May 14-15, 2016 Weekend readings

Saturday, May 14: 1 Chronicles 26:20-29:30 “Godly Leaders and Biblical Churches”

Sunday, May 15: 2 Chronicles 1:1-5:1 “Starters and Finishers”

I will be preaching this Lord’s Day, May 15, 2016 at 10:45 AM and 6:00 PM at Grace Church, 2731 Edgewood St. Roanoke, VA  24015.  Everyone is invited.

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].

The Blessing of God through Children

In Bible times, an abundance of children was considered a good thing.  Today we meet a man who was blessed by God with a large family and with important responsibility in the kingdom of Israel.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 24:1-26:19

The ability to conceive and bear children is not totally in our control.  It was even less so in ancient Israel so parents considered offspring to be tangible evidence of the blessing of God.  Obed-edom was blessed with eight sons and his grandsons were able rulers in their family.

How blessed are the parents who are able to see successful grandchildren! This may not be your lot, but believers can certainly mentor children and youth in the church as virtual parents and grandparents.

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

Properly Placed Hope

There are moments of hope in history, when there is widely held anticipation of being at the start of something big and glorious.  But is expectation ever matched by reality?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 21:1-23:32

The transition of power from David to Solomon in the united kingdom of Israel and Judah was the first and last time that transition occurred fairly smoothly.  David made careful plans for the temple and Solomon would execute them well.  But dark days were coming.  We, too, may live to see good days and bad but in the eternal kingdom of the Son of David, Jesus Christ, there will be no sin, no death, and no tears.  That is where our hope should be placed. {See Revelation 21:1-4].

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

The Eternal King

Where is history going? God unfolds His plan for mankind gradually, but that doesn’t mean the end is uncertain or behind schedule. Today’s reading tells of “a giant step forward.”

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 17:1-20:8

God has His own timetable down through the millennia. We know this as human history.  Doubters and scoffers have long been asking, “why is the Lord’s return  taking so long?”  [2 Peter 3:1-4].  God doesn’t tell us everything we might like to know, but He does reveal progressively what He is doing and why He is doing it.  One author called it “the unfolding drama of redemption.”*  Like spectators at a great three-act play, we watch the production seeing only the part happening in our lifetimes.

David was blessed to be chosen as the king whose Son would reign over a kingdom that would never end.  That Son, Jesus, has come and completed the work of His first advent.  He will come again.  Stay tuned and stay faithful.

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

* The title of a famous work by the late W. Graham Scroggie

The King at Home

There is evidence that David had plenty of flaws in his personal life as a husband and father.  Nevertheless, on one occasion, at least, he showed care, love and sensitivity on the home front.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 14:1-16:43

Christian husbands and fathers are exhorted to love their wives and to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 5:25-6:4).  Having major responsibilities in their work does not exempt men from family duties and loving service.

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

A God of Wrath and A God of Grace

A common view of God sees Him as all love, mercy, and forgiveness.  Is this overly simplistic?  Is He also a God of judgment and holiness?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 11:10-13:14

Indeed the view that sees God as a cosmic Santa Claus  is not only overly simplistic, it is dangerously wrong.  God is a God of holiness and justice.  He will punish every sin ever committed by every human being.  The good news is that those who trust in the offering of His Son, Jesus Christ, for sins have His payment credited to their account.  Believers in the Lord Jesus have their sins paid in full, by His mercy and at His great cost.  David learned how holy is God.  He is not to be mocked or trifled with.  It was a sad and hard lesson, but we all need to pay attention to it.

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

Music Worthy of God

Is worship music a touchy topic for you?  Maybe that’s because music in the worship of God is a really important matter.  See in today’s reading how one leader showed the importance we should place on music that is worthy of God.

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 6:1-7:5

In Ancient Israel, King David put emphasis on music in the worship of the Lord.  It might seem surprising that in those days the king designated professional singers and musicians.  It was a noble calling then and it still is now.

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

The Famous, the Infamous, and the Forgotten

Is history merely a forced march of humanity through time leaving only the bones of the famous, the infamous, and the forgotten?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:26

As we read the long list of names of people we never knew who lived in antiquity, we gain a useful perspective.  There is a seemingly endless cycle of birth, life, and death.  We who live now are in this cycle, on this march.

Is there no purpose or ultimate end?

Yes, there is.  God is saving a people for Himself out of the generations of mankind (Titus 2:11-14).  If you are His, by faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, you have been adopted as His child.  You have an inheritance, kept safely in heaven for you.  Do not despair.  At the end of this life you will see Him, be transformed into His likeness, and be in glorious fellowship with your Maker forever.  [See Romans 8:12-17; I Peter 1:3-9; I John 3:1-3].

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

Honorable Jabez; Wise God

A popular slogan is “Prayer Changes Things.”   Do you know the flaw in this saying?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 2:3-4:23

While prayer is commanded and important, it is God, not prayer, that changes things. To believe we change things by our prayers eliminates God’s sovereignty and wisdom.  God blessed Jabez and He blesses His people who pray to Him in faith. He does hear our prayers but in the final analysis He determines the answers.

This is not to diminish the importance of prayer, but to give the credit to the One who deserves it.

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

Your Place in Human History

Names, names, and more names! But these are real people who lived, just as you live today.  What are we to learn from this?

Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 1:1-2:2

One of the things we learn is that all these people’s names are recorded in a book we call the Bible that we, Christians, recognize as God’s Word. God knows these people and He knows us.  He remembers them, although we do not know them personally.  We recognize a few names, but most are just names in a list.  They are not forgotten but neither are they all important.

What makes a person important?  It is enough that we live, do God’s will, and die trusting in Him.  He knows all who are His and He redeems them through the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for sinners who repent and believe in Him.

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