In our verses in 2 Samuel this week David had a grand scheme. He was going to build God a house. David had been successful in everything he had tried and now he had decided that he would give God something that only David had the power to give. Through this example of audacity and self-importance we learn that God is always in control of our lives. As we open our hearts and minds to His glory we learn to realize that God cannot be confined within our narrow perspectives or constructs. Instead, we learn that it is His plan we must learn to follow at all times and as we do we become more effective builders of His kingdom.
In Paulís letter to the Ephesians he points out that with Christ as the cornerstone, the household of God is united and brought together spiritually in order that we can grow and flourish as we all have gained access to His Spirit. With our focus on Christ, all barriers and walls of prejudice and self-righteousness are eliminated and we are united for the single purpose of building Godís kingdom here on earth.
In the promises to David in Psalm 89 we learn that God promises to faithfully be with us at all times. His hand, strong and gentle, is always there to guide, comfort, lead, support and strengthen us so that we can become the disciples He is calling us to be. This promise of faithfulness, the understanding that God is always with us, can help to carry us through those times in our lives when darkness and despair dominate our thoughts.
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus taught His disciples the importance of focusing on teamwork development and on the value of regularly stepping back from the pressures of daily life in order to stop, take a breath, worship the Lord, and rejuvenate ourselves for what lay ahead. This ebb and flow to ministry is a key element to insure our readiness and effectiveness in responding to Godís call and in the building of His kingdom.
points to Contemplate:
After studying this weekís verses were you able to find areas in your life where you had restricted Godís access? Did you find Him sitting in a box of well defined ideas and attitudes of your own creation? Had you limited Him or even shelved Him away from some parts of your life? Did you discover areas where your definition of God, your understanding of His capabilities, had limited His effectiveness in your life and in the lives around you? Did Davidís example alert you to any tendencies of self-righteousness you may have been developing?
Did you find any walls or barriers this week that you have actively been building that restrict others from gaining access to the kingdom of God? Have you come to realize how easily and quickly these barriers can be constructed? Do you recognize that every time you dismiss another personís opinion or judge another personís preferences that you are building a wall? What steps have you taken to insure that these walls come down? Does a constant focus on Christ and on the Cross help eliminate our tendencies at wall construction?
Have you found new examples of Godís loving hand actively involved in your life? Do you see that the more you seek Him the more you see evidence of His hand? Does the knowledge that God promises to be with you, residing in your heart and actively guiding you through your life, provide you with comfort and joy? Are you amazed by His faithfulness?
Are you ready for those people God is sending your way? Are you excited and invigorated for ministry? Have you taken time to celebrate and share Godís amazing presence in your life with your partners in ministry? Are you renewed by seeing how God is working in their lives? Have you found ways to regularly schedule relaxation into your life and have you come to understand the importance these retreats provide in your role in the building of Godís kingdom?
This week we are looking at issues surrounding the building Godís kingdom. Do you have preconceived ideas on how His kingdom would look? Have you established barriers in your life and faith community that keep His kingdom from growing? Whose agenda, yours or Godís, dominates your life and your schedule? Do you have a compassionate heart for people seeking spiritual dimensions to their lives, even if they are looking in the wrong places?
Prayer of the Week:
Faithful Lord. Bless us indeed so that the work we do in response to your call will be a blessing to the world around us. Expand our understanding of you and your will so that we are never limiting your ability to work through us and that we are constantly guarding against the building of barriers to your love. Help us to always feel your loving and guiding hand in our lives and to always be aware of your faithfulness. Lead us in ways that we are regularly renewed and invigorated so that we can be more effective disciples for you. Lord, ďmay your kingdom come, may your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Ē All this we pray as your fully devoted Disciples of Christ. Amen.