Limitless

1 Kings 7:13-14
“Now King Solomon sent and brought Huram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze worker; he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and did all his work.”

Solomon’s reign was the golden age for Israel. David’s exploits had created peace, which allowed for the economy to flourish and the nation to go through a building boom. Across the landscape, Israel was building lavish structures for the king and his kingdom. When it came time for the plans to be enacted and the work to begin, Solomon brought in a skilled builder from Tyre named Huram. The text gives us three interesting details regarding this man. First He was filled with wisdom, second he was skillful, and third he was the son of a Jewish woman and a man from Tyre. Tyre was a Phoenician city on the Mediterranean coast north of Israel. This meant it is likely that Huram was the son of a believing mother and unbelieving father. Like Timothy, he would have grown up in a mixed home. This often creates confusion in children, but in this case, he grew to be mightily used by God for  the kingdom, by using his talents for the Lord.

Many of us are faced with less than ideal situations in which to follow Christ. For some, their spouse is not following Christ, or they have a prodigal child. For others, they seem to be the lone believer at work, and others live in an area without a strong bible teaching church, to help them walk out their faith. This passages provides great encouragement; knowing it is possible to accomplish great things for the kingdom, even when we are faced with troubling and trying experiences.

Let’s take a page from Huram’s book and not let our difficulties limit our commitment to Christ.

Pastor Jim

 

The Innocent 

Job 4:7
“Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off?”

While Job was suffering the physical and emotion pain brought on from his trials, three friends arrived to offer their condolences, and seek to bring him answers. Eliphaz was first to speak. It seems he could not comprehend a situation where people did not deserve the suffering they were experiencing. This causes him to ask a very important question, has anyone ever died who was truly innocent?

The Bible teaches that there are none who are completely righteous, each and every person is a sinner and has practiced sin. It is humorous how some people take offense to that. They become upset when they are told they are sinners, even though all the evidence supports the Bible’s claim. A few years ago I was in West Africa on a short term mission trip. I, and another man, began to witness to a group of young men. When the conversation turned to talk about their need for a Savior, one of the young men declared that he was not a sinner. Surprised a bit by his statement, I paused to think about how to respond, while the gentlemen with me simply turned to one of his friends and asked if they thought their friend was a sinner. They all broke out in laughter. Apparently, in their minds he was the biggest sinner of them all.

The reality is, no one is innocent. We are born sinners, and we prove it everyday of our lives by the way we treat others, and ignore the ways of God. Because of our sinful nature, we find ourselves under the judgment of God, facing eternity apart from Him. It is here, where Eliphaz’ question finds its answer. There is One who perished being innocent. That One, is the sinless Son of God, who died on behalf of the guilty. Jesus lived a life without sin, in order to die a death that would pay the price for sin. At His death, even His accusers admitted He had done nothing wrong. His death was in our place, the innocent for the guilty, that He may offer us eternal life.
The solution to our sin problem is found in receiving Jesus Christ. If you want your sins forgiven, and the free gift of eternal life, then invite Jesus to forgive you of sin, to become your Savior and Lord. Take a moment to pray:

“Jesus, I confess that I am a sinner, I ask you to forgive me of my sin, and become my Lord. I pray you would help me leave my old ways behind, and follow after You.”

If you prayed that prayer, let us know so we can help you follow Jesus.

Pastor Jim

 

Turn Around 

2 Chronicles 33:12
“Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,”

Hands down, Manasseh was the worse king to ever reign in Judah. In a few short years, he undid all the reforms his father had effected, and seduced the people into sins they had never dreamed of committing. The spiritual climate in the nation was at an all time low, and the morality of the people followed suit. It is not surprising to read the Assyrians defeated Judah, and carried the king off captive to Babylon. What is surprising to read is, during his affliction, he not only cried out to God for help, but he truly committed his life to the Lord. This turn around forever changed life and eternity for Manasseh. Through his downfall, he came to realize the Lord was God, and he began to make great reforms within his life and the nation. Altars, which had previously led him into sin, were removed. Repairs were made to the Temple of God; making worship and sacrifice easier and more appealing.

I wonder, have you failed in the past? Is the road you have travelled, marked with times of failure, and days where you have walked away from the Lord? If so, be encouraged by the story of Manasseh. No matter how badly you have fallen, you can turn around and be restored. The problem is, while most come to realize their failure, too many never make the turn. It is common to hear of someone who faces affliction, because of the path they have chosen to walk. Sadly, it is uncommon to hear of people making real and lasting decisions to turn from their sinful ways, and be committed to following the Lord. It is not that God cannot clean up, transform and change a life, it is that we are unwilling to let go of certain behaviors.

Don’t be like the rich, young Ruler, who, unwilling to change his ways, missed out on all the Lord had for him (Luke 18:18-23). Instead, be like Manasseh, make a complete turn around, giving all to the Lord.

Pastor Jim

 

A Turning Point 

1 Samuel 20:19
“And when you have stayed three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid on the day of the deed; and remain by the stone Ezel.”

The stone Ezel would forever mark a turning point in the life of David. He had been sensing more and more that Saul’s jealous fits of rage would result in his own death. To clarify the matter, he and Jonathan had developed a plan to uncover Saul’s true desires. David would skip out on the palace celebration. In a few days, it would become evident he was not there. If Saul’s reaction was hostile, they determined David must flee for his life. In order to keep David informed of the news, Jonathan would shoot three arrows into the distance. If the arrows fell short of his location, David would know it was good news. If they flew beyond him, he would know Saul’s rage had escalated, and he must live the life of a fugitive.

After three days in hiding, David stood by the stone Ezel to await the news from Jonathan. Three days of silence would be broken by the course of the arrows. Finally, the moment arrived, and David heard the sound of voices in the distance and the faint release of the bow. He watched as one by one the arrows flew beyond him, and landed in the distance. At that point, his whole world changed. He could no longer enter the palace, go home to his bride, or visit his family, but would begin a life “on the lam” that would last a decade.

David is not alone in his distress. Others have had events forever change their lives, too. For some, the results of a medical test, the loss of a loved one, or a message left on their phone, has forever altered the course of their life. Perhaps, what started as any other day, has become the turning point of your life. While in no way trying to lesson the severity of your circumstances, please allow me to encourage you with the example of David. Instead of looking at this day as the end of his life, David continued to cling to and serve the Lord. It was in his wilderness experience, he wrote some of the most inspiring poetry of all time. There, with a cave as his home and criminals as his companions, David would learn the mercy and love of God in a deeper way than he ever thought possible.

In your struggles, cling to the promises of the Lord, and allow your turning point to transform your life into one that magnifies the Lord.

Pastor Jim