Bible reading for Dec 1.
1 Chronicles 29.
"Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly." (29:9)
GREAT JOY. For a brief moment in Israel's history, the king and the people were united together in God's work for God's glory. Such free, whole-hearted willingness to obey, along with uncoerced generosity (vv 5, 9, 14, 17-18), was rare under the old covenant, and is the hallmark of the new covenant (Ps 110:3; Ezek 36:26-27; 2 Cor 8:1-5). Fullness of joy is the result of God's grace (vv 9, 22; cf Isa 9:3; Gal 5:22; 1 Pet 1:8). And just as King David provided gifts for his son to build the temple, so the Lord Jesus gives gifts to his children, that they may build up his body in this world (Eph 4:7-16).
PRAYER. Before we finish the chapter (and book), we should read his prayer in verses 10-19. Spend a little more time there. It is the Lord's will that we (like David) serve God freely, joyfully, and wholeheartedly. It should grieve us when we find ourselves unwilling to serve him freely. Note the progression in the prayer: acknowledging God for who he is and thanking him for all that we have in him (vv 11-13); confessing our dependence upon his grace (vv 14-17); and petitioning him for what we need to serve him well (vv 18-19). Why not make this your own prayer today?
2 Peter 3.
"But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." (3:13)
WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE? There are many things to note in this chapter: Peter recognizes the validity and authority of the NT apostles with the OT prophets (v 2). This includes Paul's letters (v 16). The Lord's coming may appear delayed (v 4), in other words, the early church did not believe that Jesus would return in the first century. God is outside our way of reckoning time (v 8). The Lord is patient and longsuffering toward the impenitent (vv 9, 15). We are to wait for, and work toward, Christ's return (v 12). And we are to keep growing in the Lord (v 18). The central point of this letter, however, is that biblical teaching should produce holy living. "What sort of people ought you to be..." (v 11), especially, as we are looking for, waiting for, and hastening the coming of a new world of righteousness (v 13; cf Col 3:1-4; 1 Jn 3:2-3).
REFLECT. We should live like we are on the way to a new heavens and a new earth. What sort of person should you and I be? The new creation will be filled with the glory of God, and filled with creatures who love God and one another perfectly. What changes need to be made in us today to make us more ready for that world?
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.