Week 31 Tuesday

Faithful Renewal

Today’s scripture selection: Second Kings 21-25

Key verses: Second Kings 23:1-3

Josiah was a young – but faithful – king.

During a period of reform he instituted a “book” was found.  It was no ordinary book.  It was a book of law and religious covenant.  It clearly spelled out all the things that the people had not been doing for years.  And Josiah knew just what to do with it.  He had it read in the hearing of the people – and then he publicly committed his nation to begin following anew the one true God.

Wouldn’t it be great if all people of faith were more like Josiah?  How much more powerful their walk of faith would be if they took the scriptures; the covenant that seriously.

I read somewhere that many (perhaps most) American households own several Bibles.  The problem is that many (perhaps most) rarely read those Bibles – much less seriously follow the counsel found there.

That’s the challenge.  To take the Bible seriously – not just as some quaint collection of antiquated stories.  To know that there is a difference between Noah’s ark and the Ark of the Covenant.  To know, as one comedian said, that there are Ten Commandments – not twelve “suggestions.” To know that there are many, many similarities between Jesus’ teaching and Old Testament law – but that there are some significant differences too.  For instance, Old Testament: “an eye for an eye” – New Testament: “but I say unto you ‘love your enemy.’ ”

Scripture is, or should be, a living document – applied regularly to all the aspects of our lives – not just wheeled out “for old-time sake” now and then.

Josiah knew that, deep in his bones.  The early church founders knew, and died, for that.

How might we honor and revere these Holy Scriptures in our own time, in our own way?

Prayer: Lord, open my eyes, ears, and heart to your Word.  Help me to be ever faithful to the counsel and the covenant I find there.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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