God of love, God of judgement?

March 5th, 2012

This question goes to the very nature and character of God. Why, if God is loving and merciful, is he not be more tolerant and accepting?

The Home Office has a motto, used on its stationery, “creating a free, just and tolerant society” but is it not entirely possible that tolerance can become the enemy of freedom and justice?

Tolerance is regarded as a positive virtue in Western society, yet the word is often still used in a negative sense (e.g. telling someone that their cooking, or company, was “tolerable” is not likely to be seen as a compliment!). Tolerating someone implies that you hold yourself superior to them. You cannot tolerate someone and disagree with them but you can respect someone and disagree with them. The old mediaeval idea of defending someone’s right to disagree with you is much closer to “respect” than “tolerance.”

Justice involves defending what is right and thereby refusing to tolerate what is wrong.

How then can a God of love and compassion also be a God of justice?

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy tells Elizabeth Bennet that he loves her against his judgement and better character, and is shocked when she is insulted by this. We live in a world where people often project a better image of themselves than they really are and so end up not knowing true love because other people fall in love with the image and not the real them. True love can only exist in the presence of true judgement.

This is also seen in a quotation from a Black Eyed Peas song, “If you’ve never known truth, you’ve never known love.” God’s love is meaningful because God has a true judgement of us – he knows what we’re really like.

To act with compassion is to make a moral judgement about something and be moved in the depths of our being to do something about it. If we are not moved in this way, or don’t act, then we do not have true compassion, only moralism, yet we can’t have true compassion in this sense without the moral judgement. God, who passes judgement on our hearts, also has true compassion for us.

How then is it fair that God must sacrifice his Son in order to have mercy on us?

Mercy always comes at the expense of justice. How then can God be both merciful and just? The answer is that God exercises his mercy through his justice, by fulfilling the law on our behalf and suffering the punishment of his justice on our behalf so that justice can be upheld and mercy extended to us.

But isn’t God’s judgement a massive overreaction to our sin?

There is evidence to indicate that more people are sold into slavery via sex trafficking in modern Britain than were enslaved when the slave trade was “abolished” in the 19th century. Whereas earlier movements fought against treating people as objects, we now live in a society where people are encouraged to treat themselves as objects (e.g. we “market” ourselves). The reason why God is so angry at sin is that sin dehumanises us, destroying our capacity to relate to him and to each other.

What is the appropriate emotional response to sex trafficking? God’s wrath at our sin is the appropriate emotional response to our sin.

Isaiah 42: 1-4. God’s justice is described in terms of repairing bruised reeds and not quenching dimly burning wicks. This passage was written in southern Iraq where the marshes produce strong reeds (strong enough to build houses with, unless bruised) to a Jewish community who were not permitted even to snuff out wicks on the Sabbath (dangerous if you live in a reed house!). God is telling us through this passage that his justice will not discard those who are broken from the outside or exhausted from the inside.

Martin Luther King Jr. challenged the church to return to true radical justice and love from his cell in Birmingham, Alabama. The modern church too needs to regain its compassion.

Michael Ramsden

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God of love, world of suffering

March 5th, 2012

Suffering is a vast subject, which cannot be addressed fully in a short talk like this.

There is a difference between the questions “Why?” (the intellectual question) and “Why me?” (the existential question).

There is a further distinction to be made between moral evil, and physical pain.


Some popular answers to the question of suffering:

1, The naturalistic answer – there is no purpose, that’s just the way it is.

This answers the intellectual question but we are still left with the pain and we have no hope (“We must live with a philosophy of unyielding despair” Bertrand Russell)

2. Karma – suffering as divine payback for things that you have done wrong (either in this life or in a former life) – this philosophy can be used to argue that it is unjust to alleviate suffering.

There is a Christian version of this second teaching (e.g. that the earthquake in Haiti was divine judgement for things that had happened in the past), however, Jesus opposes this view in Luke 13:1-5. He raises both the issue of moral evil and the issue of physical pain but, while not denying that the people who suffered were sinners, refuses to see them as worse sinners than his hearers. While some suffering can be related to our own actions, other suffering isn’t (cf. John 9:2). Jesus’ point is this, unless we repent, we too will perish. We have a finite period of time in which to respond to God in faith and repentance, and we will be held accountable to God as to whether we do this.

The Biblical narrative is that a loving God created a world which was able to choose to love him (for lifeless love and loveless life are terrible things), and gave the world a moral framework in which to love. Doing whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want is not freedom, it is anarchy. When we violate the moral framework, we have less love and less opportunity. When the moral framework is violated, love is violated (e.g. betrayal). By seeking to break God’s laws, we end up breaking ourselves. We live in a broken world.

Do we doubt God when we witness a disaster on the scale of the Asian tsunami? God promised that such things would happen (cf. Luke 21:25), so they should not cause us to doubt him, but we can be left wondering what it means.

Is it possible that we live in a world where an enemy is at work? An alien intelligence, evil spiritual beings. Not all suffering in the world is our fault. The ancient world saw spiritual activity everywhere. Christ did not come to show spiritual beings to be non-existent but to put them in their place.

The brokenness of the world has broken God’s heart. “Jesus wept” is a polite translation. The original is a word of great outrage and deep emotional pain. But, if this is true, why did God bother to create in the first place?

(1) It is difficult to compare existence and non-existence (what standard are we using?)

(2) We mustn’t think that God created the world (a) out of need (God is not lonely, loving relationships require two or more personal beings, and God has lived in the loving relationship of the Trinity from all eternity) or (b) out of recklessness (God knew that we would rebel and what that would cost him even before he created the world (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-20))

The price that God pays to reconcile us to himself is the highest price that he could have paid.

The message of the cross means that all evil is dealt with and justice will be upheld.

The message of the resurrection means that God is big enough to be able to compensate us for our suffering in a new heaven and a new earth.

Michael Ramsden

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The bread of life

March 5th, 2012

John 6:25-35, 51 

  • Jesus is trying to teach about Himself with miracles – like the bread that came from heaven. Jesus is referring to Himself as the Bread that came from heaven.
  • 4 main points:
  1. The Bread from heaven
  • He came down – different to other religions, where the god doesn’t come down but is too high to come down into the thick of our lives. But God did come, becoming flesh.
  • If He didn’t come down then we would be left in confusion about who God is.
  • You can know God personally through Jesus Christ. Do you know Him?
  • God became vulnerable in this world, knowing it would cost Him His life. You can go to God knowing He has been there, known every form of vulnerability.
  1. He satisfies the deep hunger we have
  • Jesus is the only one who can satisfy the spiritual hunger we have for life.
  • We try to find fulfilment in various places – family, friends, career, etc. But at the end of it all we are empty still.
  • We have different ways of handling the emptiness we face – so many substitutes for the Bread.
  • The first step alcoholics take towards recovery is admit they have a problem and are powerless. We need to do the same.
  • Jesus is like the stimulant for life that we crave deep down. We receive true freedom and satisfaction from Him.
  • God the Father had His seal of approval over Jesus, God the Son, and was pleased with Him – before Jesus did any miracles. God’s approval is not dependent on performance.
  • Are you driven by fear of approval? If you accept Jesus, the Father accepts you and puts His seal of approval on you.
  1. He gives life
  • Jesus came down to give His life for us.
  • This is brought to a climatic point at the cross – Jesus gave His life for us; He gave up His life to save us.
  • God comes down and fulfils His perfect justice to pay for our sin, so we could come into relationship with Him.
  • We can’t achieve salvation through merely trying to follow Jesus’ example.
  1. He is to be received
  • V.29 – in order to achieve salvation there is no work to be done but to believe and receive Jesus. It is finished!
  • Jesus is a gift to be received.
  • You don’t “sort yourself out” or “clean yourself up” in order to come to God – you simply come as you are and give all your baggage to Jesus!
  • Seize the day!


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March 5th, 2012

1 Samuel 18:6-30

  • David is a huge celebrity after killing Goliath and Saul is jealous.
  • Fame is a poisoned chalice. We live in a culture where we lift people up to be able to shoot them down easily. It looks so blissful but countless celebrities say they can’t find their identity in all the glory.
  • David is different, he doesn’t get seduced by the fame while Saul is in agony watching people chant David’s name.
  • David is not impressed with himself ‘who am I?’
  • Saul cares to much about the opinions of people and it amounts to violence in his life.
  • Jealousy is what the devil got thrown out of heaven – we are not safe from envy.
  • We need to guard our hearts from jealousy as it can trap and poison us.
  • Samuel 18:10-11. Saul tries to kill David but David evades him twice.
  • Saul thinks David’s got it in for him but David doesn’t take himself too seriously.
  • We need to watch our hearts and recognise when we are being envious of good looks, career success etc. The Bible shows that envy can take you down.

How do we respond to envy?

  • We try to find ways of tearing the objects of our envy down in order to hoist ourselves up.
  • Proverbs 27:4 – There is such a thing as good anger but there is only bad envy.
  • Saul uses his daughter to accomplish murder. He’s become a monster and it doesn’t feel pleasant when there is corruption in your bones.
  • Jealousy is different to covetousness. Jealousy is where you’re not happy till everyone’s unhappy.
  • Esther 5:13 – jealousy prevents you enjoying the good things in your life.

How do you get free from jealousy?

  • Getting freedom from jealousy through revenge doesn’t work.
  • Saul bid David bring him 100 foreskins. Saul wanted to get rid of David and assumed he would be killed.
  • If you try going against someone that God is raising up, you’re doomed. Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him.
  • Saul’s problem is with God. He is consumed with being King.
  • We’ve all got a kingdom. God sends Davids into our lives – we can try to fight but we are doomed to lose.
  • We need to remember grace and thank God for our role in anything, even if that role in in the shade – it is God’s mercy that we be involved at all.
  • We need to throw ourselves into the grace of God on our lives. We are treated with such love and are able to sit with Him on the throne.
  • Jesus took all of the poison and ugliness out of our lives and took it to the cross so that we can be free.


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The Warrior Part 2

February 20th, 2012
  • We consistently face the challenge of taking on the status quo or the prevailing way of doing things.
  • Or we have opposition, like David had his bother Eliab.
  • How did David prevail against Goliath? Faith. He was a man of faith and the Bible teaches that faith is the way to please God and He looks for it.
  • How can we learn to grow in this gift? We take faith to be something it isn’t. The secular world sees faith as something we believe when we know that it’s untrue but faith is a deep persuasion of things that we know to be true. Hebrews 11:1
  • We see God’s hand in creation, in our circumstances, God speaks to us and we have evidence of Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Sam 17:46 – live under peace about what God’s going to do.

Faith is characterised by:

Glorifying God

  • Spend time obsessing about him and get taken up with it – you will grow in faith.
  • Abraham was given children even though he was old. God told him he was going to be a father of many nations – Romans 4:18-21. Abraham grew in faith by giving glory to God

Taking the word of God seriously

  • Samuel 17: 26 – We are a people of God and enemies should be driven out.
  • Most people in the world think the bible is embarrassing. We are always trying to build a bridge between the bible and culture.
  • Listen to God’s word and live by it. The Devil undermines God’s word.
  • Jesus says ‘it is written’. Living in confidence grows your faith.

Taking Risks

  • Our faith is expressed by our actions.
  • David takes risks – he ran toward the battle and had courage.
  • Faith causes us to see things differently when making decisions. Our perspective is changed.
  • The David and Goliath story can be depressing –‘search for the hero inside yourself’ but you won’t find him.
  • We (should) find ourselves in Goliath’s shoes in this story – left to ourselves, that’s what we are, we defy the will of God and his Glory to exalt ourselves. Rom 1:21.
  • People who think they are Davids rather than Goliaths are wrong – ‘nice people’ meet God in the bible and tremble at the presence of God.
  • Cities like Brighton need to recover the shock of the holiness of God.
  • Rev 19:11-16 Jesus is a terrifying Jesus – do not reduce him to Jesus ‘meek and mild’. His best friend fell on the floor like he was dead.
  • One day we will face him – we have all replaced God with ourselves and should be terrified.
  • We should long that God reveal himself to those around us.
  • We need to repent which is bad news and we need to see the bad news before we see the good news
  • The lady was about to be stoned for adultery but Jesus asked ‘whichever of you is without sin’. Jesus knew he was going to take the blame, He knew the part he was going to play and was able to say ‘your sins are forgiven’.
  • Col 2:13-15. Every single piece of guilt and shame was nailed to the cross with Jesus
  • Peter turned into Goliath and cursed Jesus’ name because he tried too much to be like David.


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The Warrior Part 1

February 7th, 2012

1 Samuel 17:1-30

  • This is one the most well-known, great stories of the Bible. The core message of the story – the weak defeating the strong – has been retold countless times in books, films, etc.
  • We automatically rise to this story – we love to hear it. Strange though – the weak triumphing over the strong goes against the modern, atheistic notion idea of survival of the fittest.
  • One of Richard Dawkins’ famous statements – “there is no meaning, no good, just ‘blind pitiless indifference’ and random chance”. But deep down we feel there must be good and meaning in life.
  • There must be some story to this universe, some purpose – we know this deep down. Our sentiments betray this knowledge.
  • God has a purpose and a plan through history. Nobody would’ve known how God would plan to take down evil – through weakness and humility. He humbled Himself and became weak in order to defeat the giant of sin, death and evil. Jesus is the Greater David.
  • The Bible is teaching us that we are in a war – we face battles, we have to fight – even truer if you’re a Christian. You made an enemy when you became a Christian – an evil, wicked enemy who doesn’t play by the rules. We are enlisted for war.
  • Matt. 10:34.
  • Following Jesus is meant to be a battle – He said it would be.
  • Most of the heroes in the Bible were soldiers, who lived by the sword. There’s a hint there.
  • Christianity is not a passive walk but an active one.
  • However weak you are, you are in Christ and He wins and has the victory.
  • Preparation to reign.
  • 2 Tim. 4:7 – Paul summarises his life as a fight.
  • The first enemy David has to face is the status quo. The Israelites seemed to just hope that Goliath would go away – they won’t face him.  David challenges that prevailing mindset of “just coast and cope” that they’d had for 40 days.
  • Being a Christian is the same – often you have to go against the status quo, even in the church! Often the church gets passive and someone has to rise up and challenge it.
  • We always need courage to follow Jesus in order to keep moving forward. Courage is often the thing we least appreciate. Maybe there’s been a Goliath you’ve been staring at for ages; courage is needed.
  • David had to press through.
  • Specific courage David needed – in the battle with his own brother, Eliab.
  • We all have “big brothers” / “Eliabs” who have the ability to drain all the confidence out of us because we so crave their approval. Who is the Eliab in your life? We all have to face it – Jesus even had to face it, also from his own brothers.
  • Jesus said “woe to you when all men speak well of you”.
  • Matt. 10:35-39.
  • Jesus and the Bible are very pro-family – but not putting family and their approval above God.
  • You’ll be surprised who opposes you (e.g. Lord Shaftsbury who opposed William Booth, when effectively they were on the same mission).
  • David’s reaction isn’t defensive – he doesn’t care about his own honour or reputation but about God’s.
  • People who know God and the security they have in Him are very hard to take down.
  • The worst people can at about you is not as bad as the truth!
  • God knows everything about you – all the dirt – but what does He do with it? Jesus died for it and justified us.
  • Remember who you are: a sinner by yourself but justified and righteous in Christ.
  • Don’t be an Eliab – why do you need to drag people down? Remember what Jesus did for you.
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Evil, Music & Grace

January 30th, 2012


1 Samuel 16:14-23
  • Curious passage – involves a “harmful spirit from God”. Seems contradictory.
  • We would be tempted to think the Bible is contradictory and mythical. The idea of a devil is not a modern idea – has been made more into a bit of a joke with the image of a red cartoon figure. But if you were the devil, you’d probably want people to think you were too silly to exist.
  • The greatest trick the devil ever pulled as convinced the world he didn’t exist – at least in the Western world.
  • When Jesus was on earth He helped people who were tormented by demons. Satanic power is real.
  • Using the devil as an excuse for doing wrong – not how it works. We are responsible for our own actions – e.g. Judas who was influenced by Satan but made his own decision.
  • Romans 1:24-25 – everyone has rejected God as the authority over their lives. We don’t trust Him but rather want to be our own masters.
  • God does not take away our free will but allows us to reject Him and gives us over to what we want, in the hope that we will see how bad it gets and turn to Him.
  • When we reject God we give ourselves over to another master. We become a slave to what we thought would make us free and give us control.
  • Saul is being given over to his turning away from God – now influenced more by evil.
  • Matt. 18:34-35 – unforgiveness leads you to handing yourself over to tormentors (the “jailers”).
  • Who or what have you been giving yourself over to for years? It will have you. You will be a servant of something.
  • God is in control even of the bad spirits – this is not dualism, Satan is not equal to Him. God is above all and can even use the evil to accomplish His plans.
  • Here we see that music has spiritual power.
  • Music has an awful lot to do with who we really are.
  • There are some clues in the Bible to suggest why music is powerful:
  • The morning stars sang together when God created – sense of celebration, what words cannot convey.
  • The earth is going to be recreated. Isaiah 55:12 – creation will sing and make sound! Creation now groans.
  • Music can cause people to think there is more to life than what we see.
  • Col. 3:16 – we are to sing!
  • V.23 – clue to a lack in this kind of therapy: Saul goes to a musician and it works there & then but it doesn’t last.
  • We see later in 1 Sam. 18:10-11 that the therapy is wearing off.
  • That’s the best any kind of therapy or cosmetic solution will do – you can’t soothe a volcano. The music was not God!
  • God gives us good things to enjoy – food, friends, music, beautiful places – but their capacity to give you joy is limited. These gifts are to lead you the Giver, God.
  • We want these things to serve us – our greatness or comfort.
  • Saul has turned in on in himself and he’s losing control.
  • Even religious people can do this – church just gives them a nice feeling but they never repent or change and they’re heading towards danger, giving themselves over to wickedness.
  • If you want to be changed by God you need to entrust your whole life to Him, give everything over to Him. It will be painful but only for a time. God wants to set you free to be the person He made you to be.
  • Saul decided that God can’t be trusted. You need to decide whether God is trustworthy.
  • What Saul needed wasn’t David but the Great Descendant of David – Jesus.
  • Jesus took the groans of all creation on that cross so that we could sing and enjoy the song of redemption. It was only possible because of what He did at the cross.











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God’s training, God’s timing

January 26th, 2012

15th January 2012

1 Samuel 6:14-23

  • There can be confusion about the main character of 1 Samuel – which is David – as he doesn’t turn up until quite far into the book.
  • David here is back still as a shepherd – a huge lesson for us about God’s process for preparing people.
  • The more significant the calling of God on our lives, the more time and possibly pain it will take for preparation.
  • God will prepare you for anything He wants to accomplish through you.
  • Sometimes we have a sense of amazing destiny – called to a great task. But great things come about through long process – so that they are done right.
  • We want instant results and we can get addicted to the “sudden” and “crisis” moments, where essentially God bails you out.
  • God sometimes closes your “lazy eye” – i.e. the sudden moments of life – so you can grow and become strong and balanced. When this happens we often assume we were wrong about the destiny – but it might actually be proof that it is right.
  • David gets on with the humdrum, everyday work even though he has great destiny on him.
  • We often view the workplace as unspiritual and meaningless. Huge mistake – God means for us to work; He Himself is a worker! He views it as very spiritual. We are made in His likeness. We are to work and bring order where there is chaos.
  • Psalm 8:5-8 – what are humans here for? Dominion over earth.
  • The Bible condemns selfish ambition, but it is wicked not to be ambitious! Your life is an opportunity to achieve great things!
  • Some people struggle with doors not opening to them – but God is in control over all the doors. His plans are for good for you.
  • V.18 – amazing how God can reverse circumstances in one move. BUT it’s never just about the “one move” (the crisis moment) – just like chess, it is about a series of moves.
  • In hindsight you usually see how and why the process worked out the way it did.
  • Don’t make too many assumptions about the season you’re in.
  • It is Christ that you’re serving through everything, whatever season.
  • Don’t assume that what you’re doing now is pointless.
  • God is training you to reign! We are called to be kings and queens, to reign with Christ. Revelation 5:9-10 – our destiny.
  • Be free from trying to “be someone” as our culture defines. Jesus sets you free
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Where is your treasure?

January 24th, 2012

Matthew 6: 19-24

  • It’s easy to slip into the mind-set of thinking God needs our money. But you can’t pay God for favours and He doesn’t need our money!
  •  We tend to think that good works and kindness to people will get us on his good side but if this was the case, we’d never be able to pay back the debt we owe God because it is so vast.
  • We have given ourselves so much to those things that displease him – even from birth we are living for ourselves and not him and this is what sin is.
  • We’re laying up this debt all our lives and one day we will stand before him and face up to this debt and give account for every moment of our lives.
  • Thinking that we can settle our debt by putting a few quid in the offering shows how blind we can be spiritually. We owe him every breath – it’s all a gift from Him.
  • When we understand how needy we are, it’s a shock to think that he’s continued to let us live and chosen to forgive us and pay our debt for us.
  • He’s forgiven us so much but the only way he could do this was for someone else to pay the price of our sin.  Jesus suffered and was crucified so that we would be utterly forgiven and given a fresh life and fresh hope. All that was against us is placed on him and all of his perfection is placed on us.
  • Romans 8:32 God has given us his son, the thing he most cherished on an eternal level.  He gave him up for us so that He could treat us as His sons and daughters.
  • When we understand what God has done for us and how generous He has been,  it changes everything
  • One of the ways you can tell someone’s a Christian is that they give away their money – you cannot be a worshipper of both God and money.
  • Christians know that our money is not really ours. When we know that we are safe and eternally secure in God, we see money differently.
  • We are stewards of money. We look after it and hold it lightly and are entrusted with responsibility to use it wisely.
  • If God blesses you with wealth, don’t just divide your money up (a portion for God and the rest is yours). What would Jesus do with it? All of it is His.
  • How are you stewarding your wealth and what does this mean? It doesn’t mean living in total prosperity, nor does it mean living in total poverty.
  • What are God’s priorities? He’s passionate about Jesus becoming famous and having a global church that populates the world.
  • What does your bank balance say?  Are you passionate about Jesus being glorified?  People who have met Him will give freely to Jesus’ mission.
  • In the Old Testament, there’s a lot about tithing which is giving 10% of your income to the Church. The first tenth is devoted to God, making Him the first priority.
  • It’s not that different in the NT, although Jesus mocks those who tithe when their hearts are far away from God. It is made legalistic.
  • Tithing is taught at CCK but it’s a starter’s amount.  We’re on an adventure – the more we talk and pray to God, the more excited we get about investing our finances into something that’s going to last forever! The church is God’s eternal plan.
  • Were planting sites and will plant sites and churches in the future. God’s vision is big. We’re going to bring God to a continent that has decided that He doesn’t exist. God wants us to be a David that takes down Goliath.
  • Some of us are good at Gift day giving, which Jesus loves, but weekly giving is just as important. We need to be both hearers and doers of the Word and step out in faith.
  • Know that God’s got your back. Giving 10% is a good place to start and being faithful with little will make you faithful with much.
  • If money is a subject that causes anxiety and guilt, God is a father who carries the heavy load and fills us with hope and peace.
  • For those in debt, Jesus was crucified for our shame to take it away from us.  Say sorry for foolish decisions and God will remove that shame.
  • God puts you with people you can talk to, wise people who will not accuse or judge and will pray through it with you. This is what  Small Groups are for.
  • Be ambitious each year and you’ll never regret it. You can never out give him and he can be trusted to look after you.



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How to ruin your life: Can you miss destiny?

October 10th, 2011
  • Saul was a tragic figure – he did not fulfil his potential. Let that not be our story.
  • We may ask, how can we shape our destiny when God is sovereign and in control of everything? The simple answer is – don’t try to be too clever. We are responsible for our own decisions. We must hold these two truths together, even though we can’t fully understand it. God comes down to our level and relates to us like a parent does with a child.
  • God is not thrown by our intelligence or cleverness.
  • God is responsive to our actions. Those who honour God, God honours them.
  • Saul’s heart grew farther and farther away from God – he didn’t fulfil God’s plan for his life.
  • Two ways we can ruin the destiny of our lives:
  1. Avoid Jesus
  • Saul did encounter God in great ways – but he gradually turned away.
  • You can resist God all your life. We are all born to resist, reject and avoid God.
  • Luke 7 – the religious leaders avoided the baptism of John – and it said ‘they rejected the purpose of God for themselves’.
  • In being too clever and proud we can be in real danger of missing out on God’s plan for us.
  • The heart is the issue – we make up all kinds of excuses for avoiding God and we think our rejection of Him is all intellectual – but the real issue is our heart that is fundamentally against God.
  • Left to ourselves we don’t truly want God – or even heaven, the place where Jesus lives and rules over absolutely everything.
  • Sin is basically saying God is not important enough for us, is not as important as we are. Therefore we are all sinners.
  1. Drifting
  • Saul gradually lost his priority with God.
  • We can so easily do this – it is incredibly easy. All we have to do is not keep God the focus.
  • We can drift in very subtle ways.
  • Let us fix our minds on Jesus.
  • You can drift by letting distractions carry you away.
  • It’s possible to be saved by to miss what God saved you for.
  • The Saviour of the world who was the great son of David was supposed to be the son of Saul.
  • God has signed you up for custom-made plans.
  • Israel refused to trust God and they put Him to the test several times. Therefore they didn’t reach the destiny God had for them and they died in the desert.
  • Don’t be presumptuous about the promises/plans/calling of God – both individually and us as a church.
  • Desire to do something with your life.
  • 1 Corinthians 11 – Paul talks about the people who were sick and dying as judgement for messing around with communion. God doesn’t want a ludicrous Church. He judges His Church and may bring some home early, like taking them off the pitch.
  • If you’ve messed up for your life and have been resisting God, there is hope. Saul was told off so that he might change and repent.
  • God is more long-suffering and merciful than we think. His ways are not our ways.
  • King David messed up horrendously – but he repented and turned back to God and God took away his sin, and the plan for David’s life continued.

Jesus died on the cross so we could find grace and be able to turn back to Him.

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