2 Chronicles 33: 14—34: 33
Yesterday Manasseh was humbled by God and became an obedient follower. This is truly beautiful because we get to see that this discipline by God really is a merciful attempt to get us to follow Him. He is not mean and vengeful; He uses the pain to bring us back to Him. Amon was apparently a glutton for punishment because he went fully rogue. The people took care of him because they did not want any more punishment.
When Josiah hears the scroll being read and realizes how far they are from actually following the commands in Deuteronomy he tears his clothes, and immediately seeks the Lord’s counsel. This really struck me because this should be our response when realize the weight of our sin. We should tear our clothes and say, “I can’t save myself Lord, what do I do?” Because of Josiah’s humility God blesses his reign. If we learn nothing else from this journey through history, it’s that God does not bless them when they are perfectly following the commands of Deuteronomy. He blesses them when their hearts are faithful to Him. You can stop trying to follow all the rules and be perfect. You don’t have to clean yourself up before you come to church. You just have to metaphorically tear your clothes in distress and say, “Lord I need you; I can’t save myself.” I guess you can really tear your clothes if you feel so led, but you do you.
Romans 16: 10-27
As we finish the book or Romans, Paul leaves us with a warning. We are to be ware of people who cause division and upset people’s faith. We are also to watch out for smooth and glowing words from people who are serving themselves.
Unity of believers is a nonnegotiable for Jesus. Jesus, through the Spirit will always unify believers in His Church. Division can upset believer’s faith. If you are following Jesus, then you will seek to be unified with other believers. This is why Twitter wars between believers, and church splits are so detrimental to believers. But more importantly we are supposed to reflect God’s love to the watching world. It’s confusing for them when, if we supposedly love other believers, we can blast them on the internet or cause a church to be torn in half. This topic will come up in almost every book from here on in as we read through the New Testament.
Do you remember how Paul taught us that there is a war going on in our minds between the Spirit and our flesh? This pretty much secures the fact that when you are exposed to the Truth of God, your flesh will react in a negative way at first until you can win some ground back in your mind and apply that truth. Well, we Christians have a funny way to avoid that war. We come up with new ways to accept God and live out His truth that does not offend our flesh. If you find yourself not having to wage war in your mind like Paul tells us about, then I would venture to say you have found a version of the truth you can live with, without it offending you. So essentially your flesh is winning that war, so there really is no battle going on. Don’t live their friend. Life can be so much bigger than that!!