Foes to Friends

Yesterday we continued our look at the story of the first church in Acts as told by Luke. This week we see how God can bring boosts to His kingdom work from places we would never expect them to come. But, if this is going to happen, He needs something from us. Read on as we talk about what that is.

Foes to Friends

Kanye West is not a man well-known for his modesty and humility. Over the course of his career, he’s bounced around from one name to another and one grandiose claim to another. He’s been crude and crass and just downright rude. One of his biggest moments in the spotlight came when he grabbed a mic out of Taylor Swift’s hands when she was accepting a music award in order to make the case why she shouldn’t have won it. He was never known as a friend to Christianity.

Then he became one.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 28:5-7

“When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, either by dreams, or by Urim, or by prophets. Then Saul said to his servants, ‘Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, that I may go to her and inquire of her.’ And his servants said to him, ‘Behold, there is a medium at En-dor.’”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you felt alone, scared, and desperate? Saul was a mess here. His world was falling apart and even though he was the king of Israel, he had a pressing sense that he couldn’t do anything about it. That’s a scary place to be. It’s the kind of place that leads us to make some choices that would normally not even enter on our radar. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:35

“And Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Have you ever regretted anything? Of course you have. You may even have a lengthy list of things you’ve said or done which afterwards you wished you had not. That’s part of sin being loose in the world. If you had known you were going to regret them, you might not have said or done them (okay, you probably still would have done some of them anyway because, sin, but many of them you would have avoided). But, you don’t know everything. God does, though, so what are we supposed to do with Him expressing regret? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 15:9, 13

“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction. . . .And Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, ‘Blessed be you to the Lord. I have performed the commandment of the Lord.'”‬‬  (ESV – Read the chapter)

What were God’s instructions to Saul? He was to destroy everything when he attacked the Amalekites. Everything is a hard word to misinterpret. In pretty much every occasion it means…everything. It doesn’t leave anything out. Now, perhaps it can be used hyperbolically, but that wasn’t how God used it in His instructions to Saul. He meant everything. And Saul didn’t obey. Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: 1 Samuel 14:24

“And the men of Israel had been hard pressed that day, so Saul had laid an oath on the people, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening and I am avenged on my enemies.” So none of the people had tasted food.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)‬‬

This whole episode is just bizarre. Saul makes this tremendously egotistical and foolish oath and everything fairly well falls apart. This is another one of those stories that leaves you wondering why it got included in the Scriptures in the first place. A more contextually important question is this: How did Saul get made king in the first place? Read the rest…