Bible reading for October 9.
I will be taking a break off-line for the next several days. Below I'll list the readings for the upcoming days.
1 Kings 12.
"So the king did not listen to the people, for it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that he might fulfill his word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat." (1 Kings 12:15)
THIS TURN OF EVENTS. This is one of those places in Scripture where we see that God rules and over-rules in the affairs of men. Rehoboam's inclination to take the bad advice of his younger friends -- which was his own sinful choice, and his responsibility -- was nonetheless ordained by God to fulfill his plan. Some theologians call this compatibilism, or the principle that God sovereignly ordains to use even the sinful choices that people freely make (from no outward compulsion) in order to accomplish his own will. This is clearly seen also in the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus (Acts 2:23; 4:28). Further, we see Rehoboam getting off to a bad start by instituting idolatry for the northern tribes. From this point on there will be a divide between the southern tribes, collectively called Judah (where we get the term "Jew"), and the northern tribes, collectively called Israel. See the simplified OT timeline above: Israel will finally be conquered by Assyria in 722 BC, and Judah taken into exile in Babylon, beginning in 605 BC, with the fall of Jerusalem taking place in 586 BC.
"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ..." (Philippians 3:7-8)
THE VALUE OF KNOWING CHRIST. Often when I hear someone "share a testimony," it seems primarily about giving up bad stuff to come to Jesus. Sin, drugs, loneliness, selfishness, etc., and then seeing the light of Christ and coming to him in faith. That's valid, but look at this chapter where Paul lists all the good things he gives up for Christ. Every good thing he could boast in, rest upon, or take pride in -- like family, heritage, religious zeal, education, personal morality -- he views all these things as rubbish compared to knowing Christ! The value of knowing Christ, finding our righteousness in him alone, and experiencing his life (and suffering with him) is worth more than anything in this world. And this relationship is a goal worth pursuing with all-out, single-minded determination. As you read through this passage, ask yourself, is this how I view knowing Christ and growing in him?
Oct 10 1 Kings 13 Philippians 4
Oct 11 1 Kings 14 Colossians 1
Oct 12 1 Kings 15 Colossians 2
Oct 13 1 Kings 16 Colossians 3
UPDATE. I received an email from a good friend, responding to my post which included a stanza from Robert Robinson's hymn, "Come, Thou Fount". This friend of mine became a convert to Christ later in life, and we attended the same church together. He writes...
One Sunday morning shortly after we began attending church in late 2003, we began singing "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." I thought this is a beautiful melody and the words are evocative and flow so naturally and all the voices were soaring as they always do.
And then we got to... "Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wand'ring from the face of God..." and suddenly my eyes filled with tears and I choked up and couldn't continue singing, but I struggled to continue standing while listening as others around me sang,
"He, to save my soul from danger, / Interposed His precious blood."
I thought, that's my story. It happened to me.
I recounted that experience in the Lord's Supper one morning sometime later.
I still tear up thinking about it as I write this.
My friend added, "I was 60 years old at the time and not given to tearing up about anything." :) Really, isn't this the way we should be feeling when we sing our hymns? "That's my story."
As an aside, I see that "Wand’ring from the face of God" becomes "Wandering from the fold of God" in hymnals after about 1880. I suppose this better reflects the image of a lost sheep.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. One recommended resource is NETBible.org, a ministry of bible.org.