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Restored (Acts 3)

With God's spirit poured out at Pentecost, a new truth was settling in. God was on the move. The healing of the crippled man, outside the temple gate, was proof. God was not waiting, he was meeting and restoring brokenness. The kingdom was coming and with it the restoration of all things.


Devoted (Acts 2:42-47)

Luke doesn't end the Pentecost events with the miraculous salvation of 3,000. Instead, he ends with a picture of the church's common life together. It is a passage that has been abused by many, but it's image challenges all of our ideas and expectations concerning community.


Witness (Acts 2:14-41)

Peter stood to bear witness to what the crowd was experiencing. This had always been Jesus' promise; they would be his witnesses once they had received the Holy Spirit. Jesus doesn't give them the command to witness but knows that they will having experienced his presence through the spirit.


Spirit (Acts 1:15-2:13)

When Pentecost came so did the Spirit. Thick with layers of Biblical imagery, Luke's picture of the church's spirit baptism is a powerful depiction of God's presence with his people. It was a crucial moment for the church and a necessity in fulfilling their purpose. The disciples needed 40 days of education from the resurrected Lord, but knowledge was not enough. They needed an experience of God that would compel them into worship and witness.


Waiting (Acts 1:1-14)

The book of Acts is a story of action—miracles, riots, persecution, Spirit-empowered speeches, missionary journeys, and explosive growth. The story is epic, one of the great stories of all times. But it doesn't begin as we might expect. Jesus last command to his disciples before his ascension was to wait. Waiting is the opening stance of the church and waiting is the action which drives forward the events of the early church.


The Final Image of David

Chapters 21-24 provide us with the final image of David. Like so much of his life, it is a mixed bag. Complicated stories, deep friendships and honest prayer before God. At the center of this image are David's final words, a psalm. And in that psalm four titles which have come to define David: psalmist, anointed, exalted, and son. Those titles walk leave us with the final image of David; a life of integrity; a man after God's own heart.


The End of David's Story

Chapters 19 and 20 bring the chronological story of David to a conclusion. David, having defeated Absalom's rebellion makes his way back to Jerusalem. Our expectations are of fanfare: victory parades, speeches of reconciliation, and the restored hope of a divine throne—a man after God's own heart. But the story takes a bizarre and unexpected turn. Your expectations are dashed as the story unravels into ambiguity and chaos. What do we do when there is no "happily ever after?"


Absalom's Death

The conflict has been inevitable; David and Absalom will face off in battle. But David's men won't let him join the fight. David is dismissed from his own story. He is forced to acknowledge that his own future is not in his hands. Worse, David faces an impossible situation. To save his life will mean the death of his son. To save his son will mean the loss of his life.


Absalom's Decision

Thomas Paine famous expressed, "These are the times that try men's souls." The crisis doesn't make the man, it reveals him. David's faith was immerging through the conflicting advice he was forced to navigate. Now we turn to Absalom. Absalom with face a critical decision between his two advisors. It will prove to be a time that will, in fact, reveal his soul. Absalom chooses foolishly.


David and the Cursing of Shimei

As David flees Jerusalem, he encounters various individuals. Some speak of faithfulness, others violence, and Shimei comes with words of condemnation. As David passes, Shimei shots down curses. We don't like to surround ourselves with people like Shimei. In looking for advisors, we prefer affirmation and positivity. But David is willing to hear Shimei's words. As one commentator put it, Shemi's curses "stripped off the royal veneer" of David's public image. Shemei's curses forced David's...


David and God's Faithfulness

The consequences of David's sins are real and painful. But Absalom seems most angered by the fact it hasn't cost David the throne. For all that David has done, he continues to be God's chosen king. Absalom see's God's faithfulness as injustice and is determined to take the throne for himself.


David And The Consequences of Sin

David was honest in the confession of his sins. And though God's first words were forgiveness, he was also told that the sword would not depart from his house—there would be consequences. That's hard to hear. We hope that forgiveness means a way out of the consequences. But David's life challenges our view of forgiveness and shows us a better way.


David and Nathan

God wouldn't allow David to live a divided life. God sent for Nathan and Nathan delivered a powerful message to the King—you are the man! With that simple realization, David's world is forced back into its proper place, aware of God. David responds with confession and breathtaking faith.


David and Bathsheba

It's not an easy chapter to read. The story of David's fateful night with Bathsheba will have repercussions for many chapters to come. But for those who have paid careful attention, we aren't entirely surprised. Slowly David's character has been developing into two selves: a public image and a private reality. Deeper than his adultery, David's life has become disengaged from God. It's there we find the greatest risk.


Passion Week: Palm Sunday

Barry Kinzer begins our passion week observations with a message on Palm Sunday.


David's Kindness Rejected

We have been surprised by David's kindness. In chapter ten, his kindness stretches even to his enemies, the Ammonites. But that kindness is rejected—thrown back at him as a humiliating insult. The limits of David's love is put to the test. The Bible holds no naive or sentimental ideas about love. Love always leaves us vulnerable and often makes our lives far more complicated. But in the midst of the complexities we are given a word of courage—faith.


David Brings the Ark to Jerusalem

The ark's return to public worship was a monumental event in Israel's history. For too long it had been in hiding. David was determined to give it a place of honor in his new city of Jerusalem. The parade that day must have been awe-inspiring. 30,000 of David's finest troops worshiping and singing as the ark rolled along guided by Uzzah and Ahio. Everything was going so well until the ox stumbled and Uzzah reached up to steady the ark. Immediately he was struck dead.


David Hates the Lame

David was finally crowned king. His first move was to secure a new capital city, Jerusalem. The chapter moves from success to success—captured cities and military conquest, children and royal palaces. But subtly another story is developing beneath the surface. David's life and motives are more complicated than we initially realize.


Civil War And A Test of Patience

As Israel's civil war drags on across years, David faces a test, patience. Everywhere he is surrounded by desperate and determined men. Betrayal, deception, manipulation, assassination, politics, bartering over the lives of women and concubines, trials and judgments, death sentences and executions. It is into this complicated moment David is called to follow and to wait on the Lord.