Going Beyond the Right
The big rock for the Christian is to truly live out the message that changed our lives. To not just talk about our faith, but to do it. To do what is right. But who determines what is right? God’s Word is our plumb line. But we can compromise and try to do what is right in our own eyes. But what about going beyond the right?
Bible Reading of the Day: 2 Chronicles 26-30
Saying and doing what is right requires self-discipline and faith. The lives of Uzziah, Jotham, and Hezekiah are such examples that we can learn from of doing what is right even in an evil culture. We can glean some parenting and leadership tips and motivation for us, as well, to fiercely, tenaciously live out our faith in today’s reading.
Going Beyond the Right—More Than Enough
I heard a sermon years ago that is one of those “life” sermons, where the message impacts you and you just know that you want to carry that message for the rest of your life. It was a message entitled, “Going Beyond the Right”.
The core message behind it was to not just think bare minimum about doing what is right. Go beyond the right. I see this mentality as I tried to train my children to do a job well. The bare minimum was not doing what was right. Going above and beyond was. We tend to want to be graded on the curve. Like, we did “enough”. That is not the heart we should have for doing what is right. We should be zealous and jealous for God’s glory.
I want to do what is right in such a way that others will look to my God, and not me. He who gave His very best and went beyond the right on our behalf deserves nothing less.
Going Beyond the Right—A Momma’s Role
All right, sisters, we are getting some shout outs today in the word of God! Did you catch it? Each one of the kings we read about today, the mom was mentioned. So was dad. But women were not always acknowledged, and so it is intriguing to see.
2 Chronicles 26:3
“3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem.”
2 Chronicles 27:1-2
“Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah daughter of Zadok. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Uzziah had done.”
Notice that the next king who was not so good, ok, he was downright evil, King Ahaz. And the momma was not mentioned. No shaming of the momma. Because at the end of the day, our children have to pick up the torch and run with it. No blaming momma. No blaming our past or our upbringing. But I love that the moms were honored when their sons chose to do what was right and even beyond the right.
Going Beyond the Right—Producing Godly Offspring
Each one of the kings we read about today had an epitaph – a statement of their legacy, which was based on whether or not they did what was right. Whether or not they were faithful to God and sought Him. This is the end of the matter for us all and for our children.
Parents cannot guarantee that their children will do what is right, but they can help shape their character and lay a standard in their homes of doing what is right, that becomes part of a foundation and culture that they are used to.
And friends, there will be pushback on this. But we must lead. Don’t let children pull you away from what is right. We are supposed to lead them! And they will not always like it. But God has expectations for us just as he did of Abraham.
Going Beyond the Right—Raising Our Tribe for Jesus
Genesis 18:19 (NIV)
“For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.”
Malachi 2:15 (ESV)
“Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.”
God wants godly offspring. Children raised in His truth and way. The world wants to pull our children away. We parents have to stand in the gap.
It’s not too late. Don’t spend any time wasted on regret or shoulda coulda woulda’s. Today is a new day. Start today. What is one thing you can do to turn the tide and do what is right in your life? Where is the compromise? Ask God. He will tell you.
Richard Fugate is the author of the book, “What the Bible Says About Child Training” that truly helped me as I was parenting my children. Lots of books did. I consumed godly parenting books to guide me as well as the word of God. But Richard Fugate did not start applying biblical principles until his children were teens. That was impressive. A late start and God still granted the victory. Doing things God’s way is the right way.
Going Beyond the Right—Godly Leadership
King Hezekiah gives us several principles that we can take away in our parenting.
2 Chronicles 29:1
“Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.”
- He did what was right in God’s sight. Even when it was not popular. And he led well.
- He led the Levites to consecrate themselves. Not half-baked preparation – but pure hearts and doing things God’s way. (2 Chronicles 29:5).
- And he led the cleansing of the temple. Again, God’s way. (2 Chronicles 29:15).
- He led a renewal of temple worship with burnt offerings and singing. (2 Chr. 29:27).
- He sent word throughout all Israel & Judah to come and celebrate the Passover. (2 Chr. 30:1)
- And he sent messages to challenge the people of God to be faithful.
2 Chronicles 30:7-9
“7 Don’t be like your ancestors and your brothers who were unfaithful to the Lord, the God of their ancestors so that he made them an object of horror as you yourselves see. 8 Don’t become obstinate[c] now like your ancestors did. Give your allegiance[d] to the Lord, and come to his sanctuary that he has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God so that he may turn his burning anger away from you, 9 for when you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will receive mercy in the presence of their captors and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and merciful; he will not turn his face away from you if you return to him.”
Going Beyond the Right—Turning the Tide Back
Friends, don’t let discouragement or past failure cloud your vision. God still has work for us to do. We can turn the tide back to being and doing beyond the right.
2 Chronicles 29:35b-36
“So the service of the Lord’s temple was established. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God had prepared the people, for it had come about suddenly.”
- Hezekiah Prayed for God’s people. He interceded. We must intercede for our children and those in our sphere of influence, too. Don’t let people just fall away because it is hard to correct them. Be humble and lead them. Help them to master the sin that so easily ensnares.
2 Chronicles 30:18-20
“18 A large number of the people—many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun—were ritually unclean, yet they had eaten the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah had interceded for them, saying, “May the good Lord provide atonement on behalf of 19 whoever sets his whole heart on seeking God, the Lord, the God of his ancestors, even though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.”
- Hezekiah encouraged God’s people.
2 Chronicles 30:22
“22 Then Hezekiah encouraged all the Levites who performed skillfully before the Lord. They ate at the appointed festival for seven days, sacrificing fellowship offerings and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their ancestors.”
Scripture of the Day: 2 Chronicles 26:4-5
“4 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.”
We can learn some things from Uzziah, too.
Uzziah did what was right as long as he had the godly influence of Zechariah in his life. We have to guard the influences in our lives and in our children’s lives. Remove stumbling blocks. Place things in your life that will point you to Christ.
Uzziah was famous. And this led to his downfall. It was God who made him famous. And that fame was not intended for Uzziah. Doing what is right is for God’s glory, not ours.
2 Chronicles 26:8
“8 The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for God made him very powerful.”
2 Chronicles 26:15b-16
“So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was wondrously helped until he became strong. 16 But when he became strong, he grew arrogant, and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the Lord his God by going into the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar.”
Going Beyond the Right—Humility
The Bible says in Proverbs 27:21 a man is tested by the praise he receives. We need to remember that there is nothing good in us.
Friends, let’s not let pride or anything cause us to stop doing what is right and stop putting God first – more than first – making Him what our lives are centered around. A relationship with Him is not a religion, a “to do”. It is a lifestyle centered around knowing Him and making Him known. And as parents, we are seeking to influence our children to do the same.
More than just learning about doing what is right, which is an outward behavior, doing what is right starts in the heart. We need to get our children’s hearts – not just their behavior. And sometimes we will not be popular for that leadership. And sometimes we will have to intervene in crazy ways to get our kids back on track. It’s hard. But it requires godly leadership. And God expects godly offspring. This has driven my parenting from day one.
Going Beyond the Right—Simply Obedience
Circling back to King Jotham – He did not waiver in obeying God.
2 Chronicles 27:6, “6 So Jotham strengthened his position because he did not waver in obeying the Lord his God.”
And King Ahaz, he was just unfaithful. This word unfaithful is the Hebrew word, “ma`al”. The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament has this to say about this word:
“Māʿal occurs thirty-five times. It occurs most frequently in II Chr and in Ezk. Among the prophets, only Ezekiel uses this word (excluding Dan 9:7). In almost all the biblical references māʿal is used to designate the breaking or violation of religious law as a conscious act of treachery. The victim against whom the breach is perpetrated is God. It means “to commit a trespass against the lord” (Victor P. Hamilton, “1230 מָעַל,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 520).
- Be faithful. Don’t give in to compromise. It will be hard to choose to do what is right. But thinking beyond the right helps us to keep our mind and heart-centered in the right place.
- Rather than lowering the bar, we raise it and don’t give up.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #296: Doing What is Right
𝒱𝑒𝓇𝓈𝑒 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒟𝒶𝓎: 2 Chronicles 26:5
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