One day recently a Christian woman that I know was in the office of a materially successful businesswoman. The businesswoman, not a member of the church of Christ, said to my friend “I have never known anyone who could find solutions to the problems in her world quicker than you can. You suddenly needed a home and ‘Bam!” …you had a place to live. You needed a job and ‘Bam!’ …you had a job. You needed an educational plan and ‘Bam!’…there it was. I have never seen anyone like this.”
My friend responded, “It is not me, at all. It is the church. It is Christians who hear about needs and seek to fill them. The church is wonderful!”
The businesswoman then responded “I have noticed that about your church. It seems like your church is all about serving needs. It seems like the whole thing is just honestly about humble service, as opposed to any selfish agendas. As an outsider, that is what I see.”
We should all give the credit and glory for anything good to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) and the kingdom whose mission it is to glorify Him. I want to be better at this simple, conversational glorying in the Lord. “He that glories, let him glory in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 1:33).
As I was thinking on this conversation, I received the following correspondence from Kastin Carroll, my friend in the Fort Worth area. I want to be like Kastin, when I grow up. She’s been studying David and Saul. From the perspective of the reputation of David, in the tough times, she writes these words. They are full of comfort.
I recently finished the David-and-Saul saga in my OT reading. Just a few things I saw shining out of David’s upright conduct in that miserable, manipulative relationship that I thought were beautiful:
1. Even the far-removed saw and loved David’s heart (1 Kings 5:1, Acts 13:22).
2. Even Saul’s family and soldiers saw David’s righteousness (1 Samuel 19:4-5, 2 Samuel 3:8-10).
3. Even the Philistines came to love David and know Israel’s God (1 Samuel 29:6-9, 2 Samuel 15:19-21).
I love the combined blessing, anthem, and prayer of the mighty men who rallied behind David at the stronghold, a fugitive from his own home: “We are yours, O David; We are on your side, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, And peace to your helpers! For your God helps you” (1 Chronicles 12:18). And God did help. Even and especially “when vain [was] the help of man” (Psalm 108:12).
I thought “Wow. David represented the future of a kingdom.” It was a kingdom being threatened by a ruthless, reckless King Saul, who had abandoned principles of righteousness. Though secure in the Providence of God, this kingdom was hurting because its leadership was corrupt. The influence of the kingdom was diminished because of prominent voices which had once been true to the oracles of God, but, because of personal sins of pride and disobedience, were now seeking the destruction of the God-appointed future king of Israel.
In the midst of the darkest moments of David’s life, I love the awareness of those even outside the kingdom, who looked in and saw David’s good character. I love the anthem that Kastin found in 1 Chronicles 12. I pray that you and I can be women who, not because of any personal merit, but because of our allegiance to God’s kingdom, His only vehicle of salvation for the lost—for us— can know His true peace.
I pray, as was the case with my friend in that office that day, that those who are outsiders can look in and see a kingdom that reflects the John 3:16 compassion that put our perfect King on the cross.
PS. I love friends who share the Word with me. We should do that more. I did not even have to take the time to ask permission of Kastin to share her words with you. I know her encouraging heart. She’d say “Yes!”–with humility and grace. We should all encourage with the Word more often. There are profound blessings in sharing our study.