Read 2 Kings 16
Don’t panic! Don’t worry. Fear not! The world we live in will try your strength, your patience and your endurance at every turn. You WILL be hard-pressed! At the present you ARE being pushed to your limit. But, fear not! You will be tempted to look to your left and to your right for aid and support. You will be tempted to give your worries and your desperation to someone or something other than the living God. You will be tempted away from looking up, heavenward toward your Father God. The heart of man is forgetful, impatient and unfaithful. This is our nature. In our greatest time of need it is not natural for us to put our security and well being in the hands of a God we cannot touch with our hands or see with our eyes. Sin is actively fighting a battle within all of us to reject the reality of the living God. Every day we are engaged in spiritual warfare and the weapon of the enemy is to try at every turn to steal your desperate gaze away from God and onto something else. Something temporary, something finite, something completely unlike our Father God. It is in God you will ultimately find the strength you need. It is in Jesus you will ultimately find the hope you need to press on. It is in Jesus that you will find life in a time when death seems imminent. The enemy is active in this world and in your daily life to rob you of this eternal life. You MUST fight! You must have faith that your God is with you and is coming. You must have faith that God is Immanuel and that Jesus will never leave your side. If you find that you cannot believe these truths and that your battle is a battle of faith, ask for faith. Humble yourself in your desperation and cry out to the living God for faith to believe. He WILL speak. He WILL come to you. Help is not on the way, IT IS HERE! It is with you now. In your time of need and in your great desperation, choose life! Choose to cry out to him. Choose to look for him. Choose to plead for mercy. He is with you and in the name of Jesus nothing can separate you from him. Don’t fear! Don’t panic! Don’t worry! He is with you.
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Read 1 Kings 9:1-9
God’s desire for us is that we thrive. God’s desire for us is that we thrive. He wants us to maximize our potential. He has designed us for a purpose and his desire is that we fulfill that purpose. We were not created merely to exist. We were created to be used within the patchwork of God’s holy creation to reveal the glory of our Father in Heaven. God created us out of love and there is no greater joy for our Father in Heaven than when he sees us thriving in his name and building his kingdom here on Earth. God knows your passions. He knows your talents. He knows your interests. You have them because he planted the seeds for all of them in the beginning. His desire is that we submit our lives to King Jesus allowing him to anoint these passions, talents and interests by the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal his glory in this world. We were created to create. We were created to achieve. We were created to succeed. But all for the glory of the living God. All for the glory of the name above all names. The name that will reign forever and ever, Jesus. Upon meeting Jesus Christ our lives should be renewed by the desire to serve our Father in Heaven and obey his commands and precepts. However, the colors and details that bring life to the mosaic of obedience and service are bound in the act of creation. We were given hands and feet to achieve. We were given a mind to create. But all for the glory of that holiest of names, Jesus. His name is stamped on the work of our hands and mind. It is his beauty and majesty revealed in all of our creations. We are his finest creation and all of our creations merely reflect the Creator. It is all about him. So Christian, Go! Create! Achieve! Succeed! In the name of Jesus, Move! This is your purpose. This is why you’re here. You were created to engage in the act of creation alongside our Father in Heaven and his joy will be yours because the Spirit of his son Jesus is with us to the very end of the age.
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Read 2 Samuel 21:1-9
There will be justice. Praise Jesus, there will be justice. Praise Jesus that it is not left for us to avenge only feeding and perpetuating the cycle of death and destruction in this already broken world. The justice of man is flawed. The justice of man is often anything but just. We cannot trust man. We cannot rely on man’s discernment or goodness. Our ability to judge and to execute justice is not nearly good enough. It is not life giving. It is a bandage to a life-threatening condition that requires immediate and invasive surgery. It sustains momentarily only returning us back where we started. Back where we needed justice. Back where we needed healing. Back where we needed hope. The justice of man is not what we ultimately need most. What then? What of all of the injustice and suffering that exists in this world? The only answer and our only hope is, Jesus. He came and he WILL come again. And his return will usher in an era of justice. Heavenly justice. Just as the New Heaven and New Earth will be a return to the shalom of Eden, so will it be so with justice. Justice will once again be as it was intended at its creation. Just. Good. Holy. The return of the King will be mighty in righteousness and justice and it will be just. We will all be measured. We will all be assessed. We will all be held accountable to our actions. Our choices have ramifications and consequences exist. There is nothing that escapes the eye of the Lord and we will all be called to account for the life we led. None will be left any grounds for excuse, debate or argument. The living God will not attempt to prove his case of judgment against you. The living God will show you your life. Not his interpretation, but the truth. He will not explain your sin and unrighteousness to you. You will see it.
So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
He will not grade you according to the 10 commandments, he will use your own.
For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Praise Jesus there will be justice. The evil in this world will be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly. There is no free pass. There is no free ride. Our lives are precious and God will not waste a moment of them. Every word matters. Every decision has eternal implications and ramifications. Praise Jesus there will be justice and his justice will be holy as he is holy.
1 Samuel 11:1-11
“…the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he burned with anger.”
Every generation has been sharpened and refined by scripture in different ways. There are things that force us out of our comfort zone that perhaps others before us were less affected by. We must never fall for the all too tempting trap of restructuring and redefining scripture, the holy and eternal word of God, to fit our current worldview. Worldviews change; we must not cling to worldview as a means to understanding God and his word. We must look at that which is eternal and enduring through every generation, past, present and future. The fall of man is an eternal truth. The promise of a Messiah that will pay the debt of our collective sin with his own blood is an eternal truth. The word becoming flesh in the man of Jesus Christ who fulfilled the messianic prophecies is an eternal truth. The hope of new life in his name and image and confidence to reign victorious over sin and death with him is an eternal truth. These truths must be our lens for reading and understanding scripture. Therefore, we cannot judge God’s righteous anger coming upon Saul to execute justice unless we have been broken to the point of tears over the injustice that fell upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Jesus is not a secondary issue. Jesus is not the conclusion of scripture. He IS scripture. And in him, it is finished. Do you understand God’s anger? Do you understand his wrath? God’s anger toward sin and evil did not cause him to abandon his creation and start anew. God’s anger led him to preserve the line that would lead to the savior that would make a way where there was no way. God did not cause the Fall. God did not create sin. Sin leads to death. It did then and continues to do so now. However, because of God’s sovereignty and grace, the line of the Messiah was preserved and many more will come to know the presence of the living God as a result. I type this because God made a way and his name is Jesus. You read this because God made a way and his name is Jesus. God was not forced into grace and mercy. He was determined to save us by grace and mercy through Jesus because he loves and his love for us is beyond our comprehension. There is no injustice like that which Jesus suffered. There is no punishment like that which Jesus endured. There is no scripture without Jesus. And in him, it is finished. God’s anger toward sin and the wrath of his judgment fell upon Jesus and it is finished. Our war now is not against flesh and blood but against sin. We flee from the enemy and the cravings of the flesh. We are called to a new covenant of good news for all mankind, that because of Jesus, death has been swallowed up in victory. It is finished.