August 14

2 Chronicles 24:2,5-6 (NIV) 2Joash did what was right in the eyes of the LORD all the years of Jehoiada the priest... 5He called together the priests and Levites and said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah and collect the money due annually from all Israel, to repair the temple of your God. Do it now." But the Levites did not act at once. 6Therefore the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest and said to him, "Why haven't you required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax imposed by Moses the servant of the LORD and by the assembly of Israel for the Tent of the Testimony?"

It was really Jehoiada's love for God and faith in His promises that motivated him to risk his life to see that the throne was restored to the lineage of David. Being Joash's surrogate father, he had a great deal of influence on the king. Our passage today indicates that his influence kept Joash obedient to God as long as Jehoiada lived.

Joash, was probably a young teen when he ordered the collection of the temple tax. He wanted the temple repaired. Former Queen Athaliah had robbed the temple for the temple of Baal. When the priests were slow to obey the command, he called Jehoiada and asked him why he wasn't seeing that the Word of God was being lived up to. Now it is Jehoiada's turn to reap what he had sowed. He sowed the word into Joash's life and now Joash was requiring him to act on that word. For those who love the Lord, a challenge to obey is not a trial to bear. It is a blessing.

Sometimes the ones we mentor can turn around and mentor us in areas we are blind to, or making excuses for. What better evidence could we have that our work in the LORD is being blessed and taking hold? Proverbs 12:1 tells us the man who hates correction is stupid. Proverbs 13:8 says the one who heeds it is honored.

Consider: Do you welcome the correction of others, even when they are someone you have taught?

August 14

Romans 8:9-11 (NIV) 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

The Apostle saw things in black and white. He declared that every man and woman is controlled by the sinful nature or by the Spirit. The Spirit of God cannot live in someone without controlling him or her. Most Christians seem to think that the Spirit lives in them but they are often controlled by their sinful nature. That isn't the teaching we find here.

Paul is telling us that if the Spirit of God lives in us, that old nature is dead to us, and our spirit is alive because of the righteousness of Christ. In 6:11 he encouraged us to consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. Yet, most Christians consider themselves alive to sin and barely alive to God. We have compromised the Word and the power of the resurrection. It is not that we must insist that we have become sinless, but that we must recognize the power of the resurrection to break the control of sin and replace it with the control of the Spirit.

Because of this common misconception, we tend to read verse 11 as something that will happen when we are physically resurrected one day off in the future. He is speaking of this very moment. The power of the Spirit that raised Jesus is at work in you, this very moment, to give life. Throughout the New Testament, death is walking in sin, and life is being in the Spirit of God. This physical house of our bodies can be made alive to obey the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Christ, who indwells us. If Christ lives in you, consider yourself awakened to life, empowered to walk in holiness, and controlled by the Spirit of God.

Remember: Know that you are enabled by the power that raised Jesus to walk in newness of life.