2 Samuel 5:10
Several weeks back I started studying the life David out of 1 Samuel. My study now has me in 2 Samuel 5. In this famous chapter David is anointed king of Israel. He has already served as king over Judah for seven years and six months. God initially revealed that David would be king to the prophet Samuel. It seems that in those early years David was focused on developing godly character. His character was informed by the law of God. He has been is the school of life and his actions, although not perfect, have been reflective of the nature of God. He is convinced that God is sovereign and in control of the events surrounding his life. This has enabled him to be bold in his actions and walk with confidence.
1 Samuel 13:13-14 But Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you, for the LORD would now have established your kingdom over Israel forever. “But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
1 Peter 4:7-11
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Throughout my years as a Christ follower I have had a few men pour into my life as a mentor. While I was a student in seminary I had the pleasure to sit under my professor of Evangelism, Dr Dan Crawford. Dr. Crawford demonstrated a passion for students and he would seek out 5 seminary students that he would meet with on a weekly basis. Our time together was simple and it included prayer, scripture reading and confession of sin.
As I mentioned on Sunday, we are going to take 21 days (January 10th-January 31st) to fast and pray together as a church. I want to invite each of you to participate in this time because I believe this will be a powerful time for our faith community to draw near to God. During this 21 days of fasting and prayer we will refocus our mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God.
As we finally emerge out of a long political season there are numerous promises and campaign slogans that have been driven deep into the fabric of our society. There is obviously much debate over the issue of wealth and prosperity within our country; Nevertheless, there is one reality that is hard to escape- we live in one of the most prosperous nations on earth. You may not consider yourself wealthy but the reality is here in America we live in one of the most affluent societies in the world.
This past Sunday you guys surprised my wife and I with special recognition for pastor appreciation. I can honestly say that we were greatly humbled by your generosity and support. As I have had time to reflect on the special day I consider it a privilege to serve you for the cause of Christ.
As I have spent time studying the life of Martin Luther one of the main things that he has taught me is to remember the importance of scripture. More specifically, Luther during the reformation recaptured in a fresh way the importance of adjusting all of life, to the authority of scripture. His words before the council prove that he not only confessed the authority of scripture but he based his life on the complete authority of the Bible. Luther was asked as he stood before the council to recant his books and articles. Luther’s response was compelling, “Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
I have been reading through the book of Acts over the past few weeks. I am coming to the end of the book and I am so encouraged at the apostle Paul’s steadfastness even in the midst of suffering, persecution and death. As a great hero of the faith Paul reached the end with great confidence. Another hero of the faith who faithfully served until the end was John Calvin(July 10, 1509 - May 27, 1564). Calvin was a pastor and leader during the reformation. Although he faced opposition throughout his ministry, his confidence grew in the atoning work of Christ until the end. Consider the words of Calvin just a few weeks prior to his death:
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.