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1 Kings 11:26-40 (NRSV)
Ahijah prophesies to Jereboam
Oh my goodness! Today’s scripture doesn’t sound like GOOD NEWS does it? King Solomon has angered God by worshiping other gods. In response, God decides to reclaim ten twelfths of his Kingdom and give it to a more faithful servant named Jeroboam.
This sounds like bad news…But what is the bad news? Is it that Solomon was not be able to pass his entire kingdom down to his descendants, or that he sinned against God? I hope that you chose the latter.
Whenever we sin against God it is bad news! Whenever we bow down to false idols, it hurts the feelings of God and makes God angry.
But, I can just hear some of you saying, “But, we don’t worship idols now-a-days!” I beg to differ, my friends. Every time we bow down to the gods named, “Love-of-Money, Pride-in-Self-Only, Never-Ending-Greed, Gossip-and-Slander, Adultery-and-Lust, Jealousy-Anger-and Quarrels and the like, we bow down before false gods. Whenever we take our eyes off of God and fix them steadfastly on ourselves and the concerns of this world, we begin to bow our knees to a God of our own making. This is surely bad news!
But, here is the GOOD NEWS! God is merciful and God loves us. God knows that we sin and fall short of the mark and that is why God sent Jesus as atonement for our sin. Just as God extended mercy to Solomon by allowing him to retain a blessing, God extends mercy to us as well! All that we have to do to access that mercy is to lift up our eyes to God and confess that we have sinned. As soon as we do so, God’s faithfulness and justice washes over us, restoring our souls to health.
I love the words that God spoke to Jeroboam. God said, “If you will listen to all that I command you, walk in my ways, and do what is right in my sight by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you, and will build you an enduring house…”
Isn’t this GOOD NEWS?! God has promised us an enduring house if we will but listen, trust and obey! You may be asking, “What is it that God requires of me?” The answer is simple my friends! We are commanded to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:29-31).”
As we love God and neighbor we will be--and share--GOOD NEWS everywhere we go! We will extend the blessings of love, joy, and peace with everyone we meet. We will walk in the joy of our salvation day-by-day. And ultimately, we will experience the unending joy of an eternal home in glory with our best friend!
Today, let us remember to worship God alone and to hear and heed God’s commands…
What sin do you need to confess to your merciful God today?
Loving God, I confess that I have bowed down to the false idol of ____________. Please have mercy upon me. I return my eyes and my heart to you. I know that you forgive me and that you love me more than I can ever know! Help me to share your love with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
*Pastor Yolanda thanks you for all of the birthday wishes and prayers shared yesterday!
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*from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/
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