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
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” “And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:8 & 10-11
Something to Smile About
Did you hear about the efficiency expert who did a seminar on time management for a company’s junior executives? He ended one of his lectures with this disclaimer, “Don‟t attempt these timesaving tips at home,” he said.
“Why not?” one of the executives asked.
“I did a study of my wife’s routine of fixing breakfast,” he said sheepishly. “She made a lot of trips between the refrigerator and the stove, the table and the cabinets—often carrying only one item. So I asked my wife, “Honey, why don’t you try carrying several things at once, so you can be more efficient?””
“Did that save time?” the young executive asked.
“Actually, yes,” the lecturer replied. “It used to take her twenty minutes to get breakfast, now I get my own breakfast in seven minutes.”
Think About It
Amen to What is Right
Of all the goofy, depressing, and astounding things that happened recently (take your pick), my jaw literally dropped at the choice of a veteran congressman and denominational minister to finish his congressional prayer with “amen and a-woman” (not to mention the blasphemous content of his prayer!).
Did you know the word “amen” is the favorite word of Jesus in the book of John? It is commonly translated “truly” or “assuredly” and the word literally means, “may it be” or “let it be.” It is ironic that Christ used it most at the beginning of His statements, as one man observed, to punctuate His authority and Christians now use the word today at the ends of prayers to invoke His authority.
There is something special about God’s people “amen-ing” what is right. What Mr. Emanuel (or is it Ewomanuel?) Cleaver prayed is a mockery of God and a signal to us about the gross disparity and ignorance of God and His will. Christians, wake up to our work, especially if he is a representative of Americans! May God be merciful to us (the church) and provide grace to herald what’s right while we’ve still got time (Prov. 14:34). AMEN!
It’s going to be a great week to His glory! – Andy Baker Graeber Road church of Christ Rosenberg, TX