Resenting Responsibility . . .

Vol.5, No. 18 – May 24, 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis2 Chronicles 25:1-2

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. –2 Chronicles 25:1

The unspiritual mind is reluctant to relinquish short-term advantage.

For 29 years, Amaziah reigns in Jerusalem. The thorn in the flesh of Judah are the Edomite’s. These are people living southeast of the Dead Sea. War is declared; Amaziah quickly takes a census to find out his strength of armies (Should he not have known? Is it like not being ready for a pandemic?). There are 300,000 men trained and ready, highly skilled in the use of spear and sword.

(How serious is one ruling who does not know the strength of his armies? This confounds the senses. Leaders who do not value the military of the nations are destined to have the strength of an enemy nation come against them.)

Well, 300,000 seems fairly OK, with Amaziah, except that he wants better odds. He wants more of an edge. He wants everything in his favor. To pull this off, Amaziah quickly spends $200,000 to hire experienced mercenaries from Israel (100,000 men). (Money buys everything you need, right? But, $2 a piece???)

It is a huge mistake. Numerical superiority is a sure way to guarantee defeat. Confidence and plans do not always work when you are not giving attention on a regular basis.

Then a man of God comes. He says, O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel, with all these Ephraimites. But go, act, be strong for the battle. Why should you suppose that God will cast you down before the enemy? For God has power to help or to cast down (25:7-8).

Well, what about my $200,000? Amaziah whines. In effect, the response is: Do you want cheese with that wine?

The man of God says, The Lord is able to give you much more than this.

Take the loss. Write it off. Forfeit the bucks; discover in the slenderness of your own resources that God will provide.

Now, we would not get into such a pickle . . . or would we? Our reaction is what about the money? The Lord’s reply is stunning.

  1. IF I do not take them to court, we say bitterly, I will lose it all. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
  2. BUT he cheated me, we complain, out of what was rightly mine. God is able to do all He has promised (Romans 4:21).
  3. I CAN’T do that, we grumble; what would my friends think, even my brothers and sisters in Christ? God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham (Matthew 3:9).
  4. THERE ARE TIMES to wink at principles, we opine, for the sake of expediency. Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy (Jude 24).

God is fully able to do all things

Life Application

God can compensate for losses incurred as the cost of making good. The one who is the loser becomes an eventual winner under God. The loss is the price of putting right a mistake. God’s promise of remuneration is a mark of His grace. –Leslie C. Allen

Who is more reliable, us or the Lord? Why do we even think of arguing with our Almighty God?

Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. –1 Corinthians 10:12

Leadership in a time of crisis is always available—if we would but ask our Almighty God!

Some Thoughts on our Present Situation in the Nation/World

I was practicing shaving with my left hand this morning. I am right-handed. I was practicing because the upcoming surgery I have scheduled on my right shoulder cuff will make that change necessary for at least three months. [My son, the second born, said, “Dad, it a piece of cake; I learned it in two weeks.” I have been right-handed for 77 years; Mike was never right-handed.]

All that aside, I glanced in the mirror. I did not particularly like what I saw. My face did not look very kind. While I am not a victim of the crisis in our nation/world, I do make some decisions. Some are very unhealthy. I make snarky comments toward people of the “other political party.” I laugh at cartoons of them. I get angry about their comments and lack of just handling of issues. I do that because I have opinions. I see things through my opinions; I judge others’ intentions because I have opinions. I think more could be like me if they tried.

About 10 days ago, I read some articles on the Internet. [We do not do TV or subscribe to a newspaper. For several years, I have shunned social media; not long ago, I joined Linked In. Not too sure, it was the right decision. The other thing that I did was to look at some of the comments on the Internet articles. Boy, was that a mistake. I was not happy with what I read.]

Then, to top it all off, our Pastor spoke regarding what we were doing while scattered. He spoke from a portion of Acts 11. Pastor Josh is a faithful preacher of the Word; we dearly love him as God’s gift to us. If you have not read Acts for a while, it is a good investment for your spiritual life.

It is easy to get antsy or critical being bound up at home. It is not that I do not enjoy our home; it is our being told what to do. When I want to do something that the State/Fed says I cannot, I have a tendency to cite my Constitutional liberties; however, there is that sticky passage in Romans 13. Whoops. I wonder if you have that problem as well.

The message is historically germane to our situation/season of life. Earlier in Acts, we saw Stephen stoned to death because he was expressing his faith [not political views, or opinions]. God does not write in “opinion mode,” He writes in view of truth. If we are honest, we will have to admit, as people of the earth, we thrive on our opinions. Truth be known, everyone has opinions; opinions are like noses, everyone has one, and they smell.

In Acts 11:19, Luke reminds us that at the outcome of the stoning of Stephen, the believers were scattered [due to persecution]. An amazing thing happens. The scattered People of the Way [soon to be called Christians] did not quit doing what God expected. Some witnessed to the Jews, others witnessed to the Gentiles. The city [Antioch] turned upside down. Because the hand of the Lord was with them [11:21], many came to know Christ as Savior.

Although I have spent time in confession of my self-centeredness during COVID-19, God in His grace, love, and mercy has allowed me to make connections and to be a channel of help for those in need. Each of us can do that while we are “scattered shelterers” [as well as when we become un-scattered]. Donna has been going through a list of her schoolmates and those she worked with over the years. She has been busy on the phone, reconnecting. She does not ask about politics; she makes a point of discovering if they have a personal relationship with Christ.

What are you doing in your scattered time; getting entrenched in your opinions, or making certain others know of the saving power of Jesus, and His love, grace and mercy? God has a way of getting us exactly where He wants us to be, so that we can be all that He expects us to be.

How are we doing?

Serving Him,

Larry

The Ancient of Days

Though the nations rage Kingdoms rise and fall

There is still one King Reigning over all

So I will not fear For this truth remains

That my God is the Ancient of Days

Though the dread of night

Overwhelms my soul

He is here with me

I am not alone

O His love is sure

And He knows my name

For my God is the Ancient of Days

Though I may not see

What the future brings

I will watch and wait

For the Savior king

Then my joy complete

Standing face to face

In the presence of the Ancient of Days

None above Him none before Him

All of time in His hands

For His throne it shall remain and ever stand

All the power all the glory I will trust in His name

For my God is the Ancient of days

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