2 Chronicles 36:22 Favor In Tragedy

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’ ” 2 Chronicles 36:22

The last four kings of Judah refused to follow God and led the people in greater sins. God then allowed Cyrus, king of Persia (modern Iran), to take over Judah and put everyone into captivity. Once he had the land, he allowed some of the people to go back and rebuild the temple for God.

Often when tragedy strikes a person or a nation, people are scared and mad at God. Very seldom do they understand the purpose of the tragedy, asking why it happened. It can look like God is angry with the person and just out to destroy them.

God is a god of love. He does not hate anyone, but wants everyone to come to Him in repentance and follow His Son Jesus. With this in mind, everything that happens is for the good of the person it is happening to.  God allows things to happen in a person’s life to build him up, not to tear him down or destroy him.

In the Old Testament, God had been sending prophets to turn the people back to God and warned them of captivity. When they did not listen, He allowed them to be sent into captivity. However, while there, they were given extreme favor by their captor to be allowed to go and build God’s temple again. They were allowed to go back and worship God in the correct way. God used the tragedy to get their attention back on Him.

Whatever situation you may have gone through or are currently going through, it is for a purpose. God is not out to destroy you. He wants a relationship with you more than you can ever imagine.

As you go through a tragedy look for God’s favor in the midst of it. See what God wants you to do through it. Find ways to worship God in and through the situation. You do have God’s favor in your life, if you will follow Jesus.

I pray today that you will find ways to worship God at all times; that you will see God’s hand of favor on your life; that you will not be angry at God for any tragedy in your life; and that you will know the love God has for you.

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2 Chronicles 34:19 Reaction To God’s Word

When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 2 Chronicles 34:18

Josiah had become king of Judah at a very young age, but had followed God his whole life. He led the nation into serving God again by removing all the false idols and temples. He had the priests repair the temple of God. In the process of the repairs, the book of the Law was found. It was read to Josiah. When he heard the words of God, he tore his robes because he knew how the people had turned away from God and the judgement that God was going to bring upon them.

When the world hears God’s word, most will just ignore it or ridicule it. They look at it as some old time religious superstition and do not believe it. This can be expected since they do not know or follow God in any way.

At the same time, there are many Christians who hear the word of God and ignore it. Every Sunday they go to church and hear a sermon preached. Some will just think that the sermon was for the other person, while others will agree to it, but go home and forget about it and not change. The words heard are not applied to one’s life.

When Josiah tore his robes at hearing the word of God, that was a sign of humility and extreme remorse for a wrong being done. He realized the problems that the people had caused and the sin they had done against God.

Each time you hear God’s word there will be a reaction. You will either accept it, or ignore it. The accepting of God’s word is not just accepting it for someone else’s sake, but for your own life.

As you hear God’s word, whether in a sermon, as you read it, or from someone else, you must apply it to your life. When God’s word points out sin in your life, you must repent of that sin and turn back to God. When God’s word points out ways to live for Him, then you must change your ways in how  you live for Him.

Do not allow yourself to remain indifferent to His word. Allow it to change you to be more like Jesus everyday.

What is your reaction to God’s word for you today?

I pray today that you will listen to God’s word; that you will accept God’s word for your life; that you will live according to God’s word; and that you will let God’s word change your life.

2 Chronicles 33:7 The Wrong Image

He took the image he had made and put it in God’s temple, of which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.” 2 Chronicles 33:7

Manasseh had become king of Judah and led the people into great sins. He set up all of the temples and altars to Baal and Asherah, sacrificed children, practiced witchcraft and consulted with mediums. One of the images he had made, he put up in the temple of God to worship it there. This was where God said He would dwell forever.

People put up idols and images of idols to worship all over the world. In more modern countries, the images are not usually of the typical “gods” that you see in Asian countries. These images are of things that people put before God.

Although there are Christians who do have some things that they idolize out in the open, there are many more who have some things that are idolized only in the heart and mind. It is in the heart and mind of a person that one can hide things from other people. No one can see inside the heart and mind of a person.

It is in there that idols can be set up. Thoughts are allowed to run freely in the mind. As they run, often they go into areas that should not be, such as lust, pornography, greed, anger, vengeance, and more.

Jesus said that He would be with you forever. When you have accepted Jesus into your life, God had set up His dwelling place in your heart and life to live for all eternity. You are now the temple of God. It is in your heart that you are to worship God.

When you allow images of things of this world to be in your heart and mind, you have defiled God’s dwelling place. You have begun to set up images of false gods in your heart.

Do not allow these images in your heart and mind. Do not replace God with false gods. Keep God’s temple clean to worship Him in heart and spirit.

I pray today that you will love God with all your heart; that you will worship God alone; that God will help you remove any images from your life; and that God will be pleased with His temple.

2 Chronicles 32:7 A Greater Power

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.” 2 Chronicles 32:7

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem and was ready to destroy the city. He ridiculed God and made Him the same as other foreign gods. Hezekiah told the people to not be afraid because there was a greater power with them, than with Sennacherib. He put his trust in God and went to Him for help. In the end, God sends an angel, who goes into the Assyrian camp and kills everyone in the army.

The world works in a power that seems very powerful and great. It appears that those in the world can have absolute control. In some countries, the leader runs the country as an absolute dictator with full control. Although America is not run under a dictatorship, there are people in it who run some people as though they have absolute power.

A police officer is just a person just like everyone else. In himself he has no real power or authority. Yet, when he pulls a person over for speeding or arrests someone for a theft, he has a lot of power and authority. That power comes from the city or state government, not from himself. He has been given authority to overcome others as needed.

People in the world try to make Christians feel as though they do not have any real power. Satan tries his best to threaten and intimidate believers into fear.

However, as a believer, you have a power that is greater than any power in this world. When God is on your side and in you, you have a greater power than anything Satan can set against you. God’s Holy Spirit resides in you and is more powerful than anything the world can use against you.

Do not let the threats and cares of this world discourage you or make you afraid. God is with you. He made this world and He is the only one who has absolute control. Trust God today.

I pray today that you will know that God is in control; that you will trust God’s power in your life; that you will not fear the attacks of this world; and that you will seek God for every situation in your life.

2 Chronicles 31:5 Generous Giving To Worship

As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. 2 Chronicles 31:5

Hezekiah had the temple cleaned up and consecrated to God, and all the places of false worship were destroyed. It was now ready for worship to begin. After appointing the priests for leading the worship, he put out an order telling the people to give to the temple for worship. The people generously brought in a great supply of everything needed for worship to God.

During the time of Hezekiah worship was something that was physical and cost a great deal to do. Many animals and foods had to be used in the process of sacrifices in order to worship God properly. The people would show their worship to God by bringing those needed items to the temple to be used in the sacrifices.

Since Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice for every person, the method of worship has changed. While animals are no longer needed for sacrifices to worship, there are other things needed, some physical and some spiritual.

For the physical side of things it does cost money to have the sound equipment and a building in which to gather to worship. This is where physical tithing and generously giving of money comes in.

The other important factor in worship is the spiritual. A heart dedicated to God is required to be able to worship God. Taking time out of a busy life schedule is needed to worship God. Focusing on God and forgetting the cares of this world is needed to worship God. Gathering with other believers helps build the worship to God.

These are all things that only you can provide for yourself. As you gather with other believers for worship what are you putting into that offering of worship?

Have you tithed the money needed for expenses?

Are you dedicating your whole life and mind to worshipping God?

Take some time today to generously pour out some worship to God. Step off the crazy tread-mill of life to focus on God and give Him some worship. Go above and beyond just a five-minute quick worship and give it all to Him, Jesus is worth all you can give and more.

I pray today that you will make time to worship God; that you will set aside personal needs to worship God; that you will enter into a close relationship with Jesus; and that you will be generous in your worship to God in every area of your life.

2 Chronicles 30:7 Be Different

“Do not be like your parents and your fellow Israelites, who were unfaithful to the LORD, the God of their ancestors, so that he made them an object of horror, as you see.” 2 Chronicles 30:7

Hezekiah had become king and had the temple cleaned up and rededicated to God. He called for a celebration of the Passover for the first time in many years. With that call he sent a letter to all the people of Judah and Israel to return to God. Hezekiah urged the people to not be like their parents and other Israelites, who had walked away from God, but to dedicate themselves to God.

In America, during the 60s-70s, many homes had some belief in Jesus. Talk of Jesus was heard in many places. It was expected that a person would go to church on Sundays. Businesses were closed on Sundays so that people could go to church.

During the 1980’s a lot of that changed. People stopped seeing the need to go to church, businesses opened up on Sundays, acceptance of sin became more open, and the decline of morals became more steep. Since then the world and the nation has become even more open and promoting of sin in every part of a person’s life.

Today many young people, who now believe in Jesus, have not brought up in a Christian home. They were not brought up knowing Jesus, but learned of Him later in life.

You may be one of those who came to Jesus later. If you are, you are to be different from your parents. Do not follow the ways of your parents if they did not follow the ways of God.

You are also to be set apart, different from those around you…the world. As the world pushes sin more and more, you must stand out against sin. Refuse to step into sin and be a part of it.

Living in sin will bring on the wrath of God and no peace. Living for God will bring the favor and peace of God, despite any thing that is going on.

Are you blending in with the world?

Or are you being separate from the world?

I pray today that you will know Jesus in your life; that you will reject sin in your life; that God will strengthen you to be separate from the world, and that you will not conform to the ways of this world.

2 Chronicles 26:16 The Challenge Of Power

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:16

Uzziah had become king of Judah at the age of sixteen. He started off being very faithful to God, removing idols and worshipping God. Later as he became more famous and powerful, he also became more filled with pride. At one point he decided that he could go into the temple to offer incense, something only the priests were allowed to do. This began his downfall.

When a person does not have any real power or authority, he usually does not have a lot of pride. People look down on themselves when they don’t have any real power that can be seen. They feel that they are really not worth anything and are a nobody.

The challenge comes when a person begins to become someone with real authority, full of power and fame. The thing that he looks at is what he did to get where he is. Instead of looking at what God had done through him, it is all about self.

Many people, both in the world and in the church, become very proud of their accomplishments when they get more powerful, filled with more authority over others. This turns their eyes away from God, who is the One who gave them that power.

As a human being, you cannot, in and of yourself, do anything at all. Even your breathing each morning is a gift from God. He gives you the ability to breath and do the things that you do.

As a believer in Jesus, you must always keep that in mind. No matter how “big” you get, or how powerful you get, you must know that it is only because of what God has done in and through you. It is not by your own might, but by the Spirit of God that you can do what you are doing.

Do not let pride in self to get in the way of the things of God. When Uzziah began to be full of pride, it led to his downfall. When you allow pride in your life, it will also bring about your downfall.

Keep your eyes on and trust in God.

I pray today that you will know what God is doing in and through you; that you will know God’s power in your life; that you will not be filled with pride; and that you will always put God first.