April 28, 2017

April 28, 2017

2 KINGS 20-22

Focus Verse: He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
2 Kings 18:3

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel.
2 Kings 21:1-2

Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done.
2 Kings 21:19-20

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.
2 Kings 22:1-2

 

A lot of verses for today, but they all come together to paint such an interesting story. The first verse is talking about King Hezekiah and is technically from yesterday’s reading, so forgive me, but look at this back and forth that Judah goes through with the Lord and their kings.

 

Everything that Hezekiah does to turn Judah back to God and away from all of their idols, Manasseh undoes. He builds all of the altars to false gods again, sacrifices to them, even sacrifices his own children in fire. He goes so far as to build places of worship to false gods INSIDE the temple of the One True God. His son Amon follows his ways and continues the evil streak. Then Josiah comes along and again turns Judah back to the Lord.

 

So I’m going to spell out the obvious, but it is something that we need to get down in our hearts as quickly as possible: you are the only one who can walk with God. “Well Duh!”

 

Here’s what I mean: your parents can’t walk with God FOR you. Your Pastor can’t walk with God FOR you. Your grandma, best friend, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend…(you get the point?) can’t walk with God FOR you. You have to walk with Him on your own. You have to CHOOSE to walk with Him on your own.

 

This doesn’t mean you are alone. It is vital to have spiritual mentors to help you walk with God. They encourage you, build you up, help you out when you’re struggling, pray for you. But no person can take the place of the Holy Spirit, and the only way to get the Holy Spirit to help you walk with God is if you choose to walk with Him.

 

Now there is good and bad to this. I’ll do the bad first, because that’s just how I roll. Just because you’ve grown up in a Christian home doesn’t mean you’re in with Jesus. Your parents’ relationship with Jesus isn’t salvation for you. That would make your parents your savior. You have to choose Jesus on your own. You have to have your own experience with Him. You have to have your own relationship with Him.

 

My wife has a lot of friends with whom she has relationships. I have a relationship with my wife. That DOES NOT mean that I have relationships with her friends. That’s not how it works in real life, why do we expect it to work that way with Jesus?

 

But on the plus side, you aren’t stuck in your parents’ poor decisions either. You can have a BETTER relationship with God than they have or had. You can break the cycle of sin and addiction and pain and poor decisions; just like Hezekiah and Josiah did. No one else’s mistakes can define you. STOP LETTING THEM!

 

The most amazing thing is that even your own past can no longer define you. Jesus Christ is calling and ready to make you a new creation today. Your past, “fake relationship” with Him can be forgiven right now. All you need is a humble heart and a willingness to give it all over to Him.

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