Relentless Spiritual Warfare (3) I am tempted to believe that I am dependent on others for my relationship with Christ (2 Samuel 20 v11-13)

The commander in chief of David’s army, Amasa’s body lies in the road. Joab has assassinated him. One of Joab’s men then stands by the body and calls out:

“Whoever favours Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab.”[1]

Loyalty to David has now been explicitly linked to loyalty to Joab. The both are presented as going hand in hand, even though David had demoted Joab from commander in chief, even though he hadn’t even sent Joab out as the leader (when Amasa failed to return, David overlooked Joab in favour of Abishai).

This happens in the Christian life when: Continue reading

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Relentless Spiritual Warfare (2) I am tempted to believe that my agenda is what matters (2 Samuel 20 v4-10)

King David is under attack from Sheba, a worthless man. He has sent the new commander of the arm, Amasa to muster the soldiers of Judah but Amasa is delayed in returning. We are not sure why Amasa takes so long. It is possible that despite his loyalty and willingness, he isn’t an affective commander. It’s also possible that as a younger, inexperience leader he doesn’t carry the same clout as Joab and Abishai yet. Continue reading

Relentless Spiritual Warfare (1) I am tempted to believe that I have no share in the inheritance offered by Christ (2 Samuel 20 v 1-3)

In my sermon on Sunday I identified 4 types of temptation that we face. The context was that we were looking at 2 Samuel 20 and we saw that David faced relentless trouble and op position in the later years of his reign following his sin with Bathsheba. We live in a fallen world and this means that spiritual warfare is an ongoing, persistent and seemingly relentless aspect of the Christian life.  Continue reading

Troublemaker

Sarah and I went to see Avengers: Infinity War the other Saturday. You’ve really got to feel for those super heroes. The action is relentless. It’s a classic Marvel film with humour, running, shooting and fighting not to mention super powers and special affects galore.

But every time the heroes win through, every time they solve a problem, every time they win a skirmish and just when you think they deserve a reprieve, the enemy comes at them, bigger badder and stronger than before. Continue reading

Why did God test Adam with the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

“If God knew that Adam would fail the test and eat from the Tree, then wasn’t it unfair of him to set the test in the first place?”

This is one of the questions that was asked at Sunday Night Church this week. The simple and short answer is “ He didn’t set a test” at least not in the way that we have grown accustomed to thinking about tests, trials and tempting.

We are conditioned by living in a world blighted by sin and so we know that we get tempted and fail. If someone tells you not  to think about something, say something or do something then you can’t help yourself. So, we assume that in the garden, that there was this tree and every day, Adam saw it and the tree subliminally shouted out to him “come, take a closer look, eat from me” until eventually, Adam gave in. Continue reading

Sin Seeks out friends

As I said in the talk on Sunday, we are so good at finding people to support and confirm what we want to do.

I usually have a good feeling for the type of advice people will give me.  I know who will tell me just to get on with something and who will tell me to wait patiently. I know who will be over harsh and who will be maybe too gentle.  So the comments a wise friend once made resonate with me. Continue reading