Today's Devotion - 1/22/12

King Jehoshaphat & The Trouble with Friends 
2 Chronicles 17:1 - 18:34 

King Jehoshaphat was a really interesting character.  On one hand, he loved God.  Scriptures tells us that he chose to follow the example of his dad’s early, godly years.  This is a powerful principle:  You have to choose your influences, because they determine your destiny.  Who are you following?  Where will it lead you?

The King was a big naive and he trusted easily.  Seeking the approval of the ruler of the northern kingdom, Jehoshaphat found himself in a crazy situation.  On a journey to Israel, Jehoshaphat was asked by King Ahab to join him in an unholy battle.  King Ahab asks the dangerous question that con artists usually begin with, “will you go with me?”  To his credit, Jehoshaphat has a check in his spirit.

All of Ahab’s false prophets influence Jehoshaphat to go to battle, promising God’s favor.  (just because someone says they speak for the Lord, it doesn’t mean they do).   Jehoshaphat seeks out a prophet of the Lord, Michaiah.  This dude is a hero!  He is kept in shame because he brazenly speaks the truth of the Lord, and yet, he cannot be suppressed.  He tells Jehoshaphat that he would be crazy to go to battle with King Ahab…

However, the deception has already run its course.  (see the power of friends). We see that all along, Ahab’s intention was to let Jehoshaphat find his death.  Ahab dressed in plain clothes while encouraging Jehoshaphat to remain in his royal outfit.  It turns out, the other guys just wanted to kill the king.  What a jerk!   Because God saw Jehoshaphat’s heart, he spared his life in the ill-fated war.  Ahab the trickster wasn’t so lucky.  A random arrow shot him dead.  

You would think that  Jehoshaphat would have learned his lesson.  Old habits die hard.  He had to be reminded of the “trouble with friends” in 2 Chronicles 20:35-37

The Scandalous Simplicity of Faith
Romans 9:25-10:13

 In Romans 9:25, Paul explains my story…and the story of everyone who now believes.  “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.”This love was prophesied in Hosea…that means it was planned!  Jesus always intended for me to be part of the plan.  What an amazing God we serve.  He sought us, and He saved us.

Some beautiful stuff in this passage.
- Paul longs for the children of Israel to come to repentance
- He acknowledges  their zeal for the Lord, but states that it is mis-directed toward works
- Romans 10:3-4…whew!  Christ is the righteousness for those who believe

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[v] 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”[w]

In context:  
- Not your way of salvation
- Not your way of God
- Calling on Him and His way, the way HE offers, by His drawing and because of His grace. 

Aaron is the pastor of Spring of Life, a new church in Portland, Oregon. He's the owner of Amplify Creative.