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Monday, August 25, 2014

Revival and Reformation PT 19


[Listen Along: click here]
Revival and Reformation Pt 19
2 Chronicles 30

Father, warm in love, deep with saving faithfulness; your word has been summarized and read. Now by your Spirit work it into our hearts that we may become supple and pliant in your hands that Jesus our Savior would more beautifully radiate through us. Amen.

Background - Chapter 21 thru 28
1.  Personal and Local Reformation: 2 Chronicles 29.
2.  Corporate Reformation. 2 Chronicles 30
A.  The Reforming Initiative (1-5)
[1] Going broadly – thinking beyond just their own 4 walls (so to speak). 
[2] The point at which they seek to bring in others for this reformation was the Passover: the Old Testament Feast of God’s Redemption…Christ and His Supper!!!
B.  The Reforming Invitation (6-9): Speaking in a way that sounds much like the prophet, Hezekiah invites them to:
1. v.6 – Return to Yhvh …that he may turn again to the remnant of you.” Here’s one side of the principle and promise we’ve been snagging on every time we turn around. It’s a heartwarming promise!
2.  v.7 – Break thru the historical barrier and cast off the hysterical baggage. Peter encourages us in a similar way, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1.18-19). Hezekiah’s invitation refuses to settle for the status quo of the muddiness and impiousness of past generations, and calls for a fresh break with the devilish bondage to a sinful heritage. 
3.  v.8 – Avoid ‘stiff-neck-itus’ (arthritis of the soul) Ex. 32.9. Three injunctions given that were seen as a remedy to stiff-neck-itus: ‘Yield…Come…Serve…’ “Come and serve” have to do with Public Worship of God. “We must mark this truth well, low Churchmanship is low Christianity! And low Christianity is a mark of low fidelity. When the church has to beg, entice, and compete on a popularity scale with the multitude of recreational or leisure options for the attention and faithful attendance of her constituency, then we’re in a heap of trouble” (Walter C. Kaiser Jr., “Revive Us Again,” 125). When you can’t get God’s professed people attracted to God himself, and his worship, then you have what Hezekiah (and the prophets) call “stiff-neck-itus” – arthritis of the soul!
4.  v.9 – Incentives. {1} Good for others (those hauled away into a new form of slavery!); {2} Restoration with God: we’re right back to where the letter began – the promising principle!!! – “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34.6-7).
C.  The Reforming Gathering (10-27): 
[1] V. 12 – a God-crafted, God-fashioned unity of purpose and ambition!
[2] V. 17b-20 are key verses - proving v. 9!!!  Also, see how this son of David, this anointed King of God’s kingdom, who has spoken like a prophet, prays like a priest! In some ways, Hezekiah also displays our Lord Jesus.
[3] It’s as they come to the feast of God’s redemption that their fidelity is renewed, refurbished and re-fired (Seen in chapter 31 – which we’ll look into next week)!

What specific promise from God is this episode unpacking for us????? Go ahead, say it! 2 Chronicles 7.14!!!!!!!!

Personally: Do you long for the authenticity and the fullness of Almighty God in your life, and in your family? Seek him, turn to him, and he will turn to you! In your home, invite your family to daily seek God’s face – for he promises unequivocally that he will be right there, found and near!

Congregationally: Do you long for our congregation to pulse and pump with the love of God himself? To flourish and thrive; to have “the hand of God” on us to give us “one heart” in the work and worship of God? To have the joy of God’s salvation restored to us? Then embrace the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” And this very God who known fully, warmly, lovingly in Jesus Christ! Look forward to the feast of God’s redemption. Even now begin praying all this week that as we gather next Sunday and we come to the feast of God’s redemption in faith, that his hand would be on us giving us one heart, and our fidelity would be renewed, refurbished, re-fired!

Denominationally and beyond: Do you yearn to see God’s churches full of sincere, genuine, Christ-like people, who hunger and thirst after righteousness? Do you deeply desire that the beauty of God’s Gospel be clearly declared and demonstrated in our congregations, and peoples from all walks of life being drawn in to God’s family united together around our Lord Jesus? Then pray that we who are called by the name of God and God’s Son, would humbles ourselves, pray, seek his face and turn from whatever wicked ways we’ve fallen into! Pull out 2 Chronicles 29-30, lay it out before God, point to it and pray it up. 


***But always pray the old prayer: “Lord, revive your Church; beginning with me!” 

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