Keep Your Eyes Fixed On Christ

2 Chronicles 27:2, 6— And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah did: howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD. And the people did yet corruptly. So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.

Uzziah’s son, Jotham, learned from God’s quick and severe dealing with his father’s pride. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and no exceptions to that are noted. The problem was in the people. Sometimes God will place a godly leader over a people whose hearts have turned away from God. His example to them should cause them to see the blessing of God is upon those who walk in His ways. Do you know someone who is full of the fruits of the Spirit? The peace and joy and patience in their life should give you a hunger to walk more closely to the LORD. Sometimes the people will not heed the example God has given them. Then you can count on future leaders to not be as godly and the nation to not be as blessed. Everyone makes choices, and those choices not only affect you but those around you. Jotham’s faithfulness showered a rain of blessing upon ungodly people. Perhaps that is why he died at the young age of 41. The people did not deserve the blessing he brought them through his godly life. God gave power to Jotham because of his godly life. The word ‘steadfastly’ is two words in Hebrew. It means to set one’s direction. He laid out a course and stuck with it. He aimed for God and would not swerve off course. In Colossians 3 the Apostle Paul tells us to set our mind and heart on things above. The writer of the Hebrew epistle tells us to hold unswervingly to the course we have set. Is your course set like Jotham’s was, or are you drifting? Do you know the direction of your goal, and have you decided to pursue that goal with all you have? Distractions are many and are often subtle.

Living In Communion With God

Living In Communion With God

Romans 11:25-27—For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

Paul called himself the apostle to the Gentiles, yet he had a great burden for his own people, Israel. He hoped the conversion of the Gentiles and their relationship with God would make the Jewish people jealous and desirous of knowing Jesus as Messiah. Many Christians today believe the church has taken the place of Israel, yet many of the promises to Israel have not yet been fulfilled. We are living in the times of the Gentiles. Jesus referred to it in Luke 21:24. In the passage for this evening, Paul is instructing us that God has predetermined a number of Gentiles that will become His own. When that number is reached there will be a great conversion of the Jews. They will accept Jesus as Messiah. If that is the same time as Jacob’s trouble, the same as described in Zechariah, there will be a great number of lives lost and the remnant will turn to Jesus. Israel’s various forms of godlessness and idolatry will end. They will be saved just as we are saved, through faith in Jesus. When the “times of the Gentiles” ends, then the time of the restored kingdom of David will begin. The 1000 year reign of Christ on earth is one with Jewish traditions. The reality of all the types and shadows in the Old Covenant will be understood. The feasts will be observed with an understanding of what they truly represent.

I Ain’t Dead Yet

cropped-rayMy hair is white and I’m almost blind, The days of my youth are far behind My neck is stiff, I can’t turn my head can’t hear a word that’s being said.

My legs are wobbly, can’t hardly walk, But glory to God I can surely talk; And this is a message I want you to get
I’m still a-kicking and I ain’t dead yet.

My joints are stiff, won’t move in their sockets, And nary a dime is in my pockets.

So maybe you think I’m a total wreck, (to tell you the truth, I do look like heck.)

But I still do have a whole lot of fun and my heart With joy is still overrun.

I have a lot of good friends so kind and sweet and still many more that I’ll never meet. Oh, this is a wonderful world of ours, Shade, sunshine, and beautiful flowers.

So you take it from me, and you bet, I’m glad I’m living And I ain’t dead yet.

I’ve got corns on my feet, and ingrowing nails, and they do hurt, Here plain language fails. To tell you my troubles would take to long If I tried you surely would give me the gong.

I go to Church and Sunday School too, for I love the story that is ever new. And when I reach the end of my row to my heavenly home I will go. And when I leave this house of clay, if you listen closely, I’m quite apt to say “Well, folks, I’ve left you, but don’t forget I’ve just Passed on, BUT I AIN’T DEAD YET!”

OBITUARY: THE SAD PASSING OF COMMON SENSE

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
 
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned, but overbearing, regulations were set in place.
 
Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teenagers suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer paracetamol, sun lotion or plaster to a pupil, but could not inform the parents when a pupil became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
 
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, but the burglar could sue you for assault because you protected yourself and your own.
 
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
 
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife, Discretion, his daughter, Responsibility and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I’m A Victim. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized that he was gone.
Author Unknown

Who Is The Master Of Your Life?

Who Is The Master Of Your Life?

Romans 10:8-10—But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

In chapters 9 and 10 of Romans, the Apostle Paul is describing his intense desire to see Jews come to believe in Jesus as their Messiah. He goes on to describe the problem they are having. In trying to obtain righteousness by keeping the Law, they are stuck in an impossible effort. To be righteous through the Law is only possible if you keep all the Law, and none but Christ has ever been able to do that. But there is another righteousness that is found within the pages of the Law. It is the righteousness that comes from trusting in God. Paul quotes the prophet Joel as saying, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (vs 13) In the passage for today, he sums up what the stories in the Law teach us. They show us that when Messiah comes, we need to trust in Him for our righteousness. Then, you will confess that righteousness is not from you but from the One who is your redemption. To confess Jesus is Master overall and believe that God raised Him from the dead is to place your hope entirely in Him. This is the only way to be saved. What you believe in your heart cannot help but come from your lips. When you believe enough to confess, you will know you are saved. He becomes Lord of your mouth and reputation today. He does not merely remain an intellectual idea that you ascend to that gives you entrance into heaven, but He is your Master. You recognize that He is Master over all. You declare it in your conversations. When He is your King, you have entered the Kingdom.

Choices

2 Chronicles 26:4-5, 16—And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did. And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.

In verse, how could the author say that Amaziah did what was right in the eyes of the LORD? Perhaps the Old Testament authors knew more about grace than we give them credit. Many of the kings did terrible acts and yet were called right in the eyes of the LORD. The only way to really reconcile this is that the grace of God covered their sins because they had given their lives to God. This should encourage us that though we have backslidden at times, the grace of God covers ALL our sin. The stories of these kings are so much like the lives of Christians today. At a memorial service we hear the very same thing that the author writes here. Every person has failures and shortcomings but to what or whom did they commit their soul? There is a cycle of testing in the lives of most Christians that is similar to the one Uzziah experienced. When they commit themselves to obeying God and serving Him, they find their lives are blessed in many ways, including physical abundance. Here is where the testing becomes more difficult and the refinement more intense. We can go the way of Uzziah and become prideful, thinking our blessings are the result of our efforts and skills, or we can go the way of David, who humbled himself and realized that without God he was nothing. Both of these kings were credited as doing what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but one finished with a powerful testimony of repentance and restoration. The other, Uzziah, ended his life isolated and in shame. Much of the fruit of our actions is seen in this life, especially at the end of life. The prideful are then powerless, and those that flocked around them while they held power desert them. The humble, however, even though powerless, will be surrounded with the lives of those they have blessed.