Good morning my friends. I feel the need to apologize for the lack of posts this past week. I have been a bit busy with some denominational stuff, namely our annual Regional Gathering that takes place in Kitchener. We had a great couple of days together as ministry leaders. Our main speaker this year was a guy named Caesar Kalinowski who is part of the leadership for an organization of missional communities called the GCM Collective. I could spend several hundred words talking about the missional conversation taking place in some evangelical circles, but to summarize it is a move to refocus the church on the Biblical concept that all Christ-followers are missionaries, called by God to be gospel-bearers in all areas of their lives. To use Caesar’s terminology, we are all full-time paid missionaries. This might be a massive shift in thought for some of you so don’t get freaked out. The basis of this whole conversation is the Great Commission (go and make disciples…) at the end of Matthew 28. Over the years that Commissioning by Jesus has been seen as directed at the church, when in actuality it is directed at every individual Christ-follower. We are all called to be disciples who make disciples. If you are connected to the EMC that phrase should be familiar because that has been the vision cast by the national leadership for the past decade. The hard part is transferring that thinking down to the local churches. Most people see it as the pastor’s job to bring people to Christ and “grow the church.” This even showed up this past February at our annual meeting. One older gentleman looked straight at me during some discussion and asked what we were going to do about the empty pews on Sunday mornings.
The unfortunate truth is that the pews are empty because the body of believers, the average Christian, is not influencing their friends, neighbours and family for Christ. I know that may sound judgemental, but think for a moment about your own life. When was the last time you had a spiritual conversation with your unsaved neighbour or friend? When was the last time you told someone who doesn’t know Jesus just how good it is to have Jesus in your life? When was the last time you shared the “Good News” of God’s redemptive plan? (Let me be transparent in saying that my answers to those questions are less than stellar, and so any judgement I have fall squarely on myself, not any of you who are reading this.) The big question on my mind after listening to Caesar is “Is the finger print of Jesus in every aspect of my life?” That is massively challenging! And the honest answer is no. But that’s ok, because the Holy Spirit’s job in my life (and yours) is to be constantly transforming us into the image of Christ (that’s consecration). So it’s a work in progress, but it is a work that I have to be willing to participate in and that’s the challenge.
I’ll get off my soap-box now and get back to our reading.
I feel like I have spent next to no time talking about David through the chunk of readings that have had to do with his life. Either stuff from the Psalms has been standing out more or other thoughts have pushed forward. But today is all about David. Today we read about God’s dedicated covenant to the establishment of David’s reign, not just during David’s life-time, but for all time going forward. On this side of the Cross, of course we know that is referring to the eternal reign of Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords. Two things about today’s readings stick out to me.
First is the use of the word house. David desires to build a house for God. David’s intent is good. He does not feel right living in a palace when the Ark of God (the physical representation of God’s presence with Israel and David) is residing in a tent. David wishes to honour God by giving him a house more grand than the palace. But does God need a house? That’s essentially the question God is asking of David. What need does God have for a dwelling place? The entirety of the universe can’t contain his greatness, his presence isn’t isolated to a single point on a map (like the idols of the surrounding nations who only exist in one spot). God has need of nothing from David. Instead, God is the supplier, he will be the one to establish a house for David, and a house that will stretch on to eternity. Of course, God’s use of the word house does not mean a physical building (or else we could say God broke his promise when Jerusalem was destroyed, on numerous occasions). God is talking about the establishment of David’s “family”, his line. So house is not about dwelling, it is about family.
This is important for us as New Testament believers because one of the identities we have in Christ is adoption into the family of God! So we are part of David’s house through Jesus.
The second thing is the way David responds to this promise from God. “Who am I?” There is this sense that David is overwhelmed by God’s plan. Remember, David was a shepherd. They weren’t very highly regarded in Israelite society, and yet God chose the lowest and made him the highest. David’s response if one of utter thanksgiving, to start and then confident declaration of God’s promise. It might seem arrogant for David to call on God to keep his promise, but really this is an act of faith on David’s part. He truly believes that God is capable of doing this incredible thing and so he states that faith in confident declaration.
You and I are beneficiaries of this promise from God! We are part of this incredible plan that God has and we need to be thankful for it.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 25, 29, 33, 36, 39