out there and fight the enemy, He gives the victory.

So let’s be strong. Let’s not give up. Let’s get in this battle, and make something happen.

June 11; A Look In The Mirror

I Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 10:1-9, 11:1-4, 13-17

Sometimes I read accounts like the one in today’s Scripture and I find myself shaking my head. The audacity of some to openly defy God, the in-your-face rejection of Him, astounds me. Jeroboam heard God’s Word, saw evidence that God was true, then turned around and did exactly what God had condemned.

This was the sin of the house of Jeroboam that led to its downfall, and to its destruction from the face of the earth. (I Kings 13:34)

We can obviously make a connection to our own government. We can also see examples of this in the modern church. But, as always when I look into God’s Word, it’s like looking into a mirror. And sometimes I just don’t like what I see looking back at me. It hurts when God puts a finger on my heart.

I’d like to share what He is saying to me today. Number one, He has put His rules and expectations in writing. He has given clear instructions for living. He has proven Himself to be true over and over. I can make no mistake about it, God is holy and demands to be obeyed. Period.

Secondly, God hates sin. God punishes every sin. God cannot exist in harmony with sin. He makes it clear that our choice is either sin or Him. It can never be sin AND Him.

I know these things. Yet there have been times when I, and probably when you, have chosen sin over holiness, have neglected to do what He asks of me, and times when I knowingly, with an in-your-face attitude, have defied Him.

Like the foolish prophet, there have been times when someone who claims to have heard from God, says something that sounds right. Something inside of me questions whether or not it is truly Scriptural. But this someone says he’s a spokesman for God, and who am I to question that, right?

This morning as I look into the mirror of Scripture I am reminded that the only Truth is that which is written in the pages of the Bible. Anything, or anyone who adds to or contradicts what God inspired men to write down is straight from Satan.

And, if I believe that Scripture is true, I’d better be doing what it says. Because the Bible paints a holy, fearsome, powerful God who punishes every sin with death. It also clearly paints a picture of the cross. This harsh judge who has the power to condemn all of us, came to live with us in a human body, suffered and died on the cross, condemned Himself to the death we all deserve.

And He stands with open arms to receive any and all of us who go to Him.

Today, as I look in the mirror of Scripture I see a sinner saved by grace. I see a woman who was lost, now standing there wearing the holiness of the Savior. I see a woman who chooses Jesus.