Summary: A life of faith will set you apart in this life, from this message I hope to understand, what that life looks like.
Life is a Matter of Faith
September 6th 2009
Eugene Peterson in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction writes, “It is not difficult in our world to get a person interested in the message of the Gospel; it is terrifically difficult to sustain the interest. Millions of people in our culture make decisions for Christ, but there is a dreadful attrition rate. Many claim to have been born again, but the evidence for mature Christian discipleship is slim. In our kind of culture anything, even news about God, can be sold if it is packaged freshly; but when it loses its novelty, it goes on the garbage heap. There is a great market for religious experience in our world; there is little enthusiasm for the patient acquisition of virtue, little inclination to sign up for a long apprenticeship in what earlier Christians called holiness.” (Sermon central illustration)
King Jotham lived a life a faith, a faith that set him apart, a faith that was steady and determined and today I want us to study these six verses on the reign of King Jotham and see what we can learn about living a life of faith.
Read Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 27:1-6
I. Faith begins with Obedience
Vs. 2 “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD,”
What a great testimony of a man, “He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD,”.
During the US civil war Abraham Lincoln met with a group of ministers for a prayer breakfast. Lincoln was a man of deep, if at times unorthodox, faith. At one point one of the ministers said, "Mr. President, let us pray that God is on our side". Lincoln’s response showed far greater insight, "No, gentlemen, let us pray that we are on God’s side." If we want to know what God wants us to do, then we must first strive to live a life of obedience to Him. (Sermon Central illustration)
A Life of faith must have a beginning, it must have a point of origin. There was a point in King Jotham’s life when he decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps and become prideful, as his father Uzziah did late in his reign as king of Judah.
There must be a point in our lives when we say, “I’m not going there”, “I’m not doing that”, “Lord I will follow you”.
“Lord, I’m not worried about you being on my side, my concern is that I’m on your side.”
A walk of faith, a life of faith begins with obedience, the choice that we are faced with everyday, do I follow you God, or do I conform to this world, and live like the world expects me to live.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good pleasing and perfect will.”
II. Faith is strengthen by other people of faith.
Vs. 2 “just as his father Uzziah had done,”
Uzziah, Jotham’s father early in his reign was a very successful king. We read in the account of his reign the same words that describe Jotham’s reign in 2 Chronicles 26:4 “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,”.
There is not doubt that Jotham saw early in his father’s reign what living a life of faith should look like. There is not doubt that he saw how the favor of God rested on his father as long as he remained obedient to Him.
Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
A walk of faith should be strengthen by others in two ways.
1. By there “faith success”. As I said, King Jotham no doubt saw the success his father King Uzziah had in reign as long as he was faithful and obedient to God. I believe he learned a valuable life lesson, “As long as I’m walking in obedience and faith to God, then God will honor me.
Likewise, we can learn lessons from others “faith success”. When I see you in your life being obedient to God, and walking in the faith, then my faith is strengthen, if I live a life of obedience to God, then God will honor my obedience as well.
2. By there “faith failure”. Unfortunately Uzziah didn’t always “do what was right in the eyes of the Lord”. We read in 2 Chronicles 26:16 “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”
You may think, well what so bad about that, he went to church and burned some incense, many people do that today. We have to go back and put ourselves in that culture, and know that God and certain rules for the temple, and God said, Numbers 18:6-7 “I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the Tent of Meeting. But only you and our sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death.”