July 27

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“Some time later King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who was very wicked” (2 Chronicles 20:35 NLT).

From: July 27, 2019

DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED

The KJV renders “some time later” as “after this.” The phrase begs the question, “After what?” No doubt it refers to the earlier warning from the prophet Jehu who warned that God’s “wrath had gone out against” Jehoshaphat because of his alliance with the wicked Israelite king, Ahab. For Jehoshaphat had given one of his sons in marriage to one of Ahab’s daughters. Furthermore, he had allied with Ahab to go to war with him to recapture the city of Ramoth-gilead. But Ahab was killed and Jehoshaphat slinked home in defeat.
 
Soon after this, Moab, Ammon and Edom declared war against Jehoshaphat. God’s wrath in response to Jehoshaphat’s unequal alliance with Ahab seems to be the connection. For God had previously caused the “fear of the Lord [to fall] over all the surrounding kingdoms so that none of them wanted to declare war on Jehoshaphat” (2 Chron. 17:10). Yet after his alliance with Ahab, God’s wrath was exhibited by His removal of this “fear.” So that these three nations were no longer afraid to make an alliance with one another to attack Judah.
 
Jehoshaphat responded to the news of this impending attack by turning to God. He led Judah into battle with only the Lord as his ally and the Lord won the day.
 
You would think that Jehoshaphat would’ve learned his lesson after this. Over all, he was a good and godly king. Yet, he had a recurring weakness. He couldn’t resist making an alliance with Israel’s wicked kings. And so, his legacy is marred by the repeat of his earlier sin. He made an economic partnership with Ahaziah to build a fleet of trading ships, but God destroyed them before they were ever launched.
 
Yet the most egregious legacy of Jehoshaphat’s alliance isn’t seen until after his death. For the son he married to one of Ahab’s daughters became king after him. His name was Jehoram and he “followed the example of the kings of Israel and was as wicked as King Ahab, for he had married one of Ahab’s daughters” (2 Chron. 21:6). After becoming king, he killed all of his brothers and led Judah to go astray after pagan gods.
 
The life of King Jehoshaphat is a reminder that the apostle Paul’s warning should be heeded: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14).
 
PRAYER: Father, give us discernment to avoid unrighteous alliances. We would always desire to have You as our Partner. Lead us by Your Holy Spirit. Deliver us from leaning on worldly alliances. Help us to look to You for all things, so that You always get the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” (Romans 10:15 NLT).

From: July 27, 2018

WHO HAS BEEN SENT TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?
After concluding that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13), Paul described a series of logical steps necessary for someone to “call on” the Lord for salvation. He offered four steps in rhetorical question form (See Rom. 10:14):
1) “How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?”
2) “How can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?”
3) “How can they hear about him unless someone tells them?”
4) “How will anyone go and tell them without being sent?”
 
So, Paul’s list of questions leads us to the conclusion that unless someone is sent to share the gospel, people will not be able to call on the Lord for salvation. However, this difficulty has been overcome. For the Lord Jesus has said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). So, Christ was sent by the Father and now every Christ-follower is sent by the Son. Every believer is an ambassador, a messenger sent by the Savior with the message of salvation.
 
Every believer has been sent to go and tell the good news that Jesus saves!

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14 ESV)

From: July 27, 2016

After quoting Joel 2:32 (also in Acts 2:21), “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Paul asked a series of questions to draw out the implications of this statement for those who have yet to believe. His logic is clear: People need to hear the gospel before they can believe it. If faith comes by hearing the Word, then we must be busy about declaring it. If they do not believe after hearing the gospel, it is on them. But if they do not believe because they have not heard, is it not on us?

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)

From: July 27, 2015

True faith needs an object as its anchor. It’s not the amount, nor the quality of faith that matters so much. It’s the reality of the object and its quality that counts. It is the gospel, God’s Word that saves. And it is hearing and believing this Word that brings salvation. Our faith is activated by hearing the Word. And it is by continual and constant hearing that we grow in faith. Yet, all this requires a preacher. And a God who calls and sends.