Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 24, 2012 … Always Vigilant; … Never Quit!!

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 1st Kings, Chapter 15 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: 2nd Chronicles, Chapters 13-16 [NIV] To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Passage: 2nd Chronicles 13: 18-20 :[NIV] … 18 The Israelites [under King Jeroboam] were subdued on that occasion, and the people of Judah [under their King, Abijah, and in the line of David] were victorious because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and took from him the towns of Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron, with their surrounding villages. 20 Jeroboam did not regain power during the time of Abijah. And the Lord struck him down and he died. 
Highlight Passage #2: 2nd Chronicles 14: 1-7; 11-12 :[NIV] … 1 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years. 2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest. 7 "Let us build up these towns," he said to Judah, "and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side." So they built and prospered. 11 Then [when Judah was attacked by over a million Ethiopian Cushites] Asa called to the Lord his God and said, "Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord, you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you." 12 The Lord struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, …
Highlight Passage #3: 2nd Chronicles 15: 1-2; 8; 17 :[NIV] … 1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded.2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. … 8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son oft Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord's temple. … 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa's heart was fully committed to the Lord all his life. 
Highlight Passage #4: 2nd Chronicles 16: 9-10 :[NIV] … 9 “… [Hanani, the prophet, to Asa, the King of Judah] For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war." 10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

My Journal for Today: A lot of reading and study in today’s chronological reading plan; but it was well worth it; and if you’re reading along with me, I challenge you to at least read the highlight passages I’ve copied/pasted above from 2nd Chronicles 13-16, where the life of two kings of Judah are related historically; and there are important lessons we can learn from the life of these two, especially that of King Asa, the King of Judah, the southern kingdom of Israel, who turned the tribes of Judah and Benjamin back to the worship of God, helping them to learn to remain vigilant in their worship of the God of their ancestors, … the one, true God, … Jehovah.

But then, sadly, as one reads on toward the end of this assigned reading, we learn that Asa lapsed in his vigilance, even warned by the prophet/seer, Azariah, that God’s kings must remain strong in the ways of the Lord. Yet, Asa’s vigilance for worship waned; and once again God’s people paid the price of letting their worship lapse into selfish and sinful living.

I’m going to make my comments brief today; primarily because the reading of these chapters in 2nd Chronicles and 1st Kings are enough to get the point across. It is all too easy for us to let our guard of worship down and to let our fleshly feelings taint our attitude of worship for our God. Satan knows this; and he will do anything he can, as I’m sure was the case with Asa, to divert our attention from our disciplines of worship, to distract us with worldly urgencies, and to discourage us with feelings of inadequacy.

Go to this link and hear the brief, but powerful, words of Winston Churchill as he spoke them in his famous “never quit” speech; and remember that it is only in taking the high ground of life with our faith in God that we can – and must – remain vigilant and “never quit” in our daily battles against our spiritual foes. We must stand the ground, … knowing, … as it says in 2nd Cor. 12: 9 that God’s empowering grace is “always sufficient” for us to keep on keeping on in Christ.

My Prayer Today: … Yes, Lord, that is my goal and my choice … to remain in You and to know that You are in me as I fight my battles this day in Your Name and for Your glory. Amen

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