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Faithful or Perfect

This past Sunday at Colossae I taught on the life of David. It was part of our "Ancient Biographies" series we're doing this summer. A lot of people know a couple of stories about David and surely know he was a king, but most don't really know much about his life. So, I decided to walk through it...with a point, of course.

We know God said David was a "man after His own heart." David is held up as THE faithful king of all the kings and is esteemed in numerous ways throughout the scriptures. But he was also a mess. He lied to the priest at Nob, resulting in his death. He sought revenge with Nabal, seeking to kill him. And, he proved himself to be an adulterous murder as seen in the story with Bethsheba.

So, an obvious question is how can he be deemed "faithful" and a man after God's own heart?

This question arises because we wrongly think of being a faithful person as being a perfect person. But here was my point: the moment we confuse faithfulness with perfection is the moment we sign up for a miserable life drowned out by shame and guilt. We will never be perfect, but we can be faithful. And David provided a great example for us to follow:

First, he desired to do God's will (Psalm 40:8). This heart desire is something all believers have because of the Holy Spirit. Philippians 1:6 tells us that God will one day complete the work He has begun in us...so in the meantime, in our hearts, we want to please God.

Secondly, when we don't, we need to be quick to repent. David models this in Psalm 51 after being confronted by Nathan regarding his relationship with Bethsheba. He totally comes clean, articulating the truth of his wrongdoings and relies fully upon God to cleanse him from these things.

Thirdly, after repenting, we need to be quick to receive God's grace. Often times we don't and it results in us shrinking back from God, the people of God and the mission of God. In Psalm 51 David receives grace and moves forward in ministry - "teaching transgressors..."

I desire to please God in everything I do. I know I won't be perfect in implementing those desires, so I try to be quick to repent. I want to be fully honest with God with how I sinned and the consequences my sin brought. AFter this, I seek to be quick to receive God's grace and forgiveness and move forward in the ministry he has for me - whatever that might be. And, this pattern of life will one day result in my life being faithful, not perfect.

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