Thursday, November 7, 2013

Not With A Whole Heart

It was an interesting verse that I ran across this morning. I was reading in 2 Chronicles about Amaziah the king of Judah. You might not know much about him. I would like to say that I know all about the kinds of Israel and Judah but I don't. I find myself back in 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles as a way of refreshing myself on this part of the history of Israel and Judah. It also gives me more spiritual guidance for my life. So I was reading in 2 Chronicles about Amaziah. It said, "And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord..." (2 Chr. 25:2a) I thought, "Good deal, another good king of Judah." Then it continued, "...yet not with a whole heart." (2 Chr. 25:2b) And there you have it. The "rest of the story."

Amaziah served God to a point. He was faithful to God in some areas but his whole heart was not in it. That is the difference between David and Amaziah. You could say of David, "He served God with his whole heart." That couldn't be said of Amaziah.

What about you? What can be said about you and your life? Do you serve God with your whole heart? Or do you find that you are "halfheartedly" serving God? This caused me to reflect. I know that I am a pastor and my life is given over to serving God, but do I do it with my whole heart? Or do I have some parts of my life where it is all about me and what I want? Are there areas that I say to God, "You can't have this part of my life"? And I would have to be honest enough to acknowledge that there are those areas that i feel should be mine and not God's.

This is a part of our lives of stewardship. (How did that get in there?) It doesn't have anything to do with my money or my giving. It has everything to do with my daily life. You see, stewardship is using all of life and life's resources for the glory of God and the good of His kingdom. It is not living halfheartedly for the Lord but living with your whole heart.

How do we live halfheartedly? There are many ways. Amaziah's problem was that he was prideful and felt that because of the victory that the Lord gave to Judah that he was more important and more powerful than he was. For each of us, it is different. Perhaps you hold onto some sinful action that you just don't want to give up - over drinking, gossiping, lusting, looking at improper websites, excessive worrying, and so on. Or maybe it is something a little more personal - not wanting to let go of a grudge or a bitter feeling that you have concerning someone else, not allowing the Lord to lead you through your time of grief, thinking unkind thoughts about other people. Or  it could be in worship - only worshiping when you "feel" like you need it, making worship an option in your life, giving God only a portion of who you are while giving work or pleasure your whole attention.

I would challenge you to read that verse and reflect on your life as you read it. "And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with his whole heart." What can be said about you and your life?

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