Summary: Amaziah starts well but allows half heartedness, impatience, fear and pride lead him to destruction. This message was designed for a small group meeting.
Scripture 2 Chronicles 25
Theme: Amaziah plus Halfheartedness Equals Destruction
Amaziah starts well but allows half heartedness, impatience, fear and pride lead him to destruction. This was designed for a small group meeting . Sunday Night or Wednesday Night
Grace and peace from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Recently, I came across a couple of items that I believe can help us better understand how to look at the life of the major character in our Old Testament Story, King Amaziah. The first one is a quote from Francis Chen a well known Christian pastor, leader and author:
"Following Christ isn't something that can be done halfheartedly or on the side. It is not a label we can display when it is useful. It must be central to everything we do and are."
The second one comes from a passage of scripture that Brooklyn Tabernacle Pastor Jim Cymbala quotes in his little book - THE LIFE GOD BLESSES. Pastor Cymbala refers to the beginning part of 2 Chronicles 16:9 - "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His ... " (NASB)
Pastor Chen's quote along with our two Bible passages center around the same concept - the idea of a person being wholeheartedly given over to the LORD. A person who has chosen the LORD to be the center of their life. A person who believes and experiences a life in which true genuine humanness is having the LORD as their Savior, their Lord and their King.
It's a concept that we in the Church are very familiar with and one that we invite others to experience alongside us. In fact, many of our worship songs both past and present speak of such a whole heart experience:
- "Lord I Give You My Heart" (Michael J. Smith)
- "I Surrender All" (Judson W. Van DeVenter)
- "Christ is Enough" (Hillsong United)
- "King of My Soul" (Matt Redman).
The Bible is full of scriptures that center around the concept of having a wholehearted relationship with God.
"You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
"Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Giving ourselves completely and wholly over to the LORD is something that we know we should do but at times I believe that all of us find ourselves either being tempted not to do so or wondering if in fact we have done so. I think many of us could agree that we have faced times in our spiritual walk with the LORD when we have been tempted to fudge a little bit on our commitment and dedication. I believe there have been times that we have perhaps even allowed our spiritual light to wane a little bit or our spiritual salt has lost some of its vibrant saltiness. Perhaps there have even been times that it took all we had to drag ourselves to worship, to get on our knees to pray or open God's Holy Word.
If any of that rings true for you today then don't be alarmed. It is all a part of the process of our spiritual, emotional and physical transformation. It is a part of us having to deal with our flesh. The Apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:16-24 that we should not be surprised to find ourselves at war with our flesh. Listen again to verse 17:
"For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do." (verse 17 ESV)
There is a marked difference between being born again and having a mature Christian character. There is a marked difference between being sanctified and possessing a mature Christian character. While we are saved in an instant it is not true that we are therefore restored into the image of Christ likeness in an instant. So, often the road to spiritual maturity is one that has many curves, stopping points, mountains and valleys to traverse. It is one that requires us to stay awake and vigilant.