Our Greater Power

2 Kings 18,19; 2 Chronicles 32; James 5 “After all that Hezekiah had so faithfully done, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities, thinking to conquer them for himself…’Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him.’” 2 Chronicles 32:1, 7 Our faithfulness to the Lord is no guarantee we won’t be spiritually attacked and faced with great temptation to turn away from the Lord. However, those who know the Lord know there is a greater power within them than in the world. Hezekiah testified to this greater power before he had experienced it or been delivered from evil. Hezekiah even called those he was leading to be strong and courageous rather than fearful in the face of the vast attacking army. His demonstration of faith won the day. What tests are we facing that require a bold faith-response? In the face of our challenge

Honoring God

2 Chronicles 29-31; James 4   “Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the Lord and repaired them.” 2 Chronicles 29:1-3 Who shaped Hezekiah’s life and character so that the very first initiatives of his reign as king were focused on a revival of worship in covenant with God?   His father Ahaz was an idolater, even sacrificing his sons in the fire to Molech! Perhaps his mother Abijah was a secret believer. When her husband locked the doors of the temple and cut off public worship, perhaps Abijah was a secret worshiper in the palace. We don’t know the answer. What we do know is that the son of a wicked king became one of the most faithful, God-honoring kings in Israel’s history. God is still transforming fam

Be Still and Know

2 Kings 17; 2 Chronicles 28; Psalms 46; James 3   “Come and see the works of the Lord, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:8-10 Few verses in the Bible are as familiar or taken out of context more than the Psalmist’s prophetic words, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The context is global judgments and desolations which humble the nations and cause God’s people to fear the Lord, to ‘be still and know that I am God’. This is more than a call to meditation in our quiet time with God. This call to be still is a call to stop serving the god’s of nationalism, war, and materialism. It is a call to fully surrender our lives, families, and nation to the Lord, recognizing that he alone holds the nations in his hand. This is a call to fear the Lord who is

Our Testimony of Peace

Isaiah 32-35; James 2   “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:17, 18 The gift of Christ’s righteousness brings peace with God within our lives and with others in our families and community. Peace with a quiet spirit and inner confidence, regardless of the circumstances, is the testimony of those who walk with God and are filled with the Spirit. The angels of God surround the lives of those who walk with the Lord. Our homes and places of rest are important to the Lord. Dedicating our homes and properties to the Lord sets them apart for his protection, peace, and presence, as we enjoy them and share them with others. The testimony of a peace-filled property and home is significant and supports the ministry of hospitality we are all to live. Offering our lives and homes to the Lord sets them apart with righte

Take Note of Speech

  Isaiah 29-31; James 1   “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19, 20 This very practical counsel will transform relationships, families, and even communities of Christ-followers. Listen first and listen well. Think before speaking. When we become angry, we must stop, take time out, and ask God for self-control. Destructive words spoken in anger have damaged many lives including children, spouses, leadership teams, and churches. Our speech, when anointed by the Holy Spirit, can become a source of healing, reconciliation, faith, hope, and love. Where is the Lord inviting us to take note of our speech today? Are there relationships that need our attention? Will we offer our tongue to God as an instrument of life? “Lord Jesus, I offer my tongue to you and pray for Spirit-led words today which glorify you.”

Perfect Peace

  Isaiah 25-28; Hebrews 13   “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because, he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal…Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.” Isaiah 26:3, 4, 12 Inner peace comes from God and is the result of putting our full trust in the Lord, surrendering all our fears, pride, control, and lusts to him. In exchange for our inner “noise”, God fills us with the peace of his presence. He is the Rock eternal that will not change. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) The consequence of sin is death; yet, Jesus has defeated sin in all its expressions through his sacrifice for us. Peace with God has been established through Christ. Are we experiencing and living with this peace? “Lord Jesus, you are my peace, for your glory.”

Looking to the One

Isaiah 22-24; Hebrews 12 “…And you looked in that day to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest; you saw that the city of David had many breaches in its defenses; you stored up water in the Lower Pool. You counted the buildings in Jerusalem and tore down houses to strengthen the wall. You built the reservoir…but you did not look to the One who made it, or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.” Isaiah 22:8-11 In times of crisis, when God’s people are under siege in their lives because of the idolatry and self-indulgence of our lives and culture, what are leaders to do? The leaders of Jerusalem made practical preparations to withstand the siege, but they did not humble themselves before God, the One who brought the siege in the first place. The consequences of pride, greed, fear, and lust are painful. Will we, too, manage our sin-strongholds and consequences, or will we humble ourselves before God and repent? Leaders have a responsibility before God to be the first to repent