Monday, July 14, 2014

July 15, 2014

As you know, Psalm 51 is one of the most honest, intense and heart-felt chapters any where in the Bible. It is also a text book example of how repentence should happen.


Meditating on this Scripture recently I wondered while I read and re-read his confession, "Why didn't he think about these things BEFORE he did the awful deeds? If he had bothered to think with his head instead of his lustful heart, this Psalm would have been unnecessary."


That is when I came up with the phrase "pre-pentance" - or confessing the moment the sinful thoughts took shape in his mind. Had he taken each of those THOUGHTS captive by confessing them to God it would have kept him from committing those sins that ruined his life and ended Uriah's.


You and I can certainly learn from David's failure and make a promise to God and ourselves that we will defend against destructive sin in our lives by learning "pre-pentance".


Here's what I mean:


The story begins in 2 Samuel 11:1-4

Let's break it down!

1"Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem."

MISTAKE #1 – Wrong Place!     

Go To Right  Place - "Pre-pentance would have sent David to war with his army.

2 "Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance."

MISTAKE #2 – Another Wrong Place!    

The Lustful Look and Thought - "Pre-pentance" would have had David look away after he first spied Bathsheba.

3 "So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”

MISTAKE #3 – First Look Was Free – Second One Was Costly

David Gave Into Lustful Thoughts And Acted Them Out - "Pre-pentance would have resisted the second look and come quickly off the roof.

4 "David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house."

MISTAKE #4 – Totally Out of Control Now – He Abused His Power To Use This Woman AND Betray Her Husband, Who Was One of  His Loyal Soldiers - Pre – Pentance – TOO LATE NOW!

Repentance is the only way to be freed from the guilt and bondage of your sin. True repentance to God allows Him to come in mercy and power to cleanse your sin and restore your spirit.

But you could render repentance a rarity in your life if you would train yourself to "pre-pent".

July 14, 2014

"Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." I Timothy 4:12

I was blessed by the teens this morning as they shared the joys of their camp experiences this past week. The friendships forged, the memories made and the spiritual decisions nailed down in the evening rallies.

As I listened to their enthusiasm over their recently strengthened faith, I prayed that they would follow through on the commitments made last week.

I wonder how many of the people in the congregation believe there will be long lasting results in the lives of these young people.

It certainly can happen!

It was fifty years ago that I went forward during a camp service and made a total surrender of my life to God and prayed for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Four years after that I went off to Indiana Wesleyan University to study for the ministry and four years beyond that I became the Pastor at Princeton Wesleyan Church in Princeton, Illinois. Two years after that, again at a camp service, I was ordained as an Elder in The Wesleyan Church of America,

So, fifty years ago at a camp service I made Jesus my Lord and forty years ago Elders of the Illinois District laid hands on me a prayed for me as I was ordained.

If it can happen for me it can happen for each of our teens! I pray it will! I pray that this fresh taste of God's goodness will inspire them to hunger for more of His presence in their lives.

One of the major factors that contributed to maintaining my spiritual commitments made at camp those Summers was a strong healthy local church where I was taught, loved, encouraged prayed for, prayed over and developed in my faith. I could not have become what I am today if it had not been for those faithful folks at Silver Lake Wesleyan Church in Silver Lake, Indiana.

I have a challenge for you. Will you be that sort of people for our teens?

Will you encourage them?

Will you believe in them?

Will you pray for them?

Will you set the example for them?

Will you work together with me continuing to build a strong church that e there for them as they grow and mature in their faith?