Reflections Week of 6.25.17

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read 2 Chr 6 (Monday 6.26)

In this chapter, Solomon does what a good king should: he sets an example for Israel by humbling himself before God. In this, he does three things: he exalts the LORD most high, he holds God to His promise of blessing, and he asks for forgiveness.

Remember, Solomon was the wisest person ever. If anyone could claim to know their stuff, it was this guy. Yet he didn’t even try to claim to be smarter than or as smart as God (at least up to this point). He knew that God couldn’t be contained or understood in the least, much less tamed or manipulated. He knew that God was awesome, holy, and just.

Solomon knew that the whole “if we just follow your law with our whole hearts and minds” deal was humanly impossible. He knew that no one could measure up to God’s standard; no one could obey perfectly.

But he leaned on God’s promises anyway, because he also knew that God was good. Although it was God’s holiness that made forgiveness necessary, it was His goodness that made it possible. Since no man could keep their end of the Covenant, Solomon had to trust God to take the loss and show grace to His people as He had before.

In this situation, we actually catch a glimpse of the New Covenant that hadn’t yet come: King Jesus humbled Himself to exalt God the Father; Jesus made God’s promises of blessing possible and true; Jesus measured up to God’s standard by obeying perfectly; God Himself upholds both sides of the New Covenant, and takes the loss for our forgiveness.

For Reflection: Do you think that you need God’s forgiveness? Can you follow God’s rules perfectly, with your whole heart and mind? Thank God for blessing you in Jesus, and showing you grace.

Read 2 Chr 16:1-10 (7.1 Saturday)

Here we have a classic case of “What was he thinking?” King Asa was doing so well for the 35 years he was seeking the Lord, and then he had to go and ruin it by taking things into his own hands. It’s easy for me to look at Asa and think, “Nooooo, whyyyyyy?” But that’s because I know the outcome of his story.

In all honesty, the action Asa took against king Baasha is pretty logical, at least from a human perspective. Pay someone to kick out the other king who’s usurping your land. The bad guys leave, and everything’s all right again. Hey, you even get some free building materials out of it! Good deal.

Not.

Asa didn’t ask the LORD for His guidance in the matter, he just went ahead and did what he thought would work. He completely forgot about all the times God defeated his enemies (including the army of 1,000,300 in chapter 14), he relied on human victory, and ignored God’s plan in the process.

You might wonder, if Asa was a good king up till that point, why did his decision so displease God? Why didn’t God just let it slide? The fact is, every decision made apart from God is offensive to Him. That goes for us today, too. Whenever we rely on our own judgement like Asa did, instead of listening for God’s command through scripture and prayer, we claim to know better than He. No one knows better than God.

So what happened to Asa after God reprimanded him? He basically became a bitter brat: he didn’t repent nor return to the LORD, even though it was an option, thus turning down the blessing in v9: “For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”

For Reflection: Do you seek God’s will when you make plans? Do you get angry at God when your plans don’t work out the way you intend, or do you thank Him for knowing better than you? Thank God for knowing your heart and supporting you as you seek His will above your own.

Reflections written by: Sarah Rico

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Reflections Week of 6.18.17

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read 1 Chronicles 28 (Wednesday 6.21)

Divisions, divisions, divisions. Chapters 23-27 are quite literally a list of names. Upon first glance, it brings back memories of the genealogy of Christ in Matthew 1 or the long list of Noah’s sons in Genesis. I would be lying to say if my eyes didn’t lazely jump from one name to another, mind wandering as I try to make sense of why this would be so important as to be included in the Bible.

If nothing else, it shows the significance of Israel during their reign. This was a massive force, one of the most powerful in the region. And at the center of all this? Solomon. Not because he was the oldest. Not because he proved himself in some magnificent away. Even in verse five, David explicitly stated that the LORD had chosen him for the job.

Now, if only it were that easy; to have a clear cut direction of what your life is. That once you work your way to the top, everything is set. But if anything, this proves that God works through anyone, no matter where you come from.

2 Chronicles 1 (Thursday 6.22)

Solomon was not known for Samson-like strength or Elijah’s bravery. Instead, he was known for asking God of one thing and one thing only. Wisdom. That was it. No ivory towers, no golden chariots, no sweeping landscapes. Just knowledge and wisdom. It takes a certain kind of person to show that kind of self-restraint. To ask only for he felt was absolutely needed.

The reason that I have the word “listen” tattooed on my arm, other than the fact it was only two dollars, was because of the story of Solomon. I have always found that I have learnt the most when I have taken a moment to really pick up what others have said. To hear and embrace different points of view has given me a huge appreciation from people of all walks of life. And as such, I have found that I have learned far more from others than anything that I can do on my own.

This can be the same way in our approach to God. We simply do not have all of the answers that we seek. No matter how much we pack in from books, or degrees we earn, or how many hours we spend practicing to master one of Beethoven’s symphonies, we always come up short. No matter how hard we fight to control our destinies, we ultimately run into a brick wall when it comes to trying to put our will before God’s. In the end, it isn’t about using the wisdom we ask for to outsmart God. Rather, the hope is to use it to embrace God.

Reflections written by Jax Gorman

Reflections Week of 6.11.17

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read 1 Chronicles 13:5-14  (6.13 Tuesday)

Verse 9: “…And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen had stumbled.”  After Uzzah reached out to take hold of the ark, the story continues that God became angry due to this action and struck Uzzah down.

In this passage is the reminder that we constantly need as humans: that we are not God, and that God is holy and we, without Him, are not.  God is not on the same level as sinful and fragile humanity.  He is above, He is supreme in His glory, purity, majesty.  The ark was considered holy, because it was where the holy God came to speak to His people.  Exodus 25:22 says, “There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”  The ark was held throughout the wandering of Israel in the ‘Holy of Holies’ in the tabernacle, and it sat elevated, off of the ground.

It is good for us to remember to revere God and to have awe for Him, to remember His holiness.  As we do this we can also cling to Him and trust Him, as we remember that He is also supreme in His love for us.  He is on high, but He loves His people and desired them to be with Him, so much that He sent His Son who is, “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb. 1:3) to make a way.

Read 1 Chronicles 21:18-30 (6.17 Saturday)

Verse 24 says, “But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price.  I will not take for the Lord what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

“I will not take for the Lord what is yours…” is encouraging for me because it shows David desiring to have something of his own to give to the Lord.  David had a real, personal relationship with God, like we all can have.  David did things that pleased God from time to time and God did (countless) things that blessed and pleased David.  David didn’t let someone else put forth the effort for him in his relationship with God.  It was his own.

“…nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”  David also loved God, and he knew at this moment that he had sinned, and that he needed his relationship with God to be restored.  Real offerings costs us something.  We are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1).  Living with God as our King, Savior, Teacher, Comforter and friend means that we give of ourselves.  We do this in joy though.  Just as David offered of himself over and over to God throughout his life and later could be seen rejoicing in God or praising Him.

Reflections written by Wade Henderson

Reflections Week of 6.4.17

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read 2 Corinthians 12 (Monday 6.5)
“My grace is sufficient for you.” Amen and amen! What an encouraging statement. When I look around and wonder how am I suppose to be different from the rest of the world, this is it! Who else in the world can gladly rejoice in their weaknesses? As I go about my day and I am confronted by my sin and my lack of ability i am blessed to not be defined by them. This is an identity passage. God allows thorns to stay in our side to remind us that our personhood and our worth is not found in how well we live life but is found in Christ’s righteousness in us. I am valuable because he has chosen me and saved me for himself. Paul is showing us that there is purpose even in failure so that when failures comes we might praise God for his grace in our lives.
For Reflection: Is there a thorn in your life right now? Do you believe God’s grace is sufficient? Think about where you find your identity? Is it in Christ or is it in how well you live? What might it look like to change?
2 Corinthians 13 (Monday 6.5)
Paul has just reminded us in the previous chapter that in our weakness God is made strong, that in the depths of our sin we know the heights of God’s grace. But now he is concerned that we not abuse our freedom in Christ. He calls the Corinthians to test themselves and see if they are of the faith. He knows that they are and is not suggesting otherwise but what he is showing is that a life in Christ is a life marked by righteousness. Paul is marrying the reality of Gods sovereignty over all events and the necessity of man’s responsibility. God’s grace is sufficient for our weakness and at the same time since we are in Christ we have the power to live in righteousness. Our identity is found and is stable in Christ as the anchor of our soul and it is from this security that we have the grace and the freedom to live righteously before God and man.
For Reflection: Is your identity found in Christ and what he has done for you? Does the way you live show that reality? What might you change this week to show who you in Christ?
Reflections written by Taylor Floyd