September 28, Reading 1 – 1 Kings 20

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Ahab shows he is a Saul, and not a David. He would spare BenHadad, as Saul spared Agag. (1 Samuel 15) A great victory won by the Word of the Lord comes to nothing because of Ahab’s pride and conceit. The Lord is shown to be God of gods and Lord of lords. The hills and the valleys are both His!

SJA Notes

“Thus says the LORD, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The LORD is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD.'”

The Almighty God does not enjoy idolatry, running after false gods, believing in them.

He does not tolerate it from His people, and here we see that it still angers Him when it is unbelievers.

How sad it is that all around us are people who think that their unbelief and resistance are a thick and powerful armor that will withstand the roaring of eternity.

What kind of heart for the lost do we have?

If God’s wrath is coming, if He is angry about idolatry, and if the world around us is full of all different ways to say “get lost” to God – Then are our hearts longing to see those around us saved?

This passage is a convicting hard word to us – Are we praying our heart-felt desire to see the lost saved?

Real, hard-won, hard-fought, hard-wrestled prayer. Casting our cares on our loving heavenly Father, beseeching Him for the saving of our dear ones, our family and friends, our neighbours and work-mates, and outwards.

We can be encouraged in Paul’s witness to King Agrippa of what Jesus spoke to Him, as we think about praying for those around us who are living in unbelief,

“… To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

* God Almighty,

Please save those around us!

Please bring them from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

Please open their eyes to see You, Your love and grace and mercy.

Please change their hearts, breathing new life into dry bones.

Please plant the seed, Your word, and may they be good soil, the gospel growing in them and bearing much fruit!

Amen.

September 28, Reading 2 – Jeremiah 31

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

We hear in this chapter resurrection joy – the Israel of God will live again. Matthew quotes verse 15 in regard to the slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem by Herod. Our future hope in Christ does make a difference with life’s tragedies. Read out loud to yourself the wonderful promise of the new covenant in verses 31-34.

SJA Notes

* Dear Lord God, please in Your grace and mercy show us Jesus today.

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Here is the process of sanctification called out by our God.

He puts His law within us.

He writes it on our hearts.

We are born again once.

We continue to be refined every day.

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is once-for-all. Once and never again.

Jesus’ sending of the Spirit to us is a daily, moment-by-moment work.

This is why we pray that God would write His word on our hearts, over and over – New every day.

So that we might be His people. So that we are a people of true heart religion, not false worship.

So that He might be glorified.

Is God’s law on our heart today?

* Father In Heaven,

Thank You for the covenant You have enacted with us.

Thank You for keeping Your side of the covenant, Your love steadfast and true.

Thank You for sending Jesus, who kept our side of the covenant, and so made it possible for us to be found in Him!

Your faithfulness is without end.

Amen.

September 28, Reading 3 – Hebrews 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Verse 1 is good sound advice for you and me today. The writer gives several good reasons for fixing your thoughts on Jesus. The advice in 3:12&13 always challenges me.

SJA Notes

“So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”

Here the writer lays out hard truths. For any Jewish folk reading this passage, and for gentiles.

Belief matters.

Romans 10:8-10 says,

“… Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

There are those who believe in their hearts that Jesus is King; And there are those who wallow in unbelief.

There are those who believe in their hearts that they are sinners, cut off from God, fallen short of His glory; And there are those who remain stubborn in their unbelief.

There are those who believe in their hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, that He is our risen Messiah (Hallelujah!); And there are those whose unbelief shows their dead hearts and stubborn wills.

Belief shown in active obedience matters.

Unbelief is shown in rebellious hearts, actions and words that betray this rejection of God.

Belief is shown in humble obedience, actions and words that show reliance on and trust in a wonderful Saviour.

* Dear Lord God,

Please mark us as a humble and obedient people.

Please save those around us who wallow in their unbelief.

And please help us to show forth our belief in You by doing what You tell us.

Amen.