“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.”
2 Samuel 14: 14
2 Samuel 13-15 (Psalm 90)
Connecting with previous chapters we see the consequences of sin developing in David’s life. He has been forgiven but the fulfilment of Nathan’s prophecies of denunciation begin (2 Sam. 12: 11-12).
Amnon clearly does not ‘love’ Tamar as he refuses to listen to the solution of marriage. Absalom’s words to Tamar suggest that this is not the first time Amnon has acted in this way (2 Sam. 13: 20). His further response highlights his intention of revenge. Sin begets sin, begets sin. Murder follows through a very non-subtle plan. It appears Absalom wants David to know what he has done; anger at David’s inaction? He subsequently flees.
David’s heart aches for his son but he can’t just allow him home. The wise woman details Joab’s parallel story, which works on David. Connecting back to our thoughts on the book of Ruth, we remember that one of the roles of a kinsman redeemer was to redeem the blood of a murdered relative; another was to make restitution for the sin of a kinsman. In a sense David is encouraged to fill both roles; Absalom is allowed home but is not fully welcomed, he remains separated from his father. Sin grew in Absalom’s heart and a conspiracy for the throne began.
His considered plot and length of time devoted to his conspiracy identifies a man with a heart for himself and capable of great deception. In contrast David’s desire for God’s outcome, whatever that may have been, suggests a contrite and broken heart; one that has been humbled by his own sin and God’s forgiveness (2 Sam. 15: 25-26). It was during this period of his life that David wrote some of his most beautiful Psalms (3, 4, 62 & 63).
We see, again and again, how sin gives rise to more sin and that even when forgiven, there are consequences for our actions. Today’s Psalm (90) talks of our iniquities and secret sins; they are before God and bring about His wrath. We are banished from His presence. But as we see in 2 Sam. 14: 14, God devises ways to bring us back into His heart. We can be reconciled in and through Jesus Christ, our ultimate and only kinsman redeemer. God will always make a way; our part is to submit a contrite and broken heart to Him in genuine repentance, faith and belief.
The Question of Application
Are there unconfessed sins in your life; what impact are they having on you and others? Ask God for forgiveness, offer forgiveness to others, and witness the path of reconciliation that God will reveal.
Dear Lord, we confess our sins and secrets sins. We ask your forgiveness. Help us to use our time aright with your wisdom in our hearts. Show us your unfailing love each morning that we may sing for joy. May your favour rest upon us and establish the work of our hands for your glory. Amen
From Psalm 90
Salvation belongs to our God sung by Jeremy Fisher
Psalm 90 sung by The Choir of Westminster Abbey
It seems apparent that one of the applications is to Stop sinful thought before it leads to action, and or to Stop sinful action at whatever stage it is. And to repent before God (and before God’s messenger) and determine to do right from then on.
We are given assurance that God forgives, And God keeps his promises – to bring us to maturity and to fill us with the presence of God the Holy Spirit.
Reflect on your walk with God, especially during this time of Lent, and farther back – during this time of pandemic. Have you been drawn aside from the way of the cross by your own appetites or by listening to the lure of escapism? Confess your sins and be restored to Christ’s presence. Abide in Christ. Live according to the Holy Spirit’s bidding.
Lord God you have made us for yourself, to enjoy Your presence. Please forgive our tendencies to wander and keep us on the Way of the Cross.
Song: Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Text: 2 Samuel Chapters 1-8
OBSERVE: After King David had been given rest from all his enemies in Canaan, and after he had finished building his famed cedar palace, he told the prophet Nathan that he wanted to build a house for God. Nathan’s first reaction was to applaud and encourage David’s plans. But later that night, God warned the prophet Nathan that what he had told David was his own opinion and not a divine instruction. So Nathan then delivered a word from God that was decisive. “The Lord declares that he will make a house for you – a dynasty of kings! For when you die and are buried with your ancestors, I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house – a temple – for my name. And I will secure his royal throne forever” (2 Samuel 7: 11-13).
INTERPRET: As we examine this passage, we see on one hand God was declaring David’s son Solomon to be the one to build a house for God. But Solomon can’t be the only son referred to here, because his kingdom did not last forever. There must be another descendant, another offspring, whose throne will be secure forever. Far beyond Solomon, who would build a house made of stone, God was promising a future descendant, Jesus, who would build a house made of living stones. Peter wrote to those coming to Christ, “You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple” (1 Peter 2: 5).
APPLICATION: God was giving David much more than he could have ever imagined. Instead of having David build a “house” for the Almighty, God planned to make a “house” out of David. David was part of the same promise and plan that had been given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God is the builder and he is the one who will build the eternal home through a descendant of David (Jesus). God promises a spiritual house, an eternal home, for people from all nations and all times. “So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are member of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself” (Ephesians 2: 19-20).
QUESTION / REFLECTION: Are you trying to build God into your house (life) or are you allowing God to build you into his spiritual house?
PRAYER: Holy God, I don’t deserve to be a part of the house you are building, but you have made me into a living stone, into a part of your grand plan for the world. Help me from trying to build a house for you within my own kingdom and instead seek to build my life upon your foundation, where Jesus is the cornerstone in which I find my purpose and eternal security.
SONG: Build My Life (Pat Barrett)
1 Samuel 25-27 begins with the death of Samuel, followed by David and his men in Paran who come by a man named Nabal during a feast day and ask him for provisions so David’s followers can participate. Nabal says no and causes David great offence. David is about to rush up and kill the whole lot of them when Nabals wife, Abigail, slips away with a generous offering for David and pleads with him not to kill Nabal. David thanks her for saving him from bloodguilt. When Nabal heard of the actions of his wife, his heart died within him. The Lord struck him down around ten days later. Abigail follows David with her household and becomes David’s wife.
Saul is then after David in the wilderness yet again, and David, having another opportunity to take Saul’s life, refrains from doing so. Instead, in the dead of night, he takes the spear that is thrust into the ground by Saul’s head as well as his water jug that is nearby. Later David confronts Saul with these two items and shows how he could have killed him, but showed mercy. Saul blesses David, thanks him, and returns to his house.
After this, David senses that Saul will keep coming after him no matter how David shows mercy and flees to the land of the Philistines with 600 of his men. He settles in one of the towns there and conducts many raids against the Geshurites, Girzites, and the Amalekites, who were natives of the Philistine land. This would have made him an enemy of the Philistines, however David was a shrewd man and instead said that he had been raiding the different tribes of Israel. Achish falls for the ruse, not seeing that David is raiding Philistine settlements, and trusts David all the more.
David was a devout, spiritual, zealous, kind man and no doubt displayed many good qualities – but the important thing to note here is that no matter who the person may be, our standard for good and holy conduct is Jesus Christ. Full stop. Nabal snubbed David’s kindness and generosity and gave him grave insult by refusing to give him nourishment for the festival of that day, and no doubt David, with his ancient Near Eastern chieftain mindset saw that his honor must be avenged. The Lord, in his Fatherly way, showed David the way of mercy. David was instantly aware in this that not only had he had tried to work salvation with his own hand but that he would have incurred bloodguilt by doing so.
One book over in 2 Samuel we see David’s dependence on God’s mercy after his conduct with Bathsheba and Uriah. The Lord Jesus orders us to turn the other cheek and to repay evil with good. Romans 12:19 says “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.” David learned the benefit of letting the Lord right the wrongs, and it’s time we did too. Heaven knows there are enough of them in each of our lives. Let us be aware of our attitude towards those who hurt and wrong us and leave room for the God of Justice and Mercy to work.
We’ve been treated poorly by those who should have loved us most, we’ve faced physical and emotional and spiritual harm, too, from all spheres of our lives. To seek reconciliation and forgiveness and healing in these areas is one thing, but to avenge ourselves is another. We have a perfect example in Jesus Christ, and if anyone is wondering how their life fits in with the truth of His words, consider the Gospels and take time to sense how the Holy Spirit may be convicting you. We are in the hands of God who does our fighting for us. Our directive is clear – to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Do we trust our Lord enough to give our pain to Him?
Application question –
How did Jesus treat those who persecuted Him? Take a look at the crucifixion of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke; how does Jesus’ example there teach about loving others?
Father God, it is far too easy for us to react out of wounded pride, to try and work salvation with our own hands. Please forgive us these misdeeds and shine your light in the dark parts of our lives that we might bring the light of Christ to even the most difficult situations and people. We trust you with our successes and failures, our loves and our hurts, and we surrender any and all bitterness of spirit that could lead us to mistreat others. Amen.
Song: O Come to the Altar - Elevation Worship
Text: 1 Samuel 21-24
Fleeing for his life from Saul, David stops for provisions in Nob from Ahimelech, the priest, who is oblivious to the reality of David’s situation. Saul’s servant Doeg witnessed their meeting and later tells Saul about it. Meanwhile David is searching for a safe place. After feigning lunacy to escape Gath, David comes to the cave of Adullam. There his brothers and family rally to him and he becomes the leader of 400 men.
When Saul learns how the priest at Nob helped David, he brutally commands the death of all the priests there. Doeg kills 85 of them and also attacks Nob and all its citizens. Abiathar escapes and flees to join David, who agrees to protect him.
Saul continues pursuing David but God continually protects him. In the Desert of En Gedi, Saul relieves himself privately in the very cave where David and his men are hiding. David secretly cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe but his conscience is activated and he confronts Saul afterward and says, “I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord’s anointed.”
Saul is overcome by remorse. Knowing the Lord will make David king after him, he asks David to swear an oath to deal kindly with his descendants. David gives the oath and Saul returns home.
Remember back in 1Samuel 15 when Samuel tells Saul God has rejected him as king? Samuel turns to leave and Saul catches hold of the hem of his robe and it tears. It is a prophetic picture: Samuel tells Saul the Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from him and has given it to one more worthy.
In today’s reading we come across this story where Saul is privately relieving himself in the very cave where David is hiding from him and David cuts off the corner of his robe. Afterward, David makes his presence known.
Seeing the hem of his robe in David’s hand, Saul realizes the fruitlessness of trying to prevent God’s stated intention to make David king in his place. It is a sure sign to Saul and it is enough for him in that moment to refrain from his pursuit of David and leave him alone (for a little while anyways).
We see David’s whole-hearted trust in God to orchestrate the fulfillment of this promise that he will be Israel’s king. Completely hands-off, David refuses to harm Saul when the opportunity presents itself, though Saul is desperately trying to kill him. David knows he does not need to make himself king and trusts that God Himself is putting all the pieces into place to bring about that promise at the right and perfect time. We read his exact thoughts on this in Psalm 57: “I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me.”
This is perhaps one of the most trying times of David’s life and we hear his distress expressed in many of his Psalms. He is homeless, on the run in the wilderness; his life is constantly at risk, and yet it is in this context that we see God’s promise begin to unfold. Four hundred men recognize the anointing on David and make him their leader and this number will only grow as the story continues.
Despite the hardships he was experiencing, God was promoting David from being a high ranking official in Saul’s army to being king over all of Israel. David put his trust in God’s plans and purposes and refused to take matters into his own hands.
Romans 8:28 tells us, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Though not easy, sometimes the trial we are facing is actually the catalyst for our promotion into the higher purposes God has for us.
To think about:
What frame are you using to view your current struggles? Can you trust, as David did, that God will fulfill his purposes despite your difficult circumstance? Might you be in the process of God’s promotion from one situation into a better one?
Thank you, Lord for your plans and purposes that are so much greater than I can ask or imagine. Help me to be hands off, not forcing the outcome of my difficult situation, but trusting you to take care of me in the midst of my troubles. I put my life in your hands today and ask that my thoughts, actions and intentions bring you glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Song: Prophesy Your Promise (Bryan & Katie Torwalt)
“In everything he did he had great success, because the Lord was with him.”
1 Samuel 18: 14
1 Samuel 18-20 (Psalm 83)
These chapters display the continuing consequences of following one’s own way in disobedience to God. Saul goes from bad to worse. In his jealousy of David he harbors murder in his heart, which he actively pursues. He fears losing his status and position and has left himself open to control by the ‘principalities and powers’ we are taught about in Ephesians 6. In a number of places, in these and preceding chapters, we are told of ‘an evil spirit from the Lord.’ This obviously raises questions for us in relation to God Himself as the source or conduit for evil!?!? In the ancient world, anger and mental illness, were attributed to evil spirits. The people of Israel feared dualism and so would themselves make that judgement. Such a ‘complete’ view leaves little room for human responsibility. We read in 1 Samuel 16: 14 that the Spirit of the Lord had left Saul and the evil spirit had come. Saul had disobeyed God and was walking his own way. When we do this we leave ourselves vulnerable to outside influences both spiritual and physical. We are warned about this in the New Testament (Romans 1, Ephesians 4-5, Galatians 5 & Colossians 3) and Jesus talks clearly about the reality of spiritual powers (Matthew 12: 28-30). This matter can lead to debate on huge topics such as the cause of evil, its origins, suffering in the world and so on. Suffice, for today’s blog, let me simply say that walking with God in obedience protects us from such influence and control over our hearts; walking away from God leaves us vulnerable.
As we consider David, we this truth from the opposite and positive perspective. In his obedience to God he is blessed with success and progress. Please note though, that this does not mean freedom from troubles. We see the exact reverse; persecution and negative reaction will accompany true and obvious obedience to God. In Jonathan, we witness the value of true friendship and support during such times.
If we are in Christ we are a new creation and nothing can separate us from His love, His Holy Spirit is within (Romans 8). We can though, grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4: 30) and allow the old nature to exert damage and be a conduit for outside influence. We, therefore, need to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and keep in step with Him (Galatians 5: 16-26). As a member of Christ’s Body, we should actively seek trustworthy brothers and sisters to walk with us; we are not created to be ‘individual’ children of God but members of a ‘family.’
The Question of Application
What influences in your life may be harmful to your faith and relationship with God? Who can support you in your new life and whom might you support?
Dear Father we thank you that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose. Aid us in our conviction that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. May we walk with you in victory, guided by your Holy Spirit to the glory of your name. Amen
From Romans 8
All my hope on God is founded by Choir of Kings College Cambridge
Spirit Lead me by Influence Music and Michael Ketterer
Don’t go charging ahead with your plans or dreams unless God goes before you. Listen to what God says about a person’s heart before you select that person for a “kingdom” job.
Where do you need God to go ahead of you, to give you courage and power, to give patience to wait for God to act.
Lord God you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power. Nothing is impossible for you. Reveal to me what you would have us do. Grant us patience to wait for your timing. Remind us to do all that you ask us to do; to do no more or less.
Nothing is impossible with you - Planetshakers Live - Bethel Church
Text: 1 Samuel Chapters 4-14
OBSERVE: As we read into the book of 1 Samuel, we see that the judge and priest of Israel (Samuel) is nearing the end of his life. This prompts Samuel to appoint his sons to be the next judges of Israel. But rather then promoting justice, as judges were supposed to do, his sons ruled with greed and with perversion. Their reckless reign forced the elders of Israel to take action and meet with Samuel where they requested to have a king like other nations. “”Look, they told him “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have”” (1 Samuel 8:5). Samuel then followed God’s instructions to listen to their request and anoint Saul to be their king.
INTERPRET: God had been a faithful divine King who protected and cared for his people. But they didn’t want him as their King – they wanted a human king so they could be like all the other nations. Samuel described the demands a human king would make on them, and warned that the day would come when they would beg for relief from the king they were demanding to have. But God had his own purpose for giving in to the people’s sinful demand for a human king. Over the coming centuries under a series of kings, the people would discover for themselves that only God should be their King. A long line of human kings would fail them again and again to help the people understand their need for God as their King.
APPLICATION: The failures of these kings would continue over the centuries, until finally a King would come who was not only a man but was also God. This King would rule in righteousness. In this way, God would prove that only God can be King of Israel. God also planned that the rightful King of Israel would die for his people. Rather than lead his people to death in battle, this King would die for the people and rise again to rule over the people.
Each of the gospel writers wanted to make sure that Israel recognized Jesus as the King that God had always intended to give them. Each gospel includes Jesus’ response to Pontius Pilate question “Are you the King of the Jews?” with the response “You have said it” (Matthew 27:11; Mark 15:2; Luke 23:3; John 18: 33-34).
Jesus is not just the King of the Jews, but the King of all. He is seated at the right hand of the Father until all of his enemies are put under his feet and all his elect are gathered in from the peoples of the earth. And when he appears a second time, we will all acknowledge that he is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).
QUESTION / REFLECTION: Is Jesus the King over all the kings and things in your life?
PRAYER: King Jesus, I crown you as the King of my life. Take your rightful throne and rule over all of my plans and my passions. Thank you for the great privilege of serving you and your Kingdom.
SONG: The Lion and the Lamb (Big Daddy Weave)
The first three chapters of the book of 1 Samuel tell the story of a woman named Hannah who could not bear children. She would pray at the temple in great distress and weeping until, after Eli the priest spoke with her, she went away confident of the Lord hearing her prayers for a child. Shortly after, Hannah conceived and pledged to give her son, Samuel, to the Lord when he was of age so that he could serve the Lord all his life. Hannah then sings a rich song of praise to the Lord, telling of His mighty character and deeds.
Following this comes an account of the sons of Eli who are described as worthless. They continually disrespect the temple and break the law, often threatening to take the priest’s portion of food. Ultimately, Eli and his household are rejected by God who promises to raise up a faithful priest in his place.
Cut to Samuel who, as a young boy, hears someone call his name three times in the night. He runs to Eli thinking it was he who called, but at the third time, Eli recognizes that it is the Lord who is calling Samuel. Eli instructs him to go back to bed, and when he hears the Lord call again, to say “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.” Samuel then hears from the Lord that He is going to cut off Eli and his sons for the blasphemy that his sons committed and for Eli’s lack of willingness to restrain them. Samuel, at the Lord’s direction, informs Eli of this, who responds “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.”
There is a sharp contrast in these chapters between one who hears and one who Shemas. The Shema is an ancient Hebrew verse and prayer given by Moses in Deuteronomy exhorting the people of Israel to “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one, and as for you, you shall Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” The idea here was to hear all the words of the Law that Moses had spoken and was about to speak, though it had more to it than merely listening, but listening and responding to what they heard.
In 1 Samuel, Eli is one who heard the law but did not act on all of it. He had rebellious, blasphemous sons who continually defiled the worship of the priests. The law already detailed how people like this ought to be dealt with, but Eli did not do what he should have done in purging this evil from the midst of the people. We can safely say that he heard but did not listen. He did not Shema.
Contrast this with Samuel himself who, growing up and carefully discharging his duties, keeps himself focused on the Lord and what He says. The Lord blessed Samuel for his careful commitment and love to the Lord and established him as a prophet the moment He told Samuel about the fate of Eli and Eli’s sons. The Lord blesses those who seek Him and speaks to those who want to hear His voice!
We are powering through the Bible and gaining momentum as we do. There is much that the Lord will reveal to each of us and many ways in which He will instruct, rebuke, encourage, and guide those who seek Him. It is important that we are “doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” (James 1:22). I encourage us all to engage with the words on the page, to take your time, and to pray through what you are reading, that we may always be attentive to the voice of Jesus!
How has the Lord been challenging you lately? Is there anything that He stirs in the back of your mind that He wants you to bring to Him? Take a look over the past year; how has the Lord been speaking into your life? Honestly consider this: are you a doer of the word?
Dearest Father, thank you for bearing with us as we grow into the New Creation you put in us. Help us to conduct ourselves faithfully towards you and always be ready to hear your voice and respond with faith and love. Please put in us a hunger for more of you, and grant that we may stay always on the narrow path and follow in the footsteps of our Good Shepherd. Amen!
Song: Lord I Need You - Matt Maher
Text: Ruth 1-4 (Ps 77)
Observe We begin with a short family history. Naomi and Elimelech of Bethlehem flee to Moab with their two sons during a terrible famine in Judah. The sons marry Ruth and Orpah, Moabites. The three men die, making the three women widows. Naomi begs her daughters-in-law to return to their homes, which Orpah does, but Ruth compassionately stays with her.
The two return to Judah. Naomi is bitter in her losses, but Ruth provides a gentle foil. She humbly gathers grain in the fields of Boaz, a relative, and a ‘kinsman-redeemer’ (Lev. 25:47-54). (Here is a glimpse into the culture -- if a man in the family dies leaving a wife (and children), the nearest male kin must marry the widow, claim his property and carry on her husband’s line, thus ‘redeeming’.) Naomi advises Ruth to stay in his field. Boaz, hearing of her kindness to Naomi, is moved; he invites her to glean only in his area, warning his workers to do her no harm. She provides for the two of them from his generosity.
Naomi, seeing in him Ruth’s (and her) future security, advises Ruth to seek him out at the threshing floor. Boaz, seeing her integrity and humility, will indeed be her redeemer. But there is another relative who takes precedence. Boaz visits him, and in the exchange learns the man is willing to buy Naomi’s property in Moab but will not claim Ruth as his wife (as part of the property). This clears the way for Boaz to redeem and marry her.
Ruth bears a son named Obed, bringing joy to Naomi whose life is restored. In the short genealogy at the end of the book, Ruth is the grandmother of Jesse and the great-grandmother of David. Such is the remarkable way God redeems.
Interpret This short, significant book in the Hebrew Bible is in Ketuv’im - “the Writings”. The Book of Ruth takes place during the time of the Judges, a bleak period of the history of God’s people, as we learned. The unfolding of the story is a gentle contrast to the lawlessness, violence and warfare of the scriptural record, speaking redemption and restoration.
Naomi’s sons broke the law in marrying women of Moab, Israel’s enemy (Deut 7:1-4). Yet the ‘enemy’, Ruth, remains with Naomi, accepting a new life, God, and people. God’s provision and care for the poor was fixed in the law of gleanings (Lev.19:9-10) which Boaz was careful to follow. A kind, honourable, older man (as in his remarks to Ruth about choosing him), Boaz confirms his status as kinsman-redeemer before marrying her. Ruth exhibits obedient, gentle humility, compassion, and family loyalty. She is one of the few women named in Jesus’ lineage.
Ruth’s story is a connector between the grim darkness in Judges and the often-equal grimness in Samuel and Kings. Her lineage offers hope, for King David is a descendant; further along in the entire story comes the King of all kings: Jesus -- Saviour, Redeemer, Hope.
Apply While God’s name is rarely spoken, (“…your God is my God”) His presence is throughout in His tender love for the poor and destitute, His desire to rescue and redeem, His justice. A descendant of Ruth and Boaz will ultimately rescue and redeem His creation, humbly giving His life for ours. We marvel at God’s placing people where they belong, His perfect timing, His redemptive work in the worst of times and circumstances, rising above culture.
Then, how do we apply ancient norms? As we look at our daily lives, we notice, often retrospectively, how God walked with us in our no-good horrible terrible times in Jesus our brother, our kinsman-redeemer. God reveals Himself in loving us, protecting and keeping us close to Him. His pure love is shown to us in the giving of His Son to redeem the world and deliver us from evil. Ruth is a window to God’s redemptive movements that run through the Hebrew Bible and beyond.
Ask Loyalty, courage, integrity, gentleness, obedience -- do I see these in my daily life? Where do my loyalties lie? How do I express love for others, especially ‘outsiders’, in deed and truth? How do I regard the poor and marginalized?
Prayer Father God, out of your great love You sent Jesus as Redeemer to bring new life, hope and joy in the midst of bleakness and sadness, setting my life aright. I say, “Where You have me go, I will go. What You have me do, I will do.” You are my Lord and my God in whom I trust.
In 2024, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.