All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘sovereign’

Evident Grace Sunday Recap for 07.22.18 Big Idea: God Blesses Those Who Read His Word

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Sunday, July 22, 2018, Evident Grace looked at Psalm 1:

Psalm 1: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers. 

4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

From those verses, we pursued this Big Idea:

Big Idea:  God’s word gives fruit, prosperity, and rest.

Psalm 1: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

God promises blessings to any who do not sit in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of scoffers.  Instead, God blesses those who delight in the law of the Lord.  Essentially, God is calling us away from the counsel of those who do not know Him and promises to bless us when we seek counsel from Him.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.

The blessings of delighting in God’s law is similar to a tree planted by a stream of water.  Just as the tree has a constant source of nutrients, so a person who delights in God’s law has a constant source of blessing.

4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Those who do not have a relationship with God are blown away like dry chaff  They will not stand before God as those who have great faith will.

 

Mission #1:  Studying the Scriptures is a direct avenue to receiving God’s blessings.

Mission #2:  Not studying the Scriptures is a direct avenue to being deceived by others.

Mission #3 Enjoy the Prosperity of God by hiding scriptures in your heart so that you might persevere and not whither during difficult and tempting times.

Mission #4:  Let God’s intimate knowing of you motivate you to know Him better in His scriptures.

Sunday Recap 07.15.18 Big Picture Question: What are Your Options When You are Bitter?

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Sunday, July 15th, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 22:

1 Samuel 22:1 David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4 And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

6 Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7 And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8 that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” 9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, 10 and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

11 Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15 Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17 And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword.

20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.”

From those verses, we pursued this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  What are your options when you are bitter?

We found these three answers to that question:

Gather in a Community of Hope

Inflict Pain and Isolate

Take Responsibility

Gather in a community for hope

1 Samuel 22:1 David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. 2 And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became commander over them. And there were with him about four hundred men. 3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.” 4 And he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold. 5 Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

David is on the run from King Saul.  He seeks shelter in a cave, and everyone else in the area who was also distressed joined him.  He has people who have been hurt by others, and he has people who are responsible for their own problems (debt).  They gather together under David’s leadership.  This is one hopeful approach to warding off bitterness – gathering together in community.

Inflict Pain and Isolate Yourself

6 Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. 7 And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, 8 that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” 9 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, 10 and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.

11 Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king. 12 And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” 13 And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? 15 Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” 16 And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” 17 And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. 19 And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword.

King Saul throws a royal hissy fit.  He is upset that people don’t like him.  He is upset people like David.  He is upset that his son helps David.  When he finds out that Ahimelech helped David, he kills Ahimelech and 85 priests.

We don’t kill people when we are bitter, but we do lash out verbally to people and we seclude ourselves from them.  These things only compound bitterness instead of moving us towards healing and grace.

Take Responsibility

20 But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. 21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. 22 And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. 23 Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.”

David is responsible for the death of Ahimelech and 85 priests.  Instead of wallowing in guilt and bitterness, he takes responsibility for his actions and his sin.  Taking responsibility moves us away from bitterness.  It keeps us from going deeper and deeper in despair.

So what do we do with bitterness?

Big Picture Question:  What are your options when you are bitter? 

Truth:  Bitterness is an indication of a hardened heart and a retreat from Godly community.

Application:  Live knowing that when we take comfort in the love of Christ and shelter in a Godly community, we are able to grow in faith and avoid bitterness.

Action:  Take time this week to journal through a bitter situation.  Ask these questions:

What circumstance in your past has been the most difficult to reconcile?

What circumstance presently tempts your heart towards bitterness?

Is there a circumstance or relationship that tempts you to think that the grace of Jesus is insufficient?

Pray through Ephesians 4:25-32.

Ephesians 4: 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Sunday Recap 07.08.18 Big Idea: Our heroes are just like us.  We all need a Savior.

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Sunday, July 8th, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 21:

1 Samuel 21:1 Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen. 8 Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”

10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

From those verses, we discussed the tension between our identity and the realities of our life in light of this Big Idea:

Big Idea:  Our heroes are just like us.  We all need a Savior.

From that Big Idea, we looked at these 3 points:

We struggle to trust God.

We trust our own strength

We trust our own wisdom

 

We struggle to trust God.

1 Samuel 21:1 Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” 2 And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. 3 Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” 4 And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” 6 So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

David is on the run from King Saul.  He is tired, lonely, homeless, and hungry.  When David arrives to Nob, the priest asks him why he is there.  David flat out lies.  He says he is on a mission from Saul and then asks for something to eat.  The priest would then allow him and feel compelled to give him whatever food was there, even if David wasn’t allowed to have it.  In David’s trials, he struggles to trust God and lies.

Why do we lie when we struggle?  We lie because we fear that the truth won’t get us what we want.  We think out lie is better than God’s truth.  We think lying will enable us to control the situation.  David doing just that.  He is hungry and on the run.  He needs food.  He lies to get it.

We trust our own strength

7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen.

8 Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”

There is nothing wrong with David gaining the sword of Goliath.  It is his after all.  The problem is he uses the lie of being on the king’s business to gain it.  David is on the run.  He is lying about what he is doing, and he is trusting his own strength.

We trust our own wisdom

10 And David rose and fled that day from Saul and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 And the servants of Achish said to him, “Is not this David the king of the land? Did they not sing to one another of him in dances, ‘Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?”

12 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard. 14 Then Achish said to his servants, “Behold, you see the man is mad. Why then have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to behave as a madman in my presence? Shall this fellow come into my house?”

King Achish is hesitant to have David in his kingdom.  He knows David is the anointed king of Israel and he knows that Davis is a mighty warrior.  For all he knows, David might try to overthrow him.  David is aware of this, so David begins to act like a madman to avoid any conflict.  King Achish doesn’t want him around.  He says he has enough madmen already.

David again is trusting his own wisdom in his time on the run.

What is wisdom?  Well, knowledge is knowing facts, wisdom is properly applying them.  How then do we gain wisdom?  James tells us.

James 1: 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

God gladly gives wisdom to those who ask and believe that He will give it.  God doesn’t despise us for needing wisdom.  He just calls us to believe that He will grant it to us.

2 Peter 1: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,  and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ

2 Peter helps us understand this wisdom that we need. As we grow in our knowledge of Jesus, His divine power gives us everything we need to live.  What we need comes from his great promises.  Once we have them, those great promises enable us to add things like self-control and steadfastness to our lives.  All of these things come from our knowing our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Big Idea:  Our heroes are just like us.  We all need a Savior.

Truth:  God uses Godly people who struggle just like we do, but their struggles, along with our own, should create an affection for our Savior, Jesus.

Application:  Live knowing that your struggle to trust God is intended to make you thankful for the love of Jesus, not fearful that you will lose it.

Action:  Pray for and support your church leaders as they struggle along with you to trust Jesus.

 

Evident Grace Fellowship Relaunches Its Men’s Ministry on 07.14.18

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Red button labeled with the word relaunch.

What is missing from most men’s ministries?  To sum it up, I would say “intentionalism”.

In literary theory, intentionalism is when you judge a piece of literature by the intent the author had for it.  For example, when reading Shakespeare, you would ask, “What did Shakespeare intend for us to take away from this play?”  The opposite of this approach is functionalism.  Functionalism is when you take away whatever meaning you want from a play.  Both have their place in works of art, but not when it comes to scripture.  When we read scripture, we need to ask what God intended.  When we read the words of Jesus, we need to ask what Jesus intended by those words.

For example, when you read the words of Jesus, you could ask, “What is it that Jesus wanted for His followers?  What were the intentions of his teaching?”  While there is plenty of debate, there is one theme that runs through much of Jesus’ teaching.  It is the conclusion of His teaching in the Gospels:

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. 

Making disciples is the intent of Jesus’ teaching, and Evident Grace Fellowship wants to enable our men to do just that.  For those reasons, we have reshaped the men’s ministry and are relaunching it on July 14th.  Here is what to expect.

Where and When:  The men will meet quarterly.  Our first gathering will be at Gordon’s home (enter the basement through the back door) from 9am until 12pm.  If you need directions, reach out to Gordon at [email protected] or call him at 919-412-8161.

Men, if you can’t make our first get together, but you would like to be a part of the intermeeting get togethers (explained below), just email Gordon at [email protected].

Gordon

Sample Men’s Ministry Gathering

Gathering:  30 minutes

Purpose:  Men rarely jump into intimacy or comfortability.  This gathering time is a time where men can grab some food and coffee and catch up.  Following this casual time, our leader/moderator will walk the men through checking in with high’s and low’s.  This will serve a very similar function as the prior Bushiban structure.

Setting Purpose:  5 minutes

Purpose:  Our leader/moderator will outline our expectations for each gathering as well as the resulting expectations to follow in the following months. Men are encouraged to meet these expectations.

Talk:  30 minutes

Purpose:   Each gathering, our speaker will address a topic from a biblical perspective around one of four areas:  faith, fitness, family, and finances.  The message is intended to be fiercely biblical, gospel-rich, inherently challenging, and practically tangible to the Christian man status quo.

Sample Topic:  What’s at stake when we are financially unfaithful. In this, there would be a talk surrounding several key passages about financial obedience.  For example, I have used this outline (not my own) before:

The Responsibility for Planning:  Without planning based on biblical values, goals, and priorities, money becomes a hard taskmaster and, like a leaf caught up in a whirlwind, we get swept into the world’s pursuit of earthly treasures (Luke 12:13-23; 1 Tim. 6:6-10).

Financial planning is biblical and is a means to good stewardship, to freedom from the god of materialism, and a means of protection against the waste of the resources God has entrusted to our care (Prov. 27:23-24; Luke 14:28; 1 Cor. 14:40).

Financial planning should be done in dependence on God’s direction and in faith while we rest in Him for security and happiness rather than in our own strategies (Prov. 16:1-4, 9; Psalm 37:1-10; 1 Tim. 6:17; Phil. 4:19).

The Responsibility for Discipline:  If our financial planning is to work, it will require discipline and commitment so our plans are translated into actions. We must follow through on our good intentions (Prov. 14:23). Financial faithfulness is an important aspect of complete, well-rounded spiritual growth and godliness (2 Cor. 8:7). But godliness requires discipline (cf. 1 Tim. 4:8; 6:3-8).

Good intentions are useless without plans that translate them into actions. The Corinthians had indicated their desire and willingness to give and had even been instructed on planned giving (1 Cor. 16:1-2), yet they had failed to follow through on their good intentions (2 Cor. 8:10-11).

The Responsibility for Stewardship:  Financial faithfulness ultimately flows out of the recognition that everything we are and have belongs to the Lord (1 Chron. 29:11-16; Rom. 14:7-9; 1 Cor. 6:19-20). Life is a temporary sojourn in which Christians are to see themselves as aliens, temporary residents, who are here as stewards of God’s manifold grace. All we are and have—our talents, time, and treasures—are trusts given to us by God which we are to invest for God’s kingdom and glory (1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11; 4:10-11; Luke 19:11-26).

The Responsibility for Working:  One of God’s basic ways to provide for our needs is through work—an occupation through which we earn a living so we can provide for ourselves and our families (2 Thess. 3:6-12; Prov. 25:27).

The money we earn is also to be used as a means of supporting God’s work and helping those in need, first in God’s family and then for those outside the household of faith (Gal. 6:6-10; Eph. 4:28; 3 John 5-8).

Guided Group Questions:  10-15 minutes

Purpose:  Refining any loose thoughts remaining from the talk as well as guiding the men towards breaking up into one on one conversations.  This should be prepared ahead of time while also making room for organic follow ups.  The speaker will provide a list of questions for the breakouts.  These questions should be talk specific and also personally applicable.  There should also be guided prayer topics.

Breakouts:  30-45 minutes

Purpose:  Diving deeper into the talk while also establishing a relationship between the two men.  Note:  if there is an odd number of men, the leader/moderator evens that number out.  The leader/moderator determines these groups of two.

Expectations:  These men will open their time in prayer.  If they don’t know each other, they will spend a few minutes getting to know each other.  If they do know each other, they will catch up.  After a few minutes, they will work through the questions with each other.  Finally, the men pray together and establish their get together times and places.  It is greatly encouraged to leave that meeting with the next get together on the books.

Conclusion:  5 minutes

Purpose:  To bring the men back together, thank the host, and remind the men of their commitment before the next meeting.

Intermeeting Commitments:

Purpose:  To deepen relationships among the men in the church while growing them in their relationships with Christ.

Expectations:  The men will meet 3-6 times between men’s quarterly meetings.  The encouragement is to meet at least every other week.  These groups of two will officially end at the next men’s gathering, but they can of course continue if desired.

 

Sunday Recap for 06.17.18 Big Idea: All Who Desire Live a Godly Live in Christ Jesus Will Be Persecuted

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Sunday, June 17, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 18:17-30:

1 Samuel 18: 17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife. 28 But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

And from that passage, we pursued this Big Idea:

Big Idea: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).

And we found these three thoughts from that Big Idea:

The world will be jealous of God’s favor in your life.

The world will try to distract you from God’s call in your life.

The world will fear God’s work in your life.

 

The world will be jealous of God’s favor in your life.

1 Samuel 18: 17 Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the Lord’s battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” 18 And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” 19 But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.

Saul was jealous of what God was doing in David’s life.  The people sang of Saul killing thousands but David killing tens of thousands.  Because of this, Saul wanted to kill David. So Saul conspired to have David killed by giving him his daughter in hopes that David would then be killed by the Philistines.  David’s humility, however, shone through, and he refused to marry her because he didn’t feel worthy to be a part of the king’s family.

The world will try to distract you from God’s call in your life.

20 Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” 22 And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 And Saul’s servants spoke those words in the ears of David. And David said, “Does it seem to you a little thing to become the king’s son-in-law, since I am a poor man and have no reputation?” 24 And the servants of Saul told him, “Thus and so did David speak.” 25 Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, 27 David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.

When David’s humility kept him from the royal family, Saul sought to distract David. Saul’s daughter, Michal, loved David, so Saul thought that relationship would distract David.  Distraction might cause David to die in battle.  He tasked David to bring him 100 Philistine foreskins as a bride price.  But David is not distracted, and instead brings 200 foreskins.

The world will fear God’s work in your life.

28 But when Saul saw and knew that the Lord was with David, and that Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him, 29 Saul was even more afraid of David. So Saul was David’s enemy continually.

30 Then the commanders of the Philistines came out to battle, and as often as they came out David had more success than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

No matter what Saul tries, he can’t kill David. His humility shines through, and David continues to find favor from God.  Finally, Saul arrives at the proper place.  He is scared of David and God’s work in his life.

Christians too will be hated by the world.  The world will be jealous of God’s favor in our lives.  The world will seek to distract us from what God has called us to do.

Knowing that, Jesus gives us these promises and commands.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.

Big Idea: “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).

Truth: Being a Christians means wanting to be like Christ.  Being like Christ means you will be persecuted for your faith.  God calls persecuted Christians blessed.

Application:  Live knowing that God’s work in your life is so powerful that your faith will either cause the world to profess faith or persecute you.

Action:  Find some new area of your life where you have to purposefully be involved in the life of non-believers.

 

Sunday Recap for 06.10.18 Big Picture Question: How does your relationship with God radically affect every other relationship?

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Sunday, June 10, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 18:1-16:

1 Samuel 18:1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.

10 The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

From that passage, we asked this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  How does a relationship with God radically change every one of your relationships?

And we found these 3 answers to our Big Picture Question:

Godly Relationships are Based on Unity

Godly Relationships are Covenantal

Godly Relationships Confound Non-believers 

Godly Relationships are Based on Unity

1 Samuel 18:1 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house.

The unity that David and Jonathan lived out is not meant to be rare.  It is the unity that each believer is supposed to live out in light of the work of Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 4:1-6 1As a prisoner for the LORD, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one LORD, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

This is the wonderful reality that David later sings about it:

Psalm 133:1 1A song of ascents. Of David. How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Godly Relationships are Covenantal

3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. And this was good in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

David and Jonathan live out a covenantal relationship with each other where each wants the best for the other.  What one feels, the other feels.  What one celebrates, the other celebrates.  Their relationship is a picture of the 1 Corinthians 12 reality of the church as the body of Christ.

Godly Relationships Confound Non-believers 

6 As they were coming home, when David returned from striking down the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with songs of joy, and with musical instruments. 7 And the women sang to one another as they celebrated, “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

8 And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?” 9 And Saul eyed David from that day on.

10 The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. 11 And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

12 Saul was afraid of David because the Lord was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence and made him a commander of a thousand. And he went out and came in before the people. 14 And David had success in all his undertakings, for the Lord was with him. 15 And when Saul saw that he had great success, he stood in fearful awe of him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, for he went out and came in before them.

If we live out this unified covenantal relationship with the church, the world will not understand it, just as Saul was confounded by David’s godliness, and ultimately, we will see, his relationship with Johnathan as well.

But this type of relationship that has an effect on the entire world is what we are called to live out in Philippians 2.

Philippians 2: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Big Picture Question:  How does a relationship with God radically change every one of your relationships?

Truth:  Christians are intended to live in unified, covenantal relationships that confound the world with a testimony of what a relationship with God is like. 

Action:  Live knowing that your relationships with other Christians are a reflection of your understanding and application of the Gospel.

Application:  Redefine your friendships with other Christians by things that are distinctly and inherently Christian.

Evident Grace Sunday Recap for 06.03.18 – What Opposes the Glory of God?

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Sunday, June 3, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 17:28-58:

1 Samuel 17:28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent

55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

We attempted to answer this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  What opposes the glory of God?

And we found these three answers to our Big Picture Question:

Presumption

Judgment

Doubt

Presumption

1 Samuel 17:28 Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before.

David goes onto the battlefield and asks why no one will fight Goliath?  Eliab takes offense to this and presumes that David has an evil intent.  Presume and Assume mean the same thing except presume has more of a degree of certainty.  Presumption is a sin because it flies in the face of 1 Corinthians 2 that tells us that we cannot know the mind of another person, and it is contrary to the Philippians 2 command that we consider others better than ourselves.  This presumption opposes the glory of God.

Judgment

31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”

38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.

Saul doesn’t think that David can fight Goliath because of his stature and lack of experience.  He also assumes that David needs a ton of armor.  Saul is judging by the outward appearance and doesn’t know David’s heart.  God specifically spoke against this outward judgment when Samuel anointed David.  What Saul does not know is that David is a fierce warrior and a fierce defender of the honor of God.  Whenever we judge others by outward appearances, we fall into Saul’s sin and oppose the glory of God instead of defending it.

Doubt

41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.

50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent

55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

Goliath doubts that David can fight him so much that he is offended that David would even come onto the field.  By contrast, David has great faith in God.  David fights by faith in the power of God’s name.  He says, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”

Big Picture Question:  What opposes the glory of God?

Truth:  Presumption and judgment within the body of Christ lead to doubting God and the diminishing of His glory in the church.

Application:   Live knowing that God intends His people to honor and glorify Him by giving one another the judgment of charity and exercising a deep faith in Christ.

Action:  Defend the honor of God this week by telling someone your testimony.

Evident Grace Sunday Recap from 05/13/18 Big Picture Question: How Does God See Differently Than We Do?

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Sunday, May 13, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 16:1-13:

1 Samuel 16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

From those scriptures, we looked at this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  How does God see differently than we do?

And we found these 3 answers to our Big Picture Question:

God sees the why while we see the what

God sees His protection while we see the danger.

God sees the heart while we see outward appearances.

God sees the why while we see the what

1 Samuel 16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”

All Samuel could feel was loss.  King Saul was a mess.  Israel was a mess.  I’m sure Samuel felt like a failure, but God knew why Samuel was going through what he was going through.  God knew that in the midst of all of the pain and emotion, He was going to bring a new and Godly king to Israel.

We have to keep in mind that God is always working His will for His glory even in the midst of the worst of circumstances.  We can see what is happening, but we have to trust God’s why which is always to bring glory to Himself.

God sees His protection while we see the danger.

2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

Everyone in this passage is fearing.  Samuel fears for his life if he obeys God.  The elders of Bethlehem fear because Samuel showed up in town.  But in the midst of that fear, God is actually protecting them.  God is protecting the people of God by giving them a good and Godly king.  Saul’s first interest was for himself.  David’s will be for God.

God sees differently than we do.  When we walk in danger, we have to remember that God is always protecting us as He promised us He would.

In the sermon, we referenced Job 23:8-14 as an example of trusting God when we can’t see His protection.

God sees the heart while we see outward appearances.

6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

We arrogantly think we know people’s hearts and minds, but we don’t.  Only God knows the heart.  That means God sees our good and our bad.  Samuel thought the oldest son of Jesse would of course be king.  Instead, God chose the younger son, David, because God saw his heart.

We must always remember that God has wisdom that we don’t have and that wisdom of the heart should make us more gracious to ourselves and to others.

Big Picture Question:  How does God see differently than we do?

Truth:  God’s sight is an act of care in our lives that works His purposes despite what we see and think.

Application: Live knowing that your wisdom, hunches, and gut always submit to the working of God’s and His purposes in your life.   

Action: Pray for the humility to trust God’s sight in your life and others.  

Evident Grace Sunday Recap 5.06.18 Sunday Recap Why is Repentance So Powerful?

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Sunday, May 6th, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 15:24-35:

1 Samuel 15:24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

From those verses, we answered this Big Picture Question:

Big Picture Question:  Why is repentance is so powerful?

And we found these 3 answers to our Big Picture Question:

Repentance Doesn’t Care About Reputation

Repentance Kills the Source of Sin

Repentance Grieves

 

Repentance Doesn’t Care About Reputation

1 Samuel 15:24 Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25 Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me that I may bow before the Lord.” 26 And Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you. For you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned to go away, Saul seized the skirt of his robe, and it tore. 28 And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.” 30 Then he said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, that I may bow before the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel turned back after Saul, and Saul bowed before the Lord.

Saul finally realizes that he sins, so he begs Samuel.  He says he sinned and transgressed the commandment of God.  He recognizes that he feared the people more than God, and he asks Samuel to forgive him and return with him to tell the people.  But Samuel will not honor him in the way he asks.

The reason that Samuel asks the way he does is because Saul never asks for forgiveness from God.  He only begs from Saul.  Saul is like the child who realizes that he lost a privilege and then finally begs for forgiveness.

This is not repentance.  Repentance is unconcerned earthly reputation.  True repentance only concerns itself with reconciling one’s relationship with God.

Repentance Kills the Source of Sin

32 Then Samuel said, “Bring here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites.” And Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 And Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces before the Lord in Gilgal.

Saul spared King Agag and the best of the spoil.  This was his sin.  Samuel have nothing to do with it.  He puts to death Agag.

This is repentance.  Repentance puts to death anything that is remaining of the sin so that sin will not return.

Repentance Grieves

34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.

Samuel grieved over Saul.  He grieved of the mess Samuel made.  He grieved of the damage that Saul made.  And God showed a godly regret that Samuel was ever king.

What are powerful steps we can make to repentance? 

Sight of sin – Psalm 139: 23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Sorrow for sin – 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death

Confession of sin – Psalm 32:3-5 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. 5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Regret for sin – Ezra 9:6 “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities, have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.

Hatred for sin – Psalm 104:102-104 – I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.  103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Turning from sin – Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts.

Big Picture Question:  What’s the difference between repentance and change

Truth:  True repentance kills sin at its sources through a Godly grief that desires to honor God more than it wants to protect self. 

Application:  Live knowing that our greatest intimacy with God and others comes through a Godly repenting that denies self and lifts up God.

Action:  Kill a sin this week at its source through a Godly grief that confesses your sin to God and any offended party without justification or fear of lost reputation. 

Evident Grace Sunday Recap from 04/29/18 Better to Obey Than to Sacrifice

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Sunday, April 29, 2018, Evident Grace Fellowship looked at 1 Samuel 15:16-23:

1 Samuel 15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak. 17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’

19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22 And Samuel said,

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

We attempted to answer this Big Picture Question from those verses:

Big Picture Question:  Why is it better to obey rather than to sacrifice?

We found these three answers to our Big Picture Question:

Obeying is seeing as God sees

Obedience kills pride

God delights in obedience

 

Obeying is seeing as God sees

1 Samuel 15:16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me this night.” And he said to him, “Speak. 17 And Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, ‘Go, devote to destruction the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’

Samuel confronts Saul about his sin.  God’s command was for King Saul to completely wipe out the Amalekites, but Saul kept the king alive and the best of the spoil.  Saving these things would have given Saul status among other kings and would have given him plenty of money.  Samuel reminds Saul that he already has status.  God made him king from the smallest of tribes.

Disobedience blinds us.  We don’t see as God sees when see.  Saul thought seeking fortune and fame was best.  Obeying God would have him a godly sight.

Obedience kills pride

19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20 And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

When challenged as to why he sinned, Saul cannot admit why either that he did sin or why he sinned.  His pride won’t let him.  In fact, he even blames the people for sin saying that they were going to offer a sacrifice with the spoil they kept.

Obedience, however, would kill that pride because obeying God means that set aside what we think is best and trust God’s best for us.

God delights in our obedience

22 And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

Our sin is like witchcraft (divination) in that we seek and trust a wisdom outside of God’s.  Yes, there is forgiveness for sin, but God’s greatest delight for us is for us to obey.

The intention of God’s grace and forgiveness is to move us towards obedience.  For example, in Titus…

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been made evident, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 

Is there a sacrifice we are to offer today?  Yes.

Hebrews 13:15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Big Picture Question:  Why is it better to obey rather than to sacrifice?

Truth: Obedience enables a pride killing sight that walks us into the delight of God.

Application: Live knowing that there is grace for every sin, but there is a grace that enables you to obey as well.

Action:  This week, actively listen to the promises of God, and pray that He will enable you to obey in one specific area in which you continually struggle.

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