Tag Archives: temple

Doing the Work of The Lord

Today’s message summary of June 4, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

If your focus is on the work of God, it will change you.  God should come first in your life.

If there is a lack of focus, there will be a hole in your life that cannot be filled by material things.

You can be confused over those things that you deem to be priorities.

Over time, God’s work can get lost within the course of life.  You can get so busy living and lose track of what is most important; yet, God has a plan for you each and every day.

The word of God is the most important part of your life.

Haggai 1:1-11

In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 

The Lord of Hosts says this: These people say: The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.

The word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet: Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, the Lord of Hosts says this: Think carefully about your ways:

You have planted much

but harvested little.

You eat

but never have enough to be satisfied.

You drink

but never have enough to become drunk.

You put on clothes

but never have enough to get warm.

The wage earner puts his wages

into a bag with a hole in it.

The Lord of Hosts says this: Think carefully about your ways. Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house. Then I will be pleased with it and be glorified, says the Lord. You expected much, but then it amounted to little. When you brought the harvest to your house, I ruined it. Why? This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. Because My house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.

So on your account,

the skies have withheld the dew

and the land its crops.

I have summoned a drought

on the fields and the hills,

on the grain, new wine, olive oil,

and whatever the ground yields,

on man and beast,

and on all that your hands produce.

 

Haggai’s words to the people of Judah was a revealing of their weakness toward the work of God.

  • Carelessness about the matters of God
  • Their sincerity concerning the things of God is small
  • Their leisure time was more important than God’s work
  • Their personal comfort was more important

Ezra 5:1-2

But when the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began to rebuild God’s house in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, helping them.

When you see and hear that God is at work, it places an expectation from Him upon your life.  As you remain obedient to Him, He will affirm your efforts and even provide the support that you need in service to Him.

Ezra 6:14

So the Jewish elders continued successfully with the building under the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia.

Ezra 7:5-6

Abishuas son, Phinehass son,

Eleazars son, Aaron the chief priests son

came up from Babylon. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he requested because the hand of Yahweh his God was on him.

 

The workforce was made up of everyone who had returned from exile.  Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they still rebuilt the altar at its original site (Ezra 3:3).

The people overcame their fear in order to obey God.

Haggai points out the weakness of God’s people and what causes them to be distracted.  What are the distractions in your life that prevent you from serving and honoring God?

Haggai 1:2

“The Lord of Hosts says this: These people say: The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”

  • You can see it, but you won’t do the work
  • You can hear about it, but will not do the work.
  • You can receive from God the ability to do what is needed, but still choose not to do it.

 

The conflict here is your comfort versus God’s comfort (Haggai 1:3).

When is the right time to do God’s will and be obedient to Him?  The right time is when you see it, hear about it, and have received from God the ability to do it.

Deuteronomy 6:10-12

When the Lord your God brings you into the land He swore to your fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would give youa land with large and beautiful cities that you did not build, houses full of every good thing that you did not fill them with, wells dug that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves that you did not plantand when you eat and are satisfied, be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Haggai 1:5, 7

Now, the Lord of Hosts says this: “Think carefully about your ways.”

You need to give consideration as to your ways in life.  You need to go over how you make your decisions and reflect deeply upon how you are spending your time.  He wants you to be thoughtful as to your ways.

God challenges you with your way of thinking here.  Before God asks you to do something, you need to consider how you are going to respond to Him.  He may give you something that will pull you out of your comfort zone.

God will enable you to do many things in your life if you simply remain obedient to His will.  Take pleasure in it, you please Him and honor Him, and God will honor you.

Are you taking care of God’s business?  It remains as a priority in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ.

Haggai gave words of encouragement only after the people were willing to obey.

Haggai 1:12-14

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord.

Haggai, the Lords messenger, delivered the Lords message to the people, I am with you”—this is the Lords declaration.

The Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the spirit of the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. They began work on the house of Yahweh of Hosts, their God.

Once the people began to fear the Lord, their own fear to proceed had subsided.  The people had to see God for themselves.

God’s message is “I am with you.”

Romans 8:31

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

Haggai 2:3

Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it seem like nothing to you? Even so, be strong, Zerubbabel–this is the Lord’s declaration. “Be strong, Joshua son of Jehozadak, high priest.  Be strong, all you people of the land”this is the Lord’s declaration. “Work! For I am with you”the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.

To build the temple was going to require strength. God’s encouragement was to say “be strong” three times.

When the Spirit of God is with you, there is no need for fear.  He will enable you to complete the task at hand.


God Provides and Empowers His Witnesses

Today’s message summary of July 5, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

There will still be some sort of religious ceremony or presentation within Revelation Chapter 11. We will still see that Jerusalem is the center of all activity, just as it is today.

God will provide witnesses for Him and His Name. He will empower them and enable them to glorify His name.

Revelation 11:1-19

Then I was given a measuring reed like a rod, with these words: “Go and measure God’s sanctuary and the altar, and count those who worship there. But exclude the courtyard outside the sanctuary. Don’t measure it, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and consumes their enemies; if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These men have the power to close up the sky so that it does not rain during the days of their prophecy. They also have power over the waters to turn them into blood and to strike the earth with every plague whenever they want.

When they finish their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, conquer them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in the public square of the great city, which prophetically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. And representatives from the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will view their bodies for three and a half days and not permit their bodies to be put into a tomb. 10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.

11 But after 3½ days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. So great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment a violent earthquake took place, a tenth of the city fell, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. The survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. 14 The second woe has passed. Take note: The third woe is coming quickly!

15 The seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom
of our Lord and of His Messiah,
and He will reign forever and ever!

16 The 24 elders, who were seated before God on their thrones, fell facedown and worshiped God, 17 saying:

We thank You, Lord God, the Almighty,
who is and who was,
because You have taken Your great power
and have begun to reign.
18 The nations were angry,
but Your wrath has come.
The time has come
for the dead to be judged
and to give the reward
to Your servants the prophets,
to the saints, and to those who fear Your name,
both small and great,
and the time has come to destroy
those who destroy the earth.

19 God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

In Revelation 11:1, God is not directing John to measure like a ruler, but to determine the quality, or the standard of what is being presented in the sanctuary. Measure the value of worship. Does it meets God standard? Does it qualify? The worship in the temple in Revelation will be for the Antichrist.

I. God has a standard. You have to be willing to make the sacrifices to be different from the world and be holy. The standard has been lowered so much in this day and time that everyone is made to be comfortable in the church. Well, everyone is welcome to the church, but everyone should not feel comfortable in their sin.

In Revelation 11:2-6, God brings the two witnesses to stand against the Antichrist.

We are challenged to worship the One, true God, and to grow in our relationship with Him.

John 4:23

But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.

Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. Instead of lowering our standards of worship, we need to keep them as high as possible. The world has lowered its standard of worship, but we are challenged to worship Him as He cleanses us and equips us to minister to others.

Hebrews 9:14

…how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to serve the living God?

Psalm 51:2

Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

II. Christ is the center of our worship–in Revelation 11, that will not be the case.

The gospel message is to be delivered. The gospel message will not be delivered in the temple; furthermore, the wrong style of worship will take place in the temple in Revelation 11.

Titus 3:5

He saved us–not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

God gives the authority and power to the two witnesses (Rev. 11:4-5). He gives them the power to perform their ministry and for their protection. God knew that they would face opposition. He gave them fire to proceed out of their mouths, to hold back the rain and turn water into blood.

Scripture does not reveal who the two men are, but some believe that they are Elijah and Moses. Elijah and Moses performed signs that duplicate what these men will do, and they both appeared with Jesus during the Transfiguration.

Matthew 17:3-4

Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here! If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

Malachi 4:4

“Remember the instruction of Moses My servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

Exodus 7:20

Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded; in the sight of Pharaoh and his officials, he raised the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile was turned to blood.

1 Kings 17:1

Now Elijah the Tishbite, from the Gilead settlers, said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, I stand before Him, and there will be no dew or rain during these years except by my command!”

They could strike the earth with a plague whenever they desired (Revelation 11:6).

III. When their ministry is complete, Satan has the power to kill them. (Revelation 11:7-10)

You will finish on time.

Psalm 39:4

“Lord, reveal to me the end of my life and the number of my days. Let me know how short-lived I am.”

It is OK to stand alone.

2 Timothy 4:17

But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the proclamation might be fully made through me and all the Gentiles might hear. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.

God is with you.

Romans 8:31

What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

There will be times in ministry where one needs to stand alone for Him.

There is an appointed time.

Job 14:5-6

Since man’s days are determined and the number of his months depends on You, and since You have set limits he cannot pass, look away from him and let him rest so that he can enjoy his day like a hired hand.

The two witnesses were empowered by God to perform as His witness. In the same way, recognize the power that God gives to you to be His witness for Him while you are able.

The fact that the beast can kill them reveals that they are physical beings. They are killed by the beast, who is also a person.

The two witnesses were killed in Jerusalem. The place is referred to Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified (Revelation 11:8).

Sodom – no morals; rebellion against God (Ezekiel 16:40)

Egypt – idols; captivity of God’s people

IV. God breaks up the party (v. 9-10)

All will see the bodies laying in the streets. Imagine all of the pictures uploaded on the internet and having them broadcast on YouTube!

The witnesses were proclaiming God’s Word, but when they were killed and the word of God was removed from the people, the people were celebrating their demise.

Imagine the terror of the people when they came back to life 3 1/2 days later! (v. 11)

For the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no reason to be ashamed of the gospel. It will require personal sacrifice, but it will be worth it for the testimony that is made before others.


Signs of the Last Days: First Major Battle of Israel

Today’s message summary of February 22, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Lord, we want to be a people who studies Your Word as we want to be faithful to You. We want to be true unto You and committed to You. Burn this unto our hearts as we commit to loving this life for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The first two World Wars set the stage for Israel to take center stage in the scope of the entire world. World War I allowed for the return of many Jews to their homeland. World War II presented the opportunity for Israel to become a nation (in 1948). God’s Word has declared that Israel would be a nation, and this has taken place.

These are the beginnings of the end times. We are to pay attention to how things are taking place in today’s world that are unprecedented in our time. What is accepted as normal today is far from what we can imagine. We have accepted teen pregnancy as the norm. While we can say that these things have been going on since the time of Adam, there is a greater intensity of these things that are taken place.

These things are leading us towards the tribulation or within the first years of the tribulation.

Ezekiel 38 and 39 are not part of Revelation 20, pertaining to the battle of Armageddon. My thought is that if Israel is going to sign a peace treaty, and the treaty is going to be broken, you won’t be able to have peace and conflict at the same time. What would be the circumstances where Israel would make a treaty with someone for peace? Something has to take place to lead up to the three and one half years that sets the stage for the Abomination of Desolation. There had to be a conflict that would set up Israel to enter a covenant that would grant them peace, and would allow them to rebuild the temple to resume their sacrifice. (Sometime during this period, Israel will get very comfortable with its practices and making sacrifices.) One who will promise peace, and then, at some point, step into the temple and call himself God will represent the treaty. It will take the entire world by surprise.

Daniel 9:27

He will make a firm covenant with many for one week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator.

 

Daniel 11:31

His forces will rise up and desecrate the temple fortress. They will abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination of desolation.

 

Amos 8:11

Hear this! The days are coming–this is the declaration of the Lord God–when I will send a famine through the land: not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

 

Our world is in the midst of this famine today. Christians have readily put down their bibles and will make it much easier for the opposition–the Adversary–to present himself as one who brings peace and deceives the nations.

Matthew 24:15-16

15 “So when you see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand[), 16 “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains!

 

2 Thessalonians 2:4

He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.

 

Ezekiel 38:5-6

Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shields and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; and Beth-togarmah from the remotest parts of the north along with all its troops–many peoples are with you.

 

Ezekiel 38:5-6 – Five other nations will join with Russia.

  1. Persia – Iran
  2. Cush – Ethiopia
  3. Put – Libya
  4. Gomer – Germany
  5. Beth-Togarmah – Turkey

Many nations with you (Not all nations are against Israel; however, in the battle of Armageddon, all nations will be involved.)

Russia and her friends are coming for the spoils of Israel.

Ezekiel 38:11-13

You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of open villages; I will come against a tranquil people who are living securely, all of them living without walls and without bars or gates–in order to seize spoil and carry off plunder, to turn your hand against ruins now inhabited and against a people gathered from the nations, who have been acquiring cattle and possessions and who live at the center of the world.’ Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its rulers will ask you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to carry off plunder, to make off with silver and gold, to take cattle and possessions, to seize great spoil?’

 

Why the invasion of Israel? Why would Russia want to attack Israel?

Israel is considered to be in the center of the world. It links to three continents–Europe, Asia and Africa.

Israel may have the richest oil fields in the world.

To address hunger, Israel’s land is producing food (a land flowing with milk and honey)

The Dead Sea – salt, which has been taken from the earliest time of history

A land rich in minerals–sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, magnesium

Israel exports one million tons of potash (plant food) per year. Israel can supply potash for the next two hundred years.

 

In spite of all of this, God will restore Israel to Himself.

Ezekiel 39:21

I will display My glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the land I have laid on them.

 

Scientists report general information about all nations. In this information:

“It now appears that no land in all of the world is near so rich in minerals as the little land of Israel. It is really the jewel of the world.” The salt alone has been valued at one trillion two hundred seventy billion dollars ($1,270,000,000,000.00).

In 1970, President Nixon said: “It isn’t a case of Israel versus the Arab states, but the Soviet Union is not moving into the Eastern Mediterranean (Afghanistan).

Ezekiel 38:12 – Israel is said to be in this midst of the land.

Ezekiel 5:5

“This is what the Lord God says: I have set this Jerusalem in the center of the nations, with countries all around her.”

 

A comparison of the two wars:

  • In Ezekiel, the main purpose was for God to be made known (8:23; 9:21).
  • In the battle of Armageddon, all nations of the world are involved (Joel 3:2, Zechariah 14:2, Revelation 16:14, 16; 20:7-8). Its purpose for its perpetrators was to come against Christ and the Jews.
  • Ezekiel 38:13 – the nations protest against Russia
  • Armageddon – Satan leads the opposition
  • God defeated the northern invaders in Ezekiel 38:22
  • In the battle of Armageddon, the slain will be from one end of the earth to the other (Jeremiah 25:33).
  • Russia (Gog) – the dead will be buried (Ezekiel 39:12-15). God will destroy them (Ezekiel 38:21-23).
  • In Armageddon, there will not be a burial.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

1Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth.

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5

But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!


Move Beyond Your Circumstances In Christ

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
How do we get beyond our difficulties? How do we move forward? Many of us are still tripping up over old baggage–things that happened to us many years ago. If at the end of the day you can say you are successful, then you can claim victory.
2 Chronicles 32:30b
Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.While you are not a failure, you can be a failure if you choose to do things your way and fail to be obedient to God. God’s way is really the only way. It applies to everyone and to every generation. What made Hezekiah successful in everything that he did? Here are some points of application for you to reference in the same ways that Hezekiah experienced in his successes:1. You are the only one that can make your life better. You need to be the better judge of character in those people you choose to surround you.2. You are not to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t dwell on matters that keep you on the sidelines.

3. You are to look for the open door, and, by faith, be willing to step through it.

4. You are to remain courageous. Don’t allow difficulty to cause you to lose courage. Press on, and don’t stop living in a positive way. You are to strive for the best in life.

5. You are to direct your thoughts to move you to act. Your thoughts are not to direct you or dictate to you what you are to do.

6. You choose to believe that God works everything together for good–to build you and shape your character.

Hezekiah could have made excuses for getting a raw deal out of life. He did not have a good household situation.
Hezekiah’s father Ahaz was not a godly man. He acted in regular disobedience to God.

2 Chronicles 28:1-5, 23-25
1 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the Lord’s sight like his ancestor David, 2 for he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and made cast images of the Baals. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of Hinnom and burned his children in the fire, imitating the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 So the Lord his God handed Ahaz over to the king of Aram. He attacked him and took many captives to Damascus.

Ahaz was also handed over to the king of Israel, who struck him with great force.

23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him; he said, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram are helping them, I will sacrifice to them so that they will help me.” But they were the downfall of him and of all Israel.

24 Then Ahaz gathered up the utensils of God’s temple, cut them into pieces, shut the doors of the Lord’s temple, and made himself altars on every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 He made high places in every city of Judah to offer incense to other gods, and he provoked the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

Ahaz was evil, and his actions caused his family and his people to suffer. Hezekiah was raised in this environment. How did Hezekiah overcome this? In the same way, each one of us has to do what Hezekiah did…to remain faithful to God in spite of what you see around you. A pebble thrown into the water has a ripple effect that travels out from it. Our faith has a similar effect on those around us.

Isaiah had influence on Ahaz during his lifetime, and Hezekiah likely heard it (Isaiah 7:9 below).

Isaiah 7:3-13
3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. 4 Say to him: Calm down and be quiet. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two smoldering stubs of firebrands, the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram, and the son of Remaliah. 5 For Aram, along with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has plotted harm against you. They say, 6 ‘Let us go up against Judah, terrorize it, and conquer it for ourselves. Then we can install Tabeel’s son as king in it.’”

7 This is what the Lord God says:

It will not happen; it will not occur.
8 The head of Aram is Damascus,
the head of Damascus is Rezin
(within 65 years
Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people),
9 the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
then you will not stand at all.

10 Then the Lord spoke again to Ahaz: 11 “Ask for a sign from the Lord your God—from the depths of Sheol to the heights of heaven.”

12 But Ahaz replied, “I will not ask. I will not test the Lord.”

13 Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God?

Hezekiah became king at age 25 after Ahaz died. Note that the influence on Hezekiah’s life was not a reference to his natural father, Ahaz.

2 Chronicles 29:1-11
1 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.

3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square. 5 He said to them, “Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors. Remove everything impure from the holy place. 6 For our fathers were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned Him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s tabernacle, and turned their backs on Him.[b] 7 They also closed the doors of the portico, extinguished the lamps, did not burn incense, and did not offer burnt offerings in the holy place of the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and He made them an object of terror, horror, and mockery,[c] as you see with your own eyes. 9 Our fathers fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this. 10 It is in my heart now to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel so that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and burners of incense.”

Hezekiah did not do what his father did–he did what was right before God as David, his grandfather, had done. First, he opened the doors to the house of worship for his people. He wanted a relationship with God and knew that the same approach would be best for his people. He wanted to get people involved with this work…he wanted others–godly people–to help him to learn and grow in faith and worship together. It was a rebuilding process. Hezekiah had to gather the people willing to help clean out all of the things that defiled the temple.

There are times when you need to go back and evaluate the family in order to know what to avoid and to move away from those practices. You must acknowledge what was wrong in order to change the wrong patterns of family behavior from one generation to another. There are blessings in your obedience to God’s Word and in your resistance of those things that are outside of your obedience to Him.

When you praise and worship God, you build in yourself the character that will renew and reinforce your relationship with God. It is not about dwelling on the past or the tough times. It is about truly seeking Him as opposed to just acting it out and not just going through the motions. Is your heart willing to dedicate yourself to The Lord?

2 Chronicles 29:27-30; 30:1, 6
29:27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. When the burnt offerings began, the song of the Lord and the trumpets began, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly was worshiping, singing the song, and blowing the trumpets—all of this continued until the burnt offering was completed. 29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with rejoicing and bowed down and worshiped.

30:1 Then Hezekiah sent word throughout all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem to observe the Passover of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

6 So the couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the hand of the king and his officials, and according to the king’s command, saying, “Israelites, return to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel so that He may return to those of you who remain, who have escaped from the grasp of the kings of Assyria.

If you see there are problems in your life, and even in your past, how will you choose to respond to them? Are you willing to humble yourself, acknowledge sin in your own life and repent of it, and make changes for the better? Are you willing to seek God, pray in earnest and continue to grow and build your relationship with Jesus Christ and serve Him? All of these are choices that you must make.


The Body is God’s Temple

The body is a masterful work of creation. It is made up of millions of cells, thousands of miles of capillaries, and organs that all function together. Man is unique in God’s creation because we are “wonderfully made” but He wants us to be the ones that carry out His will on earth in reaching others for Jesus Christ. We have the opportunity to use our bodies, which are equipped with God’s wisdom and knowledge, to proclaim life and truth in reaching others for salvation. Our temples are His sanctuary that provides opportunities for us to witness and be of service for God.

God is able to alter the course of our lives and how we treat our bodies and take care of ourselves when we attribute the value of living for Jesus Christ to our very existence. The strength and perseverance that we derive from Christ helps us to represent Him favorably and will have others see Christ in how we live our lives. We need to be faithful and courageous in our obedience to Him.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Don’t you know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? If anyone ruins God’s sanctuary, God will ruin him; for God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.

God wants us to respect and revere His creation, especially that where the Holy Spirit dwells within. We are called to be holy and righteous before God. We are to be strong in character and potential in our life and overcome the inconsistencies of the world and its tendencies. We are to meet these worldly challenges head on and confront them rather than shy away from them. Our responsibility to act is sometimes overshadowed by indifference or a belief that to address issues is an exercise in futility.

The challenge today that we have is how many have failed to have the respect for God and how they use their bodies–their temples. The failure to be obedient subjects the person to be turned over to a mindset that is in opposition to God, and the consequences that result from that way of thinking. A person who lives this way is operating as an agent of Satan and the flesh, and can only see the desires of the flesh in the way that they are living. Don’t believe for a moment that God is not in control of what is going on. Only God can break the stronghold of a person who desires to seek the Lord. Even in our unworthiness, He will respond to us if our hearts are sincere and provide protection and preservation.

2 Peter 2:4-10
For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned, but threw them down into Tartarus and delivered them to be kept in chains of darkness until judgment; and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others, when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin, making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly; and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.

2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

God wants us to be mindful of the days that we live in today, and to be holy and righteous in our living for Him and in our service for Him. There is a quiet and confident restraint as you live in obedience for God. As you worship Him, our mind and our tongue is in agreement with Him and His will. A person should see the perfection of God through you, with the power of the Holy Spirit, in your efforts to reach others for Jesus Christ.