On My Way

Day 214

2 Chronicles 32:1‐33:13; Romans 15:23‐1:7; Psalm 25:16‐22, Proverb 20:16‐18

On My Way

“Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there.” – Romans 15:25

Paul was dreaming of going to Spain with a visit to the believers in Rome. But first he had an obligation to go to Jerusalem to bring offerings he had collected from churches in Asia Minor. The congregation in Jerusalem was suffering badly, much of it initiated by Paul when he was Saul of Tarsus and a persecutor of the followers of Messiah Jesus. So, he felt a special responsibility for them.

Little did Paul know that God’s plan for his life would include persecution in Jerusalem that would send him to Rome for the rest of his life. He would never realize his dream of Spain. Yet, his time in Rome was essential for the spreading of the Gospel.

Like Paul, many of us have a dream of something we want to accomplish for the work of the Gospel. What is your dream? Growing a church congregation or your small group? Bringing children and families into the church? Going on a foreign mission trip to a third-world country? Perhaps it is seeing that the children God has entrusted to you become believers in Jesus Christ, or maybe that your spouse becomes a believer?

Most of us are more focused when we have a goal in mind that helps keep us motivated for the work of the Lord. It is good to dream – even big dreams. At the same time it is better to believe we are on our way to the goal the Lord has laid out for us because he has the greater picture in mind and our part in it.

Richard Bordin
Holy Cross
Winter Haven, FL

Setting our Hearts for Seeking God

Day 213

2 Chronicles 30:1-31:21; Romans 15:1-22; Psalm 25:1-15; Proverbs 20:13-15

Setting our Hearts for Seeking God

In today’s reading from 2 Chronicles, we find Hezekiah taking on what seemed to be a hopeless effort. As an obedient servant to the Lord, Hezekiah was not wrapped up in the details of worship, nor did he allow his devotion to be dictated by a set date, since the “official” time for the Festival of Unleavened Bread had already passed.

Pressing on through scorn and ridicule, Hezekiah’s couriers went from town to town to spread the news of a celebration in Jerusalem. The effort yielded but a few in each town who responded to Hezekiah’s conviction and invitation. Yet still they came to Jerusalem from all over Judah, where they found unity in the spirit of the law, as opposed to the letter of the law.

At this celebration, the people recognized that though unworthy, ill-prepared, and unconsecrated based on Jewish law, they came anyway with hearts repentant and full of longing. When God saw that their hearts were set on Him, and that their prayers lifted up in unison reached Him in His holy dwelling place, He was pleased and blessed their celebration by prospering Hezekiah, whose obedience to the Lord was made manifest in the actions of those who had set their hearts for seeking God.

Let us in like manner set our hearts for seeking God today, so that our unworthy, ill-prepared, and unconsecrated hearts lifted up as one may reach His dwelling place and please Him. Come Lord, we pray you, come!

The Rev. Din Bissondial – Deacon
St. Peter the Fisherman

The Heart of a Reformer

Day 212

2 Chronicles 29:1-36; Romans 14:1‐23; Psalm 24:1‐10; Proverbs 20:12

The Heart of a Reformer

King Ahaz was a corrupt and faithless king. He set up altars to false gods in every corner of Jerusalem, and he made unholy alliances with foreign kings. The most dramatic act of his rebellion against the Lord was when he “shut up the doors of the house of the Lord” (2 Chr. 28:24).

His son Hezekiah took the throne, and he was the complete opposite of his father. The very first act of his reign was “he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them” (2 Chr. 29:3). The main point of the book of 2 Chronicles is to demonstrate that repentance leads to restoration. Earlier in the book, the Chronicler recorded this word from the Lord for King Solomon and his descendants:

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chr. 7:14

Hezekiah stands as a model reformer of society for all time. By turning away from the “filth” and “unfaithfulness” of his predecessors and by seeking the face of the Lord, he demonstrates the character and actions that God is seeking in his people. The people followed his lead and were reorganized in the service of worship of the Lord. Hezekiah had the heart of a reformer:

“Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, in order that his fierce anger may turn away from us.” – 2 Chr. 29:10

Have we not inherited a culture that has “shut up the doors” to the worship of the Lord, Jesus? Have we not experienced and even been participants in the “unfaithfulness” and the “filth” of a culture that has set up idols “in every corner”? In our day, just as in Hezekiah’s day, we desperately need leaders with the heart of covenant faithfulness. We need leaders who will make true worship of the one true Lord, Jesus Christ, the priority of our common life. We need followers who will be ready themselves to be ministers of the Lord.

Do you have the heart and character of a reformer?

Lord, make me an instrument of reform and renewal in our day. Show me the place where my family, my work place, my church, my school, my government need godly change. Guide me to the places that can be reorganized and centered on you. Give me the courage to act in Jesus name, Amen.

The Rev. Charlie Holt
The Church of St. John the Divine
Houston, TX