October 9, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 3

Everything Rises and Falls On Leadership …

John Maxwell says that everything rises and falls on leadership.  In other words, the success of the origination and/or people following, are dependent upon the leadership that is set in place.

We’ve seen broken homes and bankrupt organizations due to absent or corrupt leadership.  We’ve seen what kind of difference a new coach can make in the life of a team (BBN can attest to this with Cal and Stoops!).  And we’ve seen how disciples and people in the church will inherit the characteristics of the leader, or how they will grow in proportion to the quality of leadership.

Throughout the entire book of 2 Kings, and specifically here in 2 Kings 3, we see how leadership impacts the spiritual health of the people following.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

I want to focus in on two specific verse of our chapter today.  In verses 2 and 3 it says,

“He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made. Nevertheless, he clung to the sin of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, which he made Israel to sin; he did not depart from it.”

We see here that Jehoram becomes king of Israel.  The passage tells us “he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  But then we go a little further and we see that because of this, “he made Israel to sin.”  This has huge implications.

All throughout these books we see kings raise up and kings fall down.  Usually right in the beginning we are made aware of whether they did what was right or whether they did what was evil, in the sight of the Lord.  But without fail, we are told of how that affected God’s people.  When a king stepped up and did what was right, we see the nation turn around, repent, and begin to pursue God.  And when a king pursued his own passions and did what was evil, we see God’s people follow in idolatry and sin.  The people followed in the pattern of the king.

This is eye opening.  God’s Word shows us how valuable leadership is.  When we raise our children, lead our disciples, love those at work, and ultimately commit to faithfully lead as God would have us, our followers are impacted.  When we don’t, they are impacted as well.

I think our goal here, today, is that we would give everything we have to being faithful in our leadership.  We won’t ever be perfect, but we are to be faithful.  And if we will pursue committed faithfulness in our following of God and building into our godly leadership, those who follow us will benefit from our faithfulness.  Let us be “kings” who do what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and watch the “nations” who follow us repent and love the Lord.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione

October 8, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 2:19-25

Multiplication

As you read through the Bible, you have the opportunity to be a witness to many discipler  – disciplee relationships.  One of these is Elijah and Elisha.  Elisha served and learned under one of the most powerful prophets ever.  Elijah stood against wicked kings like Ahab and queens like Jezebel.  He fought the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and won through God’s power.  Through mentorship, Elijah multiplied – then handed off his ministry to his successor Elisha as we read today.

Discipleship, as you know is not an option for an obedient Christian – it’s a command.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.   Matthew 28:19-20

The goal of discipleship must be reproduction – to multiply and get someone to the point where they can do for others what you did for them.  We must use methods that are easily reproducible.  This is why we created the discipleship book series we use at Center Point Church (http://www.cpclex.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=281580 – click on Download Central).  Each of our pastoral staff, as well as some trained volunteers in our church, also offer one-year mentorships we call Multipliers.  This is a high-level training program to get you ready to share your faith and disciple others.

Are you obeying the mandate given to us by Jesus to make disciples?  If so, please post a comment today and tell us who you are currently discipling.  If you are fortunate enough to be currently being discipled, you post a comment and tell us by whom so we can rejoice with you.
I’m so excited to be involved with a church that gets it – and is obeying Jesus in this critical area.  If you wish to be discipled, but don’t know where to begin – send us an email and tell us that today at info@cpclex.org.

Posted by: Tim Parsons

October 7, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 2:1-18

Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (v.11). What an awesome sight that must have been for Elisha and the sons of prophets. This is not something that ever happened even in the Old Testament times of miracles and prophets. Although when I read this passage I get mesmerized by this exchange that is not what I want us to focus on today. What I would like to focus on is the actions of Elisha in verses 12-14.

When Elisha saw his master or, for lack of a better term, “spiritual father” be taken up to heaven he did something next that I think we can all learn from.

1. He put off his old life and put on the new.

The tearing of clothes was a sign of mourning but I think it also symbolized Elisha leaving his old life behind. God had now called Elisha to lead like Elijah had before him and it was time for him to step up into his new role. We see Elisha do this by picking up Elijah’s cloak as a symbol of accepting the role.

 

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”Luke 9:23

We are called as believers to deny our old lives and follow after Jesus but often we try and drag our old lives with us along the way. We need to have resolve like Elisha to embrace our new identity in Jesus.

2. He trusted in the power of God.

Elisha immediately went to the water and put his faith into action by striking it with the cloak. He had seen Elijah do this before so by doing so himself he is demonstrating that he believes in God’s hand on his life.

God promises so many things to his children in his Word (Galatians 5:1, 5:22-23, Romans 8:1, Ephesians 1:3-14, James 1:5, etc.), yet the average Christian hardly experiences these truths. Why? Because we fail to act in faith on the truths of scripture.

Question to ponder:

What is your identity? How would your actions define you?

Posted by: Chad Wiles

October 6, 2014

Today you should read: 2 Kings 1

As we begin to engage the book of 2 Kings, it might be helpful to read this quick introduction in order to prime our hearts and minds to be ready to hear from the Lord.  In this book, we’re going to see good and bad kings, rewards and consequences, and practical lessons to apply to our own lives.  We’ll see foreshadows of Jesus Christ and the gospel.  Ultimately, I hope we’ll all know Him more and desire to make Him known as we read through this book together.

Chapter 1 begins with a painful situation.  Ahaziah, the king of Israel, who did not walk in the way of the Lord, had a bad fall and a rough landing.  Like, literally, he fell through some lattice in his upper chamber and hit the ground.  This caused an injury that caused him to become ill. (v. 2)

Ahaziah was probably a bit nervous about his illness, and he wanted to know if he was going to ever get well.  So, verse 2 tells us that he sent some messengers to inquire of a false god, Baal-zebub, to ask if he would become well.  Bad idea.

In verse 3, an angel of the Lord told Elijah to go meet Ahaziah’s messengers and ask, “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are seeking Baal-zebub?”  In other words, why do you live as if God does not exist and so you seek another so-called god?”  Then, in verse 4, Elijah gave Ahazaih the news that he would surely die.

OK, I want to make a spiritual parallel here that I believe we can apply to our lives.  Ahaziah was hurt.  He wanted answers.  He sought answers from the wrong source.  He died.  In a similar way, sometimes we get hurt, need advice, and want answers to our questions.  And what do we often do?  We seek answers from the wrong sources.  Our natural, first response is to go to family, friends, books, etc. for answers.  In a sense, they become like false gods to us, while God waits to be sought.  The natural consequence to seeking advice from false gods is more harm than good.

Should we seek counsel and advice from family, friends, books, etc.?  By all means, yes!  BUT, we must be quicker to seek our true God’s counsel, and ask Him to use family, friends, books, etc. as sources of godly counsel, lest we seek the counsel of “false gods” in our lives.

Long story short, seek God above all.  Seek His counsel.  Seek His face.  Let Him be your guide, your comfort, and your peace.  Ask Him to use other sources to speak into your life.  Just be careful not to mistake the other sources as your god.

Posted by: Rich Duffield