Dr. David Rose, Pastor
Tuesday, November 12, 2019—Acts 6-9
As the holidays approach, people begin assembling “wish lists.” Most children write down what they want. Most adults make a list of what they need. There is a vast difference between wants and needs.
God knew what the early church needed, and though they would likely not have asked for what they experienced, they never would have traded it once they saw the glory of God in it. In Acts 6, they began to struggle relationally—the Greek-speaking widows felt they were not treated as well as the Hebrew-speaking widows. The church needed servants, so God raised up Spirit-led men who met the challenge and grew the church.
One of these men, Stephen, was so used of God that he became a target. Satan will continually try to divide the church from the inside or discourage it from the outside. False accusations led to Stephen’s trial, and he testified powerfully to the truth of God and the good news of Jesus. He so angered the religious leaders that they stoned him.
The church needed servants, and God gave them. The church needed Stephen, and God used him. The church then needed to be scattered, so God sent all but the apostles out of Jerusalem, and the church began to grow beyond the Jewish confines into the Samaritan world.
The church needed Saul, so God transformed one of the greatest persecutors into one of the greatest champions. Praise God today for His brining what we need, not what we want, for His glory and our good.
Wednesday, September 5, 2018—17-19
Walking with the Lord requires discipline and intentionality. Old habits are always lurking. New temptations crouch at the door. When Jehoshaphat became king, “he again removed the high places and Asherah poles from Judah” (17:6). He took a stand for righteousness as the king and made an impact on the greater culture as a result. This is what leaders do.
God blessed Jehoshaphat because he sought God, and his mind rejoiced in His ways (17:4-6). He knew the necessity of teaching this truth to all the people, so he sent teachers throughout the land. The people would not simply absorb the truth from his example. They needed to hear personally the truth of God and choose to obey.
Jehoshaphat had the gift of discernment. When in discussion about potential military action with Israel, Jehoshaphat encouraged King Ahab to inquire of the Lord before acting. Ahab brought prophets to speak positively, but Jehoshaphat knew these men were not speaking for Yahweh (18:6). Micaiah came forward and said the attack would be the end of Israel, and Ahab threw him in prison. Micaiah was transparent and said if Ahab succeed in battle, then Micaiah was not God’s spokesman. Ahab proceeded and died in battle (18:34). Micaiah was truly the prophet he claimed to be.
Though Jehoshaphat foolishly sided with Ahab, he was not without merit. He urged the judges he appointed to serve with integrity because they were representing Yahweh and serving Him (19:6-7). Pray for the leaders in your life to seek God wholeheartedly and lead others into integrity.
Tuesday, September 4, 2018—2 Chronicles 14-16
King Asa had proper perspective. He rid the land of pagan altars and worship places and told the people of Judah to seek the Lord and carry out the instruction and commands (14:4). After fortifying the people spiritually, he then fortified the land militarily. Military might was of great importance but secondary to spiritual obedience.
When his army marched out against the Cushites, they were outnumbered nearly two to one. Asa called out in prayer, knowing only God could help the mighty and the weak. “Help us, Lord God, for we depend on you, and in your name we have come against this large army. Lord, you are our God. Do not let a mere mortal hinder you” (14:11). God energized them to defeat a stronger enemy.
God’s mighty work stirred a revival in the land. Asa led further spiritual cleansing, and the people responded with national repentance, making an oath to seek the Lord with all their heart and soul. “All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn it with all their mind. They had sought him with all their heart, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side” (15:15). Spiritual health helped provide national peace though the northern kingdom did not follow suit.
Spiritual growth and health require constant attention and discipline. When faced with another enemy, Asa relied on economic leverage rather than prayerful dependence. The seer Hanani chided him for his lack of faith and predicted war as a result (16:9).
Pray for constant repentance, dependence, and growth.
Monday, September 3, 2018—2 Chronicles 10-13
Lord Acton said power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Throughout history, those in power have often made poor decisions in regards to their power and position. Those with the greatest power have often been those who have made the most heinous mistakes.
God made clear, with each king of Israel, that he was to choose God’s ways and find blessing. God would not force him to do so. When Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, became king, he allowed the power to corrupt him. The people asked for some leniency, and his older advisers urged him to comply, but his younger advisers said he should put even more pressure on the people. Because he did not listen to the people (10:15), the people rebelled. The rift this caused between the northern tribes and David remained at the time of the writing of Chronicles (10:19).
Those reading Chronicles and rebuilding Israel had several truths to consider. The leader was under the direction of God, but he was also in relationship to the people. God wanted the king to lead courageously and obediently, but He also wanted His people treated with respect because they were made in His image and called to personal obedience.
Rehoboam’s initial mistake did not prevent his later obedience (11:17), walking in the ways of David. Jeroboam’s call from God did not prevent him from later disobedience, appointing his own preists (11:15). Failure is not final. The past does not fully dictate the future.
Seek the Lord (12:14). Walk consistently and humbly in obedience.