July 14

2 Kings 22:19-20 (NIV) 19Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. 20Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.'" So they took her answer back to the king.

Hezekiah's son, Manasseh, reigned for 55 years. The worst king of Judah followed the best. His was the longest reign and the most wicked. He put idols in the temple and offered his sons as burnt sacrifices. He restored all the idolatry his father had destroyed. Manasseh's son, Amon, was just like him. His officials assassinated him.

Finally the kingdom returned to a man with a heart like David's. Josiah was only eight when he began to reign. He ordered the restoration of the temple. People with a heart after God are concerned about the worship of God in their nation. During the restoration of the temple, the Book of the Law was found. When it was read to Josiah, he tore his robes and repented before God. He feared the wrath of God that would come upon them because of what his father and grandfather had done. He sent to inquire of a prophetess, and she gave him the answer that is the text for today.

Is your heart responsive to the word like Josiah's was? Do you humble yourself before the LORD realizing that it is only His grace that saves us from wrath? If so, you can expect the LORD to be as gracious to you. If not, God will do whatever it takes to turn your heart toward Him. His wrath is His mercy to turn us back to the place that is best for our eternal good and His eternal glory.

Consider: Is my heart open to conviction by the Word of God?

July 14

John 21:15-17 (NIV) 15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.

When Jesus called Peter from his life of fishing, He caused the disciples to obtain a miraculous catch of fish. Peter realized he was in the presence of a holy man and asked Jesus to go away from him. Peter was convicted. Instead of leaving, Jesus called Peter to be His disciple.

After the resurrection, Jesus told the disciples to wait in Galilee. While they were waiting, Peter took the boat out to fish. Jesus performed a repeat of that miracle when He called Peter to discipleship. Perhaps He was reminding Peter of His original commitment. Though Jesus was no longer daily walking with them, Peter could still follow Him daily.

After they ate the breakfast that Jesus had prepared for them, He asked Peter if he loved Him more than these. What did Jesus mean by "these". Perhaps He meant the boat and nets and catches of fish, the life of a fisherman. Peter may have been considering going back to his old life. That would be much simpler than the road of discipleship.

Perhaps by "these" Jesus meant the other disciples. Remember that at one time Peter had boldly declared that even if everyone else deserted Jesus, he would never do so. I prefer this meaning. Peter's cockiness is brought to a realization that he can no longer make comparisons. In the end, he must simply say, "You know all things; you know that I love you." If you have love for me, then take care of and feed my sheep. That was His call. He was no longer a fisherman of fish. He was a witness of the words, miracles, and resurrection of Jesus. God's sheep needed Peter to feed them with those truths.

Meditation: If Jesus asked you, "Do your love me?" what would be your response?