The City of David’s Strength and King David’s Weakness

In King David’s day, the city of Jerusalem stood as a renovation and expansion of Jebus, a site the Hebrews never occupied in the territory of Benjamin.

The City of David’s Strength and King David’s Weakness

(Photo: The City of David at right, opposite the modern village of Silwan. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Those who come to Jerusalem today for the first time are often surprised to learn that the original Jerusalem, “The City of David,” sat on a mere ten acres just south of the Temple Mount. Hardly impressive, it looks like some third-world neighborhood.

Steep slopes surround the City of David and gave it in a strategic advantage during any military threat. So much so, the inhabitants of Jebus felt confident “David cannot enter here” (2 Samuel 5:6). But he did, and David made the site his new capital.

The steep slopes became King David’s military strength.

But the slopes also played into his moral weakness. Here’s how.

Why You Can’t Afford to Stay as You Are

A couple of months ago I noticed the “maintenance” light come on in my car. That meant the oil and filter needed changing. I thought, Yeah, I’ll do that soon. Right.

Why You Can’t Afford to Stay as You Are

(Photo by Photodune)

About a month went by and I thought: You know, I need to deal with that. I forgot again. It wasn’t until a couple weeks later I finally got it changed. I put it off because I’m a busy guy—and hey, oil and filters can always wait another day.

But then another warning light went off. This one was serious.

Why You Must Listen to God Rather than to People

We all need people to influence us. God made us that way. From the languages we speak to the character we develop—it all begins with those who surround us in our formative years.

Listen to God

(Photo by Noam Armonn via Vivozoom)

It starts with our environment, but it shouldn’t end there. It cannot.

When it does, it’s tragic. That was the case with King Joash.

But it doesn’t have to be that way with us.

How to Take Your Accountability to God Seriously

We don’t like accountability. Oh, we like the idea of accountability. For governing officials. For pastors and priests. For bankers and doctors. But personally? Uh, no thanks. We prefer anonymity.

How to Take Your Accountability to God Seriously

(We prefer anonymity.)

From the pages of Scripture, an unlikely prophet named Amos helps us learn why our refusal to accept personal accountability is more than simply wrong or foolhardy.

Without accountability to God, we will never become all we want to be.

4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

In my previous post, I wrote about a Christian’s struggle with sin and 4 lies we believe about our sin.

Let’s take it a step further.

4 Strategies to Fight the Tug of Temptation and Sin

(Photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Neely. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

In addition to taking a defensive mindset against the lies we often believe, we need to take an active approach to sin and temptation.

Here are 4 basic strategies to help you battle the tug of temptation and sin on your heart.

Christians Struggling with Sin and 4 Lies We Believe

Everybody sins. But when we Christians do it, reactions vary.

The world points to us as hypocrites—and often uses our sins as justification for their own. Other Christians tend to view our sins as reasons to suggest we aren’t even saved.

Sunrise at Carolina Beach North Carolina

(Photo by Bigroger27509. Own work. CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

But the people who offer the most brutal judgment against our sins?

Very often, it’s ourselves.

That’s because Christians struggling with sin tend to believe four lies.

Spiritual Consistency is Worth the Cost

Early one morning I hopped in my car and inserted the key in the ignition. When I cranked it—I kid you not—the car made the sound: “Ugh.”

So I figured it was just the weather, and I pulled out the jumper cables. But two days later, the car sang the second verse of the same song: “Ugghhh.”

Spiritual Consistency is Worth the Cost.

(Photo: by Monkey Business Images via Vivozoom )

Later that day, my auto mechanic gave a simple diagnosis: I needed a new battery.

Now, I could have said: “Hey, you know, a car starting every other day isn’t so bad. It sure beats walking. I guess I don’t need a battery.”

Guess again. I bought a battery—a big one. If my vehicle runs inconsistently, it’s of little value to me. At the same time, keeping the car running reliably comes down to one thing: it costs me.

The same is true of our spiritual lives.

Compliments and Criticism—The Difference May Surprise You

The trouble with most of us,” someone once said, “is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” That’s really true. Go ahead, ruin me.

Complements and Criticism - The Difference May Surprise You

(Photo by diego_cervo, via Vivozoom )

The truth is, we can work ruin by either extreme:

  1. Give nothing but compliments.
  2. Offer only criticism.

Words that compliment and words of criticism both strike like arrows, and they seldom miss their mark.

But the huge difference between them can be surprising.

Clear Your Guilty Conscience in 3 Steps

I read somewhere that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once played a joke on twelve of his friends. He sent them each identical telegrams that read: “Flee! All is discovered!”

Just four words. But within 24 hours, all 12 fled the country.

Only God can help you clear a guilty conscience.

(Photo: Design Pics, via Vivozoom)

What Conan Doyle did in jest, God does to us in all seriousness.

The Lord will use situations to awaken ignored or unresolved guilt, testing our willingness to come clean and clear a guilty conscience.

Are you willing? Here’s how.