August 23, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Hannah Yang, Gracepoint Riverside

2 Samuel 7:18-24

What feelings are expressed in David’s statements, “Who am I….and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?…What more can David say to you?….And who is like your people Israel…whom you redeemed from Egypt?”

The dominant feelings that are expressed in these statements is David’s humility and unworthiness to receive favor from God as he has.  He is overwhelmed with sense of gratitude toward the mercy that God has shown to him and His people Israel, the fact that God has brought him thus far.  I think its also a feeling of wonder because David knew that he was just an shepherd, and yet he still chose to use David and establish him king over Israel.  He can not attribute it to anything but God’s desire for His will to be done, and that it is not because of anything that he did.

To what extent can I share in David’s sentiments?

Due to recent conversations and incidences, I had the opportunity to think about my past and where God has brought me from.  For a while I thought in general terms of how I was before I was a Christian.  I think that revisiting the specifics were too painful for me and so I avoided it and shallowly thought in terms of how I generally was.  In this way, it didn’t seem as bad or it numbed me from looking at the true state that I was in when God called me.  I sifted through some specifics of my past, certain incidences that happened and the infantile and selfish ways that I reacted, the specific places that I put myself and the godless actions that I was engaged in,  the mentality and values that I had back then and how that played out in my actions.  And the pitiful state that it left me in was really something that I hadn’t come back to in a while.  Im 30 now, and its been quite a while since all these incidences happened, and I almost forgot about the total brokenness of how I was before in this kind of tangible way.  As actual images of my past came rushing in and I was overwhelmed with a sense of utter brokenness over the way that I was and still am. Now with a new lens and a more mature sense of God’s heart for me, I experienced it more with so much greif and godly sorrow.  Revisiting it all again got me to relate to David’s sentiment more genuinely.  Who am I that God has brought me thus far.  I think unless I continually remember the pit from which God delivered me, and come to God in confession over and over again, I will not be able to share in David’s sentiments.

How have I experienced the awesomeness of being part of God’s people as expressed in vv.23-24?

I have experienced the awesomeness of being part of God’s people in so many ways since I made my decision to follow Christ.  I got to witness the planting of all our church plants, in Taiwan, Austin, Riverside, Minnesota, and SD.  I got to hear the reports of so many making decisions to follow Christ and being transformed by the Gospel through these church plants.  God has opened my eyes to how zealous He is to seek and save the lost.  Through the years, I have seen so many transformed lives.  I thought about our new grads and seniors, now organizing events and bringing many people to our church when just three or four years ago they were people we didn’t even know.  I have seen so many sacrificing for the sake of the Gospel. I thought about people like Law, who,as a baby Christian, gave up his Ibanking career in LA to stick around, and now he is serving as a missionary in Taiwan.  Now Aaron is out there in Taiwan as well, just remembering how he was as an undergrad and now he is serving the students there.  David and Kelly who seemed so unlikely to want to take God seriously, are now part of the first staff group of our new campus ministry (thirdspace).  I have witnessed God’s transforming power to free people of addictions and painful emotional times, I have experienced God’s amazing healing of people like Joohye.  Not just these but hundreds of testimonies of people like the ones we just heard in our last baptism, who were completely changed by God. Now we are starting three new campus groups and our new international undergrad ministry  and already hearing of so many stories of people coming out and being open to us.  Here in riverside, I had the privilege of moving here to start our church and meeting so many precious students.  In one year, we witnessed 9 salvations and so many who are spiritual hungry. I personally had the privilege of leading two of them and witnessing them grow step by step as new Christians.  Now our students are co-laboring with us and sharing in our heart to reach more students on the campus.  There are countless ways that I have experienced God’s great and awesome wonders as He is working in our church and throughout Christendom.

Submitted by Jammy Yang, Gracepoint Riverside

2 Samuel 7:1-13
“Startlingly, God reverses David’s proposal.  David cannot build a house for the Lord; the Lord will build a house for David.  Using the potential for multiple meanings in the word bayit (“house”), God rejects ‘temple’ but promises ‘dynasty.’  The grace shown to David in the past will now extend into the future.  This promise is not simply for David, but for the line of David that will come after him.”[1]

Reflect on David’s sentiment in v. 2 and what this reveals about David’s heart.  What facts has he noticed, and found to be incongruent?  To what extent am I aware of my own comforts as out of balance with the state of God’s honor in the world, and other godly people around the world and history?  What might be David’s response if he were in my shoes? In vs. 2, David says to Nathan, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”  While David has finally settled in his palace he doesn’t fail to recognize God in his life.  This statement of David reveals that his heart is really focused on God.  He’s concerned about God and sees how it’s very incongruent for him to be living in a palace while the ark of God lives in a tent.   He sees this incongruity because he again recognizes that God ought to deserve and receive all the glory instead of him.

I think this point is a rebuke to how I lack this kind of understanding and recognition of God in my life.  When I think about my life, it is very comfortable, however, it’s not that God wants to strip away my comfort, but it’s about honoring God first and foremost above all things.  Its’ about giving God the do honor that he deserves, not that he wants it, but that it’s an expression of what God means to me in my life.  I think on a daily basis I easily forget the Godly people he’s placed in my life.  I think about Marilyn Laszlo, whom Steve Kim recently mentioned in his bible study.  Her life was dedicated to the Ci Peek Wan people and she gave up a life of comfort to bring the gospel to them.  I also in general think about all the believers we’ve met on our mission trips in Cambodia, Mexico, and China and just know that there are things they experience that simply I will probably ever experience as a follower.  What does this mean for me?  Well it means that I need to give my life faithfully to where God has placed me to serve.  It means that if I have to sacrifice a little sleep to minister to a student then that’s what I need to do.  If it means that I need to experience a little suffering so that someone else can benefit than that’s what needs to happen.

If David were in my shoes he would probably take notice of how comfortable my life is.  He would respond by saying, “Here am I, living comfortably, no financial worries, possessing job security, a healthy life and place to lay my head.  I have material wealth and close relationships, but God, He has people who despise him and hate him, though he’s done nothing wrong, but love them.  While I am comfortable, God’s given his one and only son to die for my sins.  He gave up his comfort so that I could have forgiveness for my sins.

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