Bible Reading for these days covered 1 Chronicles 24:1—-Ezra 10:44. Below are a few verses that really popped out to me as I was reading the last couple of days.
“And you, my son Solomon, accept the God of your father. Serve him completely and willingly, because the Lord knows what is in everyone’s mind. He understands everything you think. If you go to him for help, you will get an answer. But if you turn away from him, he will leave you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9
Seriously, look at that verse again, 1. Accept God 2. Serve Him completely and willingly! These two statements have got to be done for their to be an opportunity for anything else. I think what happens a lot is acknowledgment of God but not acceptance of God!! When we accept HIM we take Him how He is, we take His commands and we take the “Ifs”. When we truly have accepted HIM and His ways we choose to serve HIM the way He desires; which is completely and willingly!
David also said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and brave, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or leave you until all the work for the Temple of the Lord is finished. 1 Chronicles 28:20
I love the reminder here that God will NOT leave us or fail us but there is also a key point we do not need to forget. We have a part “do the work, do not be afraid or discouraged”, that means we have to trust Him and walk that trust out daily no matter the circumstance.
Ezra had worked hard to know and obey the Teachings of the Lord and to teach his rules and commands to the Israelites. Ezra 7:10
You know through out my life I have heard Christians when trying to talk about their walk, trying to get around using the word strive to or work at, etc. I have also fallen into this line of thinking. It’s like we think that we can’t use any word that seems to describe the Christian walk as difficult, strenuous, work, etc., why is that? We are in a spiritual battle with an enemy, you know the one who goes around like a roaring line. This enemy doesn’t fight fair. A battle is not a walk in the park, even though in Christ we are made new, we are still walking around in this suit we call flesh. We will truly at times without a doubt feel that we have literaly been in a battle for our very lives.
I love the translation above (NCV) that describes Ezra as working hard to know and obey God. I do not think there is anything wrong with having to work hard at working hard to know and obey God. In life something that is truly good and good for us takes work, such as having kids (parenting hardest job ever but the rewards are amazing), living in a clean environment (house cleaning) and having a healthy body (eating right and exercising). Those are just a few examples but I think you get my point. Truly there is nothing that is better than having an intimate relationship with our Father through His son and there is nothing better for us than living to obey Him! It is a daily sometimes moment by moment choice to truly LIVE for our God. I would love it if someone said of me “Angie works hard to know and obey the Teachings of the Lord and to teach his rules and command”!
When we look at all three of these verses I do believe we truly see that the ball is in our court, it is our turn to make a move. That move needs to be to daily Choose Him and daily choose to obey Him completely and willingly!!
To read my other B90 SOAP devotions go HERE