The Danger of Settling for First Place

Here’s why being first can be a sure path to mediocrity.

Today’s reading:  2 Kings 10:18-13:25

Jehu was a king who got mixed reviews.  He did better than other kings but did not serve God fully.  You could say he came in first.  But first was not good enough.  Maybe he compared himself to others and felt he had done enough.  His scale of values was distorted by human failings.

God made us to be His image bearers, to reflect His glory.  As fallen creatures we do not achieve that perfectly.  Only Jesus Christ lived a sinless, completely God-honoring life.  Yet we will be like Him (I John 3:1-3).  That is our destiny.  Do not settle for first place, like Jehu,  but seek to grow in Christlikeness.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Preaching through Tears

Today we read of a man who was given an horrific message to deliver, but he gave it faithfully.

Today’s reading:  2 Kings 8:7-10:17

We are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel, bad news and good news.  We may not tamper with the message to make it more palatable or pleasant.  Be faithful as you preach the gospel even through tears.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

God’s Sovereignty over the Nations

To listen to the media, one would think there is no sovereign God ruling over the nations.  But is that the truth? No way!

Today’s reading:  2 Kings 5:1-8:6

We are fed by a steady diet of bad news.  Chaos seems to reign around the globe: famine, war, terrorism, poverty, global warming, political corruption, and so on.  We need to be reminded that these kinds of crises have existed for thousands of years.  Is God still God?  Absolutely.  Trust Him come what may.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Validation of the Prophet’s Ministry

When Elisha assumed the mantle of Elijah’s ministry, God provided a unique means of validating that transition of authority.

Today’s reading:  2 Kings 2:19-4:44

God gave Elisha the power to perform miracles as a means of certifying the authenticity of the prophet’s role.  There are clear parallels to several of Jesus’ miracles.  Yet the seeking of signs and miracles can be an obstacle to faith (Matthew 12:38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:22).   Jesus is the culmination of God’s revelation to us in His Word, the Bible (Hebrews 1:1-2).  Let us be diligent to study and believe what He has revealed in Scripture.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

April 23-24, 2016 Weekend readings

Saturday, April 23 reading: 1 Kings 19:1-21:29 “The Right and Wrong Use of Power”

Sunday April 24 reading: 1 Kings 22:1-2 Kings 2:18 “Bold Obedience”

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Have a great weekend.  See you again on Monday!

[For more reflections on these passages see the corresponding readings in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Photo by Abbey Knouff

Attack the Messenger

When the message doesn’t suit, attack the messenger.  It’s an old trick

Today’s reading:  1 Kings 16:21-18:46

It is a foolish but common ploy to attack the person delivering a true, irrefutable but inconvenient message.  A wise person will take heed to a warning and make amends quickly.  Today we meet a king who was neither wise nor godly and the prophet who delivered the unwelcome message.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days

God’s Absolute Justice

Here’s a perfect example of how God’s wisdom and justice is far above ours.

Today’s reading:  1 Kings 14:1-16:20

Baasha carries out God’s justice but also receives it.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

What Goes Around…

History.  Are we learning from it?

Today’s reading:  1 Kings 11:26-13:34

What we learn from history is that we don’t learn much from history.  But we could learn if we were wise.  Solomon and Rehoboam learned little from history, even what was recent history for them.

The Bible gives us millennia of history with God’s perspective and interpretation.  Learn from it.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

The Sad End of a Great King

“Few end well.”

Today’s reading: 1 Kings 8:62-11:25

Once again we see an example of how difficult it is to handle success and prosperity without succumbing to serious temptations and the pitfalls of sin.  The Bible shows us how to live cautiously and dutifully, before the face of God (Coram Deo).

Learn from Solomon, the great king with the sad finale.  Seek to end well.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

A Prayer for the Gentiles

Today’s reading: 1 Kings 7:13-8:61

God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel always had a global focus, an inclusion of the Gentiles (Genesis12:3).  Today’s reading gives another example of how the king of Israel, Solomon, understood this reality.  Clearly this attitude did not carry over during New Testament times and during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Is your prayer life informed by the Word of God?  Solomon’s was in the case of his prayer at the newly opened temple.  He showed a sensitivity to God’s grace and mercy toward “foreigners”.  Heaven will include worshipers of God from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 7:9-10).  Be sure you are praying for them.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].