Tag Archives: David

David’s Prayer for Peace (No. 11 of the Series “Prayer: What Difference Does It Make?”)

Today’s message summary of October 15, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

Psalm 4:1-8

For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic psalm. Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer.  How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah. Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah. Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord. Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Look on us with favor, Lord. You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

During our days, we often face emotional distress, and it can cause us to lose out on a good night of rest.  Even I have had nights like this.  Perhaps you have had these, as well.  They may be relational or financial, and they may even be spiritual.  There is no true rest unless there is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

David, in his prayers, is showing us a pattern to model where he was praying in the morning, throughout the day, and into the evening.

Be aware that Psalm 4 was relevant to David and his people, and it is relevant today.  Psalm 4 shows that in our prayers, only God can provide to us long-lasting peace.

Verse 1 of Psalm 4 represents when David speaking to God.  Verses 2-6 has him speaking to men and admonishing them, and the last two verses speak again to God in prayers for peace.  He prayed with intensity, and his prayers were clear in petitioning God for answers.  He prayed in such a way that he made sure that God heard him.  He prayed with a burdened heart, and he experienced peace that would allow him to rest.

David understood that he was not delivered from his circumstances under his own merit or righteousness. He understood that he was being delivered because of God’s righteousness alone.  Your own good deeds are worthless without the grace of God and your own obedience and faithfulness to Him.

David experiences relief when He is assured of God’s presence.  God provides the relief.

In Psalm 3, there is a reference to David’s prayer to God for protection from his son, Absalom. He did not fear those who opposed him, but he, nonetheless, appealed to God for help in overcoming them.  His admonishing of the people in Psalm 4 was directed to the people in a similar way.  God is still the source of his protection and his mercy.

2 Samuel 16:5-14

When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached. He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on Davids right and left. Shimei said as he cursed: Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you wicked man! The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you became king, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because youre a man of bloodshed!

Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and remove his head!

The king replied, Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the Lord told him, Curse David! Therefore, who can say, Why did you do that?’” Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my lifehow much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me; the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimeis curses today. So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed David, threw stones at him, and kicked up dust. Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.

David knew that he faced enemies and there was a public display of this contention.  He knows that the opposition he experienced from Shimei was allowed by God in spite of his being anointed as the country’s future king.  It was a reminder to David to seek the Lord for guidance in the midst of his affliction, and it is also a reminder to us to remain prayerful of those who may be going through a struggle, and to not pursue any condemnation.

Our posture towards those who speak falsehoods against us (Psalm 4:2), as it was for David, is to remain focused on Him as the righteous Judge and is the true mediator who separates those who trust in Him with those who have nothing to do with Him.

Proverbs 15:29

The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.

Do you recognize that God knows you, as a distinct child of God, and that he hears your prayers?  He does not want you to wallow in your own sin from unchecked anger (Psalm 4:4).  He does give those who are opposed to you to repent from evil and do what is right and proper.

Absalom, David’s son, tried to appear to others as righteous when, in fact, he was using deceit to plot against David (2 Samuel 15:1-12).  Even today, such behavior will not be viewed as honorable by God, and anything good accomplished in this way is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

Psalm 51:16-17

You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;

you are not pleased with a burnt offering.

The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.

You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.

David’s prayer in the final verses in Psalm 4 was a prayer for peace in spite of his enemies.  This attitude is crucial within our Christian walk.  There should be a joy in the heart of the believer that goes beyond the blessing one receives (Psalm 4:7).  There is joy in your fellowship with the Lord.  Nothing in this world will give you peace if has nothing to do with Jesus Christ (and certainly not worldly successes).

If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not have at this time, or in the future (the afterlife), any peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!

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Father of Fathers

Today’s message summary of June 18, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:

As a 31-year old, I can’t tell you very much about my biological father.  I have only met him three different times.  I don’t know much about him or his family.  On my mother’s side, I can only speak about her and my grandmother, and that is how much I know about my family history.

With that said, the genealogy in the bible has a purpose to identify lineages.

In Genesis, there are genealogies listed that start with Adam and his lineage, and those that follow lead to the promise made to David about the coming Messiah.

Matthew 1:1-17

The historical record of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram, and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.

And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph, and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah, and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.

And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.

So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations.

This passage is a good one to examine for Father’s Day as it shows how fathers were preparing other fathers over time.

The point of this message is that your heavenly Father loves you more than your earthly father.  He will never fail you—in spite of your own disobedience to Him.  He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, as an example to all of us.

There is not information within these passages to explain the behaviors of some of these fathers. We don’t know if they were living in righteousness or holiness.

The Scriptures do identify that each of these persons does lead to Jesus Christ.  Some of these individuals we do know of, such as Abraham, Boaz and David.

2 Chronicles 20:7

Did you not, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?

Abraham, in the Christian faith, is recognized as the Father of Faith…but was he a good father?

If you look at his life closely, you would see that he lied often and even committed adultery (with Hagar).  He was far from perfect.  Abraham, at the behest of Sarah, abandoned Hagar and Ishmael.

Genesis 21:8-13

And the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, laughing. So she said to Abraham, Cast out this slave woman with her son, for the son of this slave woman shall not be heir with my son Isaac. And the thing was very displeasing to Abraham on account of his son. But God said to Abraham, Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.

If it was not for God’s instruction to send his son off, he would have kept him there.  Out of faith and obedience to God, he listened.

Hebrews 11:8-10

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

We are reminded that faith and obedience were most important in the relationship between God and Abraham in spite of Abraham’s sinful behavior.

Of the women who were involved within these genealogies, many of them were outsiders.  In Matthew 11:3, Tamar is referenced.  She disguised herself as a prostitute in order to seduce her father-in-law.  Judah, the father-in-law, was hardly an innocent victim.  It was contrary to the law of God.  We also see Rahab’s name in the genealogy.  She was a prostitute, yet she was praised as a woman of faith who turned out to be David’s grandmother.  Another person, Ruth, is listed.  She was a person of honor, but she was also a Gentile, a Moabite, an outsider.  Moabites are descendants of Lot.

Genesis 19:30-38

Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. And the firstborn said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father. So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father. So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

You see how God moved past the sins of his people and brings different people into the lineage of Christ.

Matthew also wanted us to remember about David and Bathsheba through their adulterous union that led to Solomon.  Uriah, who was a godly man and a friend of David, was one of his most trusted men.  There is great irony in how David, because of his adultery, would have Uriah murdered and try to cover up the relationship.  Remember, God said that David was “a man after His own heart.”  Bathsheba is not mentioned within the genealogy in Matthew, and it was more a point of shame with David.  Nathan’s words of prophecy held true with the turmoil that followed David throughout the rest of his life.  While David failed miserably as a father, he still loved his children.  He still loved his son Absalom, even though Absalom was trying to kill him.

2 Samuel 18:31-33

And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, Good news for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you. The king said to the Cushite, Is it well with the young man Absalom? And the Cushite answered, May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man. And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!

Despite David’s sin, he loved his children.  He was willing to trade his life for them.

Solomon, featured in the genealogy, had many, many, many, many wives.  God had declared, of course, that man should have only one wife.

Here is a prophetic verse in Deuteronomy that actually refers to Solomon and his choices:

Deuteronomy 17:14-17

When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me, you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, You shall never return that way again. And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

Solomon’s heart turned from God because of the women he allowed in his life.

Solomon’s wisdom was evident and apparent to everyone, but he was flawed in his fleshliness.

Of the genealogy leading to Jesus Christ, the greatest thing that emerges is God’s grace.  Grace upon grace upon grace.  The fathers listed here were both good and evil; however, God’s grace was present throughout the lives of each of these people.

It was all part of God’s sovereign plan.

Note that Mary, listed in this genealogy, was a descendant of David.  Jesus was still the heir to the throne of David, and Joseph was His earthly father, who was willing to be obedient to God and take on the responsibility to raise Him.

Single mothers:  Are you helping the child in filling the void in his life by ministering to him and help him recognize Christ as the Lord of his life?

Fathers:  You will fail your children and even disappoint them, but it is an opportunity to display the gospel before them.  For all have sinned and fall short of His glory.  Your humble approach will show them that you are a father that unconditionally loves the children and lives according to the commands of God.

Proverbs 6:20-23

My son, keep your father’s commandment,

    and forsake not your mother’s teaching.

Bind them on your heart always;

    tie them around your neck.

When you walk, they will lead you;


Mothering Through the Storms of Life

Today’s message summary of May 10, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:

What is a mother to do when the dinner is burned, the children are fighting, and the fathers are sitting and watching television?

Mothers have a huge responsibility. Their duties are numerous, and it is work.

For some reason, some of us may think that once mothers get older, the job is done. Hardly. To be a mother is to be a nurturer all throughout life. A mother pours her life out to others for their benefit. Mothers are outstanding. A mother leads and cultivates young lives. Mothers teach. Mothers listen.  Mothers are sensitive to the cries of their children and are attentive to them.

Mothers and grandmothers weather the storms of life. It requires being at the top of your game. There will be occasions where a mother can be overwhelmed. We all need help. While mothers are capable of raising children, there will be times when they need help.

Exodus 2:7-10

Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and call a woman from the Hebrews to nurse the boy for you?” “Go,” Pharaoh’s daughter told her. So the girl went and called the boy’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will pay your wages.” So the woman took the boy and nursed him. When the child grew older, she brought him to Pharaoah’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, “Because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

 

Imagine the emotions that are taking place here. The natural mother of Moses nurses and nurtures him only to one day release him in order for him to survive. She held her son knowing that she could not be the mother that she wanted to be. While she could not keep him, she did the right thing in order for him to live.

Mothers, this can be a struggle at times–doing the right thing for your child order that he or she can live.

Hannah worshiped the Lord with her husband, Elkanah. They were prayerful to God for a child, for she was barren, and God remembered their prayer:

1 Samuel 1:20

After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”

 

She kept her promise once she had her son. She dedicated him to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:27

I (Hannah) prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he (Eli) bowed in worship to the Lord there.

 

She gave her son to the Lord in order for him to come under His care.

How many of you have submitted your child under God’s control–under His will, his pleasures? Mothers, you have to pray a child all the way through to the point where he comes under God’s care.

Mothers, remember to fight for your son’s rights.

Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon, intervened to speak with David about his vow to make Solomon the king:

1 Kings 1:17

She (Bathsheba) replied, “My lord, you swore to your servant by the Lord your God, ‘Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne.’

 

1 Kings 1:24

“My lord the king,” Nathan said, “did you say, ‘Adonijah is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne’?

 

1 Kings 1:28-30

King David responded by saying, “Call in Bathsheba for me.” So she came into the king’s presence and stood before him. The king swore an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every difficulty, just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel: Your son Solomon is to become king after me, and he is the one who is to sit on my throne in my place, that is exactly what I will do this very day.”

 

Mothers, learn to accept help from godly people in raising your child.

Acts 16:1-3

Then he (Paul) went on to Derbe and Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a believing Jewish woman, but his father was a Greek. The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him. Paul wanted Timothy to go with him, so he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, since they all knew that his father was a Greek.

 

Paul was entrusted by Timothy’s mother to travel with him. It was important in Timothy’s effort to learn and grow in the ministry. Paul had taken part in helping to raise Timothy. He was taught in the faith with the Jewish Scriptures, but it was important for him to be circumcised in order to be accepted in the faith by the Jews.

Sometimes you will need to do what seems to be unnecessary in order to do what is necessary. It is about looking at the bigger picture. Mothers, remember to teach your child those things that will be a real help as he or she gets older.

Mothers, you have an awesome task in teaching your child how to walk with God, but note that you cannot teach what you do not know.


Uriah: A Faithful Servant

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:

 

Our loyalty and faithfulness belongs to God Himself.

Today we will look as Uriah. We remember him as the person that David had killed in order to get to Bathsheba.

Uriah was a faithful servant. He may have been under-appreciated, but God welcomes your faithfulness in service for Him.

Proverbs 27:19

As water reflects the face,

so the heart reflects the person.

 

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else,

for it is the source of life.

 

Psalm 39:1a

I said, “I will guard my ways

so that I may not sin with my tongue;

I will guard my mouth with a muzzle.”

 

Who is Uriah?

  1. His name means “Flame of The Lord” or “The Lord is Light.” Uriah is going to shine a bright light on David’s life.
  1. He is a Hittite: one of the earliest inhabitants of Palestine.
  1. He became a worshiper of Israel’s God.
  1. Look at the contrast between David, the Lord’s anointed, one brown a Jew, and Uriah, a convert–a man who was not born a Jew but accepted the faith of Israel and chose it for his own.
  1. Uriah is one of David’s “The Thirty” or “Mighty Men” because he was an outstanding warrior (2 Samuel 23:39).
  1. Uriah is fighting on behalf of God and David for Israel (2 Samuel 11:1).
  1. Uriah had to be a person of importance, because he was able to marry Bathsheba, a woman of unusual beauty, and daughter of Eliam (2 Samuel 23:34).

Uriah was faithful to God and the men he served with.

2 Samuel 11:6-11

6 David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house.

10 When it was reported to David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David questioned Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!”

 

Look at the heart of Uriah in his demonstration of loyalty to his fellow soldiers and to God and Israel. He camped out with the Ark of the Covenant for the good of the people. He was being faithful. Where is David’s heart here?

When you heart is involved in sin it is not focused on God. David could not see the faithfulness of Uriah because of his sin. Uriah was focused on nothing but God and His presence. When your focus is on The Lord, there are things that you will deny of yourself to remain focused upon Him.

When your heart is set on God, He will keep you.

David is acting as the enemy; yet, Uriah is the main faithful to his conviction., even after David got him drunk.

2 Samuel 11:12-13

12 “Stay here today also,” David said to Uriah, “and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. He went out in the evening to lie down on his cot with his master’s servants, but he did not go home.

 

2 Timothy 2:3

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

 

Uriah, as a result, shines light on David’s heart.

  1. He carried his own death letter from David to Joab.
  2. What could have been the thoughts of Joab about David from this time?
  3. After Uriah was killed, David only shared “not to let this upset you.

2 Samuel 11:24-25

24 However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it.’ Encourage him.”

 

Uriah died being faithful to both God and David. He didn’t know of the deceitful heart of David, but he knew the loving heart of the God of Israel–the One he truly served.

In living out the life of a Christian, you cannot say “do this the right way,” and live wrongly. Be prayerful to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and to never be a stumbling block before others. You won’t be perfect, but your perfection comes in obedience and faithfulness to Christ.


Steps To Success: Rebuilding After Failure

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Learning in life comes often after mistakes are made. The lessons you learn should be a true improvement, and you should never dwell in the past or in mistakes–it is only a form of self-pity, and there is no growth potential in dwelling on your mistakes. Your success comes in how you bounce back when you are down.

Success does not belong to any one group of people–you can be successful in what you do. Success is not measured in wealth. It is measured in God’s presence in your life and in your relationship with Him. How are you to rebuild from your mistakes and build your way back towards success?

1. A renewed prayer life. A regular conversation with God dealing with everything in our life. Note that when your life is in disarray, you are not talking with God–you are not in fellowship with Him.

2. Restore God’s Word in your life. Along with prayer, there needs to be an engaging with God through His Word that shapes your life. You are to develop your prayer life with a regular reading and studying in order to know how to pray and receive direction on how to live.

3. Reestablish your fellowship with God and with other believers. Sin breaks your relationship with God, and you are to bring yourself back to God and renew the relationship with Him through prayer and obedience to His Word. You also need to join up with believers you know to receive encouragement and valuable fellowship. To forsake them is to leave yourself open for the world’s temptations which may have caused you to sever your relationship with God before.

Galatians 6:7-8

7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.

Your obedience to God’s Word requires compliance with His Word. He takes His Word very seriously.

God already knows that we are going to falter in our life. He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us in order for us to learn from our mistakes. We are challenged to lessen our number of falls and grow as we learn.

Proverbs 24:16
Though a righteous man falls seven times,
he will get up,
but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

God is ready to do a new thing for you.

Isaiah 43:19
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert.

Matthew 18:21-22
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
22 “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.”

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray constantly.

Look at what happens when we fail to talk with God:

2 Samuel 11:2-27
1 In the spring when kings march out to war, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing—a very beautiful woman. 3 So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, “This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

4 David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her. Now she had just been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Afterward, she returned home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to inform David: “I am pregnant.”

6 David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house.

10 When it was reported to David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David questioned Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!”

12 “Stay here today also,” David said to Uriah, “and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. He went out in the evening to lie down on his cot with his master’s servants, but he did not go home.

14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote:
Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest fighting, then withdraw from him so that he is struck down and dies.

16 When Joab was besieging the city, he put Uriah in the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers were. 17 Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the men from David’s soldiers fell in battle; Uriah the Hittite also died.

18 Joab sent someone to report to David all the details of the battle. 19 He commanded the messenger, “When you’ve finished telling the king all the details of the battle— 20 if the king’s anger gets stirred up and he asks you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you realize they would shoot from the top of the wall? 21 At Thebez, who struck Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the top of the wall so that he died? Why did you get so close to the wall?’—then say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’” 22 Then the messenger left.

When he arrived, he reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger reported to David, “The men gained the advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we counterattacked right up to the entrance of the gate. 24 However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it.’ Encourage him.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning ended, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. However, the LORD considered what David had done to be evil.

Was David really praying or actually responding to his own fleshly desires? Sin was lingering from the beginning when he decided to stay home while his soldiers went into battle. He turned away from those who were loyal to him and betrayed the trust of his soldiers–some of them even lost their lives because of his actions. All of these actions were displeasing to God.

2 Samuel 12:1-13
1 So the LORD sent Nathan to David. When he arrived, he said to him:
There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up, living with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for his guest.

5 David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: “As the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb.”

7 Nathan replied to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. 9 Why then have you despised the command of the LORD by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife—you murdered him with the Ammonite’s sword. 10 Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife.’

11 “This is what the LORD says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them publicly. 12 You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.’”

13 David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Then Nathan replied to David, “The LORD has taken away your sin; you will not die.

Nathan is sent by God to David to make David aware of his sin, because he was not conscious of it. It became a public sin before everyone after Nathan made the declaration. It took all of this to Bring David to repentance and to seek God once more with a new prayer life.

The consequences of the sins, however, were far reaching. He lost four of his sons because of what had happened. While David’s life was a great life of service to the Lord, he also had to deal with the consequences of being in sin and out of fellowship with God.

What did David learn?

Psalm 101:3
I will not set anything worthless before my eyes.
I hate the practice of transgression;
it will not cling to me.

Psalm 31:1-5
1 LORD, I seek refuge in You;
let me never be disgraced.
Save me by Your righteousness.
2 Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a mountain fortress to save me.
3 For You are my rock and my fortress;
You lead and guide me
because of Your name.
4 You will free me from the net
that is secretly set for me,
for You are my refuge.
5 Into Your hand I entrust my spirit;
You redeem me, LORD, God of truth.

Psalm 51:11-12
11 Do not banish me from Your presence
or take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me,
and give me a willing spirit.

Psalm 103:2-3, 10
2 My soul, praise the LORD,
and do not forget all His benefits.

3 He forgives all your sin;
He heals all your diseases.

10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve
or repaid us according to our offenses.

Start talking with God about your life, what is on your heart, and about your problems. Tell Him about your spiritual needs, your battles with sin, and your fear of failure and falling out of fellowship with Him.

God will graciously remove the sin and transgression in your life, and He also provides healing, as well. In turn, you must have the desire to seek Him in the aftermath or there won’t be much growth in your relationship.

God values your relationship with Him and your communication with Him. When you are in fellowship with God, you are best able to recover from your falls and grow in your spiritual life with Him.


God With Us

Matthew 1:18-25
The Nativity of the Messiah
18 The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. 19 So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
20 But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 See, the virgin will become pregnant

and give birth to a son,

and they will name Him Immanuel,

which is translated “God is with us.”

24 When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him. He married her 25 but did not know her intimately until she gave birth to a son. And he named Him Jesus.

When we look at the story of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, we find that it is more than just a baby boy’s birth–it is, in fact, seeing God at work. It is the story of God being among His creation. God’s plan was to have Immanuel dwell with us. Even though He came to be with us, He did so as God in the flesh.

Why did God choose to be among us and leave His kingdom? The short answer is that we could not go to Him in our sin. He is a holy and righteous God that would never allow sin to enter His domain. As a result, God, who is holy, righteous and just, came to us to do the work that would make us righteous before Him. God loves us so much that He desires to be present with us. We are reminded, even in the very beginning, that God walked with Adam. This was before the fall of man. His desire was to dwell and walk with man, but He does not excuse the sin that we possess, which calls for the need for a Savior.

Why didn’t God use a great person of faith to do this work? While people like Mother Teresa and Gandhi were great people indeed, none of these great people could do the work that God was to do. God did not have a fear of man, while Abraham, a great man of God, was unable to take on such a burden where a sacrifice needed to be made.

Genesis 12:12-13
12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ They will kill me but let you live. 13 Please say you’re my sister so it will go well for me because of you, and my life will be spared on your account.”

Jesus was willing to come to earth to dwell among us to give His life for us on the cross. God is life in Himself. Without God, there is no life. He came into the world to save us, not Himself.

What about Moses, a great man of faith?

Numbers 11:10-12
10 Moses heard the people, family after family, crying at the entrance of their tents. The LORD was very angry; Moses was also provoked. 11 So Moses asked the LORD, “Why have You brought such trouble on Your servant? Why are You angry with me, and why do You burden me with all these people? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth so You should tell me, ‘Carry them at your breast, as a nursing woman carries a baby,’ to the land that You swore to [give] their fathers?

How would Moses bear the burden of the entire world? He couldn’t do it. Only God Himself could bear the burden of the entire world.

The name of Immanuel…God with us. The name of Jesus…because He will save everyone from their sin.

What about David? Read the account of the sin of David and misuse of his power and authority in 2 Samuel 11:14-27. More than just the adultery that David committed, he demonstrated that he could not be trusted with the power and authority. Jesus declared that He was the One who was given all power and authority, but He never abused that power.

John 8:3:11
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” 6 They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him.

Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. 7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”

8 Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, ” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, Lord,” she answered.

“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”]

God made the choice to come to earth to forgive…not to condemn.

What about Isaiah? All he could do was confess his unrighteousness in the midst of a holy God:

Isaiah 6:1-5
1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe [a] filled the temple. 2 Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts;
His glory fills the whole earth.
4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.

5 Then I said:
Woe is me, for I am ruined,
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
[and] because my eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of Hosts.

What about Jeremiah?

Jeremiah 20:7-9
7 You deceived me, LORD, and I was deceived.
You seized me and prevailed.
I am a laughingstock all the time;
everyone ridicules me.
8 For whenever I speak, I cry out—
I proclaim: Violence and destruction!
because the word of the LORD has become for me
constant disgrace and derision.

9 If I say: I won’t mention Him
or speak any longer in His name,
His message becomes a fire burning in my heart,
shut up in my bones.
I become tired of holding it in,
and I cannot prevail.

God loved His people so much that He readily proclaimed the truth from His father, and no one would keep Him from proclaiming the message of His Father.

John 17:4-5
4 I have glorified You on the earth

by completing the work You gave Me to do.

5 Now, Father, glorify Me in Your presence

with that glory I had with You

before the world existed.

Jesus was born in order to carry out the message of truth and would not be deterred. His message was one that no one else could deliver.

John 8:26
“I have many things to say and to judge about you, but the One who sent Me is true, and what I have heard from Him—these things I tell the world.”

He loves us and cares for us in a very personal way. When Jesus spoke, we were able to see His heart for His people and His love for us.

Romans 8:3-4
3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, 4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

There is no one on earth that could carry out the message that God can. Let’s remember that the Christmas that we celebrate was indeed God Himself coming to us to do His work. He came to save His people and deliver them from their sins.


The Wilderness of Life

When one goes through a wilderness experience, we learn something from it. How quickly one learns from the experience and the attitude of the person is very important. God allows things to occur in life in order for one to see who God really is, and that it is God’s grace that is always evident.When going through a wilderness experience, the flesh makes its presence known, yet it provides emphasis on how you are to live in the midst of God’s grace.

There are two types of wilderness experiences:

1.) God will take you from one place to another, and sometimes for your own safety. It is a time to prepare you for a life God wants you to live, or even for a task.

2.) God takes you into the wilderness because of rebellion against Him. If one is not willing to follow His plan, His will, or listen to His instruction, or if one concludes that He is not needed or necessary to accomplish anything. One will also be driven into the wilderness when it is perceived that God has asked to do what is not possible (for example, staying in a marriage or a job that is extremely difficult). He has to remind us that He is the one who provides for all of us and that nothing is impossible.

Mark 10:27
Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.”

The wilderness, as referenced in Scripture, was a learning experience:

  • The instruction of Moses in leading his people
  • John the Baptist’s learning and preparation
  • Jesus in the wilderness when being tempted by Satan
  • David in the caves in the wilderness (evidenced by many Psalms that he wrote of his experiences)

Jeremiah 9:2
If only I had a traveler’s lodging place
in the wilderness,
I would abandon my people
and depart from them,
for they are all adulterers,
a solemn assembly of treacherous people.

Revelation 12:13-16
13 When the dragon saw that he had been thrown to earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male. 14 The woman was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent’s presence to her place in the wilderness, where she was fed for a time, times, and half a time. 15 From his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river after the woman, to sweep her away in a torrent. 16 But the earth helped the woman: the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon had spewed from his mouth.

A wilderness experience is far from enjoyable, but it can be for our protection from harm in the midst of the learning experience.

Exodus 13:17-22
17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, “The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.” 18 So He led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, because Joseph had made the Israelites swear a solemn oath, saying, “God will certainly come to your aid; then you must take my bones with you from this place.”

20 They set out from Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to lead them on their way during the day and in a pillar of fire to give them light at night, so that they could travel day or night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never left its place in front of the people.

Wilderness experiences are seldom seen as short cuts. God is orchestrating every experience, and He’s not in a hurry. He’s not in a hurry because there is still a great deal of learning that must take place spiritually. The flesh is always the deterrent in the learning process, for it makes surrendering to this world very inviting.

Matthew 26:41
“Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The nation of Israel was not prepared for battle (they were living as slaves), and they were only used to serving for task masters. They had to learn how to love God, who loved them, for they had heard the stories from their fathers about God (Exodus 13:19), yet, they had to experience Him for themselves. In the same way, new believers in Christ have to continue to learn about God and who He is for them personally. The learning needs to go beyond just hearing about God and His Word. There must be a willingness to follow Him and trust in His ongoing presence.

The wilderness experience of Israel brought about the development of a nation, even though their learning experience was still ongoing. Our wilderness experiences challenge each of us to be receptive to His instruction and be the best that we can be, and He will provide direction for us. We may not have all of the details as to when or how we will come out of the wilderness, but we should always remember that God is present throughout the experience.