PART 35 – THE THREE (18/2/20)
‘These are the names of David’s mighty warriors: Josheb-Basshebeth … was chief of the Three; he raised his spear against eight hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter…Next to him was Eleazar…Eleazar stood his ground and struck down the Philistines till his hand grew tired and froze to the sword. The Lord brought about a great victory that day…Next to him was Shammah …Shammah took his stand in the middle of the field. He defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory. (2 Samuel 23:8-12)
David had his three warrior leaders. The question is, why does God record this in His word for us? What is He trying to teach us?
Firstly, it’s recorded because its history - these men existed and did these things. They did hard things for David, for the people, and, ultimately, in service to God.
Secondly, it’s recorded because God wants us to know that our names and our exploits are recorded by Him. Nothing done by faith is waisted.
Thirdly, accounts like this teach us that serving God and winning victories for Him are not easy. Spiritually we have to ‘raise a spear’ of persistent prayer; stand our ground ‘with the belt of truth buckled round our waist’; fight with the sword ‘of the Spirit which is the word of God’ until we ‘grow tired and our hand freezes to the sword’; and keep standing until ‘the Lord brings about a great victory’.
You may not be one of the ‘three’ - one of the famous ones - a Billy Graham, a Gladys Aylward, a George Whitefield… But you have been appointed for this moment in history. God has given you opportunities that He expects you to take! It will not be easy, but there is great reward for those who will go and ‘stand in the middle of the field’ that God has given them.
During this week's devotionals, we are being encouraged to be 'mighty warriors' for Jesus. However, it's important that we understand that doing great things for God is to simply - do all we can, with all we have, where we are, by God's grace. To this end let's meditate on and memorise Philippians 4:13.
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 – DAVID'S MIGHTY WARRIORS (FOR THE WEEK OF 17/2/20)
What is the scariest thing you've ever done and why did you do it?
Introduction (Please read this intro to the group)
This week we are finishing our series in the life and times of King David. We finish by looking at his 'mighty warriors'. David was a great man of God, however, he depended on the support of many people. Behind the scenes of any success, there are usually numbers of faithful friends, colleges and family. In the words of the Beatles, we truly do 'get by with a little help from my friends'.
I want to thank every one of you for your love, prayers and sacrificial service that make Community Church what it is and will become.
Please read and discuss 1 Chronicles 11:10
In what ways do you, or could on, seek to give 'strong support' in church, in the home, at work?
How could you, as a group, support one another more effectively?
How do you need support in your life at the moment? Who could you approach about this?
Please read and discuss 2 Samuel 23:20-23
What are the kinds of 'lions, pits and snowy days' that we encounter?
Do you have any past or present examples of taking faith 'jumps' for God?
This story could easily become a 'self-help' message - "face your fears and have a can-do attitude". To keep us from this danger, we want to be 'gospel-centred' - appreciate what Jesus has done for us, how this changes us, before we talk about what we do for Him - He's the hero! How is Benaiah's act (with the lion) a picture what Jesus has done for us? How does knowing Jesus enable us to become more like Benaiah?
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 students' mission week (see this week's church news for prayer points)
Pray for provision in the church, specifically for our upcoming gift days on 22, 29th March.
Please look at the church news together.