Toward the end of the year, we begin to focus on the “new.” We enjoy giving and receiving “new” presents, and we look forward to the hope of a “new” year. A blank calendar page represents fresh opportunity, but what will we do with it?
Hezekiah was known as a man who received renewed opportunity from the Lord. A godly king, Hezekiah destroyed the idols in Judah (2 Kings 18:4) and trusted God (2 Kings 18:5-6).
When Assyria came knocking on the door threatening to destroy Jerusalem, Hezekiah prayed (2 Kings 19:15-19), and God spared Judah. When Hezekiah fell ill, and God told him that he would not survive, Hezekiah again went to the Lord in earnest prayer, and God extended his life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:1-6). Two challenges in Hezekiah’s day were overcome by going to God in prayer. The nation now had renewed hope, and Hezekiah especially should have been filled with new enthusiasm for the future after God spared his life.
However, when a third challenge presents itself, Hezekiah seems to display resignation and selfishness. Isaiah reveals to him that Babylon would soon come and take away the wealth of Judah, as well as Hezekiah’s own descendants (2 Kings 20:16-18). Instead of meeting this challenge with more prayer, Hezekiah says, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” and “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19). Hezekiah was given new opportunities, but he was content to live with his personal blessings, and gave no prayer for the future generations.
As Christians, we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, and walk in newness of life. We’ve had our lives extended eternally! But what about the lost around us? What about future generations? Will we be content with our own salvation, and give no thought, prayer, or action for the salvation of others?
What will we do with the new?
Matt Clifton Judsonia church of Christ, Judsonia, AR
Out of love for one another…….
We are currently requiring everyone attending the Sunday morning worship assembly and Wednesday evening Bible study to wear a mask in keeping with the Health Departments guidelines. We thank you for your consideration of and care for others. Masks are available if you need one.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
Scripture of the Week
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” ~~ Psalm 139:23-24
Something to Smile About
My Favorite animal
Our teacher asked us what our favorite animal was, and I said, “Fried chicken.” She said I wasn’t funny, but she couldn’t have been right, because everybody in the class laughed.
My parents told me to always be truthful and honest, and I am. Fried chicken is my favorite animal. I told my Dad what had happened, and he said my teacher was probably an animal advocate, the people who love animals very much.
I do, too. Especially chicken, pork and beef.
Anyway, my teacher sent me to the principle’s office. I told him what happened, and he laughed, too. Then he told me not to do it again.
The next day in class my teacher asked me what my favorite animal was. I told her it was chicken. She asked me why. I told her it was because you could make it into fried chicken.
She sent me back to the principle’s office again. He laughed, and told me not to do it again. I don’t understand. My parents taught me to be honest, but my teacher doesn’t like it when I am.
Today, my teacher asked us to tell her what famous person we admire most.
I told her, “Colonel Sanders.”
Guess where I am now . . .
“A cheerful heart is good medicine . . . “ ~~~ Proverbs 17:22
Think About It
Longing for Home
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you‟” (Exodus 13:19).
Joseph had enjoyed a distinguished career in Egypt. Next to Pharaoh, he had held the highest position in that country. Yet those long years of faithful service never made him feel he really belonged in Egypt. Before he died, he adjured his people to take his mortal remains to the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Lord expects His people to be faithful in their earthly positions and responsibilities. By so doing they honor Christ and His church. Yet they are to never become so attached to this world that they prefer it to the land of promise.
Our home is not here, but in heaven. Here we are pilgrims and sojourners on our way to a better place (1 Peter 2:11).
Peter thus wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (2 Peter 1:3-4). — Glenn Walton