Maturity = Obedience to God

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   How do you handle a true, valid criticism or a truth someone points out about you? It is very easy to quickly become defensive and begin making all sorts of excuses or rationalizations. What if God would show you something from the Bible that you need to work on or change in your life? What would your reaction be?

   A young boy named Josiah was made king of Judah when he was eight years old and is described as a person who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and carefully obeyed God throughout his 39 years on earth (2 Kings 22-23). Ten years into his reign, the high priest discovered the Book of the Law (essentially the first five books of the Old Testament) when people were fixing up the Temple. The Temple was not in the condition the way Solomon had built it and the people of Judah (half of Israels kingdom) were not living lives that honored God.

   When Josiah learned of the Book and had it read to him, he humbly went into action. Josiah destroyed all the idol worshipping that was going on in Judah, renewed the covenant God had made with the Israelites and essentially obeyed God in all areas of his life, highly encouraging all his people to do the same. Josiah was going to be obedient to God and likewise, rule his country by the leading of God. God did bless Josiah for humbling himself and being obedient. 

   As soon as Josiah heard the word of God and knew he was not living the way he should be, he was willing to change. Prior to the discovery of the Book in the Temple, Josiah did not know many of the things written in the Book and was not aware of his living contrary to the way God would want him to live. The key is when he did find out, Josiah did not rationalize nor debate with God over what was written. He simply became obedient and was willing to change his behavior and attitude.

   Too often when we read something in the Bible and we are not living the way the Bible teaches us to live, we simply shrug it off and probably feel that what we do that is contrary to Gods ways, are actually not that bad. Besides, God forgives and He cannot expect us to be perfect or be obedient in all areas of life. 

   Josiah was a teenager when the truth from God came to him. At that moment Josiah acted very maturely and as leader of a nation, let the people know that he and everyone else best be obedient to God. That took courage and guts because what Josiah was enacting was the popular opinion of his day. Keeping his mind and heart on God, Josiah did what he needed to and greatly impacted his world (and country) for Jesus. 

   If we want to make a difference in the world today and if we call ourselves followers of Jesus (you know, Christians), then the first thing we need to be doing is living and acting like the One we say we are following. Do not expect to make a difference in the world if you are not living differently than the world because you will blend in with the world and no one will know that you are different because of your faith in Jesus. Take your Bible, read it and figure out where you need to live like Jesus and less like the world. Then you will be making a difference in the world you are in. If you do not have a Bible, find someone who does and borrow it. If you cannot read, have someone read you the Bible. 

   God is looking for the Josiahs of 2016, who will courageously stand up for Him and tell the world that the best way to live and the only way to heaven is following Jesus. The young people of todays world will only check Jesus out when we live out what is written in the Bible.

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