April 26
‘Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.’ Hebrews 12:14
Bible reading: 1 Kings 8:54-61 (Go to the Bible passage)
It is almost impossible to read this passage without reading the preceding verses too. Whoever has the opportunity, should definitely read the whole chapter! What a great prayer by king Solomon, and we can learn so much from it.
When Solomon had finished his prayer, with his hands spread towards heaven, he rose from his kneeling position, and, with his hands still spread towards heaven, he blessed the whole assembly of Israel.
God’s blessing cannot be just imposed on us, we must be willing to accept it. ‘May the Lord our God be with us’ (:57) cannot be separated from: ‘May He turn our hearts to Him, to walk in obedience to Him and keep the commands, decrees and laws He gave our ancestors’ (:58). Actually, Solomon repeats these two aspects once more in his prayer of blessing (:59,60 and 61). These two aspects have to be part of every prayer of blessing. For it is no use to beg God for His blessing, if there is no desire in our heart to obey Him, Whose blessing we ask for, with a fully committed heart.
The last verse speaks of this: ‘And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by His decrees and obey His commands, as at this time’ (:61). It is an incomprehensible foolishness, to desire a blessing by a God we do not obey with a fully committed heart!
This is why we perceive so little of God’s blessing and why His blessing determines our lives so little, because we answer His love so poorly. Love cannot be effective if it is to remain one-sided (Deuteronomy 6:5).

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