So stirred up by a recent discussion about preaching Christ I had to revisit David and Abigail to discover what are we really after when we look into this chapter and are we finding it?
Excel in Doing Good (1 Corinthians 14:1-19)
Like the Corinthians, we are prone to make one HUGE mistake when we contemplate what it means to be Spiritual – and that is we go inward. We look for sensation. Paul makes it very clear that the point of everything in public worship is NOT some experience in the Spirit, but is the building up of the people who are around me. – that is a fundamental element of what it means to come to WORSHIP. If we are growing in selflessness, we are preparing for heaven, but growing in selfishness is truly preparing for hell! Self is such a horrible prison. Only Christ releases us from that prison and that is why the greatest expression of Spirituality is Christlike service!
Vengeance is Mine (1 Samuel 25:1-44)
We sometimes see too late that vengeance really does belong to the LORD. David in the previous chapter was so good and ready to spare his enemy – but now David gets into a situation far less important or dramatic and he is ready to reverse course. Ready to take matters into his own hands and meet out his own vengeance. As we look at the narrative we see the glorious truth that, You can wait on the LORD because He is always with and for you!
Views of God (Luke 19:28-48)
The text before us is very provocative. The crowds are provoked. The Pharisees are provoked. and Jesus is provoked! The provoking of Jesus’ tears came from the willful ignorance of His own people, which renders Christ’s true triumph ‘An Unknown Triumph’. I wonder if you will be provoked? Provoked to love and clinging to Christ! Why? Because Christ, the compassionate king, has driven out sin by taking your curse!
Justification Song (Psalm 4:1-8)
In our flesh, we get caught seeking lies that will end only in the worst frustration, even if we abound in things there is no peace, but even the poorest of God’s little ones has true peace! Not as a platitude, not as a generality. NO, we have true peace because Christ gave himself for you personally! He was raised for your Justification personally! And He conquered the STING of YOUR death! So pray reflecting on His past relief for you by being your righteousness. Worship in the present with the sacrifice of praise for His Marvelous Distinction He made his ONE sacrifice for sin, and repose in confidence in your future state that Christ alone has made for you!
Now and Then (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
Last week we began exploring how Paul was fleshing out the all-surpassing love which he called the MOST EXCELLENT WAY. It was vital for Paul to spell this out for the Corinthians to rebuke their ambition for all the wrong things, last week we pointed out how much of those poetic lines in v.4-7 are REBUTTALS of the Corinthian PRIDE, However, the Corinthians had this prideful pursuit now doubt because of a faulty understanding of Perfection. We need to understand that Christian love is the core of Christianity and nothing else compares!
Wait on the LORD (1 Samuel 24:1-22)
If God’s ultimate purpose for his creation is the new heavens and the new earth where there will be no more tears, why is the journey to that kingdom so long and difficult? Why are there so many tears on the way?” Well, brothers and sisters, this is where the real issue of Christianity comes out. I have been reading Ryle and he helpfully has reminded me that, “No doubt Christ’s way to eternal life is a way of pleasantness. But it is folly to shut our eyes to the fact that His way is narrow, and the cross comes before the crown.” Of course, we saw this same conflict in many of the Saints of God throughout the ages, but none more so than in the life of our Saviour. And when Satan gave Him the opportunity to opt out of the pain Jesus rejected the temptation, and he set out on the long and difficult journey that would take him to Jerusalem and to the cross. Because when we wait on the LORD the day maybe long and hard, but the glory to God will be unmistakable!
Love is the Greatest (1 Corinthians 13:1-13)
Chapter 12 ends and chapter 14 begins as a way to punctuate how much more excellent LOVE is to even the MEGA Charismata. But such all surpassing love needs to be defined and fleshed out. It was vital for Paul to spell this out for the Corinthians to rebuke their ambition for all the wrong things, but we too need to listen to Paul’s great love chapter, not because of its poetic beauty – but because of our own tendency to seek external or secondary things. We need to understand that Christian love is the core of Christianity and nothing else compares!
True Love (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)
The tail end of chapter 12 provides a smooth transition into the glorious LOVE chapter next. And Paul lays the foundation down by arguing that what we ARE is more important than what we DO. And that the Charismata “grace gifts” only serve to aid the offices that Christ has set up in the church, which is His body. The variety of members serve different functions as do the offices, but all this variety is for service, really nurture. It is Christ’s TRUE Love to His bride. Don’t you see that God’s love for you is far more valuable than any gift!
Overcomers (1 Samuel 23:15-29)
We are blessed to come again to a study of David on the run from king Saul because our Christian life is a struggle of similar attacks. Our foes are monotonous in their relentlessness – and as we carry the treasure of the Word of God in our vessels of clay, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; …” You see, we have this great promise that Gods saints will overcome because they’re strengthened by God’s Word! – So do not lose heart!