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Recipe for Reformation (Part 1)

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Radio transcript for the week of November 8th , 2009

Todd Clippard preaches on "Recipe for Reformation (Part 1)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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Greetings! And thank you for listening to the Seeking the Lost International Radio program. My name is Todd Clippard and I work with Harold Bigham and Ricky Berger in preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ through this medium. I am grateful to the elders of the Clinton, Mississippi church of Christ for their confidence and invitation to be a part of this great work. You may listen to previous sermons on the Seeking the Lost website; that address is www.seekingthelost.net. You can also read transcripts of previous lessons and print them for further examination study by this visiting this website. You may learn more about the Seeking the Lost radio program at our website or you may also visit the website of the Clinton Mississippi church of Christ www.clintoncoc.org.

I hope you would take your Bible open it to the Old Testament book of Second Kings. We're going to read about King Hezekiah from chapter eighteen beginning in verse two. We're going to look at some of the reforms which Hezekiah initiated in the nation of Judah following the wicked reign of his father Ahaz. Our theme in this study is "Recipe for Reformation." We know a recipe is a means by which food or desserts of some type are made, and there are instructions given that are to be followed in order to create a confection or food of some type. And as we look at this text today in verses two through eight. weâ??re going to see some lessons, some ingredients, in a recipe for reform. That is, to reform ourselves personally, to reform ourselves spiritually. I hope this study will be a benefit to you. As we begin our thoughts on recipe for reformation, let's begin reading in Second Kings eighteen, speaking of King Hezekiah in verse two.

"He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city." (NKJV)

I want us to think about some things that Hezekiah did in bringing about these great reforms to the people of Judah. The first is in our recipe for reformation, there must be a commitment to a righteous living. Note verse three says he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord. The scriptures in the Bible are full of stories and I donâ??t mean stories in the way of being myths or legends, but simply accounts of men who were committed to righteous living. We don't have to read very far until we read about Abel in Genesis chapter four. Abel was committed to a righteous living. He offered got a sacrifice which was in accordance with the command of God. His brother Cain brought only an offering of the fruit of the ground, but Abel also brought not only of the fruit of the ground but also the firstlings of his flock, a blood sacrifice. In Hebrews chapter eleven and verse four the Bible says by faith Abel brought a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts, and through it, he being dead still speaks. Abelâ??s commitment to righteous living cost him his life.

In Genesis chapter six and verse eight we see that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And why is it that he found grace? What was it about him that caused him to find grace in God's eyes? Genesis six verse nine says that Noah was "a just man, perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God." How important it is to see this statement Noah walked with God. Walking with God and the phrase "perfect in his generations" simply means that he was sincere in his desire to do God's will. It does not main that he never sinned or did anything wrong, but simply that he was committed in his a desire to live right before Almighty God. Note also again the fact that Noah walked with God. Of all the people in the Bible, that phrase is only used in reference to men: Noah in Genesis chapter six and Enoch in Genesis chapter five. The Bible says that Enoch did not die because he walked with God.

You should also note that in Genesis chapter eighteen, Abraham was committed to righteous living. Of Abraham, God said, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord of may bring to Abraham what he has spoken to him."

In Ezra chapter seven and verse ten we read about Ezraâ??s commitment to righteous living. The Bible says "Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and judgments in Israel." I also think about Joshua and his commitment to serve the Lord. In Joshua 24 and verse 15, Joshua said to the people, "But if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, then choose this day whom you will serve: whether the gods of your father which were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now dwell, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." What an interesting contrast was Joshua to the people of Israel in First Kings eighteen, where Elijah went to the people and he says, "How long do you falter between two opinions? If the lord is God, serve him, if Baal is god serve him. But the people answered him not a word."

It's interesting to me how important is to be committed to righteous living, and we find that the Bible is full of men who were committed to a righteous living. On the other hand, it is also full of men who were committed to evil living, and I think that's where we would do well to think about the sins of Hezekiahâ??s father, Ahaz. In Second Kings chapter sixteen, just back two chapters from where we are studying now, chapter sixteen and verse two says, "Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and he did not do that which was right in the sight of God as his father David had done. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. Indeed he made his son passed through the fire according to the abominations of the nation's whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree." Note that Hezekiahâ??s commitment to righteous living was in contrast to that of his father. And Lord willing in our next session and our study together we will look at this a contrast and weâ??ll look at Hezekiahâ??s commitment in the things that he did.

As we conclude I want us to think about our own commitment to a righteous living. The only way to live righteously is to live in accordance with the Word of God. Hebrews five and verse nine says that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him. It takes commitment to live right and obey the Lord. We obey the Lord by believing in the deity of Jesus - John 8:24, including is death for our sins and his resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:1-4). We must repent of our sins (Luke 13:3, 5), confess Christ as the Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized, that is, immersed in water to receive remission of sins (Acts 2:38). Then live faithful to the lord until death (Matthew 10:22, Revelation 2:10).

If you have any questions or comments about any thing you've heard on this program today, or you have any questions of a Biblical nature, then we encourage you to contact us. You can contact us through the website or by one of the means which you will hear at the conclusion of this program. So we encourage you to keep listening for all of our contact information. Thank you again for listening and they thank you for your willingness to listen to and study the Word of God with us. We hope that you have a wonderful day. Until next time Iâ??m Todd Clippard for the Seeking the Lost International Radio program.

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