Persisting In Sin

We’ve all sinned, sometimes in a moment of weakness, sometimes as a deliberate act. But…
Just because we’ve sinned doesn’t mean we have to persist in it. God calls us to repentance, to take up his invitation to restore relationship with him.

The Israelites didn’t in the time of Jeroboam and for decades and centuries beyond. Yet no matter how long we’ve been mired in sin, the way has been paved for our return. Will we stubbornly move forward in our sin or turn back to Him?

To Rely On The Lord

When facing a challenging, perhaps hopeless situation, King Ahaz goes to the Temple, to the presence of the Lord and….strips all its resources.

There is a big difference between going to God and relying on Him and just seeking God for His resources. It’s even possible to use godly principles without relying on God himself. 

In your time of trouble how will you approach Him?

Success, Character, And Kingdom

It would be far easier to figure things out if our successes correlated with our character and our alignment with God’s Kingdom purposes.

But God used a wicked king for His purpose, even set him up as a hero, a deliverer for His people. Your successes don’t necessarily define your character or your relationship with God.

We can’t say I’m good with God simply because we are used by God or God works through us. Neither does lack of apparent success always result from character flaws or indicate Kingdom failures.

God’s character forming in us and His Kingdom advancing through us come through both “success” and “failure.”

The Pride That Blinds

Amaziah found success with a great victory over Edom so he sets his sight Israel next.
Sometimes its easy to step out of our lanes. We misinterpret what is happening in the circumstances around us. We experience victory, and so we think it means we can do whatever we like, because God must be with us. But God is not a linear formula we can easily figure out. His ways are beyond our understanding. Still, He willingly walks with us if we will seek Him and listen.

Through good times and bad, learn to stay in sync with the Spirit.

Will You Call For Help? (And Will He Hear?)

Though he acted wickedly, when Jehoahaz turned to God for help, God heard his prayer.

It wasn’t because Jehaoahaz made himself good enough, it wasn’t even that he felt sorry enough. God acts simply because of who He is. God’s grace is greater than we can comprehend or even imagine.

Sometimes we think weve blown it so bad God would never hear us. But God’s hearing is not dependent on who we are or what we’ve done. It’s based on who He is. 

He truly is the Father looking for the prodigal. Don’t let your sin keep you from calling out to Him.

A Life Of Faith…

…never ends. Joash had dedicated resources and even himself to the Lord through much of His life, but later,  surrendered it all to a foreign king.
You can start living a life of faith, and it’s good to do so. But remember to keep persevering, keep stretching, keep growing stronger. For tough times will come, and you must know that you know, God is with you to see you through.

The Needs We Have

Joash calls his mentor and the rest of the priests to task. Instead of using some of the funds collected to repair the Temple, somehow, the priests seemed to find other needs cropping up. And so, none of the resources went to repairing the Temple. 
We will always have needs. If we focus on that first, we will never get around to honoring God with our resources.

Make the choice to honor Him first and above all today.

Getting To Know God…As A Child

One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the gift of knowing God through His Word. 
Jehoiada gave Joash a copy of God’s laws at the age of 7. How much could a 7 year old really do in leading a nation? Probably not much, but because of the foundation Jehoiada established with Joash in the Word, Joash did what was pleasing in the sight of the Lord during his 40 year reign. He even led the way in repairing and restoring the Temple. 

God has a plan for the next generation. He wants them to lead well and grow in their relationship with Him. May God give us grace and wisdom to help the next generation to know Him through HIs Word even and especially at a young age.

Where Are You Headed?

I wonder if those personal friends, important officials, and priests of Ahab ever considered the trajectory of Ahab’s life? I wonder if the thought crossed their minds that by aligning  themselves with him, they too, would share his same end?
What about us? Have we carefully considered the trajectory and end (for good or for bad) of those we’ve aligned with? I don’t necessarily mean all those we have relationship with, but those we share values with, heartily endorse, and pursue life with. Where are they headed? Let’s make sure that’s where we want to go.

 To what end are those you aligning yourself with heading?

God Provides

God can provide in any number of ways. But sometimes we miss it.

In this case he simply had the woman move. Earlier, He scared away an entire army so His people could feast on their supplies. In the widow’s circumstance, He miraculously caused the oil to flow from a jar. In yet an earlier event He redeemed a pot of poisonous stew and made it whole.

God is Provider, may we grow in awareness of the many ways He works.