Work for the Lord.

This is a short devotion I did for a men’s group this week. Do everything for the Lord and do it with all your heart. 

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the
LORD his God. 21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:20-21
(NASB). 

When Hezekiah inherited the kingdom from his dad, Ahaz, the kingdom of Judah was in bad
shape. Ahaz had introduced Assyrian cult matter into the temple and worship of the inhabitants.
The people of Judah were discouraged by the political and religious scene that they now faced  because of king Ahaz. In order for the temple to be restored it was going to take a great deal of  work.  

In chapter 29 we see the start of the reformation that King Hezekiah was going to put into place
at the beginning of his reign. The bible tells us that he did what was right, just like David. The
first thing that Hezekiah did was open the doors to the house of the Lord. Worship in the temples
had been neglected and in some ways it had been abandoned. Hezekiah started encouraging the
Levites to do their duties. He was encouraging the Levites to do what is right and do it unto the
Lord.  

We see the priests then work hard at purifying the temple. They had to clean the dirt and
cobwebs that built up while the temple was closed. The problem is, this is stuff that should have
been done, but the priests had been neglecting this. They were not working for the Lord as they
should have been. Then they removed the altars that had been built to the idols.  

Since they had neglected their work for the Lord, they were now in a position in which they had
to work harder. When we neglect our duties we let things build up and have to work harder to try
to correct what we have neglected. We should never neglect what God is telling us to do.

As soon as the temple was ready Hezekiah went and his heart was set on the work that had to be
done. Burnt offerings and worship were being restored because of Hezekiah’s faithfulness to do
what is right for God. People were acknowledging their sins. Hezekiah also calls on them to
continue their work in the temple and not neglect the worship.  

In chapter 30 we see Hezekiah still working hard for the Lord. The people of Judah wanted to
observe Passover but they had missed the time allowed to celebrate it. However Hezekiah found
a provision in the Law of Moses that allowed anyone that was unclean in the first month the  ability to keep it on the 14th day of the second month. There as a lot of preparation in order for  this Passover to be successful. All of Judah and Israel were invited to the celebration. Hezekiah
was not doing this for his glory but He was doing it because it was right in the eyes of God.  

In chapter 31 we start to see the fruits of this hard work that had been occurring. After the
Passover all of Israel went out and broke the sacred pillars, wooden images, and altars that had been erected and were still standing. Then Hezekiah worked to restore the divisions of the priests
and the Levites. He worked to restore the tithes so that the priests could be paid for their duties.
He developed a system in order to keep the tithes safe until they could be paid to the priests.  

Through Hezekiah’s faithfulness and hard work we see faith restored in Israel and Judah. We see
idolatry removed from the temple worship. We see the priests and Levites back doing the work that they are ordained to do by God. When you neglect what you are supposed to do for God you
might be keeping someone else from receiving a blessing. The priests had neglected their duties
and people were no longer worshipping God until this reformation.  

Take away:

1. Do what is good, right, and true before the Lord.

Hezekiah did what was right. We all know what is right and true. We need to do our best
to follow God’s guidance and not our own. If we do what is right we cannot go wrong.  

2. Do everything unto God.

Do not do anything for your own good. Do not do things for your glory. When you do
something make sure that it is for God. If you are not doing what is good, true, and right  it will not be for God, it will be done for you. 

3. Do it with all your heart.

When you are doing something for God you must fully devote yourself to it. Imagine if
Hezekiah had halfhearted done this work as king? If he had not been focused on doing  the will of God, he could not have been used in such a mighty way. 

Happy Anniversary 

I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was on a Saturday fourteen years ago.  I was twenty years old and I was about to make the biggest decision of my life. This decision was a lifelong commitment. 

When I got up that morning I had one goal. That goal was to marry Brandy Melissa Clemons. I was a nervous wreck but I knew I was making the right decision. This was a decision that I had prayed about and felt I was doing the right thing. 

Over the fourteen years we have been married we have had our ups and downs. We have had our disagreements but in the end we still love each other more than we did the day we said I do. 

Marriage is a beautiful gift that takes work to maintain. It takes both of you putting effort into it to make it work. It also takes putting God in the center of the union to have a healthy relationship. 

God has given us some great times in our marriage. When we bought our first house Brandy decided we would rip the carpet up and redo the hardwood floors. Now I did not think this was fun at the time because I did the majority of the work. Looking back on it I really enjoyed it because we did it together. Neither one of had a clue what we were doing but we did it. The floors turned out beautiful. We make a great team. 

Many times we did things like this and I look back and think I am so lucky. I have a beautiful wife that loves to spend time with me and our children. There are two important things I have learned about marriage over the past fourteen years. Put God first. Make time for God. Second make time for each other. Take every opportunity you have to make special memories. It could be as simple as going to the grocery story, but make every moment special. 

Christmas 

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”‭‭Luke‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NASB‬‬

http://bible.com/100/luk.2.10-11.nasb

Are you anxiously awaiting that perfect gift for Christmas this year? It is always fun giving and receiving gifts at Christmas. There is always excitement about what is under that wrapping paper. As you open it you are thinking what could it be. You might be hoping for a certain gift. 

No matter what you receive it cannot compare to the gift that was given when Christ was born. God knew that we needed forgiveness and that is why he sent a savior. He sent his son to pay the price for our sins. He gave the best gift ever and it was because He loved us. 

One great thing about this gift is that it is for everyone. The angel told the shepherds that he had great news for all people. This gift isn’t for just a few people but all. No matter who you are this gift is before you. 

You have to have the faith to accept this gift. The gift was freely given but you have to be willing to accept it. My prayer is that you will accept this gift this Christmas.