Why David & Not Ahab?

King David was a man after God’s own heart.  King Ahab was anything but that.  And yet, both men did a similar thing…killed to get something that wasn’t theirs.

King David committed adultery with one of his soldier’s wives, Bathsheba, while that soldier was at war on behalf of David.  When the woman became pregnant, David called the man, Uriah, back home hoping he would sleep with his wife and cover up David’s sin.  However, Uriah was a man of integrity and would not take advantage of being home while his brothers-in-arms were still fighting.  Since Uriah wouldn’t do his part, David sent a message that Uriah be put in the front of the fiercest battle and have the other troops withdrawn.  Uriah was killed and David took Bathsheba as his wife.  (2 Samuel 11-12)

King Ahab desired Nabob’s vineyard.  When Nabob wouldn’t trade it or sell it, Ahab pouted.  Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, took matters in her own hands, had Nabob accused of blasphemy and treason, and had him stoned to death.  So Ahab got the vineyard.  (1 Kings 21)

God sent prophets to both David (Nathan) and Ahab (Elijah) to bring to light their secret sins and to bring the Lord’s judgment upon them.  What’s interesting is that both men repented.  In fact, this is what is recorded about Ahab…

1 Kings 21:27-29 (HCSB) 27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put sackcloth over his body, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth and walked around subdued. 28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? I will not bring the disaster during his lifetime, because he has humbled himself before Me. I will bring the disaster on his house during his son’s lifetime.”

So why is David still revered as the great king through whom our Lord Jesus Christ descended while Ahab is considered the worst king in both the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel?  Look at 2 Samuel 12:13-14…

2 Samuel 12:13-14 (HCSB) 13 David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Then Nathan replied to David, “The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die. 14 However, because you treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.”

Ahab recognized that he had sinned and that the Lord’s judgment was coming against him.  He was sorry for his sin, but there is no sense of repentance at all.  In fact, read the verses before Ahab’s recognition of sin…

1 Kings 21:25-26 (HCSB) 25 Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the Lord’s sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him. 26 He committed the most detestable acts by going after idols as the Amorites had, whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.

Ahab’s heart never changed.  His actions were outward, but empty for those actions didn’t come from a repentant heart.

David’s heart was repentant.  He saw himself a sinner who had sinned against Yahweh and knew his only hope was the grace and mercy of Yahweh.  A truly repentant heart knows we bring only our sin and guilt to the Lord.  But in that confession and repentance, we find forgiveness.  David, when his sin was exposed, ran to God.  Ahab never did.

Let David’s words remind you of the God who calls us to repentance.  And may those words remind us that when we come to Him, He will not cast us out.

Psalm 51:1-19 (HCSB) 1 Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. 2 Wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in Your sight. So You are right when You pass sentence; You are blameless when You judge. 5 Indeed, I was guilty ⌊when I⌋ was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

6 Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. 7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed rejoice. 9 Turn Your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.

10 God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach the rebellious Your ways, and sinners will return to You.

14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing of Your righteousness. 15 Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare Your praise. 16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it; You are not pleased with a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.

18 In Your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper; build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your altar.


Beatitudes for Men

God has used the beatitudes taught by Jesus in Matthew 5:3-10 to encourage believers in all generations to live kingdom lives.  How are Christians to live their lives in a culture that rejects Christ and the reality of His kingdom?  The beatitudes give a picture of how these people live and what they live for.

I thought I’d list out a few beatitudes for men to remind us of how we are to live in a culture that desperately needs to see men living for Jesus.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t have to delete his online history for he is able to look at his wife with integrity and live his life in purity.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t exasperate his children for his children will praise him.

*Blessed is the man who serves his family for he models Christ.

*Blessed is the man who doesn’t take himself too seriously for he can laugh at himself with others.

*Blessed is the man who protects his family from all enemies for he understands his leadership role.

*Blessed is the man who continues to date his wife for he doesn’t take her or his marriage for granted.

*Blessed is the man who hugs, kisses, tickles, wrestles and otherwise shows affection towards his children for he fills their hearts with love.

*Blessed is the man who prays over his marriage and family for he knows only God can watch over them everywhere.

*Blessed is the man who takes his kids to church and really worships the Lord for he teaches them that church attendance is a joy and not drudgery.

*Blessed is the man who lives out his love for Jesus every day for he teaches his family that Christianity is more than a Sunday event.

*Blessed is the man who reads, memorizes, and meditates on Scripture for his mouth will speak from the overflow of his heart.

*Blessed is the man who puts his family before his career for he understands what’s really important.

*Blessed is the man who says “I love you” to his family in both words and actions for his family will draw strength from this.

*Blessed is the man who pursues Christ over all others for he teaches his family the worth of living their lives for the great Treasure of life.

Some Glorious Truths from 2 Corinthians 5:17

This past Sunday I preached from 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2.  This passage includes a wonderful promise…

2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

There are several truths here that need to be unpacked…

1. if anyone is in Christ The only hope we have of being a new creation comes from being in Christ. To be in Christ means we’ve identified with Him in His life, death, and resurrection.  Being in Christ doesn’t mean we will live sinless lives (that comes later!), but that we are counted righteous as God the Father imputes the righteousness of Jesus to us (2 Corinthians 5:21).  In Christ, we have the Holy Spirit living within us to give us both the promise that our salvation is secure and the power to live out our lives to the glory of Christ.

But there’s a warning in this phrase as well.  Salvation is only available in Christ.  It’s not available in good works, regular church attendance, or being better than so-called “bad people.”  There’s only one Name given under heaven by which we’re saved.  Even the most famous verse in the Bible tells us that only the ones believing in Christ will be saved…

John 3:16 (HCSB) 16 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

So the only hope anyone has of being a new creation is to run to Jesus.

2. he is a new creation Being in Christ isn’t turning over a new leaf or making a New Year’s resolution to be a better person. Being in Christ means we die to ourselves, our wants, our dreams, our desires, and our sin so that we might be new creations in Christ.  And while there’s immediate, life-long changes that come as new creations, we also are walking testimonies to the coming new creation that will be consummated when Christ returns and we receive resurrection bodies and He gives us new heavens and a new earth.

The salvation of sinners which turns them into saints is the loud announcement that Jesus is making all things new.

3. old things have passed away Because we are in Christ and are new creations, we are no longer slaves to our past. Our identities have changed.  We’re no longer Mike the prideful one or Sue the abused one or Sam the addict or Mary the gossiper.  We are sons and daughters of God through Christ.  We’ve been given a new name, a new hope, a new life!  We lay aside the sins which so easily entangled us and take up our cross and follow Jesus.

4. new things have come We have a new Master who is our Lord and Savior, Jesus. We have the fruit of the Spirit at work within us (Galatians 5:22-23).  We have the God the Father as our Father and no longer our righteous Judge.  And more things are coming…a new body, a new home, a new earth!

These brief statements barely begin to mine the wonderful depths of the riches of our salvation!  May we rejoice more and more that our names are written in the Book of Life to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Power & Privilege of Proclaiming the Gospel…The Notes

Here are the notes from yesterday’s sermon.  You can listen to the sermon here.


2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2

1. As we proclaim the gospel, everything changes.

*It changes how we look at people (sinners in need of a Savior)

*It changes how we look at Christ (not a myth, legend, good teacher, etc.)

*It changes us (Philippians 3:3ff)

*It changes what we do (ministry of reconciliation)

2. We have the great privilege of proclaiming this powerful gospel.

*There’s content to the gospel that we proclaim

*The role we play is as an ambassador

1) An ambassador represents his King/government

2) An ambassador shares the King’s message

3) An ambassador learns the language & culture of the people to whom he’s sent

3. The message we have must be proclaimed with urgency.

 It’s only good news if it gets there in time—Carl F. H. Henry

The Power & Privilege of Proclaiming the Gospel

Today’s sermon comes from 2 Corinthians 5:16-6:2…

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (HCSB)
16 From now on, then, we do not know anyone in a purely human way. Even if we have known Christ in a purely human way, yet now we no longer know ⌊Him in this way⌋. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come. 18 Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” 21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (HCSB) 1 Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” 2 For He says: I heard you in an acceptable time, and I helped you in the day of salvation. Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.

Saturday Stuff

Lots of good stuff in today’s Saturday Stuff…

*DC/Warner Bros. has now offered up its slate of movies (with titles) through 2020.  Check it out!

*And while Batman and Superman solo movies aren’t listed in the DC/Warner Bros. announcement, word is not to be worried!

*While Iron Man 4 may not happen, it seems that Iron Man will be a major addition to Captain America 3.

*There’s Marvel movie news as Channing Tatum talks about his upcoming Gambit movie.

*Thankfully, Joaquin Phoenix will not play Dr. Strange.  Here are some other possible actors who could fill those shoes.

6-String Salvo, October 17, 2014

bigstock-Guitar-950679With all the hubbub about the mayor of Houston and her desire to subpoena pastors for the sermons, I thought today’s salvo would focus on some of the responses to this issue…

*Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, has two responses here and here.

*Here’s a response from Aaron Earls.

*Here’s a response from Jason Allen, President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

*And here’s a response from Doug Wilson.

And here are a few more non-Houston items…

1. Mark Altrogge shares 5 benefits of having a challenging teen.

2. From Tim Challies there are 7 things your church needs from you.

3. There may be some seismic shifts going on with the Roman Catholic Church concerning its positions on gay marriage and on divorce.

And here’s the Shadowboxers with Molly Shake Me


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