YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Hello friends, we come again today, in the Name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, bringing you the message of GOD. We’re so certain that these messages will impact upon your life, if you give attention to them.
Today, we’ll be speaking on the topic, You Can Make a Difference.
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We’ll be reading from two passages in the scriptures, the first one is in 2 Chronicles 28:1-5
2 Chronicles 28:1-5
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord, as his father David had done. 2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made molded images for the Baals. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him, and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. Then he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter.
The second passage we’ll be reading from is 2 Chronicles 29:1-9
2 Chronicles 29:1-9
1 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord fell upon Judah and Jerusalem, and He has given them up to trouble, to desolation, and to jeering, as you see with your eyes. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers have fallen by the sword; and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity.
Let us pray.
Heavenly FATHER, the FATHER of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, I pray today that YOU use this Word to impress upon someone to begin to decide to make a difference in his life time…in JESUS’ Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!
I said our topic is, You Can Make a Difference. You Can Make a Difference, if you decide to do so. Our passage mentions two people: Ahaz and Hezekiah, both of them kings at various times. Ahaz is the father of Hezekiah. Ahaz turned out to be a bad man. He promoted idolatry, locked the temple, and never allowed people to worship there. He promoted human sacrifice, including offering his own children. He discouraged the Priests and Levites from performing their duties – their GOD-given duties. For sixteen years of his reign darkness covered the land, and the LORD delivered the land to the country of Syria. People lost their lives.
2 Chronicles 28:6,
6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers.
That was the reign of this man. In verse 22-23,
22 Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord. This is that King Ahaz. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
He became increasingly unfaithful to the LORD. When he died they refused to bury him where the Kings of Israel are normally buried. And let me show you that in our passage, verse 27
27 So Ahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem; but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
In a twist of event, Ahaz was succeeded by his son called Hezekiah. Normally, the expectation was that Hezekiah will go the way of his father Ahaz. But the good news is that Hezekiah decided to make a difference unlike his father who did evil in the sight of the LORD. Hezekiah did what was right in the sight of The LORD. We noticed that Hezekiah started early. In chapter 29 the bible says he started early in life to do the correct things. And it said, in the first year he opened the doors of the house of The LORD and repaired it. That was the beginning of his reign: in the first year. 2 Chronicles 29:3, 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.
In verse 4 -11 [we have read it before]
4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place. 6 For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the Lord our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and turned their backs on Him. 7 They have also shut up the doors of the vestibule, put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
And that was responsible for their suffering. That was responsible for their suffering.
Hezekiah encouraged sanctification and consecration. Hezekiah addressed the Levites. They sanctified themselves, consecrated themselves: Hezekiah brought revival; and the land was peaceful. GOD fought their battles. During his reign Sennacherib the king of Assyria attacked them. They came with many soldiers. They came with many soldiers. But hear the address of Hezekiah to his people in chapter 32:7-8
2 Chronicles 32:7-8
7 “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people were strengthened by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
The army of Sennacherib was completely destroyed by The LORD, without Hezekiah shooting an arrow or bow. You find that in verse 20 and verse 21. Verse 20 and verse 21 we read in the scriptures how he defeated the army of Sennacherib.
What are the lessons we can learn from this?
- First lesson is, your future is not tied to your background or biodata or ancestry. Hezekiah had a bad father but he decided to make a difference. Must you follow the examples of your ancestors? Must you behave like them? You can as well decide to make a difference to live right with GOD and have a change.
- Number two lesson we can learn is we can make a positive difference irrespective of your background. When GOD created you HE created you uniquely. The bible says, I know the plans I have for you. Plans of good, not of evil – to give you an expected end. So you can make a positive difference irrespective of your background.
- Number three lesson: You will be held accountable for your decisions and actions and activities by both men and GOD. You will be accountable for your decisions, for your actions, for your activities by both men and GOD. When Ahaz died – we see this example. When Ahaz died they refused to accord him the honor of a king because he was being held responsible. He has to account. When he died they refused to accord him the honor of a king. But when Hezekiah died they buried him in the upper tombs of the Sons of David and Judah. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. That’s the difference.
- Number four lesson: the secret of Hezekiah’s life was that he aligned with GOD. He decided to follow GOD. He decided to obey GOD. Obedience is the secret of following GOD. You cannot say you are following GOD and you are living in disobedience. You are not obeying GOD. They do not go together. GOD expects all that will follow HIM to live in obedience.
Recall that the first king of Israel Saul lost his throne because of disobedience.
Hello friends, do you know you can make positive difference in the family, in the church or in the community – even in our country Nigeria? The world will destroy you, but GOD will pull out the best in you, if you align with HIM.
So I call on you today to rise up and say to yourself, I will make a difference; I will align myself with GOD – because I am created for excellence. I am not tied to my ancestry: I will overcome my limitations.
If this is your decision I want to pray for you. I want to pray for you this moment in time. You can make a difference.
Heavenly FATHER, as many as have taken positive decisions to align themselves to YOU as to make a difference in their life time, I am asking, Mighty FATHER, as YOUR servant, that YOU, O GOD, will allow YOUR Spirit to come into their lives and perform the necessary change that will bring them into alignment with YOU and cause them to live for YOU and prepare to make a difference for the world during their life time…in JESUS Mighty Name I pray. AMEN!
I remain your servant Pastor Amara Uwaeziozi