SHARED AT NEW LIFE CHURCH
SUNDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2006
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO
I've also been thinking a lot about Ted Haggard and his flock at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. Last night I was on their church website (www.newlifechurch.org), downloading the latest letter from his overseers.
Please join me in praying for the New Life Church flock, for Ted, his wife Gayle, and their five children, for the other staff and volunteers at New Life Church, and for Mike Jones, the Denver man who brought this story out into the open.
God can take any circumstance -- especially those connected with confession and repentence -- and, in His time, turn them around for His good. I know that this situation is a mess right now, but I've seen God turn ashes into beauty too many times (in my life and in the lives of others) to believe otherwise.
Today, I'm especially led to pray for the new followers of Jesus Christ who are part of the New Life Church ... as well as for those folks who've been attending New Life Church for a while, and who, even this very week, were on the verge of making the choice to enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Let's pray a prayer of protection, wisdom, and strength over these vulnerable lambs of the flock.
This morning I listened to the last teaching Pastor Ted brought to the New Life Church flock. He'd been teaching through FIRST SAMUEL and began the Sunday, 29 October worship service with a prayer that included the words (connected to the upcoming elections and all the things in the news surrounding them) that "lies and deception would be exposed."
The Scripture passage Ted was teaching from last Sunday was FIRST SAMUEL 16:1-13 where God rejected Saul as the leader of Israel because of the disobedience He saw in his life -- choosing instead, David to be the king of Israel. The main thing Ted was focusing on were Samuel's words ... that "while people look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart." He talked about how easy it is for us to think that this verse was just saying something important about David -- mainly that David had a clean heart and clean hands before God.
But Ted emphasized that with these words God and Samuel were also saying some important things about Saul -- mainly that Saul had a unrighteous, disobedient, deceitful heart. And that while Saul may have "looked good" to the people who were following him, God saw his heart ... who he really was ... and because of this, His judgment against Saul needed to came down.
a clean heart before You and before others. Help me to
focus on who I am on the inside, not just on who I am on
the outside. Help me to live a life of accountability, of
partnership with others, and of honesty. God, help me to be
a man who hates nothing but sin, and who ultimately loves no
one above You. God, teach me the power and confidence of
living a humble, confessional life before You and others.