Excellent 1

I want to be good.  I want to be a good husband, a good dad, a good friend, a good pastor…the list goes on.  Actually, I don’t want to settle for good, I’d like to be great at all of these things.  So I ask myself, “How can I be a better ________.”  If I am honest, many days I’m just trying to get done what needs to get done.  Sound familiar? There’s not much time to get better except through experience.  Some days I get more right than wrong, and other days, well, let’s just say I’m clearly nowhere near great.

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah.  In 2 Chronicles, we see him do things well and we see him mess things up.  Here’s one time when he gets it right.

2 Chronicles 19:4-7 (CEB)

Jehoshaphat’s reforms

Though Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, he regularly went out among the people between Beer-sheba and Ephraim’s highlands, and encouraged them to return to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. He appointed judges throughout the land in each of the fortified cities of Judah, instructing them, “Be careful when you pass judgment. You aren’t dispensing justice by merely human standards but for the Lord, who is with you. Therefore, respect theLord and act accordingly, because there can be no injustice, playing favorites, or taking bribes when it comes to the Lord our God.”

He appoints judges, and he gives them instruction, “Don’t just be a judge, do it for the Lord.”  It’s a different standard, a different motivation.  That’s why it’s labeled in some bibles as Jehoshaphat’s Reforms.

This word changes my perspective on the day and why I do what I do.  How about you?  I am a husband, dad, pastor, friend, and everything else by the blessing and grace of God.  I am called to be a husband, dad, pastor, friend, and everything else by God, with God, and for God.

Scripture also puts it this way:

23 Whatever you do, do it from the heart for the Lord and not for people. – Colossians 3:23  (CEB)

I realize my own desire to be good, and realize I’m going to mess all of those things up, just like Jehoshaphat sometimes did.  But here’s the thing, today’s scripture is a call to integrity of serving the Lord in everything.  Their can be no true greatness without it.

Prayer:  Lord, whatever I do, help me to do it from the heart for You and not for people.  Amen.