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Tuesday, March 18 2014
Psalm 77:13-20 KJV
[13] Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? 
[14] Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. 
[15] Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. 
[16] The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. 
[17] The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. 
[18] The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. 
[19] Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. 
[20] Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
There any many different relationship dynamics in life, but for the sake of simplicity this morning, I want to break them down into 3:
1.    Stranger
2.   Acquaintance
Writer Ambrose Bierce said an acquaintance is a, "A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to."
 3. Friend (someone that you know)
William Penn said, "A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably."
In our relationship with Jesus Christ, we will fall into one of these categories.  This is a deeply personal question, but you must ask yourself where is Jesus in my life.  
Is he stranger and I know nothing about Him?
Is He an acquaintance and I know something about Him, but have no real relationship?
Is He my friend and we have a relationship that goes both ways?
In asking these questions, I am asking you to have a time of reflection because your answer can have eternal consequences.
We can come to know Jesus through prayer, preaching, teaching and the Bible.  This morning, I want to tell you about the Jesus that I know.  The Jesus that I talk to in prayer and read about in scripture.
He is a friend...
Proverbs 18:24 KJV
[24] ...and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
He is our Heavenly and Everlasting Father...
Isaiah 9:6 KJV
[6] For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
He is our Rock (our stability in life - our foundation)...
Psalm 62:6 KJV
[6] He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved.
He is our Savior...
2 Timothy 1:10 KJV
[10] But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
He is the Lifter of our Head...
Psalm 3:3 KJV
[3] But thou, O Lord , art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.
He places high value upon you...
Luke 12:7 KJV
[7] But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
The Jesus that I know..
forgives
loves
helps
blesses
heals
encourages
answers prayers
gives direction
gives hope
plans your future
and
wants you in heaven
Posted by: Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr. AT 11:50 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, March 06 2014

What can a modern church leader learn from a king that lived approximately 700 years before Jesus Christ?  The answer is simple...plenty!  Hezekiah was the 13th King of Judah and the Bible documents the following:

2 Kings 18:1-8 KJV
[1] Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
[2] Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
[3] And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord , according to all that David his father did.
[4] He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
[5] He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
[6] For he clave to the Lord , and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses.
[7] And the Lord was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
[8] He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
In eight verses, every Christian leader can glean from King Hezekiah:
  • That he did right in the sight of the Lord

God demands obedience.  What if Noah would have shorten the ark or Moses changed the tabernacle?  Obedience is a theme of the scripture beginning in the Garden of Eden with a command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Christian leaders must be obedient to the Bible and their spiritual leaders.(Hebrews 13:17)

  • (He did that was right...) according to all that David his father did.

A Christian leader must appreciate their spiritual heritage.  It has been said that we "stand on the shoulders" of those that have gone before us.  The Apostle Paul instructed Timothy:

2 Timothy 3:14-15 KJV
[14] But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them ;
[15] And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
When something is passed down through our elders, the reason we do or not do something may not always be clear.  We must trust that teach us because of a revelation through prayer.  
Hezekiah was generations removed from David, but his heritage remained.  David had prayed:
2 Samuel 7:29 KJV
[29] Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God , hast spoken it : and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
Prayers are not limited to time and space.
  • He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves.

The Christian leader must be the guardian of the truth.  The Psalmist wrote "buy the truth, and sell it not".  In guarding the truth of the gospel, we must be willing to remove the "idols" in our lives and the church.  An idol to a 21st Century Christian is something that would stand in the place or stead of God.  An idol by nature is personal and each individual must evaulate their life to remove the things that are between them and God.

Idolotry is hated by God and the Apostle Paul lists it among sins that will exclude people from heaven.

Galatians 5:19-21 KJV
[19] Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
[20] Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
[21] Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
  •  He trusted in the Lord God of Israel

The basis of a relationship with Jesus Christ is faith.  The writer of Hebrews penned:

Hebrews 11:6 KJV
[6] But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Hezekiah trusted God would be true to His Word.  When facing the Assyrian army, he did wither or cower.  He stood before Jerusalem and declared:
2 Chronicles 32:6-8 KJV
[6] And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,
[7] Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:
[8] With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
Hezekiah did not just profess his faith, but lived it.  Hundreds of years later, another man of God would pen, "Faith without works is dead".  The Christian leader must believe, but also show the courage to step out of the boat when everyone else wants to stay in.
  • For he clave to the Lord , and departed not from following him.

The children of Israel of the Old Tesament were not always faithful to their God, but Hezekiah was committed to maintain his relationship with God.  Everyday, he arose with a renewed dedication to his relationship with God.  The Christian leader must cleave to God and despite circumstances continue to keep their eyes on Jesus Christ, the author anf finisher of our faith.

Jesus said...

Matthew 10:22 KJV
[22] And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Enduring to the end means salvation, but enduring also means faithfulness.  A life of prayer and Bible study is necessary for the Christian leader.  Our lives must center around Jesus if we are to make it to heaven.  No excuses!
The conclusion of the story is simple.  Hezekiah was faithful and God blessed him.  His success was based on his faithfulness to God, but Hezekiah also possessed natural leadership skills.  Christian leaders should use the abilities and talents that God has given us, but it should always be used in accordance with the will and anointing of God.   

Posted by: Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr. AT 05:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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