Staying the Course
1 Kings 19:1–20:25; Mark 11:1–33; Proverbs 4:18–27
Year 2016 is coming to an end. It is our prayer that we stay on course for year 2017.
“May your eyes look forward and your gaze be straight before you. May the path of your foot be balanced and all your ways be sure. Do not swerve right or left; remove your foot from evil” (Prov 4:25–27).
These verses reflect someone who has incredible purpose. I imagine an acrobat walking a tightrope—knees bent, one foot carefully placed in front of the other, and nothing but a slender rope keeping him from plummeting to the ground. Such efforts would require incredible calm, effort, and focus—especially focus. The body naturally follows the path of our eyes, which is detrimental if we’re focused on the wrong thing.
The idea of staying the course illustrates God’s path and purpose for us. When we act, speak, and follow that path, we are carrying out His will for our lives. But there’s a problem: We can’t. All of our efforts are tainted. Our knees are bound to buckle, we’re sure to misstep, and it’s just a matter of time before we swerve to our own disadvantage.
Before we lose hope, though, we can remember God’s sacrifice. Jesus’ work of redeeming us has reversed our fate. The threat is gone—and that changes everything. Our lives are infused with the incredible purpose of His costly death. We have a renewed sense of hope because of His resurrection.
The cross puts everything in perspective. It is the new focus of our gaze. From His sacrifice to the time when redemption is complete, we are meant to live intentional lives that reflect His purpose. Keeping our eyes on Him helps us to stay on the path.
How are you staying the course?
From Connect the Testaments Daily Devotions
SOLOMON : WORSHIP
1 Kings 8. 1-25
Solomon’s fine building had been built ‘for the Lord’, 1 Kgs. 6 : 2, and its very name, ‘the house of the Lord’, implies a divine dwelling-place. Without the presence of God, the temple would have remained a very impressive, empty shell. But once the priests had carefully placed the ‘ark of the covenant of the Lord’ in ‘the most holy place’, the temple became ‘the house of the Lord’ in reality, 8 : 6-11. The New Testament teaches us that the local assembly is ‘the house of God’. When the Lord Jesus was here, it was ‘noised that he was in the house’, Mark 2 : 1. On another occasion, He ‘entered into an house . . . but he could not be hid’, Mark 7 : 24. We must pray that His glory will still ‘fill the house’.
When Solomon ‘stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel’, he was more concerned with the God of the house, than he was with the house of God. He was there to worship. We should notice the following. (i) He celebrated the uniqueness of God. ‘Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath’, v. 23. The God of Israel was ‘the Lord of all the earth’, Josh. 3 : 11, 13. He is still ‘the God of the earth’, Rev. 11 : 4. He is ‘the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king’, Jer. 10 : 10. We must approach Him with ‘reverence and godly fear’.(ii) He celebrated the faithfulness of God. ‘Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day’, v. 24. We are reminded in the New Testament that ‘all the promises of God are yea, and in him, Amen’, 2 Cor. 1 : 20. Very soon, we will look back over the pathway of life, and say, ‘there failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord has spoken . . . all came to pass’, Josh. 21 : 45. (iii) He celebrated the greatness of God. ‘But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?’, v. 27. We must never think of Him as ‘one of us.’ We must rather exclaim, ‘How great Thou art!’
The ‘greater than Solomon’ also leads His people in worship: ‘I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee’, Heb. 2 : 12.
Taken from Precious Seed Devotion