The Bible said that King Asa of Judah (Southern Kingdom) did good and right by the sight of God. He got rid of foreign altars and high places, destroyed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded people to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to obey His laws and commands. Let me share what my Life Application Bible said about King Asa's earlier reign: "Asa's reign was marked with peace because "he did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord, His God." This refrain is often repeated in Chronicles---obedience to God leads to peace with God and others. In the case of Judah's kings, obedience to God led to national peace, just as God promised centuries earlier. In our case, obedience may not always bring peace with our enemies. but will always bring peace with God and complete peace in His future kingdom. Obeying God is the first step on the path to peace. Simply attending worship services is not enough to secure God's peace. Like Asa, we must also actively remove anything that is is offensive to God. Becoming more active in Church attendance or good deeds will still leave us in turmoil if we have failed to eliminate sinful practices from our lives. We should continually ask God to remove any source of temptation from our lives.
"Rest on every side" means that Judah had peace with all her neighbors. Times of peace are not just for resting. They allow us to prepare for times of trouble. King Asa recognized the period of peace as the right time to build his defenses---the moment of attack would be too late. It is also difficult to withstand spiritual attack unless defenses are prepared beforehand. Decisions about how to face temptations must be made with cool heads long before we feel the heat of temptation. Build your defenses now before temptation strikes. Asa wisely welcomed people with close relationship with God, and he listened to their messages. Azariah (God's prophet) gave the armies an important warning and encouraged them to stay close to God. Azariah said that Israel (Northern Kingdom) was "without the true God." Eight kings reigned in Israel during the 41-year rule of Asa in Judah, and all eight were evil. Jeroboam, the first ruler of Israel, began this wicked trend by setting up idols and expelling God's priests. Azariah used Israel's problems as an example of the evil that would come to Judah if they turned away from God as their northern brothers and sisters had. Azariah encouraged the men of Judah to keep up the good work, "for your work will be rewarded." This is an inspiration for us too. Recognition and rewards are great motivators that have two dimensions: (1) The temporal dimension. Living by God's standards may result in acclaim here on earth. (2) The eternal dimension. Permanent recognition and reward will be given in the next life. Don't be discouraged if you feel your faith in God is going unrewarded here on earth. The best rewards are not in this life but in the life to come."
What I concluded from the life of King Asa as I go through 2 Chronicles 14 to our featured verse in 2 Chronicles 15:7 was how he honored God through obedience. He destroyed the seat of idolatry that permeated his kingdom and influenced his people to obey the One True God. He recognized his limitations as a human being and asked God for help to conquer His enemies. He also listened to the counsel of Godly people and took into account what they had to say. In our day and time, as the Body of Christ (Church), we all need one another. We are facing vicious attacks daily that threatens our faith and our lives if we don't conform to the worldly and evil standards of this world. None of us can accomplish things on our own. Christ is the Head and we are His body. We work effectively when each member work in unity toward the same goal. Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 18:19-20 which says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Whatever calling we hold as disciples of Jesus Christ today, we are to stay true and reliant to the teachings and examples of our Master. We are to be strong both physically and spiritually for there would be times where that strength would be tested. The Lord uses other believers to encourage us to continue the fight and stay faithful to the mission. At no time will God leave us to fight the battles on our own. Thus, we should be sensitive to His move and them which He sends. For we do everything unto the Lord not for temporary rewards but that which is eternal. Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
For this Card, I used an image from CC Designs called "Cinnamon Paints RS13" that I water colored using Distress Inks. The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card. The DP's are from Paper Studio, the flowers that I layered are from Prima, the brad frm Paper Studio, the doily from my stash and the glitters from Stickles (Crystal). The leaves were die-cut with Fiskars punch and for added dimension, I stitched all over this card. I also distressed the edges using a Tim Holtz distress tool.
BE YE STRONG CARD
BE YE STRONG CARD SIDE VIEW
BE YE STRONG CARD LAYERS
BE YE STRONG CARD INSIDE
BE YE STRONG CARD WITH ENVELOPE-BOX
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Sisterhood of Crafters---Leaves
Star Stampz---Hand-colored Image
Calling All Sistahs---Encouragement/Color and/or Photo Challenge
The Color Sisters---Color/Photo Inspiration
Create and Inspire---ATG/Dies/Stencils
Creative Craft Cottage---ATG
Not Just Cards---ATG
Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge. You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement. As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter up to 5 times this week. An awesome GC of $25 worth will be awarded to our Challenge winner by our awesome sponsor---Winnie & Walter. So excited to see what you come up with. For the meantime, serve the Lord with gladness knowing that our labor in Him is not in vain.