Pastor Josiah thanked LaMar and Yvette Key for stepping up during our last year to lead worship in the morning services, sing at funerals and on some Sunday nights. He also thanked Josh Munoz for his leadership of the young adults. What blessings these servants were and are. Pastor additionally announced a young couple who will be leading the young adults-Tim and Maria Maxwell. Both Josh and the Maxwells will be leading small groups for the young adults. We are so grateful that the LORD continues to prepare FC as new people join our fellowship.
One day Ashley Elias saw a loose thread on Pastor Josiah’s shirt, and she pulled and pulled it until the shirt unraveled. That is the picture of King Saul as his mental stability unraveled a bit at a time in contrast to David who lived knowing that he was beloved of the LORD. Pastor Josiah is approaching the Beloved Identity topic from various angles so that what begins as head knowledge transforms to heart knowledge and actions.
After David had killed Goliath, the victorious Israelite army returned home. In 1 Samuel 18:7, women from all over Israel sang,“ Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Saul responded in anger, and verse nine described Saul as keeping “a jealous eye on David.” Saul grew competitive and envious though David did nothing wrong. David understood his Beloved Identity, stood up for the LORD, Saul, and Israel in the fight against Goliath. However, Saul carried something wrong in him. “We are often suspicious of what we do not understand.”
We need to study Jesus daily to find out who He is, how He lived, and why He came to Earth. What does the LORD say about Himself? We need the mind and heart of Christ to understand. For example, building a boat in the desert; sending a stutterer as a spokesman for the Israelites; or having the Savior and His twelve common men change the direction of the world do not make sense, but they occurred. That is the point. Pay attention to the Spirit. We need to hear not with our ears but with our spirits to the Master of the Universe. Some believers tiptoe around this conviction of Spirit to spirit. Let’s be a church that is open to the Spirit. It may be uncomfortable at times because the world functions differently. But as Christ followers, we are “not of the world, even as I am not of it,” said Jesus in John 17:16 (NIV)
“The very next day a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave in his house like a mad man.” 1 Samuel 18:10 Here we see more of Saul’s unraveling. David played the harp to soothe Saul’s tormented soul, but Saul would not be assuaged. He became so agitated that he hurled a spear at David. “Without Beloved Identity, we’re susceptible to suspicion which breeds wickedness.”
The plot thickened as Saul grew fearful of David as explained in 1 Samuel 18:12 , “for the LORD was with David and had turned away from Saul.” In his heart David knew the truth of Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand.” (NIV)
“What you are not afraid of is afraid of you!” Saul embodied fear. What a horrible way to live-anxious, fearful, and ultra suspicious. Have you ever been fearful, sleepless, anxiety ridden? It is torturous and paralyzing. The antidote to paralyzing fear is to cling to the Gospel, the Good News, and to know that you are His Beloved. The Beloved Identity can set you free. You can call out to Him and recognize that you are in the loving arms of the Creator of the Universe.
By the way, the enemy is not afraid of you being in church. He is not afraid of you singing a few worship songs; he is not afraid of you opening the Bible once in a while. He cowers in fear when you let Jesus infiltrate your hearts, souls, minds, and spirits. “When you focus on Him, you do not need to be afraid.”
David served Saul faithfully, but jealousy and pride consumed Saul until he was blind to the real David. So Saul connived to have the Philistines kill David as Saul required David to bring one hundred Philistines’ foreskins in order to marry his daughters-first Merab and then Michal. “‘Here’s another chance to see him killed by the Philistines!’ Saul said to himself.”
1 Samuel 18:21(NLT) David went way above the required one hundred foreskins and successfully gave 200 of the Philistines’ foreskins for Michal. David was a man of integrity contrasting to Saul who was not. Saul was royalty but did not live like a true royal. “Hypocrites look the part without the heart.”
Just as Saul rejected David, the Pharisees rejected Jesus. In Matthew 23:27-28 the LORD reprimanded the hypocritical Pharisees.
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you
Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like white washed tombs-
beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead
people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.
Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your
hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (NLT)
The Pharisees were properly dressed and had proper actions. What a contrast from their hearts and their motives.
The Paramount Point is “When you know who you are…what happens inwardly is reflected outwardly.” What Pastor is saying is that we need to be genuine inside and out. Will the Sunday-going-to-church person be the same one at school or on the job Monday through Friday? Will the Sunday school attendee apply the LORD’s words at home and on the soccer field? Is there a true connection with your head, heart, words and actions?
The psalmist David expressed our need so well.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
From his words please help us to be salt and light in this troubled world.
9/22/23-This Friday we have the Legacy Builders potluck, worship and Meet to Swap at 6:00pm in the Activity Center.
**Also can you LBs bring beanies and gloves as the weather turns colder for the homeless?
9/29/23-Men’s CORE meeting-Be prepared for bacon!
Larry and Annette Linthicum