Category: Year End Message

Learning from David as King in Waiting

Following the Divine Schedule

David followed God’s schedule to become king of Israel without knowing the full schedule at any time. Similarly, God may grant a prayer with a promise, set a schedule for fulfilling the promise, want the recipient to follow the schedule, but may not reveal the promise or schedule to the recipient. We look forward to understanding better through our bible study program for year 2020: how David responded in specific events without knowing what events to expect, when to expect them, and how they might be relevant to his over-all objective of becoming king. The program will include a study of Joseph’s prayer: an example of a believer’s prayer God granted with a promise but did not reveal either the promise or his schedule for its fulfillment. We thank you for participating in our 2019 bible study program and look forward to your joining us again in 2020.

God called David to kingship of Israel, had Prophet Samuel anoint him king, and led him through a schedule of events that lasted approximately ten years and culminated in the people of Israel formally electing him king. We recently completed a study series on David’s experience as king in waiting, during which we examined the events he encountered, his response to the events, and the outcomes. We see the events as a sequence of steps whereby God prepared David for the kingship and led him incrementally toward becoming king. The series has been instructive because of helping us understand that God will lead a person incrementally toward accomplishing any mission that he defines for the person.

As we discuss in a previous study under Human Relationship with God Regarding Work, he often will lead a person to accomplish a mission through a schedule of task increments without revealing the entire schedule at any time. Each task increment leads to an outcome that ushers in the next task. Thus, the person proceeds through God’s schedule in a series of steps that culminate in completing the mission and accomplishing the objectives, without knowing the full schedule at any time.

David takes aim at Goliath
David takes aim at Goliath
Sweet Publishing

David followed God’s schedule to become king of Israel without knowing the full schedule at any time. As we discuss in a previous study under Waiting for God’s Time—David Anointed King of Israel, God did not reveal the schedule to him or any person, not even Prophet Samuel that anointed him king. Therefore, David followed God’s schedule without knowing the specific events in the schedule: what events to expect, when to expect them, and how they might be relevant to his over-all objective of becoming king of Israel.

God selected David to be king, set a schedule for his becoming king, expected him to follow the schedule, but did not reveal the schedule to him or any other person.

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Human Relationship with God Regarding Work

Guidance Faith Work and Miracle

Would you end 2018 understanding that God defines work for every person, divides the work into task increments, initiates each task, and provides the person guidance to proceed and complete the task on time? Christ explains and illustrates this relationship through interactions with a man born blind. Each task, if completed, leads to a miracle and ushers in the next task. To receive and complete your tasks, you need to stay connected to God: by praying continually, interacting with other believers in fellowship, and living in the image of God. You will receive his guidance, follow with faith, and complete each task on time to receive your miracle and guidance for the next task.

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Jesus teaching
Jesus teaching

We invite you to end 2018 learning from Christ’s teaching on human relationship with God regarding work, through interactions with a man born blind. Christ uses the interactions to lead us step by step through an illustration of the relationship. Apostle John provides an account of the teaching and illustration in the first 39 verses of chapter 9 [John 9:1–39]. In the teaching, Christ explains that God defines a work mission for every person, divides the work into task increments with a performance time for each, initiates each task, and provides guidance for the person to continue and complete the task on time. Each task completed on time results in a miracle and ushers the person onto the next task.

The mission for the man born blind appears to be to start proclaiming the gospel message to all, using his life experience as physical evidence that Jesus is the Messiah and to illustrate the work aspects of human relationship with God. He performed the mission in task increments as God guided him. The biblical account describes the first three tasks and the beginning of the fourth. We describe the three tasks using a sketch format to emphasize the relationship they illustrate.

Each task description identifies an objective, initiation, instruction, outcome, and miracle.

Task Objective represents the purpose to be accomplished through the task. The objective of a task could be identified at the end of the task but is usually not obvious at the beginning. For example, when Christ told the blind man to “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” [John 9:7], he did not tell the man the objective was to gain sight.

Go to pool of Siloam and wash
Go to pool of Siloam and wash

Task Initiation represents something that God does to get the task started. For example, Christ anointed the man’s eyes with moist clay before giving him the instruction to go and wash in the pool: “He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay” [John 9:6]. We encountered an example in a previous bible study under Peter Escapes from Herod’s Prison, when an angel released Peter from prison and left him outside the prison gates to complete his escape from King Herod. God’s initiation of a task is at times contained in the miracle of a previous task. Anointing the man’s eyes with moist clay appears symbolic to illustrate task initiation by God. If all he wanted was to heal the man, he could have accomplished that just by touching him and pronouncing the healing.

Task Instruction represents a specific command to do something. God gives the recipient an instruction to do something: either a clear and direct instruction as in Task 1 or an instruction that becomes evident with the unfolding events as in Tasks 2 and 3.

Task Outcome describes the result of a task and includes a miracle.

Task Miracle Every task includes a miracle with the outcome. The miracle is an aspect of the task outcome that could not have happened through human effort alone.

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Season for Giving, Receiving, and Appreciation

Long-Term Benefit of Human Service

Appreciation motivates a “hunger and thirst” for righteousness that extends the benefits of human service through more people and time. We join this year’s celebration of thanksgiving and use the opportunity to discuss Christ’s teaching on appreciation as a motivator of positive human interaction.

Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth USA
Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth USA

Thanksgiving is celebrated in different parts of the world at various times. In several places, the celebration is associated with harvest and appreciation for the “fruits of the land.” Also in several places, thanksgiving is celebrated near the end of the calendar year in appreciation of all that was good during the year. For example, in several countries of North America, thanksgiving is celebrated late in the calendar year, usually a few weeks before Christmas; thus beginning a season of giving, receiving, and appreciation that lasts through the remainder of the year. People and institutions exchange gifts and greetings to appreciate each other for being who or what they are and for events of the year that brought their paths to cross.

We join in this year’s celebrations: to express our appreciation to all that interacted with our program one way or the other during the year. We thank God for you and appreciate this opportunity to learn his word and share our understanding through Banking Blessings Ministry. We celebrate this year’s interactions and use the opportunity of the celebration to discuss the value of appreciation in motivating positive human interaction.

Go in peace freed from suffering
Go in peace freed from suffering
Sweet Publishing

CHRIST’S TEACHING ON APPRECIATION We examine Christ’s teaching on appreciation based on his interactions with two people he healed from persistent illness. The interactions suggest he wanted to emphasize appreciation as important to the healing, as if the healing was incomplete without it. The interactions occurred in regard to a woman he healed of long-term bleeding and a man that was the only one of ten that returned to thank him for healing them of leprosy. In both cases, he appeared to be telling them and us that their appreciation enabled them to receive full benefits of the healing. However, we know based on the biblical accounts that the physical healing was complete in each case before the recipient stepped forward to show appreciation. Therefore, his interactions with them lead us to understand that each recipient needed more than the physical healing to receive full benefit of his/her interaction with Jesus in the healing incident.

HUNGER FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS His interactions with the two lead us to understand that every human service offers two potential benefits to the recipient:

  1. Surface-value or short-term benefit that arises from the service addressing an immediate need, such as physical healing.
  2. Long-term benefit that arises because the recipient’s appreciation motivates him/her to be good, not only to the provider but also to other people.

If the recipient is good to another person as a result, the other also is motivated to be good to yet others. Thus, an act of goodness whereby a person provides a service to alleviate another person’s need could benefit several more people because the recipient’s appreciation motivates him/her to be good to others that are, in turn, motivated to be good to yet others. Thus, the long-term benefit of human service lies in the potential to motivate an expanding community of people to “hunger and thirst for righteousness” [Matthew 5:6] and earn blessing as Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount. This long-term benefit is more important than the short-term benefit. Christ emphasized its value through personal interactions with the two healing recipients.

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