David the Human

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) God demands and expects us to love him wholeheartedly, to give ourselves to him totally and completely, and He will have it no other way. “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:16) David was chosen by God to be Israel’s king. “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” (Acts 13:22) David was a man who did many great things in his life because he listened to God and did what God asked him to do. David was human and also sinned against God, and these sins caused him and his family much heartache and distress. However, God continued to use David to accomplish His plans here on earth. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Are you completely and sincerely devoted to God? Have you made an earnest commitment to Him… free from all reserve or hesitation? Perhaps King David said it best when he spoke to his son: “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

David the Giant Killer

What tremendous giants are you facing right now? Parents who need your care? A special needs child who needs your help? A teenager who needs you to help him/her battle drugs? A terminal diagnosis? News that your company is downsizing and you’ll probably lose your job? David was a shepherd sent by his father to take some food to his soldier brothers on the front line of a huge battle. He encountered the Philistine giant Goliath who threatened his country and brothers with certain death. Instead of being scared with the prospect of fighting him, David suited up in armor at the suggestion of Saul but found it too cumbersome to use in battle. Instead, he relied on two things—faith that “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” and the belief that he could do it with a simple weapon, a slingshot and five smooth stones from the creek. You probably know the rest of the story. He told Goliath that he came in the name of the God of the armies of Israel and then with confidence in His Lord, he slung a stone at the giant and killed him. While stones and a slingshot are not our weapons of choice to do battle with the giants in our lives, relying on the Lord to stand beside us is the weapon that we should choose—just as David did.

David the Friend

Many people today are looking for meaningful relationships, yet so few actually find them. We are becoming an increasingly private society and it seems fewer people than ever have life-long intimate friendships. Still, the desire for this kind of relationship is necessary. We value these friendships. A biblical example of real friendship is found in 1 Samuel 20. The story of David and Jonathan’s friendship is one of the most powerful pictures of steadfast love shown between two friends. Even though Jonathan knows that David will become king instead of him, he still remains committed to him.  He embraces David’s glory, even when it comes at his own expense. But he asks David to make a covenant with him: “show me the steadfast love from the Lord… and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever.” (1 Samuel 20.14-15) As we have seen, Jonathan clothes David in royal robes, he intercedes with his father on David’s behalf, and he even risks his life to save David.  His commitment to David is one of complete dedication. And in return, David is committed to Jonathan.  It says, “he loved him as he loved his own soul.” (1 Samuel 18:1 & 3, 20:17) Romans 12:9-10 says: “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Authentic community is the core of Christianity. Jonathan and David’s relationship reveals that authentic community and authentic friendship occurs when we meet the real needs of our friends for the right reasons and in the right way.

David the Noble

You send a text and wait for a reply. How long before you’re frustrated? If your answer is measured in seconds, you’re at the right place. “David the Noble” is about patience. We try to nose ahead to move up one space as lanes merge in the drive-through line. We move our children up a grade, a league, or an age group to help them get ahead. We maneuver and manipulate to skip rungs on the ladder of success at work. Let’s face it. This is how we are. It’s just not necessarily how we should be. This week we study David’s life when he was the heir apparent. Everyone, including King Saul, knew he was going to be the next king. Saul, fearing that David was going to make this happen sooner rather than later, decided to protect his turf by eliminating David. But Saul was completely wrong. David was a noble man of honor. In 1 Samuel 24 and 26 we find two instances where David could have killed Saul. Who could have blamed David for protecting his life and making the inevitable happen? But David spared Saul’s life and said this: God put your life in my hands today, but I wasn’t willing to lift a finger against God’s anointed. Just as I honored your life today, may God honor my life and rescue me from all trouble. (1 Samuel 26:23-24 MSG) Waiting is hard. Understanding is even harder. But patience honors God. And God honors the patient.

David the Sinner

What a great movie this is going to be…drama, lust, love, intrigue, murder and the undoing of a great leader! This is the lust and love story, with a tragic ending, that has inspired so many books and films and even has been played out in real life. It is a story that is about sin, power, deception and selfishness. And who is the leading man? Who is this powerful man of influence? The plot thickens as it turns out that the leading man has done so much in line with the ways and wants of God. But wait. This isn’t some fictional set of characters, it isn’t the latest box office drama…it is a true story. This story of the enormity sin is right there in 2 Samuel 11-12. This is the story of David’s sin and how devastating one moment, one sin can be. It stained the image of David for the rest of his life. It stained his legacy and his family. And it impacted far more lives than just the few present in the initial story. David certainly made a poor and devious choice. He paid a price for his sin, but so did others. Even when David told Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord” that admission was not the end. In 2 Samuel 12 we read that Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.” Sin can do that. Sin is always more destructive than it seems.

Missionary to Brazil

Earl and Ruth Anne Haubner have been performing mission work in Brazil since 1969 through their Central Brazil Mission Ministry. Uncountable instances of good work and making Jesus Christ known to people along their boat trips down the Amazon River have taken place. In addition, their work has resulted in over 50 church plants in Brazil with more than 6,000 members. Earl Haubner will be speaking to us today. There is much we can learn from someone who understands the link between the worship of God and missions. King David had a great zeal for worship. The book of Psalms illustrates his attitude of worship. It’s quite likely he would revel in the work of people like the Haubners who live a life of worship to God through their mission work. Worship is the fuel of missions. Passion for God in worship precedes the call to become involved in missions. David wrote in Psalms 67:1-2, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that Your ways be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.” Psalms 96:3 tells us to “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions and the desire to spread that good word to others will be weak. How can a Christian worship the Father “in spirit and truth” and not have a deep heart-desire for people all over the world to worship Him also as the true, living, and only God? Today, God seeks true worshipers through our witness, and the witness of His family of believers around the world.

David the Worshiper

Many consider David to be the ultimate example of a worshiper of God. He was a passionate songwriter, a skillful musician, and a passionate leader. So what does it take to worship like David did? It’s not about being able to write beautiful songs, playing instruments, singing, or dancing. The dictionary definition of worship doesn’t involve singing, music, clapping, shouting, lifting hands, or kneeling. A worshpper is an individual who “regards one with adoring esteem, intense love and extreme devotion; loves unquestioningly and uncritically to the point of excess and extravagance, exceeding reasonable bounds.” (www.merriam-webster.com) God didn’t call David a man after His own heart because of the Psalms he wrote and the legacy they would leave. Acts 13:22 gives us the reason why: “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything that I want him to do.” This speaks much more of a life of obedience rather than a list of beautiful songs. Worship wasn’t just something David did—it was the essence of how he lived. Worship wasn’t just something he loved to do—it was what he lived to do. No matter what was happening or where David was in his life, he lived for worship. He lived it both in song and in obedience to everything the Lord asked him to do. He couldn’t help it. It was a part of him. It was just who he was. And it can be who we are too.

David the Father

“Father Knows Best” was a popular television sitcom back in the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s. Jim Anderson (played by Robert Young) was the perfect example of a father who was kind, wise and loving with his family. He always solved each and every problem that arose and situations always turned out happily in the end. It was a very popular show at the time and fun to watch, but certainly not reflective of real life or of real everyday fathers. Then there’s King David. He was a father to many children but he didn’t provide them with the wise council that Jim Anderson did to his children. David watched as his children sinned in some very significant ways. Some of their sins were even a result of David’s own selfishness and sin, but nevertheless, their sin brought David much heartache. He was a father, and he did what most all fathers do–he loved his children. A father’s love goes a long way in raising a child to be a well-adjusted adult. Perhaps when fathers today read about the struggles David had as a father, they are comforted knowing that even King David didn’t always get it right. The Bible has advice for fathers: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) The important lesson to learn from David is that through all his mistakes, he never stopped trying.

David the Legacy

Have you ever thought about how people identify you? Are you recognized as your child’s parent (“I’m Susan’s mother”), someone’s spouse (“I’m Julie’s husband”) or as someone’s child (“I’m Paul and Janis Phillips’ daughter”) or as someone’s friend (“I’m Mark’s friend”)? While you’re proud of that identifying comment when you’re introduced to someone new, you just wish you could be known for who you are, not necessarily who you know. The Bible tells us that David was identified in many ways, too. He was the son of Jesse; slayer of Goliath; musician; king of Israel; friend of Jonathan; loyal servant of King Saul; husband of many women; adulterer; and a schemer who had one of his soldiers killed to protect his own reputation. What kind of lasting impression did David leave with you—good or bad? Before you answer, remember that David is referred to in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart. What happened to make this change from being known as an adulterer and murderer to someone God held in high esteem? What changed David’s legacy? In 2 Samuel 22:3b, David acknowledged the source of his redemption, “He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior”. And in verse 33 the source of his strength was, “. . . God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” What better legacy for your family, your friends or for those you meet than to walk the rest of your life in the strength and will of the Lord? Will your identity be based on Who you know, not who you’ve been?