New minister speaks on spiritual reform!

By Evan Bartholomew.

“When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: ‘Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that is poured out on us because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.'”  2 Chronicles 34:19-21.

People who came to church this past Sunday had the privilege of hearing preaching from Joe Santos from Oahu and Evan Bartholomew, brand new lead minister of the church. (photo by Chris Directo)

Josiah, King of Judah, was perhaps one of the most influential kings of the Old Testament. The Bible says that “as long as he lived, [the Israelites] did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their fathers” (2 Chronicles 34:33). Throughout his reign of thirty-one years as king, Josiah did many things that demonstrated his zeal for the Lord. The most remarkable of those things was how quickly he restored the word of God as the standard for his people when the book of the law was found in the temple. The Bible says that Josiah “tore his robes” because he realized how angry God was towards his people for not following his commands. 

So much like today. We see so many people inside and outside the religious world who fail to hold God’s word as the standard for their own lives. As Joe Santos, who was visiting from the Oahu International Christian Church, shared for communion, many today are “having a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Timothy 3:5) in how they live their lives. Moreover, we see churches who fail to call their members to the standard of God’s word. 

Kelly, Ashley and Mel (l-r) check out the word of God immediately after Ashley was baptized two Sundays ago. (photo by Chris Directo)

The Bible says in 2 Chronicles 34:31-32:

“The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD — to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.

“Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.”

In the lesson, we laid out that every member of the church needs to have a wholehearted commitment to following the standard that God has set in the Bible. It is the standard of being a sold-out disciple of Jesus Christ. We also talked about the commitment to the church that the Bible calls us to have:

  1. That every member needs to be committed to the meetings of the church body. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
  2. Every member must be committed to evangelism, or, more specifically, small group evangelism (Bible Talk).  (Matthew 28:18-20)
  3. Every member must be in a discipling relationship with another disciple. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
  4. Lastly, every member must contribute financially to the church in a sacrificial way. (Malachi 3:8-10)

These things come from the word of God, and are, therefore, not things that we demand, but the standard for which God calls people to in his Kingdom. 

Joseph was baptized this past Sunday! (photo by Chris Directo)

It was so awesome, because we were able to see a spiritual reform in two individuals as they pledged themselves to God’s word as the standard for their lives.  Ashley and Joseph, after a few weeks of studying the Bible, were baptized into God’s Kingdom. 

Has God’s word been the standard for your life?  Have you truly pledged yourself to obeying it, to teaching it, and to calling the people around you to obeying it?  As King Josiah, my prayer is that all of us can embrace God’s word for our lives and obey it with all of our hearts and all our souls for the glory of God.