Saturday, May 17, 2014

2 Chronicles 26-29

As we've read through the book of 2 Chronicles this week, we've been going through this crazy time in Israel's history.  It's a real roller coaster of faith, leadership, and life.  Things are messy again today in 2 Chronicles 26-29.  We seem to be going back and forth on a sliding scale of rare whole-hearted reigns, half-hearted reigns, and disgustingly heartless reigns of king after king in Judah.   

I had to laugh today because I realized a little subtly in the text that gives us a real indication of how "good" these kings are at their jobs before we even get started reading through the days they rule.  Maybe you noticed it too?  

It's all about how a new king gets introduced to us.  If a new king gets introduced to us as doing "right in the eyes of the Lord," we know things from that point forward may not be perfect, but they're okay.  If a new king gets introduced to us as not doing what is "right in the eyes of the Lord," we know trouble is around the corner.

 And after that, we can even tell how "faithful" or how "unfaithful" a king turns out to be based on the father associated with that king.  A king is doing awesome if he gets compared to his father, David.  Anything less than that is questionable because at this point in the Bible, King David is our highest standard of faithfulness.

How many of us do the very same thing?  If I am being honest, I have to admit that I have a natural tendency to compare myself to others.  I get caught up in it from time to time.  

Today, I am reminded that, in Christ, we have new standard of goodness and faithfulness, and it has nothing to do with others.  It has everything to do with Jesus.  Instead of being weighed down by comparisons and inadequacy, I need to start looking for Jesus in others and praying to be more like Him.  These words are a great start to grounding my thoughts and prayers...

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.    

And although we will never compare to Christ's perfection, there's hope for us as believers no matter what tomorrow brings.  We are made perfect in Christ.  Because Christ died for us and lives in us, we are vessels of His grace as He works through us in this world. 

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank You for Your grace that is at work in my life through the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus.

Give me the eyes and the tender heart to love gracefully like Jesus.  Forgive me for struggling with my own selfishness.

I want to serve and please, You, Lord.  Empower me to live by faith and share my faith in way that draws others closer to You.

I pray _______________ today who really needs Your miraculous love.

In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray,

Peace of Christ,

*This post is part of A Mind-Maker-Upper's Everyday Reading Project.  Click here to read more.

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