June 29, 2020

Ep.1132: How Should Christians Respond to Racism? (Part I)

Finding and adopting a godly approach to a destructive social issue

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Play Part II

CHAPTERS

[00:21:35]
How does ignorance shape our ideas about race?


[00:39:38]
How can we attack our own prejudices?


[00:55:40]
Bigotry is prejudice in action - are we ever bigoted?


[01:14:18]
Is there any hope to change racist tendencies?


Theme Scripture: James 2:8-9

George Floyd is dead. Needlessly. His life ended as a result of the uncalled-for brutality of a police officer. This killing has resonated throughout the United States, as well as the world. It has put some of society's hardest issues in front of our faces. Peaceful protests decrying racism and injustice have occurred all over the world. Angry riots, looting and yes, more killing has also erupted. The issues are ugly, serious and relevant.  What are we struggling with? Is it racism? Is it bigotry? Prejudice? Ignorance? As Christians, we need to be open and honest when it comes to truth. So, what is the truth about society's struggles? What is the truth we as Christians should be standing for?

Continue Reading

Words matter

To appropriately engage in a discussion about racism, we need to begin with simple truths. These begin with the simple thought that words matter.  Let’s look at the word “racist.”  Whether we just hear about racism, accuse someone of it or are being accused of it, we cannot help but react emotionally.  Racism at its core is the wholesale devaluing of an entire race of people. It is believing that they are - merely because of the color of their skin - inherently less valuable and less capable than others. This belief system is not just flawed at every level, it is morally repugnant as well. As Christians, we need to stand as far away from this malady as we possibly can.

Where does racism come from? How does one arrive at such a distorted viewpoint? Aside from racist tendencies being taught (which is a whole discussion in itself), racism has at its center the characteristic of ignorance. Ignorance in a broad sense is a universal human condition.  We ALL lack knowledge, education and awareness in many areas of life.  The bad news is we generally don’t know what we don’t know. This makes it easy to remain ignorant. Regarding matters such as racism, ignorance is the soil that fertilizes the prejudice and bigotry that grow it. Ignorance is one of those words that matter. Understanding it gives us the opportunity to be aware of power.  The good news is ignorance is a VERY treatable condition!

Ignorance - Prejudice - Bigotry - Racism

As pervasive as ignorance is, it only represents the tip of the racism iceberg.  Check out our June 29, 2020 podcast, “How Should Christians Deal with Racism? (Part 1)” for more. We begin by establishing a sound biblical perspective on racism and partiality. Advice in Proverbs points us to attaining knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  We follow the journey of Karetta and Tekiya, two Black American women who live with anxieties and fears that an average white individual may never think about.  We also seek comprehensive understanding of ignorance, prejudice, bigotry and racism. These are important words that matter.  They describe pieces of a broken heart condition that unjustly marginalizes others. Please join us for this two-part series. The path to conquering racism begins with understanding how it grows!

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Ep.1131: What Does it Mean to be a Warrior for Truth? David and Abigail – Warriors of God Series

The power of wisdom and tact when facing angry opposition

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:21:19]
Do we get angry when people don't react the way we think they should?


[00:41:04]
What did Abigail do to diffuse David's anger, saving her household from slaughter?


[00:56:30]
Who is YOUR Abigail?


Theme Scripture: Proverbs 25:11-12

The spectacular biblical account of David reveals him as a warrior for God, as he protected God’s principles and righteousness. See the first episode of this series for more. It also reveals David as a man of mighty faults. He committed many grievous errors with sad consequences. We explored one of these in our second episode of this series.  Most importantly, David was also a man who never stopped trying to do better and inspire the people he led. He truly was God’s warrior, a man after God’s own heart. Know this: true warriors for God never were and should never be limited to just men.

Continue Reading

Abigail's example

Abigail is one of the treasured women of the Bible who was also one of God’s warriors. When faced with potential slaughter, she calmly deescalated serious tensions, saving many lives. Her love for God was unmistakable. The example of Abigail's behavior under pressure commands attention and respect. This beautiful woman is an inspiring example.

Life is a series of experiences and choices. When a new event happens that is harsh and catches us off guard, we often simply react based on our surprise and emotion. This generally is not the best course of action, and we usually end up with a bigger issue as a result. David fell into this trap. He was taken advantage of and insulted. His reaction was fierce – rage-filled warrior fierce. He gave no thought to choosing a righteous and integrity-filled response in place of the rage. The stage was set for death and disaster until Abigail, a godly woman of Israel, stepped up. She stood in front of David’s speeding train of anger and caused it to screech to a halt.

Preparation from God

This sounds like the drama from an adventure story, but it's better because it’s true!  What we really want to know is what happened for Abigail to be able to avert disaster? Turns out there were many things in both David and Abigail’s lives that led them to this dramatic moment. For David, his pathway had already been filled with drama. Up to the point of his fateful meeting with Abigail, he had slain a giant and served King Saul as a mighty warrior. David had become fast friends with Jonathan, the son of the king. Saul then turned on David. He was now an exile in his own country, hiding in caves for his very life. All these experiences fed David all he needed to make right choices in tough times.

Check out our June 22, 2020 podcast, “What Does it Mean to be a Warrior for Truth?” for more. We put the pieces of David’s life in order leading up to what would be a destiny-defining moment. We observe Abigail’s being thrust into the role of not just peacemaker, but wise and godly counselor as well. Their story gives us a genuine grip on handling our own anger and rage. It helps us to see the value of those worthy of trust. It reminds us of the consequences of unbridled emotion.

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Ep.1130: How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David? Warriors of God Series

The process of godly works overcoming our sinful mistakes

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[00:13:38]
What steps can we take to avoid temptation?


[00:31:07]
How does David teach us to take care of holy things?


[00:45:12]
How can we prevent getting careless with what God considers holy?


[01:03:31]
How do we react when God doesn't let us do what we want?


Theme Scripture: 1 Chronicles 17:16

David was a hero and anointed to become the king of Israel.  Long before he assumed the throne, he defeated Goliath in battle, contributed to the sovereignty and protection of Israel and faithfully served under King Saul.  All this happened before he was 25 years old.  Though he became a fugitive when King Saul turned on him, he never betrayed the king or God.  Many years later when he finally became king, he was a mighty and God-focused leader.

Continue Reading

This almost sounds like a happily ever after story, but it is not.  David committed some horrible sins along the way that created havoc and cost lives.  His sins are some of the most well-known in all of Scripture!  With so many bad choices, how did David maintain a godly perspective?  How did he continually fight for God’s purposes?  What can we learn from the rollercoaster of David’s life to enhance our attempts to be warriors for God?

David’s faith, courage and fidelity to God had been seriously tested in the many years from the slaying of Goliath to his crowning as king.  The lessons he learned along the way were significant in number and scope.  Once David was king, he led and protected the people of Israel convincingly.  This shepherd/poet turned hero, turned warrior, turned exile, turned king showed his loyalty to God and love for the people at every step.  Things could not have seemed to be any better for Israel and especially for David himself.

Bathsheba

It was then that the subtle trap of power and complacency was sprung.  We all know of the story of David’s sins with Bathsheba.  It's common knowledge how David fell prey to his own desire.  That desire so hideously warped his conscience and loyalty to God.  His fall was epic, and his crawl back to God’s grace and favor was inspiring.

The Ark of the Covenant

We often lose sight of the many other experiences that David had as king.  This is unfortunate, as we can't define a man by a few short periods of his life or one landmark experience.  David’s legacy must include his incredible journey to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel.  The Ark represented the presence of God.  As such, needed to be properly restored to its sacred position. This account again reveals David’s profound love for God as well as the mistakes he made in showing that love.

David’s experiences overflow with life-changing lessons.  One of the most spectacular and yet unsung stories of his life was how he uniquely served God near its end. Check out our June 15, 2020 podcast, “How Can I Fight for God’s Purposes Like King David?” for more.  We uncover some amazing details of all these accounts and see their hidden lessons.  Putting this all together, especially with David’s godly end-of-life devotion, really shows us why he was called "a man after God’s own heart."  Listen in and get to know David like you never have before!

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Ep.1129: How Can I Be a Giant Slayer Like David? Warriors of God Series

The courage, faith and focus of David as a very young man

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View Series

CHAPTERS

[00:12:36]
When facing Goliaths in our lives, know the battle is the Lord's.


[00:33:19]
Choosing the right friends can save your life, in more than one way.


[00:46:21]
Godly friendship and loyalty appear in our most difficult moments.


[01:00:10]
With godly friends, you aren't in this alone!


Theme Scripture: 1 Chronicles 14:17

What do you envision when you think of a warrior? Someone engaged in conflict or struggle? A soldier, discipline, a fighter, training, bravery?  King David was one of history’s great warriors. He possessed all of those warrior attributes, and yet he was also a shepherd, poet, musician and songwriter. Tender-hearted and humble, he was faithful and loyal to God, yet guilty of serious breaches of the confidence God had placed in him.  He ascended up to the heights but also descended down to the depths.  He gained Divine approval in many things and also received severe Divine condemnation.  Though he was wholly devoted to God, he also indulged in the sins of the flesh. David’s story is the story of every man, illustrating what God can do with our weaknesses and failures.

Continue Reading

Shepherd - Poet - Warrior - King

The iconic account of David’s journey began when he was a teenager.  From the very first mention of him we see a young man of character.  This young man is chosen to replace the errant King Saul and become the second king of Israel.  You wonder what qualifications he had.  He was a shepherd-poet who had mastered the art of keeping predators away from his sheep with a slingshot.  Well, none of these things qualified him for kingship.  What did make him worthy was his potential.  His heart for God, his faith and his boundless devotion showed a character that could grow into such a massive responsibility.

The story of David growing into a kingly ruler has many chapters.  One of the earliest and most notable of these is the battle with and victory over the giant Goliath.  While we all know the basic story, we generally overlook the hidden truths of how this battle came to be and exactly how David won.  Once you understand the two warring nations and the roles of the main characters, David becomes a man of even greater courage and honor!

A covenant of friendship

Another part of this giant slayer's journey towards kingship had to do with a simple friendship.  David developed a powerful bond of brotherhood with Jonathan, the son of King Saul.  Sounds simple enough until we realize that Saul’s disobedience removed God’s favor from him.  He also knew that David was chosen to replace him.  Saul descended into madness and made David the target of his evil obsession.  How did David survive?  Jonathan’s friendship delivered him.  How did Jonathan remain loyal to his father and to David at the same time?  That is a worthy question!

Check out our June 08, 2020 podcast, “How Can I Be a Giant Slayer Like David?” for more.  We dig into the powerful and mostly unheralded character of Jonathan to find timeless principles of loyalty.  We examine the depths of David’s passion for God.  This passion would grow in him throughout his entire life and be expressed in a myriad of unlikely circumstances.  Grasping David’s unyielding heart for God shows us why he became king.  It also provides a basis for appreciating the hard knocks of kingship we will focus on in the next part of our Warrior Series!

 

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June 01, 2020

Ep.1128: Is Obedience More Important Than Sacrifice?

Learning why obedience and sacrifice are inseparable, and how they work

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CHAPTERS

[00:14:35]
How are we supposed to sacrifice after we have committed horrible sins?


[00:29:50]
How did obedience and sacrifice work with the Israelites?


[00:44:09]
What if we see ourselves as better than others?


[00:57:16]
How do we stand firmly for God in a world that is walking farther away from Him?


Theme Scripture: Proverbs 21:2-3

As Christians we are always reminded of the importance of sacrificing our own will to do the will of God.  Our faithfulness is a direct result of the effort we put into our sacrificial lives.  The Old Testament overflows with regulations and propriety regarding making sacrifices to God.  These include not only animals sacrifices but grain, oil and other things as well.  In short, sacrifice is an enormous part of the entire Bible.  Why?  Were sacrifices to be made to get God’s attention?  Is sacrifice in the Old or New Testament there to show God we are sorry for our sins?  What about the principle of obeying God’s will?  How does that fit in?  Can we obey without sacrificing and can we sacrifice without obeying?  If we were to put obedience on one side of a scale and sacrifice on the other side, which would carry more weight?

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Does this really have to be a big deal?  Can’t we just say “Look, God wants you to follow His directions and He wants you to give Him stuff to show you are paying attention!”  No!  Why not?  Because neither of those statements even remotely reflects the truth of the matter.  Let’s start with what obedience actually means.  The Old Testament word carries the sense of “hearing intelligently.”  This is important because it implies comprehensive understanding when we are given God’s instruction.

Clean your room!

When a child is told by their parent to clean their room, why would they comply even if they don’t want to?  Is it because they reason that a clean room reflects their respect for their family and themselves?  Do they think about how important it is to establish good habits and discipline when young?  Probably not!  Most likely they clean it because they don’t want to get in trouble.  They are obeying for the most basic reasons.  They follow through because they know it is ultimately the path of least resistance.

The broadest way to describe biblical sacrifice is the bringing of an offering, the bringing of something before God as a gift.  As Christian adults, we often look at our fulfillment of the “sacrifice” part of our lives as being fulfilled by things like going to church.  We figure that if we engage in praise, worship and learning on somewhat of a regular basis, we are covered.  What we are really doing is being like that child who knows cleaning their room is less trouble than not cleaning it.  We are finding an easy way to do what is required.  We are not listening intelligently.

Check out our June 1, 2020 podcast, “Is Obedience More Important than Sacrifice?” for more.  It turns out this whole obedience and sacrifice equation is taught throughout all of Scripture.  What’s more, it is applied in a variety of ways to a variety of people.  The end results are powerful lessons on how to actually please and honor God, not just on Sunday, but every day.  This is something we all should know more about!

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