2 Chronicles 24: 1—25:28
I’ll be honest king Joash, I don’t get it. What on earth did those officials say to you to convince you to give up the Lord and worship fake gods? It puts me on edge about what and who I listen too.
I love how we are given the example of the right way to solicit money from people at the beginning of the reading today. Joash wanted Jehoiada to go out and demand payment from the people. But giving money to the temple is a form of worship, as described in Deuteronomy. God never demands our worship; He DESERVES our worship. He could snap His fingers and take 10% out of your bank account right now, but that is not the kind of awe He wants you to be in. He wants you to joyfully give to Him because of the fact that you love Him. When we reflect back on our timeline with God, we see His faithfulness and it moves us to worship.
Good God almighty! I love this chapter. Tuck in, here we go!
“And so,” two words that mean so very much. What is that referring to? Well the “and so,” is referring to the first 11 chapters of Romans. Think of it like this…..
Humans are condemned before the Lord because creation and their own conscience testify to the fact that there is One True God. However, humans rejected that Truth and went their own way. But while we humans were still enemies with God, God made a way to be right with Him. He sent His son to pay the sin debt for all. So now we are no longer married to the Law given to the Israelites to show sin, but married to Jesus. But God also raised Jesus from the dead and gave us that same power that helps us overcome sin. But there is a war that goes on between the flesh and the Spirit. We want to do good, but we end up doing what is wrong. But God is powerful enough to move us along in this war, and nothing can separate us from His love. The proof of that is that the Israelites rejected Him and although they are set aside right now, He is still coming back to fulfill all the promises He made to them. Their rejection allowed salvation to come to us Gentiles.
That whole paragraph ^^^^ = “And so”
Since we know all of that about what God has done for us, and how we are empowered by the Spirit, now we, “Give our bodies as a living sacrifice.” Have you wanted to know what God’s will for your life is? Well it is that you would not copy the customs of the world, but live as a living sacrifice. And then Paul goes on to tell us to NOT copy the customs of the World:
Don’t think yourself better than you really are. (Be humble)
Be honest in your self reflection, you are part of the body, not the whole thing.
Use your gifts to build up the body, not to show off.
Really love each other.
Hate what is wrong.
Hold tightly to what is good.
Work hard and serve the ENTHUSIASTICALLY.
Rejoice in our Hope! (He is coming back!)
Be patient and prayerful.
When a church member is in need, help them.
Bless your enemy.
Live in harmony, cry with those who are sad, laugh with those who are happy.
Don’t be act like you are Mr. or Mrs. Big stuff.
DON’T BE A KNOW IT ALL. (ouch)
No paybacks—be honorable.
Live in peace with everyone.
Don’t let evil conquer you.
So, you get Paul’s point, if you only did half of this, you would look very different from the world. This is what being a living sacrifice looks like. But remember this is a war that goes on inside you that you have to partner with God with to win. You cannot white knuckle this and make yourself be transformed. (ask me how I know) It happens with the renewing of your mind. The good news is that you are making progress when you start to discern worldly behavior and Spirit behavior. You start to think thoughts that are Spirit led instead of flesh led. This war is fought in the quiet. You have to get still and quiet and take inventory of what is going on in your mind. You have to do things like repent and say, “Lord I want to throat punch that person, but you say that is evil, so keep from doing evil.” And He does it, because He is in the business of transformation.