Summary: At the beginning of Hezekiah’s reign, he made some important decisions regarding his faith that God blessed him for and he prospered.
FORMULA FOR PROSPERITY
TEXT: 2 Kings 18:1-8
Transition: Look at 3 things Hezekiah determined that brought prosperity to his life.
I. MAKE A DETERMINATION TO WORSHIP
A. He determined to do right in the sight of the Lord (v.3)
1. Ahaz evil
2. Only 3 other kings compared to David:
Josiah, Jehosaphat & Asa
B. He determined to worship the Lord in spirit and truth (v.4)
1. Reopened the temple (2 Chron. 29-31)
2. Reinstituted Passover (extended 7 days)
3. Revival ensued
4. Sought to bring Israel together in unity to
C. Comparison to Us & Church vs. Hezekiah
1. If we desire to have the Lord with us, we
must determine to do right in the sigh of
the Lord. No matter what the world
2. “Seeker-friendly” vs. “God-seeker”
3. Examine our worship - Moses’ brass serpent
which once the Lord had used to bring
salvation to the Israelites had become a
TRANSITION: We’ve talked about the first part of our formula for prosperity in the Lord which is making a determination to worship Him first and foremost and secondly we
II. MAKE A DETERMINATION TO TRUST (v. 5)
A. Hezekiah Trusted the Lord
1. to the point that he made an impression
on the world around him.
2. Hezekiah wasn’t “problem free” either
3. He knew where to turn to when things got
tough (2 Ki. 19:14-16)
B. Compare our Trust to Hezekiah’s
1. Christians shouldn’t have problems - bah
2. John 16:33 “33“These things I have spoken to
you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the
world you have tribulation, but take courage; I
have overcome the world.”
3. Who do we turn to when the going gets
READ: Luke 8:22-25
Sea of Galilee, which is actually a lake large enough to look like a Sea.
Disciples, some of whom were seasoned sailors, were terrified. They had weathered many storms, but they were convinced on this occasion that they were finished.
Jesus slept. They were irritated, and finally awakened Jesus. They told Him, "We’re going to drown!"
We all, like the disciples face storms during our lives.
C. The first is simply....storms happen.
Living on the Gulf Coast we know that when Hurricane Season comes we have the potential for a major storm to come and wreck havoc at any time. The same goes for our lives....we have times when the circumstances seem out of control or at least to a stage that we don’t know how we are going to be able to handle it.
B. The second fact about storms is how we handle them.
ILLUSTRATION: Get Greg to come up and let me lean on him. 2 Ways - One I look like I’m putting my weight on him the 2nd way I really lean on him risking his moving away and me falling
1. Some of us are “masters” at handling
storms, others don’t handle them so well.
2. Many times the outlook of the disciples
toward their circumstances are the same as ours. They were initially:
frightened, panic stricken,
thinking only of themselves and of what seemed to be imminent death.
3. Inwardly, they were as troubled as the
C. We can choose to allow God to mold us. BITTER or BETTER??
ILLUSTRATION: Toothpaste in a tube. Battle with Liver Disease
1. My first reaction when I face a storm has
been just like those disciples, start bailing
as fast as I can. Not much results, just
tired and still bailing.
Weathering a storm out in the middle of an ocean and see the immensity of the waves and how insignificant your vessel is compared to them, you can have moments of fear grip you.
2. We forget we are not alone, their answer
was right there in the boat
3. Was Jesus really asleep or if he had
possibly been awakened just enough by
the crashing of the waves to lay there to
see just how long it would take?
4. While the text cannot convey the tone of
voice of the disciples....
initially perturbed with Jesus?
whoever spoke to Jesus spoke with
irritation in his voice?
someone may well have shaken Him to
arouse Him, and probably
not too gently?
initial attitude toward Jesus was agitation.
5. Jesus can handle our frustrations, our
anger, our fears, our questions. Just
because we have those feelings doesn’t
mean we’ve lost our trust somewhere
along the way.
6. Jesus is available during the storms
7. Jesus desires us to trust him; He is
ABOVE the storm. He can see the
WHOLE picture. (Prov. 3:5-6) Trust in
the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding....
TRANSITION: So our formula for prosperity with the Lord is based on 3 things our determination to worship, our determination to trust and finally we must ......