Let’s PRAY together:
Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us;
Lord, Your love is more powerful than hate
Give us confidence to live that truth.
Give us confidence that Your way is the best way; not the easiest.
Be with the health care workers fighting the good fight,
Comfort the sick and lonely, and help our local leaders.
may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm;
may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us;
may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors.
“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (Romans 7:4 NIV)
Paul was a thinker, philosopher, speaker, evangelist, and theologian (not to mention also being a tent-maker and leather worker). He was very gifted, but he used the style of rhetoric that Greek scholars and Hebrew Pharisees used. It’s just not the way we communicate today.
Consider, only 156 years ago Abraham Lincoln and Steven Douglas held seven debates about slavery. Each lasted more than three hours. Here is a short quote of Lincoln’s, “Judge (Stephen Douglas) has read from my speech in Springfield, in which I say that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.’ Does he say it can stand? I don’t know whether he does or not. The Judge does not seem to be attending to me just now, but I would like to know if it is his opinion that a house divided against itself can stand. If he does, then there is a question of veracity, not between him and me, but between the Judge and an authority of a somewhat higher character.” While it was common in the past for people to regularly sit (or stand) and listen to people for hours on end and mentally track dense and convoluted arguments, we have lost that skill set. In the quote essentially Lincoln is saying, “I said, ‘a house divided against itself can’t stand,’ Judge Douglas isn’t listening to me right now, but my question is, does he disagree? If he does he’s picking a fight with God not me.”
Paul, in his quote from his letter to the church in Rome, is working out an idea that he really wants to make clear. When he says, “we died to the law,” he is saying that Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law. He was perfect so we are freed from trying to be. We obey the law because we want to not because we have to. We obey the law because it is a better way, and through obedience, we live in gratitude, fully committed to God with our lives bearing the evidence of God’s Spirit being in control; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Think about all that is going on around us in the world; is the fruit of the Spirit what others hear and see when they interact with us, watch our actions, or read our social media posts?
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/
If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me.
I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/2-samuel/ for an overview of the book of 2nd Samuel and https://bibleproject.com/explore/acts/ for an overview of the book of Acts. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes.
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18
This idea of building a house for the ark of God is interesting. It’s what all other nations did for their gods. Yet God did not want this from David. In fact, what does God want? (7:13)
Notice how David will respond to God’s promise. God’s promises to David will bring forth praise from David. Do we praise God for the promises he makes to us?
Our reading will conclude with David’s conquest of Israel’s enemies. It’s a great example of how Israel kept a recording of their history.
Again, what was the purpose of the Spirit? The disciples had this amazing experience of speaking in tongues, but more importantly what was the result? (v41) In addition, what is the promise Peter will make note of? (38-39)
Verses 42-47 describe the beginnings of the church. How does today’s church compare to these beginnings? What is similar and what is different?
Proverbs compares two different ways of living, a worldly life and a Godly one. The way Solomon depicts the worldly life gives absolutely no hope at all, and yet people make the choice to follow the world daily. Why is that?