Day 145

Standard

1Kings 8:54-66; 2 Chronicles 7:1-10; 1Kings 9:1-9; 2 Chronicles 7:11-22;
1Kings 9:10-19

Kevin Cummings, Children’s Ministry 4-5th grade coordinator

It was an autumn day, and my wife and I took our boys to Stowe’s alpine slide. They were below the age to drive the sled, so one son shared with me and my wife took the other in the adjacent lane. At the beginning of the course, my six-year old son wanted to take total control of the sled’s throttle. He grappled for it, yet he didn’t fully comprehend its functionality nor did he have the strength to manage it. If he pushed the throttle too hard, out of control speed could careen the sled and cause skin burns by contact with concrete. If the lever was pulled back in restraint, the entire run would be slow and uneventful. I knew the trail—its straight-aways, turns, and dips. He agreed to place his hands on the throttle with my hands, on top, over his. Using the right amount of control and guidance through my hands, I safely drove my son on a swift ride bringing laughter and joy to him…and delight to me as a dad.

We can often dream or think:
“If only…”
“What’s going to happen if…”
“If I had…”
“If I can just do this…”
The Lord is big enough to complete all of these in the best way, but He will not force Himself.

As believers, our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit; Christ dwells within us. Today, we read that after Solomon dedicated the Temple, God responded to his prayer. 2 Chronicles 7 is a great chunk of scripture; we notice three distinct ifs. First, (v.14) “…if my people…” humble themselves, pray, seek God, and turn from sins then that will lead to forgiveness and healing. Second, (v. 17) “…if you walk…” in obedience to God, then He will establish you in your roles. Thirdly, (v. 19) “But if you turn away…” from God’s commands to follow your idols, then disaster will result.

The surrender of steering our ride—daily—to Jesus gives us freedom and security. We can be encouraged: God’s grace, forgiveness, promises, and power are not at all questionable; they are certainly not “iffy.”

(Note: In February, we studied Deuteronomy 28; it compliments this passage well.)

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5 responses »

  1. “I do my own self!!” That was my phrase as a toddler (I’m told), and it still sounds uncomfortably familiar today. I want to be in control, I want to make the choices (and then choose the consequences). But the constant command of scripture is to humble ourselves before God. Not to humble other people (which is much more satisfying), but to humble ourselves, to admit our significant limitations and to admit God’s overwhelming superiority. It ought to be so obvious, but it’s still so hard.

    In today’s reading Solomon had another direct, verbal revelation from God. How could He have been more plain? “Obey Me and I’ll bless your socks off. Disobey Me and you’ll die in frustration and shame.” What choice is this?

    Ah, Lord Father, please continue to remind us to server Your great, majestic, and eternal kingdom. May we abandon our own little sand castles and twig huts.

  2. I Kings :57-58 (TM) May God, our very own God, continue to be with us just as he was with our ancestors—may he never give up and walk out on us. May he keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors. Amen.

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