Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013 … Life = God’s Test

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 147

Passage of the Day #1: 1st Chronicles 29: 17 [In the context of verses 16-18] [NLT]  
16 “O LORD our God, even these materials that we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name come from you! It all belongs to you! 17 I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. 18 “O LORD, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. 
 Contextual Study for today’s passage: 1st Chronicles, Chapter 29 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Passage of the Day #2: 2nd Chronicles 32: 31 [Please note the context in verses 24-31 - from link below] [NLT]  
31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart. 
Contextual Study for today’s passage: 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 32 [NLT] … Go to this link …  ============

Reference Passage #1: Philippians 4: 11-13 : [Things going well – going poorly … It’s all a test.] …[NLT] …  
11 Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. 12 I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

My Journal for Today: Philippians 4: 13 will forever be one of my favorite, life verses because God used that passage to bring me in brokenness to salvation. That’s a long story, which I’ll not relate here; but when you go back and see the context of that verse in the fourth chapter of Philippians, Paul was relating to his fellow Christians in Philippi (and to us) that he had learned to have strength (I.e., “spiritual prosperity”) no matter where he was in life … whether things were going well or going poorly.

And that is a lesson we all should learn … that life, no matter whether we find ourselves living in the trials of tribulation or in the presence of prosperity, is God’s way of testing our reliance on Him. However, when it comes to God’s life tests, God’s testing in times of prosperity, when things are really going well, may be God’s most challenging tests of faith. How about you? … When things are really going well and your living in times of God’s warm and fuzzies, do you find yourself feeling that you’re in control and you don’t need God?

In today’s two highlight historical biblical passages, referenced above, we see two of God’s great Old Testament heroes. In 2nd Chronicles 32 Hezekiah, one of God’s loyal kings, who had always been tried and true to God, became prideful late in his life; and when God came testing him in times of prosperity, Hezekiah failed the test.  And we know from history that Hezekiah’s progeny failed in ruling the Israelites, who lapsed into slavery to foreign powers.

With David, on the other hand, reading from 1st Chronicles 29, God blessed him late in his reign of king; and David came through God’s prosperity test with flying colors. And as you can read in the passage linked above, David gave God all the credit and the glory, asking that God bless his progeny, Solomon, with the opportunity to rebuild God’s Temple; and we know that’s exactly what happened in history.

Where are you today? Are things going really well for you in life? If so, BEWARE!! … God may have you in the midst of a pop-quiz of prosperity; and if so for any of us, I pray that all of us recognize, as David did in 1st Chronicles 29 or Paul did in Philippians 4 … that all comes from God … for God and His glory. And when things are going well for us, we should ask for God’s strength to be able to give Him the praise HE deserves for allowing HIS prosperity to reign in our lives as we use the good times to give HIM all the glory.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I praise You for allowing so many wonderful things in my life; and yes, even for the challenges of tribulation; … for in Your strength I can live and do all things. … Amen

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