November 20, 2015

1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

That’s a long verse, and it has a hard-hitting message. It is tragic that Solomon didn’t stay focused on it all his life. David knew from painful experience the truth of what he tried to pass on to his son, but Solomon allowed the things of this world to cloud his understanding. David was far from perfect, but even when he fell badly he came back to God in genuine, humble repentance. The devil tries to tell us that once we have fallen in the mud there’s no point in trying to get up and get cleaned off, so we might as well just wallow in the mud. David is proof that’s not true, even though he lived centuries before Jesus. Today we have not only the record of David’s life but also the whole weight of the New Testament, so it should be all the easier for us to grasp the importance and the blessings of repentance. 1 John 1:9 puts it very clearly: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” That is what David discovered, even without knowing about the atoning death and resurrection of the Son of God. We do know about the cross of Christ, so we should walk in this all the more freely and gladly, sharing the good news that holiness is possible, made available to us by Christ Himself.

I’ve had my own parallels with David’s experience, and I certainly don’t want to end up as Solomon did. It is my great privilege to share the good news of repentance and forgiveness, bringing eternal salvation, and I must never take that privilege lightly. The danger for me is in familiarity breeding contempt, of taking it all for granted and so not being faithful to seek God and obey Him. I need to do a better job of remembering what David said here than Solomon did! As I share the Gospel with others and minister to God’s children I must never fail to share the message, the importance, of repentance. Lip service by itself accomplishes nothing. I am to admonish and encourage, setting a good example, so that together we may avoid the traps of the devil and walk in the abundant grace of our Lord, for His glory.

Father, thank You for the Bible study You’re allowing me to lead with the members of this church. Thank You for how struck they have been, hearing the Biblical narrative, at how You used very flawed individuals to further Your plan of blessing for mankind. Help us all believe that You can and will use even us, as flawed as we know ourselves to be, so that we may hold ourselves available to You at all times, as instruments of Your grace and blessing, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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