Emmanuel Presbyterian Church (Significance)




2002-01-09

David – A Man after God’s Heart


But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of His people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command. 1Sa13:14

Happy new year to you! May it be a year filled with God’s blessings!We begin a new series that has to do with SIGNIFICANCE. How can I achieve a life which makes a difference? How can I have a life that counts for something? Over the next couple of days we will explore this question.If there is anyone in the Old Testament who achieved significance, it was David. A warrior, a king, poet, and the significant ancestor of Jesus the Messiah.The fascinating thing is that we learn the reason for David’s significance two whole chapters BEFORE we learn his name. When Saul failed as King, God identified the man who would become the significant king in Israel’s history. This identification was not based on performance, ability, talent, status, family, or position. It was based on the fact that David was a man intent on winning God’s heart. David had a heart for the heart of God.This is the first clue on the path to significance. Being passionate about knowing and loving God. How does a man win the heart of a woman? By cultivating a relationship, by prioritising his life around her, by showing her that he is serious about her, and by changing his life in ways which will please her. The same is true in our relationship with God. David was a God-seeker and a God-pursuer. The bushman word for “disciple” is their word for “tracker.” The bushman darts his prey with a slow acting poison and will pursue, sometimes even for days, the spoor of his quarry.Significance begins with having the desire and longing for more of God in our lives and then having the tenacity of a tracker to carry out our desire.


2002-01-10

How to be Insignificant


But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of His people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command. 1Sa13:14

If David achieved significance by having a heart after God’s heart, Saul achieved insignificance by disobeying God.In Hebrew thinking the heart was not the seat of emotions, but the place where decisions were made, priorities were set, and behaviour was chosen. The contrast between God’s significant one (David) and the insignificant one (Saul) revolved around this question of the heart. Saul’s heart was duplicitious and disobedient. David’s heart was set on winning God’s heart – i.e. God’s approval.In our journey towards significance it is very easy for us to short-circuit our progress by disobeying. When we disobey God, we are no longer in pursuit of God’s heart and God’s way in our lives. Disobedience causes guilt which drives us away from the Father’s presence, it makes us defensive, and nurtures an “Independent from God” streak in us.Hearing God is never an easy business, we have to quieten our own inner noise and conflicting priorities to hear what He is asking us. When we disobey it is as though our disobedience fills our ears with the wax of rebellion, making it harder for us to hear God again.Those who want to be significant for God are quick to bring their failures to God and ask for His healing and forgiveness so that they can continue on the path of growth again… We will look at David’s confession sometime in the future.


2002-01-11

How God Feels About Significance


But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of His people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command. 1Sa13:14

God is on the prowl – He is on the lookout. His desire is to find people who will dare to reach out for the significant side of life. Does this surprise you? It surprises many whose picture of God is that of a God who is waiting to catch us out when we slip up. But that is a flawed picture. While God is holy and pure and we are not, His desire is to bring the very best out of us. He has created us to be near to Him. He has plans for us to fulfil, He has destinies for us to grasp, He has dreams for us to realise.There is a sense that He is like a parent holding His breath as He wonders whether His children will achieve the greatness He longs for them to have. God is excited about our futures and He wants us to achieve great things. He is on the lookout for those who want to give their hearts to following Him and grasping the fullness, significance, and beauty that He has in store for us.The sad thing is that our passage implies that God has to seek out such people. They are not a dime a dozen. In fact, they seem to be in short supply! They are people who have hearts after the heart of God! When someone decides to have such a heart, our Father finds them and He upholds them.Will you be one of them?


2002-01-14

Hearts and Reliance


7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2Ch16:7-9

King Asa of Judah was one of the later kings in the history of Israel. He succeeded where others had failed because he put his trust in God. Unfortunately he did not continue as he started.Verse 9 repeats the theme we explored on Friday – that God is searching for people who are after His heart. Here it is clear that our hearts need to be after God’s heart. In the Hebrew idiom the heart is the control centre of life. King Asa failed, not because of a poor military alliance but because he did not trust God. God is looking for people whose control centres are fully committed to Him – people who choose to live for Him, to speak for Him, and to devote themselves to Him. This needs to be a full commitment.When God finds people who will step out in faith and do this – He strengthens them. We don’t have to manage on our own!


2002-01-15

It’s not Always the Impressive People


7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1Sa16:7

Samuel had a tough task to perform. He had to anoint a king to replace King Saul. God sent him to the Jesse’s family. Jesse had 8 sons and one of them was to be the king. Samuel was afraid for his life – if Saul found out about this there would be trouble. Samuel was also afraid of the people – they wanted a king and Saul had been an impressive choice initially. Saul was a head taller than anyone else and from a military perspective he had started well. So when Jesse’s first son, tall, handsome, and first-born was paraded before Samuel, we cannot blame him for thinking “This must be the one!”But God’s ways are never our ways. While we are distracted and waylaid by worldly standards and criteria and measures of sucess, God looks at the heart. This is why I said that David had a heart after the heart of God. And here it is confirmed. David’s control centre (how the Hebrew people understood “heart”) was beating to please God.We get this wrong so often! Moses, standing at the burning bush, was worried about his speaking abibility. Abraham was worried that he was beyond child-making age. And you and I feel that we haven’t studied or learned enough or that we don’t deserve to be used by God.Today we have to be “power-dressers” to impress people. Business executives are supposed to drive cars that suit their images. We would have been shocked at David. David was the opposite of impressive. He is described as a good looking boy who wasn’t shaving yet and was left to the sheep because no-one considered him as a serious contender yet. Samuel had to learn that in God’s books it is not qualification that matters, but an attitude of dedication. He had to train himself to look at the world through God’s eyes where the impressive ones and the significant ones don’t always look that way!And in the very next chapter of the first book of Samuel, David – the “runt of the litter” – kills a giant with a child’s weapon.


2002-01-16

God’s Plans and Our Hearts


11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jer29:11-13

This is written to God’s people who were in exile in Babylon. They had lost everything due to their disobedience to God and their worship of idols. They must have thought that God had discarded them and moved on. They must have felt that they had once had a chance, but that they had blown it and were now getting what they deserved.Jeremiah’s message (a letter sent specifically to those in exile) must have been a huge revelation to them. In spite of their failures, in spite of their wrong doings, God affirmed a number of really wonderful truths for them: * He wanted to see them succeed! * He didn’t want to see them suffer (they had brought it on their own heads.) * He had an exciting destiny for them to fulfill * He wanted an open vibrant relationship with them * He wanted to show them the way!All of this for a people who had failed and fallen short! This is the incredible love of God and the awesome secret of significance: GOD WANTS US TO SUCCEED!We can wallow in our past failures. We can blame God for the things that have gone wrong when we did our own thing, Or we can rise up and embrace a destiny that God gives in the midst of brokeness and in spite of our failures!Which will it be?


2002-01-17

God’s Workmanship


8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. EpH2:8-10

“I must be worth something – God don’t make no junk!” We’ve all seen the poster. Paul reminds us that we are God’s workmanship. The word implies “handiwork” or “masterpieces”. Each of us is unique, special, and individual. Each of us with our own personalities, talents, fingerprints, and DNA.God has saved us. We haven’t earned it or achieved it. This makes us all equally valuable in the eyes of God. No one of us is more important than the other. And God has a plan for each of us. It’s not only Billy Graham for whom God has a plan. He has a plan for you and one for me. He has a bunch of opportunities for us draw from and reach our full potential. We are God’s masterpieces – and the paint isn’t dry yet! He is still painting and preparing and touching up the masterpieces that are your life and mine. We can resist that plan with our own plans. Or we can take time to find his plan!Significant people are the ones who have taken time to listen to God and sense what He is doing in their lives and co-operate with Him.WANTED: People who will be willing canvasses for our Lord to create masterpieces!


2002-01-18

Passionate for God


26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1Sa17:26

We all know the story of David and Goliath. This was the first of many significant deeds in David’s life.Why did God honour David? I think it is because David was so utterly passionate for the glory of His God! Whilst the rest of the Israelites looked at the size of the giant, David looked at the size of the insult. While the rest of the Israelites saw the size of Goliath’s weapons, David saw the size of His God! While the Israelites quaked in fear at Goliath’s intimidating threats, David shook with anger at the giant’s disrespect.David was passionate for the honour of his God! David was zealous for God. He would not sit still – he would not remain silent!David achieved significance because he would not sit still when other mocked his God. David made a difference because he wanted God to be glorified. David had a life which counted because he lived that life to honour His God.When God saw this faithful passion, he delighted in this shepherd boy and honoured him, the stone was given wings, and the giant fell!What about us? Our zealousness for God’s honour is an indication of the significance we will achieve. Will we sit still when God’s honour is at stake? I hope not!


2002-01-21

David Simplified


38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine. 1Sa17:38-40

In the quest for significance it is easy to mistake flashiness for significance. It is very tempting to rely on gimmicks and being “impressive” as a shortcut to our destination.For David to use Saul’s armour was a threefold temptation:- Claim to kingship. By wearing the King’s armour, David would, in the mind of the people, assert a claim to royalty- Look professional (Shortcut to soldier status). David was too young to be a soldier, but if he looked like one and defeated the giant, it would be very hard to take the soldier status away- To rely on external tools and gimmicks.David was wise enough to be himself and go with what he knew. He faced the giant without pretence or facade. He went as he was, staff and shepherd’s bag in hand. There was no doubt about who he was: a young shepherd boy – too young and untrained. But David went as a shepherd who had learned to trust God and who had discovered that God is faithful and true.David had simplified – he refused to clutter his life with pretences and power-plays – and because of this God was able to work through him and cause the giant to fall.,Is there clutter in your life?- The temptation to grab at status?- An overdeveloped “image awareness”?- Too much reliance on “tricks of the trade”?Maybe you need to go back to the basics like David did.


2002-01-22

David Refused to Take Shortcuts


6 David then asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” “I’ll go with you,” said Abishai. 7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. 8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won’t strike him twice.” 9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the LORD lives,” he said, “the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.” 1Sa26:6-11

Significance has to do with character, and character has to do with who we are when no-one is looking. Character is about choosing the road less travelled.David had been anointed as King – he knew that Saul was simply keeping the throne warm for him. Saul however was insanely jealous of David and had hunted and pursued David, killing those who showed any kind of support for him. It was clear to almost everyone that Saul was clutching at straws and that David was God’s choice.As David and Abishai snuck into Saul’s encampment, a golden opportunity presented itself: Everyone was asleep and Saul (who should have been protected and who himself should have been more careful) lay defenceless. Abishai, and we cannot blame him – Saul had made their lives miserable, saw this as an opportunity. He even saw it as God’s hand. “Kill him – and your problems are over, and you can become king in peace.”David saw the temptation. Although he did not necessarily respect the man, he respected the office. He knew that to become King by treachery and bloodshed was not God’s way. He made a character decision to wait and to skip the shortcut. In doing so he taught Abishai and all who would have heard the story (“We were in his tent – he was snoring away!”) all about loyalty, uprightness, character, and dignity.The temptation to take the easy road, or grab what looks like the most convenient solution, especially if it requires only a small compromise, is a very real issue. But it is our characters and our reputation that is at stake. It is easy to pass on a piece of gossip that will damage our competitors in the office. It is easy to piggyback on someone else’s work and not acknowledge them. But our lack of respect for our own and other people’s dignity will find us out.David made the right call in a very tempting place – may we too!


2002-01-23

David’s Strength


6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” 1Sa30:6-8

While David and his men were out at war the Amalekites raided the city where David, his men, and their families had taken shelter. Because the men were away, the women and children were easily overcome and were taken away by the Amalekites.When David and his men returned, this awful shock awaited them. The men were devastated and blamed David. Someone had to pay! And so they talked of stoning David. After all he was the leader. He should have forseen this. David had his own grief to contend with – he had lost his own family.It would have been easy for David to do something rash. He could – flee – shift the blame – mount a chase after the Amalekites – sit in a heapHe did none – weary from travelling and many battles, with his spiritual resources at a low ebb, David found strength from the LORD his God. The later part of the passage seems to indicate that David prayed. In this first part the implication simply seems to be that David said “This is too big for me – You’d better help me!” It may have been an arrow prayer (a “skietgebed”) or just a mental handover. But David chose – consciously – not to go it alone.We’ll take this further tomorrow…


2002-01-24

David Asked for Guidance


6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. 7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” 1Sa30:6-8

As we noted yesterday, David chose not to try and face the disaster in his own strength. He not only handed the problem over to God, but he allowed God to strengthen him with divine grace and provision. And God did it!Then David asked for the ephod. The ephod was an elaborate vestment worn by the priest. It’s main function was to help the priest discern God’s will. (At least one devotions reader wanted to know more about the ephod – email Andrew Turpin at AndrewT@prism.co.za if you would like an article (written in very olde English) about it)This is not the first time that David takes on priestly functions. Unlike Saul who made a pre-war sacrifice when Samuel was late because it had to be “gotten out of the way” as it were, David was sincere and serious and when he came to God asking for guidance – and God answered.Put yourself in David’s shoes: His relatives, and the relatives of all his men, were hostages of the Amelekites. Pursuing the Amelekites could be very risky for the hostages. But with God’s guidance David succeeded.David took time to hand the problem over to God and to listen to God. This is why he was significant.We’ll talk a bit more about hearing God tomorrow…


2002-01-25

David and Guidance


2 he inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?” The LORD answered him, “Go, attack the Philistines and save Keilah.”(Read the rest of the chapter when you get a chance…) 1Sa23:2-29

In chapter 23 there are 5 occasions where David asks for guidance and help and gets it. How can we be guided by God and learn to hear him? There are some guidelines that we can pick up from David.1. Ask. David often asked for guidance. While this seems the obvious place to start, there is more to this than meets the eye. To ask for help is to be willing to give up one’s own plans. To ask is to admit that we need help. To ask is to place our pride and self-sufficiency aside. And asking is an act of faith and trust.2. Remember God’s faithfulness in the past. David when facing Goliath remembered how God had helped him face the lion and the bear. In his psalms asking for guidance David always remembered God’s answers in the past. This serves two important purposes: It gave confidence that God would answer and there are often principles from the past that are applicable to the present. The Anglican Church uses three criteria for making decisions: Scripture, Reason, and Tradition. The Tradition or History of God’s faithfulness is a good guide for the future.3. The ephod: David had the ephod (which I described yesterday) which helped him as he prayed. We don’t have anything like the ephod today and so we have to ask ourselves what the ephod represented. The ephod was part of the regular disciplined structured corporate worship of the Hebrews. It also represented the corporate nature of the faith as it was studded with jewels that represented the 12 tribes. One of the best places to seek guidance is in the regular structured disciplined worship structures in our lives – our daily devotions, our fellowship group, and our worship in church. It seems clear that God often uses these contexts to guide us.4. Allow others to encourage and advise you. Later in ch.23 David is encouraged by Jonathan who ensures him that God will protect him.These are just some of the principles behind hearing God and being guided by Him. May we learn from David’s example.


2002-01-29

David’s Writings


Psalm 23A psalm of David. 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psa23:1-6

It is a good thing to read the writings and biographies of significant people. With the Psalms we are offered an unusually deep and intimate glimpse into David’s heart. We’ll look at a few in the next few days…This psalm is his most well-known and most-loved. Our familiarity with it sometimes dulls the lustre of this jewel of devotion and understanding.The Palestinian shepherd does not herd his sheep, he leads them. The sheep follow and know the voice of the shepherd. The imagery of the psalm rests entirely on this concept. The green pastures, the restoration of the soul, the comfort during hardship, provision in the face of opposition, the abundant blessing and the filling of the Spirit, and the surety of our heavenly home all stem from this idea that we are sheep following the Shepherd. The shepherd does seek out those who are lost, but the main thrust of our relationship with Him is not Him running behind us (sometimes chasing us) but rather of us following Him and trusting Him and along the way enjoying all the benefits David describes. But these benefits are serendipities that result from following the Shepherd.Our job is to be sheep!———————————————————————————(Thanks to Andrew Turpin who wrote the devotions yesterday)(Please pray for Gordon Den who has to have a detached retina re-attached today)(Please pray for me as I go to speak to all the Grade 8’s at Willowridge High School tonight…)


2002-01-30

David’s Devotions


Psalm 19For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat. 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. 11 By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psa19:1-14

David was a man after God’s heart – David had a heart for God. This implies a vibrant and living relationship between God and David. In this sense, David’s devotional life is a key part of his significance. Many of us want to be closer to God, and many of us even try to have regular devotions. How did David go about his devotions?He begins with CONTEMPLATION – reflecting on God’s greatness. And the beauty of creation is a good signpost! Sunrises, flowers, birds, greens, blues, reds and yellows are all tributes to the goodness of God. Creation gives David a sense of order and rhythm – It’s awesomeness (think of mountains and the sea) contrast powerfully against our finiteness and we are drawn to worship.Next David goes to God’s Word for REFLECTION. Verses 7-10 explain the significance of God’s Word. Have a look at the nouns David uses: law, statutes, precepts, and commands. The verbs: Revive, make wise, give joy, and give light. If we are serious about getting nearer to God then we need to be treating ourselves to a regular diet of His Word. And when we do, we learn to fear(respect/reverance) God as He deserves. And we are equipped to serve God and glorify Him. While this requires commitment at first, like David we will find that it becomes precious and sweet.David then moves to CONFESSION. This is a very honest moment where we bring ourselves to God – warts and all – confessing our need for His help.He concludes with COMMITMENT – giving Himself to God for the day ahead. Without this step the rest is in danger of becoming an academic exercise.”DEAR LORD bring me to a point of being able to have regular and meaningful contact with YOU. Help me to Contemplate YOUR Greatness, Reflect on YOUR truth, Confess that I need YOUR help and Commit myself in YOUR Service.”


2002-01-31

David in Trouble


Psalm 13For the director of music. A psalm of David. 1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me. Psa13:1-6

David also experienced hardships. Those who are significant in God’s eyes are not exempt from the “dark night of the soul.” It may be a great disappointment or loss, it may be doubt, it may be persecution, it may be someone else’s pain, or it may be our own fatigue that causes this devastating sense of being alone, abandoned, and far away from God. Whether it is our own fault, someone else’s, or no-one’s these testing times come upon us all. David’s psalm is very helpful – most commentators concentrate on the last (the third) part of the Psalm where David – Counts his blessings – Remembers God’s faithfulness – And moves “from protest to praise” through a conscious decision.While this is important – I don’t believe that David could get to step 3 without steps 1 and two:In step 1 David is honest with God. David talks to God about how he is feeling. There is no facade and no pretence. He calls a spade a spade. “I’m struggling God – and it feels like You’re asleep on the job! I’m alone and struggling and it looks like it will never end!In step 2 David hands his situation over to God. “I’m not coping – I need your help!” This act of dependence is in fact an act of faith. He turns to God asking for the restoration of the personal relationship (“Look on me and answer”) and the strength to overcome. (The Hebrew people believed the light shone from our eyes – and so when one was weak, the light faded from one’s eyes.)So, in the midst of the heartache, doubt, and depression that sometimes besets us, David: 1. Was honest to God 2. Asked for God’s help 3. Counted his blessings and used God’s grace in the past to strengthen him for the future.”LORD help me to turn to YOU when I need YOU most.”


2002-02-01

David – Significant People


Psalm 15A psalm of David. 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, 4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken. Psa15:1-5

Happy February!We come to the end of our series on significance. It is my prayer that you may have been inspired by the passages we’ve looked at and that you’re hungry to do great things for God.We end our series with David’s summary of the character traits of people who stand out for God. Remember that David lived before the coming of Christ. They had to live up to God’s standards to be able to be with Him. Because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross, the doors of heaven are open and we can come to Him. For us this is good news. Unfortunately this good news has meant the many people settle to be mediocre for God. If Jesus died for us, there’s no point in killing ourselves to be great for God, right?Those who want to be significant pursue the qualities described in this Psalm. Our God delights: – in people of integrity (blameless, righteous, truth speaking, keep oaths, no bribes) – in people who control their tongues (no slander, no slurs) – in people who are not impressed by evil but by righteousness – in people who do not take advantage of others (lends without usuary)These are the character traits that impress God!May we be people who impress our heavenly Father – people of significance!”LORD the closer I walk to YOU, the more my life can make a difference. Developing the character traits above is not going to be easy for me. Please help me by filling me with YOUR SPIRIT. In JESUS’ name. Amen.”(You can view and print the entire series on Significance by going to the Church website www.emmanuel.org.za and following the link to devotions.)

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