April 29, 2017

April 29, 2017

2 KINGS 23-25

Focus Verse: In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. And King Josiah went to meet him, and when Pharaoh Neco saw him he killed him at Megiddo.
2 Kings 23:29


Well this is kind of a random, depressing verse to be using as the focus verse. There is a point for that. I want to come against the popular idea that as followers of Christ, we are immune to hard times. Now anyone who has been a Christian for awhile knows that this is true. But it still bears to be repeated.


King Josiah was the best the nation of Judah had seen in awhile. He found the Book of the Law while he was king and turned Judah back to God wholeheartedly. In fact, we are told right before this, in verse 25, “Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor did any like him arise after him.” Yet Josiah’s story doesn’t have a happy ending…at least not the Disney happy ending that we are used to in Western culture.


Let’s be clear, Josiah’s story did have a happy ending. He is in the presence of God eternally right now (we aren’t told that he turned away from the Lord in his last few days…so that’s what I’m assuming). Yes, Josiah lost a war here on earth. He lost his life in that war. But he still wins. This is the blessed hope that we have as followers of Jesus Christ. We win no matter what!


But, sadly, Christians don’t act like this is true. We live so often for this world and this world only. We even give advice to others from this kind of worldly perspective (see the book of Job); if someone is facing a hard time, they must have some hidden sin in their life or they don’t have enough faith to be healed.


What if God’s will is just that their healing isn’t supposed to come until they are standing in His glorious presence? What if He is just tired of not having His precious child in His arms?


We need to start living more for the next life than we are for this life. I’m not saying we ignore this life. Jesus calls us to live this life and live it well for His glory. Paul had it right on when he said in Philippians 1:21, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”


While we are on this earth, let’s work with all we have for God. Let’s give Him 100% because our time here is short! But when He tells us our time is up, let’s no pretend that there is anything in this world that will rival what is in store for us in the next!

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