Saturday, August 30, 2014
She might be down to the last hope, but she wasn't quite ready to give up yet.
Jesus, however, had raised the dead, given sight to the blind, wholeness to the lame. Jesus was not just a man. He was filled with the power of God. He was God made flesh. Jesus could heal her; she was sure of it.
Friday, August 29, 2014
Thursday, August 28, 2014
2 Chronicles 30: 22-23
Hezekiah and his people celebrated the Passover for seven days. Scripture tells us they were “sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord.” It doesn’t sound all that remarkable until you try to spend a week giving thanks. It’s sometimes difficult for us to spend ten minutes thanking God for all the gifts He has given us without letting our “requests” creep into our prayers, but Judah didn’t stop at ten minutes. They had endured years of a dreadful ruler during which all worship in the temple was banned. They had finally been set free from his tyranny and they were truly grateful. Having lived the consequences of their sin, they rejoiced at yet another second chance. For a full week, they gave back to God and said thank you.
What’s really remarkable about this story is that there was such joy in celebrating the Passover that the entire nation of Judah decided to celebrate the Passover for another week – sacrificing and giving thanks. Two weeks of celebration may sound like just a great big party, but it is harder than you think. Today, try to spend the rest of the day thanking God for all He has done for you. Tomorrow, try to spend the entire day giving thanks to God. Try to spend just one day using all your prayer time to give thanks. Don’t ask for anything. Simply spend time loving, thanking, and praising our Mighty God. Our society is so focused on pursuing whatever our heart desires that it may be harder than you think.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
2 Chronicles 30:1-4, 34-46
Passover was to be celebrated in the first month. Numbers 9 outlined the consequences of failure to obey. If a person was unclean because of contact with a dead person or was on a distant journey at the time of Passover, he could celebrate Passover in the second month, 14th day. According to the law, if the man simply neglected to observe the Passover, that person was to be cut off from his people and bear his own sin.
The law was abundantly clear, and there was to be no exception.
For sixteen years, Hezekiah’s father had been king and for much, if not all, of that time, the temple doors had been closed. None of the holy days, including Passover, were observed. Hezekiah, however, opened the temple and instructed the priests to cleanse the temple and consecrate themselves. He was committed to reinstitutingthe Passover observance.
As diligent as the workers were, they still could not be ready by the appointed time, so Hezekiah scheduled Passover for a later date. Hezekiah understood that what God desired most of all was obedience and relationship. Because the people were both repentant and eagerly desiring to obey, God provided ample grace to cover the fact that their actions were not quite on time.
Aren’t we glad that we serve a God of second chances and abundant grace? Is there something God has put on your heart to do? Have you delayed? Our God of grace and love is still offering yet another chance to obey.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
2 Chronicles 29:31-35
The number of the burnt offerings: 70 bulls, 100 rams, 200 lambs, 600 bulls, 3,000 sheep. But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings, therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests….
There were not enough priests to get the job done, not for lack of priests but lack of preparation, and the work was not completed. Perhaps you have never skinned an animal before, but it is a terrible job. It is nasty, smelly, and a bloody mess. There’s no way to do it and remain clean. Skinning 3,970 animals of any size would have been an unbelievable operation, but skinning that many animals the size of bulls, goats, and sheep would be impossible to accomplish in just one day.
The Levites were competent to do the job, but it was not their usual work. Amazingly, however, when it came time to skin the sacrifices, there was no arguing or casting blame. There is no indication that the Levites begrudged the work. They simply saw a job that needed doing, recognized that their brothers were unable to complete their assigned jobs, rolled up their sleeves, and went to work.
There was such a spirit of cooperation and charity that everyone worked side by side until the entire job was done. They had servant hearts. We too need to approach the work of God with the attitude of a servant, whether in our churches, our families, or our daily lives. In fact, we need to work together, across denominational lines, in such a way that the world stands in awe of what Christians get accomplished because of the loving way they work together to get the job done
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might... (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NASB)
Monday, August 25, 2014
“Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.”
2 Chronicles 29:36
The priests and Levites had worked hard cleansing and preparing the temple and they worked even harder sacrificing all the animals for the sin offering. The musicians had prepared and played special music. It had been a magnificent day as they re-opened the temple.
It would have been tempting to rejoice about what THEY had done or give Hezekiah credit for the re-opening of the temple. After sixteen years of King Ahaz and his ungodly reign, however, they were more than willing to give Jehovah credit.
God had prepared a wonderful blessing, but a tremendous amount of work was required to receive it. When the “gift” God prepared finally arrived, they recognized that, unless God had paved the way, their efforts would have been nothing.
It is important that we, too, understand that all our plans, hard work, and expended energy are of no eternal value unless the plan and the path are designed and paved by God Himself. Equally important is giving credit for our victories and successes where credit is due - to Almighty God, and kit ourselves.
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. (Psalms 127:1 NASB)