Pride Before the Fall




Then Uzziah prepared for them, for the entire army, shields, spears, helmets, body armor, bows, and slings to cast stones. And he made devices in Jerusalem, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he was marvelously helped till he became strong. But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he transgressed against the LORD his God by entering the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. (2 Chronicles 26:14-16)

  • A tragic flaw causes the downfall of a hero.
     
  • This was true of Uzziah, who was crowned king of Judah at age 16.
     
  • For many years, he sought the Lord.
     
  • And while he did, God gave him great success.
     
  • But things changed when he was strong.
     
  • His heart was lifted up, to his destruction.
     
  • Uzziah entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar.
     
  • He openly defied God’s decree.
     
  • Perhaps pride convinced him that God’s rules applied to everyone except him.
     
  • When Uzziah raged against the priests who told him this was not right, the Lord struck him with leprosy.
     
  • In life, we often see a person of good reputation fall from honor into disgrace and suffering.
     
  • King Uzziah was a leper until the day of his death.
     
  • He dwelt in an isolated house.
     
  • He was cut off from the house of the Lord.
     
  • It is a lesson to us.
     
  • We need to follow the Lord with a humble heart, all the days of our lives.



Heaven is Home




For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)

  • As Christians, our true home is heaven.
     
  • But sometimes our desires lure us to the here and now.
     
  • We enjoy God’s good gifts. We enjoy marriage, children, grandchildren, travel, careers, friends etc.
     
  • At the same time, the Bible challenges us to focus on things above (Col. 3:1-2).  These include the unseen benefits of heaven: God’s enduring presence (Rev. 22:3-5), unending rest (Heb. 4:9), and an everlasting inheritance (1 Peter 1:4).
     
  • All believers should desire the heavenly inheritance.
     
  • The stronger the faith, the more fervent the desire.
     
  • Several Old Testament believers mentioned in Hebrews 11 had strong faith in God that enabled them to embrace His promises before receiving them.  One such promise was heaven.
     
  • If we too put our faith in God, God will give us a desire for that heavenly country and will loosen our grip on this world.
     
  • When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.
     
  • When we all see Jesus, We will sing and shout the victory.
     
  • For the Christian, heaven is home.

Leaning on God's Everlasting Arms




Therefore say to the children of Israel: "I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. (Exodus 6:6)

  • Some of us knew the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior for years.
  • But we often rebelled against Him as our Lord.
  • Then through many difficult circumstances, we sensed the Lord Jesus Christ reaching out to us, and we turned back to Him.
  • Eventually our arms grew stronger, and we had done many things to God’s glory.
  • God’s outstretched arm restored our spiritual life.
  • He gave strength to our arms to enable us to serve Him with the gift He gave us.
  • The Lord promised Moses that His outstretched arm would rescue the Israelites from bondage in Egypt (Ex. 6:6).
  • He kept that promise even though His often-rebellious people doubted.
  • God’s mighty arm is outstretched for us as well.
  • No matter the outcome of our situation, He can be trusted to bring about His will for each one of us.
  • We can depend on God’s strong arm.
  • We can lean on the everlasting arms.
  • With God’s strength behind us and His arms beneath us, we can face whatever lies ahead of us.


The Times of Joy and Sorrow for Mothers




To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

  • We rejoice with mothers for their precious babies who have come into the world.
     
  • We counsel anxious mothers and try to assure them that God is watching over their rebellious teenagers.
     
  • We stand with mothers at the bedside of injured or ill children and feel their pain.
     
  • We cry with mothers in their grief when their son or daughter dies.
     
  • Mary, the mother of Jesus, also experienced times of joy and sorrow.
     
  • What joy she must have felt when the Christ-child was born! (Luke 2:7).
     
  • What excitement when the shepherds and later the wise men came to worship Him (Luke 2:8-20; Matt. 2:1-12).
     
  • What uneasiness when Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35).
     
  • And what heart-wrenching grief as she watched her Son dying on the cross! (John 19:25-30).
     
  • But her seasons of being a mother didn’t end with that terrible scene.
     
  • She rejoiced that He rose from the grave.
     
  • Mothers, and all of us for that matter, experience many great joys and intense sorrows.
     
  • But when we submit our lives to the Lord, every season of life can serve His eternal purposes.

Always Be Preparing




Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
(2 Timothy 2)

  • Living a life that pleases the Lord takes mental, spiritual, and physical preparation.
  • A heart dedicated to God must be prepared to serve Him (1 Sam. 7:3).
  • The Bible tells us to always be preparing.
  • We are to be ready to do good works (2 Tim. 2:21).
  • We are to defend scriptural truth (1 Peter 3:15).
  • We are to share the Gospel with others.
  • Even our giving takes planning (2 Cor. 9:5).
  • And that is just a start.
  • There is some stress, though, when we are always getting something ready for somebody.
  • It’s hard to balance priorities with the pressure to prepare a lesson, a message, or a document continually on our mind.
  • But we don’t need to stress, because God will enable us with His power.
  • Let’s ask God to guide us as we prepare to serve, honor, and tell others about Him.
  • The best preparation for tomorrow is always the right use of today.