Thrive – Going Up the Down Escalator

Life as a Jesus follower in this world is somewhat like walking up a down escalator. As long as you keep moving ahead with your commitments, you’re fine. But try to stand still…and you will find yourself moving in the wrong direction!

The book of Second Kings is about a time in Israel’s history when the escalator was moving down very quickly. During this time, there were three kings who stood out for their Thriving faith even in the toughest of times: Joash, Hezekiah and Josiah. They each have some great lessons to teach us for our tough times about the commitments we can make to keep moving ahead.

Worship Keeps Your FAITH Strong
repaired the temple in 2nd Kings 12. He rebuilt the place of worship! The place of worship must remain strong in our lives if we’re to swim upstream without being washed down or worn out.

I’m talking about more than just attending a worship service, but giving your attention to worship. Joash’s experience reminds us of a vital truth regarding keeping worship at the center of our inner lives.

We have to be willing to pay the price. It takes time…valuable time, to worship the Lord.

Your Commitments Cause Your Faith to Thrive
in 2nd Kings 18 removed the “High Places,” – the places of false worship. A growing faith comes when we deal with the destructive and the distracting influences in our lives.

Look at how Hezekiah dealt with such places. He removed, smashed, cut down and broke them into pieces! There was no compromise…they were completely dealt with.

You can’t deal with “high places” with halfway measures. It takes commitment.

God’s Word is Vital to Daily Living
rediscovered God’s Word in chapters 22-23. Even if you haven’t picked up your Bible for a while, you probably know what shelf it’s on. That’s better than the people of Israel had done. They had literally lost the Lord’s law.

When Josiah rediscovered and read it everything changed. You may need to make a rediscovery of your own…to rediscover the meaning of God’s word for your daily life.

Start reading it again as if your very life depends upon it…it does!

Family Discussion Question: Whose example do you most need right now: Joash, Hezekiah or Josiah?

Children’s Activity: Draw a picture of a fish swimming upstream (against the flow of some trash going downstream) and put your name on the fish.

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