Pastor's Blog

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Obedience-Based Decisions Versus Skill and Abilityitled

TGIF Today God Is First by Os Hillman
01-15-2015

As soon as you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, move out to battle. - 1 Chronicles 14:15a

The Philistines were attacking. David wanted to know how to respond. His first inquiry of God revealed that he was to attack the Philistines straightaway and God would give him victory. David followed God's instruction and gained victory. Shortly after, the Philistines mounted another attack. "So David inquired of God again, and God answered him, 'Do not go straight up, but circle around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees' " (1 Chron. 14:14)

David was a well-trained warrior, a strategist. Yet, we find that David's dependence on God to direct his efforts was very great. In fact, after he won the first battle, he went right back to inquire again. This is the most important lesson we can learn from this story. God told David to attack, but only after he heard the marching in the balsam trees.

How many times have you or I operated in the workplace based only on our skill and ability, without seeking to know the details of God's will in the matter? David could have simply assumed that since he had won the last battle, surely God would give him victory the same way. No. David had learned that communicating with the living God is the only sure way of victory. His skill was not enough. He had to have God's blessing.

How many times have we worked in our work life the same way each time only because it was the way we did it last time? What if God has a better way? What if God has a different plan than ours? "So David inquired of God..." These are the important words that we are to learn from. We must be in such relationship with God that we are constantly inquiring of His mind on every matter. When we do this, we can expect the same results that David achieved-success in our endeavor and recognition by God.

"So David's fame spread throughout every land, and the Lord made all the nations fear him" (1 Chron. 14:17). This is the reward of obedience to God. We don't have to build a name for ourselves. God will see to it that we are honored for our obedience. He wants to make known those servants who are willing to obey Him at all costs.

Strength in Numbers

As Pastors and leaders, when it comes to the number of people in our churches, we are not supposed to be motivated by numbers merely for the sake of numbers.  In Ecclesiastes 4:12; “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.  Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."  There is strength in numbers.

An increase in numbers can also represent increased strength in unity.  This united strength allows us to go out into our communities with the gospel, advancing the kingdom of God.  Let us continue to pray and expect the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to help us in His vineyard.

GRACE

I want to share with you what I read from Os Hillman on Grace.
Pastor Phil

Grace

August 27th, 2014 by Os Hillman
…”Peace be with you!” John 20:19

How would you respond to a group of fellow workers if you were their leader and you poured your life into them, teaching them all you know for three years, only to have them disband and go their own way when troubles came? What would you say to them after you were reunited for the first time? Perhaps you might scold them. Perhaps you might cite each one’s offense. At the least, you might shame them for their lack of faithfulness and courage.

After Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, He appeared to the disciples. His first words to them were, “Peace be with you!” The word grace means “unmerited favor.” When someone loves you unconditionally, without regard to your behavior in return, it becomes a powerful force in your life. Such was the case for the disciples when Jesus appeared to them. They could have expected reprimand. Instead, they received unconditional love and acceptance. He was overjoyed to see them. They were equally overjoyed to see Him.

Jesus understood that the disciples needed to fail Him as part of their training. It would be this failure that became their greatest motivation for service. Failure allowed them to experience incredible grace for the very first time. Grace would transform them as human beings.

Have you experienced this grace in your life? Have you extended grace to those who have hurt you? Can you let go of any wrongs that have come through friends or associates? The grace you extend may change their lives – and yours.