Success Leads to Temptation

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #21:

2 Chronicles, chapters 22-24
Psalm 146
Luke 12:1-12
2 Thessalonians 2:6-12

“But it was ordained by God that the downfall of Ahaziah should come about through his going to visit Joram” (2 Chron 22:7). The Lord ordained the downfall of Judah’s king.

A fitting text for this 2012 election season: “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish” (Ps 146:3-4).

It’s interesting that Luke 12:12 includes the phrase “that very hour,” which seems to negate both worry/anxiety AND preparation/effort. “For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” No matter how much one reads the Bible or studies apologetics, it is ultimately the Spirit who gives wisdom and persuasion for the house in which it is needed.

“Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2Thess 2:11-12). Wow. If you don’t believe the truth, you will believe what is false… and it will be GOD’S doing. GOD will cause you to believe what is false, so that you will be condemned for having not believed what is true. WOW.

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #22:

2 Chronicles, chapters 25-27
Psalm 147
Luke 12:13-21
– 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

“But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction” (2Chron 26:16). With success comes temptation. Consider this: Perhaps the Lord prohibits success from coming our way in order to save us from temptation that would overpower us. I wonder how the Health and Wealth guys feel about that.

“He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules” (Ps 147:19-20). Fact: The Lord does not deal with all people equally. Question: Is this a problem?

Here’s another one for the Health and Wealth camp: “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Lk 12:15).

“But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth” (2Thess 2:13). It strikes me that “belief in the truth” is not the only means of salvation in the verse, but also “sanctification by the Spirit.”

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