10-14 God, the Master, was delighted with Solomon’s response. And God said to him, “Because you have asked for this and haven’t grasped after a long life, or riches, or the doom of your enemies, but you have asked for the ability to lead and govern well, I’ll give you what you’ve asked for—I’m giving you a wise and mature heart. There’s never been one like you before; and there’ll be no one after. As a bonus, I’m giving you both the wealth and glory you didn’t ask for—there’s not a king anywhere who will come up to your mark. And if you stay on course, keeping your eye on the life-map and the God-signs as your father David did, I’ll also give you a long life.”
Wisdom and to lead well is a message that is one that we should seek. If David was “a man after God’s own heart” Solomon was one who would seek God’s mind and motive. The difficult thing is that the path that Solomon followed may have looked righteous at times but he quickly and frequently took matters in his own hands. The lesson is a character lesson that we all can learn from. Romans 12 says to “renew the mind” but to truly be a “living sacrifice” as Paul writes, we must also “renew our hearts” as well. David renewed his heart, Solomon renewed his mind but giving our all and seeking God’s motive and letting God direct our path is the message here. Everything else falls into place if we have the character issue worked out in our minds and our hearts.
Yesterday as I led a group of urban missionaries in Denver, we traveled from the wasteland of the trilemma of searching for “love in all the wrong places.” From a Middle School on Emerson and 13th going North we find Planned Parenthood; Rainbow Alley (a support center for “Gay teens” ages preteen (12 years old to 25 years old) We prayed and sang, then walked a half block up to Charlies- a gay bar. “My chains are gone – I’ve been set free, my God my Savior has rescued me, and like a flood, his mercy rains, unending love- Amazing Grace.” The prayer walk continues after the new testament reading for the day.
8-10Stephen, brimming with God’s grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke.
Stephen was stoned by the people as the story goes. We walked further and headed West on East Colfax Avenue. Stopping, praising and praying in front of liquor stores; porn and payday loan markets. We prayed that the spirit of addictions would be lifted from these people. The trilemma- “search for love,” “search for escapism” and the search power. People might want to talk us down, but we sing of His mercy, we pray light in the darkness and we pray that our approach is to follow Jesus. Then we come into the power grid of the State.
4-6 And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
At the Capitol Steps we sing “How Great is our God,” we pray for Governor Hickenlooper, who is watching us- from the steps. He pauses, stays his distance but listens to our prayers, for wise legislation, for good government, we pray for his family and we pray for him- and we sing “The splendor of the King, clothed in righteoussness, let all the earth rejoice. He wraps Himself in light, and darkness tries to hide, and trembles at His voice, and trembles at his voice.”
I am reading several books this summer- rapidly. One on the Cold War and Ronald Reagan; another on the dust particles of the 9-11 tragedy called “City of Dust.” The third book is about the character of Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach and a fourth by Charles Shultz, “My life with Charlie Brown.” All are testimonies of character and show examples of both good and bad character. I’ll keep you posted. I can see this as one super radio program on character.
The answer for the Trilemma of searching for meaning, running to addictions, and pursuing to be loved can be answered by a Triology of Biblical, Systematic, and Evangelical Theology of what is God’s motive, the Jesus Approach (the Gospel), and the microburst and power of the Holy Spirit that takes our minds and hearts off of our “self-center” and reaches out to the Christ Center! That’s what we try to do at Friendship Fellowship we study God’s Word, we are in relationship with Jesus and one another, and we practice living out the message, the music, and the mission in all out, out reach!
26 Appetite is an incentive to work;
hunger makes you work all the harder.
27 Mean people spread mean gossip;
their words smart and burn.
I have written before about our choice of words. Do we gossip or do we gospel? Whatever is true, whatever is right- that’s the kind of gospel I want to spread. How about you?