Tag Archives: living by example

2 Chronicles 34; Revelation 20; Malachi 2; John 19

Josiah pleased the Lord by doing what was right. He sought God. The young king went from place to place, getting rid of idols–smashed, scattered, demolished.  His men restored what the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. When ancestors had led the people to God’s great anger, this man led them in humility.

26 “But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: 27 You were sorry and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this city and its people. You humbled yourself and tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance. And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord. 28 So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace. You yourself will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city and its people.’” 2 Chronicles 34:26-28 NLT.

Living on purpose, with purpose. Wholehearted. This is one word that comes to mind lately.

33 So Josiah removed all detestable idols from the entire land of Israel and required everyone to worship the Lord their God. And throughout the rest of his lifetime, they did not turn away from the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 2 Chronicles 34:33 NLT.

A warning in Malachi grabs my attention. Listen, listen … make up your mind.

Listen, you priests—this command is for you! Listen to me and make up your minds to honor my name,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies … Malachi 2:1-2a NLT.

A call. I look at where a life lived half-hearted leads … and I don’t want that. A call, a call, an awakening. I’ve read that “if you want something, you’ll find a way–otherwise, you’ll find an excuse.” Jesus made the way for me–to walk in the Spirit. I don’t want to make excuses–not to God, not today, not tomorrow. He doesn’t expect perfection out of me–he just wants my whole heart. He is pleased when I seek him.

10 Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors?

A call to action …

Lord, I’m so easily distracted and, at times, over scheduled. A filling up of calendar days looks more like treading life than living it on purpose. A new year signals new starts, but through Jesus Christ, I have been given new life. I want to honor you, revere you and live in awe of your goodness. Help me to become aware of situations and actions that don’t please you–help me to smash, scatter and demolish the things in my life that are stumbling blocks. I’m thankful to look ahead to a sixth year in your word with fellow believers, and a closer walk with you.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan

Daniel 3, 4; Titus 2

11 For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:11-14 NLT.

I am sometimes the one who needs the action plan, rather than the call to action. Having not grown up in a Christian home/community, the examples around me were, quite often, worldly. I think of the lifestyle I was born into and see how hurts and reactions carry forward. It is sometimes discouraging to see a family history repeat itself, but to me, I see the need for Jesus that much more.

Grudge, deception, bitter roots–these are things I grew up learning. Forgiveness, loving-kindness, good works–these are just years old to my life; they are values I want to instill in my children. I’m thankful for a church community and friendships with believers who lead by example. God has placed women in my life for me to learn from: sisters in Christ of any age … they teach me, so I can learn and teach too. They are the “Rack, Shack and Benny”s in my life–ones who stand for what is right, sometimes at a cost of criticism and condemnation. But their example helps me–that I don’t bow down to looming statues of past, but commit myself further to following Jesus.

I so prefer the heat of a figurative furnace of my trials than literal flame of Daniel’s book, but regardless, I don’t stand alone. Christ is with me. And others are watching–whatever it is I might face, God can use for his glory–perhaps even as an example for someone else to choose to follow (or not).

Dear Jesus, thank you for showing me brothers and sisters in Christ who love you and honor you in deed and truth. My story could have had a very different ending. I’m thankful for your loving intervention and access to you through prayer and your word–you are the one who knows my heart. You know what needs to be changed and you know how to bring it about. Your refining fire is difficult, but I know you stand with me.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Daniel, New Testament, Old Testament, Titus