Josiah became king at a young age.
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right. 2 Chronicles 34:1-2, NLT.
He began to seek the Lord in the eighth year of his reign. He was repentant. He wanted to honor God.
18 Never since the time of the prophet Samuel had there been such a Passover. None of the kings of Israel had ever kept a Passover as Josiah did, involving all the priests and Levites, all the people of Jerusalem, and people from all over Judah and Israel. 2 Chronicles 35:18, NLT.
In following scriptures, Josiah dismisses King Neco’s warning from the Lord and goes into a battle that leads to his death. Josiah is remembered for his devotion to the Lord.
In the New Testament reading, Paul addresses Corinthians as partners with God.
3 We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. 4 In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. 6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. 8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 Corinthians 6:3-10, NLT.
Live in such a way … endure … these words, a reminder. Hardships and difficulties follow, from the world and from brothers and sisters in Christ, and I think of my own heart reaction–when the world or a brother/sister sticks out a foot to trip me, do I respond with understanding, patience, kindness and sincere love? Sometimes it’s a struggle. I know I want to serve God whether people show me honor or contempt. The longer the difficulty, the more it feels like making my way through thick mud.
11 Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. 12 There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. 13 I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us! 2 Corinthians 6:11-13, NLT.
Lord, an enemy wants me to fail in my walk with you. An enemy wants me to harden my heart, withhold my love. But your word encourages me to live in such a way, to endure, to be a true minister–and it is born and empowered by your spirit living in me. Of course it feels like walking through mud in my own strength. God, I want you to be my focus. You are my strength. You desire unity in your family. Please reveal any way I might cause a brother or sister to stumble–I don’t want any part of tripping someone up. How can I proclaim my devotion to you if there is hardness in my heart? (Oh, how can light live with darkness?) Please heal the hurting places, Lord, so that they don’t grow hard. My joy is in you.