Tag Archives: willing

Church and Salvation: Reaching Outward

Today’s message summary of October 8, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Church and salvation goes with evangelism, which is reaching out to other people.  It is to be understood, then, that one who wants to evangelize must be willing to “go.”

You will only practice what you truly believe.  If you don’t believe that there is a world of people who are lost, you won’t go out and speak with them about the gospel.

If we, as a church, are to be taken seriously of our desire to reach people for Jesus, it must begin by being believable first to ourselves, and then to others.  Next, we must ask how successful have we been in teaching the Bible to adults in such a way that they believe the Word of God to be true–to the extent that it influences behavior.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Lord told us not to “go” and save people, but to go and teach others.  You are taking a journey.  In the journey, you will discover what God is doing for you.  In the going, the teaching will make disciples of other.  The teaching is beneficial for the teacher, as well, in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Being a disciple is like being an apprentice.  All apprentices have to have a master teacher.  All learning takes place upon receiving instruction from the one who is leading you.

You have to be willing to “go.”  There’s no specific direction that you are being given, but you at least need to go and step out into areas where you have never been before.  Either way, you can’t be obedient to God by just “staying put” (John 20:19, 26).

You are, as a servant of Christ, both a priest and a teacher.  You are being equipped by the Holy Spirit to learn and be able to serve Him in these ways.

A new believer in Jesus Christ must prepare to serve Him.  He is not ready to teach immediately.  He has to learn what it is to serve and minister to others.  Over time, he can share his experiences with others in giving instruction.

Mark 16:14-17

Later, He appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw Him after He had been resurrected. Then He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 1:3-5

After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While He was together with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

You can’t do anything in the flesh that will bring glory to the name of Jesus Christ, but when you go in the power of the Holy Spirit and speak the gospel, the name of Christ will be proclaimed, and that is whether the hearers of the Word choose to respond or not.

The “go” indicates a willingness to go.

John 3:17

For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Luke 5:27-32

After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, “Follow Me!” So, leaving everything behind, he got up and began to follow Him. Then Levi hosted a grand banquet for Him at his house. Now there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others who were guests with them. But the Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to His disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

In His going, Jesus met Matthew.

  • He went out and saw a tax collector (see the tense of the word “went” from “go”).
  • Matthew saw Jesus as being observant–giving careful attention.
  • Levi had a banquet for Jesus and invited his friends (Jesus’ disciples were also there. They were learning by observing Jesus’ behavior).
  • The Pharisees saw them as sinners.
  • Jesus is not blind or ignorant of their lives. He knew the depravity of their lives (immoral people).

What did Jesus do?

  • He loved and welcomed them into His life.
  • He offered them a refuge–a safe place.
  • Jesus is going after the real person–the one that was hidden behind the tax collector and sinner (the word used by the Pharisees).
  • Jesus is going after that person who is fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God (Psalm 139:14).

The people of the church are to look at people in this same way.  To see people in the world, beneath their facades and protection, and help them to see Jesus Christ.

How many of you are studying the needs of your community?  You want to understand the community’s basic human needs, and how the details of their lives correlate into their lifestyle.

To serve, we must open our eyes to the people around us and know their needs. Think about what is important to them and how might the message of Jesus intersect with their needs.

Our community is a target for service.

The word “target,” according to Webster’s Dictionary, refers to one or a group who are to be changed or influenced by action or an event; therefore, we target our community to manage the perception of a person or group (1 Corinthians 9:20-22).  Paul is saying that all people will not see things in the same manner.  We, as a church, are the ones who change first, in the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to bring about change.

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Ready, Willing and Able

Today’s message summary of January 24, 2016 from Melvin Gaines:

There was a time in the past when someone, perhaps an adult, asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up. When I was asked this question as an early teenager, I used to answer that I wanted to be an architect or an engineer. I came to that conclusion because I loved watching television in the 70s. Among my favorite shows were The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, The Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch, where Mike Brady, the dad and husband of the bunch, was an architect. Beyond that, I didn’t have any idea what it would take to be an architect or what it meant to be an engineer. I was rather impressionable at that time in my life, and it just seemed to be the cool thing to do.

I went go through the effort of buying a drafting board, a T-square, pencils and rulers to pursue drafting, but I wound up getting more involved in freehand drawing and lettering. From there, I moved to graphics and later changed to drawing, but I ultimately did not pursue a career in art. In fact, I had considered becoming a lawyer until one of my professors in college, who taught Political Science, made a comment that lawyers will be marching single file over a cliff because there will be too many of them to effectively make a living. Talk about a downer!

You can see how random my career path turned out to be; in fact, I stumbled into the collection business because I transitioned out of retail and sales. I’ve been involved in collections, customer service and supervision now for over thirty years, and it was far from my original choice of a career path.

Perhaps, unlike me, you were able to pursue your most desired career path. Many of us derive our self-worth with what we do for a living. Some of us are still trying to get to that dream job or reach the pinnacle of a career path towards success. Even if you are still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, there is something very, very important that you can do, no matter what your career is. The most important thing that you can do is to serve Jesus Christ right where you are.

When you are serving Christ, your career job or your career path becomes less important, and your relationship with Christ becomes more important, because you trust that He has you where you need to be at that very moment.

Now, let’s take this a step further. Assuming that you are serving Christ, and living as He would have you to live, are you ready, willing and able to think about moving outside of the box? Are you sensitive to God’s call to reach others for the gospel outside of your workplace? Are you open to God’s call to go further than you ever thought you could go?

Please consider the following call that God gives to every believer in Jesus Christ, whether you have a career or not:

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The authority that Jesus received from His father gave Him the right to tell His followers to go out and reach others with the good news of Christ. He wants them to tell all about what we know of Him and His Word in order that those who hear the message could also tell others about Christ. In order to do this, His followers would have to leave their homes and even their immediate surroundings to carry out this command:

Acts 1:8 ESV

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Jesus was not limiting His call to your street or your neighborhood, your office or your company, or even within the state or country. He literally meant “the end of the earth,” which is “all nations.” For believers, this should not be considered as “out of the box” thinking. It is what He expects of His followers.

So, what now? Jesus is calling for His followers to go to other nations. The gospel is to be proclaimed wherever there are people all over the world. It must be proclaimed because there are millions of people in our generation who were just like you at one time in your life…unsaved and lost. There are millions everywhere who are “lost in a system of religion that binds people into submission; lost in the discord of deities and idols; lost in a belief that we are alone in this world, that human enlightenment is the path to truth, and that our own works will determine whether we get to go to heaven or not” (cmalliance.org).

There are many who are without hope, just as you were at one time. There are many who have not realized God’s eternal grace. In order to have empathy for the lost, you should quietly reflect upon where you once were without Christ, and where you are now with Him. Jesus Christ desires for all to come to a saving knowledge of Him (1 Timothy 2:3-4), but if you don’t share this desire, then you are not ready to go anywhere. You have more to learn about Jesus, and you have more to learn about yourself.

Jesus calls His people into ministry and to “go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). In order to fulfill this task, Jesus wants us to be ready, willing and able. He gives us the Holy Spirit to provide us with power and energy, but we still need to do our part.

I.  Get ready. To be ready means to get ready. This readiness is all about personal development in Christ. A healthy relationship with Jesus Christ can only be developed and improved with the discipline of preparation, the desire to be obedient and the implementation of His character each day.

The discipline of preparation is reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis. As the Word means more and more to you each day, you find yourself desiring to please God more and more by following His teaching, and by living under His instruction as you pray for knowledge and meditate on His wisdom:

Psalm 1:1-2 ESV

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night .

II.  Be willing. Willingness is a component of obedience to Jesus and His call for you. If He is calling you to go forth, you must be willing to listen and embrace what He wants you to do, reminding you that He is asking you to do it in the power of the Holy Spirit, for remember that He tells you that He will be with you no matter where you are (Matthew 28:20):

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.

To be willing is to be flexible. It means that following Jesus is more important than creature comforts or familiar settings. It means living a life of personal sacrifice, and it requires a humble heart in order for you to carry out the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) before others. It means being a friend to others. It means loving other people—even those who are much different than you—where you will reflect the love of Christ:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Your desire to serve Jesus Christ in love will produce much fruit:

  • Jesus wants you to be willing to obey Him in all things (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).
  • Jesus wants you to be willing to show yourself to others as a sincere human being who follows Him (Colossians 3:22; Titus 2:7).
  • He wants you to be willing to live and act in such a way that people can see His love, grace and mercy (1 John 4:7-8; Romans 6:14; Luke 6:36).

Of all of these things, Jesus desires for you to be willing to forgive others, even those who persecute you:

Colossians 3:12-13 ESV

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

A willingness to obey Jesus propels the faithful believer into a life of service that is open to the work of the Holy Spirit in everything that is done.

III. Be able. In order to serve Christ wherever He sends you, it is very important to be able to rely upon the Holy Spirit to provide wisdom and guidance throughout any and all circumstances. The Spirit enables you to live in a Christlike manner before others:

Isaiah 11:2 ESV

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

John 14:15-17 ESV

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

You are able as the Spirit enables you to do these things. His purpose is to glorify God, which is what people are to conclude as they see the presence of Christ in everything that you do. You are able to show others God’s love, grace and mercy, in order that they can, perhaps for the first time in their lives, experience God’s love, grace and mercy.

The Great Commission of Jesus Christ is a powerful message for the believer. It compels you to think long and hard about more than just a job, or even a career. It compels you to think about how you can serve Him. The burden of serving others will make you pray fervently—get down on your knees—and open yourself up to how He can use you. You will see the need for a harvest in the same way that Jesus does (Luke 10:2; 2 Peter 3:9). A. B. Simpson noted that people are to be prayerful for qualified, well-trained workers who desire to follow God’s call to missions, and also prayerful for sufficiency in financial support.

There is a lot at stake as there is an end to when the gospel will be proclaimed—Christ’s return is imminent:

Matthew 24:14 ESV

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

When He returns, Jesus Christ will claim His people and judge those whom He does not have a personal relationship. The signs of His coming are ever-present and should not be ignored:

A. B. Simpson noted: “The religious signs are growing more vivid. Lukewarmness and worldliness in the Church, intense longings after holiness on the part of the few, and a mighty missionary movement are the features of the age, and the signs of prophecy, that point to the day of the Son of Man.”

A. B. Simpson stated that the gospel message is reflected in “the greatest text in the Bible,” and that it is a missionary message summed up in three thoughts:

  1. “This is the God the world needs to know.
  2. This is the Gospel the world needs to hear.
  3. This is the Love the world needs to see.”

The lost of the world need to see the true God of the universe reflected in your Christlike behavior.

The lost need to hear God’s words of encouragement through His promise of salvation.

The lost need to see your love and sincerity through friendship in order to share these very important truths.

The Bible says in Romans chapter 10, “how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it?” (cmalliance.org)

Now is the time to be ready, willing and able to speak freely about the One who saved you for all eternity.

Are you ready, willing and able to trust in Jesus Christ in this way?

In the same way Jesus proclaimed you righteous and saved you with His grace, now’s the time for you to share His love for you with others.

2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT

“For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.”

 

Copyright © Melvin Gaines


God’s Grace is Power Over Sin

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

God’s grace is sometimes lost within our sin. We can have victory over sin if we see God’s grace for what it truly is. His grace does not empower us to sin, and we do not sin to obtain more grace.

The natural person cannot live the Christian life without God’s grace. It is impossible to live out God’s will and plan for your life without grace.

Matthew 26:41
Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The natural man’s weakness is being subject to sin and sinful behavior. With the acceptance of Jesus Christ as personal Savior, His power and grace through the Holy Spirit allows us to live in a Christlike manner. His grace provides us the equalizer to combat sin in order that sin will have no power over us.

God’s grace is what allows us to say “no” to sin. God helps us to meet any and all of our needs, including the delivery from sin in our lives. He gives us the grace to be faithful to Him and to live in a godly manner before Him.

2 Timothy 2:11-13
11 This saying is trustworthy:

For if we have died with Him,
we will also live with Him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with Him;
if we deny Him, He will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, He remains faithful,
for He cannot deny Himself.

God is faithful to Himself even when we are not faithful to Him. It does not lower His holy standards and His righteousness. He demands that we are holy as He is holy.

Titus 2:11-12
11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age.

God’s grace is to empower you to deny sin and live for Him…it helps us to live with self control through the Holy Spirit.
The flesh alone can only follow Satan and commit sinful behavior. Grace is the great equalizer that gives you the choice and the ability to reject sin in such as way that the flesh cannot do. You do not have to succumb to the ways of the world. God has called you to a higher place, and He expects you to step up to it. He wants you to live godly today, and not wait until tomorrow to do it.

The purpose of grace is to live a victorious Christian life.

1. God is always present and sufficient to meet our needs. It doesn’t mean that we will necessarily be comfortable in our way of living, but He wants us to live in that He will be glorified.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9
…7 especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. 8 Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. 9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

That thorn was to regulate Paul’s thinking that he was “not all that.” The thorn was not sin, but it was all about giving Paul the realization that he was dependent upon God. He prayed for relief, but he didn’t get it. He was humbled and he realized that God’s “grace was sufficient” for him. Paul realized that he was where he was because of nothing other than God’s grace. Paul was content because of his acceptance of God’s grace.

You must believe that God’s grace is enough for you. If you don’t believe it, then you will wind up looking everywhere for something that only God can satisfy. He is the One who stabilizes you and keeps you in the midst of difficulty.

2. Grace keeps you grounded. It keeps you level-headed and gives you the ability to see Him through your difficult situations and circumstances.

3. The presence of grace does not remove troubles and difficulty. He teaches us to see that we can have victory in spite of the troubles.

4. In our weakness, grace provides us with understanding to overcome our fears. We recognize His power in our life and you can distinguish when God’s hand is on you and when He’s working in your life. This is the distinction between those called by God to be His children and to those who are in the world. God will meet every need.

Philippians 4:19
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor for us that gives us favor before others. His lovingkindness helps us to see His grace for what it is and to share our love for others.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2
6 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” 2 For He says:

I heard you in an acceptable time,
and I helped you in the day of salvation.
Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.

God doesn’t force His grace on anyone. He does not make you do anything. You have an inheritance, but you must acknowledge it. He gives each of us the path to fellowship and to recognize grace. Until you make the decision to accept God’s grace, you will not be victorious in Christ. You have to be willing to take the steps, and God’s grace will help you in your desire to fellowship with Him.

Pride is a hindrance to realizing God’s grace. It keeps one from accepting God’s Word as truth, and life in the flesh will eventually break you down and destroy you.

Sinful behavior is never to be accepted by a person and especially within the church.

Hebrews 10:26
For if we deliberately sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.

2 Thessalonians 2:10
…and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved.

1 Timothy 1:18-19
18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, 19 having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith.

2 Timothy 3:7
…always learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

(Also see Leviticus 4:2, 5:15)

The rejection of truth is contrary to everything that God or a believer should stand for. To reject God’s grace is a rejection of living according to God’s way. The true follower of Christ is always seeking Him and His grace in everything that he or she does in order to maintain fellowship with Him. The Holy Spirit provides assistance to your efforts as He is the Spirit of truth. He takes joy in your presence as you cherish His presence in your seeking Him and His wisdom and knowledge of the truth.

Titus 2:11-15
11 For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14 He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

15 Say these things, and encourage and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


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.