February 26, 2010

Following Jesus' Example

2 Chronicles 17:1-13

The LORD was with Jehoshaphat … His heart was devoted to the ways of the LORD …
2 Chronicles 17:3,6


Jehoshaphat’s God–seeking took a rather unusual shape. On the one hand it led him to fortify cities and strengthen his army, and on the other hand it prompted him to send teachers throughout the land to instruct people in God’s law.

Military and moral preparedness. Who would have imagined that God–seeking would look like that? Yet that’s why Jesus regularly spent time alone with the Father: he knew he had a fight on his hands with spiritual enemies among his own people, and he also had disciples to teach about the ways of the kingdom.

As in the days of Nehemiah, who rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem, seeking God means being ready to fend off attacks as we do our work (see Nehemiah 4:16–21). Our struggle today, though, “is not against flesh and blood” but against “the spiritual forces of evil” (see Ephesians 6:10–18). In all our daily living we need to be fortified against attacks to our faith and our work in the Lord.

It’s fascinating to see how God honored Jehoshaphat’s God–seeking. God made all the surrounding nations to be at peace with Judah. Former enemies, fearing God, showed up offering tribute to God’s people!

In Christ today, we are called to be faithful as we work through the church to build God’s kingdom. Imagine the results when we seek God with all our heart!

Father, thank you for your help and strength in the work you call us to do. Protect us by your Spirit, tune us to your will, and guide us to seek you first in all we do. In Christ, Amen

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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