Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 1; 2:1-7 (day six)
2 Samuel is the story of a king, a better king. After Saul’s death David makes a savvy move under God leadership by making his way to Hebron in Judah. There elders crowned him king, although one of Saul’s sons remained. It was a brave political move, but more simply, the Judeans longed for a better king, and they found one in David.
David’s kingship is an epic tale, but the longing still remains at its close. But God did that on purpose. His covenant with David ensures us a even better king is coming and has come.
Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise, and the satisfaction of a longing for a better king.
“Jesus, King of the Jews.”-Pilate
Re:Verse passage – John 19:1-30 (day six)
John is doing more than retelling a historical account, albeit the greatest story ever told. He’s casting our own reflection.
We see Pilate, passive but intrigued. We see the soldiers, indifferent to Jesus, but enjoying the mockery and the torture. The chief priests and Jewish officers, far from indifferent, they hated Jesus. And the crowd, they were the cheering section, disappointed because Jesus wasn’t the messiah they wanted him to be. We see the criminals by his side, one humble, the other a cynical skeptic. And then there are the four Mary’s and John; heart broken and in disbelief.
Do you see yourself in the reflection John casts. I do. Which one are you?
Re:Verse reading–John 4:4-30, 39-42 (day five)
”I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” -Jesus, John 4:32
You would think this brief conversation with his disciples is disconnected from the rest of the story, but it’s not. The disciples had no clue what he was talking about, in the same way the woman at the well couldn’t wrap her mind around living water. Food and water? It’s almost as if Jesus is trying to say something profound (that’s sarcasm).
They are two sides of the same coin. Both believing Jesus and doing what he says yield similar results-satisfaction, wholeness, restoration, or in other words never thirsting again and full from food of another kind.
Drink up and have your fill; you will never be disappointed.
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 4 (day six)
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6
Moses would veil his face after his meeting with God. He had to, the people were terrified by the afterglow of God’s glory left on Moses’ face. The Glory of God in the face of Moses meant judgement and condemnation, not so with His glory in the face of Christ; Jesus brings righteousness and redemption. Paul desired his life and message to be an unveiled declaration of the Gospel, so that all would have an unobstructed view of the Glory of God in the face of Christ; knowing by faith the grace and forgiveness only He provides.
Do we want people to see Jesus in our life and hear about Him in our message? Is the story of Jesus veiled in us? What would it take for us to live out an unveiled Gospel?
Re:Verse reading–2 Corinthians 1:12-24, 2:1-11 (day six)
“…we work with you for your joy,” 2 Corinthians 1:24
It is comforting to think the heart of Paul’s intent was their joy. Those are the kinds of words a father says to a son (“I’m doing this for your good.”), and no less true. Paul could not coerce them into faithfulness; he didn’t desire to lord it over their faith. No, there was a whole lot of love involved in his tough love. It’s the kind of love that steps in when everyone else moves to the other side of the road. It’s the kind of love that speaks up when everyone else stays silent. Paul was doing a good work for the Corinthian church, a work for their joy. And although sorrow may have lasted for the night, I’m sure the Corinthians discovered that joy came in the morning.
Do you have a friend like that? Are you a friend like that? It’s the things discipleship is made of. It’s good work.
Re:Verse passage – I Corinthians 15:3-20, 35-44, 50-57 (day six)
Hope does not make sense without the resurrection of the dead. The Gospel promises us victory over sin and death. If there is no resurrection (victory over death), nor is there victory over sin. As Paul writes, “we are left in our sins [without the resurrection].” So our hope in the Gospel looks forward; it moves beyond victory over sin to a future hope in our bodily resurrection, our victory over death. That’s where our Christian hope lies.
Yet, our hope doesn’t always find itself there, does it? We are often so short sighted. In the midst of our struggles, we rarely hope in the resurrection, or barely give it any thought. We hope for cures. Or pay raises. We hope for immediate justice. Or righted wrongs. Not Paul, his hope was in his future bodily resurrection; Jesus’ completed work. All other hope is uncertain(like defeating cancer), not so the resurrection of the dead.
So, be reminded, to give thought to the resurrection of the dead; as Jesus was raised, so you will be raised. Hope in it. It’s Jesus’ ultimate victory in your life.
Re:Verse reading–1 Corinthians 13 (day six)
“Pursue love…”-Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:1
That just might be the best summary of 1 Corinthians, pursue love. The Corinthian church was so preoccupied with chasing other things, it had left love behind, with heartbreaking results. Even making a big deal out of good things, like Spiritual gifts, or Bible knowledge can hurt a church rather than build one. That’s why Paul wrote pursue love. Essentially Paul is asking them to get back to loving God and loving their neighbor; start making a big deal out of love again.
We all have the tendency to make big deals out of lesser things, and if we let them they can get in the way of love. What can those things be for you? That might be a great question to ask God. I promise He will show you if you do.
Re:Verse reading–Philemon 1-25 (day six)
Although slavery in the Roman Empire was not based on race, it was equally dehumanizing and reinforced extreme prejudice against slaves, even freed slaves. In that day, Philemon had complete authority over Onesimus’ life; he was nothing more than property to do with as he pleased.
The Gospel changed that kind of thinking. The Gospel did not upend (immediately) an evil system, but it did upend Philemon’s mind. The Gospel would not allow him to think of Onesimus as property, but led him to think of him as a neighbor, and then his brother.
The Gospel will always, always change the way you think about others. Jesus quoted the Old Testament saying, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Everyone is your neighbor. Does your thinking need to change too?
Re:Verse reading–Acts 12:1-19 (day six)
“[The gate] It opened for them of its own accord,…” Acts 12:10b
God is in the details. Can you imagine if Peter were left to pick the lock of the gate, after God had done everything else? Being Peter he probably could have figured it out, but that is not how God works. I like to think that this is a small way of God saying, “I do ALL of the rescuing; Peter you have no part in this other than to receive.”
There is no part in our own rescue story that was left to us to figure out; God did it all, even to the smallest detail. It is also a great reminder that God is in the daily details of the obstacles we face.
There is no gate he cannot open, or keep closed.
Re:Verse reading–Mark 9:14-29 (day six)
The father cried, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Believe what exactly? In this case, it seems clear. Jesus was inviting him to believe in Him, that he was able to bring lasting change and new life in the most desperate situation, i.e the life of his demon possessed son. There is no doubt that God expects us to believe that he brings victory into our life through His Son Jesus, but what if God is also inviting us to believe something else, or at least a nuanced belief?
What if He is inviting us to believe that He can even use us to bring new life and hope to others in desperate need? What if he not only wants to do something in you, but also through you? Do you believe that? I do.
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.