WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 18, 2022
TOPIC: EMBRACE GOD’S WILL
BY T. O. BANSO
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38 New King James Version).
Have you tried before to help somebody but he rejected your gesture? Or have you witnessed a scene where a friend is treated as an enemy and an enemy as a friend? If you try to help someone but he refuses, what can you do? If you have a good plan for someone or offer someone a gift but he rejects the plan or gift, will you force him?
Sometimes, human beings think they know what is good for them but it’s not always the case. At times, human beings behave as if they know more than God so they reject His will for them only for them to regret it later. But wise people always seek to know and do the will of God. They know God’s will is the best even if it doesn’t seem attractive.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12;16:25). But we must come to a place where God’s way becomes our way. God says in Isaiah 55:9, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways” (New King James Version). But we must try to see that our thoughts and ways agree with His.
God said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version). It is painful when people sabotage themselves and self-destruct. It is distressing when people fail to embrace God’s will especially for them. Jesus Christ had a good plan for Jerusalem. His thoughts towards the people of Jerusalem were good but, unfortunately, as much as He tried, they didn’t cooperate.
Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38 New King James Version). Luke 13:34-35 also records this.
Consider the passion Jesus expressed as He called Jerusalem twice. He could have called the city once but He did twice to show His passion. Look at how Jesus described Jerusalem: “the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her.” In other words, it was a city of murderers and violent people. That’s not a good reputation.
For instance, 2 Chronicles 24:17-22 records how, by the order of King Joash, Zachariah was stoned to death in the courtyard of the LORD’s Temple after the LORD had sent prophets to them, to bring them back to Him and they testified against them, but they would not listen.
King Joash of Judah repaid Zachiarah’s father, Jehoiada the priest, for his love and loyalty, by killing his son. Zachariah’s offence was that he stood before the people, and said, “Thus says God: ‘Why do you transgress the commandments of the LORD, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, He also has forsaken you’” (2 Chronicles 24:20 New King James Version). Because of this, the leaders plotted to kill him and Joash ordered that he should be stoned to death.
The parable of the wedding feast pictures the wickedness of the nation of Israel against the servants of God. Jesus said those who rejected the invitation to the wedding feast made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, and another to his business (Matthew 22:3-5). “And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city” (verses 6-7 New King James Version). The invitees repaid with evil the good of the king who invited them to the feast.
The same evil is seen in the parable of the wicked vinedressers who beat the servants the owners of the vineyard sent to collect some of the fruits of the vineyard. They eventually killed the beloved son of the vineyard owner so that they could inherit it (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19).
Jesus described Jerusalem as one who killed the prophets and stoned those who were sent to her. In Luke 11:47-48, Jesus told the lawyers or experts in religious law, “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs” (New King James Version). Just as Jesus had said in the parable of the wicked vinedressers, the religious leaders eventually killed Him, the beloved Son of God.
As we’ve seen earlier, Jesus said of Jerusalem how often He wanted to gather her children together, as a hen gathered her chicks under her wings, but she was not willing. Therefore, her house was left to her desolate. The house referred to here was the Temple. It was no longer the Lord’s house because Jerusalem opposed God’s will for her salvation; she rejected Christ. Jesus abandoned it and said it would be desolate. In AD 70, the whole city including the Temple was destroyed by the Romans, which Jesus also predicted in Matthew 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2; and Luke 21:5-6, 20-24).
Luke 19:41 says as Jesus drew near Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it. He wept over it because she rejected her salvation and the enemy would completely destroy the city (verses 42-44). The city was burnt by the Romans led by General Titus and the Jewish nation collapsed. The Jewish historian, Josephus, is quoted as saying that 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died during the Roman siege
Many people today are not cooperating with God’s will and plan for their lives including their salvation. If they refuse to repent before they die, it would not be because of God’s unwillingness. But He will not force anyone just as Jesus didn’t force Jerusalem. 2 Peter 3:9b says God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God is never going to force His will on anyone, including salvation. He wants you to willingly accept His will for your life as the best even when you don’t understand the details. Receive it and follow it by faith, trusting Him to lead you and guide you towards its fulfilment.
Don’t claim to be wiser than God. Don’t sabotage yourself; don’t self-destruct. The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25). Proverbs 26:12 says, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (New King James Version).
Don’t reject God’s will for your life, including salvation. Embrace His will. He has your best interest at heart. The Jews rejected Jesus and salvation came to the Gentiles, many of whom are to come to Jesus. John 1:11-13 says, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (New King James Version). Don’t reject God’s gift of salvation and His will for your life.
How often have you heard the message of salvation? How many times has God communicated to you His will for your life? How long are you going to be rejecting His invitation, call, instruction, or direction? Often, Jesus wanted to gather Jews together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but, sadly, they were not willing. When will you be willing? When will you come under the wings of Jesus? Psalm 91:4 says, “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (New King James Version).
Be willing. Embrace God’s will. His will is written in the Bible and the Holy Spirit also reveals His will to the children of God. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). The consequences of refusal and rebellion are grave.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my past refusal to do Your will and rebellion against Your will especially for my life. I surrender to You, Father, and Your will today. Holy Spirit, help me to be willing and obedient always. Convict every sinner to surrender to Jesus today and accept Him as his Lord and Saviour.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947