Monday, March 23, 2009

The Heart of David

This week at house church we talked about a word that Ken Lang, a good friend of ours, e-mailed to us concerning the heart. It concerns the convicted condition of the heart when we sin against God. So that we are all on the same page, sin is not just what the world considers bad, like murder or theft. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin is not determined on a sliding scale of "how evil is it?" Sin is disobeying God. Period.

A convicted heart is a sign that God wants to forgive AND you really want to be forgiven. It is when the heart no longer feels God's conviction that we are hopeless. Here is what my brother Ken Lang had to say on the matter:

1 Samuel 24:1-6
And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. (2) Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. (3) And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
(4) And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. (5) And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.

2 Samuel 24:10
And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

"We know David had a heart after God, but apparently his heart also convicted him when he sinned. One is when he cut Saul’s skirt and the other is when he numbered the people. If you are familiar with the first passage, then you know David was being chased by Saul who wanted to kill him. The reason being David excelled at all he did and more honor was attributed to him than Saul. It is amazing how jealousy can even affect even the king. In the process of Saul chasing him, David eased up near him at a vulnerable time and cut Saul’s skirt. I am sure out of frustration David simply wanted Saul to know he could have killed him if he wanted, but let Saul live out of respect for his office. Even so, David’s heart knew despite Saul’s murderous intentions he allowed Saul to influence his behavior. David didn’t like what he saw in himself. Perhaps in your dealings with the world, or possibly church leadership, you may have allowed another’s sin to push you into a sinful wrong response. If your heart is convicted, then it is a good sign you can stop before the influence goes any further."

Thank you Ken for your insights and your willingness to share with the body.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

As in the days of Noah...

Today we meet together at Ken and Carolyn's home. We visited together and shared our week with one another. Conversation is never a problem with friends you enjoy being with.

Kandris shared a word from Matthew 24: 35-42 that has been on her heart this week:

(35) Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
(36) But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

(37) As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark,
And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away--so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
(42) Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.

This particular passage is a Jesus' response to His disciples inquiries about the "end of the age". "What will be the sign of Your coming", they asked. The verses above are the latter part of Jesus' answer. The question Kandris asked herself thinking about this passage is "in the busy-ness that is our lives today, are we busy about the right things." Just like in the days of Noah, when everyone was attending his own business, the flood happened. That's what the coming of the Son of Man (Jesus) will be like. Everybody is minding their own business and He will show up. Notice verse 42 and the warning offered by Jesus. Watch, give strict attention, be cautious AND active. What should we be active in? Here's a few things that came to mind:

  • Be in fellowship with God and each other (1 John 1:5-7)
  • Be Light and Salt to your sphere of influence (Matthew 5:13-16)
  • Rejoice, Pray, and be Thankful (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Sometimes these things are easier to list than to do. But what would you rather, to be caught up with Him, or caught unaware?

Monday, March 9, 2009

All of His benefits

One of the things we talked about this week was spurred by the following verses from the Book of Psalms:

Psalm 103:1-5 (Amp)

(1) BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!
(2) Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits--
(3) Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,
(4) Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;
(5) Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle's [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

So we took a little time to remember His benefits. Things like:
  • Salvation - Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"
  • Peace - John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
  • Forgiveness of sin - 1 John 2:12, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."

This is certianly not an exhaustive list. Just a few things that come to mind.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Breakfast at Kandris' house

We shared a breakfast meal this week at Kandris’ house. We dined on grits, scrambled eggs, sausage/gravy over biscuits and bacon quiche. Everything was well prepared and wonderful.

The great thing about house church is that it is not a “one man show”. So when we meet the emphasis is on how the members of the body of Christ relate to one another. Concerning Christian gatherings in the book of 1 Corinthians 14:26, Paul wrote “What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all. “

This week Kandris had a teaching that she shared with the rest of us. It was from 2 Peter and specifically from the Amplified translation of the bible.

2 Peter 1:3-10
(3) For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). (4) By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature. (5) For this very reason, [e]adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [f]exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), (6) And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), (7) And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. (8) For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [[g]full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (9) For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [[h]spiritually] shortsighted, [i]seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. (10) Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.

Just a few things to point out in this passage pertinent to our living a Christian life:

  • Verse 3 tells us where we receive the power to live a Christian life (God)
  • Verse 4 tells us that we should treasure the promises of God as “precious and exceedingly great”
  • Verses 5 through 7 tell us that there is personal responsibility involved in this endeavor to be Christian. Notice the words “exercising” and “develop” are repeated over and over.
  • Verse 8 tells us that this Christian development makes us fruitful and keeps us from being idle.
  • Verse 9 emphasizes the need to recognize when we are missing the mark.
  • Finally, verse 10 encourages us with the promise “if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.”

More Fun 'n Games

Game night at the Hill's