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Under the Tree

Reaching Forward - July 11

by Gary Henry

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

2 Cor. 5:14, 15

One of life’s marvels is the redemptive power of love. There probably aren’t many of us who haven’t experienced the difference that it makes to know that somebody loves us. We can be discouraged and about to give up, but when we remind ourselves that there are those who love us, we find new hope.

Paul the apostle is a fascinating figure from many viewpoints, but one of the most interesting things about him is his motivation. We don’t have to wonder what caused him work as hard and suffer as courageously as he did. He tells us. It was, he said, “the love of Christ” that compelled, or constrained him. The love of Christ governed his thinking and pulled his actions in the right direction.

But was Paul talking about Christ’s love for him or his love for Christ? I think he was talking about both because it’s not really possible to separate the two. Christ’s love for us moved Him to die for our sins, and in response to that love, we love Him and live our lives for His sake. Christ died “that all those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them.” That was the key to Paul’s motivation. Every move he made was an effort to show gratitude for the One who loved Him enough to die for him. And friend, if that motivation doesn’t move you, you can’t be moved. Motivation doesn’t’ get any stronger than that.

As long as we live in this world, we are going to have days of discouragement. We can’t fight on the front lines and not get wounded. But what a difference it makes to remember that Christ died for us! The thought that Somebody loved us like that can turn us around no matter what ditch the devil has dragged us into.

But there is a catch: we have to think about what Christ did for us. The redemptive, refreshing, strengthening power of that though it not automatic. We have to think it. And not only do we have to think it, we have to let it have its proper effect on us. We have to go to the cross and get the point of what happened there.

Leadership Transitions

“And the king took an oath and said, ‘As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress, just as I swore to you by the Lord God of Israel, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place,’ so I certainly will do this day’.””

1 Kings 1:29-30

Two things greatly helped Solomon in his succession to the throne of Israel; both gave him the authority he required to rule. First, God chose him to be the next king. Second, David chose him as his successor. Transitions in leadership often cause significant problems for groups and organizations.

Notice what David did to smooth the transition process in his kingdom:

  • He made a public commitment.
  • He brought key influencers into the process.
  • He gave Solomon some of his own resources, easily recognizable to the people.
  • He set up a public commissioning for Solomon.
  • He publicly endorsed Solomon’s leadership.
  • He initiated a celebration to transition the leadership to his successor.



Sunday AM Worship

Reading: Acts 1:12-14

I.A Leader’s Potential Is Determined by Those Closest to him

     a.Acts 1:13-14

II.Abraham’s Trusted Servant

     a.Gen. 24:1-27

III.Leveraging the Law of the Inner Circle

     a.2 Sam. 15:32-34

     b.2 Sam. 17:1-16

IV.A Hard Truth

     a.2 Sam. 12:1-13

When A Loved One is Making A Terrible Mistake​

Sunday PM Worship

Reading: Luke 22:31-34

I.Jesus Warned Peter

     a.Luke 22:33

     b.Ezek. 33:1-9

     c.Acts 20:28-31

     d.Rev. 3:19

     e.Prov. 27:6

     f.Ps. 141:5

II.Jesus Respected Peter’s Free Will

     a.Prov. 22:6

     b.Gen. 2:24

III.Jesus Prayed for Peter

     a.Luke 15:17

     b.1 Pet. 5:6-7; Phil. 4:6-7

     c.James 5:16

IV.Jesus Identified the Real Enemy

     a.Rev. 12:9

     b.John 8:44

     c.1 Pet. 5:8

     d.2 Tim. 2:26

V.Jesus Anticipated Peter’s Return

     a.Luke 15:11-24

     b.Luke 15:20

     c.Heb. 6:19

     d.2 Pet. 3:9

     e.Luke 15:24

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