Devotional

The God Of A Second Chance


Scripture: Isaiah 38:1-6


I.    Vs. 1       (Serve)
Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became the King of Judah and his father Ahaz was not a very good role model. Ahaz was probably the worst King ever to reign in Judah, because he continually did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. So, Hezekiah removed the high places, cut down groves, and reopened the house of God (Temple). The Bible states that
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, clave to the Lord, and the Lord was with him.
He made a decision to serve the Lord and now he finds himself sick unto
death. It’s one thing for the doctor to pronounce that you will not leave
the hospital alive, but the prophet Isaiah (man of God) told him that “thou
shalt die and not live.” These are two of my favorite words in the Bible,
“but God”. But God was about to give Hezekiah a second chance to serve him.


*Point: Whenever you are tempted to withhold forgiveness from another
person, remember the number of times the Lord gave you a second chance.
Grace: The Lord giving you what you don’t deserve. Mercy: The Lord not
giving you what you do deserve. I don’t know about you, but I need grace and mercy. I need a second chance. 


II.    Vs. 2      (Pray)
Hezekiah did not ask for a second opinion from another doctor, but he cried
out to the great physician. I’m so glad that there is a balm in Gilead to
make the wounded whole. He turned his face to the wall and asked the Lord
for a second chance. Hezekiah understood that Isaiah could not help him, but nothing is too hard for God. There is nothing wrong with calling the pastor for help, but call upon the name of the Lord first and you may not need the pastor. The Lord allowed the sickness and he sent Isaiah to give Hezekiah the test results, but Hezekiah still prayed.

*Point: Never forget that he is still able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. Hezekiah was on his deathbed and life only allowed him one phone call, so he called the Lord. Church during this season of uncertainty call upon the name of Jesus. He is the only one who can help us. Psalm 120:1 “In my distress, I cried unto the Lord and he heard me.” 

III.    Vs. 3         (Praise)
Hezekiah was not bragging, but he was praising the Lord for allowing him to serve such a great God. He wanted the Lord to remember his testimony before he was placed on a bed of affliction. Hezekiah wanted a second chance to walk before the Lord in truth, to do what was right, and to praise the Lord. Hezekiah did not cry, but he wept until the Lord gave him a second chance.

*Point: How much weeping have we done, because of the spiritual condition of our nation. The coronavirus has produced a terrible situation, but our spiritual situation is worse. John 11:35 and Luke 19:41,  “Jesus wept.” He wept when Lazarus died and over the spiritual condition of Jerusalem. We have a reason to weep and we also have a reason to praise him.  

IV.    Vs. 4         (The Word of God)
I spent nine years in the military and during basic training there is
nothing like receiving a letter from a loved one. Well the Lord wrote you a
love letter (Bible) and Jesus paid the postage with his blood. The Lord
heard Hezekiah’s prayer and he gave Isaiah his word. Right now the Lord
maybe giving all of us a second to take his word seriously. The Lord turned
Isaiah around before he was able to completely leave the King’s palace. News flash, he turned him around with his word. Hezekiah was going to get a second chance to hear the word of God.

*Point: How important is the word of God to you? The word of God was important to Hezekiah before he became sick and he wanted a second chance to hear from God. Jesus said that he was the bread of life, so are you hungry? Prayer and the word of God are two ways to spend time with God. 

V.    Vs. 5-6         (Life)
The Lord gave Hezekiah fifteen more years and this was a second chance to
live for the Lord. I’m a living witness of the Lord giving a person a second
chance, because growing up in a urban setting was very  dangerous. I’m so
glad, I made it to the cross. Hezekiah was told that his sickness and the
Assyrians would not kill him. So, give your life to Jesus today and live for
him today. Because only in Christ will you live and never die. 

I hope this was a blessing to you.

Because He Lives,
Bro. Mack

Articles

Is God Above All?

Quote: “Never get so busy doing the work of the kingdom that you forget who the King is.” 

– Anonymous

In our sermon text, Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul calls attention to the two words, “above all.”

Look at his words to the believers at Ephesus. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul’s writing to the Christian church, the Body of Christ, and he emphasizes how God is a God of unity as He works in the church.

He also stresses how the church, the Body of Christ, is to be a body of unity. The word he uses over and over is the word “one.” Notice the phrases:• There is a vocation, a calling for each one who is part of the body of Christ.• There is one body, and there is one Spirit.• There is one hope of our calling. • There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and then he adds in verse 6, “One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all, and in you all!”

I want to call your attention to verse 6, and the two words, “Above all.” Take that phrase at face value,and it merely implies that there is nothing above it. No person, no power, no authority, no possession, no love, no passion! There can be nothing above it!

Yes, God is, above all! He is above all things, above all people, above our self. But is He?

Do I live each day, at work, or play, acknowledging that He is “Above All?”

When I serve, when I minister, when I use my talent, is God, above all?

When I give of my time and my treasure, is it with the conviction that God is “Above All?”

Think about it – Is God

-Above myself

-Above the world

-Above Fame and Fortune

-Above Family and Friends

-Above all Other People and Things

Today’s sermon asks the question, “Is God, above all?”

May the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts through the Word of God and bring us to the conviction that God is Above All!

Articles

Don’t take a summer vacation from God!

Sunshine, beaches, lakes, family, road trips, sports, no school…and no church? Summer is a great time to be with family. But, did you know summer months is also a very challenging time for many church members? As a pastor, I’ve seen “Christians” take these three vacations every summer…

#1 – Take a vacation from church!

Every summer people get out of the habit of attending church. It usually starts with “legitimate reasons” around family, work, or play. But, after a while a thought enters the mind, “I don’t need church to have a relationship with God.” Obviously, we can walk with God outside of church, but we’re stretching this idea to benefit our self centered interest as well. I’ve never seen a spiritually mature Christian who is not committed to their local church. During the summer months, when you are in town, attend your local church! When you’re out of town, listen to your church’s podcast, watch their videos, church emails, etc. You will enjoy life more when you stay connected to the biblical community God has put in your life. There is no substitute for corporate worship, serving others on weekends, and encouraging others in person, who are walking by faith. Your presence at church encourages others! Incidentally, when you are out of town, go to church! It’s great opportunity to see God move in other churches! Maybe God has a word for you!

#2 – Take a vacation from giving!

Every summer there are people that stop honoring God with their finances. Usually the logic is, “I’ll pick it up again after summer ends.” So, they use their tithe or offering, that typically goes to God, and give it to beaches, road trips, lakes, or summer toys in their life. Sometimes there is a thought that, “I’ll catch up later.” Both thoughts are not realistic. Rarely, does someone come to church in September, with a check for missed tithes in June, July, and August. It just doesn’t happen. Something practical you can do is set up automatic giving through your bank. This will ensure your giving stays strong during the summer, and you don’t take a break from honoring God with your finances. After all…who do you think has blessed you to the point that you can enjoy the good things of life? BTW, expenses do not change in the summer months in most churches! Enjoy your vacation. Honor your God.

#3 – Take a vacation from reading your bible!

Every summer trip involves a new routine. We are routine oriented people. When we’re out of our routine, it’s very easy to get out of good habits, like reading your bible. Be intentional about spending time with God, even on your vacation! You will discover you will actually be more enjoyable to others, and you will have much more patience for others too! Most of all…maybe God has a word to share with you during that summer break! Some of my greatest moments with God happened while I was reading my bible…on my vacation. When you open your bible, spend time with Jesus Christ. Don’t rush through scripture or prayer. Learn to talk to have conversation with the one who loves you.

By Pastor Ruben Villarreal

Ruben is the founding pastor of ThornCreek Church in Thornton, Colorado. He and his wife, Grace, moved to Thornton in September 2002 to start ThornCreek. They have been married for 23 years, and have two wonderful children, Josiah and Hannah.

Bible, prayer

Quiet Time With God

What is a“Quiet Time”?

A “Quiet Time” is a daily personal appointment with God, during which we get away from distractions and meet with God through prayer and Bible study. Through these disciplines God talks to us and we talk to God.

Why is Connecting Daily with God through a Quiet Time so Important?

It reminds us that we belong to God.
Jesus said, “I choose you!” (John 15:16)
It creates room for God in our busy lives.
“Be still and know that I the LORD, and wait patiently for him.”
(Psalm 37:7)
It builds our relationship with God through regular communication.
“Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
It helps give direction to our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
(Psalm 119: 105)
It enables to live deep and fulfilling lives.
My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)
I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

What are some Practical Steps to do a Quiet Time?

Set some time aside during a day, or every day. Start with about 15 minutes and you work up to 30 minutes and more for each day.
Pick a place that you want to go to be alone:
It doesn’t matter where you go (a lake, bedroom, roof, park, etc.). The important thing is that you get rid of all distractions. Get away from people, phones, the internet, computers, anything that would detour your thoughts from God.

Get your Materials Together
A Bible 
A notebook and pen
A songbook, favorite worship tape/CDs & player
A reading plan 

Follow a Simple Plan
Relax, Be Quiet before God – ask God to settle your mind and heart and then to become present with you! It is difficult to set aside all the voices in our lives that compete for our attention. Here are some practical activities to help you.
Bring a pad of paper, and ask God to quickly bring to mind the important tasks that need to be accomplished that day. Write them down and set the pad of paper aside. This practice will allow you to release these concerns knowing that you will return to them later.
Turn your mind toward God. Think about who he is, what he has done, and your relationship with him. This intentional focusing on God begins your quiet time.
Worship-
Praise – for who God is.
Thanksgiving – for what God has done.
Adoration – express to God your love for Him
Listen and/or sing a worship song or two to God.
Bible – Read a section (eg. 6-12 verses), asking God to speak to you through the Word.
Read slowly, repeatedly, aloud, asking yourself the following questions:
For what specifically can I offer praise to God (Father/Jesus/the Holy Spirit)?
What do I see about what God has done for which I can thank Him?
Is there any example for me to follow?
Is there any command for me to obey?
Is there any sin or error for me to forsake?
Is there any promise for me to claim?
Write down in your notebook anything you observe and learn from God in the passage.
Pray – Talk to God
About anything you’ve just read in the Bible.
About your requests for others (family, loved ones, Christian friends, non-Christian friends, family and colleagues, our church, government, missions).
About what you need (confession and forgiveness of sin, Christlikeness, daily filling of His Holy Spirit, work, finances, family, relationships, witness).
These are just some guidelines, and not a strict formula you have to follow to get something out of your quiet times. You can start with this model and move on to tweak it to mold into a model that is the most beneficial for you.