Emily Teterud – Marketing Coordinator
Continuing in our journey of the Kingdom of God, our study today focused on the heart. Cal summed up the main point with this big idea: As the heart of the king goes, so goes the kingdom.
From the very beginning of Israel’s experience with kings, we find that issues of the heart are what dictated the direction of the kingdom. God commended David over and over for being righteous and upright in heart. When David’s son, Solomon became king, his heart was turned away from God and we begin to see the downward spiral of the kings after that. As the kings continued to stray from the heart of God, the people also strayed. Of the dozens of kings, only a handful remained faithful to God, and we see the devastating effects of the unfaithful kings through the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah.
A quick glance at three of these kings will give some perspective to why this issue of the heart is so important:
- Ahab reigned in the northern kingdom of Israel for 22 years. He was the eighth king of Israel. His wife, Jezebel, was a big influence in his life, and through her wickedness, Ahab was influenced to lead the kingdom further away from God and they served a false god, Baal, instead. Many people who followed God and remained faithful were killed off.
- Jehoram was the fifth king of Judah who reigned for eight years. As soon as he took the throne, he murdered all six of his brothers, as well as princes of Israel. He also led Judah in the worship of Baal. No one mourned this king’s death, and he was not buried in the tombs of the kings.
- Manasseh reigned for fifty-five years, the longest of all the kings in David’s line. After his father led the people back to God, Manasseh led them right back away. He led the people in worship of other gods and murdered his own son.
In the midst of these evil kings, there was a growing sense of anticipation, because the Israelites knew God had promised a good king who would come through David’s line. We see these prophesies fulfilled through the birth of Jesus.
Each of us has a choice to make about whether or not Jesus is the King in our lives. Do we believe He is a worthy King? Here are five concepts to consider before making that choice:
- He is wise: We don’t often think of Jesus as being smart. But, it’s important to realize how much greater He is than us in every way. He holds the universe together and He is the creator of all things. How could we come to trust Jesus as our King if we weren’t completely confident that He is wise in all ways?
- He is good: You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Jesus is the only exception to this rule! He is a good King and a good Father.
- He is kind: Jesus is a compassionate King who teaches us to be compassionate as well. He is full of mercy and love for us. He chose to give up His glory to come to earth as a man and live a perfect life so that He could take the punishment for our sins.
- He is faithful: Jesus came to seek and save those who were lost. That means all of us!
- He is strong: Jesus redefines our understanding of strength. We jump to images of armies and fortresses, but Jesus’ understanding of strength is so much bigger than we could even grasp. The greatest display of God’s power is His willingness to give His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Through His death and resurrection, we can now experience the power of God in us.
All of these attributes are describing a King who is for us, a King who loves us, and a King who saves us. Each of us needs to decide if we consider Him worthy to be King in our lives.
Verses and quotes from the message:
- Proverbs 4:23; Luke 2; Acts 13:22; 1 Kings 3:6; 1 Kings 9:4-5; 1 Kings 16:33b; 2 Chronicles 21:20; 2 Kings 24:3-4; Colossians 2:2b-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:3; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 Peter 3:18a; 1 John 3:5; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 9:35-36; Luke 19:10; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
Glory – Phil Wickham
My Heart is Yours – Kristian Stanfill
Hosanna – Hillsong Music
In Christ Alone – Stuart Townend