I visited our Fellowship church in Chatham, ON the Sunday after Easter. The pastor announced that eight people had made a profession of faith during the Easter weekend. That was awesome news. What also encouraged me was the spontaneous eruption of applause and cheering from the Emmanuel church family! It mirrored the rejoicing that must have been going on in heaven as tens of thousands surrendered their lives to Christ this past Easter weekend worldwide. God is so good!
I enjoyed our FEB Central Regional Conference (April 10-11) and I’m looking forward to visiting many of you at our other five Regional Conferences over the next eight weeks. I hope to connect with many of you.
The guest speaker at the FEB Central Conference was Dr. Charles Price, pastor of Peoples Church (3,500 people) in Toronto. In one message he asked us if we were Saul or David. The message was a home-run, hitting the heart. I thought I’d share a thought from the message.
Charles took us through several passages in 1 Samuel relating how much of Saul’s motivation for action or inaction was based on”fear”, rather than faith. He constantly took short cuts in his private life and it took its toll on his public life. Upon his death on the battle field, he asks a soldier to finish him off. Interestingly, Saul asks the soldier who he was. The soldier tells him he is an Amalekite. He obeys the King, gives the mortal blow and retells the story to David (II Samuel 1:1-16).
There is an irony in all of this. God had sanctioned Saul to destroy the Amalekites. But, Saul’s enlightened sensibilities did not allow him to fully follow through on God’s will. Eventually the people whom he was to destroy, killed him.
The point: If we don’t take care of our private life, it can destroy us. Hidden sin has a horrible way of finding us out.
Five centuries later…Haman, the Hitler of the Persian Empire, sought to wipe out the Jewish race. Haman was a descendant of Agag (Esther 3:1) the king of the Amalekites. Saul’s forbearance would later come to haunt his people years later. Five centuries further, we discover King Herod trying to commit genocide among young Jewish boys by ordering the slaughter of boys less than two years old in an attempt to murder God’s anointed. King Herod was a Edomite and the Edomites were related to the Amalekites. Amalek was the son of Esau’s (Edomites) first-born son, Eliphaz.
Charles Price pointed out the irony. King Saul’s “enlightened” approach to following God’s will would not only destroy his own life, it would also bring untold grief to his people for generations to come.
When we choose to “fudge” on doing what we know to be true because of expediency or convenience or enlightened “common sense”, we run the risk of not only harming our own life, but the lives of our family, our church, the Christian community and even our grandchildren’s grandkids. A sobering thought.
Lets all take care of our inner/private life for the sake of Jesus’ reputation today and for generations to come.
Have a blessed week,
Our Fellowship Theme Verse for 2012:
“So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him.
May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 (NLT)