Scripture Then David said, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Observation The prophet Nathan confronts David with his sin in taking Bathsheba and having Uriah killed.
Nathan first tells a parable of a rich man who seizes the sole sheep of a poor man in order to feed a visitor. David burns with anger over this issue and then Nathan says, “You are this man.”
To his credit, David immediately recognises his sin and repents.
Application It is hard to be confronted about our specific sins. We like to talk about generalities rather than confronting particular actions, words or attitudes.
What is worse than this, though, is to fail to recognise when we displease the Lord and to continue to offend Him.
God promises forgiveness to those who turn from their sins. We need to recognise, admit and repent of all wrong-doing.
Prayer Lord you are gracious to forgive us. Please help me to recognise my sin and to confess it to you. Having done that, please give me the grace to turn away from my sin and in all my ways to please you. Amen.
I mentioned in a previous post that after writing my sermon for yesterday, the Lord told me He would give me 7 additional points on the subject of Risky Faith. (You can download the sermon here)
I was asked after the event what the seven points were. I couldn't remember all of them at the time, so I thought I should write them down.
The seven points are
1. Public miracles are rare. Much as we would like to think that public displays of God's power would convince people, this is generally not the case. If you read the whole of John 6 you will see this demonstrated.
2. The converse of this is true- most miracles are hidden. They take place in our private walk with God or in one-to-one ministry.
3. There is always a need for obedience. Faith is not faith until it is acted upon. We need to listen to the "still small voice" or deep conviction. This is the starting point for a miracle.
4. Faith is binary. It is either present or absent. This is what Jesus meant by describing it as like a mustard seed. There are no measurements for faith. The only test is do I trust God right now in this moment?
5. It's better to be the road-runner than the coyote. If you don't understand the reference look at the old Warner Brothers cartoons. The road-runner was focussed on just being itself, doing the thing it was created for. The coyote was obsessed with destroying the road-runner using its wile, cunning and strength. Of course the road-runner always triumphed and experienced many miracles! Trust God and run ahead in faith!
6. Better to have made a statement (or an action) of faith and failed than never to have tried at all. Don't be afraid of failing.
7. Start with baby steps. Take a risk in something small, but just do it. Get advice or support from more experienced people if necessary, but just start.
Today, I definitely did not feel like riding a bike so I went for a walk instead.
I mentioned yesterday that the pelicans are back on the lake. It's been a while since we've had pelicans in Narrabri. I think this is because there is so much water right across the continent at the moment, even in desert areas.
There are lots of other water birds around also.
I noticed some hawks soaring overhead. At one stage I saw three together which is unusual. I was only able to photograph two together.
In unrelated news, people are staring to get worried about magpies- spring is on its way!
We had an awesome time in church this morning. The presence of God was very strong.
We sang this song for the first time- it carries a special anointing.
Two of our people stood up and gave really good testimonies of how God has been active in their lives.
I preached on the role of Risky Faith in activating miracles in our lives, based on the feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1-21).
What was interesting is that after I prepred my sermon on Thursday, the Lord told me He would give me 7 short points to put at the end of it. These points came into my head at various times, until by the start of the sermon I had 4 of the 7 points.
So here is the test: I'm preaching on Risky Faith- can I believe God to do what He said and come through with all 7 points by the end of the sermon?
Why would God do things this way? Why not just inspire me at the time I was preparing the sermon? Conversely, why not just hit me with the sermon at the time it's needed (Sunday morning)?
The answer to this is that our lives in the Kingdom of God are to be seen as partnership- we work with God and He works through us and in us.
It's an exciting life style.
To listen to the testimonies and the sermon (and to find out if point 7 emerged) click here.
“…Did we become Christians then, my brothers, in order to avoid failure or to achieve success? Is that why we have enrolled with Christ, and presented our foreheads to receive this great sign? You are a Christian. You carry the cross of Christ on your forehead. This mark teaches you what it is that you confess. While he was hanging on the cross—the cross you carry on your forehead; it doesn’t inspire you as a symbol of the wood, but as a symbol of him hanging on it—to repeat, while he was hanging on the cross, he looked at the violent people around him, he put up with their insults, he prayed for his enemies. He was a doctor—even while he was being put to death, he was healing the sick with his own blood, by saying, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’ (Lk 23.34) . . . So learn from this sign, my brothers, learn from the mark that the Christian receives even when he becomes a catechumen—learn from this why we are Christians. It is not for the sake of temporary or short-lived things, whether good or bad. It is in order to avoid evils that will never pass away, and to acquire goods that will never come to an end…”
—Augustine, “Sermon 302: On the Feast of St. Lawrence”
Scripture Jesus, knowing that they intended to make him king by force, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
Observation Jesus crosses to the other side of the lake where a large crowd gathers. He asks Philip how they are going to feed so many people. Philip replies that it would take more than eight months wages.
Andrew brings along a boy with five small loaves and two fish. Jesus takes the bread, gives thanks and breaks the bread to distribute it and the fish. At the end, everyone is fed and twelve baskets are filled with leftovers.
The people want to make Jesus king by force but he goes away to the mountain to evade them.
Application God is a God of abundant provision. When we trust in Him we can see ou8r meagre possessions and our average talents multiplied in such a way that needs are met and there is more left over than we had to begin with.
It takes a risky kind of faith- the faith of a child who offers the little he has knowing that he is risking everything for the sake of God's kingdom.
This is not rash or impulsive behaviour. It is an entirely rational outworking of the knowledge of God's love.
Prayer Lord help me to give everything over to you, trusting you to multiply the little I have to meet the needs of the people around me. Amen.
The floods last year which ended the drought in the traditional way also blunted the climate alarmists' argument that drought was the new normal in southern Australia. The lack of "runaway warming" which they also predicted has also been a problem.
Never mind there is always "extreme weather events" which the Climate Commissioner was again trotting out this week.
Unfortunately for the alarmists, the facts contradict the models again.
Joanne Nova writes:
Get ready — for all the fears of extreme weather coming our way — studies of Queensland, Victoria, the whole of SE Australia, New Zealand, and Perth show that either nothing is changing (there have always been bad storms) or possibly, the weather is better now than it used to be. Where is the evidence to support the claims by alarmists that increasing CO2 will make “extreme weather” more common?
It’s less windy now across South East Australia than it was in the 1920′s. It’s less stormy on the southern coast of Victoria, and records that go back 7000 years in New Zealand and 5000 years in Queensland show repeated examples of monster storms that — should they hit today, would be described as being “likely” due to coal fired power stations and excessive use of SUV’s.
The Science and Public Policy Institute published Historical storm trends in Australia and New Zealand in June. This post builds on that publication.