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
Scripture of the Week
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30
Think About It
That’s the Way I’ll Look Like When I am Dead???
There was a lady who had to show her driver’s license at a store for identification, and she told the cashier, “Please don’t pay any attention to that picture, it’s awful! I guess that’s what I’ll look like when I’m dead.” Staring at the picture, the cashier said, “Oh, they’ll make you look a lot better than that!”
We spend a lot of time worrying about our outward appearance, don’t we? And yet the most important thing about us is who we are on the inside. In fact, that is what God notices about us! As God told Samuel:
“For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7b).
Today, let us remember our inner being, and make sure we “clean and dress” it properly. We can do that by practicing kindness and consideration, and remembering God in all we do.
Have a great day! – Matt Clifton BulletinDigest.com
Something to Smile About
What Time Is It?
It was scarcely half-past nine when the rather fierce-looking father of the girl entered the parlor where the timid lover was courting her. The father had his watch in his hand. “Young man,” he said, “do you know what time it is?” “Y-y-yes sir,” stuttered the frightened lover, as he scrambled out into the hall, “I–I was just going to leave!” After the beau had made a rapid exit, the father turned to the girl and said in astonishment: “What was the matter with that fellow? My watch has run down, and I simply wanted to know the time.”