July 19: Reform!
July 19, 2016
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David (17:3).God’s blessing/presence/support/approval is on Jehoshaphat because he is following the wise and godly pattern of great King David. Sometimes we look around for mentors, models, on which to base the pattern of our lives, whom we can emulate and copy. At times, we have such people ready on hand and nearby; at other times it appears we look in vain. But all of us can look back to the greats of yesterday, read their history, and learn from them. What would Jonathan Edwards do in this situation? How would George Whitefield speak in this circumstance? What would be the response of William Wilberforce to the cultural challenges of our day? How would Augustine formulate a biblical theology to meet the concerns of secularization? Go to the roll call of heroes, learn from them, and follow their path—not the pattern of those who have abandoned God or his Word. Jehoshaphat also rightly understands the means for propagating this approach through the area. Consider:
They taught in Judah, having the Book of the Law of the Lord with them…And the fear of the Lord fell upon the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah (17:9-10).The way to advance the cause of Christ is through the proclamation of Christ’s gospel! Take this Word, hear it, understand it, and then proclaim it to all around. Set up teaching centers, build churches centered on God’s Word, start para-church missions that preach God’s Word. They ask: what is the great hope for our day and our age? Whence will come the renewal that we need? Where is the solution to the problems we face? Back to the Book. Read it. Preach it. Believe it. And the fear of God—honor, respect, love, adherence to him and therefore love for each other—will fall upon us and the surrounding areas. Chapter 18 tells the strange story of prophet Micaiah who refuses to “toe the party line” by saying what all the other (false) prophets had said, and instead preaches the Word that God has given him. Ministers, be careful not simply to trot out the latest opinions from the fashionable religious news sites. Go to the Word yourself and preach that Word—the Word—not the message given to you by the flavor of the month on whatever blog it is that they are currently promulgating! Chapter 19 continues to tell of Jehoshaphat’s reforms—judgments that were centered upon seeking God (19:3) and fearing God (19:6). Those are good principles upon which to build any reformation. What would God have us do? Not, what do the latest polls teach us? But what is the right thing, the true thing, the best thing to do—not according to our own lights, opinions, hunches or intuitions, but according to what is shown in the Word of God! To receive God Centered Bible devotionals directly in your inbox, sign up here.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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