DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-13
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
Bible Reference: 2 Chronicles 30:18–19
Translation: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 18-19 Many people from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun had not prepared themselves in the right way for the Passover Festival. They did not celebrate the Passover the right way, as the Law of Moses says. But Hezekiah prayed for the people. So he said this prayer, “Lord God, you are good. These people sincerely wanted to worship you in the right way, but they did not make themselves clean as the law says. Please forgive these people. You are the Lord, the God our ancestors worshiped. Forgive them, even if some did not make themselves clean as the rules of the Most Holy Place say.”
OBSERVATION: Anytime we prepare ourselves for meeting with a famous person, we go to great extremes to ‘clean ourselves up’ – going to the hair dresser; purchasing the right apparel for the occasion, etc. Yet, just like the tribes that Hezekiah prayed for, we too go to prayer meetings and church services, perhaps less prepared inwardly and outwardly, than if we were going to the movies. As we meditate on this Scripture today, let’s do so while keeping in mind that we are about to meet with the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
APPLICATION: Ever heard a parent say to their child ‘well if you’re going to the fair with me looking mad and upset, then we may as well stay at home, because you couldn’t possibly have a good time with that attitude’? But don’t we sometimes go to church with a similar attitude? Imagine for a moment if, 30 minutes prior to leaving the house, we were to go before God and lay ourselves before Him and seek His face and ask His forgiveness of our sin, our littleness and our selfishness. Additionally ask God to bless us individually and expand our personal borders so that we might touch the lives of others. Can you possibly dream, or imagine, what our prayer meetings and church services would look like and sound like? Can you imagine the outlook on everyone’s face when they walk out of the sanctuary refreshed in their relationship with God and ready for a week of service in His kingdom work? Rushing to that favorite diner would be the last thing on our minds, instead of the only thing we tend to think on each week! Friend, we will never encounter free, unhindered, personal worship when we depend on the Praise Band to build the excitement and raise the entertainment level so that we may become involved in and excited about worshiping. We can’t build our excitement from what we feel in the band, our excitement builds from all that lies within. If we haven’t cleaned up the ‘junk’ in our lives, how can we possibly go before a ‘HOLY’ and ‘Righteous’ God and expect to be excited about it? Remember, He knows our every deed and thought. When we haven’t cleaned up those things, we go before Him with the same guilt that we would have if we went straight to church from a cocktail party hoping that no one will smell the alcohol on us! God said that we are to be holy, even as He is holy. Why not join me in doing our best to make sure that we go in a prepared way to meet with Him and worship Him this weekend? He would be overjoyed, and we would be blessed beyond measure.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how ashamed we should be about the important things that we take for granted. We will make time for every meeting we plan to attend or participate in, but somehow we feel like You will show up no matter how little we do in preparation. Forgive us Lord, and help us to really focus on our time with You, for You created us in Your own image and You love us beyond anything we could imagine. Hezekiah prayed for his people who had not prepared themselves to meet with You, may this be a reminder for us that You are holy and therefore we should approach Your throne in a spirit of holiness. This is contrary to the atmosphere in which we live daily and only You could cleanse us and make us worthy of being in Your presence. Lord we beg Your powerful work in our lives, so that we may be effective in all that we do in Your holy name. Amen!