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:
Groundbreaking ceremony on Sun, Apr. 14, 1991.
Patsy Hinkle, Debbie Graham, Eddie Hinkle, Ed Suggs,
Pastor Jarvis shoveled first scoops of dirt.
Pictures were taken by Ronnie Myers.
Grading began on 4-18-91…
Building completed week of Sept 1-10, 1991….
Building officially open for use – Sept 15, 1991….
Dedication Sept 29, 1991.
It has been right at 10 years since we began paying-down the debt on our building. We’ve paid over $250,000 including interest and principle payments. We still have over $50,000 remaining on the note. You might ask…
So What’s Next?
I think that’s what Joash must have asked himself when his mentor, Jehoiada died. Jehoiada was Joash’s northstar, his beacon in the night. When the guiding wisdom of his mentor was taken, Joash forgot to grow up and depend on the Lord. He fell prey to the wolves who came with flattery:
15But Jehoiada waxed old, and was full of days when he died; an hundred and thirty years old was he when he died. 16And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God, and toward his house. 17Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king hearkened unto them. 18And they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served groves and idols: and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this their trespass.
2 Chronicles 24.15-18
It is a natural tendency to slow down after a project. Joash left his fervency for the Lord, and got involved in worldly pursuits.
The analogy is continued with our track record. I do not know where the folks are who originally pledged (nor have I looked at any individual records).