Pastor Josiah called up Turtle because the Holy Spirit nudged Pastor to ask Turtle to
spontaneously share his coming to Jesus. Turtle said that there was a B.C. and A.D., Before
Christ and After Death. He accepted Christ earlier this year after a life of drugs and other poor decisions. “The LORD showed mercy on me,” stated Turtle. And now he wants to be a mirror reflecting the LORD. “No one is too far gone,” reminded Pastor Josiah. A decision to be a Christ follower “sets your life on a new trajectory.” Amen and amen!
For the new year we will begin Wednesday night services. Just Sunday morning services are
not enough to help us walk the path the LORD has for each of us. Beginning January 3, 2024,
we will have meetings for all ages and a Mid-week Encounter in the sanctuary.
The sermon is entitled “Victory for All.” Beloved is who you are, and when you understand what that means, you can function in the fullness of His blessings. David’s life showcases Beloved Identity. As a review, jealous Saul hunted David in spite of the fact that David could have assassinated Saul more than once. Proof was when David and his raucous men were deep in a cave in which Saul decided to relieve himself. David’s rebels encouraged David to kill Saul, but instead David cut a corner of Saul’s royal robe. After Saul had left the cave, David yelled to Saul and showed him his robe’s remnant. Saul confessed that David was a better man than he and decided to stop chasing David for a while. Another time David snuck right in the middle of sleeping Saul and his guards. Though surrounded by Saul’s guards, David took Saul’s water jug and spear. Later David showed how he did not take advantage of killing Saul. Again David displayed mercy towards his tormentor, Saul. David lived what Hosea 6:6 stated
“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me more than burnt
This same idea is repeated in Matthew 9:13. “I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.”
(NLT) “The kingdom of God is marked with mercy.” If we obey the LORD’s two greatest
commandments “To love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your
mind, and all your strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Mark 12:30-31 (NLT)
“we will show mercy but not at the expense of obedience.” Jesus modeled for us how to act
with mercy, for “mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Previously the prophet Samuel in 1 Samuel 15 instructed Saul to destroy the Amalekites, for
they had waylaid the Israelites as they fled from Egypt. However, Saul disobeyed the LORD’s
directions and killed most of the Amalekites but saved the king and some treasures. With
Samuel by his side, Saul wanted to look right before people, but he was not right before God, or he would have obeyed the LORD’s instructions. Saul’s compromise had consequences that affected David and his men.
David even sought the Philistines’ protection in order to discourage Saul from hunting David.
Saul’s envy needed to be stilled. His obsession with murdering David was self and kingdom
destructive. “Some things don’t need to be hushed or quieted. They need to be killed.”
What needs to be killed? The anti-Christ spirit, the sin, and the rebellion against the LORD need to be destroyed in us, cleansed from our lives.
“Never tolerate what God has called you to kill.” In Matthew 18:8 it states
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you.
It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having
two hands or feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.”
In other words, “don’t defend the dancing in the devil’s doorway.” Pastor Josiah shared his
story of being eighteen and experimenting with gambling, going to Barona, playing poker
tournaments at friends’ homes, and lying to his tio about his choices. However, he learned that he did not want to live a life style of compromise, for he was entertaining a spirit of compromise even though he was gambling at a different dosage. He encountered the LORD and saw how he was living the double-minded life. There were no more excuses. What ever he gave up, the LORD supplied beyond what Pastor expected.
For the Israelites, they left Egypt, but wandering around in the desert was not the life in the
Promised Land. They needed to arrive in the Promised Land and take the territories the LORD had given them. The desert land was not enough. The Amalekite king and the treasures were not enough for Saul. Our compromises with sin are not enough. We do not need to give the devil access to our lives through compromising with sin because “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) He is just waiting at the door to get access. Do not invite him in. "Some things need to die like a compromised life style.”
The Philistine leaders rejected David’s help against the Israelites so David and his men returned to their camp. In 1 Samuel 30:1-2 we learn,
“David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the
Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked
and burned it, and had taken the women and everyone else in it,
both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them
off as they went their way.” (NIV)
David’s men were discouraged and angry at David. They even talked of stoning him. “Hurt
people hurt people.” ”But David found strength in the LORD.” 1 Samuel 6:6b (NIV) “He’s
Beloved of the Father; strength is found in his identity.” May we learn from David how to
seek the LORD in challenging times. Also may we always remember that the LORD is crazy
about each one of us and that He wants to bless us.
David sought the LORD’s counsel and even asked Him if he and his men should chase the
Amalekites. The LORD answered David,”Yes, go after them. You will surely recover
everything that was taken from you!” 1 Samuel 30:8 (NIV) When we seek His direction, He
leads us through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and wise counsel. We need to go to the Source, for we are daughters and sons of the King.
David and 600 men went after the raiders. But 200 men were too exhausted to continue, and
David let them stay by the brook. That is mercy. With the 400 men, he over took the Amalekites
and “got back everything the Amalekites had taken.” 1 Samuel 30:18 (NIV) Just like David,
we can recover everything the devil has stolen from us or that we have handed over to him. We
have the LORD’s authority. The devil carries death. The LORD gives life.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and
to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that
they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (NKJV)
Let us not forget what the LORD has promised us, “abundant life” not a compromised life nor a stolen one. He is Jehovah Jireh, the LORD who provides. Our being His Beloved led to the victory of the Cross; therefore, the victory of the Cross is how we can identify His
Another aspect of the Beloved is his mercy. David and his 400 victors returned to the brook
where the 200 exhausted were. Some soldiers did not want the 200 to receive any of the
recovered plunder. However David as the Beloved displayed his mercy.
“But David said,’No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with
what the LORD has given us. He has kept us safe and
helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us.”
1 Samuel 30:23 (NLT)
Again mercy triumphed over judgment. It would be easy to criticize the exhausted, but God… May we show mercy and as Turtle said be a mirror of Jesus.
The Paramount Point is “His victory is our victory.” For His ways are higher than ours. May
we be salt and light in this troubled world.
Larry & Annette Linthicum