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Archive for January, 2012

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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Categories: What Kind of King? Tags: ,

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
Author: Categories: What Kind of King? Tags: ,

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.

 

 

Author: Categories: General Tags: , ,