Day 162: Behold Your King! (2 Chronicles 34-36; John 19:1-22)

And (Pilate) said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” -John 19:15

I’ve never seen a royal being crowned. The last British monarch crowned was Queen Elizabeth in 1953. We love the idea of royalty…just look at the success of Disney princesses to see how fantastical they’ve become. But in John 19, the reality of being a King comes into crystal clear view.

There is one thing the nation of Israel always wanted: a true king. When they saw that other nations had a physical king, they rejected God and instead sought am earthly king (1 Samuel 8:1-8). When Saul failed to get as many kills as David, (1 Samuel 18:7-8) their favor switched to David, which led to him being chased in the desert for eight years. Jesus, who had healed, taught in the synagogue, and offered hope to the the rejects of society was a threat to the traditions the high priests had grown accustomed to and because of that needed to be taken out of public view.

Instead of a royal coronation, where the people would have joyously welcomed their king, Jesus was beaten and mocked, given a crown of thorns and a purple robe. He was crucified as an innocent man so that we who are truly guilty could be free. Pilate offered Jesus as their King and instead the high priests told him, “Away with Him…We have no king but Ceasar” (verse 15).

Is Jesus truly King of our hearts? Are we willing to crucify our sin and be away with it (out of our sight and heart)?

We know that there is a soon and coming day when we’ll see Jesus properly reign as King!

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Day 161: For Such A Time As This (2 Chronicles 32-33; John 18:24-40)

 

Day 161

“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” -John 18 37

I can just imagine speaking humbly, yet with such authority, the purpose for which He was born. There were probably dozens of important witnesses surrounding Him in Pilate’s court, and a fair share of those wishing Him harm, but He clung to His purpose to the end.

Our mission at Tirzah is to empower a generation of Esthers for such a time as this. Because Esther is another example of someone who stood in a king’s court and proclaimed, with her actions, the purpose for which she was created.

A lot of us read these stories and wonder, with a tinge of envy, why our purpose can’t be as clear. But, darling, it is. We’ve talked about it before, and we will again, because it is so important:

You were created to glorify our King. He rescued you from the depths of hell, clothed you in royal clothes of white, called you His, and promised you His Kingdom as an eternal inheritance.

One day, your time will come too. You’ll be asked to stand in front of an audience and stand up for the Truth and the One in whom you believe. It might be in a King’s court, a court room, in front of a firing squad, in a classroom, or in the living room of a friend’s house. But when it does happen, and it will, may you remember this passage and your purpose. To stand up for the Truth of the Gospel. To proclaim that you are the daughter of the one true King with pride. Even if means social exile, name calling, or even death. Because you were created for such a time – and such a purpose – as this.

 

Day 160: Leading By Example (2 Chronicles 29-31; John 18:1-24)

“Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.” -2 Chronicles 31:20 (ESV)

“Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’” -John 18:4 (ESV)

In 2 Chronicles 29-31, we finally see a king who does right by God. He cleanses the temple of all filthiness caused by the kings before him. Once finished, he holds a celebration with burnt offerings for the Lord. They had so many offerings, even the Levites had to help the priests until the work was finished. Hezekiah led in such a way that he inspired these great acts of sacrifices and even brought the people of Israel and Judah to celebrate together – something that hadn’t been done in many years. All because he led by example by being faithful to God and doing right by Him.

In the first half of John 18, we see another example to follow – the greatest example of all. Jesus was betrayed and a band of soldiers came to arrest him. Knowing all that was going to happen to him, Jesus boldly stepped forward to accept the will of God. He was so confident in God’s will and His glorification that he put all his fears aside to accept his fate. His love for the Father far outweighed anything that would stop him walking out God’s will. And here’s the simple fact – Jesus trusted the Father.

When I think of all the things that hold me back in fear rather than stepping out in faith, they all seem incomparable to what Jesus did boldly. Trusting the will of the Father led to the greatest act of all mankind – salvation brought through Jesus’ sacrifice. Think of the decisions we can make in faith that could potentially lead to something great!

What are some ways in your life that you can lead by example?

What does your “step of faith” look like?

Day 159: Jesus Prayed For You (2 Chronicles 26-28; John 17)

Day 159

Isn’t it amazing how we can read something in the Bible two or three times but it only becomes real and personal on the fourth (or perhaps fifth or sixth) time? That’s what happened to me when I read John 17, which has become one of my most favorite chapters in the Bible.

During Jesus’s ministry on earth, He went away many times to have communion with His father but those conversations were always private. In this chapter, we see Him pray more fully than at any other time. There is almost a fervency in His prayer as He knows that the time is very close to the fulfillment of His death. He prays to His Father as He instructed His disciples to do in Matthew 6. He prays for His disciples who are with Him who will be dispersed after His death. And then He prays for you and me, those of us who would make up the church in the future.

What did He pray for us?

  1. One in heart and mind. Whatever we are on this earth is a reflection of the relationship Jesus has with His Father and the Holy Spirit. They are the Tri-Unity, three in one. We are the church and although we are many, we should live in the same unity as the Godhead.
  2. The world will see Jesus in us. Whatever your thought may be on this, remember that His word never comes back void and the prayer of a righteous man avails much. What Jesus prayed is the very center and desire of His Father’s heart. Throughout Christian history, the world may have seen glimpses of this through men and women like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Corrie Ten Boom but one day it will see it in all of us.
  3. We will be with Him. No matter the pain or the trials, we continue to press on toward the prize of Christ. The relationship that sin broke between God and man was made new by the blood of Jesus. Although we are parted from Him physically, there’s a coming day when we will be united, living eternally in the joy of our Lord.

Friend, you were thought of and prayed for by our Savior. His love for you goes beyond time…it is eternal.

 

Day 158: A Loyal Heart (2 Chronicles 23-25; John 16:16-33)

Day 158

And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a loyal heart. -2 Chronicles 25:2

How are you enjoying reading about the lives of all these royals? Each king is so different, some walk in righteousness, while others bow to their own ambitions and desire only to please people.

The actions of Amaziah seem to be like such a contradiction though. How can you do what is right and still not please the Lord? According to the author of this passage, Amaziah’s problem was that he wasn’t loyal to the Lord. To me, this means that He went through the actions, but his heart was engaged elsewhere – maybe he had a weakness for pretty women, the idols of other nations (see verse 14), wealth, or any other number of things. But something pulled his heart away from God, even as he checked everything off the list of what a righteous man should do.

We can do all the right things, and look like the ideal Christians from the outside, but God sees our hearts. Are we tempted away by the World at the first promise of success, beauty, wealth or fame? Or do we remain steadfast in our faith in the face of the World’s invitations and pressure?

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Day 157: The God We Serve (2 Chronicles 20-22; John 16:1-15)

“O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?” -2 Chronicles 20:6

Sometimes, we forget how big our God is.

That He has all of the world’s economies and currencies under His control.

Every job opening, internship program and graduate school hiring committee is moved by Him.

He allows certain people to become presidents, leaders and even dictators.

He can alter the weather, heal diseases that doctors say are without a cure, and even add years to a life.

Quite literally, nothing is impossible for Him.

So, why do we sometimes live like our God is limited or non-existent? We stress, worry and plot our own path. We think that one nursing program or job is out of our reach. That we won’t have enough money to pay the rent next month or we’ll never marry or have a child. We listen to doctors and experts, instead the voice of Truth.

Day 157

Write this verse down – somewhere where you’ll see it often to remind you how big and great our God is. The best part? He is only one prayer away, making all that is under His control and within His power directly accessible to you. So, ask away. You might just get what you wish for in your craziest, wildest dreams.

Day 156: Purposefully Chosen, Indisputably Wanted (2 Chronicles 17-19; John 15)

Day 156

Here’s a concept that should blow your mind: you’re the answer to Jesus’s prayer. Let that sink in for a moment. Repeat it to yourself: “I am the answer to Jesus’s prayer.”

As Christians, we bow in constant thanks to God for sending Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice to pay for our sins; however, when was the last time you recognized that you are just as much an answer to His prayer as He is for ours? By living our lives for the glory of our King in Heaven, we fulfill the prayer of Jesus. When we build our lives exemplifying the love of Christ, we create a beautiful, Godly culture instead of conforming to a worldly one ruled by the judgment of society.

In 2 Chronicles 17-19, we are reminded of what it looks like to stay true to God’s will by Jehoshaphat, a man who continually sought God, walked by His command, and taught others from His instruction. By spreading the message of the Lord, Jehoshaphat was able to appoint and advise leaders on the importance of pleasing God, not people.

“Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the matter of judgment.” -2 Chronicles 19:6

Jumping from this excerpt to the New Testament in John 15, Jesus calls us to love one another and to look to Him for everlasting support. Living in submission to this passage unlocks incredible potential for our lives. If we move forward with our minds made up and our gaze set on seeking judgment only from the Lord, there is no limit to what we can accomplish and who we can reach. By remaining rooted in Christ, we are able to grow spiritually while fully enjoying the fruits of His grace; furthermore, we are able to extend this grace to others with full hearts.

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” -John 15:16

Never forget that you are no accident to God, but a gift created to bring His light to the rest of the world.

What can you start doing today to show others in your daily life that you’re a Christian?

Is there someone who it’s exceptionally hard to talk to about your faith? Pray over that situation and that God opens an opportunity and gives you the strength to be His messenger of love.