Today’s reading: 2 Chronicles 14:1–16:14, Titus 3:1–7, Psalm 97:1–98:9
Today’s theme: The calling and reward of peace
Today’s theme is our calling to the wonderful gift of God’s peace. True peace can only be found in God. Today, commit to rest in the peace that is yours in Christ.
2 Chronicles 14:1–16:14
The gift of peace
He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the LORD gave him peace.(2 Chronicles 14:6, ESV)
Asa was one of the few good kings we see after the time of David and Solomon. Verse 2 tells us that he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Due to his righteous conduct, God gave him a unique and prized gift, peace.
Peace was one of the special gifts that Jesus left with the church. Jesus said in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
Having a holiday or extra sleep does not guarantee true rest. The word ‘peace’ in this verse, is the Hebrew word ‘nwh’ which means to settle down, to stay settled, rest, to repose, to await, pacify, satisfy, place, set and lay.
God desires that we all experience peace, which is the reward for honouring Him. Paul reminds us of this in his benediction in 2 Thessalonians 3:16; “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.”
Ask God for help
And Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.”(2 Chronicles 14:11, ESV)
This is a great example from the early life of Asa as he relied on God, the one who had given him rest. He saw God as great and able to help him and this is true, our God is great and is able to help us if we turn to Him and ask for help.
This is a simple prayer that we should pray today. No matter our need or how overwhelming the odds seem, we openly humble ourselves and cry out to God for help, in faith.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:7–8, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Your work will be rewarded
But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”(2 Chronicles 15:7, ESV)
In this world, so many strive for their own peace and rest, this is often expressed in paying off their mortgage and having a long and relaxing retirement or a luxury holiday or some material object. These motivations are all wrong and they all give false peace and rest.
As we work in the Lord’s kingdom, we have the wonderful promise of reward to help spur us on. One of the rewards that we get even in this life, is peace and rest and it will ultimately be realised in the glory of heaven.
Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:9; “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”
Guard your heart
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.”(2 Chronicles 16:9, ESV)
God is sovereign, He is in control and is well able to help His people at all times. He is actively seeking for opportunity to help us in response to our prayer.
We must put our trust in God to help us and we should guard ourselves from complacency, forgetfulness and ignorance:
- We should not become complacent, so well adjusted to the peace and prosperity that comes from God, that we let our guard down and get caught out by the enemy. 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us; “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”
- We must not forget what the Lord has already done for us. Our past experience with the Lord should encourage and bolster our faith. see Revelation 12:11
- We must not become ignorant of who God is, this is why daily reading and meditating on the bible is so important. There should be moment by moment submission to God the Holy Spirit, who brings the word to our remembrance. Jesus encourages us in John 14:26.
Called to peace
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1–2, ESV)
As Christians we are called to be model citizens, obeying the law of the land when it does not violate the word of God. We should also seek to be gentle and courteous.
We are called to avoid quarrelling, in other words we are called to peace. The peace that God has given us should help to govern our behaviour and we should spread it to others.
Sin brings no peace
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.(Titus 3:3, ESV)
Sin is slavery and can never bring peace. Our culture today encourages people to be slaves to their own selfish passions and pleasures.
We should not be living for ourselves as Christians, we should live for God and for others.
We do not need to strive for our own cause because God has given us peace.
Saved by God’s mercy
he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit. (Titus 3:5, ESV)
God saved us because of His own mercy, there was nothing we did to deserve it. Regeneration can only be initiated by God and is only possible through God the Holy Spirit.
We should remember that today; that God saved us and made us new by His Holy Spirit out of pure mercy and grace. This should fill us with hope, joy and peace.
Rejoice in God’s deliverance
O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.(Psalm 97:10, ESV)
We should set our hearts to hate what is evil and rejoice that God preserves our lives and delivers us, thus giving us peace.
Most of the above post is a copy of the original notes from the same date in 2014.
The Gospel Coalition on Titus 3