June 3

John 13:18-38

In these verses, Jesus identifies his betrayer and Peter denies he knows His Master.

In verse 34, Jesus gives a new commandment, “Love one another, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.” Not only were they to love; but they were to love the way they experienced being loved by Jesus. We are to do the same. Before we can do that, we need to experience the love of Jesus. We need to experience the love of the Father. There should be times we spend with the Lord in His loving Presence privately, and there should be times we experience the loving Presence of God in corporate group settings.

THIS is how the world will know that these men were Jesus’ disciples, taught and trained by Him. They would recognize Jesus in them by this unique love they share. It’s a love that willingly lays its life down. It’s a love that is selfless, compassionate, and kind. It is a love that will save, heal, and strengthen. It’s a love that will help find identify and fulfill purpose. It’s also a love that will be honest about truth, even if people don’t agree. It’s a love that will confront evil and false doctrine with the hopes of correction and restoration. It’s a love that will make tough decisions through transitions, stick by your side as you grow, and suffer some heartache when not reciprocated. It’s a love that will always be there, even if it’s left for a time. It’s a love that will always be on your side, never leaving you, never turning its back on you. It’s a love that will never quit loving you.

More than our faith, our miracles, our churches, our ministries, our outreaches, or any other activity, Jesus said the world will know us by our love.

Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, writes that if we don’t have love, nothing that we do will truly matter. The world will not see JESUS if they don’t sense they are LOVED. We aren’t perfect. We deal with emotions. Our perspective isn’t always accurate or fully encompassing. However, we are in a process of development in God’s love. We may not be where we’re going to be, but hopefully, we’re also not where we used to be! Let’s keep growing!

2 Chronicles 10-12

The first section of 2 Chronicles recorded the reign of King Solomon. Chapter 10 begins a section of records on the reigns of the kings of Judah. It starts with Rehoboam. This list of Judah’s kings following Solomon are as such:
Queen Athaliah

Chapter 10 tells the story of Rehoboam, who fought a rebellion, dividing the kingdom. However, we know the root of the division was from God in judgment on Solomon for his sin in his later years. God would have removed the entire kingdom from Solomon, but because of God’s covenant with David, two tribes remained with Judah, the southern tribes.

Jeroboam became king of Israel, the northern tribes. Jeroboam rejected the priest from ministering to the Lord. In chapter 11, we see priests and Levites among the northern tribes moving into Judah.

Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines, but Maachah was his true love. She was the granddaughter of his half-brother, Absalom. It was one of her sons that was appointed as the next king. Rehoboam had many sons, building up his kingdom. Strategically he dispersed his sons into fortified cities in his territory, giving them provisions and multiple wives.

In chapter 12, verse 1, it says that Rehoboam “strengthened himself.” He had built a large family and resources. In his self-sufficiency, he then turned away from the Lord. Egypt invaded, and the leaders and the king humbled themselves. Rehoboam must have been ignorant that his sin opened the door to judgment, so God sent the prophet to the king to tell him so. When the king heard the word from the Lord, he repented.

Not only did Rehoboam repent, but his leadership followed him in repentance. Often team leaders will do whatever the senior leader does. Perhaps it happens because of their paycheck or sense of duty to their king; however, I believe if a senior leader opens the door to sin and sets a precedence for wrong behavior, attitudes, and conversations among people on their team. People in authority need to be careful to live their lives in humility and obedience before God, guarding the standard for teams and protecting the people who are under their care.

In verse 6, we see Rehoboam and his leaders of Israel. Just a note that the tribes of Judah (Judah and Benjamin) are still considered part of Israel, just divided.

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