2 Chronicles 33:15 People Can Be Changed

Dirt and grass

He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city. 2 Chronicles 33:15 

Watching some people and how they act, sometimes there does not seem to be any hope. They are heading down the wrong path in life and it appears as if they will never change. All hope seems to be lost.

There are many teen-agers who have chosen some bad paths while in high school. They are looking as though they will never do anything good in life and will end up in prison some day. However, later things can happen to turn their life around and they become very productive citizens in society. They look like a totally different person.

Manasseh had become king of Judah and had chosen to follow and promote false gods. He had many high places to these false gods built and led the nation against God. However, God had gotten a hold of his attention and he changed. Everything that he had built up to false idols, he destroyed. Instead of promoting false gods, he promoted God. He was a changed man.

There are many people in this world that appear to be so bad that many believers will not have any hope of them changing. Very few will strive to be a witness to the person because they do not see any hope of salvation. They are ignored and left in their life of sin against God.

Yet, God is a great God of love and mercy. He wants everyone to be saved. Even the coldest of hearts can be touched by God’s great love and mercy. Every believer has this story to tell as to how God touched their hearts and changed them.

Two things can be learned from Manasseh’s story. One is that every person can be changed by a touch from God. Don’t give up on anyone because they are living in sin. Be a witness to them of who Jesus is and what He can do.

The other thing is that you can also be changed by a touch of God. You may have stepped into some sin, turning away from God. God will accept you back and change you. He can make you a new creation.

Allow God to change you and be sold out to serving and loving God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be a witness of Jesus to this world; that you will have hope in God for all people; and that you will remove all false gods out of your life. 

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2 Chronicles 28:23 Offerings To False gods

On a cliff

He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel. 2 Chronicles 28:23 

Seeking help when in need is commonly done all around the world. When someone is seeking help, they will look to where other people are getting their help. It often does not matter where the help comes from, they will accept it.

Often in the process of searching for help, they accept help that is not real or is false help. It is the enemy seeking to find a way to infiltrate and get control.

Ahaz and all of Israel were living in rebellion against God following false gods. When the king of Aram had defeated him, he chose to offer sacrifice to their gods thinking that they may help him also. These became a snare to the nation and brought about their downfall.

Many believers have seen others who have nothing to do with God become very successful. When they see this they choose to follow their ways, rather than God’s ways.

They begin to compromise God’s standards in their lives. They begin to cheat and lie in small ways to get ahead, thinking this is the best way to succeed. They begin to promote ways that do not follow God and accept sin in their lives.

Physical sacrifice to false gods does not happen a lot in many nations, but sacrifice to worldly ways occurs all the time. Allowing sin to reign and using sin to get promoted occurs everywhere. Belief that just because someone is successful it must be good takes over the thinking, rather than looking at the bigger picture of what is really happening. Sinful lifestyles are being ignored and accepted inside the church.

You are called to be in this world, but not of it. You are to be separate from this world, yet a light in this world.

If you are living your life and trusting in the ways of this world as the world does, you are no different. The help that the world often receives is false help and false hope. You have a living God who has made a way for you. Trust in Him alone and sacrifice your life to Him alone.

Don’t allow a downfall come to your life.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will trust in God alone for your provision and help; that you will not follow the ways of this world; and that you will be a light in this world for Jesus. 

2 Chronicles 11:4 Following Orders

Saluting authority

‘This is what the LORD says: Do not go up to fight against your fellow Israelites. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.’ So they obeyed the words of the LORD and turned back from marching against Jeroboam. 2 Chronicles 11:4 

Following orders from a leader does not always make sense. Often leaders will see a bigger picture than the worker at the bottom. He understands things in ways that the lower workers do not always see or understand. In knowing this, often commands will be given that don’t always make sense.

When Rehoboam had become king of Judah, he cracked down harder on the people. A group of people chose to follow Jeroboam and broke away from Judah and became their own nation. Rehoboam had chosen to take his army and go fight to gain back the lost land and cities from Jeroboam.

As they began to march out, God sent a prophet to tell him not to go and fight against Jeroboam. Everything that was occurring was because of God’s doing. Rehoboam chose to obey God and turned back and went home.

Israel was supposed to be God’s chosen nation, His chosen people. To see it be split up was not an acceptable thing. Yet, that was exactly what God was making happen.

For years God had warned the nation of Israel against following false idols, but they refused to listen. He finally allowed the nation to be split. This was to get their attention back to Him.

God works in the same way today. There will be things allowed in the lives of people to get their attention back to Him. As these things occur it can be difficult. Without seeing the big picture, many will choose paths that go against what God is doing. Each person needs to open to hearing what God tells them to do, and then obey Him.

There will be times when God will allow things in your life that does not always make sense. God will tell you to walk a path that goes against normal reasoning. Trust God in what He says and follow His orders.

God raises up and He takes down. These things are all a part of His plan. His goal is that none should be lost and all made like Jesus.

Are you following His commands to build His kingdom and become more like Jesus?

Or are you doing your own thing?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s voice in your life; that you will obey God’s every command; and that you will become more like Jesus every day.

2 Kings 18:6 No Stopping

jogging on a road

He held fast to the LORD and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses. 2 Kings 18:6 

As people are moving forward with something, there will come a lot of opposition and challenges. It can become easy to throw in the towel and give up. Or it can be easy to get distracted on the way and change paths.

It is very common for a person to begin something, but then to shortly give it up for something else or because it is too difficult. Those who continue to press on are the ones who become successful. Very few people become successful without a lot of struggle and dedication. Beginning well is easy, but finishing well is a challenge.

Hezekiah had become king of Judah and immediately he went through the nation and had all the high places to the false gods torn down. He focused on serving God and obeying all of His commands. He chose to hold fast to God and refuse to stop.

Starting to following God is not a difficult thing to do for most people. However, continuing to follow Him and obey Him may be a challenge. It challenge one’s belief and trust in God. It challenges his focus on serving God.

As soon as one begins to follow God, the world will strive to stop the following. Things will attempt to get in the way and distract the person from God and His commands. Reasons to not obey will constantly pop up.

The believer must hold on fast to God and not give up. He must hold on to God as though he were holding on to a rope that his life depended upon, because his life does depend upon God. One cannot save his life, but once saved he needs to honor God with his life by obedience.

At some point in your life, you have chosen to follow God and obey Him. The world will do what it can to distract you and turn you away from God and obeying Him. Do not allow yourself to get distracted and disobey God’s commands to you. Hold fast onto God.

Know that God has the best plans for you. The world has plans to destroy you in the end. As you are holding fast to God, He is holding fast to you. God will not allow you to be destroyed. Don’t stop holding on to God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be dedicated to serving God; that you will know what God wants of you; and that you will not stop obeying God. 

2 Kings 17:15 Don’t Do As They Do

Geese following

They rejected His decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the LORD had ordered them, “Do not do as they do.” 2 Kings 17:15 

People do not really like to be completely different from others. They like to blend in. Sometimes they like to blend in with a smaller group, while most of the time they like to blend in with the majority.

The blending in that they do, is doing what others are doing. People will often do what others do, so that they can be friends or not looked at as rebels or strange. The amount a person will do, is often determined by the pressure of others. With enough pressure, most people will do things that are wrong and the world knows how to put pressure on a person to do something.

God had told the nation of Israel to not do what the nations around them are doing. Yet they did those things anyways. Various kings would be put into position and they would follow false idols and lead the nation as the world does. After a punishment and short restoration, they would do those things again. God, after much warning and patience, destroyed the nation of Israel because of their lack of obedience.

Even today God is still warning people to not live as the world lives. He tells His people to be separate, set apart from the world. Yet, many believers try to live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. They do the things that the world does and try to say that it is ok and God still accepts them.

Even though Jesus died on the cross and forgives sins, God still says that believers are to be holy and set apart from the world. Many believers think that the things of this world are acceptable and support them–divorce, abortion, hatred, killing, porn, violence, abuse, vulgar talk, and much more.

As a believer you are to turn away from all sin and the ways of the world. Jesus was set apart as different and you are to be the same way.

There will come a day when Jesus will come back to judge the world. He sees the heart of every person. If your heart is following the world, it will not be following Him. If you are not following Jesus, you will not be allowed into heaven.

Whose ways are you following today?

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the ways of God; that you will follow Jesus with your whole life; and that you will not do the ways of this world. 

 

1 Kings 18:21 Make A Choice

Choice of two paths

Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing. 1 Kings 18:21 

It is very common for people to not want to make a concrete decision. Many people do not like to have to make a final choice in a situation. They like to be able to have the option of two or more different ways and change choices as they go along.

With the choices available, people like different things with both options. So rather than lock themselves down with one side, they waver in the middle and go back and forth all the time.

As God was ready to bring the drought to an end, Elijah called all the people together with the prophets of Baal. His first statement was that they needed to make a choice. They had to choose who was the real God. He left it up to them to decide between God and Baal.

For a number of years, the people would serve both God and Baal. Depending upon the time and situation, they would waver between the two. Yet, there was only room for one God and they had to make a choice.

The same problem occurs today. Although no one follows Baal anymore, there are other things that people follow as though it was God or a god, as they also follow God on Sundays. On Sunday they go to church and worship and serve God. As soon as Sunday is over they are serving self and following some other God–jobs, people, sports, money, or anything else.

When people live like this, they are not making a choice in who is God. They are being lukewarm in their life and in the end will be cast out. God wants a choice to be made. He prefers that He be the real God in each person’s life, but it is still a choice, one way or the other.

As a believer you have made a choice at some point to believe God is God. Now you have a choice to live that way. Take a look at your life and see if you are wavering between God and some idol.

What thing(s) or people are getting in your way between you and God? Make a choice as to who is God and then follow that God with all of your life. Don’t waver and get kicked out.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will serve God with all of your life; that you will not waver in your belief in God; and that you will not waver in your following God. 

1 Kings 16:26 Raising God’s Anger

Man pleasing God

He followed completely the ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat, committing the same sin Jeroboam had caused Israel to commit, so that they aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of Israel, by their worthless idols. 1 Kings 16:26 

Getting someone angry is not very difficult to do. All one has to do is something that the person does not like. It is even easier with someone who is close to the person doing the offending. The closer a person is, the easier it is to get the person angry.

It takes a lot more to raise the anger of a stranger, than one who is close. The person is close expects to be treated correctly and with love. The stranger does not expect as much.

Omri had become king of Israel. In the process of becoming king, he led the people in sin against God. He continued all the sins of those before him and added to those sins. Doing this had raised God’s anger against the nation.

During the Old Testament times God had set up the covenant with Israel to be their God and for them to be His people. There was no major sacrifice to make this happen. Yet, the people chose to follow false gods and raise His anger.

Several thousand years later, God chose to send Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross for all people to make a way for them. Many have chosen to accept what Jesus did and follow Him. Yet, in the process of following Jesus, many have turned back to false idols. They have chosen to live in sin, rather than fully follow Jesus and live as He did.

Some live as though it is cheap grace and sin does not mean anything. Doing this does raise God’s anger against them. God may not strike immediately as He did in the Old Testament, but there will come a day of reckoning.

As a believer in Jesus, you need to strive to live for God at all times, in every way possible. Live as though your actions are what save you, but believe knowing that the death and resurrection of Jesus is what really saves you. Honor God by living for Him and obeying Him.

Do not turn back towards the idols and sin of this world, raising God’s anger against you. The worthless idols of this world will not save you, but Jesus will. Believe and follow Jesus, pleasing God.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn from all idols in this world; that you will follow God with all of your life; and that your life will not raise God’s anger against you.