This Isn’t What I Signed Up For

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #13:

2 Chronicles, chapters 1-2
Psalm 138
Luke 10:1-16
1 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Solomon explains the logical fallacy of thinking that God lives in a house: “But who is able to build him a house, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain him?” (1Chron 2:6).

“For you have exalted above all things your name and your word” (Ps 138:2). Notice what it doees NOT say. For you have exalted above all things equality and fairness? Nope. For you have exalted above all things humanity’s free will to accept or reject salvation? Nope. For you have exalted above all things peace, happiness, and prosperity throughout the world? Nope.

“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Lk 10:16). This is a mind-blowing transfer of power and representation that Jesus gives the apostles. Wow.

“This isn’t what I signed up for!” We’ve all said it, at one time or another. Regarding suffering for the sake of Christ, Paul basically says the opposite: “For you yourselves know that we are destined for this. For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know” (1Thess 3:3-4).

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #14:

2 Chronicles, chapters 3-5
Psalm 139
Luke 10:17-24
1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

For those who equate wealth with sin, it is worth asking whether Solomon was sinning as he included such great riches in the building of the temple (as described in 2Chron 3-4). We can guess what Judas would have said had he been there, but we also know where his heart was at when he said that.

The Lord’s knowledge is massive. According to the Psalmist, he even knows what we are going to say before we do. “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (Ps 139:4).

Regarding the incredible vesting of power that Jesus gives to the apostles, he quickly reminds them where their real value lies: “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Lk 10:19-20).

Paul’s prayer for his fellow believers in Thessalonica: “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints” (1Thess 3:11-13). What a selfless and edifying prayer… a far cry from “help them get that job that they want,” or whatever. The Lord is not above listening to us lay the details of our or others’ requests before him, but Paul for one aims VERY HIGH in his pleas to the Lord.

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