See yourself as perfect today!
2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17
Verse of the day:
Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Did you know that you’re perfect? Contrary to traditional belief, the believer can actually be sinless. The entirety of Romans 6 is explaining the truth that once you have confessed your sins, believed the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross which was payment for our sins, and accepted that work into your heart, we are no longer bound to the sinful nature of this world. Christ came and died so that we may be set apart, cleansed, made righteous, no longer identifying with sin, and now walk in the same empowerment that He did during his earthly ministry to dominate sin.
There’s a mentality in a majority of believers that even post-salvation, we are all sinners. We sin every day, we’re imperfect, and we commit sins we don’t even know we do. That’s ridiculous! How would it be possible for the Bible to state that those who are in Christ are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17) if the same creation from old is still around? Christ didn’t die so you could be set free from your sins up until your salvation decision and then go right back to living in that same sinful state. He died to set you free from sin for all time! Also, how do we unknowingly commit sins that are against God’s will in our everyday life? Say for instance I wake up, have breakfast, go to work, spend time with my family, read my bible, pray, and go to bed at the end of my day, where in that series of events did I do something that displeased God? The way that you refrain from doing anything against His will is by staying in His will. How do we know what His will is? We read His word, which is His will! You can’t sin against God when He reveals what His will is to you! Sin is a CONSCIOUS decision to go against the will of God. I’m not going to unknowingly murder someone or commit adultery, I’m going to know that I’m doing it (2 Corinthians 10:5). Sinlessness isn’t a state of being, it’s a daily decision to win the war against ungodliness.
It’s important to mention that I am not saying we have NEVER sinned. Romans 3:23 states, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Everyone was born into sin (Psalm 51:5) due to the fallen nature of humanity in Genesis. But that changes once we receive Christ! That’s the point of a believer’s testimony, to witness to the lost of what once was and proclaim of what now is! I also get asked, how can this be true if Paul goes on to say in Romans 7:14-23 that he continuously does what He doesn’t want to do? The answer is in verse 24 where he foreshadows of the person who he knows can set him free from sin and death (Jesus) which he then mentions in verse 25, followed by chapter 8 which explains how to live in the Spirit and being set free from the power of sin (Romans 8:1).
For the believer, ALL SINS have been wiped away, He remembers the past no more (Hebrews 8:12). The difference is that although your flesh may not appear different when you receive Christ, your spirit is renewed. We have been made perfect (Hebrews 10:14), holy (1 Peter 2:9), united with Christ (Ephesians 2:6), and now live through the empowerment of the Spirit to combat what the sinful nature craves (Galatians 5:16). So, see yourself as perfect today! Not by anything we have done, but because of what He did (2 Timothy 1:9).
1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30
Verse of the day:
For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
There are more 108 billion people to have ever been born. Today, July 19, 2018 there are about 7.6 billion people on the planet. There will be about 360,000 new individuals that will be born today. What do they all have in common? They are all part of Adam’s Family. Not to be confused with the Adams Family.
Adam was the first man. He was disobedient and he polluted the entire gene pool. Since he sinned first everyone after him inherited his sin nature and inherited his guilt. It only took one man to ruin it all. Everyone in his family was made sinners because of his disobedience.
Since it only took one man to ruin it all, it would only take one Man to make it right. Through the obedience of Jesus, all may inherit His righteousness. This requires being born again and become related to Jesus, by faith. All were born of Adam and inherited death, but God offers everyone a rebirth into His family which inherits eternal life.
If you are part of God’s family you no longer need to live according to the ways of your former family, Adam’s Family. Adam’s genes have no part in your new life. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is your new DNA makeup. God accepts you and sees you as a righteous member of His royal family because of the obedience of Christ. Today, simply enjoy all the benefits of being part of this wonderful family.
As you’re enjoying your family status think about the people in your life that need to make the crossover from the Adam’s Family to Jesus’ Family. Think about how much God loves the people of this world and how He desires that none should perish. Think about how you can leverage your status of righteousness to influence others to come into the family.
The Privilege & Blessing of a Jonathan
Pastor Tom Murray
1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34
Verse of the day:
Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe. Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons. (1 Chronicles 27:32 NLT)
We are impacted by the people who surround us. Consider the people in your household, workplace, faith community, and friend groups.
If you have someone in your life like King David’s Uncle Jonathan, count that person as a huge privilege and blessing.
What we know about Uncle Jonathan comes from only one verse, 1 Chronicles 27:32. This man is different from David’s friend named Jonathan, the son of Saul.
Uncle Jonathan embodies three attributes of those we desire for our inner circle. He “was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe” (NLT).
First, Jonathan was a wise counselor. A counselor provides advice on the challenges we face and choices we make. We put greater weight on their guidance than what we hear from others who simply have an opinion about what we should or should not do.
Second, Jonathan brought great insight. Our discernment can be clouded by our selfish desires, past hurts, lack of knowledge, and limited information. A person with great insight brings important perspective when we face times of difficulty.
Third, Jonathan was scribe. This implies that he was educated and had record-keeping or accounting expertise. How helpful it is to have someone in our lives with attention to detail.
For those of us who have a person or people like Uncle Jonathan, let’s thank God that He brought them into our lives. If you have abilities like this advisor and offer yourself others, know that what you do is highly-valued work that is making a difference.
Do I have to read that part?
Pastor Stephanie Humpa
1 Chronicles 24:1-26:11
Verse of the day:
“With the help of Zadok, who was a descendant of Eleazar, and of Ahimelech, who was a descendant of Ithamar, David divided Aaron’s descendants into groups according to their various duties.” (1 Chronicles 24:3)
There are certain Old Testament portions of scripture that can be harder to read than others. When you get to a long list of names and who they begot it can be tempting to skip over that section. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” This verse applies even to these portions we are tempted to skip over!
As I was reading through the list of names this morning what struck me was that each of these individuals was important to God. He knew each of them by name. They were real people who were receiving real jobs and were important enough to God to have their names forever listed in scripture even if this was the only place we ever will read it.
The second thing that struck me was their tasks were important to God. In verse 6 we learn that, “Shemaiah son of Nethanel, a Levite, acted as secretary and wrote down the names and assignments in the presence of the king…” His job was to write down important information. That’s it. But to God He was important and what he was entrusted to do was important- important enough to include in scripture forever.
Here’s what this teaches and reminds me…Whenever we are tempted to feel unimportant God wants us to know we are important to Him. Even when no one else sees us or sees our value. Even when people want to pass us off or skip over us like we want to skip over these long lists of names. To God we are incredibly important and He knows us by name. It reminds me that whatever we have been tasked to do is important. There is no job that we have been assigned that is not important. Knowing this challenges us to “Do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) No matter how you feel today or what you are facing know today that to God you are incredibly important and everything you do He sees and it is important to Him.
Don't Pass Judgement
1 Chronicles 16:37-18:17
Verse of the Day:
You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change. (Romans 2:3-4 MSG)
'“Remember when you have one finger pointed forward, you have three pointing back at you!”
How many times do remember hearing this growing up or actually saying this to someone. Having your parent say,”Do what I say, but not what I do!”. Or “why do you see the speck in your brothers eye, when you have massive plank in your eye.”
Do you see us as believers doing the very thing that the lost is doing? Trying to redirect the fault of their sin and that ours is insignificant. In my household, when we hear someone speaking wrongly or judgemental. The words of “edify, you're missing out on blessings!” are voiced out.
The problem as christians we feel we’re opted out of our own fault or convictions. We pass judgement and we need to remember, we too live in glass houses. Sometimes believers hold the stone and feel there sin of judgement is below them. We have a gracious God, but a very strict God. So we are held to a higher standard as christians. We’re disciples of Christ and should have had that SHIFT in our life to not pass judgement. Just remember, Christ doesn’t do that until we die.
What have you done for me lately?
Pastor Jon Brooks
1 Chronicles 15:1-16:36
Verse of the day:
Many seek favors from a ruler; everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts! (Proverbs 19:6)
Many who excel in business, politics, entertainment, sports and even ministry often express that as they rise in position and influence they experience loneliness. King Solomon had great wealth and power. As the king, everyone was forced to be friendly and adoring and respectful to him, but that doesn't mean he felt known, supported, liked or seen for who he was beyond his title. As you rise in leadership you become the man or woman that everyone is asking for something…asking for a raise, for a favor, for your endorsement or asking straight up for cash!
Have you ever felt like someone was being kind to you simply because they ultimately wanted something from you? It doesn’t feel good, does it?
Now let’s pivot to God. God has unlimited power and resources and that fact is well known around the world. Everyday people make their requests known to God and we are invited to do so! (Philippians 4:6) Hopefully we understand that no relationship can thrive if it exists simply for the benefit of one of the friends. We understand this dynamic in human associations and yet we often place God in a different category.
‘He’ll understand if I only come to him in crisis or at times when I need something. He gets it…’
I wonder at times if God longs for us to simply be with him…not to gain anything but simply to enjoy communion and relationship with him. Perhaps the greatest rewards in life belong to those who pursue friendship with God.
“I’ll be praying for you”
1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17
Verse of the Day:
Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son. (Romans 1: 8-9)
Did you know that there is an actual website for the Dictionary of Christianese? It is a collection of commonly used phrases that many Christians would know, but would mean nothing to the average person. Some examples would be, hedge of protection, prayer warrior, or handclap of praise… all phrases we use to mean something that we understand, but most people wouldn’t. How many times have you heard the following statements… “I’ll pray for that,” or “I’ll pray for you”? If you’re like me, it has become a second nature response that I have often given without taking a moment to think about what I was really saying. It has become the Christianese response for every problem that someone shares.
It’s really not a bad thing to say, but so often it becomes a get out of jail free card that we have no intention of following up on. Recently, I began to feel convicted about saying those phrases if I wasn’t going to actually pray for the request. If Paul, who was connected with so many cities and churches, could still confidently say that he was keeping the Romans in prayer consistently, then surely I could find a way to make space in my prayer time for others and not just me. To do that would require me to be making conscious efforts to remember all the prayer requests I said I would be praying for.
My pattern now is that I keep a list on my phone for every prayer request that I am praying for. Every time someone shares one with me, I put it in my phone as soon as the conversation is over, and leave it on the list until I know it has been answered in one way or another. I want to make sure that I am keeping my word and praying for those close to me who trust me enough to share a need they have. Paul’s example tells us that it is so important to be keeping our Brothers and Sisters’ needs a regular part of our prayer life. It is these selfless prayers that strengthen our relationships with each other, and the Church as a whole. I encourage you to let my challenge be yours as well… to be intentional in keeping track of the prayer requests shared with you, so that we can consistently be lifting each other up. So the next time you tell someone “I’ll be praying for you,” it can be more than just Christianese.
Wait Just A Second
Pastor Shawn Follis
Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? Always in a hurry to get somewhere and to do something. You seemed to have so much energy that you would burst if you had to sit still for just a few moments. You always found yourself bouncing from one thing to another and if you ever had to wait for something you really wanted, the clock would move so slowly.
If your parents where anything like mine then you also had chores. Daily and weekly tasks that had to be done before any fun could be had: dusting, vacuuming, dishes, trash, mowing the yard, and the dreaded pulling of weeds. Each chore stood like a mountain in the way of what I really wanted to do. Each chore seemed to take an eternity to complete, all while my fun time was slipping away. I can remember rushing as fast as I could through those chores so I could get on with the rest of my day. I can also remember being called back into the house to “do it right.” I would waist even more time having to redo the same chores because in my haste I had not done a very good job the first time.
Today’s verse encourages us to make sure that we are balancing getting the job done, with getting it done right. Some things don’t need speed. Sometimes we need to slow things down and make sure we know how to do a task, so that it is done correctly. Sometimes when we move fast, we may miss something that is vital.
Our personal discipleship is one place where speed can kill. Many try to race through their daily bible reading to put a check mark on the calendar, but they don’t take the time to truly meditate on the words that are racing through their head. We have may have a great desire to check this off of our To Do list, but before we do, we need to slow down and let the impact of the words of God sink into our lives. We need to soak in the living water and allow it to penetrate our thoughts so that knowledge can increase.
Are you reading today’s devotion to receive a check mark or knowledge? Take the time to truly read today’s verse and meditate on how you can apply this verse to your life. Take the time to pray about areas of shortcoming that God would bring up, so that you can begin the process of change.
1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17