Fruit of the Spirit

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 20 (day seven)

Galatians 5 provides a good standard of measurement: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:19-23)

This week we see more of that first list in Joab: stabbing an unsuspecting man in the belly (v.10), wreaking destruction in Abel Beth-maacah (v.15, 19) while we see more of the second list in the woman of Abel Beth-maacah: wise (v.16, 22), peaceable and faithful (v.19).

If you find yourself entertaining any of those on the first list your flesh is stealing you away from God, but when you find those characteristics listed second appearing in your life the Spirit is molding you into something holy.  May we be filled with the Holy Spirit bearing abundant fruit to bless all those around us.

Unexpected

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 18 (day seven)

There are two unexpected moments of David in our text for today.  1) David tells his military commanders to be “gentle” (v.5) on his son Absalom even though Absalom is the enemy.  2) When David hears that his enemy has been slain he weeps over the loss of his treasonous son (v.33).  In these moments David seems to care more about his villainous son than his own kingdom.

David was in a no win situation facing untold guilt in either outcome.  In those days, when there is no where else to turn, turn to God:  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.  (James 4:8-10)

Surrender

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 16 (day seven)

Perhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.” So David and his men went on the way; and Shimei went along on the hillside parallel with him and as he went he cursed and cast stones and threw dust at him. (v.12-13)

All along the way out of Jerusalem David submits his will to the Lord.  We saw last week that David was prepared to go wherever God led him, even if it was off the throne.  This week, David gives us a similar example.  David is not going to make the mistake of reaching out and grabbing a future that God did not orchestrate.  He is ready to allow God to shape all that is ahead of them, even if it means some man from Saul’s family hurling insults at David and his men.  May we, like David, surrender our futures unto the Lord even if it’s painful.

State of the Heart

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 15 (day seven)

so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. (2 Samuel 15:6b)

It happens more often than we would like to admit.  Someone or something comes along and steals our heart away from God.  Usually we don’t even see it coming.  In a moment of weakness we are swept off our feet and leave God in the dust.  In our text this week it is a politician who steals their hearts.  It can just as easily be our children, or a hobby, or a bad habit, each as equally destructive when they steer us completely out of God’s will.

To those of us whose hearts are not in it today, to those whose hearts are distant from God, our message this morning is the same as to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5:  But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

Great Commission

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 13:1-33 (day seven)

The last word Jesus gave us before his ascension in Matthew was the great commission: Matthew 28:18-20.  What amazes me about this passage is how often well-intentioned churches do the exact opposite of what Jesus asks us to do:

  • Jesus said “go” – we like to stay right where we are, or at least leave our faith right where it is.
  • Jesus said “make disciples” – our best efforts are usually just to invite people to church, because inviting people to church takes minimal effort.
  • Jesus said “baptize” – we try to get this one right in the Baptist world, but I’m not sure we recognize baptism as one step of four commands in the great commission.
  • Jesus said “teach them to obey all that I commanded you” – we usually teach toward knowledge not obedience, and certainly not obedience to ALL of Christ’s commands.

Jesus gave us clear instructions may we be who Jesus Christ has called us to be.

Blaspheme

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 12:1-23 (day seven)

However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme… (2 Samuel 12:14)

Often, I forget the ever-expanding reach of sin.  Sometimes I can imagine how choices may impact me, or maybe, if I’m generous, I can see how those choices might affect those around me.  However, in this verse we are reminded that ripples emanate out of our sin that touch countless people.

Others began to use David’s sin to discredit God and use David’s sin as permission to do whatever they wanted.  May our lives never be so.  May our actions bring people into God’s presence rather than push them away.

Temptation

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 11 (day seven)

Studying 2 Samuel 11 this week I found myself going to 1 Corinthians 10:13 often:

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

This is a verse you should have memorized and use as your lifeboat in the raging sea of temptation. Two truths are revealed here that keep us steady and safe though the world is tossed to and fro.  1. All temptation is common.  No matter what you face many before you have endured the same struggle, and God is never surprised by the situation you find yourself in.  2. There is a way of escape at the hand of God.  You can say “no”, you can make it out, you can overcome, but only by the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Prosperity

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 8 (day seven)

Prosperity is an enormous temptation.  When we are given blessed moments of peace on every side often we find ourselves falling into one of three traps. One, we start to think we are autonomous.  When things are good we steal the credit from God and believe the lie that we did all this on our own.  Two, we forget God and how to pray all together.  For ages Christians have only known how to pray foxhole prayers.  Three, we bask in the comfort of prosperity, and become weak and apathetic forgetting how to work as hard as those who are uncomfortable.

May we never fall into these traps, but be more like David, who even in prosperity, dedicated his incoming abundance unto the Lord:
King David also dedicated these to the Lord, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations which he had subdued (2 Samuel 8:11)

Even when God blesses we will sing unto the Lord, and dedicate our lives unto Him.

Repent

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 7 (day seven)

We have two different admonitions in this text from Nathan, David’s trusted prophet.  First, Nathan tells David, “Go, do all that is in your mind, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Samuel 7:3)

Nathan had no reason to second guess David, however, he should have waited on the word of the LORD. Nathan initially gives David bad advice because he gives David a kneejerk response.  God had a much deeper message for David:

But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, “Go and say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? (2 Samuel 7:4)

As God is correcting Nathan, God is giving him a chance to change course (read repent), and do the right thing which Nathan immediately does. God often gives His people second chances just like He gives Nathan here.  May we make the most of those second opportunities given immediately obeying this time around.

Leap and Whirl

Re:Verse passage – 2 Samuel 6 (day seven)

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance
.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)

In the initial chapters of 2 Samuel David lives out these verses from Ecclesiastes.  We began with passionate mourning of Saul’s death, and now, we see David celebrate enthusiastically.  In 2 Samuel 6 David leaps and whirls before the Lord because the Lord God above has been good to them.  It is the perfect time for such a response.

I pray that we can celebrate like David when God provides miraculous gifts.  When you see God work don’t hold back.  Shout for joy, blast trumpets in celebration, dance with excitement, and bless the Lord with your praise.  It is the perfect time for such a response.