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October 22, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 11

Thanks for being a faithful reader of JumpStart.  I’m so blessed to see how God has used it in so many lives.  Take a moment and recommend it to someone you know who may be struggling to get into God’s Word consistently.

Let’s do something different today… let’s start by reading the first two verses of tomorrow’s reading…

Joash began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba.  All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the lord’s sight…  2 Kings 12:1-2a

As you know – Israel is not consistent in serving and following God.  Under one reign of a king they do great – only to be followed by another king who leads them to worship pagan idols.  UP and DOWN – BACK and FORTH.  But remember – Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership!  So leaders matter!

Choices also matter!  People want you to believe that life is nothing but a series of chances – that we have no real control.  That’s simply not true!  Life is not a series of chances – it’s a series of choices and each builds on the other.

In today’s reading we read about someone who made a choice… Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram.   She risked her life to save the life of little Joash.  That one simple decision lead to 40 years of God’s people doing things God’s way.

Often little choices – things done in an instant – have BIG results.  A dad choses to lead his family to church… a mom prays for her husband… a single person says no to sinful sexual activity…

So what’s that mean to you and I today?  A couple of things…

  1. We must watch the little things because they affect big things.
  2. We must walk in the Spirit, so we’ll know what’s right.
  3. We must follow God’s Word as a guide to our lives.
  4. We must chose well – because choices build.

I wonder what choices we’ll be faced with today?  I wonder what we’ll do?  I wonder what will come of it?  Chose well.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

October 21, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 10

So this is a great way to start the day, a series of mass killings. Today’s chapter gives us 2 stories of death and then a conclusion to Jehu’s life and reign. The first story is one of taking out the competition. Jehu knew any one of Ahab’s sons could make a claim to the throne and cause him trouble so he took them out. The second story is one of returning to the Lord. Ahab was a big follower of Baal but Jehu knew that was wrong and he took out all the worshippers of Baal and his temple. The conclusion shows us a conversation between Jehu and God in which God commends Jehu for what he has done and tells him that his family will reign for four generations.

What does this mean for you and me? What can we take away today? I think we can see 2 things for us in today’s passage if we look carefully.

  1. Sin has grave consequences.

This is a running theme in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. When we sin against God it doesn’t just fizzle away. Sin brings consequences. They may not be outwardly apparent or immediate but they are there and they will come. There is forgiveness for those sins but we still have to deal with the repercussions of them.

  1. We have to follow through with our devotion to God.

Jehu had a zeal for God and did a lot but he stopped short and didn’t finish as strong as he could have and it cost him. In verse 29 we see Jehu didn’t turn from worshipping the golden calf idols. He turned from one idol but not all idols. Right after this God tells him he would have his family reign for four generations. What would God have said if he would have gone the distance and turned from all idols? Who knows, but what we can know is that when we don’t follow through in our devotion to God we miss out on blessings He has for us.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd

October 20, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 9

In this chapter, a man named Jehu was anointed as king over Israel. He was to go and take out Joram, the acting king of Israel, who was too closely connected with the evil Jezebel. Jehu went and did what he was told to do and took out Jezebel as well.

Something stuck out to me today when I read about the young, unnamed prophet coming to Jehu and anointing him king of Israel. The prophet went to Jehu, poured oil on his head, told him he was to be the king and then left. Immediately after that, one of the servants asked Jehu who that madman was that came and talked to him and poured oil on his head. Jehu said the prophet delivered these words from the Lord: “I have anointed you king of Israel.”

Jehu had previously been anointed to be king over Israel a long time before this (see 1 Kings 19:16-18), and here he is anointed again probably to show the fulfillment of the earlier prophecy. Regardless, of why he was anointed again, one thing that seems to be clear is that the Lord said He had anointed Jehu king of Israel.

That’s what jumped out at me today. The Lord said something was to be true of Jehu and that something happened. When the Lord speaks something to someone, you can trust that it is going to happen. When God says I am to do something, I must act out on what He says. There may be people who think I am crazy, or as if I have heard a lie from a madman, but I want to be obedient to Him when He speaks to me.

I know that’s not the main point of chapter 9, but that spoke to me today. What’s He speaking to you? Is He telling you that something is true about you and you can act out on it? Is He telling you to go and do something in particular?

Posted by: Rich Duffield

October 18, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 8

Four chapters ago we saw the power of resurrection and new life. In today’s Scripture we see how God uses the testimony of that resurrection and new life well beyond the initial life change. The prophet Elisha warned the shunammite woman and her family that a famine was coming to sojourn somewhere for 7 years. The woman and her family did so immediately. 7 years later the king is having a conversation with Elisha’s servant about all of the great things God did with Elijah in including the resurrection of the shunammite woman’s son. All of a sudden the woman and her son appears before them to request her house and land back after staying in the land of the philistines for several years.

It’s amazing how God can use a testimony of salvation and new life well beyond the experience and we need to remember that God wants to use our stories of new life today. Many people can’t wait to tell about their life change with Jesus when it first happens, as they should. However what happens years later when that newfound passion and zeal wears off or when we’re going through a hard time? It was seven years that the shunammite woman had to get up, leave all that she knew and live in an uncomfortable living environment before returning back not knowing if she could even get her home and land back. However people are still talking about her son’s miraculous resurrection and the power of new life when she returns and God uses it to affirm them of what He has done in the past and blessed her with her home and land again.

God still wants to use our testimonies of life change and the power of Jesus’ resurrection in others lives today. Maybe you’ve been going through a season of sojourning or you have just lost that original joy you received in salvation. However God is not through with you. The apostle Paul shared his testimony until the day he was beheaded and we need to share ours until the day we die. People yearn for and need that life change and CPC we are living proof of it by the blood of Jesus.

Who can you share your story of life change with this week?

Posted by: Erik Koliser

October 17, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 7

“Does verse 2 describe you?” This is the haunting question that the Lord brought to my mind today as I tried to discern what was happening in this chapter. Elisha was given a word from the Lord about food for the people, and yet there was an appointed captain who could not believe this word. Here’s the discourse again: he officer assisting the king said to the man of God, “That couldn’t happen even if the Lord opened the windows of heaven!” But Elisha replied, “You will see it happen with your own eyes, but you won’t be able to eat any of it!”

Well, as we read, this man saw the word of the prophet fulfilled concerning the food, yet he didn’t get to enjoy the blessings of God’s provision (also prophesy fulfilled). But what can we learn from this story? It’s not like we are going to face this exact situation. This was for a purpose in God’s bigger story of preserving His people and advancing His coming Kingdom through His Son, but there is a lesson for us in this moment. We need to maintain a posture of childlike faith:

“I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.” (Matthew 18)

What a tragic moment for this captain. But what do I miss out on when I don’t have faith in the promises of the Lord? What provisions (spiritual/material/familial/etc) have I seen but not enjoyed because of my lack of trust? I want to have the faith of a child, that simply believes that his Dad will come through.

How did this passage strike you? What did you glean from the Word today?

Posted by: Todd Thomas

October 16, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 6:8-37

This passage includes a very cool story of God’s constant, powerful presence. Elisha’s servant has seen that he is surrounded by a great threat:  an army of horses and chariots enclosing the city, seeking to annihilate them. The servant of “The Man of God” responds with fear, asking Elisha, “What shall we do?” (v. 15)

I recently went to Catalyst with the CPC staff, and there, during a message by Andy Stanley, a stirring question was posed to his audience: What breaks your heart?

I contemplated his question for a bit and ultimately determined that what most breaks my heart is people who walk through their lives with minimal or no understanding of who God is. They are spiritually blind. They are afraid because they cannot see the way the universe operates or what role they play in it. They cannot be finally happy because they’re only half-filled by every vain pursuit. They are hopeless because they feel all alone, not realizing that there is One who is intricately designing a masterpiece of time and space, working all things together for His glory, and the good of His people (Romans 8:28).

A good lesson from this text:

  1. Elisha was walking with God, so his eyes were sensitive to God’s work. (Therefore God used him in mighty ways. He knew the army of angels was there, when his servant was blind to it and afraid). “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those…with them,” (v. 16).
  2. Know God is sovereign and working for His glory and your good in every moment. He won’t disappoint. (Ephesians 1:3-14) (Psalm 34:4-7)
  3. He prayed for his blind servant “that he may see,” (v.17). When Elisha prayed for the servant, God opened his eyes and brought the victory! This Old Testament passage reminds me a lot of the work of God in the New Testament on the cross to bring those who are spiritually blind to the light of sight.

Maybe you find yourself in this mindset today, afraid and doubting God. I’ve plenty of friends and family who tend to live in this place. They are continually let down and dissatisfied, simply because they walk in fear and blindness to who God truly is (the holy God fighting tirelessly and loving faithfully).

This is what breaks my heart. But there IS a hope. There IS a truth. There IS one true God who has the deepest love for you. He is fighting for you and others to know and trust Him. Even more, He has fought and won the war! God ordained that His Son die on the cross, paying the price owed for our guilty sins, and then conquered the grave that we might know Him now and in eternity! We have a great God whom we can trust. Trust Him, and pray that God will open the eyes of people you know who are searching.

Posted by: Taylor Gilliam, Ministry Intern-West Campus


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