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Posts tagged ‘Bathsheba’

Geoff Surratt: Why Pastors Crumble.


Geoff Surratt

Geoff Surratt (Facebook)

My heart broke last week as I watched pastor Ron Carpenter pour out his heart in his weekend message to his congregation. It was a gut-wrenching experience as he shared with his church the devastating pain his family has endured over the past 10 years and the incredibly difficult future they now face.

I have never met Ron, but my heart and prayers go out to him. I can’t imagine the anguish of sharing the most awful parts of your private life with hundreds of friends and thousands of strangers. This is a time when we put aside theological differences and preconceptions and pray for a man and a family wrecked by the effects of evil.

Seeing Ron expose his heart and soul to his congregation reminds me of several hard-earned lessons from a lifetime of ministry. These lessons are not about Ron Carpenter or Redemption World Outreach Center. I don’t know anything about Ron, his leadership or the structure of his church. Rather, these are the lessons learned from 31 years of vocational ministry, lessons learned growing up a third-generation pastor’s kid, watching 30 members of my extended family in active ministry, and interacting with hundreds of pastors and leaders across the country.

1. Integrity: Am I Real?

Integrity mean “being complete or undivided.”

While all pastors stress the importance of integrity, there is a temptation in ministry to create an onstage image different from who they really are. Very few set out to be two different people; it just happens. This is an incredibly dangerous road to go down.

I’ve seen a couple of iterations of this tendency to project an idealized leader for public consumption. In one version, the leader creates a more polished image of himself. He is incredibly happy, has a well-adjusted family and lives a super-desirable lifestyle. He faces challenges and temptations, but he always overcomes in the end. The implied message is that if his followers will emulate his faith, they too can live a charmed life. Social media has made this temptation into an art. The leader tweets about his “smokin’ hot wife,” his incredible kids and the constant spiritual breakthroughs he achieves. He creates a life everyone wishes they had. In reality, it’s a life he wishes he had as well.

In the second version, the leader creates a more raw version of himself. He talks about a crisis of faith he never really had. He embellishes college stories to better match those of his congregation. He exaggerates family challenges to sound more like the real-life stuff his followers deal with every day. This version of the leader requires that he hide a relatively innocent youth as well as the luxuries ministry success has afforded him. He must feign humility even when he doesn’t feel humble. The message to the church is “You can follow me because I’m just like you.”

Authentic ministry requires one version of you. You may be a little more refined in public—hopefully you don’t scratch and spit as much—but people who know you should be able to say you’re the same guy on stage as you are at the ballgame. The real you will eventually come out, so you might as well be you from the beginning.

2. Transparency: Am I Human?

Transparency means “able to be seen through.”

Integrity says “what you see is what you get” while transparency says “what you see is a normal human being.” Transparent, human leaders get tired, discouraged and frustrated. They’re not always sure where to go or what to do next. They don’t have fairy-tale marriages, and their kids sometimes (all the time) exasperate them. They worry about their finances and their health and how they’re going to care for their parents when the time comes. They have been called into a position of public ministry, but they’re just ordinary humans.

The image of a leader with the perfect hair, the perfect spouse and the perfect children isn’t realistic, sustainable or biblical. Elijah got tired. Peter got hungry. Paul got ticked off at his best friend. There isn’t a single example in the Bible of a leader who didn’t struggle with his humanity. Being transparent about our humanity means admitting we sometimes struggle in our marriage, feel clueless as parents and wrestle with balancing our faith with our doubt. Transparency says the human condition is universal; I’m no exception.

3. Vulnerability: Am I Broken?

Vulnerable means “capable of being wounded or hurt.”

We are creating a version of Christianity that says the true believer, if they follow the right plan or practice the right disciplines, will inch closer and closer to spiritual perfection. The goal is to be a mature believer who almost never sins, and if he does, it’s just with little things like forgetting to leave a tip or sighing out loud in line at Wal-Mart. Leading the parade is the pastor who proclaims he has overcome the sin he used to struggle with and is now nearing heavenly nirvana. He might have been saved by grace, but he has worked his way to true holiness. Won’t you follow in his footsteps?

This, in spite of all the biblical evidence to the contrary. David seduces Bathsheba and murders Uriah long after writing the 23rd Psalm. Peter succumbs to hypocrisy, refusing to eat with Gentiles years after leading Cornelius to faith. Paul, the greatest evangelist the world has seen, writes in Romans 7:

“I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.”

The healthy leader says with integrity that there is only one version of me, with transparency that I am only human, and with vulnerability that I have broken parts in my life. I am growing spiritually, but like you, I struggle with sin every day.

4. Accountability: Am I Under Authority?

Accountable means “responsible, answerable.”

I have not seen a leader fail or crumble who has a small circle of friends to whom he is accountable—friends who know his family, his background, his sins and his failures. Friends who call him out on his stuff and have permission to remove him from his position of leadership if necessary. This only works if the leader is honest with his circle. If he isn’t real, transparent and vulnerable with this group, they are of little value. If, however, this is a group of peers he trusts with his life, they will likely catch him before his world comes crashing down.

A danger here is the illusion of accountability. A pastor will point to a board of overseers, deacons or elders, or he might say denominational oversight provides this safeguard. Normally, however, the accountability at this level is surface. The pastor rarely shares his intimate challenges and sins with an appointed board. They have the power to discipline or remove, but they don’t live in the daily details. Board accountability is like floodgates on a dam; it is the last line of defense. True accountability happens in a smaller circle at a deeper level.

Living It Out

A final note on living out these four ideas: Everything is not appropriate to share at every level. It is as unhealthy to dump your garbage on your neighbor’s lawn as it is to hide it in your basement. While a healthy leader has integrity, transparency, vulnerability and accountability at every level, he also understands what should be revealed at every level of leadership.

The leader’s small circle of friends has open access to his life. Nothing is off limits. They also help him determine what is appropriate to share at the other levels. The overseers have access to the general outline, but not necessarily the details. The staff has a clear picture of the leader’s life without information that could hurt or embarrass others (i.e., the staff leadership team would know the pastor is struggling at home, but doesn’t need to know the specific challenge). The congregation knows enough to understand the overall picture of the pastor’s life. If a pastor has been real with the congregation and his son is arrested for drugs, the attenders won’t be shocked. They know the pastor has been struggling with a family issue; they just didn’t know which family member or the specific issue.

This post is not aimed at any pastor nor is it not a blueprint for growing a church. You might be able to lead a church by projecting an image that isn’t true of you or the life you live. You might convince people to follow an illusion. I’m sure there are successful (and unsuccessful) pastors who are able to make this work. But the illusion will crumble and the facade will fail and you will be left naked and ashamed.

This is a guide for healthy ministry that reminds people that your role, your only role, is to point followers to Jesus.

Written by Geoff Surratt

Geoff Surratt has served as the pastor of church planting at Saddleback Church and pastor of ministries at Seacoast Church. He is the co-author of The Multisite Church Revolution and The Multisite Church Roadtrip as well as the author of Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing. Geoff blogs here and Twitters here, but he juggles for no man.

For the original article, visit geoffsurratt.com.

 

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Why Jesus Is the Only Way to Salvation.


Eddie Snipes

In our post modern culture, the question frequently arises, “Why do you say Jesus is the only way?” or “Who are you to say Jesus is the only way?” We can expect the culture to ask questions like this, but in the last few years the Christian church itself has begun to ask these same questions. I watched an interview on MSNBC with a very prominent ex-politician who has always claimed to be a Christian. In an answer to a question he stated that all religions served the same God in different ways.

We have all heard similar statements — all roads lead to the same God and all religions worship the same God in different ways. One illustration was made popular a few years ago by a Buddhist parable. Men who were blind from birth were gathered together in a room with an elephant. Each man was led to a different part of the elephant — one felt the head, one the legs, tail, ears, and trunk. Afterward they were asked, “What is an elephant”? They began arguing when one claimed it was a plowshare, or a tree trunk, a brush, etc. The conclusion is that they all saw one part of the greater whole. In other words, we who argue about truth are arguing about the same god that has been revealed to us in different ways.

It is a very clever parable but holds one truth that I’m sure the author did not intend. Each one of these men was blind and each one was wrong. Until God reveals Himself to us, we all grope around in the darkness vainly searching for some semblance of truth. However, as long as we are blind, we remain in the darkness and what seems true is complete error. In Christianity, God reveals Himself to us and we receive His truth and experience a relationship with our Creator. In world religions, man seeks his own truth and creates his own god. He may call the thing he worships a god, but that does not make it God. As we will see shortly, the Bible gives concrete pointes of reference that place it squarely in contradiction with all world religions. Two contradicting points cannot be one in truth. Let’s take a moment to look at three points which show scripturally that Jesus Christ alone can offer salvation.

All sin is against God alone. There is not a religious leader on earth that can forgive sins. Only God can forgive because we only sin against Him. Look at Psalm 51:
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight — That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.

This is the prayer of King David who was mourning over his own sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed to cover his transgressions. God sent Nathan the prophet to confront David and he repented. Even though David committed the transgression against Uriah, the Bible makes it clear that the sin was against God a …

Dating for a Godly Man: 4 Keys to Success.


Man and woman
What are some of the more difficult aspects of dating for godly men? (Imagerymajestic/Free Digital Photos)

Dating is one of the most interesting social studies. Two people with different personalities begin arelationship. With past baggage, a variety of cultural expectations, socio-economic histories, family background, values, morals and faith, you might wonder if it’s possible that dating can actually lead tomarriage.

From the very opening line to the closing technique, finding dating truths for God’s men can be difficult because there’s not much “dating,” as we know it today, in the Bible.

For example:

Do you ever wonder what Adam’s approach to Eve was? Something like, “Hey, God made me. He made you. Let’s get it on.”

Or Ruth, who slept at Boaz’s feet, in nonverbal communication that says, “Take me. I am yours.”

Samson jumped the gun with Delilah, falling deep into a premarital relationship that probably involved sex and eventually short-circuited Samson’s ultimate potential.

David never bothered to date Bathsheba; instead, he just had her husband killed.

Then there’s that book in the Bible called Song of Solomon. This interesting book is located in the very middle, or “heart,” of the Bible. It’s a lovelorn exchange of adoration between two people obviously very smitten. Song of Solomon shows me that God is a big fan of dating. It also tells me dating must involve respect, patience, self-control and fearlessness.

Respect. Each player in this love story humbles themselves while showing ultimate respect for the other. I know men love to feel respected, but in Song of Solomon, the male writer also shows respect for his woman with compliments, protective language and encouraging words.

Patience. When two people are dating each other and cannot be together, there’s a test of patience. In Song of Solomon, I see that each player dealt with their longing desire by taking time to write down their thoughts. This is a sign of patience. If they did not write out these love notes, they could have become impatient and looked for another substitute.

Self-control. When reading this book, I wonder what self-control they actually had. For God’s man, dating must be an exercise in self-control. (I’ll explain in future articles the difference between “quick” and “quality” dating.) Ultimately, controlling your thoughts, words and behavior will show your potential mate you can be trusted. So, how do you show self-control? Trust God’s plan and obey His Word. She will totally dig this about you!

Fearlessness. Let’s face it: Dating is scary. There’s a lot on the line, including your heart. You have to take a step of faith and be fearless for God’s way. But if you have respect, patience and self-control operating in you, then there’s no need to fear. You can rest in the peace that God’s plan is good and you are following His path.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

KENNY LUCK/EVERY MAN MINISTRIES

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries and Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church, provides biblically-oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

How Are Men Doing in This Day and Age?.


Overwhelmed man
(© Creatista | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

Demographically, men are quite different. They are black, white, Hispanic, rich, poor, rural, suburban, urban, white collar, blue collar, conservative, liberal.

For every man who sits on a board, another lays on a jail bunk. Some like to ponder over chess; others prefer screaming at touchdowns.

Yet whether I am speaking with men from Alabama or Alaska, at the Pentagon or in prison, executives in New York City or Mennonite farmers in Pennsylvania, cowboys in Texas or Chinese businessmen in Malaysia, I have found that our similarities dwarf our differences.

You’ve heard the numbing statistics about men and the havoc they have created. Instead of recounting those stats, I want to give you a psychographic profile of how men are doing. How are men doing, really?

1. Tired. First, men are tired. If there is one thing you can know for sure about your men, it’s that they’re tired. You know the words that get tossed around: stressed, slammed, weary, in need of relief, wasted, fragile, short-fused. They are all synonyms that add up to “tired.”

The average Christian male is up to his gold cross in debts and duties. He has a picture in his mind of what it means to be a “good Christian.” He believes in this picture—it’s what he thinks he “needs” to do to be a “good boy”—to be happy:

  • “I need to spend quality time with my wife.”
  • “I need to be a super dad to my kids and attend (maybe coach) all their activities. My dad did (or didn’t) do this for me, and I’m going to be there for them.”
  • “I need to make lots of money so my family can live in a beautiful home in a better neighborhood, my kids can wear the right labels, there is less pressure on my wife to work, and I can become financially independent.”
  • “I need to join a men’s small group where I can grow with some brothers.”
  • “I need to attend a weekly home growth and fellowship group.”
  • “I need to have a daily quiet time for fellowship with God.”
  • “I need to keep the Sabbath and have my family in church to worship God.”
  • “I need to serve God through a personal ministry—probably through the church.”
  • “I need to be a good citizen and neighbor.”
  • “I need to be a star at work if all this is going to happen.”
  • “I need a successful and satisfying career.”
  • “I need some time for myself.”

No wonder men wince when you ask them to do something. No wonder men plop down in front of the television to vegetate instead of reading a book or conversing with their wives. We have created a culture that requires more energy than men have to give. Sometimes we call this the rat race.

2. A lingering feeling. Second, men often have a lingering feeling that something isn’t quite right about their lives. This is the inevitable result of running the rat race. A woman told me she was having difficulty figuring out how to offer support to her husband. He loves his work. Occasionally, for stretches of months at a time, he will work 12-hour days. Then suddenly his mood will swing, and he will mope around for months.

“What is it that you want?” she asks him. He cannot articulate an answer.

She said, “I can chart these cycles on paper. They’re completely predictable. I just don’t know what to do for him anymore. He is extremely successful. He has the job he always wanted. We have a beautiful home and two lovely children. What’s his problem?”

It does beg the question: How can a man get exactly what he wants and still not be happy?

3. Life is not turning out as planned. Third, men’s lives are not turning out like they planned. Each week, on average, four to eight new men visit the Man in the Mirror Bible study I teach in Orlando, Fla. Our average visitor is typically friendless, overextended in most areas, has at least seen his Bathsheba, is up to his eardrums in debt, lacks meaning and purpose, feels under a lot of pressure and is generally miserable.

All of this is carefully masked behind a game face because the man knows that if the sharks smell blood, it’s over.

Many of these men have made a profession of faith in Christ, but they have not been trained (discipled) to integrate their faith into their daily lives. As a result, they get caught up in the rat race—the conflict between who they are created to be and who they are tempted to be. When they lead unexamined lives, men tend to be Christian in spirit but secular in practice.

4. Unglued. Fourth, a lot of men feel like their lives are coming unglued. The problem is not that men are failing to meet their goals. In most cases they are meeting them. The problem, it turns out, is they’re the wrong goals. A man in his 30s said, “When I got out of school, I made out a list of everything I thought I would need to be happy. Fifteen years later, I have everything on my list. Now I realize … it’s the wrong list.” How does a man give his best years to a system that never had any possibility of satisfying the hunger of his soul?

5. Nobody cares. Fifth, most men feel like nobody, with the possible exception of family, really cares about them personally. A pastor invited one of his businessmen—a prominent one—to lunch one day. The man took the pastor to his private club. After 45 minutes of eating and exchanging social pleasantries, they finished their meal. The man set down his napkin and said, “So, tell me. What’s on your mind? What can I do for you today?”

The pastor said, “Nothing, really. I just wanted to spend some time with you and get to know you better as a person.”

“Well, there must be something I can do for you.”

“No, not really.”

“Are you sure? How are our finances?”

“No, really. I just wanted to get to know you better—man to man.”

Two or three more similar exchanges took place.

The man sat there incredulous. Belief slowly crept across his face, and tears welled up in his eyes. He struggled to maintain control of himself. A minute went by. The man regained his composure and said, “In my entire career, no one has ever asked me to lunch unless they wanted something from me.”

Conclusion

No man fails on purpose, but most men are under a lot of pressure. When a man fails, it sets powerful forces of bondage and brokenness in motion. It can take several generations to break the cycle.

As America staggers beneath the load of a hundred major problems like divorce, fatherlessness, poverty, pornography, adultery, abortion, disrespect for authority, ethical failures, and truancy—where have the men gone? What has happened to our men?

At the root of virtually every problem is the failure of a man, ironically a man who got up this morning wishing that his life would make a difference. He’s a man for whom Christ died.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.


Patrick Morley is founder and CEO of Man in the Mirror. After building one of Florida’s 100 largest privately held companies, in 1991 he founded Man in the Mirror, a nonprofit organization to help men find meaning and purpose in life. Dr. Morley is the best-selling author of The Man in the MirrorNo Man Left BehindDad in the Mirror, and A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines.

The preceding is an excerpt from Patrick Morley’s book, Pastoring Men.

Pursue His Presence.


woman looking up
(http://www.stockfreeimages.com)

One evening my husband, Gene, and I were at home alone. He was working a crossword puzzle, and I was reading a book. Neither one of us was saying a word. In fact, we had been silent for a long time, so engrossed were we in what we were doing.

Suddenly Gene said to me, “You know, it doesn’t get any better than this.” I had to agree with him. Intimacy doesn’t get any better than just being in the presence of the one you love.

Before we were married we probably would have defined intimacy as sexual passion and romance; however, we have learned in the 40 years of our marriage that intimacy is not defined by emotional highs but by the comfort of another’s presence. True intimacy is rooted in ongoing relationship that enables us to know one another so well that neither words nor feelings are needed to communicate. Presence is enough.

The biblical word for intimacy is “knowing.” “Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived” (Gen. 4:1, NKJV). But contrast Adam’s experience with David’s one-night stand. The Bible says that David “lay” with Bathsheba (see 2 Sam. 11:4).

David shared a moment of passion with Bathsheba, but he did not “know” her, for they had no ongoing relationship. They were not intimate in the biblical sense of the word.

God‘s desire for man from the very beginning has been for us to know Him and to walk in intimate fellowship with Him. He proved this by forming the body of the first man, Adam, with His own hands and breathing life into him face-to-face rather than simply speaking him into existence as He had all other created things (see Gen. 2:7). He did not distance Himself from Adam until Adam sinned. At that moment God set into motion His redemptive plan, designed to bring fallen man once again into the intimacy He had intended.

The apostle Paul understood God’s desire and considered everything in his life a loss other than the privilege of knowing Christ. He wrote: “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things…that I may know Him” (Phil. 3:7-10, emphasis added).

Clearly, Paul was seeking a level of relationship with God that cannot be attained through intellectual activity, religious works or temporary emotional experiences. He was seeking intimacy. He wanted to know the width, length, depth and height of God (see Eph. 3:18).

Such intimacy does not just happen. It is something we must pursue, both in our marriages and in our relationships with God. But how do we do this? Here are three simple guidelines:

1. Avoid substituting religious activity for relationship. This was the mistake the Israelites made. They came to believe that their religious works were the same as their relationships with God. Isaiah condemned them for practicing only outward religion with no corresponding relationship (see Is. 1).

Jesus preached repeatedly about this error. He warned against practicing hypocrisy as the Pharisees, the religious leaders of His day, did. They worshiped God with their mouths, but their hearts were far from Him (see Matt. 23). He also rebuked those who were prophesying, casting out devils and performing wonderful works in His name but who did not know Him (see Matt. 7:21-23).

I learned early in my marriage that service done for my husband, such as cooking his meals, washing his dirty laundry and so on, had nothing to do with intimacy. These acts of love, as wonderful as they were, did not lead to intimacy between us and could not be substituted for intimacy. In fact, sometimes I was so exhausted from serving him I had no energy to pursue intimacy!

We must beware of making this error with God. We should serve God, but service must be preceded by relationship.

Enoch is a good example of someone who lived by this principle. In fact, we don’t have a record of anything he actually did for God. Yet in the book of Hebrews, he is lauded as a man of great faith (see Heb. 11:5-6). Why? Because he walked with God (see Gen. 5:22,24). Enoch sought relationship with Him, and God was pleased with that.

God is more pleased to have us walk with Him in relationship than He is to have us serve Him. This is not to negate the importance of service. But we must be sure that our service is born out of relationship.

2. Seek the presence of God in His Word. Intimacy can never be established outside of presence. Unfortunately, as Christians we aren’t always sure how to enter into God’s presence.

Many times we seek experiences that move us emotionally and cause us to feel a sense of closeness with Him. But we can’t expect to have such experiences on a daily basis. So how can we enter His presence regularly in the midst of our busy lives?

One way is to learn to hear His voice through His Word. When God first created Adam and Eve, they were able to fellowship with Him directly. Genesis 3:8 tells us, “And they heard the voice of the Lord God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden” (KJV). God’s presence was His voice walking in the garden.

Today, God’s intimate presence with us is still His voice. We hear it in a variety of ways–through signs, gifts of the Spirit and other such experiences; and whenever God speaks directly to our hearts. But one aspect of His voice that is always available is His written Word, the Bible. Even when we don’t feel His presence, His voice is with us in His Word.

Jesus Himself pointed out the role of His Word in establishing relationship. “‘If you love Me, keep My commandments. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him'” (John 14:15, 21, NKJV).

The presence of God in His Word is the way He daily establishes intimacy with us. It is the way we come to know His innermost thoughts and ways.

As a wife, I listen for the voice of my husband and appreciate the words he speaks to me. It is a high priority for me to set aside time every day to be with him.

Can I do any less as a Christian and still have an intimate relationship with God? We must take time very day to fellowship with God as He speaks to us intimately and personally through His Word.

3. Commit yourself to God. We can never achieve intimacy through a casual encounter or an on-again, off-again relationship. The Bible teaches us that sexual experience without commitment is fornication. Let us beware lest we become fornicators in our relationship with God, seeking only pleasure and experience without commitment.

The Israelites fell short on commitment, and they never entered into fullness of relationship with God (see 1 Cor. 10:5-11). Intimacy with God cannot be realized by attending church for a few hours on Sunday morning or going to conferences and seminars once in a while. We can know God only to the extent that we commit to Him.

In the final analysis, faith is not concerned with what we believe. The essence of our faith is whom we believe. The what of faith can be known by study and even experienced by emotions. The whom of faith, on the other hand, must be encountered through intimate relationship.

Let us pursue intimacy with God. Let us serve Him because we know Him. Let us determine that we will seek relationship, not experiences. Let us know that all we really need is the ever-present voice of God in His Word.

I have been a Christian for 45 years and Spirit-filled for 30 of those years. Take it from me: It really doesn’t get any better than this.

JULIE EVANS


June Evans travels throughout the nation and overseas teaching in conferences and churches. She serves on the board of directors for Women of the Word conferences and as Minister of Education at Believers Church in Douglasville, Georgia, where her husband, Gene, is pastor.

Lessons From ‘The Bible’: When Leaders Fail, Grace Must Abound.


David and Bathsheeba
David and Bathsheeba with Solomon (History Channel)

Along with millions of Americans, I have watched The Bible miniseries on the History Channel. As much as I’m enjoying the TV series, the book is way better.

Highlights from Part 2 included: the crumbling walls of Jericho, Samson doing major damage with a jawbone, Saul and David’s dysfunctional relationship, and Nathan calling out David.

I can’t stop thinking about the sad story of David, Bathsheba, Uriah and Nathan, especially that last scene when Nathan confronts David. Because of a faithful and fearless friend like Nathan, and a forgiving and gracious God, David repented and ended strong.

It is always tragic when leaders fail. Here are some of my thoughts as I ponder Episode 2 of The Bibleabout Samson, Saul and David—three leaders who failed.

Irresponsible Delegation. It was the season when all good kings go off to war, but David got lazy, delegated his duty to General Joab and took the month off (see 2 Sam. 11:1) While hanging out on his roof deck, David spotted Bathsheba taking a bath and acted on his lustful impulse. We all know the rest of the story.

David got in trouble because he was not where a leader should have been during that season of life. When leaders stop doing what they are called to do, they invite trouble. There are certain things that can’t be delegated—certain battles that we must personally fight. If we refuse to lead and fight, we will make a mess of our lives and the lives of those around us.

The Faithful and Fearless Friend. One of the most powerful scenes in The Bible miniseries was Nathan confronting King David. Every leader needs a friend like Nathan who will speak uncomfortable truth. The higher one climbs on the leadership ladder, the less people are willing to speak truth. That’s why so many fall from great heights. God, give us modern Nathans who will tell the truth!

Forgiveness and the Consequences of Sin. To his credit, David confessed and repented as soon as Nathan rebuked him. Nathan’s reply to David’s repentance is both comforting and terrifying: “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die” (2 Sam. 12:13, NIV).

I am sure David was comforted knowing that God was not going to kill him. However, while forgiven, David’s sin was not quite forgotten. Nathan spells out the consequences of David’s sin: that Bathsheba’s child will die and that innocent family members will suffer horribly (see verses 11,14).

Sin is quickly forgiven, but the sowing and reaping process is rarely suspended. Lest we reason that because God is forgiving, we can sin and repent at will, we better remember that sin hurts—and sometimes destroys—innocent bystanders.

Steve’s blogs can be found at stevemurrell.com.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

STEVE MURRELL

Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a “one month” summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is cofounder and president of Every Nation Churches & Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

When Leaders Fail, Grace Must Abound.


 

The-Bible-Jesus-Mary-Mary-Magdalene-Disciples-History-ChannelJesus (Diogo Morgado), Mother Mary (Roma Downey), Mary Magdalene (Amber Rose Revah) and the Disciples (The History Channel/Joe Alblas)

Along with millions of Americans, I have watched The Bibleminiseries on the History Channel. As much as I’m enjoying the TV series, the book is way better.

 

Highlights from Part 2 included: the crumbling walls of Jericho, Samson doing major damage with a jawbone, Saul and David’s dysfunctional relationship, and Nathan calling out David.

I can’t stop thinking about the sad story of David, Bathsheba, Uriah and Nathan, especially that last scene when Nathan confronts David. Because of a faithful and fearless friend like Nathan, and a forgiving and gracious God, David repented and ended strong.

It is always tragic when leaders fail. Here are some of my thoughts as I ponder Episode 2 of The Bible about Samson, Saul and David—three leaders who failed.

Irresponsible Delegation. It was the season when all good kings go off to war, but David got lazy, delegated his duty to General Joab and took the month off. (see 2 Sam. 11:1) While hanging out on his roof deck, David spotted Bathsheba taking a bath and acted on his lustful impulse. We all know the rest of the story.

David got in trouble because he was not where a leader should have been during that season of life. When leaders stop doing what they are called to do, they invite trouble. There are certain things that can’t be delegated—certain battles that we must personally fight. If we refuse to lead and fight, we will make a mess of our lives and the lives of those around us.

The Faithful and Fearless Friend. One of the most powerful scenes in The Bible miniseries was Nathan confronting King David. Every leader needs a friend like Nathan who will speak uncomfortable truth. The higher one climbs on the leadership ladder, the less people are willing to speak truth. That’s why so many fall from great heights. God, give us modern Nathans who will tell the truth!

Forgiveness and the Consequences of Sin. To his credit, David confessed and repented as soon as Nathan rebuked him. Nathan’s reply to David’s repentance is both comforting and terrifying: “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die” (2 Sam. 12:13, NIV).

I am sure David was comforted knowing that God was not going to kill him. However, while forgiven, David’s sin was not quite forgotten. Nathan spells out the consequences of David’s sin: that Bathsheba’s child will die and that innocent family members will suffer horribly (see verses 11,14).

Sin is quickly forgiven, but the sowing and reaping process is rarely suspended. Lest we reason that because God is forgiving, we can sin and repent at will, we better remember that sin hurts—and sometimes destroys—innocent bystanders.

Written by Steve Murrell

Steve’s blogs can be found at stevemurrell.com.

Steve and Deborah Murrell went to the Philippines in 1984 for a “one month” summer mission trip that never ended. They are the founding pastors of Victory Manila, one church that meets in 14 locations in Metro Manila and has planted churches in 60 Philippine cities and 20 nations. Currently, Victory has more than 6,000 discipleship groups that meet in coffee shops, offices, dormitories and homes in Metro Manila. Steve is cofounder and president of Every Nation Churches & Ministries, a family of churches focused on church planting, campus ministry and world missions.

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