Last week Brandon did a great job leading us through the value of staying devoted. This weekend we will discover how Josiah pursues God at a young age, recognized what needed to be done and trusted that God had put him in a position to do it. Together, we will see through the light of scripture the power of individual devotion lived out.
Josiah was the first in two generations to honor God after fifty years of his family and nation rebelling against God. Sound familiar? It should, considering that over half of those who have come to MCC over the last 13 years have declared a renewed or first time devotion to God and His Church.
We see in the life of Josiah that big change is not limited to the age of your life. In fact, Young faith sets a strong example. The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy these words, “12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
As a Student Pastor, I get to see this played out on a weekly basis. The students within this church have such a passion for trusting in who God is and the plans He has for their lives, but there are several of them who come from homes that don't want much to do with it. This was the case for my family when I first trusted in Jesus.
For Josiah, the four years from sixteen to twenty solidified his commitment to God. This pursuit of God opened his eyes to the brokenness of the land he lives, so much so, that he had to do something about it. The passion he had became a commitment to action. It was a personal mission.
In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols. 4 Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles and the idols...
Can you see his devotion as he leads this charge? I can hear him saying “See that over there, that little idol by the tree. Make sure you don’t miss that. Destroy it everything, even the little ones. No, don’t save that, I don’t care if it’s gold, it has to go. Listen, you’ve got to break this into more pieces. Pulverize it! Make it powder or else they’ll rebuild it.”
When is the last time our devotion to God lead to this type of personal action?
There’s no doubt in my mind that the summary of Josiah’s life in 2 Kings 23:25 is not an overstatement. 25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.
But his reign is only a stretch of 33 years and we know that God’s story is much bigger than that. One certainly could walk away and say that they lived happily ever after, but that wasn't the case. In fact, Josiah’s revival of the land and the people only lasted one generation.
This is a sobering reminder to us of our responsibility to invest in the next generation. Furthermore, it is evidence that each of us has a choice. Josiah had a choice, his son had a choice, we all choose what will have our devotion.
Will we choose to chase after many things or will we build our life on his love?
Today, if nothing else, I hope you are reminded that your devotion to God is a personal choice. One that is not based on the choices of your parents, the choices of your past but one that can begin to grow roots right now. You can be the first to break the chains that have ensnared your family for generations, to stand for what's true and to live in the freedom of God’s provision for your life. Not by your wisdom, not by your strength, but by His. If your ready to make that choice then I encourage you to come ready to take your next step this weekend at MCC.
(Saturday 5:30p & Sunday 10:30a)