Saturday, September 13, 2014
There was a song in our folder that first night that I just loved. Jesus, Only Jesus by Matt Redman, Christy Nockels, Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill, Nathan Nockels, and Tony Wood. Every time we sing it, I feel like Buddy from the movie Elf. "The best way to spread Jesus cheer is singing loud for all to hear." The words are so powerful, and they are so very stuck in my head, that I decided to share it with you. This vimeo video is of our little choir singing it one Sunday morning. I'm not sharing this because of how well we sang. I'm sharing it because I want you to hear the words and the music. We would do really well if we all had these words stuck in our heads and tattooed on our hearts.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
2 Chronicles 32
Senacherib arrived outside Jerusalem with a challenge for the people. “Look at my big bad self and tremble!” he told them. He actually expected to take the town with bold words, terrifying threats, and empty claims. In other cities, this technique had, amazingly, worked. In Jerusalem, however, it failed miserably.
Senacherib failed not because Hezekiah and his army were bigger or tougher but because Hezekiah used his most powerful weapon right from the start – PRAYER. The king and the prophet Isaiah “prayed and cried out to heaven,” abandoning themselves to the mercy of the God who never fails. Before the attack could begin, God sent a warring angel to annihilate the army of Senacherib.
Hezekiah had prepared as much as he could, but he fought his battle on his knees. We too, will need much preparation, but just like King Hezekiah, the battle for the hearts and lives of those we love, as well as the great trials of our lives, will be fought on our knees.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself. Now when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. (2 Chronicles 32:1-3 NASB)
Hezekiah was king. He could do whatever he wanted because, ultimately, he was responsible for any decision that was made. The buck stopped with Hezekiah. When Sennacherib decided to make war on Jerusalem, Hezekiah could have made a plan and demanded that it be implemented. He could have issued orders and insisted on obedience.
Instead, Hezekiah met with his officers and his warriors (the leaders and the workers) to formulate a plan. They worked as a team and Scripture tells us “they helped him.” His officers and warriors not only helped Hezekiah implement the plan, they helped him make the plan, and it was a better plan because of their input. King Solomon wrote of this truth in Proverbs 11:14
“Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory (deliverance)”
The work of the local church is also dependent upon teamwork. When we work together to be the Body of Christ in action, the work of reaching the lost for Christ and making disciples will be accomplished quicker and more creatively. When we work together, we can do more and do it better than when we try to be a "lone ranger".
This is true for the local church, but it is also true for the greater body of Christ. This may surprise you, but there is nothing at all in Scripture about separation by denomination. Jesus meant for all His people to work together, regardless of what kind of sign was on the building where they worshipped. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the denominations had such unity of spirit between them? Perhaps when we do, we will finally accomplish the job of going to all the world (every single "people group") making disciples and teaching them to be obedient.
Jesus expressed it another way:
“I in them and Thou in me,
that they may be perfected in unity
that the world may know
that Thou didst send Me.