Thursday, January 7, 2016

Devotion 1.8.16

David drew "five smooth stones" from a brook in the valley before he faced Goliath (1 Samuel 17).  What are our "five smooth stones" as we face our Goliath's in life?

Christ is a "stone" we have.  "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God" (John 1:1).  Christ is the foundation of our faith as we hear in Matthew 16, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God," Peter answers with certainty. Christ responds by saying that "...on this rock, I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (v 18) 

The Word of God is also a stone that we have.  In Matthew 4, we are told that Christ is "led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil." With each of the three temptations, Christ responds with the Word of God, starting his response to each temptation, "It is written...."  Our living God has given us his living Word and his Word in written form.  As the Goliath's of life confront us, we have the Word of God as a stone. As David writes in the psalm, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119)  The written Word of God is the light we have at all times.

Prayer is another stone in our "shepherd's pouch" (1 Samuel 17).  Prayer is demonstrated by David throughout the psalm.  Christ turned to his Father in prayer on many occasions and taught us to pray. "And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles to for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask.  Pray like this then...." as He gives us the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6).  The Spirit is there for us when we pray when we don't know how to put our thoughts into words.  "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words." (Romans 8)

The church is also a stone for us at all times.  Christ gave us the church, as Paul writes in Ephesians 5. "... as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." The church, founded on the article of faith in Peter's confession, "the Christ, the son of the living God," is founded on that solid foundation.

Christ, the Word, prayer, the church.  Four stones we have at our disposal when we face Goliath's.  We also have the stones of the sacraments in the church - baptism and communion - where God sends his Spirit to write our faith on our hearts through water and Word and to give forgiveness of sins as the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ.  The Spirit renews us and creates a clean heart for us.

You might think of others as well, but as Christians, Christ has given us much at our disposal when we face "Goliaths" in life, and in truth, when we become Goliaths ourselves.  Stay in the Word, focus on Christ, pray for forgiveness, strength, and renewal each day, and pray that we use the church as a light to the world bringing that same message of the Word, forgiveness, grace and strength to others.

Hope Men's Ministry

No comments:

Post a Comment