August 5

2 Chronicles 12:12,14 (NIV) 12Because Rehoboam humbled himself, the LORD's anger turned from him, and he was not totally destroyed. Indeed, there was some good in Judah...

14He did evil because he had not set his heart on seeking the LORD.

We all have an immediate testimony and a life testimony. At this point, near the end of Rehoboam's life, he had a good testimony. It took being conquered and nearly destroyed to turn him from pride to humility, but at least he turned in the right direction unlike some of the kings that followed him. This was really the spiritual high point of his life. We can only guess what Israel would have been like had he served the LORD all his life, following the example of his grandfather David.

From this point forward, the kings will have one of two epitaphs. They have this one that Rehoboam had of doing evil and not setting his heart on seeking the LORD or one of walking in the path of King David. In the North, they were likened to Jeroboam who led the nation into idolatry. It was black and white. Our overall life's testimony is good or evil. It has to do with where we have set our heart. Where is your compass pointed? On what tower have you leaned your life's ladder?

Rehoboam had set his course for greed and self-fulfillment early on and stayed with that course almost to the end. Only disaster and the threat of destruction would turn him at the end of his life. What will it take to turn you? If you are set on self and not your Creator, you will have the same epitaph as Rehoboam.

Consider: The sooner you turn and set your heart upon God, the more likely your life's testimony will be changed.

August 5

Romans 1:18-20 (NIV) 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Paul said God's wrath is being revealed. It is a present but also progressive revelation. They could see the consequences of sin on the physical and emotional state of those who were given over to it. You can too, if you are discerning. Shortly after Paul died, the Temple was destroyed. That generation of Jews who had rejected the Messiah and persecuted His followers would soon be persecuted by Rome, reaping what they had sown. The wrath of God could be seen in the physical afflictions of the pagan cultures as well. STDs were rampant because of Greek temple prostitution.

Did the Gentile cultures have an excuse for not knowing right from wrong? Paul wrote that what might be known about God was made plain to them. God made it plain. God has revealed to every culture and individual what they need to know about Him. His eternal power and divine nature are clearly seen and understood through His creation. No one has an excuse. As we see that revelation and the Spirit works on our heart, we must come to a decision of whether or not to surrender to the God of creation or serve our lusts.

It has been said that God has given us three revelations, creation, the Bible, and the life of Jesus. Certainly the Bible and life of Jesus speak to us more directly, but creation has much to say also. City life today surrounds us with the man-made. Take time to see the beauty of His creation, and let it speak to you of his eternal power and divine attributes.

Consider: Use illustrations from creation to understand life. Jesus did.