August 4

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“For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power” (1 Corinthians 1:17 NLT).

From: August 4, 2018

Perhaps more than any other epistle, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians was corrective. He had heard that there were divisions among them based on who had baptized them, claiming superiority by some fleshly view of spiritual lineage. But Paul would have none of it. He reminded them that it wasn’t who baptized them that mattered, nor was it important that the preacher who had led them to Christ was the most eloquent. What mattered was the simple yet powerful message of the cross of Christ.
The Corinthians were lovers of Greek culture and rhetoric. They seemed more enamored with the quality of the speaker, than with the power of the message. Paul made the point that it was the simplicity of the gospel that was key to its power. The point of preaching the gospel wasn’t to make the preacher famous, but to make Jesus famous!

“But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:16 ESV)

From: August 4, 2016

The Lord continually sent prophets to warn Judah of their disobedience and of the coming judgment on their nation if they didn’t repent. Yet, they not only didn’t heed His word, they mocked and despised it. It was God’s love and compassion that moved Him to warn them, but they would not listen. So, judgment fell. And the king of Babylon conquered them, destroying Solomon’s Temple and carrying off both the people and the riches of Jerusalem. It was their rejection of God’s Word, that caused them to receive His wrath. A people who mock and despise God’s Word, and scoff at His preachers, will not long prosper.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NKJV)

From: August 4, 2015

Among our phobias, fear of the unknown, or of something that overpowers or overcomes us, or of our own death are prominent. David said that God was his “light” (exposing the unknown), his “strength” (empowering and supplying his need) and his salvation (saving him from death). In this way God gave him faith in the place of fear. What do you fear today? Replace your fears with faith. Look to a specific character trait of the Lord and choose to focus on Him rather than living in fear.

“The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple” (Psalm 27:4 NLT)

From: August 4, 2014

What a wonderful life goal David had! To live in the Lord’s house, to delight in His perfections and to meditate on Him. It is the fulfillment of this goal that Christ promises to make possible in John 14:1-3 when He speaks of preparing a place in the Father’s house for us. Some people wonder what they would do in this eternal abode, but David didn’t. He understood the eternal and ever-engaging nature of God’s “perfections” and looked forward to spending eternity delighting and meditating on them. If we can spend lifetimes considering God’s creation, then what wonders must await those who dwell in the Creator’s home and delight in Him.

King Josiah was the last of the great kings in Judah.

From: August 4, 2009

Today’s reading in 2 Chron. records his death. With it died the prophet Jeremiah’s hope, who wrote laments (sad mourning songs) about him. Poor Jeremiah, how hard it must have been to be the preacher whose calling was to prophesy to a people who wouldn’t listen.