Saturday, August 23, 2014
Friday, August 22, 2014
This next week is going to be a "big" week for Tupelo. They are expecting around three thousand volunteers from forty-three states to converge on Tupelo. These people are all spending their time to help others who are in need.
Let us look at a few calculations.
1. Man Hours per day - 3,000 x 8 = 24,000 man hours
2. Man Hours in eight days - 24,000 x 8 = 192,000 man hours
Think about how many lives can be touched in some way in just a week. This is only one event where people help others in need. Just think of how much time each year is spent volunteering to help others.
Think of how many lives are touched each year by these efforts.
Daniel, our son, and others volunteer with AMBUCS in Illinois. AMBUCS is an organization that helps mentally challenged individuals. For the last three summers, Daniel has helped with the softball "season". He told me lat week that he was looking forward to next year. It is usually the same people volunteering every year.
These are just two instances of volunteering. Just imagine the number of man hours that are freely given for "good" causes.
Let me get personal for the rest of this article. How many hours do we give to God weekly, monthly, and yearly? Dr. Ray Trantham hinted towards this in his sermon. He talked about the mission field and what has happened and is happening there. These missionaries and their families given many man-hours to God.
Let me do some calculations.
1. Sunday Morning - 2 hours
2. Sunday Evening - 1 hour
3. Wednesday Evening - 1 hour
These are the normal amounts of time many people, which is what I am going to call "average", give God in a week. So the "average" person will give God four hours a week, at the most.
1. 4 x 4 = 16 hours per month
2. 16 x 12 = 192 hours a year
So, how many weeks would it take "average" people, giving the "minimum" amount of time to God, to equal the 192,000 hours given in one week through Eight Days of Hope? There are a couple of ways to look at this.
One is by the number of people. 192,000/4 = 48,000
It takes 48,000 people each Sunday to equal what 3,000 people will do in a week.
Another way to look at it is in years. How many years would it take a church of 100 to give God 192,000 hours if they only did the minimum?
1. 100 x 4 = 400 hours per week
2. 192,000/400 = 480 weeks
3. 480/52 = 9.23 years
It would take almost ten years for a church of 100 "average" people to give the amount of time that will be given in one week.
What if we look at how long it would take one person to given 192,000 hours to God if they only spent 4 hours a week with Him?
I know I will not live that long. How about you?
Now let us look at how many hours God invested in us in a year.
1. 24 x 7 = 168 hours per week
2. 168 x 4 = 672 hours per month
3. 672 x 12 = 8064 hours in a year.
Let's say that you live to be 70. How much time does God have invested in you?
8,064 x 70 = 564,480 hours
We can never "outdo" God, but let us not be the "average" either. Let us give of ourselves with the same generosity that God does.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
2 Chronicles 29:1 - 28
Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old. His father Ahaz had been king for sixteen years. His was an ungodly rule, during which he burned his sons (Hezekiah’s brothers) as sacrifices to idols. Almost certainly, the ungodly rule of his father affected Hezekiah’s choices as leader, but perhaps Hezekiah also remembered his grandfather King Jotham, who was a godly king. Although Jotham died when Hezekiah was only a boy, his grandfather Jotham had become mighty because he ordered his way before the Lord. (1 Chr. 27:6)
Hezekiah must have remembered the more peaceful, prosperous time when his grandfather was king, and perhaps he longed to restore peace to his homeland. During the first month of his reign, Hezekiah reopened the doors to the temple which his father had shut, began the repairs, and called the priests and Levites to consecrate themselves and cleanse the temple. He set the tone and direction for his administration. He began his reign by making his first alliance, not with the Arameans or the Philistines, but with Jehovah.
At last, the temple was ready and the time of sacrifice could begin. Hezekiah provided the animals for sin offering for all of Israel, perhaps as a way of acknowledging the responsibility of his family in leading the people astray. When the offering was completed, he filled the temple with music. Praise!Can you imagine how relieved the people must have been for evil to be replaced by righteousness, turmoil to give way to peace, chaos to flee before order?
What characterizes your life? As you begin each day, you have the opportunity for a fresh start. Each day, you can choose how you will order the rest of your life. Choose well.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
2 Chronicles 28:1-19 Failed Father
Jotham was a righteous king who lived his faith. God prospered him and blessed him; however, the nation did not follow his example. The people “continued acting corruptly.” Jotham died at forty-one years of age after reigning as king for sixteen years.
His son Ahaz became king when he was twenty years old after spending most of his life as heir-apparent. Hefollowed the example of the world around him as well asthe king of Israel. He not only actively practiced idolatry;he practiced the worst form of idolatry. He burned his sons alive as a sacrifice to idols. As a result of his idolatry, God delivered him into the hands of his enemies, not just once but repeatedly.
To make matters worse, Ahaz turned to the king of Assyria for help rather than to the Lord. Verse 19 sums up the legacy of Ahaz. “The Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, because he brought about a lack of restraint.”
Being a godly father was not enough to ensure the welfare of Jotham’s children. All that he had built was eclipsed by his failure to pass his faith on to his son. How critical it is to invest in the hearts of our children! Oh, that the hearts of our children might be drawn to Christ and to a lifetime of faithful service!