Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 20:1–21:26, Eph 4:1–32, Prov 8:27–36
Today’s Theme: Humble Majesty
Today we see two extremes, the kings in the Old Testament displayed cowardly indifference and selfishness in their positions as royalty. However in the New Testament we see the call to walk in humble majesty as the body of Christ building one another up in love as we stand in the one established and true faith.
Walk in humble majesty today as children adopted in God’s house by His grace for His work, for the glory of His name and our joy.
2 Kings 20:1–21:26
God hears and answers prayer
“Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, (2 Kings 20:5, ESV)
It is comforting to know that God hears our prayers and sees our tears and is not only moved but lovingly responds.
and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.” (2 Kings 20:6, ESV)
God is motivated most by the pursuit of His own Glory.
And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them all his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. (2 Kings 20:13, ESV)
We are called to be wise and discreet people. Jesus warned us not to throw our precious pearls before pigs that have no appreciation for such things and so will turn on us and trample us. Jesus also told us to be as harmless as doves but as wise as serpents who do not expose themselves to danger unnecessarily.
Whatever this represents in your life, ask God by His Holy Spirit to give you, discretion, wisdom, integrity and discernment so the enemy does not get a foothold.
Don’t be a selfish coward
Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19, ESV)
This man had an inherent cowardliness and selfishness, he was even too cowardly to face death.
Don’t be selfish thinking only of your own life, consider the generations to come. Don’t be a coward.
because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.” (2 Kings 21:15, ESV)
God does act, sin angers Him, He does judge sin.
Buried in the back yard
And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place. (2 Kings 21:18, ESV)
This king led the people into gross depravity and was so wicked they had to bury him in the back yard.
Walk like humble royalty
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, (Ephesians 4:1, ESV)
Because we have been saved we should live for God. We should live holy lives. We have been called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, our daily conduct should clearly reflect this.
You would not expect a prince or princess to be playing in the dumps, God has adopted us and given us a glorious inheritance, making us a part of His royal household so we should walk as king’s children.
Walk as royalty because in Christ you are royal so walk with that dignity and consciousness. This will change the way you think and behave, you will not want to play in the dump of sin when you belong in God’s house.
We should balance our understanding as royalty in Christ with love and gratitude to God which will also affect the way we think and behave. Paul writes from a place of humility as God’s prisoner.
with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, (Ephesians 4:2, ESV)
Our lives should be marked by humility. This is the true mark of maturity and greatness in God’s kingdom.
This can only be done genuinely with God’s help, we need to bear with our brothers in love.
Cast pride, selfishness and laziness aside today and ask God to help you to think and walk with humility.
one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:5–6, ESV)
There is just one faith it does not have two tiers, ways or classes it is just one. We may have different ways of doing things, cultures and traditions but it is still just one faith.
The oneness of the faith is defined and defended in statements like the Apostles Creed and The Westminster Confession which outline the core essentials of our faith.
Check out our statement of faith here
Building and Unity
to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, (Ephesians 4:12, ESV)
We praise God for the ministers He has given to us and the church across the world, to build the church up.
This building up is done through the teaching of God’s word.
In a special sense this refers to those gifted to bring unity to the faith through the written cannon which we now have and cannot be taken from or added to. Now all ministers submit to this revelation (The Bible) to build and unify the church.
so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (Ephesians 4:14, ESV)
This is a reference to the foundational work of establishing the Christian religion and the written word of God. The Faith is clearly defined in the words of scripture, it is not open to interpretation as post modernists assert.
The faith is clear, rooted, firm and written in black and white to the glory of God and the stability of the church. Because the fundamentals of the faith have been written down it has helped the church survive and thrive for more than 2000 years.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15, ESV)
We must always speak the truth in love, truth without love can be very harmful and destructive. Let our speech be seasoned with love.
from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:16, ESV)
Work properly! God has placed you into the body of Christ, you are an essential part holding together the whole. When we all play our part the body of Christ will supernaturally grow.
The more we love and serve each other the more we will grow.
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (Ephesians 4:18, ESV)
Man is darkened through the hardness of our own hearts. Pray today that God would soften the hearts of those you are praying would be saved so they are not alienated from God and can come to the light of the truth.
Don’t harden your heart, it leads to alienation and darkness.
Put it off
to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, (Ephesians 4:22, ESV)
We are called to sanctified lives. You need to consciously take off the old dirty clothes of your old nature with its evil desires. This is your responsibility, not God’s so do it today, put off the old ways of thinking and behaving.
Be who you are in Christ, let the new nature thrive.
Work and be generous
Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. (Ephesians 4:28, ESV)
Men, we are called to work, we should be in a place where we can be generous to others.
Watch your talk
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)
Corrupt talk is obviously unsavoury speech like swearing but it is also corrupt thoughts like bad teaching.
We should watch what we say, insensitive and foolish words can really hurt people so think about what you say.
Say good things to build others up and show the grace of God to those who hear you.
Don’t grieve God
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30, ESV)
We must not grieve the Holy Spirit, remember He is God.
God is the great creator
when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, (Proverbs 8:29, ESV)
God’s scientific wonder in the world around us is amazing and should elicit our praise.
Find life and favour
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, (Proverbs 8:35, ESV)
Keep seeking wisdom it leads to life and favour.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Ephesians 4