Leaders: Gentleness, not severity, will win you respect and love


King David is an interesting character. His gentleness is evident in 2 Samuel 3. David says quite rightly towards the end, "These men, the sons of Zeruiah, are more severe than I." (v39), His lack of severity is to be broadly welcomed, and yet there is perhaps a weak side to this very strength. His gentility leads to passivity. Just like in the previous chapter, King David seems like almost a passenger in this story. Could it be that he was too gentle?King David's attitude is starkly … [Read more...]

 Don’t assume God’s guidance will open an easy path


 Sometimes we can be so familiar with a story that we miss crucial details. As we get to 2 Samuel 2 most of us know what is coming: King Saul is dead, the age of King David has begun. And yet the transition is far from being that straightforward.David inquires of God what he should do. In response to God's reply he moves to Hebron. Judea immediately embraces him as king. David reaches out with magnimity to those who buried Saul. You might think that the reign of King David over the … [Read more...]

Singleness is not about living for yourself


Following on from yesterdays guest post about singleness, I thought I would share John Piper's perspective:Paul was so completely committed to a life of celibacy that he longed for everyone to have it. But the reason he loved the single life is exactly the opposite of why many people today love singleness and will even break up marriages in order to be single again. Today singleness is cherished by many because it brings maximum freedom for self-realization. You pull your own strings. No one … [Read more...]

Do not rejoice when your enemies fall


Before Christmas we looked at the tragic end of Israel's first king, Saul. Today, I want us to spend a few moments contemplating the response of David to this news as seen in 2 Samuel 1.Saul had been a disaster for Israel and a deadly enemy towards David. We could easily forgive David if he had rejoiced at Saul's death.But instead David honors the office of King, the anointing of the Lord, and the image of God in every man. He chooses to grieve, and in his lament thinks of the best … [Read more...]

9 Key Trends in the UK Church

a pixabay photo

John Stevens is the national director at FIEC (The UK's Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches). He reports on nine key trends he observed as he participated in a recent UK church movement leaders event led by Terry Virgo: Growing Christmas Carol Services Effective Evangelistic Outreach through Christians Against Poverty and Foodbanks Proliferation of Multi-Site Churches Remembering the Needs of the Global Church The Christian Situation in the United States Is Not … [Read more...]

The tragic end of the head and shoulders king


1 Samuel 31 contains Saul's final act. The irony is clear. The man who towered head and shoulders over his contemporaries (1 Sam 9:2) is quite literally cut down to size as his head is removed from his shoulders.The regal first king of Israel is killed and his body is shamefully violated. His line is extinguished. And all along, the one warrior who could have helped him wasn't there directly because of Saul's previous attempts to murder him as a rival. The enemy King who had accepted David and … [Read more...]

Adrian and his pastor, Tope Koleoso on TBN’s Praise the Lord


This episode of Praise the Lord was filmed in TBN UK's new London studio. It is the only time that I have ever been interviewed alongside my dear friend, brother, and pastor, Tope Koleoso.We spoke about what God has been doing at Jubilee Church these past twenty years, and the source of real hope. Lou Fellingham was the worship leader.Resources mentioned If you are interested in getting bulk copies of Hope Reborn, you can get them at a good discount at hopereborn.com. Lou Fellingham's … [Read more...]

How disaster can lead you back to the LORD


In Scripture, being with the people of God implies being in the presence of God. David had been living away from both for some time. It seems clear that his relationship with God was weaker as a result. Certainly no mention of God is there for a few chapters. The fugitive David never looked less like a future king than at the beginning of 1 Samuel 30.He was resigned to sitting out the next great battle between the Philistines who had taken him in and his own people who had rejected him. It is … [Read more...]

A word for every preacher this weekend

E.M. Bounds

More from E. M. Bounds. I found this personally challenging as I prepare to preach tomorrow at Jubilee Enfield. Please pray for me that I will preach in the power of the Holy Spirit. If you are preaching tomorrow too, then join me in "urgent prayer for Gods presence." We may excuse the spiritual poverty of our preaching in many ways, but the true secret will be found in the lack of urgent prayer for God’s presence in the power of the Holy Spirit. There are preachers innumerable who can deliver m … [Read more...]

Spurgeon on the vital place of prayer


I came across the following two quotes about Spurgeon's view of prayer on a website I was reading. They both struck me so strongly that I wanted to check the sources. Thanks to Logos Bible Software I was able to find the source of the first.But the second quote eludes me, as although it is often cited online and even in books, I've not been able to corroborate the veracity of the story. Anybody know where it comes from? A certain preacher, whose sermons converted men by scores, received a r … [Read more...]