Tag Archives: 2 Kings

2 Kings 14; 2 Timothy 4; Hosea 7; Psalms 120-122

Hosea speaks from the very heart of God.  God yearns to buy back his people from their self imposed slavery and free them from the lies they tell about themselves and the God whose name they are supposed to hold sacred.

I long to redeem them but they tell lies against me. 

God wants to comfort the aching hearts of his people, but they turn their faces from him.

They do not cry out to me from their hearts but wail upon their beds. 

He wants to be the reason for their parties and bring them joy deeper and fuller than they have ever dreamed of.

They gather together for grain and new wine but turn away from me. Hosea 7:13.

God raised them up to serve him and reflect his glory, but they used the goodness he brought to turn against him.

I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. Hosea 7:15

He longed to see their hearts turned towards him and be saved from death.  Instead, they self destructed.

They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will fall by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt. Hosea 7:16

I read the story of a man whose father sold him into slavery years after the Civil War (The Emancipation of Robert Sadler).  Robert Sadler learned to live to please his sadistic torturer of a master. When he finally escaped, he struggled with learning how to live as a free man. At one point, he even went back to try and serve his master. As crazy as that sounds, I can be just like Mr. Sadler and the people of Israel and Judah.  I know where true freedom lives and I am quite capable of turning away and walking the opposite direction if it were not for the patient and persistent voice of Jesus calling me back. Amazing grace.

Kathy

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2 Kings 10, 11; 2 Timothy 1; Hosea 2; Psalms 119:97-120

For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline. (ASV)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. (AMP)

For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of strength and of love and of temperance. (JUB)

God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. (MSG)

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control. (NCV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (NLT)

For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind. (NLV)

God didn’t give us a cowardly spirit but a spirit of power, love, and good judgment. (NOG)

For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them. (TLB)

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit. (VOICE)

2 Timothy 1:7

Since I have been walking with the Lord, this is one of my go-to verses. When I am struggling in the battlefield of my mind – when I am full of anxiety and fear, filled with bitterness and resentment, feeling insignificant, overwhelmed, and out of control – it helps me remember that I have not been abandoned to my own devices. It reminds me that I am not alone, even when it sometimes feels like it, because He is in me and I am in Him (John 15:5). It reminds me that God has equipped me with the tools that I need to overcome every struggle. And, it prompts me to look to the Lord for the strength I need to triumph over the tactics of the enemy to control and manipulate my thinking and disrupt my journey.

God has given me so many gifts, not because I did anything in my life to deserve them, but because He is my Father and He loves me. The most important gift He gave me was grace given through the sacrificial payment for my sins by Jesus on the cross. At the moment I believed, in Christ’s death and resurrection, I was made new and filled by God’s Spirit. His Spirit became alive in me, and transformed my essence from one of fear and desperation to one of strength.

The original Greek1 offers deeper insight into this spiritual transformation. God gives me the inner quality and character of ability (dunameos), of love (agapes) and of sanity (sophronismou).

God is capable. He is effective, productive, powerful and mighty. Because He has empowered me and given me boldness; even in my weakness, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

God is love (1 John 4:7-9). His love enables me to love God with all my heart, soul, and mind and makes it possible for me to love others generously (Matthew 22:37-39; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

God is the epitome of self-control, discipline and balance. He gives me the ability to exercise good judgment, to govern myself, to manage my emotions and not allow them to enslave me. He gives me awareness in times of danger, wisdom, forethought, and common sense. He helps me use my resources well and helps me keep my priorities in godly order.

John MacArthur says:

…all believers possess these marvelous, God-given endowments: power, to be effective in His service; love, to have the right attitude toward Him and others; and discipline, to focus and apply every part of our lives according to His will. When those endowments are all present, marvelous results occur.”2

Just as I am assured that these good gifts come from the Lord, I am certain that when I experience a spirit of dread (deilias), it is an offering from my enemy designed to trick me into taking my focus off of God. At times, because I am human, I will still experience fear and anxiety; a lack of courage will creep into my psyche or my self-confidence will wane. But, putting my focus back on God, on His goodness and grace, will help me to quickly move from a self-destructive state to a position of strength and poise. His love removes the fear, injects peace, and quiets my heart (1 John 4:18-19).

Yesappa, Thank You for Your life-giving Spirit. Thank You for being with me always. Thank You for giving me wisdom, understanding, and direction. Thank You for building strength and instilling in me the knowledge and reverence of God. Thank You for casting away my fear and replacing it with power, love, and discipline. You are my hiding place and my shield. I love Your teachings, Your Word. Help me to meditate on them throughout each day, allowing them to become a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Through You, and by You I live; only because of You, I am saved. In Jesus’ name. Amen.3

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

1Greek Word Study and Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:7

2MacArthur, J. 2 Timothy. Chicago: Moody Press.

3Isaiah 2:11; Psalm 119:97-120

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2 Kings 3; 2 Thessalonians 3; Daniel 7; Psalms 114, 115

But the Lord is faithful and will give you strength and will protect you from the Evil One. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NCV)

God is absolute in the performance His actions. He is always true to His promises. His affections are constant. He can always be trusted and believed because He is always reliable. He always adheres to the truth, always upholds His standard. He is the ultimate picture of faithfulness.

And in that faithfulness to His people, He promises strength and protection. He can be trusted completely to be there in times of struggle, in times of need. And this has held true since the beginning of time, holds true today, and will hold true until the end of days.

Time and time again throughout history God has proven His faithfulness to mankind. One example of that demonstration is when the kings of Israel, Judah, and Edom went out to fight the Moabites. They began to give up hope when they ran out of supplies, ran out of water. But they called upon the Lord. He spoke to them through Elisha, and gave them instructions to follow in order to win the battle. The Lord was with the kings, and the Moabites were defeated. The miraculous works He accomplished were “easy for the Lord to do” (2 Kings 3:18).

In my vision at night I saw in front of me someone who looked like a human being coming on the clouds in the sky. He came near God, who has been alive forever, and he was led to God. He was given authority, glory, and the strength of a king. People of every tribe, nation, and language will serve him. His rule will last forever, and his kingdom will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 (NCV)

The ultimate example of His faithfulness is Christ’s work on the cross. The greatest act of love, giving all of Himself to reestablish the connection broken by the fall, enables me to be in relationship with Heavenly Father. This humble act, full of grace and mercy, once and for all defeated the enemy of my life and opened the doors of my heart to be filled with His Spirit, with His glory.

You who respect the Lord should trust him;

he is your helper and your protection.

The Lord remembers us and will bless us.

He will bless the family of Israel;

he will bless the family of Aaron.

The Lord will bless those who respect him,

from the smallest to the greatest. Psalm 115:11-13 (NCV)

From even before I was formed in my mother’s womb, God’s faithfulness toward me was ever present. While I was still a sinner, He was unrelenting in His goodness (Romans 5:6-11). As I have believed in Him, He continues to remember me, to bless me abundantly, to strengthen me and protect me. His mercies are new every morning, His grace is sufficient, and His love is everlasting (Lamentations 3:22-24; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Jeremiah 31:3; Romans 8:31-39).

Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake,

but for your name’s sake, show your glory.

Do it on account of your merciful love,

do it on account of your faithful ways.

Do it so none of the nations can say,

“Where now, oh where is their God?” Psalm 115:1-2 (MSG)

Yesappa, Thank You for Your faithfulness, Your steadfastness in my life. Show me Your glory and Your goodness every moment of each day. Give me Your strength, Your grace, Your mercy. Protect me from the assignments of the enemy, replace my fears with Your love and Your peace. Rule my life – my whole heart, my whole mind, my whole being – always, so that I am able to serve You forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan, India)

Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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2 Kings 24-25, Acts16:1-21

Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive. 2 Kings 24:3-4 

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:10

 Both good and bad behaviors have consequences.

Repercussions don’t ask for our moral resume.

They just fan out,

like ripples in a pond. ) ) )

 

King Manasseh shed innocent blood… ) ) )

Foreign raiders came to destroy Judah.

King Jehoiachin did evil in the Lord’s sight. ) ) )

The temple treasures and 10,000 captives were carried away to Babylon.

Zedekiah did evil in the Lord’s sight.) ) )

The Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem.

The people remained captive and starving in their own city.

The walls of Jerusalem were torn down, the temple burned and looted.

The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon.

 

Paul and Barnabas disagreed over Mark. They split up. ) ) )

Paul enlisted Timothy. ) ) )

Churches grew in faith, strength and number.

The Holy Spirit prevented Paul from preaching in Asia) ) )

In Macedonia, Lydia and her household were baptized.

Paul cast out a prophesying spirit. ) ) )

… ( see Acts 16:22-40 tomorrow for the rest of the story)

 

Bad ripples

Gossip, Selfishness, Dishonesty, Idolatry, Pride : ( : ( : (

Good ripples

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Self-control : ) 🙂 : )
We affect everyone around us even when we are unaware.

Perfume drifts through the air.

Voices echo in the streets.

Music blasts from car windows.

Bumper stickers broadcast opinions.

Conversations influence those within earshot.

Smiles encourage and hugs comfort.

 

Ripples that begin with me set others adrift in a sea of uncertainty.

Ripples that begin with God move in the direction of his will.

 

May I begin each day with the Master Rippler.

 

yicareggie

 

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2 Kings 15, 16; Galatians 3

Living IN Christ means freedom. It means freedom from the curse of sin. It means freedom to be in relationship with God. This freedom is a gift of grace and mercy given to all who will accept it and walk in it.

In my own life, the conflict between law and grace, between legalism and living in true freedom are always battling. It is so easy to fall into the ‘trap’ of thinking I can DO something to win God’s favor and approval, to attain righteousness, just like the Galatians, when in fact Christ already did everything that needed to be done.

As much as I ‘try’ to be good, obedient, sinless, and perfect, I will never succeed. It is impossible for me to achieve that by myself.

The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Galatians 3:11 (MSG)

When God chose the Israelite as His own, He wanted to protect them from themselves. He wanted to prepare them to recognize how much they needed Him. He gave them the Law through Moses, an unattainable set of rules to guide them, but also to show them that they couldn’t truly be righteous by themselves, no matter how hard they tried.

If such is the case, is the law, then, an anti-promise, a negation of God’s will for us? Not at all. Its purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God, and therefore to show us the futility of devising some religious system for getting by our own efforts what we can only get by waiting in faith for God to complete his promise. For if any kind of rule-keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time. Galatians 3:21-22 (MSG)

When I read all of the laws that were set forth in the time of Moses, I can honestly say that I have not obeyed them all. Sure, I wasn’t trained in them as many of the Israelites were; I didn’t live in a Jewish home that studied and practiced Mosaic law daily. But even if I was, I would still never be able to live by the letter of the law. And, therefore, I would be cursed.

And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.” Galatians 3:10 (MSG)

The kings in the Old Testament (see chart below) lived during the time of Mosaic law. Azariah (Uzziah) and Jotham, kings of Judah, chose to try to live by the law, but failed to obey everything. They continued to allow the practices of idol worship, rather than tearing down those high places. But King Ahaz of Judah and all of the kings of Israel didn’t even try to live by the law. They practiced and participated in idol worship, murder, taking people’s money, plundering the temple, etc. They lived evil lives and led the people in their kingdoms into sin and further away from God. All of the Kings of Judah and of Israel lived under the curse of sin and therefore suffered the consequences of that curse.

There is only one King who is fully righteous – blameless before God and man. He is the Chosen One, the Seed appointed to liberate me. He became the curse. He was scorned, scourged, and sacrificed, made the scapegoat for my sins, so that the bonds of legalism are broken off and I am made righteous through grace. He died so that I can live. He died to redeem the law and allow me to move from a life full of works and rituals to a life of faith, freedom, and relationship.

Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it. Galatians 3:13-14 (MSG)

To prevent myself from falling into the deception of legalism, I need to ask myself everyday “Do I have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in my life? Am I responding to God’s Message to me? Am I fully trusting Him?”

I choose to live by the Spirit, to accept His gift of grace. I choose to trust Him. I choose to keep the cross as the center of my attention, as the foundation of my life.

Help me Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessings – Julie, Vadipatti, India

REGION

KING

CONDUCT

CURSE

Judah

Azariah (Uzziah) son of Amaziah

Did well in the eyes of God, except he didn’t remove the high places of idol worship

Afflicted with a bad skin disease until the day of his death

Judah

Jotham son of Azariah (Uzziah)

Acted well in God’s eyes, except he didn’t remove the high places of idol worship

Died during attacks against Judah

Judah

Ahaz son of Jotham

Didn’t behave in the eyes of God; participated in all forms idol worship; plundered the valuables from the Temple

City was sieged; lived under the heavy hand of the Assyrian king

Israel

Zechariah son of Jeroboam

Lived a bad life before God

Assassinated

Israel

Shallum son of Jabesh

Only reigned 1 month

Attacked and killed

Israel

Menahem son of Gadi

Lived an evil life

Attacked by and had to pay tribute to the Assyrian King

Israel

Pekahiah son of Menahem

Lived an evil life

Conspired against and killed in cold blood by his military aid

Israel

Pekah son of Remaliah

Lived an evil life

Attacked by the Assyrian King; assassinated by Hoshea son of Elah

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