The benchmark

2 Kings 16:2  Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God like his ancestor David

This book of stories in the book of 2 Kings could be summed up using this illustration:  God would be holding a flower and as He picks off each petal, He would be saying, “he loves me, he loves me not.”  Because that is what seems to be happening in the this book.  A king rises up and follows the Lord and then the next one doesn’t follow Him at all.  It’s like these guys never established their thrones to the point in which they would have a legacy.  They were fickle and every generation decided to go his own way.

There was a benchmark, however.  His name was David.  I noticed this morning, that throughout this book, the kings were measured against David.  They weren’t measured in regards to their leadership or the size of their kingdom.  They weren’t measured based on the number of wars they one or the number of children they had.  They were measured against his zeal for the Lord.  It was always about whether they did what was right in the sight of the Lord as David did.  Some of them even came close, but never hit the mark that he set.

I’ll bet that David didn’t know he would be the benchmark.  He wasn’t all that concerned with winning a trophy from God.  He just served him with his life, and his life did the talking.  For years to come, his pursuit of the Lord was the standard.  It’s amazing, really, to think about setting that standard for others to follow you.  And I wonder if I am doing the same.  I wonder if generations to come after me will look at my life and define it by how I followed the Lord.  Yes, I want to be a benchmark.  Not because I want fame or honor or even recognition.  I just want to follow the Lord with my whole heart and my whole life to a degree that others will take notice.  I want to give them something to strive for.  And like David, I want to be set apart for His plans, His purposes, and His glory.

 

The gospel according to Meatloaf

1 Kings 3:3 Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statutes of his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places. 

I love you Lord, and I lift my voice… to worship you, oh my soul, rejoice.  We express our love for the Lord in many ways.  For some it might be through prayer; for others it might be through worship.  For Solomon, it was through obedience.  Yes, his love for the Lord was shown by walking according to the statutes of his father David, which by the way were the ways of the Lord.  I’m with Solomon on this one – obedience is the biggest proving ground of our love for God.

You know, Meatloaf sang a song that aptly describes this area of our Christian life.  “I would do anything for love…”  At face value, most of us would agree to that line of the song.  We would do just about anything for the love of God in our lives.  Then there’s the next line, “but I won’t do that.”  What’s the THAT?  I would say for many Christians it is obedience. “Yes God I worship you!!! Obedience?  I’m out.”

Jesus said that those who love him obey his commands.  Yet that seems too hard for us sometimes.  We are willing to pray, read our Bibles, talk to someone about Jesus, play a worship CD on our way to work.  But what about simple obedience?  What about the things he asks of us in his Word?  What about the things he speaks to us with a still small voice?  You could argue that obedience is the hardest part of walking with the Lord.  I would say that obedience IS walking with the Lord.

So… what are the things He is asking of you that you just won’t do?  What does that say about your relationship with Him?