“Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its people and their animals, even if these three men – Noah, Daniel and Job – were in it, they could save themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD – Ezekiel 14:13-14 (KJV)
Accountability (responsibility for our own actions) requires action. Our words, even to those in positions of royalty, power and authority, can change the current atmosphere, culture, conditions and perceptions. As we learned from last week’s message, we are accountable to God for what we say and how we say it.
Daniel’s life and ministry bridge the entire 70-year history & period of Babylonian captivity. Deported to Babylon at the age of 16, and handpicked for government service, Daniel becomes God’s prophetic mouthpiece to the gentle and Jewish world declaring God’s present and eternal purpose.
Daniel’s name means “God is my Judge.” This name was changed to Belteshazzar during his captivity, however, we never mention this particular name with regards to Daniel because it did not reveal his true character.
In Chapter one of the Book of Daniel, he stood before King Nebuchadnezzar and declared his refusal to adhere to the king’s customs and ways (verses 11-13). He did not eat their food nor drink their wine as instructed. In Chapter two, Daniel acknowledged that he could interpret the king’s dreams (verses 24-28), when others failed, and the king thanked God for the revelation (verses 19-23). In Chapter three, Daniel’s influence, and resolve to remain true to his faith, convinced this three friends, Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael to stand up to the king and refuse to bow before the 90 foot high / nine foot wide graven image that he erected.
Together, they withstood the punishment of the fiery furnace (that was turned up 7 times hotter than usual), and were rescued by God Almighty. This act convinced the king that there MUST be a God above and beyond what he had previously believed, and changed his life for the better.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to speak words of affirmation, confirmation and truth. May the words that I select be uplifting and comforting, pointing people toward You. Amen.
Our words are powerful and they will create a positive or a negative experience to the hearer as a result. We are accountable to God for what we say and how we say it.
God created the world, as we know it, with His words. The days of creation are recorded
in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis =>
Day 1 – light (verses 3-5)
Day 2 – sky above and water below (verse 6)
Day 3 – land and sea/vegetation (verse 9)
Day 4 – sun, moon and starts (verse 16)
Day 5 – living creatures of water and sky (verse 21)
Day 6 – living creatures on land and humans (verses 24-26)
Day 7 – God rested (chapter 2:1-3)
The Apostle Paul taught an insightful lesson to the saints in Ephesus, with regard to their words, that are still pertinent today in the life of the Christian. They are:
Prayer: Dear God, I desire to speak kind and meaningful words to others so that I may minister grace into their lives. Help me to accomplish this so that You are glorified. Amen.
The Book of Jonah, although written in 760 B.C., is a reminder for us in 2017 to follow the commands of God with the right attitude. In these four short chapters, we learn that Jonah turns down God’s assignment to travel approximately 500 miles Northeast to Nineveh, to preach a simple message that will save its 120,000 inhabitants, and instead attempts to flee from God approximately 2,000 miles west to Tarshish.
Jonah, a prophet of God, whose name literally means “dove,” was hand-selected by God to deliver a message of repentance to the Ninevites. Although the preaching is a success (chapter 4), Jonah comes away angry and discouraged and must learn firsthand of God’s compassion for sinful men.
Jonah’s actions are documented as follows:
Chapter 1 – Disobedience causes us to run from God (verses 1-5); others know that you are not operating in God’s will (verses 8-10); and the consequences will certainly come (verse 17).
Chapter 2 – He prayed because of his disobedience and God delivered him.
Chapter 3 – A second chance is extended to obey God’s command. Our actions can lead to change, repentance and saving of lives.
Chapter 4 – God made Jonah check his attitude.
When we choose to obey God’s Word, He will always provide the vision and provision so that success, favor and grace will follow. Perhaps not when you want or expect, but always in His timing.
Prayer: Gracious Father, teach me to obey your Word and instructions with the right motive and attitude. Use me to proclaim your mercy and goodness even when I am reluctant, scared or feel unworthy. Amen.
The Book of Romans reflects the “Principles for Christian Liberty.” In essence, it is a reminder, through the Apostle Paul, to the saints in Rome, that the shackles of bondage have been broken (past tense) and we have been made FREE (present tense) from the bondage of sin and its devastating consequences. Jesus carried the weight of the sin of the world all the way to Calvary’s cross as the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind. Similarly, in the Old Testament of the Bible, there was a prophet whose assignment was fulfilled when he warned an entire nation – Judah – about their ungodly ways and the punishment that would proceed. Through his intervention, Judah was spared.
Zephaniah, a prophet of God, whose name literally means “the Lord hides or protects,” was the great, great Grandson of King Hezekiah and the only prophet of royal descent. He was an “11th-hour” prophet to the nation of Judah who gives a stern warning about the coming day of the Lord about 630 B.C. The Book of Zephaniah is only three chapters in length, yet his pronouncement saved this nation along with its close neighbors – Assyria, Ethiopia, Moab, Ammon and Philistia.
For starters, Zephaniah’s actions teaches us the valuable lesson to ‘Ask God for Help.’ Psalm 55:1 (NIV) says, “Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea.” All decisions and problem solving begins with prayer.
Zephaniah’s actions are documented as follows:
Chapter 1 – Judgment was declared by God upon the whole earth (verses 1-3) AND the description of the judgment was pronounced (verses 14-15)
Chapter 2 – Call to repentance (verses 1-3)
Chapter 3 – The promise of restoration (verses 14-20).
Wow!!…isn’t God good? Imagine what God will accomplish, through you, if you said “yes” to your assignment?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I desire to live out the principles of Christian liberty as You’ve shown through Your prophet Zephaniah. Protect me as I proclaim Your goodness to all. Amen.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” – Psalm 24:1 (KJV)
Throughout 2015, we studied, learned and improved our Christian lives from our church theme: GET FIT. To this end, we applied the principles from Romans 12:1-13 to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, to renew our minds and think soberly, and to prove what is the good and acceptable will of God. This was wonderful preparatory for the coming year as a church family.
As we transitioned into 2016, our church theme was EXPERIENCE GOD. During this leap year, God granted us 366 days to experience Him in new and unique ways that would strengthen our relationships, deepen our love and grow us spiritually. We learned together, from 2 Peter 1:3-10, that we must apply seven (7) attributes/characteristics to our lives so that we would not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are: Holiness; knowledge; self-control; patience; Godliness; brotherly kindness; and love.
Now, we have reached another new year – 2017!! This year’s theme is OWN IT! Our foundational Scripture is Romans 14:12 and it’s all about accountability. Defined, it means responsibility for our own acts. Throughout the year, we will learn together the principles of Christian Living/Liberty. They are, just to name a few:
Prayer: Gracious Father, I chose to be accountable to You for all of my words, thoughts and deeds this year. Teach me how to stay within Your will for my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Wayne Johnson is the Senior Pastor of Accokeek First Church of God in Accokeek, Maryland – is affiliated with Church of God Ministries, Inc. headquartered in Anderson, Indiana.
He is also an internationally certified John Maxwell team speaker, coach, mentor and trainer on leadership strategies and principles – www.kevinwaynejohnson.com
Pastor and author Kevin Wayne Johnson joins host Jeanne Dennis to discuss what it means to be the church and our roles as believers both in the church and in the community.
Pastor Johnson serves as Senior Pastor of Accokeek First Church of God.His passion is reflected through his national best-selling book series (Give God the Glory!), that earned 19 literary awards from 2001 to present, all published through his Christian-based publishing company. Kevin Wayne Johnson is a professional in government as well as private industry. For 30 years, he has performed successfully in numerous middle and senior-level positions in the areas of workforce development, training, organizational change, acquisition/procurement, customer service, client relationships, and program management. He shares how he lives his faith and encourages listeners to come out to an Annual Event: 2016 Author’s Explosion; Theme: Get Caught Reading Month Purpose:
Read more at http://events.baltimoresun.com/events/2016-authors-explosion-accokeek-20160325-event#ZzPdEMZk8OGk0vrp.99
Get the book here and get free bonus gifts