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bible reading dec 14



Bible reading for Dec 14. 

2 Chronicles 15-16.

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him." (16:9)

A GOOD FIRST HALF. Chapters 15 and 16 fill in the blanks of the shorter account of King Asa's life given in 1 Kings 15. There he gets a good report on his 41-year reign, but here we learn that his earlier years were better than his latter. At first he was zealous to seek the Lord (15:2-12) and made many good reforms.  But later, when crisis came he began to rely more on human ability, ingenuity, and power. He was trusting man rather than seeking the Lord. Was he tired or disillusioned? Was he giving in to public pressure to be more pragmatic? For some reason his confidence faded and he did not seek the Lord with zeal. 

KEEP SEEKING. Twice the Apostle Paul wrote, "Let us not grow weary of doing good" (Gal 6:9; 2 Thess 3:13). Over time we can lose our zeal to seek the Lord earnestly. Like the Israelites who grew tired of gathering manna every day (Ex 16), we may grow weary of going to the Lord for the things we need each day. But the Lord desires and delights in our continued seeking. It's about the ongoing relationship we have with him. We continue to seek him, not because we haven't found him, but because we have found him, and we want more of him and what he provides.  Sometimes, we'd like a "one and done" Christian life, that is, to have all our gifts at once, and all our problems and needs to go away. But Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Matt 7:7) These verbs are in the present imperative, which means the command has an ongoing aspect: "Keep asking... keep seeking... keeping knocking..." We must remember that the Lord has abundant mercy and grace for us, for every need, no matter how often we come (Heb 4:16; cf 2 Cor 12:9). The Lord will never despise our need, nor will we ever wear him out.  Keep seeking him, and you will continue to find him faithful. Ponder these words from C. H. Spurgeon...  

"Imagine a man standing on a mountain, and saying, 'I breathe so many cubic feet of air in a year; I am afraid that I shall ultimately inhale all the oxygen which surrounds the globe.' Surely the earth on which the man would stand might reply, 'My atmosphere is sufficient for thee.' I should think it; let him fill his lungs as full as ever he can, he will never breathe all the oxygen, nor will the fish drink up all the river, nor the mouse eat up all the stores in the granaries of Egypt. ... Our great Lord feeds all the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the cattle on the hills, and guides the stars, and upholds all things by the power of his hand, how then can we be straitened for supplies, or be destitute of help? If our needs were a thousand times larger than they are they would not approach the vastness of his power to provide." (From "Strengthening Words from the Savior's Lips," a sermon on 2 Corinthians 12:9, preached April 2, 1876, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.)

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Revelation 5. 

"And they sang a new song, saying, 'Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.'"  (5:9-10)

"AT THE VERY CENTER of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And he does so because he is at the center of God's story," wrote Sinclair Ferguson in Child in the Manger (Banner of Truth, 2015). In chapter 4 of Revelation we see a glimpse of the glory of God who is sovereign Creator.  In chapter 5 we see his Son who is the Lion and Lamb of redemption. He alone has the right to break the seals of the scroll in heaven, which means that he is the only one who is worthy to consummate human history. Many in our world today look back upon the Christmas story and the Easter story -- along with all the gospel accounts -- as bygone and quaint fables of a pre-scientific age. But little do they realize that what we pray -- "Thy Kingdom come" -- will actually come.  It is through Christ's blood that men and women and children from every nation and ethnicity shall find redemption and a glorious destiny in God's new world.  At Christmas we remember, in the words of Ralph W. Sockman, that "The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable."  Amen, come Lord Jesus!

GOLDEN BOWLS. Sometimes prayer seems the most ineffective, or at least, the most unimpressive thing we as Christians can do. Worship and praise are offered in faith, and in fact, require no answer. Petitions and requests may have few, or unseen, answers.  But here in verse 8, along with Rev 8:3-4, we are shown that our prayers are treated as holy in heaven. They are seen, sensed with their aroma, valued, and offered in golden bowls like temple incense before the Lord (cf Ps 141:2). Many accomplishments that we have on earth don't seem to merit quite the attention in heaven that is given to prayer. The prayers of God's saints are given special delivery status by the holy angels! Let us never think that prayer, especially secret prayer and praise to the Lord, is ever a minor thing to God. We must ask ourselves, is this how I view prayer? How can we grow in our estimation of the value of prayer?  


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.

 

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