Summary: Fortification that brings peace is accomplished when we build community, fortify our selves, families and church, and prepare in advance for the next threat/battle.
FORTIFICATION THAT PRESERVES PEACE
Second in Series – “Peace That Expands & Lasts: Lessons from Asa”
Rev. Todd G. Leupold, Perth Bible Church, Sunday 8/10/2008 AM
When have begun looking at the reign of King Asa in order to learn more about how we may experience a Holy Spirit revival that results in “Peace that Expands and Lasts.”
One wise person has suggested that our need for revival come at times become most evident when it affects our worship singing. For instance, we sing
“Sweet Hour of Prayer” and struggle with a few minutes.
“Amazing Grace” and focus on others’ faults and offenses against us
“O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing” and then use the 1 we have for gossip and slander
“Onward Christian Soldier” and then expect an extended leave.
“Blessed Is One Day” and wonder when will this hour and fifteen minute worship service will ever end?
“I Will Celebrate” and decide in our hearts ’just as soon as I get my way.’
We could go on and on, couldn’t we?
(adapted from illustration scene in “Steps To Revival” by Bobby Daniel, www.sermoncentral.com)
We laugh, but I’ll bet my bottom dollar we have all been guilty of this kind of stinkin’ thinkin’ in our lives.
Last week we began this study by learning that the first step to revival that brings peace is to have the courage and faith to destroy that which hinders it – especially those things that can be so very popular and beloved. This week, we will look at the next step: “Fortification That Preserves Peace.”
SCRIPTURE: 2 Chronicles 14:6-7
When we do stand up to that which hinders our spiritual lives in Christ and find ourselves in a period peace, what then?
From Asa’ we learn that even the most deserved and hardest fought periods of peace are only temporary. There will always be another challenge, temptation and battle that will someday come along and seek to once again shatter that peace.
In his godly wisdom, Asa effectively demonstrated for us what we need to accomplish even in our best, most peaceful and prosperous times, if we are to continue to maintain and defend it.
First, we must . . .
I.) BUILD: CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
Personal Illustration: NOTHING, apart from the Holy Spirit and the Bible, has had a greater impact on my spiritual life, growth and maturity than the experiences I have had living in authentic community. I am very blessed to have discovered this from the beginning of my new life in Christ as I intimately connected with the Christian Fellowship on our college campus. We were all different personalities, backgrounds, styles and preferences. I didn’t experience some automatic, magnetic connection with everyone, nor they with me. I made mistakes, stumbled, sinned and offended. So did they. We were all immature and struggling to learn what it means to be an adult and what it means to be a Christian. But as we daily chose to persevere and ’live life together’ like the disciples in Acts 2, even our imperfections, immaturities, mistakes, arrogance, and misguided enthusiasm became tremendous tools for growth, maturity and transforming ministry in and for Jesus Christ! As long as we put our sense of community and identity in Christ above all else, we found ourselves growing through our agreements and disagreements, successes and failures, wisdom and foolishness, selfishness and selflessness – together!
Greg Ogden, in his book Transforming Discipleship, explains:
“. . . We have an inadequate view of the church as a discipleship community. . . many
view the church as an option, not a requirement, when it comes to living the Christian
life. . . Biblically, discipleship is never seen as a me-and-Jesus solo relationship, for the
church is a discipleship community. . . Our value as believers is known by playing our
God-assigned part in building up the church. . . The collective strength of the church has
been weakened by the trend over the last generation toward isolated, personalized belief” (pg. 51).
To follow this thought, we see that the Bible teaches that we build Christian community
A.) RELATIONAL INVESTMENTS
We need to be personally, positively, and biblically investing in one another’s lives through encouragement, equipping, challenging, reconciling, and holding one another accountable.
It is never enough in the eyes of Christ to simply find or establish our own maturity or even our own community!!!
Christ calls us to take this blessing and, by His Spirit, seek to see it reproduced exponentially in others as well - until we are ALL growing in Christ together!
The mark of true Christian community is one is which lives are noticeably and radically transformed toward the likeness of Christ and His character!