DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2020-03-12
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: 2 Chronicles 29:4-9
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: “Levites, listen! Consecrate yourselves and consecrate The Temple of God—give this much-defiled place a good housecleaning. Our ancestors went wrong and lived badly before God—they discarded him, turned away from this house where we meet with God, and walked off. They boarded up the doors, turned out the lights, and canceled all the acts of worship of the God of Israel in the holy Temple. And because of that, God’s anger flared up and he turned those people into a public exhibit of disaster, a moral history lesson—look and read! This is why our ancestors were killed, and this is why our wives and sons and daughters were taken prisoner and made slaves.
OBSERVATION: I believe that many of our churches would hire a ‘king Hezekiah’ to come and analyze why…… Just as king Hezekiah was bold enough to see what was wrong in his day, if we are honest with ourselves we should be able to analyze our challenges today, but it takes ‘guts’ and it takes a heart closely in tuned with God, and bold enough to speak up and make changes based on what God says to us. Is that your church and your church leaders? If you are part of your church leadership team, think about whether this describes you. All of us are impacted, just as the Israelites were, in our Scripture today.
APPLICATION: We ask a lot of questions today about why such evil things are happening to us and our children, but I hope that by the time you have read today’s Scripture and grasped the challenge that Hezekiah faced at 25 years of age, your minds may have been opened to the things we have accepted, and the challenges for which we can’t seem to find answers. Unfortunately, unless we are very honest with ourselves, this Scripture may have little impact on us individually, because we have accepted things as they are. But let us stop for a moment and think about similar things in our society, that may also get Hezekiah totally upset, should we hire him today: (1) We may hire him to help us evaluate why our schools are plagued with shootings; why students disrespect their teachers and each other; why so many fail to graduate, etc, etc. But don’t you know that Hezekiah will quickly find out that we stopped public prayer in our schools, and that we promote the idea of students having their own rights in so many areas that often prevent teachers from disciplining the children? (2) We may hire Hezekiah to evaluate why church attendance has fallen, and why there is such a lack of commitment by members or attendees. But don’t you know that Hezekiah will quickly determine that many of these current members were dropped off to church by their parents, and that they also struggle with commitment in their homes and in their jobs? He might also find that many of these members have programmed church attendance into their calendars for one hour per week, and asking them to attend additional meetings often constitutes a hardship on them, or at least in the mind. Friends, I’m sure that you could think of many other things that we easily recognize as roadblocks in our society and in our churches. Hezekiah was willing to face the challenges and to do something to correct the problems. What’s your role in making a better way to reach the lost, discipline the saved and minister to the hearts of those who limit the blessings of God? Hezekiah was willing to take on the challenges that his ancestors created and the stumbling blocks they placed in the path of God’s work. We have churches today that are closing their doors, and many that are barely surviving because they need folk like you and I to be more committed to God’s commands. It’s not the other guy’s fault, but it’s you standing in the need of prayer, it’s me in need of a closer walk with Christ. Be willing to say like Paul did: ‘follow me as I follow Christ’. The world needs more men and women willing to take that challenge. God sent His Son so that we might be saved, and I know that He would be overjoyed to see His children (you and I) commit to giving our all in order to promote His mission in our local communities and churches also.
PRAYER: You created us in Your image dear God, yet so often we find ourselves shrugging our responsibilities and allowing Your mission to falter here on earth. Lord, we see things deteriorating at church, in our schools, in our workplaces, our families and our communities, while we sit around and wait for the next guy, or gal, to do something. Please forgive us, and guide us into Your path so that Your work might be accomplished among us. Please give us a heart like Your servant Hezekiah so that we do our part in the awesome work that often goes undone here on earth. Help us to place ourselves in a position of faith, trust and diligence in Your work so that Your kingdom work might be accomplished in our little circle of the world. May this be the heart-cry of each child reading this devotional today. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!