ODJ: Generous Love

September 17, 2018 

READ: 2 Chronicles 31:1-21 

In this way, King Hezekiah handled the distribution throughout all Judah, doing what was pleasing and good in the sight of the Lord his God (v.20).

When I was growing up, my family attended an occasional professional baseball game and often watched basketball on TV. Overall, sports were a peripheral pastime, a practice that continued with my kids. But our daughter has become a diehard basketball fan. She’s a faithful follower of her team and can hold her own in a discussion of players and stats.

Hezekiah, a standout among Judah’s history (2 Kings 18:5), understood passion and commitment. More than a recounting of a great season in Israel’s history, 2 Chronicles 31 gives us a window into the sacrificial nature of uninhibited worship. Hezekiah believed in the worthiness of God, and his belief translated into action as he called the people to spiritual renewal (2 Chronicles 29:5). But first, places of worship for false gods had to be removed and distractions destroyed (31:1). God’s people had to learn that worship couldn’t be found in songs, declarations or other expressions unless it was combined with obedience.

Though we often worship corporately, our individual choices are also an act of worship (vv.2-3). Our adoration becomes real and powerful when our obedience ceases to originate from obligation and flows from generosity rooted in love (vv.4-9). Then we’re able to see how giving to God sacrificially can bless others (vv.10-12,14).

We make God pre-eminent by setting our hearts on what’s “pleasing and good” to Him (v.20). Hezekiah didn’t want to give God a portion of his life; he knew that adoration requires complete commitment (v.21). Like that good king, as God guides us, may our own worship be pure and our devotion wholehearted.

—Regina Franklin

365-day plan: John 15:17-16:4

Read Isaiah 2:5-22 and consider what idols in this life may be threatening your full love for God. 
How can your love for Jesus motivate you to extravagant acts of obedience? What’s one of the most significant sacrifices you’ve made for someone you love?