Thursday, 16 January 2020 19:14

Hearts that are Lifted Up

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Asa, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah – same pattern:
Started well. Walked with the Lord. Did what was right in God’s eyes, but at a certain point slid away from God.
All refused godly counsel.
Joash going as far as to kill his cousin Zechariah for daring to correct him.

All were filled with a sense of their own status, importance, infallibility. Pride as we all know is thinking highly of ourselves. The other side of that coin – is thinking less of others. These kings saw who came to correct them as inferior to them, and thus lacking the authority/right to correct them.

But we are the same isn’t it?
Do we like it when those who are “below us” – economically, socially or relationally correct us? How often do we see people park cars in the wrong place and then try to pull rank over the hapless cop/security guard who comes to correct them?

We teach our children not to lie.
But are we willing to accept correction from them when they catch us out on a lie/white lie and correct us? It’s hard for us as parents because we don’t like to admit we can be wrong.

I know that I resented being stopped by a new security guard at the entrance to a friend’s apartment block. The first thought that came to me was, ‘Can’t you see I am not a thief, terrorist or murderer?’ I felt my back stiffening with pride, and I spoke with a ‘posh’ accent & arrogant tone to put him in his place.

Then I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, ‘Alice, he’s doing his job. You don’t have to make him feel small.’

I turned back to him and said (in my “everyday” voice), ‘Thank you for doing your job.’

Jehoshaphat’s heart was lifted up/soared in the ways of Jehovah. [2 Ch 17:6]

Pride lifts us up and causes us to soar with pleasure at our own glory and bristle with anger at 'disrespect'
What causes my heart to soar?

The end of a thing is better than its start, and a gentle spirit is better than pride. Be not quick to let your spirit be angry; because wrath is in the heart of the foolish. Ecc 7:8-9

Father God, how easy it is to get onto our high-horse and look down on others. How hard it is to accept correction, because I don’t like to see myself as ‘small’. Help me Father to keep my eyes on the Cross, to remember the humility of our Saviour who made Himself of no account. Help me to be open to receiving correction, no matter who is doing it. Help me to conquer the “how-dare-theys”… In Jesus Name. Amen.

Alice D.

 He loved the soil and not his soul

Uzziah was a king who not only fortified Judah and strengthened Jerusalem's walls but he was a brilliant military strategist who is associated with the first war machines (2 chr 26:15).

He was also a farmer who took a delight in his land and loved the soil; he built towers to defend his flock and provide shelter, wells to quench thirst (2 chr 26:10-11).

He loved the soil and slowly allowed this love to corrupt his soul. He looked at everything he had done and assumed it was due to his strength. He blatantly entered the temple and took up the role of a priest.

So God made him a leper, banishing him not only from the temple and his palace but his beloved soil. Only Jesus can occupy the role of King and Priest in our lives.

Love for power and self is a strange thing. It has a pervasive influence that corrupts the soul. But Jesus showed us that we could overcome this love for the soil, replacing it with love for the word (Lk 4:3-12).

Let us take time to love the soil today and make the land we live in a better place for our future generations. But let us pray that our love for the soil never replaces our love for God.

Stay blessed, Adeline Albert

"So Jotham became mighty because he prepared his ways before the Lord, his God2 Chronicles: 27: 6 

The story of Jotham stands out among the stories of the other Kings of Judah, because the Bible does not report anything negative about his life. Jotham lived a brief life and he had a short reign, but he was faithful to the Lord. It is not how long we live that
counts, but how we live.

⚡ His mother's name was Jerusha, daughter of Zadok. The Zadokites were priests set apart to serve the Lord. So let us infer that his mother and her family descent influenced Jotham to become godly.

⚡ According to the Bible, motherhood is a responsibility and calling from the Lord-one of the ways we can glory and serve Him. The scripture contains examples of mothers who had both positive and negative influence on their children, depending on their own lifestyles and parenting. The Word of God teaches mothers to point children toward Christ by praying for them, modeling faith and character and training them in wisdom. ( Prov:I: 8, 29:15)

⚡ Let us consider some examples. Lois and Eunice ( 2 Timothy: 1:5)  Paul says that the "sincere faith"that Timothy possesses was from his grandmother Lois and Eunice. Jochebed, Hanna, Elizabeth, Mary mother of Jesus, are some other shining examples of godly mothers in the Bible.

⚡ In the history, we come across, Susanna Wesley managed a large household of 18 children, including John Wesley and Charles Wesley, who became the founders of the Methodist movement. Monica had a great influence on her son Augustine's life. Abraham Lincoln's famous testimony is pertinent to be remembered." No man is poor, who has had a godly mother"

⚡Dear Mothers, what is your influence on your children? How do our family descent influence our children?

⚡ God gave so many victories to Jotham in his short period of reign. It is specifically written, "he prepared his ways before the Lord his God, so Jotham became mighty"

⚡ Although Jotham's chapter in Chronicles is short, one of the statements in John's epistle stands true about his life, "And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides for ever" ( 1 John: 2:17)  Let us pray, Lord help us to learn from the good example of Jotham.

Dr. Thomas David.

As long as he sought the lord, God gave him success. 2 chron 26..5
But after Uzziah became powerful, his Pride led to his downfall 2 chron 26:16

Uzziah became a great military leader having a large and a well equipped army.He conquered Philistines,Arabians,and Ammonites.As long as Uzziah continued to seek the lord and follow His ways he was given grace, strength and help to rule as a king.

But he became proud of his successes.He failed to realise he had accomplished it with the help of God.He became so proud even intruding into priest office to burn incence upon the altar of incence. Azariah, the fearless priest along with 80 other priests approached Uzziah and said It is not right for him to burn incence to the lord but for the priests. Uzziah royal ego was inflated.He thought he had spiritual authority as well as political authority over his people.

Uzziah became very angry with his priests and while he was angry, the judgement of God fell on him and leprosy broke out on his forehead.He ran out of the temple and was cut off from the people.and he could never enter the temple again.and died as a leper.

When God blesses a man, he should never get puffed up.He should be thankful to God and be very careful not to get proud.He should be humble.because God detests the proud. Pride led to the downfall of Uzziah.Proud Uzziah was humbled,taken from high life to low life,from honor to disgrace

God's word says in Num 3:10 So you can appoint Aaron and his sons and thtey shall attend to their priesthood but the outsider who comes near, shall be put to death. Uzziah could not live above God s law. So God judged King s refusal to heed to His law.but was merciful to him and didnot kill him.

Lord, we thank you for the good things, the successes we enjoy in our life.Help us to be obedient to your word.Help us to depend on You and stand firm in our faith till the end.Help us to be humble always and live for your glory in our lives.In Jesus name Amen

Cynthia Sathiaraj, Chennai

More Kings 

Joash Repairs the Temple
Joash was 7 years old when he became king. Joash did good in God's sight all the years of Jehoiada the priest. He decided to restore the temple. A chest was placed outside the gate. All the people dropped in money generously and a large amount was collected and the repairs began. It was completed before the priest died.

The Wickedness of Joash 
After the death of the priest the attitude of the people changed. The temple was abandoned and they worshipped Asherah poles and idol. According to the warning of the prophets they were forsaken by God. The army of Aram came against Judah and all the leaders were killed. Joash was severely wounded and he died.

Amaziah the son of Joash succeeded him. He went against Edom and brought back their Gods. He bowed to the Gods and sacrificed. He went against Israel. Judah was routed by Israel. The walls of Jerusalem were broken and they plundered the temple articles. Amaziah turned away from following the Lord and he was killed.

Uzziah succeeded Amaziah. He did what was right in God's eyes. As long as he sought the Lord he was given success. God helped him against the Philistines. His fame spread and he was powerful. After he became powerful his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to God. He entered the temple to burn incense and he was raging at the priests. Leprosy broke out on his fore head. He was afflicted by God and he had to live in a separate house.

Jotham became king of Judah after his father Uzziah. He did good in God's sight. But the people followed corrupt practices. He conquered the Ammonites. Jotham became powerful because he walked steadfastly before God. He died after resigning for 16 years.

Lesson We Learn
We see in today's passage that those who steadfastly followed the Lord were blessed abundantly. Those who forsook the Lord were ruined. Our God is a God of Justice. We are in the time of grace. Punishments don't fall on us as it did in the Old Testament times. We should never take advantage of God's grace and fall into sin. May the Lord help our Christian lives to be always pleasing to God, to be steadfast and whole hearted.

Mrs Caroline Chellappa, Chennai

I am the Promise and Judgment

⏳ Joash Repairs the Temple
Joash became king of Judah at the age of seven, and he ruled in Jerusalem for forty years. His mother was Zibiah from the city of Beersheba.

? He did what was pleasing to the LORD as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive.

He ordered the priests and the Levites to go to the cities of Judah and collect from all the people enough money to make the annual repairs on the Temple. He told them to act promptly, but the Levites delayed,

 They sent word throughout Jerusalem and Judah for everyone to bring to the LORD the tax which Moses, God's servant, had first collected in the wilderness.

All of them worked hard, and they restored the Temple to its original condition, as solid as ever.

⏳ Apostasy of Joash
The LORD sent prophets to warn them to return to him, but the people refused to listen.

⏳ Amaziah Reigns in Judah
He did what was pleasing to the LORD, but did it reluctantly.

⏳ Uzziah Reigns in Judah
Following the example of his father, he did what was pleasing to the LORD.

⏳ Jotham Reigns in Judah
He did what was pleasing to the LORD, just as his father had done; but unlike his father he did not sin by burning incense in the Temple. The people, however, went on sinning.

⏳ Be fair with Innocent ⚖



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