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A Part of Life

I have learned many things as a pastor and am sure I will learn much more.  One of the main things I have learned is that people do not like talking about… death and dying.  People would rather talk about anything else, just not that topic.  However, death is part of life and it is something that we all must face. First of all, I would like to share with you some of my favorite quotes about death.  From the Movie Battleship:  Captain Yugi Nagata: “We’re going to die!  Alex Hopper: “We are going to die.  You’re going to die, I’m going to die, we’re all going to die… just not today. “Today is a good day to die!”  This phrase is frequently attributed to the Oglala Lakota war leader Crazy Horse but that is inaccurate.  The earliest published reference attributes it to the Oglala Lakota chief Low Dog.  From the Movie Shawshank Redemption:  Andy Dufresne: “I guess it comes down to a simple choice:  Get busy living, or get busy dying.” Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they ... Read More »

A Wise Choice

1 Kings 3:3-15 Solomon was king. He loved the Lord and tried to please Him in every way. One day he went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices there. That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “What would you like me to give you?”Solomon answered, “I am very young and I don’t know how to rule. Please give me the wisdom I need to rule Your people and the ability to know the difference between right and wrong.”The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this and said to him, “Because you have asked for wisdom to rule with fairness instead of asking for long life and riches, I will give you what you have asked for. I will give you more wisdom than anyone has ever had or ever will have, and I will also give you great riches and honor which you did not ask for.” Will God give me anything I ask for? Don’t you just love those stories where someone is given three wishes that come true? It is fun to imagine what it would be like to be given a ... Read More »

An Old King and a New King

1 Kings 2:1-4, 2:10-12 King David was getting old, so he called his son Solomon to give him some important instructions. “Be confident and be determined,” he said. “Do whatever the Lord your God orders you to do. If you obey the Lord’s commands, He will keep the promises He has made.”Soon after this, David died and was buried in Jerusalem, the City of David. Solomon took over from David and became king of Israel. Will I be able to do the difficult things my parents do? As you watch your mom cooking, or see your dad sorting through piles of bills, do you wonder if you will be able to do all those things that adults do?The responsibilities that your parents have are too great for you to worry about now!However, when your parents give you chores to do around the house, they are teaching you to do some of the things that they do. By doing them well, you are showing your parents how responsible you are. They will know when you are ready to do tasks that require greater responsibility.David taught Solomon to become responsible and gave ... Read More »

The King’s Son Dies

2 Samuel 18:1-2, 18:9, 18:32-33 Absalom, who wanted to be king, was in a battle against the soldiers of his father’s army. While Absalom was riding on a horse through some trees, his head got stuck in the branches, and he hung there helplessly while his horse kept on going. Joab, one of David’s men found Absalom and killed him with a spear.Someone went to King David and said; “Praise the Lord, your son who was fighting against you has been killed.”David went to his room and wept. “Absalom, my son Absalom,“ he cried. “If only I could have died in your place.” What is the greatest love of all? Is it unusual for a father to love his son? No, it is natural for a father to love his children. But what if the son hates his father? What if the son gets an army to fight against his father? Surely if a father loves a son even then, his love must be very great. David loved his rebellious son so much that when he heard about Absalom’s death, he cried, “If only I could have died in your ... Read More »

A Rebellion Is Planned

2 Samuel 15:1-13 Absalom, one of David’s sons did not follow God. He wanted to be king of Israel, and so he gathered loyal followers around him by pretending to care for them and by sorting out their problems.Absalom wanted the followers to help him take over the throne of his father David. Eventually the number of Absalom’s rebellious followers grew until they had become strong enough to fight David’s army. How does a rebellion start? A person who rebels is one who goes against the structures and authorities that keep law and order. Structures are the rules, while authorities are people who make up the rules and see to it that people keep them.A country has laws to protect its people and make it possible for them to live in peace (1 Timothy 2:2). Your school has rules that keep children and teachers focused. Even a home has certain rules to keep the harmony between everyone.A rebel is one who disobeys the law and disrespects those in authority, whether it is a parent, a teacher, the leaders of a country, or even God Himself.Before God created man, an angel ... Read More »

The Stain

2 Samuel 12:1-10, 12:13 One evening, while David was walking on the flat roof of his palace, he saw a beautiful woman having a bath. He told his servants to find out who she was and bring her to the palace. When David found out that she was married and that her husband was in his army fighting the Ammonites, he sent a message to the commander telling him to move Uriah to the front ranks where the fighting was fiercest. David wanted Uriah to get killed so he could marry his wife Bathsheba.Uriah did get killed and David married Bathsheba. What he had done was wrong in the Lord’s eyes. So the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to show David how that he had taken something very precious from someone else. Then David confessed his sin and said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Will the Lord ever forgive me for something really bad? Do you have old clothes that are stained? Maybe there is a blob of ink or paint that just won’t go away completely, no matter how many times it’s been through the wash.What David did ... Read More »

Adopted As His Son

2 Samuel 9:1-13 One day David asked, “Is there anyone of Saul’s family still living, because I would like to show him kindness for the sake of Jonathan.” Jonathan, David’s best friend had been killed in a battle.Ziba, one of Saul’s servants told David that Jonathan had a son Mephibosheth (try saying Muh-fib-o-sheth).At the age of five, when news of Saul and Jonathan’s death reached the city, the nurse who had been looking after Mephibosheth picked him up and fled. She was afraid that he would be killed too. But as she ran she tripped and dropped him. Mephibosheth became crippled in both legs.When Mephibosheth was brought before David, David said, “Don’t be afraid, I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul.” And from that day on Mephibosheth ate at David’s table as though he was one of his very own sons. Can I belong to two families? Do you know what it means to be adopted? A son or daughter can be taken in by a new family and become a ... Read More »

David’s Prayer

2 Samuel 7:18-22, 7:25-29 After Nathan told David that the Lord wanted one of his sons to build the Temple, David was very happy. He went to the Tent of the Lord and prayed.David said to the Lord; “I am not worthy of what You have done for me. Now You are doing even more by making this promise about my son. You have done these things to teach me. How great you are Sovereign Lord. There is none like You! And now Sovereign Lord, do what You have promised.” Can a king have a king? Is there anyone greater than a king? Would you dare to go tell a king that he is actually not the greatest? Probably he would not be very happy to find out that he is not the greatest after all.David realized that there is someone much greater. Even though he was the king of a great nation, he knew that God had put him there and that God could replace him.David learned that joy and peace come from knowing that there is someone higher and more powerful than him. The joy he had felt ... Read More »

A Palace and a Tent

2 Samuel 7:1-7, 7:12-13 Things started to settle down in the palace. The Lord had kept David safe from his enemies, and now he was king of Israel. However, David started feeling a little uneasy in his heart. He called the prophet Nathan and said, “Here I am, living in a beautiful palace while God’s Covenant Box is being kept in a tent.”Nathan replied, “Do whatever you are thinking because the Lord is with you.”But that night the Lord said to Nathan, “Tell David that he is not the one to build the Temple for Me to live in. I will make one of his sons king and he will build the Temple for Me.” Is a church building important? If God is everywhere, why was it so important for David to build a Temple for the Lord to live in?If we can pray to the Lord and read our Bibles wherever we like, why is it important to go to a church building?The Bible tells us that all those who believe in Jesus are a part of His body, the Church. That means every believer fits into a special ... Read More »

Dancing With Joy

2 Samuel 6:12-19 The Lord blessed Obed-Edom and his family while the Covenant Box was at his house. After a few months, when David heard how the Lord had blessed him, he went out with some of his men to fetch it.Then David and the Israelites took the Covenant Box to Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets. As the box was brought into Jerusalem, David danced and jumped around with joy. Afterwards, he gave everyone bread, meat and raisins to celebrate the happy occasion. How can I show my joy in worship? What do sports fans do when their team wins a nail-biting match? What do you do when you get really excited? Do you feel like jumping up and down, or shouting out aloud?If you get excited about praising God, you might find it difficult to sit completely still and not even tap your foot. That is how David felt when the Covenant Box came home. He was overjoyed and so was everyone else. The people were shouting with joy and blowing trumpets.God loves it when we get excited about Him, just as He gets ... Read More »

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