The Stones Cry Out


Rocky Beach along Lake Superior in Michigan

As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—
the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice
for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying,
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him,
“Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered,
“I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

– Luke 19:37-40

And the stones do cry out – proclaiming the glory and beauty of our Creator!

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Proper Size

DiscoveringGodAs long as he was looking at himself, he seemed enormous, and there was no room for God at all.  But once he looked to God, he shrank back down to his proper size.

– Philip Graham Ryken in Discovering God

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Reflections on I Samuel 16-18

In our passage today, God chooses a new king.  Note:

  • Heart – God looks not on the outward appearance, but on the heart. God chooses David because David has a heart for God.  What does God see when he looks at your heart?
  • The battle is the Lord’s – David goes out to fight Goliath, but he doesn’t go alone. He goes in the name of the Lord for the glory of God.  What battles are you facing?  You need not fight the battle alone.  Look to the Lord for help and fight for his glory.
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Ministry Collection

Here are some good posts on preaching:

8 Reasons to Preach Through Books of the Bible – Jared Wilson (FTC)

The 5 C’s of Preaching – Jared Wilson (FTC)

What Questions Should a Pastor Ask Himself after Preaching a Sermon? – R. Kent Hughes (Crossway)

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Prayer Quote of the Week

praying-hands-smMost Christians pray sometimes, with some prayers and some degree of perseverance, for some of God’s people.  But to replace “some” by “all” in each of these expressions would be to introduce us to a new dimension of prayer.

– John Stott

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Reflections on I Samuel 13-15

Saul, the new king, fails to follow the Lord.  Observe:

  • Heart for God – Saul offers a sacrifice that is not his to make, and so disobeys God. Samuel tells Saul that his kingdom will not continue, for God is seeking a man after his own heart.  In other words, Saul’s disobedience reveals his heart – and it is not after God.  Where is your heart?  Do your actions reveal a heart for God or not?
  • Obedience – As Saul disobeyed God in chapter 13, so he does it again in chapter 15 – apparently following the people instead of God. Are you following God or the crowd around you?  In what ways are you tempted to follow those around you?
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Classic Quote

OldBooksIf the soul of the believer is in a healthy condition, he will take occasion to frequently come into God’s presence on purpose to have communion with Him.

– A. W. Pink

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I Samuel 13-18: A Tale of Three Men

(13) How did Saul disobey God?  What excuses does he make?

What do Saul’s actions and excuses tell you about his heart?

(15) How did Saul disobey God?  What excuses does he make?

What do Saul’s actions and excuses tell you about his heart?

How would you summarize v22?

How should we apply this verse (and the entire passage) to our lives today?

(13-14) What contrasts do you see between Jonathan and Saul?

What do you learn about Jonathan’s heart?

(16-17) God is going to provide for himself a king.  What is God looking for, and not looking for (16:7, see also 9:2, 13:14)?

How might we apply 16:7 to our own lives today (see I Timothy 4:7-8)?

How does David exhibit what God is looking for in chapter 17?

How do David’s actions against Goliath point to Jesus?

(18) Again, what contrasts do you see between Jonathan and Saul?

What do you learn about each man’s heart?

(14, 17)  How do Jonathan and David demonstrate the truth found in II Corinthians 12:9-10?

How do we need to apply this truth to our lives today?

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Passion Points

Here are some good posts for your weekend reading:

Practical Suggestions for Cultivating Communion with God – Kelly Kapic (Crossway)
But interpersonal relationships are not “things” to be accomplished. They are more about “being” than “doing,” and they need attentiveness, mutual exchange, and care to flourish. Relationships cannot be life-giving sources of strength if we are not present in and to them. Communion with God is a deep need for every human, whether we acknowledge the need or not. Communion with God is how we were made to function, and it is ultimately about a loving and very present relationship with the triune Creator.

The Hidden Power in Every Idol – Tim Challies
If we worship the idol of the perfect body, the sweeping curves or the chiseled abs, we will become as vain and self-focused as the models in the magazines. If we worship the idol of money, we will become as greedy, selfish, and cut-throat as the worst wolf on Wall Street. If we worship athleticism, we will imitate superstar athletes in their arrogance, their moral depravity, their self-obsession. If we worship the idol of power we will mimic the flip-flopping, anything-goes, popularity-obsessed politician. On and on it goes.

5 Reasons Not to Waste Your Leisure Time– Jeff Robinson (TGC)
In today’s work force, some researchers have found the average work week for an American man is creeping beyond 50 hours. Thus, after a long and laborious work week, our finite bodies and minds often stand in need of refreshment. God set a pattern in the created order (evening/morning/end of the day) for six days, and then established a day of rest on the seventh.

Why the Local Church Really Matters – Tim Challies
As we prepare to worship God tomorrow, it may do us good to pause for just a few moments to consider the local church. What is the church? Why has God called us into these little communities? Does the local church really matter? It does! The local church is foundational to God’s plan for his people.

Hope you have a great Lord’s Day with your local church!

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Sermon Songs: Ephesians 6:21-24


We are a church family
All sisters and brothers
Know each one in the Body
And love one another
Together serve faithfully
Always encouraging
And from our hearts prayerfully
Offer our Lord’s blessing

We are the Lord’s family
All children of the King
He pours out His grace freely
Great love of which we sing
Peace with our God and Savior
And with His one Body
To Jesus all our hearts pour
Our love eternally

(To the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation”)

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