By Dustin Allman
Pastor, The Fort Church, Kingsport
Focal Passage: 1 Kings 15:9-22
The millionaire mentioned, “You probably won’t need all this money, but I want you to have plenty to build a solid house. When you’re finished, you can keep whatever is left over.”
The builder thought to himself, “I can build a house for a fraction of this money. Then I can pocket most of the money for myself!”
So, he began to throw the house together with haste, cheaply and cut corners. The house wasn’t solid, but it looked good and he had plenty of money left over. He gave the millionaire the key and the millionaire smiled and replied, “Oh, I forgot to tell you … the house is yours!”
Character is the impression your life leaves on others. We are all in the process of constructing our lives by our choices.
We build good character brick by brick, thought by thought, action by action. The decisions we make affect others, often decades into the future. Low character comes at a high cost.
The downfall of Solomon began a chain of events that only intensified the downward spiral of sin, idolatry and compromise. His sons made it worse!
True worship has been exchanged for comforts. God’s people are to be marked with character, but often, we negotiate and compromise our character for competency.
We’re tempted to think we can do what is expedient at the cost of what is right and good. D.L. Moody famously said, “If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.”
The writer of I Kings presents king Asa as a positive turning point. His rule begins with repentance and aspiring to lead with character. Rehoboam was a conformer, but Asa was a reformer.
We read of his personal reformation in chapter 15, verse 11, “Asa did what was right in the LORD’s eyes, as his ancestor David had done.” Asa cleaned up the temple worship and made great strides to point the nation back to God!
Faithfulness to God is a long obedience in the same direction. What matters in this life above all else? Faithfulness to God. In the beginning, Asa chose to live differently from his fathers.
He even demoted his own grandmother from the important role of “queen mother” because she had devoted resources to worship false gods.
He cut them down and burned them outside the city. Asa’s reform would cost him. And following Jesus will cost us, too.
There may be times when we must cut off ties with friends and family members to follow Jesus. While we should pray for them and demonstrate grace, not everyone will approve of our resolve to genuinely seek the LORD. Asa was committed to return to the ways of David.
Unfortunately, Asa’s reign as king didn’t end so well. Years later, he would display some inconsistencies. A person may seek the Lord and help others seek the Lord for many years but then fall backwards at the end of life.
Every day, may we begin afresh with God, with repentance, reading His Word, asking for help, as we pursue a life of faithfulness. B&R