Summary: A conclusion to the "why" and "how" of stewardship, emphasizing an urgent appeal to make a commitment to sacrificial giving.
Joash grew up on the throne. He was a boy-king. His regent, Jehoiada was a godly priest, and carefully guided Joash to become a God-minded man, and a good king. It was Jehoiada’s influence that got Joash to repair the temple.
1Joash was seven years old when he began to reign,
and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3And Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he begat sons and daughters. 4And it came to pass after this, that Joash was minded to repair the house of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 24:1-4 (KJV)
The developing character of Joash was unmistakingly the influence of his teacher and guardian, Jehoiada. Joash was only seven when he started to reign. But the early-formed habit of doing right was unbroken as long as Jehoiada lived.
Jehoiada chose wives for Joash – probably Godly women who passed the Jehoiada test. (Can you hear the refrains of Fiddler on the Roof’s ‘Matchmaker?’)
It was subsequent to this training that Joash got the idea to repair the crumbling temple of Jehoiada’s God (cf. 24.4).
Now, we have ample parallel of the Joash/Jehoiada tandem in our own history at Cedar Lodge. We have the Godly example of Rev. and Mrs. Fred Jurney.
In 1964 the meetings began in the Lion’s Den. By fall of 1965 this very building we occupy was completed. The godly leadership of the Jurneys encouraged and compelled God’s people to excellence in completing our building.
Rev. Jurney died in 1972, but by 1975, Rev. and Mrs. B.V. Broadway picked up the standard and helped us march as God directed. A fellowship hall was constructed.
And in 1990 Rev. and Mrs. Jarvis helped point the way toward a new day. Rev. Steve sent you a Challenge To Build letter, and in less than 11/2 years, we dedicated a new wing of administrative offices and educational space.
The cost was nearly $300,000. Had you waited until the year 2000 – it would have been more than triple that amount! What a testament to the giving, forward-moving gracious Spirit of Christ in this body!
All of that is like Joash and Jehoiada. The pastoral families (Jurney, Broadway, Jarvis), were like Jehoiada, leading, educating, encouraging. Now, like Jehoiada, those pastors weren’t perfect. Jehoiada had trouble getting started with the project, until Joash prodded him. (That’s a good thing to do with a preacher sometimes; preachers don’t have all the answers!).
The Joash in our history is you – the people – the bride of Christ, responding, stepping-out, building for the future. The people weren’t perfect either – but God is, and was directing all our needs; He saw this church through every lean time, and blessed through the years.
There was a success story in Jerusalem’s temple, and in Thomasville on Cedar Drive!
It has been a long time since the original groundbreaking day in 1964. It has also been quite a while since the last building project began. Listen to the minutes of the meeting: