May 7

Judges 17:6 (NIV) 6In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.

This is a sad commentary on that time. The judges were warrior rulers. Some of them had a heart after God, but others did not. The spiritual condition of the nation was at a low point. The Law was not enforced and everyone did as they saw fit.

Our world is not much different. In fact, that is the new teaching of our culture. "Whatever you think is right for you is the way you ought to go." We still have laws that came from our Judeo-Christian culture but we are slowly doing away with many of them, calling them antiquated.

But this is a trend of our society because it is the trend of fallen man. He wants to do his own thing, be his own lord. He considers laws and restrictions unnecessary chains if they keep him from his desires. So here is the heart check. Are you a part of this trend? Is your king the King of kings?

This is what makes the difference, the presence of a king that enforces the laws. If you know your King, hear His voice, and are disciplined by His Spirit then you no longer do as you see fit. There is order and purpose to your life. You live at the direction of your King.

Consider: Are living under the reign of your King today, or doing as you see fit?

May 7

Luke 10:19-21 (NIV) 19I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." 21At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

Jesus had just sent out the 72 to go before Him healing the sick and preaching that the Kingdom was approaching. Such a demonstration of the power of God surely prepared people's hearts for Jesus' visit. This was an army with real power preparing for the entrance of the King. They returned to Jesus with the news that even the demons had to submit to the name of Jesus. Then Jesus uttered the above passage. We can easily take a portion of scripture out of context and do exactly what the people of Jesus' day did. They were always taking Jesus' symbolic expressions literally. Snakes and scorpions represent the evil forces that are a part of the power of the enemy. It can also be true in a literal sense as we see in the testimony of Paul on the island of Crete, but that is not the focus of the context.

Then Jesus tells them not to get too carried away with the power and authority that comes with His name. Power can go to your head. Instead, He tells them they should be enthusiastically joyful that their names are written in heaven. There is the Book of Life in heaven with the names of all the redeemed children of men. Do you know that your name is written there? That should give you great joy everyday.

It's not that we are the great wise and mighty people of the world. On the contrary, Jesus was rejoicing that God had chosen the simple. Today man boasts of His education, degrees and accomplishments. Careful! Jesus was thanking the Father that this power was given to simple, childlike people. It was the wise and learned that did not see.

Remember: Be a simple child of God who rejoices that your name is written in heaven.