August 1, 2014 Bible Study –The Strong Must Bear With the Failings of the Weak

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:13-15

    If we spend too much time sleeping, or in other leisure activities, we will end in poverty. Work when the opportunity presents itself and you will have plenty.
    When people are haggling over the price, they will tell the seller that the goods are worthless. Once they have bought them, they will tell everyone how good they are.
    We are better off receiving wise advice than money or precious metals.


Psalm 25:1-15

    Those who trust in God will not be disgraced. If they follow the path which God lays out for them, their enemies will not triumph over them. God will lead us by His truth down the road which leads us to eternal life and success (as defined by God). God will forgive our sins if we turn to Him and follow His paths. Let me keep my eyes upon the Lord, then I will not fall into the traps laid out for me.


Romans 15:1-22

    Paul follows up his injunction (from yesterday’s passage) that we must not be a stumbling block for our fellow believers, by telling us that if we perceive ourselves as strong in the faith we should bear with the failings of those whose faith is weak. Let us not live our lives to please ourselves, but rather to please our fellow believers in order to build them up in their faith.
    Let us ask God to give us unity with our fellow believers and let us live in harmony with them to the degree with which it is in our control. Let us accept our fellow believers, even with their failings, to the same degree which Christ accepted us with our failings. Paul finishes up by writing that he believes those he is writing to already know most, if not all, of what he is writing, but that these were points he thought were worth reminding them about. This is why it is valuable to us to read our Bibles regularly. We may know what is in the Bible well enough to teach others, but we need reminders about some of the things it says.


2 Chronicles 30-31:21

    Hezekiah decided to celebrate Passover (the passage implies that it had not been celebrated for some time). However, he, his officials, and the community leaders of Jerusalem did not believe that they could be properly purified to celebrate it when it was supposed to be celebrated. So they decided to celebrate it one month later than called for in the Law. Hezekiah sent runners throughout the land inviting the Israelites to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. He sent the runners not just throughout Judah, the land he controlled, but through all of the lands of Israel. Most of the people outside of Judah ridiculed and laughed at Hezekiah’s messengers, but some humbled themselves and went to Jerusalem for the Passover.
    Many of those who came had not properly purified themselves, but Hezekiah recognized that the desire to worship God and return to following Him was more important than getting the forms right. We can learn a lot from what Hezekiah did here. First, he chose to schedule the Passover when they could get ready for it, rather than either do it poorly, or put it off another year. Second, he invited all of those who wanted to come to worship God, not just those who were “the right sort.”

July 31, 2014 Bible Study — Do Not Quarrel Over Disputable Matters

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:12

    We have ears to hear and eyes to see. They were given to us by God in order that we might learn to honour Him.


Psalm 24:1-10

    The earth, along with everything in it, belongs to God. We should treat the things we have accordingly. Let us remember to use everything we have in order to serve God and bring glory to His name. All of the people on the earth are God’s as well. Let us remember that we are not special in being God’s possession and treat others with the love, honour, and respect that they deserve as being God’s people.
    The psalmist asks, and answers, who may approach God? Here I prefer the NIV. He tells us that only those who have clean hands and a pure heart, those who do not rely on something other than God, those who do not swear falsely, or by false gods. If we truly seek God, we will allow His Spirit to transform us into such people. His Spirit will cleanse our hands and our hearts. If we trust in Him, He will remove sin from our lives and keep us from sullying our hearts by trusting in that which cannot save us. We cannot enter into God’s presence and truly worship Him until we fully rely on Him.


Romans 14:1-23

    Once again, I prefer the NIV for this passage. Paul tells us to accept those whose faith is weak. We are not to quarrel over disputable matters, such as whether to observe certain days (Is Christmas really a pagan holiday?), or whether or not it is OK to eat meat (Was this meat dedicated to an idol?). The phrasing chosen by the NIV is important. Other translations use the term argue rather than quarrel. The problem is that arguing can be a logical discussion, laying out the reasons for holding a particular position, and I cannot imagine Paul having a problem with that. It is when arguing becomes quarreling that problems arise. Quarreling is divisive and angry. Quarreling is what happens when we allow our emotions to enter into a disagreement. Paul tells us not to condemn those we disagree with. We are not to hold them in contempt. Ultimately, what each one of us believes is between ourselves and God. God will judge us according to how responsive we are to guidance by His Spirit. If we allow emotions to enter into our arguments (debates) with our fellow believers, we may convince them to change their actions, even though we have not convinced them that such changes are not sinful. Let us not ridicule others so that they change their behavior, even though they still think it is wrong.
    There is another clause in what Paul says that is worth noting, he tells us not to quarrel over “disputable matters”. He gives examples of disputable matters (what types of food we eat, what days are holy). It would be helpful if he gave examples of what is not disputable. However, we can get a sense of that from his writings elsewhere: sexual immorality, the importance of faith in Jesus and His death and resurrection, a few other matters. More importantly, if we remember to not let our emotions become entangled in our efforts to convince others (except possibly our concern for them), we will not go far wrong. It is not wrong to disagree, nor to discuss our disagreements. It is wrong to condemn our fellow believers because they disagree with us. Let us seek to allow the love God has for each person influence the way we approach those we disagree with.


2 Chronicles 29:1-36

    When Ahaz’s son, Hezekiah, became king, the first thing he did was reopen the Temple of God for worship. He summoned the priests and Levites and instructed them to purify themselves and then purify the Temple. They were to remove everything that was defiled from the Temple, all of the implements of pagan worship. It took them sixteen days to cleanse and purify the Temple. When this was done, Hezekiah called the people of Judah to rededicate and reconsecrate themselves to God. The people responded to his call with such fervor that the priests were overwhelmed trying to keep up.
    Let us remember that Jesus has made our bodies the Temple of God. Let us purify our bodies and consecrate ourselves to serving God. Then, when we have done this, let us call on those around us to do the same. Perhaps if we do so, trusting in the Spirit to move them, we will get a response similar to that which Hezekiah got. Perhaps we can get the people of this land to respond to God in such a manner that the Churches are overwhelmed and do not know what to do with the people who come to Him.

July 30, 2014 Bible Study — The Lord Is My Shepherd

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:11

    Since even children are known, and judged, by the way they act, whether they are good children or troublemakers, we should not be surprised when people do the same thing to us. People will judge us by our actions. If we want people to think well of us than we need to act in a righteous manner.


Psalm 23:1-6

    In some ways this is a difficult psalm to write about because it is such a beautiful psalm which everyone knows. What more is there to say? Well, I will give it a shot.
    Let us review what the psalmist tells us here. God will lead us and guide us. He will provide for all of our needs. He will bring us to places where we can rest and have a pleasant time. However, He will also lead us on paths which may be less pleasant, because it brings honour to His name. Yet, no matter how dangerous those paths may seem, God will protect us so that we need never fear. He will always be close beside us, even when our vision is obscured and we cannot see Him. He will honour us and show us abundance in front of those who wish to see us fail. God will pour out more blessings upon us than we are able to make use of. His blessings will spill out from us on to others. Not only will God offer us good things, but He will pursue us with His love and mercy, even when we stray from Him. If we follow where He leads, we will spend eternity in His presence.


Romans 13:1-14

    Paul tells us to submit to the government because the government’s authority comes from God. In the very statement where he tells us to submit to the government, he tells us the limits of that submission. The government’s authority comes from God, therefore it does not have the authority to demand that we violate God’s commands. However, no matter what the government does, Paul tells us that it is not our place to overthrow the government. Let us pay our taxes and whatever fees we owe. We should not enter into debt to anyone. Let us honour those who are owed honour and respect those who are owed respect.
    Paul reminds us that all of our actions towards those around us should be guided by the command to love our neighbors as ourselves. However, this does not mean ignoring self-destructive behavior. If we see our loved ones doing something that will bring them harm, we will warn them of the danger. However, in all we do, let us remember to do it with love. Paul gives us a list of things that may interfere with us showing our love to those around us: drunkenness, wild parties, sexual promiscuity, immoral living (or as the NIV translates it, debauchery), quarreling, and jealousy.


2 Chronicles 26-28:27

    Judah had three kings in a row who followed God. As a result those kings were powerful and not threatened by outside forces. Unfortunately, the people of Judah were not as faithful as their kings. Ahaz, the son of the third of these kings, turned to idolatry, going so far as to sacrifice his own sons. As a result, he was conquered by the king of Aram, and faced other foreign threats. Instead of turning to God, Ahaz asked the king of Assyria for help. Rather than coming to Ahaz’s aid, the king of Assyria attacked Jerusalem and plundered it. Ahaz then closed the Temple, preventing anyone from worshiping there, and set up yet more pagan altars throughout Jerusalem. Rather than learn from his mistakes and return to God, Ahaz compounded them.

July 29, 2014 Bible Study — Do Not Conform To the Pattern of the World

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:8-10

    No one can truthfully claim to have cleansed themselves of all sin. It is only through the action of God’s Spirit that we can be cleansed and sin removed from our lives. God detests double standards, let us never hold others to a standard we will not attempt to live up to ourselves. Nor should we hold one person accountable for actions we would ignore in another.


Psalm 22:19-31

    Yesterday we read the first part of this psalm, where the psalmist expressed deep and complete despair. He felt abandoned by God. Today, in the conclusion of the psalm, he expresses his faith in God. He states that he will praise God before the assembled people. When Jesus cited this psalm from the cross, He was citing both the despair of the first part and the faith of this portion.
    God does not ignore the suffering of the needy. He does not consider what we are suffering to be too minor for His concern. He will not turn His back on us, just as Jesus was acknowledging that God had not turned His back on Him. God will listen to the cries for help from those in need. God will provide for the needs of the poor. Those who seek God will discover Him and He will give them joy. The day is coming when the whole earth will acknowledge God.


Romans 12:1-21

    This is one of my favorite Bible passages. It contains so much for us to study. Paul tells us to offer up our bodies as living sacrifices to God. We should treat our bodies as Holy and belonging to God. They are not ours to use to bring us pleasure. Our bodies belong to God and should be used to do His will and bring Him pleasure. We should not allow ourselves to conform to the expectations and thought patterns of the world around us. Rather, let us allow God’s Spirit to renew our minds and transform us into God’s image, so that we think and act according to His will.
    Let us not think more highly of ourselves than is appropriate. Seek to honour others rather than seek to be honoured. Look at the gifts which God has given us and exercise those gifts to their fullest extent. Do not pretend to love others, but do so genuinely. Do not think of ourselves as too important to spend time with poor, needy, or otherwise “little” people. We are not too good to associate with them.
    When others wrong us, it is not our place to exact revenge. God has stated that He will pay back those who are so deserving. If anyone has done us wrong, God will extract our revenge. Instead of doing wrong to those who have done us wrong, let us do good to them. Let us show the world that we will not be brought down to its level, but will live according to God’s love.


2 Chronicles 24-25:28

    Joash became king when he was seven years old. He was put on the throne by Jehoiada, the high priest. For as long as Jehoiada lived Joash served God and was a good king. He was not just a puppet of Jehoiada because we are told that he confronted Jehoiada over his failure to restore the Temple as Joash had ordered. However, Jehoiada’s influence led Joash to consider what God’s will was in all of his decisions. After Jehoiada’s death, Joash came under the influence of advisers whose priority was not serving God. Those advisers led Joash into sin and idolatry. This passage reminds us of the importance of surrounding ourselves with godly companions.

July 28, 2014 Bible Study — An Example of Depravity

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:7

    The godly live their lives with integrity. The fact that they do so will be a blessing to their children, who will be even more blessed if they follow their parent’s example.


Psalm 22:1-18

    The first thing I am reminded of when I read this psalm is that it was this psalm which Jesus quoted when He was on the cross. As I read it today, I realized that there will be times when we may experience something like what inspired the psalmist to write this psalm. There will be times when our troubles seem more than we can bear, when we cry out night after night and God does not bring us relief. There will be times when we feel like we have been abandoned by God. However, let us always remember that Jesus felt the same way when He hung on the cross, so we know that we are not alone.


Romans 11:13-36

    This passage is one of the most thorough counters to the idea that it is consistent with Christian faith to hate the Jews. Yes, some Jews rejected the Gospel and as a result the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles and those Gentiles who believed were grafted into God’s family to replace those Jews who rejected God’s saving grace. However, this should not make those of us who are not of Jewish heritage proud and arrogant. We must remember that while we were blessed in part because those Jews rejected God’s message of grace, we will be blessed even more when they finally turn to God and accept His grace. Rather than hate the Jews and seek their destruction, as some do, we should love them as God’s Chosen People and seek their reconciliation with God (something we should seek for all people who do not yet know the Lord).


2 Chronicles 21-23:21

    When Jehoshaphat died, his mistake in allying himself with Ahab by arranging for his son, Jehoram, to marry Ahab’s daughter is fully revealed. Upon his father’s death, Jehoram became king and killed all of his brothers. Jehoram followed the practices of Ahab’s family and re-established places of worship in the high places, where pagan practices were followed. About his death the passage tells us one of the saddest things that can be said about anyone, “No one was sorry when he dies.”
    Ahaziah, Jehoram’s youngest son became king upon his father’s death, because all of his older brothers had been killed by marauding bands of Arabs. Ahaziah accepted members of Ahab’s family, his mother’s family, as advisers. These advisers encouraged him to continue the evil practices of his father. We get a good idea of just how evil Ahab’s family was upon Ahaziah’s death. At that point Ahaziah’s mother proceeded to kill all of the royal family she could lay her hands on, including her own grandsons. Only one of them escaped because his aunt, a daughter of Jehoram, spirited him away to the Temple and put him in the care of the high priest. I find it hard to imagine a depravity any greater than someone who is willing to kill their own grandchildren in order to further their own desire for power.

July 27, 2014 Bible Study — How Can They Believe If They Have Not Heard?

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:4-6

    Procrastination can lead to problems. Just as there is a time when crops must be planted in order to gain a harvest, so too must many other tasks be completed at the appropriate time or the benefits will be lost.
    Not everyone who can offer us good advice will freely give it, some people do not even know that they have good advice to give us. However, the person with understanding will learn to recognize sources of hidden wisdom and find ways to get those who possess it to share.
    Many people will claim to be a friend who can be relied upon, but you will never be sure who the truly reliable people are until the chips are down.


Psalm 21:1-13

    If we trust in the Lord He will give us victory. Those who oppose Him will be consumed and destroyed, but God will preserve the life of those who trust in Him.


Romans 10:14-11:12

    Having established that the only route to salvation is through belief in Jesus, Paul then points out some important things. No one can believe in the Gospel unless they hear it. They cannot hear the Gospel unless someone tells preaches it to them. Finally, Paul tells us that no one will preach the Gospel to the unsaved unless someone sends them.
    My experience in the Church is that we seem to have a pretty good understanding of the need for Christians to preach the Gospel to the unsaved. We often have a much less developed understanding of how to do so, but we understand the need. However, I am not so sure we pay enough attention to the final piece of Paul’s message here. Do we seek out those among us who have the gift of preaching the Gospel to the unsaved and commission them to go and preach? I know that when someone feels the call to go and preach to the unsaved, we support them. But, do we find those who have not realized their gifts, or are unsure of their calling, and encourage them to make use of the gifts that we see in them?
    Paul and Barnabas did not decide to go out on their fist missionary journey. The Church in Antioch sent out on that journey. If we go back a little further, it was not Saul who decided he should go to Antioch to help build up the Church there. Barnabas went and brought Saul to Antioch because he recognized that Saul had gifts which the Church in Antioch needed. How will the unsaved be saved if we do not send those God has given the gift to preach the Gospel to them?


2 Chronicles 19-20:37

    I commented yesterday that Jehoshaphat’s alliance with Ahab led to problems later. Today, we have mentioned that when Jehoshaphat returned from going to war with Ahab a prophet confronted him. The prophet told Jehoshaphat that God was angry with him for allying himself with someone who was wicked. Despite being angry with Jehoshaphat over his alliance with Ahab, God was pleased with the way he ruled his own kingdom.
    Jehoshaphat traveled throughout his kingdom, encouraging the people to faithfully follow the Lord. He appointed judges to judge the various disputes. He instructed the judges to act in an honest manner and to make their judgements in fear of the Lord. Jehoshaphat further instructed the judges to encourage the people to follow God’s laws and not to sin.
    The surrounding nations allied together to make war against Jehoshaphat and the kingdom of Judah. Jehoshaphat was frightened by the size of the army mustered against him. Rather than follow his father’s example and seek an alliance with another nation to defeat his enemies, Jehoshaphat turned to God for guidance. He called on the people of Judah to fast and pray to God. He asked them to come to Jerusalem for a gathering before the Lord. There in front of the gathered people of Judah, Jehoshaphat cried out to God and admitted that he did not know what to do. God sent His Spirit on to one of the men so gathered to prophecy that the army should march forth to meet the enemy, but that they would not need to fight.
    The next morning Jehoshaphat led the army out to battle. He told them that despite the fact that they were facing an overwhelming force, they should believe God’s prophets and trust in Him. He then led the army in songs of praise as they marched into battle. At the same time, that the army of Judah began singing praise to God, the armies of the nations gathered against them turned on one another. By the time the army of Judah arrived at the battlefield, the opposing armies had wiped each other out. Jehoshaphat won a great victory without having to enter into battle at all. As a result of this victory, Jehoshaphat had peace for the rest of his life.

July 26, 2014 Bible Study — Everyone Who Calls On the Lord Will Be Saved

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 20:2-3

    It is honourable to avoid fights, only fools quarrel when they could avoid the fight. Avoiding a fight is not a sign of weakness, but of wisdom.


Psalm 20:1-9

    The beginning of this psalm is a wonderful blessing for those whom you know. It is my blessing for you today. May the Lord answer all your prayers.


Romans 9:25-10:13

    We are not made righteous by inheritance. It does not matter how righteous our ancestors were, no matter how many generations of righteous ancestors we have. We cannot become righteous by following a set of rules, or laws. The only way in which we can become righteous is by trusting in God. It is those who believe in Jesus’ saving sacrifice who are made right with God. We do not need to seek someone to intervene with God for us. As a matter of fact, we should not seek someone to intervene. There is no special class of priest who have been empowered by God to bring us to Him. God’s message comes to each and everyone of us. It is up to us to accept it in our hearts and place it upon our lips. We do not need to go on pilgrimages to some far away land. God will meet us where we are. He will send His word to us, no matter where we may be.
    “Everyone who calls on the Lord will be saved.” That is God’s promise to us. There is no complicated formula needed in order to receive salvation from God. If we truly believe in our hearts, and openly profess with our lips that Jesus is our Lord, we will be saved. This is true for everyone, whether their ancestors were Jew or Gentile, saint or sinner–it is the same God who is Lord of all.


2 Chronicles 17-18:34

    Jehoshaphat ruled Israel well. He followed the example set by the early years of his father’s reign and did not make the mistakes which Asa made later in life. One of the things which he did which I find interesting is that he sent out officials from his court to teach people all around his kingdom. They took with them the Book of the Law and used it as a teaching tool. As a result of this and his other actions to be faithful to God, the surrounding peoples were afraid to make war against him.
    For all of his wisdom and trust in God, Jehoshaphat made one clear error. He made an alliance with Ahab by having his son marry Ahab’s daughter. Perhaps he was hoping to influence Ahab to abandon Baal worship and turn to God, but it did not work out that way. However, he did not fall for the “We all worship the same God, just in different ways” line. When Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to join him in going to war, Jehoshaphat agreed, but requested they consult a prophet of God first. Ahab summoned his prophets. The passage tells us that they numbered 400, which matches the number of prophets of Baal Ahab summoned to Elijah’s challenge on Mt Carmel. When they had testified that Ahab should go to war, Jehoshaphat, rather than being satisfied, asked if there was not a prophet of the Lord they could consult.
    It is worth noting that Ahab had summoned the 400 prophets in response to Jehoshaphat saying that they should consult the Lord. Yet, when the 400 prophets had been summoned, Jehoshaphat still asked after a prophet of the Lord that they could consult. This supports the idea presented by historians that many of the followers of Baal considered Baal to be the same god as the God of Israel. However, the followers of the God of Israel did not consider Him to be the same god as Baal.

July 25, 2014 Bible Study — May the Words of My Mouth and the Meditations of My Heart Be Pleasing to God

For today, One Year Bible Online links here. It has been uncomfortably warm here the last few days, I hope no one minds that I posted a few pictures to remind us of cooler weather.


Proverbs 20:1

    If we consume alcoholic beverages in excess we will behave foolishly and we will get into fights we should have avoided. Those who need a drink will find it impossible to act wisely.


Psalm 19:1-14

    This psalm tells us something similar to what Paul says at the beginning of Romans. The universe itself testifies to the glory of God. The skies do not make a sound, yet everyone on the earth has received their message about the glory of God. God’s decrees, laws, and commands are more desirable than anything we can imagine. They are more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey. If we listen to God’s words they will keep us from being controlled by sin. It is only by submission to God’s Spirit that we can be cleansed from all sins. If we do not submit to His control, we will convince ourselves that wrong is right; we will commit sins that we do not even know are sins (or that we convince ourselves are not sins).
    This psalm concludes with a prayer I pray regularly:

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Romans 9:1-24

    Paul tells us that he would be willing to be cut off from God, if that would cause the rest of the Jewish people to embrace the Gospel of Christ. He felt a deep compassion for those who had not yet accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, in particular for the Jews. He points out that God had made promises to Abraham about his descendants. However, Paul also points out that not all descendants of Abraham are truly Abraham’s children. Only those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior are Abraham’s children.
    Paul points out that their are some people throughout history who have been chosen by God in order to display His power. He gives as an example of this the Pharaoh who opposed Moses. Paul tells us that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. One thing I think is worth noting is that according to Exodus, Pharaoh hardened his own heart after the first several plagues. It was only after Pharaoh had repeatedly hardened his own heart that God took away from him the ability to soften his heart. I believe that this is the perfect example of how God works in our lives. He gives us the opportunity to respond to His word, but if we harden our hearts and do not listen the time will come when we will no longer be able to respond to God’s call.


2 Chronicles 14-16:14

    Rehoboam had been defeated by Pharaoh Shishak and humbled himself before God. This seems to have had a salutary effect on his son and his grandson, because the Bible tells us that both of them did what was pleasing in the sight of God. Rehoboam’s grandson, Asa, removed pagan altars and destroyed the high places of worship (where worship of God mixed with worship of pagan idols). He was attacked by an overwhelming army from Ethiopia, but he cried out to God and it was defeated. In response to God’s rescue in that battle, Asa instituted many religious reforms, deposing his own grandmother from the position of queen mother because of he idolatry.
    However, there is a warning in this story for all of us. As a young ruler, Asa’s faith in God was strong and he depended on God. However, later in life he came to trust more in his own strength and wisdom. He chose to solve his problems by his own cunning rather than trusting God to resolve his problems. This is a problem that it is easy for any of us to fall into, we begin to think that we have acquired the wisdom to solve our problems on our own and no longer turn to God for an answer. I pray that I not allow this to happen in my life.

July 24, 2014 Bible Study — In All Things God Works For the Good Of Those Who Love Him

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 19:27-29

    There never comes a time when we know so much that we cannot benefit from further instruction. When we stop learning we start forgetting.
    Those who are willing to lie, or otherwise mislead, on the witness stand make a mockery of the very concept of justice. They encourage evil, which will rebound upon them.


Psalm 18:37-50

    The psalmist continues his praise of God and recounting how God will rescue those who trust in Him. God will strengthen those who love and serve Him. He will aid them against their enemies. God will not answer the cries of those who make themselves our enemies if we serve Him. Of course that also means that God will not answer our cries if we attack those who serve Him.
    The Lord lives! He will pay back those who harm us. Let us praise Him with all that we are.


Romans 8:26-39

    This is such a wonderful passage. It starts by reminding us that the Spirit will help us in our weakness. We may have trouble resisting sin’s temptation, but God’s Spirit will help us overcome. Further, there are times when we do not know what, or how, to pray. The Spirit will pray for us. Remember this when you are struggling to put together a prayer. We do not have to get the words right in our prayers. The Spirit of God, which lives within us, will convey what we are seeking and will harmonize it with God’s will.
    Paul then goes on to point out that, since God is on our side, there is no one and nothing we need fear. If the Creator of the Universe is standing at our side, who or what can possibly stand against us? In all things God works for the good of those who love Him. If we love Him, everything that happens, no matter how bad it seems at the moment, will work together so that good will come to us. God loves us and nothing in this world, or elsewhere, can separate us from that love. Since God is the Creator, everything and power is less powerful than He. Let us never forget that no matter what happens, God will still love us. No matter what we have done, He loves us and will welcome us back if we turn to Him.


2 Chronicles 11-13:22

    When Rehoboam returned to Jerusalem, he immediately mustered his army to reassert his control over the parts of Israel which had broken away. However, God sent a prophet to warn him against going to war against his fellow Israelites. It appears to me that Rehoboam had no choice in whether or not to go to war. The passage seems to indicate that the army refused to march against Jeroboam, not that Rehoboam reconsidered doing so.
    The passage further tells us that the priests and Levites who lived in the lands controlled by Jeroboam moved to the areas controlled by Rehoboam. They did this because Jeroboam rejected the Levites as the intermediaries with God (which was established by the Law of Moses). For the first three years of Rehoboam’s reign, they strengthened supported him because he was faithful in following God’s commands. However, once Rehoboam became secure in his power, he turned away from following God’s commands and started to act according to his own will and desires.
    When the inevitable trouble arose from not following God’s commands, God sent a prophet to call the people back to Him. Rehoboam and the leaders of Judah recognized their sin and turned back to God. Rehoboam humbled himself before God and God turned His anger aside, but Rehoboam still suffered the consequences of his earlier sins.

July 23, 2014 Bible Study — We Are Not Controlled By Sin

For today, One Year Bible Online links here.


Proverbs 19:26

    Children who mistreat their parents are a disgrace. People should be embarrassed to be seen with them.


Psalm 18:16-36

    The psalmist continues on his theme that God will rescue us if we call on Him. God will reward us for doing right. If we keep God’s ways and do not turn from Him to do evil, He will be there for us when our enemies strike. If we are faithful, God will show us His faithfulness. If we have integrity, God will show us His integrity. If we are pure, God will show us His purity. However, if we are crooked and try to get our way by being devious, God will show that He is shrewd. God will come to our rescue only if we humbly acknowledge that we do not deserve His aid. Those who proudly think that they are better than others will be humiliated by God as He shows them that they are no more His than the vilest sinner.


Romans 8:9-25

    If the Spirit of God lives in us, we are controlled by Him, not by our sinful nature. This is an important lesson for us here. We cannot excuse our sinful acts by saying that we could not help ourselves. We may succumb to temptation, but the Spirit of God gives us a choice. We are obligated to behave in certain ways, but that obligation is not to our sinful bodies. No, we are obligated to obey the Spirit and act as He directs us. We no longer need live as fearful slaves. God’s Spirit has entered into us to demonstrate that He has adopted us as His very own children, heirs to His glory.
    However, if we are to share in God’s glory, we will also share in Jesus’ suffering. There is suffering for all who live this life, but as Jesus said, the world will love us no more than it loved Him. Yet, no matter how bad our suffering may be in this life, the day will come when we will experience the joy of being united with God. The greatest joys we experience in this life are but a foretaste of what is to come.


2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19

    Rehoboam was given two different types of advice about how to be a good leader. The first was given to him by his older advisers, those who had advised his father. They told him to serve the people and act in their interest. The second was given by his contemporaries, those who had grown up with him. They told him that he was leader by right and that the people were obligated to do as he said. Rehoboam rejected the advice of those older and wiser than he. He decided that since he was the leader, the king, the people were obligated to do his will, not he to do theirs. Rehoboam discovered, as all leaders do, that the people were not obligated to follow him. They chose to reject his entitlement mentality and to follow someone who promised to rule more in line with their wishes. When Rehoboam attempted to enforce his control, he discovered that those he relied on did not have as much power as he imagined.