July 20

2 Chronicles 1:1–3:17

God clearly established Solomon as the chosen King of Israel and Solomon started off so well by seeking the LORD with all of his heart. Imagine offering 1,000 sacrifices! (2 Chronicles 1:6) As Solomon sought the Lord, God appeared to him. We read in:

2 Chronicles 1:7 (NKJV) “On that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask! What shall I give you?”

What would you ask of God if He offered to give you anything? I remember when we first started the church in El Monte, people would ask me, “How can I pray for you?” Like Solomon, I asked for wisdom. These are God’s people I’m called to serve, to lead, and care for. I knew I didn’t have a chance without God’s personal guidance and wisdom from above. Solomon responded correctly:

2 Chronicles 1:10 (NLT) “Give me the wisdom and knowledge to lead them properly, for who could possibly govern this great people of yours?”

God blessed Solomon with wisdom, and much, much more. We all need God’s wisdom don’t we? We need wisdom with family, friends, enemies, work, ministry, and all the endeavors of life each and every day. In James 1:5-6 God promises to give us wisdom, if we ask in faith.

God then led Solomon to write a letter to the King of Tyre to provide him with material and a man, someone skilled to work in the craftsmanship necessary for the construction of the temple. Solomon’s heart was that it would be the most glorious temple in the whole world – for the LORD is the only Lord, greater than all other gods, for they are not gods (2 Kings 19:18; Jeremiah 16:20; Galatians 4:8).

King Hiram of Tyre sent Huram, his master craftsman, whose mother was Jewish. I’ve learned over the years that part of God’s provision is the people He brings. As the temple project gets going, everything is coming together – those with understanding, those with the muscles to work, organization, materials, in this case gold, silver, bronze, precious stones, cedar wood, etc. Of course the most important part of all, was a heart to work. Solomon’s Temple wasn’t big in comparison to today’s buildings, it was only 90 feet by 30 feet, but it was epic in God’s sight…because it was done for the right reason, and set apart for Him.

We all know that God doesn’t live in buildings, He lives in His people. But when we build a church, or set aside a building for His glory, it’s a wonderful thing. We get to see God’s people gather together in order to fellowship and worship Him. Let’s build with good materials and proper motives (see 1 Corinthians 3:9-17). The Gold is symbolic of deity – God’s presence. The silver is symbolic of redemption – that’s what Jesus did for us, by His blood. The bronze is symbolic of judgment – we will never know the depth of judgment Jesus bore for us on the cross of Calvary. Those who choose not to believe and follow God, must be warned of the judgment to come.

Romans 6:1-23

In my opinion, this is probably one of the most important chapters in the entire Bible. Sandy Adams called Romans 6, “…the Spiritual schematic of our new life in Christ.”

As Christians who have placed our faith in Christ, we drink from the ocean of grace (that’s a lot of grace). Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more (Romans 5:20). Bottom line: grace-land is amazing…so some were suggesting that we go ahead and sin unreservedly, to continue in sin, for it unleashes and demonstrates the glorious grace of God. Paul answers emphatically in: 

Romans 6:2 (NKJV) “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

Paul then spends the rest of the chapter illustrating a sobering spiritual truth that as Christians we were joined to Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. The old man was nailed to the cross, he died, was buried, and not only will the new man rise one day at the next resurrection, we can walk every day in that same resurrection power!

Let’s believe this, let’s receive this, let’s reckon (recognize) the old man to be dead (Romans 6:11), let’s present our bodies each day as instruments (or weapons) of righteousness. Let’s present ourselves as slaves of God, every day, to obey, leading to holiness (Romans 6:22) and righteousness (Romans 6:16).

It’s imperative that we connect with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (something water baptism symbolizes). We must acknowledge that we died to sin, that we were buried (proving that we really died), and that in Christ, we have risen from the dead and can now walk in the newness of life (I like that word “newness” – Romans 6:4).

Expositor’s Commentary offers some insight, “Our spiritual history began at the cross. We were there in the sense that we were joined to him who actually suffered on it. The time element should not disturb us, because if we sinned in Adam, it is equally possible to die to sin with Christ.” (and rise with Him as well)

Bottom line – we need to take up our cross every day (Luke 9:23; 1 Corinthians 15:31) deny ourselves, say “no” to self, and “yes” to God. In Romans chapter 8 we’ll see the next key to victory, and that is the baptism and fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.

The final verse of this chapter is well known:

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Consider the following quote on that final passage by Warren Wiersbe, “We quote this verse as we witness to the lost, and rightly so; but Paul wrote it originally to believers. Although God forgives the sins of His children, He may not stop the painful consequences of sin. The pleasures of sin are never compensated for by the wages of sin. Sinning is not worth it!”

Whoever you are in Christ, you won’t be perfect on this side of time, but you can be proper. You can be a Godly man or woman, a consistent Christian, a faithful follower, an obedient believer – sin shall not have dominion over you! Amen?

Psalm 16:1-11

In this Psalm we see David’s devotion to the LORD and not other gods (Psalm 16:4). The LORD is his goodness (Psalm 16:2), the LORD is his portion (Psalm 16:5) and David was determined to follow the LORD and live in His presence.

David was well aware of the fact that his own goodness was nothing but bad (Psalm 16:2). He needed (just as we all do) the righteousness of God imputed to his account.

Psalm 16:5-6 speaks of the fact that God determines our days, our boundaries, our lot in life. David praised God for the life he’d been given. We should too.

I’ve always loved David’s acknowledgment in:

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

God is willing to guide us. God wants to flood our lives with joy and even the pleasures of life. He really is a good, gracious, and awesome God. Are you enjoying Him?

Psalm 16:10 is an amazing prophecy quoted by Peter in his sermon on the resurrection of Jesus Christ – it did NOT apply to David (Acts 2:31-32).

Psalm 16:10 (NKJV) “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

Jesus’ body did not decay, there was no corruption on His corpse. This is a clear prophecy regarding the resurrection of Jesus.

Proverbs 19:20-21

Proverbs 19:20 (NKJV) “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days.”

Listen to God’s word, to God’s people, be open, be receptive.

It takes time…experience, victories, and even failures…but hopefully the day will come, when we wake up, grow up and become wise.

Proverbs 19:21 (NKJV) “There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.”

A dear brother once told me, “You wanna make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.”

It’s okay to prayerfully plan out your day, week, month, year, and even life, but it usually doesn’t go our way, for God’s ways are higher.

Joseph thought he had it all figured out at the age of 17, but then his life took a hard right. We can share with God our plans, He might laugh, but more than anything, He will love, and He will lead us in the way everlasting.

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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