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Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

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“See my zeal for the LORD!”

August 2nd, 2011

The Sunday after camp is always an exciting time, but it’s also when the real battle starts! At camp, the kids can (and do!) make HUGE, life-changing decisions that they are going to be and do more for Christ, but ONLY when those decisions are coupled with the discipline of daily Christian living will they last. Last year Pastor Jim Shettler gave one of the clearest formulas: spiritual decisions + spiritual discipline = spiritual growth.

I LOVE to hear the stories of the teens who have already made steps toward that spiritual discipline! Saturday, after arriving at church, unloading the bus, and loading the luggage in the cars, several teens and parents said that their child spoke of the spiritual impact and the changes that the preaching made. Already, many teens have taken a stand with their friends at their public schools, and they’ve made it clear that things will be different this year. What a GREAT first step!

NOW… the battle is going to continue, and the friends will push the limits to see if the commitments were real.

In Sunday school we took a break from our Romans series and preached through the story of Jehu from 2 Kings 9-10. One year ago is when I first started teaching in the Teens of Faith, and the first 2 Wednesday night services were from this text. During the week of camp I came through this portion of Scripture in my daily devotions, and it was Wednesday or Thursday morning when God confirmed it in my heart that the story of Jehu HAD to be revisited.

I love the story, because it’s a guy who’s LOVING what he’s been called to do. Wicked king Ahab’s family is in charge of Israel and Judah, and Jezebel’s influence is rampant. The nations are in a terrible spiritual mess, and something had to be done. General Jehu is anointed as king, and he’s given his orders: wipe out anyone related to Ahab. Woo hoo! That’s his JOB! He LOVES fighting!

So he gets to work:

  • Kills the king of Israel and Judah (9:14-29)
  • Kills Jezebel (9:30-37)
  • Kills Ahab’s 70 sons and anyone related (10:1-12)
  • Kills more relatives he met on the road (10:13-14)
  • Kills all Baal worshipers in the land (10:19-28)
If you haven’t read the story in a while, I’d recommend it! It’s pretty exciting and graphic!
In the midst of all this mayhem, he lights on an influential spiritual leader of his day and makes the statement: “Come with me and see my ZEAL for the LORD!” (10:16) While Jehu’s reign didn’t end well, it cannot be disputed that he was a ferocious and absolutely radical leader, attacking God’s will and call for his life with EVERYTHING that was inside him. With every fiber of his being he was obedient to God…
However… V29
While he was zealous and eager to do God’s will when it was something he liked, when it came time to the day by day sacrifices, he wasn’t willing to be TOTALLY devoted, and he paid for it. His kingdom was cut short, and his family heritage was limited as a punishment for his sins. Jehu COULD have been one of the greatest kings in Israel’s history, but he failed.
  1. Jehu didn’t take care of his sin. V29 – He had too much to give up. For him, it was the power and financial gain that was wrapped up in the calves and those influential cities. For us Christians it might be anything: movies, friends, drinking, attitudes, thoughts, devotion, work… Christian, nothing about sin ends up right… why go that way?
  2. Jehu disregarded God’s Word in his life. V31 – He didn’t hate God or God’s work… he LOVED it! But when it came to God’s WORD, it wasn’t ALL for him. Over time, he lost interest in being obedient to everything God said, and he paid for it. Christian, LOVE God’s Word and everything about it! Listen to preaching CDs when you’re driving, read your Bible, LOVE your Bible, cherish and protect your Bible time, come to church with an excitement about the Bible, protect church time from EVERYTHING else… Have a high view of the Bible’s influence on your family. Be wary of anything that will cause your mind to be distracted from the importance of God’s Word.
The teens have been challenged to live for God. Parents, will that zeal in them last, based on what you’re doing to encourage it? I hope and pray so, as I know it’s the case in many homes.
We love you!
Bro. Ryan

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