God's heart responds to betrayal with crazy love

All you have to do is live long enough and you will be hurt by other people.

In this David-story, King David responds to deep and bitter betrayal in a way that shows us God's heart: he responds with crazy love. Crazy love is love is love unexplainable, love that's not safe, love that's risky and wild.

When Ahitophel betrays David, David prays for him. When Shimei betrays David, David shows restraint. When Absalom betrays David, David laments. This constellation of kindness, mercy and grief is wildly different from our usual responses to betrayal: rage, revenge and exclusion. What would happen to the world if we showed crazy love every time we were hurt, let-down, disappointed, cheated and betrayed?

God loves us with a crazy love, despite our betrayals. This is the good news of Christ.

Here's the audio from this week's talk:


God's heart shows love to the ashamed

So often we find ourselves ashamed, afraid to be known deeply. We tell ourselves "If my friends really knew me..." or "If my parents really knew me..." or "If God really knew me...". So much is contained in that anticipatory "...": rejection, punishment, worse.

But God's heart pours "love" into that "...". God's heart shows love to the ashamed.

In this installment of the David story, we see his relationship with Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan. Mephibosheth had much with which he could be ashamed: a crippling handicap, a family rejected publicly by God, an outcast life. But David fulfills his covenant love to Jonathan, showing kindness to Mephibosheth. Here's the audio:

Love God's heart shows love to the ashamed

Brad Mullinax on "Keeping your commitments"

Here's one from the archives folks (okay, not that deep in the archives).

Last week, Pastor Brad Mullinax from Oasis Church spoke to us about keeping our commitments. As we think about leadership and integrity, this is vital. Check out his talk:


God's heart responds first and foremost to God

In this next chapter in the David story, we learn about worship. But not really about singing.

Worship is our whole-hearted response to God.

In 2 Samuel 6:12-23, David responds to God. The ark, the symbol of the presence of God is coming into Jerusalem and David worships. Leaping and dancing, David leads the worshippers, throwing his dignity aside before God the King.

And this presents us with a challenge. Do we respond, first and foremost, to God? Do we respond to him more than to other people, to culture, to our own wants and desires? This is not a challenge with a lot of nuance in it (I can think of some I'd like to add and might add later), but it's a challenge we need to receive as a community.

God's heart responds first and foremost to God. This worship, God-hearted people responding to God is what we need in GCF, on this campus and in this world.

Here's the audio from tonight's talk:


ps. here's the link to GCF's Leadership Application, if you're looking for it.

Theological rabbit trail...God's response to God

This week, we are going to hear that God's heart responds first and foremost to God. So, the God-reality dominates David's life. But the God-reality also dominates the life of God.

As I'm polishing the talk for Large Group tonight, I'm finding the need to cut out this really interesting theological rabbit trail. If I could preach for an hour, I'd be able to include this, but that wouldn't serve God's purposes for Large Group.

Here's the rabbit trail:

The Bible says that David is a man after God's own heart. As we hear the David story, we learn about God's deep character and about fully-alive humanity. So, when we learn that God's heart gives respect graciously, we learn something about God and something about who we are called to be. David graciously honored Saul and God graciously honors us. Do you see it? God's heart is on display in the man after God's own heart.

Although we Christians talk about God as monotheistic, we also say that he is relational. This commitment to monotheistic relationality leads to the doctrine called the Trinity. In the Trinity, God loves God, responds to God. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Father. The Holy Spirit loves them both and is loved by both of them.

We see the doctrine of the Trinity even more clearly on beautiful display in the life of Jesus Christ: God the Son with us in the flesh. Jesus had so many people to respond to: sinners, hypocrites, racists…and that's just the 12 disciples. On a daily basis, he saw the sick, the poor, the broken, Pharisees, prostitutes, parents and friends. He had Satan approach him, demons taunt him, and saints invite him to dinner parties. And then there's God.

Listen to Jesus:

Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. - John 5:19

Jesus watches his Father and responds to Him. God responds to God, worships God. This isn't arrogance. This is love.

Managing God can be hazardous for your faith

Here's the 5 minute recap of the lost Large Group talk: