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Unlocking the Bible
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The Power of the Open Book
The Power of the Open Book

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No Christian should expect to see Saul in heaven. Every Christian will see David in heaven. Pastor Colin talks about the good news that God is able to turn a Saul into a David. [http://bit.ly/2ObbKkw]
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As a child cheerfully dancing to Mary Poppins I didn’t realize that one day I would also have the honor of being a nanny. Nor did I realize all the lessons God would teach me in the process.
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Is there anything in your life that is at risk of taking the place of God?
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They said to the king, “Here is the head of Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life.” (2 Samuel 4:8)

Baanah and Rechab assumed that David only cared about success. What they found to their shock was that this king cared about righteousness. In a world that often only cares about what will work, Christ calls us to care about what is right. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Mat. 6:33).

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote powerfully during the time of Hitler’s Third Reich about the idolatry of success: “In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things, the figure of [Christ] who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger and is at best an object of pity.”

People look to success as their savior. Bonhoeffer describes this idolatry: “Success justifies wrongs done. Success heals the wounds of guilt. There is no sense in reproaching the successful man for his unvirtuous behavior, for this would be to remain in the past, while the successful man strides forward from one deed to the next, conquering the future and securing irrevocably what has been done. When a successful figure becomes especially prominent and conspicuous, the majority give way to the idolization of success… They become blind to right and wrong.”

Then he says this: “The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard… Christ confronts all thinking in terms of success and failure with the man who is under God’s sentence, no matter whether he be successful or unsuccessful.”

Examine your heart to see if you care more about success than righteousness.
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Pastor Brad Wetherell discusses the four reasons why church membership is not just a formality, but something that really matters.
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I form light and create darkness;
I make well-being and create calamity;
I am the LORD, who does all these things. (v. 7)
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The sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, set out, and about the heat of the day they came to the house of Ish-bosheth as he was taking his noonday rest. (2 Samuel 4:5)

After Abner’s death, two men by the names of Baanah and Rechab take center stage in the story. These men were “captains of raiding bands” (4:2), so they had prominent positions in Ish-bosheth’s army. With the death of Abner, it may be that these two were the next in line. And as the house of Saul became weaker and weaker, these men realized that they had a problem. They were on the wrong side. “What will happen to us when we fall into the hands of David, whose rule we have resisted and whose reign we have opposed?”

They knew that they were going down, so they decided to do something that, they thought, would put them in good standing with David. Here we have the record of yet another cold-blooded murder. Baanah and Rechab walked into the house of the king as if they were going to pick up supplies (4:6). They went into Ish-bosheth’s bedroom, and killed him while he was lying on his bed. Then they took the head of Ish-bosheth to present as a trophy to David (4:7).

These are ruthless men, who work on the principle that might is right, and that the end justifies the means. It is natural for us to assume that others see the world in the same way that we do. These men assume that David is like them, that he will rejoice in what they have done, and that he will reward them greatly. After all, have they not opened the way for David to inherit the kingdom? But Christ’s kingdom does not advance through acts of violence.

Respond to the statement: “Christ’s kingdom does not advance through acts of violence.”
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No one is able to take the place of God.
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Why is it so hard for us to believe that our Heavenly Father finds pleasure not only in the completion of our spiritual development but also in the process?
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Is there a brother or sister in Christ you have been despising? Remember that you are one body in the Lord.
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