Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Mighty Men

1 Samuel 22:2 And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he (David) became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him. 

As Saul continued to reign it began to have adverse affects upon the people. Many were distressed over what they were watching take place. News was constantly circulating about a distressing spirit that came over Saul. Stories of spears being thrown were shared. The soldiers in Saul's army had no weapons to fight with.  Some of Saul's decisions may have affected the people's livelihood for many were in debt. Disillusion set in, leading to discontentment, and a departure. There were four hundred men that decided "enough was enough." They felt it was better to go down to a cave in Adullam with David, then to continue in the service of Saul.
There are times when the Lord will allow distressing circumstances to drive us to our greater than David, Jesus Christ. We come to the place where we realize this world has nothing for us. A life of sin is a life of discontentment and distress. Our sin incurs debts we are unable to pay. What are we to do? We run to Jesus. 
These men came to David with nothing to offer him but their lives. We come to Jesus in the same way. They were accepted by David and welcomed.  Jesus said, "whoever comes to me I will in no way cast out." They were also transformed by being with David. This same group of distressed and discontented men, became mighty men of valor. They carried out some of the same brave exploits as David did. By being with David, they became like David. I believe as we are with Jesus, we become more like Jesus. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sound Doctrine

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that the time would come when, "men would not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4

The word "sound" means opinions free from the mix of error. We are living in a day when many have turned away from "sound" doctrine to opinions that are mixed with error. When you turn away from the truth, and listen to opinions mixed with error you open yourself up to a lie. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. We need discernment from the Holy Spirit. Many are gravitating towards those who will say what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. Communicators who can scratch itching ears, instead of bring conviction to a wayward heart. Entertainers who dazzle an audience, instead of shepherds who feed the flock. Well crafted talks without the offense of the cross. A cross-less message is no gospel message. No bibles used, no sin mentioned, no blood of Christ, no power of the Holy Spirit...

What are we to do? We are to do exactly what Paul told Timothy to do.. PREACH THE WORD! 
Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2 

Convince: is also translated reprove. Which means, a rebuke that results in a persons confession of sin.  The truth is that the word "sin" is not being used very much today. Some feel it is to offensive. The message of the cross is offensive.  

Rebuke: it’s a little different then the previous definition. It means, a rebuke with the suggestion of impending penalty. Telling people the whole truth. Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth. 

Exhort: is begging and pleading with people. It is the added and much needed gentleness to reproof and rebuke. This is to be done with long-suffering and teaching.

Whether you are convincing, rebuking, or encouraging, all is to be carried out with long suffering. Always remember how patient the Lord has been with you when you present His truth. Always recall to mind how long suffering He has been. Let us never be ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto Salvation. PREACH THE WORD!