PART 30 – GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE CAPITAL (11/2/20)
After David had become King, one of the first things that he wanted to do was to bring the ark into Jerusalem. We read of these events in 2 Samuel 6-7 which we will be looking at in today and tomorrow’s devotions. It begins with David bringing the ark to Jerusalem, we read,
‘He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.’ (2 Samuel 6:1-5)
David prized God's presence. He wanted God’s presence (God’s presence accompanied the ark in a special way as our text teaches) in his capital city.
David knew that he was king only because God had chosen him and had made it happen; and now, he wants the true king - ‘The Lord Almighty’ - to rule over his kingdom. In effect, David is saying, “I want God at the centre of this nation and at the centre of my reign.”
Lord reign in me
David’s attitude and actions challenge us all. Have you become a Christian? Having become Christians, do we really want God to rule in us? Are we fully available and open to His rule over all of our relationships, wealth, church involvement, entertainment...
Lord reign in the city
David was submitted to the Lord, but he also wanted His presence in the city. Do we pray and do all that we can to glorify God and extend His Kingdom? We are taught to pray, ‘Your kingdom come’; this means praying and living so that more and more people would see the difference He has made in us and would call Jesus their Lord.
We don’t have an ark to take to work, but, through Jesus, we can take God’s presence with us as we ask for Him to fill us each day.
David had a ‘seek first’ approach to life. This week, in our response each day, let’s endeavour to meditate on and memorise Matthew 6:33 (see notes below).
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use - a note on your phone, a post-it on the fridge...
Include the reference (book/chapter/verse) throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day - a habit is best formed by doing this at the same times, and places each day.
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION - THE 'COME TO JESUS DAILY METHOD'.
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions, what I call the 'come to Jesus daily method', to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... to stop you from writing - it's between you and God. In meditation, I encourage you to write in the first-person, speaking to God - "I see that you are...I sense you speaking to me about...I pray for...."
GOSPEL- What does God, through this text, say to you about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does God, through this text, say you about Himself – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does God, through this text, say about you, His church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does God, through this text, say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything else that you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – PRIZING GOD'S PRESENCE
(FOR THE WEEK OF 10/2/20)
When in your life have you felt the most loved or treasured and why?
Introduction (Please read this intro to the group)
This week we are looking at 'prizing God's presence' from the account of David bringing the ark into Jerusalem the capital city. Maybe you've had a surprise party or have been involved in one; as one is waiting for the person to arrive, no one would forget to celebrate their entry distracted by the food, their phones, interesting conversation... no! We prize their presence -that's why we're here! How much more should we be mindful of and value God's presence when we meet together.
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 6:1-5
Why was David and the people so excited about bringing the ark into Jerusalem?
Please read Matthew 18:20 - How aware are you of God's presence in our corporate worship, and how should such truth affect our attitude and approach to coming together?
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 6:6-11
What does God's judgement in this event say about God?
If we are to escape judgement, what can we do? (See Romans 5:18-19)
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 6:12-15
Through Jesus, God's presence is freely available to us. The Holy Spirit can fill us and our churches. In verse 13, we read of David's sacrifices; Jesus is our sacrifice - What does this say about how the gospel (Jesus' death for sin) is to feature in our public and private worship?
What expressions of worship are in this text, and how should this influence our expressions of worship? What holds you back from freedom of expression?
Note- Please ensure that everyone knows where to find the devotionals (our blog). Encourage the members of your group to use it, and to memorise Matthew 6:33 this week.
PRAY - IN GROUPS OF 3-4
Note - At the moment, please get into smaller groups every week when you meet, and, preferably, in the same groups each week.
Share anything from your life or the bible study that you'd like prayer for.
Share any encouraging things that God has done in your life recently.
Pray for Serendipity Cafe (See church news for prayer points)
Please continue to pray for our Community Group ministry. We need to multiply groups and, therefore, need loads more leaders.
Please look at the church news together.