RMM RoundUp December 2
2 Chronicles 1
The Chronicler has prepared the way and now lifts Solomon up as an ideal. The negative things about Solomon that we find in Kings are left in the background and the grace of God upon his life is highlighted. He begins the account of his reign at the assembly where Solomon worships God with a thousand offerings and receives the promises of God. Not only will he have wisdom and knowledge to lead but also riches, possessions, and honor. And God faithfully gives what he has promised.
Solomon seems to have everything he needed to be the long-awaited messianic king. He worshiped God, had pure motives, was given superior insight, and materials to carry out what needed to be done. So why did he fail? Because he didn’t grasp Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Humans look on the outside and see that he was the ideal. But, on the inside, his heart would be prone to make the gifts of God into idols that would seek to usurp the divine throne. And that’s exactly what happened. His heart would fickly chase after other loves until they lured him completely away from his first love of God.
Humans far too often blindly trust in their own inclinations and sinful leanings. When we are blessed with something whether material, position, situation, or otherwise, we may start off like Solomon. We may give devout worship and thanksgiving to God. We may have pure motives to use it for others or for God’s ministry. We may have the provisions to carry out great and lofty achievements. So we hastily move forward, trusting those things are enough. Some of us have experienced that things started this way, just like Solomon, ended in disaster and disappointment. Others of us are still walking in blindness and are heading there regardless. What we have missed is asking questions about our heart. Has God regenerated my heart, giving me a true, unwavering love for God. Has God sanctified my heart to the point that I know that I need to guard myself against these good things? Has God’s Spirit so resounded in my heart that I can be convicted if I stray? If we do not ask these questions, we may be heading for disaster.
Assistant Pastor Evan Webster
1 John 1
The season of Advent is upon us. It is a time of prayerful reflection and of joyful anticipation. In these weeks we remember the incarnation of our Lord Emmanuel. Advent is both a journey to Christmas and a journey to greater fellowship with Jesus.
The beloved Apostle John experienced this deep, personal fellowship with Jesus. As God’s under-shepherd, he called people into that same fellowship, saying, “Come and find forgiveness, life and fellowship with us in the Son of God!” Read his opening words (reminiscent of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1) from this letter slowly, and drink in God’s revelation of his Son and his invitation to fellowship with him:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us (1 John 1:1-2 ESV)
In Jesus Christ, God was manifest: the unknowable became knowable, the invisible became visible, and the untouchable became touchable. John was an eyewitness of this majesty (Mark 9:2-3, 2 Peter 1:16) and called people into this glorious fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus. Sinful humanity however, is lost in darkness and cannot have fellowship with a holy God for,
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1John 1:5 ESV)
The Gospel proclaims that light has come to those in darkness. Jesus has made a way for us. In his grace he has drawn near. Through his Son, God in his faithful mercy has once for all addressed humanities sin problem. Are you hiding in the shame of the guilt of sin? Don’t stay bound by the chains of unconfessed sin. This Advent season, love God’s truth. Admit your brokenness. Turn from darkness and seek the Light of life. Ask God to search your heart and then confess your sin to the One who is both the just and the justifier (Romans 3:26). Hear again God’s rich promise to you,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
It is my prayer that you would encounter the Saviour of the World this Advent season. As you journey to Christmas may you find forgiveness and an ever-growing fellowship with Jesus. This is the real gift of Christmas.
Associate Pastor Jody Cross
There seem to be three distinct sections in this chapter.
1. Micah’s lament over the people.
2. Micah’s rejection of self-righteousness.
3. Micah’s reflection on God’s goodness.
In the first section, Micah states that the people that surround him are bent on the destruction of the people they should love. These people only care for themselves, and they will hurt even the people closest to them to get what they want.
In the second section, Micah reminds his readers that even he is a sinner and worthy of God’s righteous judgment. Micah remembers that he needs to throw himself on God’s mercy and grace and await God’s perfect judgment. Micah is confident, however, that because he has loved God’s law and lived by it; he will be found righteous in God’s sight.
In the last section, Micah reflects on God’s goodness towards man. God will shepherd His people and will be merciful to them. To the point that when outsiders look in they will have no accusation against God for the treatment of His people. They will cover their mouths and watch in horror as all the might they thought they had will, in comparison, be nothing.
What can we take from this chapter? The first thing that I would like to point out is verses 5 and 6.
Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms; for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. (Micah 7:5-6 ESV)
If you have read the New Testament you will notice some familiar language here.
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.(Matthew 10:34-35 ESV)
As we live for Christ there will be people close to us who will reject the message of the gospel. Continue to stand firm loving Christ more than even those closest to you.
Secondly, do not believe, even for a second, that your righteousness is enough to ingratiate you to God. The only righteousness that is good enough for God is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Throw yourself on His mercy daily and live for His glory.
Thirdly, when you have done that revel in God’s goodness. He is the only perfect Father. He loves perfectly, disciplines perfectly, and guides you perfectly through His Word. Let that be our hope and joy!
Associate Pastor Jonathan Welch
Much of this chapter covers wealth and money, not necessarily having money but how it is used. Jesus warns of the dangers of wealth. These two parables show how money can be used shrewdly or callously. All that we have, God has provided. We have only the use of it and we need to spend, invest and donate according to the direction that God wants us to follow, for his purposes.
The Wall Street Journal quoted an anonymous wit who defined money as “an article which may be used as a universal passport to everywhere except heaven, and as a universal provider for everything except happiness.” 1
The steward in verses 1 to 13 wasted his master’s goods. He was dishonest not using what was entrusted to him and punishment was his. The ways of the world can be well planned but the master sees through them all. We need to remember that death will come and then we will not have further opportunities to do what is right. Therefore,
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 ESV)
Verses 13-18 give a solemn warning. We cannot serve God and the world. The Pharisees were divided on many issues: they prided themselves in following the Law of Moses, but some Jews were lax in their treatment of issues like divorce and remarriage. Money is often at the centre of divorces so it is not out of place in this chapter.
In the last verses, beginning at verse 19 there is a contrast of a rich man and a poor one in the story of Lazarus. The spiritual condition is shown of the rich man who only looked after himself with all his wealth, pomp, and pleasure of this world. He would perish forever under God’s wrath and curse.
In contrast, Lazarus was a godly man who was afflicted in this world but was then with the Lord, free from the physical suffering of this life.
Despite Jesus’ resurrection and the message of the gospel, some people refuse to listen, being lovers of a self-indulgent life with wealth and a disregard for the poor around them. There is coming a day when the books will be balanced. If one’s name is not in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they will be forever in hell. If one dies in their sin, there is no way out. Oh, that they would listen while there is time.
Associate Pastor Bill Fyvie
1The Wiersbe Bible Commentary pg. 191
Our Father in heaven, holy is your name! You are great in mercy and abounding in steadfast love! We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way and you have laid on Christ the iniquity of us all. You have cast our sins into the sea and set us free. Thanks be to God! Guide us and lead us as your Great Shepherd and Overseer. Lead us in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. When we wander, chasten us and bring us home. Keep us close and guard our hearts O God we pray. We ask these things in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Paul Carter
N.B. RMM Roundup assumes the Bible reading guide also known as “The M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan”. You can find a single page version of the 1 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_classic_single_letter.pdf and a version of the 2 year plan here: http://www.edginet.org/mcheyne/year_carson_a4.pdf