Author Archives: Pastor Mark

B90X- Josiah revisited

Every time 2Kings 22-23 come up for reading, there is a model of life and leadership which evokes a desire to emulate.

Over and over again while reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles we are confronted with kings who do right in the eyes of the Lord and who do evil in the eyes of the Lord.  It can become like the rocking of a ship on stormy seas.  First one way and then the other in rapid fashion to the point of nausea.

The reading requires thoughtful meditation to get a grasp of what is happening over many, many years, yet in such a short time during our perusal.  Instead of skipping over Josiah, stop and think about how revolutionary in his zeal, love, and life towards the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

When Josiah was eight he was appointed king.  His father Amon was one of the good guys.  It is the foundation which Amon laid which propelled Josiah to further build.  The temple had fallen into disrepair.  For sixty years it had been disregarded.  At age 26, Josiah initiates a building campaign to remodel the temple, in an effort to return it to its original splendor.

Money is collected.  Carpenters were hired.  Lumber was felled and hewn.  Masons are hired and stones were cut.  No money was spared and we are told they didn’t even have to give an account for what they spent as they acted faithfully.

As part of the rebuilding process of the temple, the High Priest Hilkiah finds a Book of the Law buried in the rubble.  The forgotten and lost guidelines for proper faith and practice of life had been absent from their lives for decades.

In learning what the rules and guidelines for blessing and cursing in ones life or country, Josiah receives conviction to destroy all of the wicked practices of those kings and people who preceded him.  In a tearful repentance, Josiah renews the covenant between Adonai and His people.

With no remorse and steadfast resolve, Josiah, Hilkiah, and the leaders of the church begin to systematically disassemble all articles of worship made to Ba’al and Asherah.

He removed,Josiah
He burned,
He did away with,
He took, burned, He ground to powder, scattered,
He tore down, desecrated,
He broke,
He desecrated,
He removed,
He pulled down,
He removed, smashed, thew, desecrated,
He smashed, cut down,
He demolished, burned, ground, burned, removed, and burned again,
He removed, slaughtered, burned and got rid of.

In a complete and thorough sweep of the nation, all high places were wiped clean.  ”No previous king was like him, because he turned to Adonai with all his heart, with all his being, and with all his power” (2 Kings 23:25, CJB).

The dude had guts and conviction.  What does it take for us to make decisions like this in our lives to recognize that the reason we are not blessed and prosperous is because of the sin we have allowed to creep in for decades?

Lord, search our hearts, find anything within us that does not please you, and help us to have the courage and plan to fix it.

B90X- A short look at the Kings

The two books of Kings have captured my attention on this lap of B90X like never before.

Not sure if it is age, experience, or what.  Maybe it is a combination of  hourglassboth.  This quote by Jean-Paul Sartre may sum it up appropriately, “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Wednesday night I had the privilege of sharing just a few thoughts with The Ananias Project at CRBC.  One of them was, just hang in there, stay faithful to Jesus, you will get it, as you grow things will get more clear and understandable.  (It looks like more than one thought, but is really, one.)

Having seen just a bit more clearly some of the more intimate details of the two books of Kings, the following short ideas are presented:

1. God is the source and giver of wisdom.  It is obscure to think that it can come from anywhere else.  Not from spots on a liver, not from bringing back the dead, not from a lifeless metal statue.  Father is the only source of wisdom.  Similarly to how Solomon asked for it and received it, we can all do the same.  ”If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).  Pretty straightforward.

2. God is pleased to live among his people.  Father loves his creation and desires dwelling in the intimate details in each one of our lives.  When we have the inclination of our hearts turned towards Him, there is a smile, a sense of his liveliness in our lives, and his great pleasure of working in, through, and around every day.

3. God, in his grace, warns over and over again.  If we could see this one thing.  It is not always about just judgment and God out to get you or me.  It is his loving kindness that keeps him warning and warning.  He doesn’t give up easily.  He knows what is best and stays persistent in following through with us knowing that he is not giving up on us.  ”As was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

4.  Yahweh reigns.  There is no other.  He is greater than Dagon, greater than Molech, greater than all the Ba’als, greater than Anat, Athirat, Chemosh, Ishtar, and Marduk.  Combined. To the nth degree.  No other.  Many can’t hear, speak, or see.  Yahweh is the true and living God.  He is creator.  He is and there is no other.  He is, period.

Prayer for our Kids Day 27 – Passion for God

“Lord, please instill in my children a soul that follows hard after You; a heart that clings passionately to You” (Psalms 63:8).

passion for God

I almost feel like we should have prayed this first and then continued to pray it along with each other day’s topic. To have a heart that clings passionately to Father, in my opinion, is the root of all Godly behavior. Is there anything more important than having passion for Father? Everything else in our lives will fall into place when we have passion for Him first. We will genuinely seek His will and search His Word, we will have a desire to act lovingly towards all, and have a heart for His kingdom. If we are passionate about our creator everything else follows naturally.

I want to continue to pray each of these attributes over my kids for the rest of their lives and eventually my grand children’s lives, but praying for a passion for Father will be something I try to pray every day from this day forward. I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than seeing their passion for Father affect every aspect of their life in ways that only Father can.

May our children’s passion for Him not be wavering, but may it be consistent and may they cling to Him and all His truth, love, grace, and mercy.

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

Prayer for our Kids Day 26 – Willingness and Ability to Work Hard

“Teach my children, Lord, to value work and to work hard at everything they do, as they are working for the Lord, not for men’” (Colossians 3:23).

We all want our kids to work hard. We all want them to do a thorough jobWillingness on their chores and not just shove the contents of their room into their closets, but to actually put them away. What about their attitude along with their work ethic though?

Anyone can work hard; the attitude that accompanies hard work is what sets them apart in the job they’ve performed. Praying for our kids to have willingness along with the ability to work hard is so important. Every kid can clean their room and do a good job at it, but it’s the attitude that goes along with their work that makes a difference.

This thought leads me to believe that the prayer for a servant’s heart goes hand in hand with today’s willingness and ability to work hard. A child with a servant’s heart who is willing and able to work is going to be noticed in their work. Those attributes together stand out.

As I write these thoughts out, I like to think about people that are an example of these attributes and it’s quite powerful. Each day I am blown away but what this all looks like as it is lived out. Let’s pray for our babies and pray hard. Father made them wonderfully and they need to be blessed by prayer in their lives.

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

Prayer for our Kids Day 25 – Hope

“May the God of hope grant that my children may overflow with hope and hopefulness through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

hope

Let’s pray that we will open our hearts to Father and allow Him to penetrate our hearts with his love and hope.

It is kind of surprising how many Christians feel hopeless or at least act hopeless. Our Father is the God of the universe, the creator of us, the Lord of heaven and earth! We are guaranteed eternity with him. We, of all people, should be full of hope! Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” How amazing is that?! Father has promised to always be with us! Let’s pray for our children to be filled with this truth, and to live in His hope. Let’s pray for us, as their parents, to live in this promise and be filled with hope that they see the example in our lives as well.

Whether we like it or not, our kids look up to us and use us a measure of good and bad behavior. I want to start by believing both Romans 15:13 and Joshua 1:9 and allowing these truths to fill my heart and be an example to my children. Then, let’s come together and pray for our children to believe in the truth of Scripture, that they may see the hope they have in Father also. If they believe this awesome truth then hope will fill them, overflow from them, and influence those around them.

The power of influence is an incredible thing. One person may not be able to change everyone, but they can certainly change a lot. It’s easy to get discouraged and to feel hopeless, we live in a world full of disappointments. But our God is constant, never changing and always there. My prayer is the Christians around the world will remember this truth and Romans 15:13 will be a prophesy fulfilled.

Guest post- Rachel Theobald