Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Daily Devotional Wednesday 11th May

“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” - Matthew 18:15
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"But now is Christ risen from the dead."
1 Corinthians 15:20

The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that "Christ is risen from the dead;" for, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are yet in your sins." The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in his resurrection, since he was "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." It would not be unreasonable to doubt his deity if he had not risen. Moreover, Christ's sovereignty depends upon his resurrection, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living." Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ's triumphant victory over death and the grave; for "He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with his resurrection, for we are "Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." If Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if he be risen then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in their flesh shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer's blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory, and binds them together. How important then will this glorious fact be in his estimation, and how will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that "now is Christ risen from the dead"!

"The promise is fulfill'd,

Redemption's work is done,

Justice with mercy's reconciled,

For God has raised his Son."

Evening

"The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

Believer, you can bear your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten from the dead. You can say, "He is divine to me, if he be human to all the world beside. He has done that for me which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of adamant, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He hath turned for me my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; he hath led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think as they will of him, to me he must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be his name. And he is full of grace. Ah! had he not been, I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from his grace; and when at last I came all trembling like a condemned culprit to his mercy-seat, he said, Thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee: be of good cheer.' And he is full of truth. True have his promises been, not one has failed. I bear witness that never servant had such a master as I have; never brother such a kinsman as he has been to me; never spouse such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never sinner a better Saviour; never mourner a better comforter than Christ hath been to my spirit. I want none beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness he makes my bed; in darkness he is my star, and in brightness he is my sun; he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new corn of the host when they come to Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all thy might the only Begotten.'"

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Jeroboam

[Jĕro bō'am] - enlarges, struggler for the people or the people have become numerous.

1. The son of Nebat from Zereda in Manasseh, who became the first king of the ten tribes of Israel. This Ephraimite, Jeroboam I, reigned for twenty-two years. His mother's name was Zeruah, who was widowed at the time of his birth. This is the Jeroboam who rebuked the unnamed prophet (1 Kings 11:26-40; 12-16).

The Man Who Made Israel Sin

The dreadful description of Jeroboam tied to his name like a label, is that "he made Israel to sin." His sin - the root and fruit of it - are the chief things the Bible records of this widow's son. We are familiar with the incident of Ahijah taking Jeroboam's new garment and tearing it into twelve pieces, giving Jeroboam ten pieces and prophesying the rending of Solomon's kingdom, and the government of ten tribes of that kingdom passing into Jeroboam's hands. No wonder Solomon sought to kill him. But after the king's death and the refusal of Rehoboam to follow good advice, the kingdom split and ten tribes went with Jeroboam.

Solomon had lost his kingdom by idolatry and Jeroboam proposed to keep his ten-tribe kingdom by idolatry. So, abandoning the commandment and promise of God, Jeroboam set up golden bulls, one in Bethel and the other in Dan. People must have religion of some sort, Jeroboam reasoned, as he made the worship of the calves a part of the constitution of his kingdom. How sad it is to read that the Lord gave Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam! The consequences of national idolatry continued, for eighteen kings sat upon the throne of Judah after his death, but not one of them gave up the golden calves. Of fifteen of them it is said that they departed not from the sin of Jeroboam. As with the kings, so with the people who continued to walk in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did (2 Kings 17:22, 23).

There is no need to linger over what befell Jeroboam himself. He was warned by the man of God from Judah, but without avail. His son fell sick and died, and Jeroboam shortly after was defeated by his enemies. Then the Lord struck him and he died. Yet his name lives on with the terrible mark against it. "He made Israel to sin."

2. A son of Joash or Jehoash the grandfather of Jehu, who succeeded Joash as king over the ten tribes, and who reigned for forty-one years ( 2 Kings 13:13; 14:16-29; 15:1, 8; 1 Chron. 5:17; Amos 1:1; 7:9-11). Both Hosea (Hos. 1:1 ) and Amos describe the temporary prosperity of Israel with the accompaniment of social and moral degeneracy during the reign of Jeroboam II. Under him, Israel regained the territory it lost to its hereditary enemy, Syria. The aspect of commanding interest in Jeroboam's age when materialism was in the saddle was the appearance of a man with a message. Amid the shallow optimism possessing king and people alike was the voice of Amos, the herdsman of Tekoa, saying in effect: "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever."

Israel's prosperity ended with the death of this Jeroboam. A period of anarchy followed. Then he was succeeded by his son Zachariah, who after a reign of only six months, was murdered by Shallum who, in turn, was assassinated one month later. Think of it, three kings sat on Israel's throne in seven months! Four out of six kings succeeding Jeroboam died violent deaths. In less than fifteen years four of Israel's kings were murdered.

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Everything New - A Weeekly Devotional

WHEN “NEW” WAS NEW

They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. That is because “new” can only be new once.

What an impression God made at the start of all things. The very beginning of the very beginning was that Genesis moment when the wish of God became the word of God which then became the world of God. “God said ‘let there be...’”

It all happened in an instant. There was nothing; and then there was a universe where there had been nothing. Hebrews 11:3 puts it this way: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Theologians refer to this as creation ex nihilo , “out of nothing.” It would be remarkable enough if God created mountains and seas, reptiles and mammals, men and women out of some pre-existing clay. But that is not how it happened. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. No molecules or energy waves; no planets or stars. And then there was a universe. The desire of God made real. The real beginning. The first new thing.

So whenever we long for something new to happen in our lives or in the world–especially those things we know only God can do–we can know that God likes beginnings. He really does. Otherwise the Bible wouldn’t say so much about new beginnings. God longs to renew what has become tired, broken, confused, shattered or corrupted in our lives. He just does not give up. At the end of Scripture God says “I am making everything new!” (Rev. 21:5). What does “everything” include? Let’s think about that together.

As we unpack what that means in this new weekly devotional we’re calling Everything New our foundation is this big truth: God invented “new.” And that’s because of who he is.

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Resources

About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.
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Today's reading: 2 Kings 10-12, John 1:29-51 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Kings 10-12

Ahab's Family Killed

1 Now there were in Samaria seventy sons of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel, to the elders and to the guardians of Ahab's children. He said, 2 "You have your master's sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you, 3 choose the best and most worthy of your master's sons and set him on his father's throne. Then fight for your master's house...."

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 1:29-51

John Testifies About Jesus

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel...."



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