Snow, Dogsled Races, and Ice Fishing take us outdoors this month!
But Jesus sent him home, saying, 39”…Go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him. ~ Luke 8:38b-39 NLT
After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah.~ 2 Chronicles 33:14 NLT (Emphasis Added)
It looks like Manasseh was not about to help those Assyrians take over Judah or risk being dragged off to Babylon in chains again!
He wasted no time in securing the borders. He walled off Judah and the public water supply from invaders.
Manasseh removed the idols, including the one he carved and put in the Lord’s Temple
He tore down all the foreign altars and dumped them outside Jerusalem.
Manasseh was thankful. He restored the altar in the Temple and offered the proper offerings of peace and thanksgiving on it.
He encouraged the people of Judah to worship the Lord of Israel – However, a lot of damage had been done. They did not respect King Manasseh like they respected his father, King Hezekiah. They continued to worship at pagan shrines even though they worshipped only Jehovah.
This story of two father-son Old Testament kings holds truths for our own nation on many levels. We have had numerous King Hezekiah-type leaders in our nation’s history. They attended church and got wealthier while they were in office. They built great projects, led us into wars, forged the United States of America into a military and economic superpower; but did not always protect our freedoms. Our King Hezekiahs kicked the can of growing evils down the road by not keeping us One Nation Under God. Then they left office and wrote prideful memoirs.
I would rather have leaders like King Manasseh – Repentant sinners who do their best to right a whole bunch of our country’s wrongs. One sad thing is that even though King Manasseh humbled himself, his own people never really trusted his leadership again. So even though Manasseh worked hard to secure the nation from foreign invasion and to reinstate proper Temple worship of the One True God, Jehovah; his reputation remained as a man who did evil in the Lord’s sight. Judah’s subjects respected King Hezekiah more; and he was a non-repentant prideful king!
It just goes to show that only God knows the heart. We can’t trust the fickleness of humans. God is just and He does not change. Praise Him for loving us sinners! We are all condemned if we fall under human judgement. I am thankful –
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the Power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. ~ Romans 8:1-2 NLT
One Lesson from Old Lions is this: Nations are judged or blessed by God according to their leadership. We need righteous leaders who work humbly for We the People under the guidance of Jehovah, who is God over all. Vote every election and vote responsibly. Vote for leaders who seek God’s wise counsel. Pray for Kings! If we expect God to bless our nation, His church needs to REPENT AND PRAY!
“Father Jehovah God, You are HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! And You are LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!!! Today we pray for those in authority over our nation. We repent for ourselves and our nation of the sins of pride and of rebellion against You. May our people rally behind leaders who realize that the LORD alone is God! We pray for undeserved mercy – knowing that Your judgement looms large. LORD, SHAKE BUT DON’T BREAK! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!”
Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy? You have planted them, and they have taken root and prospered. Your Name is on their lips, but You are far from their hearts. ~Jeremiah 12:1b-2 NLT
Bless you for following Jesus, our Messiah and King of Kings!!
It may seem like an odd title for the meeting between The Apostle Paul and the Jewish leadership at Rome. However, we find that by the end of the day (and the Bible says “from morning till evening”) Paul testifies with all of the love in his heart that Jesus is the One who fulfills both the Law of Moses and the Prophets. In other words, Jesus is indeed the long-awaited Messiah!
Yet some believe and some doubt. As they prepare to leave his house, Paul delivers a tender message straight from the Holy Spirit through the prophet Isaiah:
‘Go to this people and say:
“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
27For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’ ~Acts 28:26-27 NKJV
Notice that not Paul, but The Holy Spirit, mentions that the people’s hearts have turned away from God. Praise God that some of the Jews receive Jesus that day; while the remainder depart to argue the matter.
28”Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!”29And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves. ~ Acts 28:28-29 NKJV
Paul continues to preach about the Lord Jesus Christ from his own rental house for two more years. No one forbids Paul, and we have no idea how many lives are brought into God’s kingdom through Paul at Rome. Whatever the number, PRAISE THE LORD! – for each and every heart that softens, brightens, and turns to Jesus.
Long, Long ago the Lord said His love is everlasting, unfailing, and His heart is drawn toward His people. God’s Valentine’s Day message to you is Turn, TURN your heart to Jesus. Repent and receive salvation today.
Firstly, God bless you for reading and following Jesus!
²²But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, ²³GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Against such there is no law. . . 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.~Galatians 5:22,23,25 NKJV
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap . . . 8bbut he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. . . . 16And as many as walk according to this rule, PEACE and MERCY be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.~Galatians 6:7,8b,9,16 NKJV (emphasis added)
Brethren, keep God’s law – love one another. Share each others’ burdens. Keep sowing to the Spirit and reap everlasting life. Don’t lose heart!
“1I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. ~ I Timothy 2:1-2 NLT (emphasis added)
Acts Chapter 13:
The Holy Spirit sent the Apostle Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey away from Jerusalem to the island of Cyprus. When they reached the town of Paphos, they encountered a Jewish sorcerer named Bar-Jesus (Elymas in the Greek). He was also known in the Bible as a false prophet who was very close to the governor. Elymas interfered with the witness of Paul and Barnabas by keeping them away from the governor. Elymas feared that the governor was a very intelligent man and may become a believer if told the truth about Jesus. Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit and stared Elymas down; then called upon God to strike the man blind so they could continue their mission. His prayer was answered instantly and the man was blinded. Elymas begged for bystanders to lead him away from the embarrassing scene.
Evidently the governor was watching the whole thing from a safe distance. He was so shocked by what he saw that he became a believer in Jesus. He had not heard the Gospel teaching about Jesus before this time; or had discounted it as being untrue.
This is a great example of why we should pray for our leaders. Prayer changes things, Amen? Not only will things get better in our nation, but as a result of prayers and spiritual support, some leaders may become believers like the governor of Paphos. Do not be discouraged that all of our leaders do not become believers. Leave that in God’s hands. That is what Paul had to do later in the town of Caesarea. Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem and after declaring himself to be a Roman Citizen, Paul demanded a trial in Rome.
Acts Chapters 23 & 24:
While being transported as a prisoner to Rome, Paul was taken as far as Caesarea and left there in prison to await further passage to Rome.
In the meantime, Paul was able to witness about Jesus to Governor Felix and his Jewish wife, Drusilla. Now Felix was very familiar with the Gospel of Christ, and he became fearful of Paul. Instead of embracing the Lord Jesus as his Savior, Felix sent Paul back to his prison cell. Two years passed, until Felix was replaced by Porcius Festus. The new governor also heard Paul’s legal defense as well as Paul’s testimony of Jesus; as did the visiting King Agrippa, and the king’s sister, Bernice. In summation, Paul literally gave an altar call to the Governor and royal guests,
“27King Agrippa, do you believe in the prophets? I know you do – “
28Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”
29Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”
30Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.
~ Acts 26:27-30 NLT
So not everyone will immediately embrace our testimony as truth when we witness – even our leaders; but we can still pray for them, as Paul did.
It is importantstuff to pray for our leaders. Why?
3This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For,
5There is one God, and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity – the man Christ Jesus. 6He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.