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Welcome! Camp Springs Community Church

BREAKING NEWS (May 31, 2020). Due to covid-19 and upon the request of the County Executive to limit church attendance to a max of 10, CSCC is making the following adjustments to the regular scheduled services: AWANA and Sunday School is cancelled. The Sunday Morning and Evening Services are held online (YouTube video or Facebook link). Wednesday Bible Study is a virtual WebEx devotional meeting — please contact Pastor Lowther via email for info on the WebEx link). SUNDAY MORNING AND EVENING SERVICES: Please join us on Facebook or YouTube at 11:00 AM/6:00 PM, May 31 morning service is posted, here and the May 31 evening service here (please note that to ensure the process works properly, these presentations are pre-recorded video). If you’re not able to connect via FB or YT, then at 11:00 AM alternatively dial in to (240)612-2663 (PIN: 6926988#) to join the audio portion of the service (please put your phone on mute, or as much as possible try to limit the amount of background noise on your end so that others might hear the audio without unwanted distraction). If there are any questions, please contact the church office. To view a copy of the sermon notes and Missions Update, please follow the link (Sermon Notes and Announcements), then find the day/sermon you would like to view. Today’s Special Music link is here.

CSCC is a congregation affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA International) and is located in Clinton, Maryland, just minutes from Joint Base Andrews located in Camp Springs, Maryland.

For more information about CSCC and its ministries, click the links at the top of the page; to listen to a past sermon click on the Sermon Notes & Announcements link; to make a donation (via PayPal)Follow this link for the calendar.  And click this to follow us on Facebook.

Contact Information: 8040 Woodyard Rd Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: (301)868-3030

Email: [email protected]

  • OUR SERVICES:
  • Sunday School @ 9:45 a.m. Sunday school for all ages and nursery included
  • Sunday Morning Service @ 11 a.m., Children’s Church (K4-3rd Grade) and nursery included
  • Sunday Evening Service @ 6 p.m. and Teen’s AWANA
  • Wednesday Mid-Week Prayer Service @ 7 p.m. Children’s AWANA, Teen Youth, and nursery included

What Makes CSCC Distinct? CSCC is a fundamental church (literal interpretation of Bible).

CSCC is a friendly, family church that emphasizes growing in grace and truth.

  • Dispensational, believing that God is working in a different fashion in the Church Age, after the coming of Christ, than He did through the system of Law in the Old Testament.
  • Pre-millennial, Pretribulation (the belief that the church will be raptured as a prelude to the Great Tribulation and Millennial reign of Christ [1 Corinthians 15:35-58, 2 Thessalonians 2 & 4]).
  • CSCC is not a part of the modern Pentecostal or charismatic renewal movement. We believe that the sign gifts of miraculously speaking in a foreign tongue and signs and wonders were First century signs to unrepentant Jews and as such ended with the Fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD or at the latest with the completion of the New Testament around 95 AD. God still performs miracles today, but the sign gifts ceased at the end of the First century (Acts 2, 1 Corinthians. 12-14).
  • CSCC believes in personal evangelism, discipleship, and stewardship on behalf of all believers.
  • CSCC supports world missions and church plants.

May 31, 2020. Ephesians 5:1-2

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CHRIST IMITATORS. EPHESIANS 5:1-2. 31 MAY 2020. AM. #22.

Ephesians 5:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

  • The imitators
    • “imitate” from Greek is word we get “mimic” from–“followers” in KJV
      • Not the word for “disciple” (matthieus) – learner or trainee
      • Emphasis = to exactly follow & do what master instructs
    • Paul uses the term to apply to himself
      • 1 Corinthians 4:16 imitate me
      • 1 Corinthians 11:1 imitate me as I imitate Christ
      • This passage is a summation of chapter 4, especially, 4:32
    • To imitate God is to pattern life after God in virtue & charitable works
      • We can’t be like God in essence or position, for he is the only God (Is. 14, Gen. 3 no one else can be as God is)
      • Genesis 1:26-28 man was made in the image of God
        • Man has an eternal soul
        • Man has intellect, will, & conscience
        • Man is a moral agent, knowing right from wrong
      • As his children (teknon) –to be like Father (true offspring)
    • When man sinned in Eden, he lost the ability to be like God
      • John 16:7-11 only the restraining power of the Holy Spirit prevents men from being as wicked as he could be
      • Genesis 6 God had to destroy all mankind (except 1 family) due to the extreme wickedness of the entire human race
    • Old Testament saints were empowered by God to imitate him (Abraham, Joseph, Job, Moses, Daniel…)
    • Christ via the Holy Spirit empowers believers to imitate God in lives
      • The Holy Spirit empowers believers to imitate God
      • The end purpose of salvation is to BECOME LIKE CHRIST — COLOSSIANS 1:19-29  to present every believer mature in Christ
    • Modern concept of mentoring
      • Moses mentored Joshua, Elijah mentored Elisha, Jesus mentored his disciples, Paul mentored Timothy…
      • With a complete Word of God, the indwelling of the Spirit, & mature believers, we are mentored by Christ
  • Walk in love
    • Walk = a metaphor for a way of life
    • Christ showed the way of love
      • John 3:16 sent by God
      • Romans 5:8 became our for sin, he took our form to be an offering to God in our place
      • Ephesians 3:19 Christ continues to love us
    • Love focuses on the object being loved and not the one loving
      • phileo (affection) centers on emotions of the one expressing love
      • agape’  (choice love) centers on the object being loved
        • incorporates emotion, charity, choice, & service
        • a love not conditioned on being loved in return
      • New Testament infuses agape’  with the meaning of selfless sacrifice (classical Greek uses it as a statement of fact without assignment motivation)
    • To walk in love is more action than speech or emotion
      • Walking in love is showing love
      • Concern, charity, grace, sacrifice, commitment, succor, support, encourage…
  • Christ’s love–our example
    • Christ’s love for us = shown in his sacrifice
      • No greater demonstration of love
      • By his actions Christ demonstrated his love for us
      • Christ’s love for us was despite our rebellion against him (Romans 5:8)
      • We are the object of his unconditional love
    • Christ’s sacrifice was a sweet aroma to God
      • euodias – lit., “good odor”
      • I Samuel 15 sacrifice was sweet if from a repentant believer
    • A walk of love by a faithful believer is a sweet aroma to God

Key Verse:

Colossians 1:19-29 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight— 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

May 31, 2020. I Samuel 21:1-9

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THE PRINCE & THE PRIEST. I SAMUEL 21:1-9. 31 MAY 2020. PM. #67.

I Samuel 21:1-9 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 Now David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech was afraid when he met David, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one is with you?” 2 So David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has ordered me on some business, and said to me, ‘Do not let anyone know anything about the business on which I send you, or what I have commanded you.’ And I have directed my young men to such and such a place. 3 Now therefore, what have you on hand? Give me five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever can be found.” 4 And the priest answered David and said, “There is no common bread on hand; but there is holy bread, if the young men have at least kept themselves from women.”

5 Then David answered the priest, and said to him, “Truly, women have been kept from us about three days since I came out. And the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in effect common, even though it was consecrated in the vessel this day.” 6 So the priest gave him holy bread; for there was no bread there but the showbread which had been taken from before the Lord, in order to put hot bread in its place on the day when it was taken away. 7 Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. And his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chief of the herdsmen who belonged to Saul. 8 And David said to Ahimelech, “Is there not here on hand a spear or a sword? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” 9 So the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, there it is, wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it. For there is no other except that one here.” And David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

  • Surprise visit
    • David flees SE of Gibeah to Nob, 3 miles distance
      • Priests are at Nob with Tabernacle (moved from Shiloh)
      • David is looking for provisions
      • Apparently Jon. had not given David supplies (too risky)
    • High Priest Ahimelech is stunned to see David
      • David is a captain in the army and is never at the Tabernacle
      • For David to suddenly show up to the Tab. is disturbing
        • What was David’s purpose for being there?
        • Why was David not with his troops and unarmed?
    • Ahimelech sensed that something was amiss
      • David needed to explain his presence and intent
      • Ahim. knows David as a man of war (unnerving)
      • Ahim. could not think of any good reason for David’s action
      • Ahim. also knew of Saul’s temper and self-will
  • The Fatal Fib
    • David lies to the High Priest (not to a wicked king)
      • David lies to God’s consecrated High Priest
      • David claims to be on a secret urgent mission for Saul
      • David lies to save his own life
        • Had the priest known that David was a fugitive from the king’s wrath, he would have to tell Saul
        • Due to David’s urgency and necessity, he lies
    • Was David justified in lying to the priest?
      • Protection issue often justify deception: the Egyptian midwives (Exodus 2), Rahab (Josiah 2), Samuel (1 Samuel 16:1-2), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38), to Ahab (1 Kings 22), post-Rapture (II Thessalonians 2:10)
      • Unique passage: a righteous man deceiving a righteous man
    • David’s lie has devastating results
      • The priests were innocent bystanders
      • This incident will cost the lives of 83 priests
      • Could David have left the priests out of his escape?
  • Some bread, a sword, and a dog
    • We are not told where David picked up the young men (or how many)
    • David needed food and weapons
      • All the priest has is consecrated showbread on table
      • The bread is replaced daily and priests eat the older bread
    • The priest offers David the replaced holy bread if his men are clean (kept from intimacy with women)
      • David tells priest that men haven’t been with women three days
      • Since the bread was replaced and the men holy, then it is the same as common bread now (may be a stretch in logic)
    • Matthew 12:4 Jesus states that David was guiltless due to his necessity, so his disciples were guiltless for plucking and eating grain on Sabbath
      • NECESSITY OVERRIDES CUSTOMARY REGULATIONS
      • This is not a New Testament issue since the ceremonial law ceased
    • Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd, was in the Tabernacle (a potential enemy agent of Saul’s–odd have an Edomite in Tabernacle)
    • David asks for any weapons in Tab. (priests usually don’t have weapon)
      • Goliath’s sword was kept in Tab. in honor of God’s victory
      • David takes the sword, which has no equal
    • David is the anointed of God to replace Saul
      • Saul is responsible for all evil done in chasing David
      • When Power opposes God, God’s faithful servants are duty bound to oppose the evil power (Ephesians 5:11)

May 24, 2020. Ephesians 4:32

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KINDNESS CHECKMATES MALICE. EPHESIANS 4:32. 5/19/20. AM.

Ephesians 4:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  • Not malice, but forgiveness
    • Paul spent a considerable amount of space urging the Ephesians to remove wicked elements from their lives which grieved the Holy Spirit
      • Lying, stealing, anger…
      • Wrath, blasphemy, bitterness, and malice
    • Paul urges the Eph. to show the love of Christ to each other
      • The word “be” should be translated “become” (not there yet)
      • Paul moves from urging to commandment
    • A great deal of teaching in New Testament is devoted to the aspect of love
      • Matthew 22:36-40 love neighbor is 1 of the 2 great commands
      • James 13:34-35 Christ’s disciples known for love of believers
      • I Corinthians 13:13 among faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love
    • Since one can’t truly love and hate at the same time, love trumps hate
    • Malice and evil must be replaced with charity and goodness
      • Paul states that we have a choice of attitude and action
      • Feelings can be overcome by right choices
      • Emotions will either control you or you will control them
  • Kindness and tenderness
    • Paul moves from those aspects that must be removed to those aspects that must replace what is removed
      • Not an instant change (“become” kind and forgiving)
      • Literally, “become kind and tenderhearted among yourselves”
    • Act of continually making progress from evil to holiness
    • Kindness = goodness
      • This grace, charity, mercy, and gentleness in one package
      • Luke 6:27-36 God is said to be kind and merciful even to the ungrateful and merciful
        • Provides them food and prosperity
        • Delays judgment and God seeks their repentance
      • Goodness is altruistic and not reciprocal
        • Kindness by commandment and desire
        • James 1:21 we need to do right because it’s right to do (a Christian code, duty, obligation…) God’s will
        • Matthew 7: 12 do to others what you want them to do to you (without expecting return in kind)
      • Kindness was shown by David to Mephibosheth, Barzillai to David, the Good Samaritan, Jesus to the blind man, the Syro-Phoenician woman, and women bent over by a demon
    • Tenderheartedness = bowels of mercy
      • Refers to the intestines (Acts 1:18 Judas fell head long, dashing on the rocks, and his bowels gushed forth)
    • Considered the seat of emotions
      • Affections (titus 2:5, a wife is to have affection for her husband)
      • Instead of the heart as the seat of emotions, the Hebrews viewed the intestines as seat of emotions
      • This form of the verb (literally, “good intestines”) is translated compassionate (only place in New Testament)
      • Paul uses tenderheartedness 8 times to Corinth.
    • Comes into our culture with the idioms “gut feeling”, “feeling in the pit of my stomach” (pithy), or “I feel deep inside me” (Not emotion driven, but choice driven by will)
  • Forgiveness
    • Forgiveness = “leave behind” (remove from the place)
    • To no longer hold someone to account
    • Forgiveness is based upon accountable authority (right to judge)
      • Psalm 51:4-6 sin is against God alone (he alone is holy)
      • We are to forgive others because God for Christ forgave us
      • Matthew 18 unless we forgive others, Christ will not forgive us
    • Forgiveness does not make one forget
      • This is why forgiveness is a choice (hurt and pain still there)
      • Romans 12 vengeance belongs to God alone
      • God promises blessing and reward when we forgive (Matthew 5)

Key Verse:

Luke 6:27-36 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, [a]hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

May 24, 2020. I Samuel 20:35-42

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DAWN DEPARTURE. I SAMUEL 20:35-42. 5/24/20 PM. #66.

1 Samuel 20:35-42 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

35 And so it was, in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little lad was with him. 36 Then he said to his lad, “Now run, find the arrows which I shoot.” As the lad ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the lad had come to the place where the arrow was which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried out after the lad and said, “Is not the arrow beyond you?” 38 And Jonathan cried out after the lad, “Make haste, hurry, do not delay!” So Jonathan’s lad gathered up the arrows and came back to his master. 39 But the lad did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew of the matter. 40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to his lad, and said to him, “Go, carry them to  the city.” 41 As soon as the lad had gone, David arose from a place toward the south, fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down three times. And they kissed one another; and they wept together, but David more so. 42 Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

  • A gloomy dawn
    • Jonathan knows that Saul plans to kill David
      • He awakes the next morning with task of telling David
      • Jonathan and his servant boy go to field near Ezel Rock  
    • The boy believes that Jonathan simply wants to shoot some arrows
      • Jonathan shoots arrows beyond the running boy
      • The “beyond you” signal is given to David so he knows all
    • David could not have been surprised at the revelation
      • Jonathan had all night to ponder the situation
      • By morning Jonathan is resigned to the finality of the situation
    • After the boy retrieves the arrows, Jonathan sends him “back to town” with his bow, arrows, and quiver (Jonathan knows what needed to be done)
  • Last Call
    • David emerges from behind Ezel Rock
      • He is distraught and grieving
      • David knows that he must say goodbye and run for his life
    • David approaches Jonathan, stopping @ intervals to bow prostate on the ground three times
      • Homage to the prince and show of gratitude to his friend
      • Acknowledging and submitting to Jonathan’s superior position
      • Genesis 33:3-4 Jacob bowed 7 times to Esau @ Gilead
      • As Jacob was destined to supersede Esau, so David is destined to greatly supersede Jonathon
      • The homage is a sign of David’s respect and friendship
    • David’s grief exceeds Jonathan’s grief
      • Jonathan is resigned to both the parting and his future fate
      • His grief is as real as David’s but tempered by resignation
      • Resignation to reality allows us to move forward with our lives while still grieving (still much left to do)
      • Jonathan’s main concern is David’s safety (he can’t afford to focus on his grief while David is in harm’s way)
    • David’s grief ran deeper due to many more concerns
      • Separation from his friend, Jonathan
      • Separation from his family
      • A fugitive with a death sentence from the king
      • David will be hunted as long as Saul lived
      • Separation from his wife
      • Loss of palace life, prestige, and command of troops
    • They weep and grieve, and prepare to separate before discovered
  • The new normal
    • Jonathan has to prepare David for the new reality
      • David must focus on survival and not his grief
      • After a loss we can’t be neutralized (must still live)
      • Focus on living must override temptation to quit and stew
    • Self-pity and bitterness insure a slow agonizing death + harm to others
    • Grief must be turned to determination to live triumphantly in Lord
    • David and Jonathan renew vows of perpetual friendship
      • Ongoing friendship between the two families
      • Affirms that God is a witness between and guardian over ea.
      • Jonathan as prince sends David away in peace and safety
    • To occupy until the Lord comes (Luke 19:13) means to continue to do the Lord’s work until our task is done no matter the obstacles and pain
      • Elijah leaves Elijah, Moses leaves Joshua, Jesus leaves disciples, Paul leaves Timothy…
      • Grief is a heartache that only faithful living can console
    • Jonathan “goes back to town” to finish his course for God as David leaves

May 17, 2020. Ephesians 4:30-31

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SAINT RESTRAINT. EPHESIANS 4:30-31. AM. 05/17/20. #21.

Ephesians 4:30-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.

  • Grieving the Holy Spiritually        
    • Coming to Christ does not produce sinless perfection
      • Romans 7, Paul continually struggled against his old nature
      • II Corinthians 10:3-5 we have powerful weapons to fight against our old nature in our internal struggles
    • I Corinthians 3, there are many carnal & immature believers (Hebrews 5)
    • Five main battles in our internal spiritual warfare:
      • Ignorance – not knowing God’s word (II Timothy 2:15, Romans 10:17, II Timothy 3:16-17, Psalms 119, Hebrews 4:12, I Peter 3:15)
      • Willfulness – stubbornly not wanting to battle our old nature (James 1:21, James 4:18, I Samuel 15) = GREATEST BATTLE
      • Reactiveness – sinful responses (Galatians 5:17-19, I Corinthians 9:27)
      • Undisciplined spirit – lack of self-control (James 1:7-8; Jacob; Samson, David)
      • Spiritual Fatigue – being weary in well doing (Galatians 6:8; I Peter 5:6; II Thessalonians 3:13)
    • We can be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), quench the Spirit, be convicted by the Spirit (John 16:8), or grieve the Spirit (Revelation 2)
      • I Corinthians 11:27-34 those who ignore the conviction & correction of the Spirit will be chastened of the Lord (Hebrews 12:6)
      • Many saints have grieved the Spirit: Jacob, Samson, David, Peter, & even Paul (Acts 21)
    • We are commanded not to grieve the Holy Spirit                              
      • Every sin of thought & deed grieves (disappoints, shames, stresses) the Holy Spirit (an actual distressing)
      • The Spirit that seals us until our glorification is distressed when we show disobedience & ingratitude when we sin
    • The one person we don’t want to disappoint is the Spirit (not about us!)
  • Internal Control
    • The greatest battle we face is within us
      • The moment you stop struggling against sin, you’ve lost
      • The battle lasts a lifetime (EPHESIANS 6:11-18)
    • There are ugly elements within us that must be controlled
      • Paul uses the imperative subjunctive mood = an urgent plea (short of “I command you to…”, but beyond “it would be nice if you did…”)
      • “Let all…” = a commandment you must obey on your own without others enforcing it upon you
        • No one has the power or authority to enforce it
        • Internal struggles are always solitary on the human level (Genesis 4:7 “…you must master it.”)
    • Put away bitterness
      • pikros (English, “prick”) – something that irritates, torments, aggravates continually (the burr under the saddle)
      • Being eaten away with jealousy, hurts, injustice, abuse, or some festering gnawing slight or inadequacy
      • We must turn irritations over to the Lord (I Peter 5:7)
    • Put away wrath
      • thumos (English, “thermal” & “temperature”) – to heat up
      • Control passionate outbursts (often from bitterness)
      • Romans 12:3 control of temper is paramount for testimony
    • Put away anger
      • orge (English., orgy – natural inclinations & longings) – upset, indignation, vexation, seething
      • Usually, a long term angst against something or someone (may stem from an actually hatred or perceived offense)
    • Put away “clamor” (loud argumentation or quarreling)
      • Outcry, boisterous combativeness, verbal attacks
      • krauge (a raven’s cry) – an onomatopoeia (sounds like____)
    • Evil speaking = blasphemy (to rail against, dishonor, or slander)
  • With all malice (kakia, bad)– all wickedness (life speaks louder than words)
    • Malice is the motivational level (evil nature governing wicked intent)
    • Proverbs 25:28 Like broken city walls, so is the man with no self-control

KEY VERSE:

Ephesians 6:11-24 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

May 17, 2020. I Samuel 20:24-34

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TENSE TABLE TALK. I SAMUEL 20:24-34. 5/17/20. PM. #65.

I Samuel 20:24-34 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

24 Then David hid in the field. And when the New Moon had come, the king sat down to eat the feast. 25 Now the king sat on his seat, as at other times, on a seat by the wall. And Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 Nevertheless Saul did not say anything that day, for he thought, “Something has happened to him; he is unclean, surely he is unclean.” 27 And it happened the next day, the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty. And Saul said to Jonathan his son, “Why has the son of Jesse not come to eat, either yesterday or today?” 28 So Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 And he said, ‘Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city, and my brother has commanded me to be there. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me get away and see my brothers.’ Therefore he has not come to the king’s table.” 30 Then Saul’s anger was aroused against Jonathan, and he said to him, “You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.” 32 And Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, “Why should he be killed? What has he done?” 33 Then Saul cast a spear at him to kill him, by which Jonathan knew that it was determined by his father to kill David. 34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month, for he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully.

  • Setting the table
    • Saul sat by wall (no surprise attacks) and was silent on first feast day
      • Saul thought that David was absent for ceremonial unclean.
      • Saul was willing to bide his time
    • Seems odd that Saul expected David to come when he tried to kill him twice
    • On the 2nd day Saul asks “where is the son of Jesse?”
      • David would have been clear of any uncleanness by then
      • This is the moment of test of Saul’s intent toward David
    • Jonathan explains that David asked to be excused to attend a family sacrifice at the request of his oldest brother, Eliab (common act)
  • Saul erupts
    • Saul’s wrath rises to the surface
      • Saul accuses Jonathan of being pro-David and anti-Saul
      • Saul thinks that Jonathan is a fool, working against his own interests as the future king of Israel
    • Saul completely disregards Samuel’s prediction that God will take the kingdom away from Saul (I Samuel 15)- the proud are blind to truth
    • Had Jonathan been power hungry like dad, he would have sided with Saul
    • Saul reveals several facts in his rage:
      • Saul calls Jonathan the son of a perverse and rebellious woman
      • An odd slight on his own wife (perverse = slut)
      • Saul’s wife probably opposed his unholy acts
      • Jonathan learned humility and godliness from mom
    • Saul considered Jonathan shameful even to his mother
    • Saul knows that Jonathan sides with David
    • Saul reveals that he had figured out that David is the threat to the kingdom alluded to by Samuel
      • First time Saul expresses this truth
      • Saul thinks that killing David secures Jonathan’s throne
    • Saul’s madness demonstrates his foolishness
      • Samuel already had informed Saul his kingdom was lost
      • Like Lucifer (Isaiah 14) Saul is fighting a losing battle vs. God
    • Once God shows his will, nothing can change the course God chooses (Moses not going into Canaan, Balaam not cursing Israel, Isr. not allowed to defeat Canaan without God, Ahab not avoiding God’s judgment, Jonah going to Nineveh…)
      • When God is leading in a direction, go without resistance
      • God can’t be successfully opposed
      • God never asks our advice or yield to our will
    • Saul commands Jonathan to bring David to him to be killed (he “will surely die” is the same phrase used by God in Genesis 2:16-17 about forb. fruit)
      • Saul no longer hides intention from Jonathan
      • Saul’s motivation moves from jealousy to protecting his legacy (David is a threat so Saul will not relent in pursuit)
    • When anyone makes a permanent decision to oppose God, his fate is sealed (both temporal and eternal judgment are certain)
  • Jonathan’s awakening
    • Jonathan still thinks he can reason with his father
      • You can’t reason with evil since evil is irrational
      • Jonathan resisted concluding that dad was evil
    • Jonathan asks 2 questions: (1) Why kill David?  (2) What had David done?                             
    • Saul throws a spear at Jonathan (from established kingdom to death threat)
    • Saul has no fear of God, so even his son is viewed as his enemy
    • Jonathan is angry, grieved, and ashamed all at the same time
    • Often we must choose between God and family (a loss and greater gain)

May 10, 2020. Mother’s Day 2020.

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MOM’S DAY. THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH. I KINGS 17:8-24. 5/10/20.

1 Kings 17:8-24 New King James Version (NKJV)

8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’ ” 15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.

  • Command performance
    • Three years of drought led to region-wide famine (as in days of Joseph)
    • This narrative precedes the showdown on Mt. Carmel in chapter 18
    • God commands a widow in Zarepath of Sidon to take care of Elijah
      • God often used the surrounding nations as a refuge for his servants (Jacob in Haran, Joseph in Egypt, Moses in Midian, toddler Jesus taken to Egypt,…)
      • We don’t know if the widow audibly heard from God or if God intuitively laid his will on her heart
    • Often guest stars pop into the biblical narrative out of the blue (Melchizedek, Zipporah, Naaman, Balaam, Barzillai, Shunammite woman, woman at the well, woman with the issue of blood, Tabatha…)
    • We do not know this widow’s name, background, beliefs, character…
  • The encounter
    • Elijah sees the widow picking up sticks to make a fire outside the gate
      • Elijah discerns that this is the correct widow
      • Elijah doesn’t know her condition or anything about her
    • Elijah, without introduction, asks her to bring him water and some bread (hospitality was a major social obligation in biblical times in Near East)
    • The widow recognizes Elijah as a man of God (by his clothing? by revelation?)
      • The knowledge that Elijah is a man of God governs story
      • To trust God is to also trust the man that God has sent
    • A godly woman trusts God in all circumstances, no matter how dire (by Word, leading of Holy Spirit, and godly counsel)
    • The widow tells Elijah that his request is impossible (how God works)
      • She was a widow with a son and enough oil + flour for 1 meal
      • She was about to make their last meal and then starve
    • Elijah insists that she follow his instructions
      • Don’t fear (common admonition to God’s children)–Romans 8:28
      • Make a cake for Elijah 1st (take care of God’s man 1st)
      • God promises that the oil + bread will not run out until rain
    • Widow had to decide whether she trusted Elijah’s words
      • She already knew that he was a man of God (what kind?)
      • God would not have chosen her for this task if he had not also known that she would comply
        • God uses holy women who yield to him (Sarah, Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Abigail, Mary, Tabitha…)
        • A simple informed faith is a great tool of God
      • The widow complies, apparently without argument
    • Elijah, the widow, and her son eat for many days on a little oil and flour

17 Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. 18 So she said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?” 19 And he said to her, “Give me your son.” So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20 Then he cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought tragedy on the widow with whom I lodge, by killing her son?” 21 And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.” 22 Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. 23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!” 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”

  • Testing & trusting
    • The widow’s son was her only source of joy
    • God takes her son’s life (no explanation)
      • This is the ultimate test of faith
      • Brings her to point of acknowledging her sins
    • Elijah takes the child and pleads for his life (God answers and child lives)
      • The miracle of oil + bread = fell short of complete faith
      • Now she knows Elijah is not just a preacher, but a prophet
    • God cares about women and particularly the widow (I Timothy 5:1-10)
      • He uses the humble and faithful
      • He tests the faithful and seeks to grow faith via the testing

Key Verse:

I Timothy 5:1-10 [New King James Version (NKJV)]1 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honor widows who are really widows. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is [a]good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in [b]pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

May 10, 2020. I Samuel 20:12-23

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GATEWAY TO GOODBYE. I SAMUEL 20:12-23. PM. #64.

I Samuel 20:12-23 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

12 Then Jonathan said to David: “The Lord God of Israel is witness! When I have sounded out my father sometime tomorrow, or the third day, and indeed there is good toward David, and I do not send to you and tell you, 13 may the Lord do so and much more to Jonathan. But if it pleases my father to do you evil, then I will report it to you and send you away, that you may go in safety. And the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. 14 And you shall not only show me the kindness of the Lord while I still live, that I may not die; 15 but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, no, not when the Lord has cut off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “Let the Lord require it at the hand of David’s enemies.”

17 Now Jonathan again caused David to vow, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 Then Jonathan said to David, “Tomorrow is the New Moon; and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 And when you have stayed three days, go down quickly and come to the place where you hid on the day of the deed; and remain by the stone Ezel. 20 Then I will shoot three arrows to the side, as though I shot at a target; 21 and there I will send a lad, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows.’ If I expressly say to the lad, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you; get them and come’—then, as the Lord lives, there is safety for you and no harm. 22 But if I say thus to the young man, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you’—go your way, for the Lord has sent you away. 23 And as for the matter which you and I have spoken of, indeed the Lord be between you and me forever.”

  • The Plan
    • David knows that his time in the palace of Saul had come to an end
      • Jonathan is hopeful that David can stay, but senses the end also
      • When hope fades, God closes one door to open another
    • When God closes a chapter in our lives, he opens a better one
      • Jacob flees to Haran and returns the father of a nation
      • Joseph is taken to Egypt in chains and ascends to govern it
      • Moses runs away to Midian and returns as a deliverer of Heb.
    • Both men sense that a parting was at hand
      • Their friendship held fond and prosperous memories
      • Parting of family and friends is inevitable, painful
      • Both men sense that this parting will be permanent
    • David is to hide in the field by the Stone Ezel
      • Jonathan is to return to Saul to see what his reaction to David’s absence is (acceptance or rage)
      • Jonathan will signal to David what Saul’s response was
      • Play on words: David is to sit at Ezel while his seat at the table remains empty
    • Jonathan will come to the field with arrows and a boy servant
      • If Jonathan shoots (literally, sends) 3 arrows short and tells the boy that the arrows are close near him, all is well
      • If Jonathan shoots 3 arrows far and tells the boy that the arrows are far beyond him then David is to flee for his life
    • Jonathan promises to send David away safely
  • The covenant
    • Jonathan senses that his star if setting while David’s is rising
      • He knows that David is destined to take Saul’s place
      • Jonathan shows no jealousy, bitterness, disappointment, or opposition to what he sees happening
      • Whether God has revealed this to Jonathan or not, he knows it
      • The roles will be reversed: Jonathan will be at David’s mercy
    • Jonathan asks for 2 mercies: treat him and his descendants well
    • David covets that they will treat each other well
      • Later, when the Gibeonites, who were attacked by Saul, ask for 7 male descendants of Saul to execute, Jonathan’s desc. are spared (2 Samuel 21)
      • Of Jonathan’s siblings (Merab, Michal, Abinadab, and Malchishua) Merab, who had been promised to David twice, lost all 5 of her sons, and the concubine Rizpah lost 2 of hers
    • The covenant is before the Lord and can’t be broken without judgment
      • Jonathan promises to honestly report back to David
      • David is to treat Jonathan’s household kindly
  • The Parting
    • As Jonathan departs Ezel both men know a permanent change is coming
    • When a sea change comes we are to trust and continue to serve
      • The fond memories will be there after the move, injury, disease, funeral, or traumatic event (not taken away)
      • Serving the Lord is always forward looking (Philippians 3:14)
    • To wallow in sorrow of the past is to lose effectiveness for future
    • The change could not diminish the bond between David and Jonathan
    • Tragic changes can lead to great ministry and glory to God (Joseph, Moses, Jesus on the cross)
    • Providence always furthers God’s kingdom

May 3, 2020. Ephesians 4:29

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Ephesians 4:29 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

Blest Be The Tie

Verse 1

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above (Amen)

May 3, 2020. I Samuel 20:1-11

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PARANOIA OR PLOT VICTIM? I SAMUEL 20:1-11. PM. 05/03/20. #63.

1 Samuel 20:1-11 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

1 Then David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and went and said to Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” 2 So Jonathan said to him, “By no means! You shall not die! Indeed, my father will do nothing either great or small without first telling me. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so!” 3 Then David took an oath again, and said, “Your father certainly knows that I have found favor in your eyes, and he has said, ‘Do not let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved.’ But truly, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 So Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you.” 5 And David said to Jonathan, “Indeed tomorrow is the New Moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king to eat. But let me go, that I may hide in the field until the third day at evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked permission of me that he might run over to Bethlehem, his city, for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.’ 7 If he says thus: ‘It is well,’ your servant will be safe. But if he is very angry, be sure that evil is determined by him. 8 Therefore you shall deal kindly with your servant, for you have brought your servant into a covenant of the Lord with you. Nevertheless, if there is iniquity in me, kill me yourself, for why should you bring me to your father?” 9 But Jonathan said, “Far be it from you! For if I knew certainly that evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?” 10 Then David said to Jonathan, “Who will tell me, or what if your father answers you roughly?” 11 And Jonathan said to David, “Come, let us go out into the field.” So both of them went out into the field.

  • Enemy of the State
    • David comes to Jonathan and wants to know what crime he has done
      • Saul is seeking his life even as David loyally served him
      • The unrighteous will hate the righteous for no just cause
      • The righteous are reminders of the God the wicked hate
    • The righteous must be careful not to become bitter or vindictive or self-pitying when unfairly and unreasonably treated
      • John 16:33 attacks will come (John 15:18-25)
      • I Peter 4 being attacked for Christ’s sake identifies with him
    • Jonathan is incredulous
      • He is unaware of Saul’s intention
      • Jonathan thought he solved the issue when he calmed dad down
      • Jonathan doesn’t know the David had to flee for his life
      • Jonathan believed that he was Saul’s confidante (all revealed)
      • Evil does not send a warning when it is going to strike
    • Jonathan wants to think well of his father
      • Those who want to think well of everyone are caught off guard and unawares (stunned and dismayed)
      • Being gracious doesn’t mean being naive (I Peter 5:8, II Chronicles 11)
    • David faces the dilemma of not being believed (Jonathan holds his fate)
      • Jonathan thinks that David was being paranoid
      • It is difficult not to be believed when you are threatened or falsely accused (no way to prove your case)          
        • Often, only God knows the truth
        • Many innocent men have been convicted, unable to prove their innocence
  • The truth be known
    • Jonathan has to decide if David is telling the truth or overreacting
      • David swears that what he is saying is true
      • David reminds Jonathan of their covenant oath before the Lord
    • David postulates that Saul would hide the truth from Jonathan since Saul knew that Jonathan favored David (Jonathan doesn’t want to believe that his father would deceive him or not show signs of malice toward David)
      • David’s life is in the balance
      • David could see the conflict on Jonathan’s face
        • Jonathan is caught in the middle
        • Often events are forced upon us and we must act
    • Jonathan doesn’t know what to think
      • He refrains from dismissing David’s claims outright (it is wise to refrain from judgment until all the facts are in)
      • Jonathan needs more evidence before coming to a conclusion
    • David pleads for kindness (a partner in righteousness)
  • The plan
    • David says that he is going to hide in the field for 3 days
      • He won’t attend the feast of the new moon with Saul
      • New Moon = begins Heb. month (29½ days; later Heb. alternated 29 and 30 day mon. and added extra mon. every 19 yrs.)
      • Jonathan = tell his father that David went to Bethlehem for the annual family sacrifice
    • If Saul reacts calmly all is well; if angered, David is in jeopardy
    • Jonathan accepts the plan, though he is still skeptical of David’s claim
    • Jonathan’s loyalty must be to righteousness (not Saul or David)
      • Luke 12:49-53 must decide between Christ and own family
      • A test of Jonathan’s faith, honoring dad, and covenant with David
    • If you have a solid foundation, you make the right tough decisions