"When David sinned with Bathsheba, he broke all of the Ten Commandments. He coveted his neighbor’s wife, lived a lie, stole her, committed adultery, murdered her husband, dishonored his parents, and thus broke the remaining four Commandments by dishonoring God. Therefore, the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to reprove him (2 Samuel 12:1–14).
There is great significance in the order in which the reproof came. Nathan gave David (the shepherd of Israel) a parable about something that David could understand— sheep. He began with the natural realm, rather than immediately exposing the king’s sin. He told a story about a rich man who, instead of taking a sheep from his own flock, killed a poor man’s pet lamb to feed a stranger. David was indignant, and sat up on his high throne of self-righteousness. He revealed his knowledge of the Law by declaring that the guilty party must restore fourfold and must die for his crime. Nathan then exposed the king’s sin of taking another man’s "lamb," saying, "You are the man...Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight?" When David cried, "I have sinned against the Lord," the prophet then gave him grace and said, "The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die."
Imagine if Nathan, fearful of rejection, changed things around a little, and instead told David, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. However, there is something that is keeping you from enjoying this wonderful plan; it is called ‘sin.’" Imagine if he had glossed over the personal nature of David’s sin, with a general reference to all men having sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. David’s reaction may have been, "What sin are you talking about?" rather than to admit his terrible transgression. Think of it — why should he cry, "I have sinned against the Lord" at the sound of that message? Instead, he may have, in a sincere desire to experience this "wonderful plan," admitted that he, like all men, had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
If David had not been made to tremble under the wrath of the Law, the prophet would have removed the very means of producing godly sorrow, which was so necessary for David’s repentance. It is "godly sorrow" that produces repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). It was the weight of David’s guilt that caused him to cry out, "I have sinned against the Lord." The Law caused him to labor and become heavy laden; it made him hunger and thirst for righteousness. It enlightened him as to the serious nature of sin as far as God was concerned."
from Living Waters.com
Saturday, June 12, 2010
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing....it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” Me.
John 15:1-5; 16: 7-8
We have some great events coming up at our church this weekend that we're praying will help encourage and equip our body to be more effective in sharing their faith, as well as lead people to Christ by preaching the gospel to the unsaved in our neighborhood. Ministry through Mystery, an evangelism team that has traveled throughout the US and other countries and led thousands to Christ, will be conducting a training this Friday (June 18th) at our church (Calvary Chapel, O'Hare in Franklin Park) on "Equipping to Evangelize Using Illusion".
They will be encouraging and equipping us to share the gospel more effectively, including using simple pocket magic tricks as "ice-breakers" to get a conversation started with unbelievers and to demonstrate principles of the gospel message. I believe this would be particularly effective in open-air (street) evangelism. I know this will take a lot of practice to learn these methods and incorporate them naturally in witnessing conversations, so we're planning on having some follow-up trainings available for those who attend from our church, and other churches and ministries.
If anyone reading this is in the Chicago metro area, and would like to learn more or to attend, please contact me using the email option in the "About Me" tab below, right. (There are several other evangelism training and outreach events we will be involved in this summer and early fall--including more open air evangelism, possibly in downtown Chicago, as well as the Harvest Crusade with Greg Laurie at the Allstate Arena--in which anyone from the area would be welcome to participate. For more information about these events, please contact me the same way).
The next day, Saturday, we are helping to organize a block party on our block and inviting the neighbors from the surrounding streets. The Ministry through Mystery team will do a magic show that will involve preaching the gospel. Our prayer is that the Word of God go forth and bring lost people to Christ, and that all glory will go to God.
I will post an update on the training and the block party event soon afterwards.