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Cheap Substitutes

Daily Reading: 2 Chronicles 12


King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze. (2 Chronicles 12.10)


Devotional Thought: Aaron, our son-in-law, owns several patio furniture stores, and several years ago he gave us a few pieces to use on our deck in Ohio.  They were of the highest quality available.  In our recent move to South Carolina, we had to make a decision - take up valuable space on the truck with that furniture or sell it and replace it after we moved.  Since we couldn't afford to replace them with items of equal quality, we decided to sacrifice the space and keep the good furniture.  We didn't want cheap substitutes.


King Rehoboam faced a similar decision when it came to replacing the ornate shields in the temple.  Solomon, his father, had had them cast of solid gold, at great cost.  When those shields were taken as spoils of war, Rehoboam made the decision to replace them - not with golden shields, but with shields of bronze.  He didn't want to pay the price needed to make them of gold.  He said, in essence, "Cheap substitutes will do just fine. They look the same anyway..."


We face spiritual decision like that, too.  What are we willing to pay in order to worship and serve God?  Are we willing to settle for cheap substitutes that look the same but don't have the same inner qualities?

  • Talking about prayer instead of being fervent in prayer

  • Attending church instead of being the Church

  • Letting "professionals" lead worship instead of worshiping in spirit and truth

  • Requesting something be done instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing it


Cheap substitutes may look spiritual, but as Paul wrote, they have "the appearance of godliness, but deny its power" (2 Timothy 3.5).  Let's pay the price and make the sacrifice to keep the real thing!


Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, when I succumb to the temptation to make cheap substitutes in spiritual things.  Help me to be genuine and sincere in my faith.  Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 65:1-8

1 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.

2 O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.

3 When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.

4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

5 By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;

6 the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might;

7 who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,

8 so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

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