Hezekiah's speech

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
August 1
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 27-29; Mark 15:1-41

Hezekiah’s speech
Devotional Text: 2 Chronicles 29:9-11


God is NOT happy. He is not happy with his chosen leaders. He is not happy with is chosen people - Israel. This is not a good thing. Why isn’t God happy? God isn’t happy for the same reason He ever becomes displeased or angry - His people are sinning. It goes further than just sinning. They are actively turning their backs on Him. They have been sacrificing to and worshipping other gods. The king of Israel, King Ahaz is not following God’s will or keeping His commands. Then Hezekiah steps in.

King Ahaz dies as a result of God’s anger and his son Hezekiah rules in his place. Unlike daddy dearest, Hezekiah knows the importance of doing God’s will. The very first thing he does when he comes to power is call in all of the priests for a meeting. He then delivers a speech to them designed to motivate them to get the people back on track with God.

(Read devotional text) He ends his rallying speech by saying that our forefathers messed up, they turned away from God and put our nation out of favor with God. They’ve caused our people to be put in prison and we are going to fix it NOW! Hezekiah makes it known to the priests that he intends to turn things around by making a new covenant or pact with God. He calls on the priests to remember that they have been chosen by God to be ministers to Him and to the people. Because of Hezekiah’s dedication and love of God, the priests are inspired and the people once again turn back to God.


Discussion for the family:
What caused God to be unhappy with His people?
Do the same reasons today cause God to be unhappy with us?
What can we do to remain in favor with God?
|

God and Pain

The following devotional was taken from "Strength for the Journey" and written by Bill McFarland.

StrengthforJourneyreview
August 1
Daily Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles 27-29; Mark 15:1-41

God and Pain
Devotional Text: Mark 15:22-24, 33-34


In his book The Cross of Christ, John Stott wrote, “I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross …. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who is immune to it? … He laid aside His immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of His.” (p. 335, 336)

The problem of pain is, and always has been, a severe challenge to faith. God does not offer a detailed defense of Himself nor an explanation of His rule over a world where suffering exists. He does offer his Son to redeem us from it.

We wish pain were gone. Some day it will be. In the meantime, we are strengthened by remembering what was accomplished when Christ suffered for sins. A writer unknown to me imagined God’s response to man’s cry for pain to be taken away:


Then answered the Lord to the cry of the world,
“Shall I take away pain,
And with it the power of the soul to endure,
Made strong by the strain?
Shall I take away pity that knits heart to heart,
And sacrifice high?
Will you lose all your heroes that lift from the fire
White brows to the sky?
Shall I take away love that redeems with a price,
And smiles with your loss?
Can you spare from your life that would cling unto mine
The Christ on His Cross?”

No, we can’t. He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities, and chastised for our peace. With His stripes we are healed. Some things are accomplished through suffering that can’t be done any other way.

|

Pure in heart

The following devotional was taken from "In Our Father's Hands" and written by Justin Hatfield.

Fathershandsreview
July 1
Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 73-74; Proverbs 15:19-16:4

Pure in heart
Devotional Text: Psalm 73:1


In our devotional text the Psalmist writes, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart” (Psalm 73:1)! God is a wonderful and awesome God, capable of anything we can imagine and more. The psalm says that our almighty and powerful God is good to those who are pure in heart. Everyone WANTS God to be good to them, but what does the Bible say we have to be in order for that to happen? That’s right; it says that we have to be pure in heart. What does it mean to be pure in heart?

Yesterday we talked about people knowing we are God’s children by our actions. Do you think if we only do the right thing and say the right things that will be enough for God? Sometimes we think we can “fool” God into thinking we are good Christians. People see what we do, but God sees into our hearts. We cannot fool God into thinking we are good people.

Being pure in heart means that you say and do everything for a reason. Not because you want to look good, or be thought of as a good person, but because you ARE a GOOD PERSON. Our reasoning for being good is not so that others will think we are “good.” Our reasoning is because we love God and WANT to do the right thing. God will be good and bless those of us who are doing the right thing because that is what is in our hearts. That’s what it means to be pure in heart.
|

Whom Have I In Heaven?

The following devotional was taken from "Strength for the Journey" and written by Bill McFarland.

StrengthforJourneyreview
July 1
Daily Bible Reading: Psalms 73-74; Proverbs 15:19-16:4

Whom Have I In Heaven?
Devotional Text: Psalm 73:25


Loneliness and doubt seem to run together. Elijah, weary and afraid, came to the cave at Horeb thinking his zeal for the Lord had not made much difference. He felt that he was all alone (I Kings 19:9, 10).

John the Baptist found himself in danger and alone in Herod’s prison – not exactly the reward for courageous service which might have been expected. He wondered, “Is Jesus the one, or should I be looking for someone else?” (Matt. 14:3, 4; 11:3).

And, the singer of our Psalm looked around at how well the wicked seemed to be doing, comparing their ease with his own struggles. He began to doubt whether his efforts to keep a pure heart and clean hands were worth it (v. 13, 14). A sense of extreme loneliness must have begun to settle over him.

But there has always been an answer to this slippery slope of doubt. It is realizing that someone is for you, working with you. God gave Elijah a coworker to go with him. Jesus sent John the reassurance that he was at work. And the issue was resolved for our singer when he thought, “Whom have I in heaven but You?” His doubt was overcome by a deepened conviction that nothing on earth compares with having the God of heaven as one’s strength and portion (v. 26). His loneliness was relieved by the nearness of God (v. 28).

We also have someone in heaven. He appears before the face of God for us (Heb. 9:24). He is our Advocate with the Father (I Jn. 2:1). He intercedes for us at the right hand of God (Rom. 8:34). Today, whatever our circumstances, let us say with the singer:

“Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand. With Your counsel you will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:23, 24).
|