Simple Obedience Brings Great Glory

Friday, April 30, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Kings 8:6 The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.

In 1 Corinthians 3:9, Paul said "For we are God’s fellow workers." It is not that God needs us as much as he chooses to work with us. Cooperating with God's plan always produces blessing and brings His glory.

In our text, when the priests brought in the Ark of Covenant and placed it in the tabernacle in the manner that God had prescribed, God's glory immediately filled the place.

Sometimes we complicate things that God has made simple. David learned this in 2 Samuel 6 when God's instructions were ignored resulting in the death of a man named Uzzah. When God's glory doesn't manifest we feel disappointed, question God, doubt ourselves, and look for complicated solutions.

From the days of Moses and David and Solomon, to today, the key to God's glory has always been the same: Follow God and His word with simple, uncomplicated obedience. As people of faith through Jesus Christ, God's glory is not something we need to see. His presence is something that we know and sense in and among us.

After obedience, we can step back and watch God work: "When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD." (v. 10)

A similar thing happened after the simple obedience of leaders and believers in the "upper room" in Acts 2:1, When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

We should expect no less today!


David's Blind Spot

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Kings 1:5, Now Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith, put himself forward and said, "I will be king." So he got chariots and horses ready, with fifty men to run ahead of him. 6 (His father had never interfered with him by asking, "Why do you behave as you do?")

David was a great man, a great king, a great psalmist, a great warrior, and many other great things. However, David had a blind spot. He was often neglectful as a father. Sometimes David did not pay attention to his children. This was the case with Adonijah. When reading this text is easy to blame Adonijah for his presumption in declaring himself king.

However, when you read the background story of David's life and his neglect of his son Adonijah, it is not difficult to see that this son of David struggled with his identity. This led to many instances of Adonijah attempting to gain his father's attention and favor through disturbing behavior.

Since David was old, Adonijah presumed that he would be the next king. He did not consider that God's choice was Solomon.

When men lack the influence and nurture of a father, they are left to their own imagination. To "nurture" means, "To give tender care and protection to a young child, helping it to grow and develop. To encourage somebody or something to flourish." This is a hands-on activity.

Adonijah used his position to convince other people around him that it was his time to become king.  It was a mistake for David not to intervene to ask his son what he was doing. This neglect led to a lot of confusion in the kingdom.

David was finally alerted to this matter and acted to anoint his other son, Solomon, as his successor. But the damage was already done and the lesson learned.

The lesson is this: Fathers must nurture their children, especially sons who are ambitious and prone to act foolishly without guidance. And not only fathers, but all those who have authority and responsibility to others must pay attention and take the time to instruct and nurture. The consequences of neglect are too great to ignore.


Go From the Stronghold to a Stronger Place

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Samuel 22:1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there. 2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him

5 But the prophet Gad said to David, "Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah." So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

It is not difficult to empathize with David as he retreated to a cave in Adullam after escaping from Gath. He had a difficult time in Gath and even pretended to be insane in order to escape. Truth be told, we may all have experienced situations that left us feeling the same way.

The "Encounter in the Cave" seemed to begin on a positive note with brothers and family members gathering around him for comfort and consolation. In our distress we are thankful for the support of family and friends. We are happy to discover that we are not alone during difficult times. A distress can become a rallying point for others who can identify with our pain. Commiserating feels good. "Commiserate" means, "To express or feel sympathy and pity."

However, commiserating in a cave can transform comfort into complacency.

As people heard about David's retreat into the cave of Adullam, the notion of joining with him and others in the cave felt "right." It seemed like the place to be: "All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader." (1 Sam. 22:2) It may have been considered a "move of God."

Without a doubt, we want to minister to hurting people. God wants to help hurting people. The solution is not to gather all the hurting people in one place for the purpose of feeling one another's pain. This may "feel good," but it will not produce victory.

Basically, the Encounter in the Cave mostly attracted people who, in the Hudson Translation were, "Broke, Busted, and Disgusted!" Along with genuine expressions of care and concern shown in the cave, one can only imagine the dramatic stories that were shared. Releasing one's pain is good, but wallowing in pain is bad.

This may have been a necessary season in David's life, yet that season had to change. After a period of time in this "stronghold" God sent a prophet with a simple message, "Do not stay in the stronghold, go to Judah."

With this instruction came an end to his distress AND the place of his distress. Judah is also a term connected to the concept of "Praise" or dwelling with God.

  • You may retreat into a cave, but recognize it as a temporary place.
  • You may gather people who feel as you do, but don't commiserate long with them.
  • You may find a comfort zone in the cave, but don't accept it.
  • You may feel empowered by having hurting people around you, but don't let pain define your ministry.
  • You may want to make a cave your "stronghold," but a stronger place awaits you. That's the place of praise and God's sweet presence.


Courage to Act in Times of Fear

Sunday, April 11, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Courage to Act in Times of Fear

Pastor Bryan Hudson
Recorded Sunday, April 11, 2010
New Covenant Church & Ministries

Click here for Podcast in iTunes


1 Sam 13:1-15
Saul made a strategic and tactical error that put his army at a fearful disadvantage

Strategic defined: relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving

Tactical defined: Done or for use in immediate support an operation.

If the strategy is wrong, human tactics won't win the war.

There's a Saul lurking in us. It is the problem of not seeing the big picture, but acting in the moment and breaking protocol to achieve a short-term result.

1 Sam 13:7-14

There is also a Jonathan lurking in us: Those who see the big picture and are willing to trust God to take bold action in his name.

A new chapter and a new day

1 Samuel 14:1, One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, "Come, let's go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.

Everything happens on a day. One day Jonathan looked around at men quaking in fear and thought, "I'm going to reject the spirit of fear and believe God for something miraculous and amazing."

Jonathan took action when Saul and Israel were immobilized by fear and apathy.

Jonathan and the armor bearer decided that taking a chance was better than doing nothing. They placed their confidence in God realizing that that God could work as through a few people as through many.

Jonathan had a "Partner in Courage"

1 Sam. 14:6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few." 7 "Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."

An inspired Israelite army routs the Philistines who have been confused by the Spirit of God;

1 Sam. 14:15 Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.


The Secret of Protection, Preservation and Provision from God: DEVOTION

Friday, April 09, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again. Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines.  (1 Sam. 7:12-13)

God blessed Samuel and Israel in a special way during a difficult time: "Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again." How did Samuel arrive to a place in his life and ministry where an enemy like the Philistines were kept at bay? What was the secret?

The foreground of the secret to this victory was this: "Thus far has the LORD helped us." 

The background to this victory, once understood, is actually no secret at all. It was all about DEVOTION to God.

The background to this victory began with Samuel's mother Hannah (1 Samuel 1). Hannah was a humble woman who was unable to bear children. She was chided by Peninnah, her husband's other wife, for having no children. Even Eli, who was a judge and spiritual leader at that time, misunderstood Hannah's situation.

In her devotion, Hannah prayed and told God, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life." (1 Sam. 1:11). Eli saw her praying fervently and accused her of being drunk on wine. In reality, her devotion led her to a place of intense prayer.

God answered Hannah's prayers, and Samuel was born. (Samuel means, "God hears"). Her prayer of thanksgiving (1 Sam. 2:1-10) revealed her deep devotion to God, "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God." (v. 2)

Samuel showed his DEVOTION and sensitivity to God as he ministered unto the Lord as a boy, "Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel"  (1 Sam. 3:3-4). At first Samuel thought that Eli called him, but he soon answered the call of God. Again, his devotion to God led the way.

Due to a lack of devotion on the part of Eli and especially of his wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas, the Philistines captured the Ark of God.

The Philistines were characterized by their utter LACK OF DEVOTION to God. They had the audacity to put the Ark of God in the temple of their god Dagon, "After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon's temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD!" (1 Sam. 5:1-3)

Because they didn't heed the principle of DEVOTION to God, they propped Dagon back up. The next day, their idol was on the floor again, with its head and hands broken off! Eventually, even the Philistines got the message that Ark of God can only abide in the presence of people who are devoted to God. They sought to return the Ark of God, even while they continued suffer death for trifling with God's presence.

"So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They took it to Abinadab's house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD." (1 Sam. 7:1) The ark was taken to Kiriath Jearim and placed in the house of Abinadab. A DEVOTED person named Eleazar was given responsibility to guard the ark of the Lord for the next 20 years.

There came a time when Israel begin to miss the presence of God. They cried out to the Lord. "It was a long time, twenty years in all, that the ark remained at Kiriath Jearim, and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the LORD." (1 Sam. 7:2)

Israel began to show a willingness to renew their DEVOTION to God. When Samuel heard this, he said, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines." (1 Sam. 7:3)

The people responded to God in their DEVOTION:
So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only. Then Samuel said, "Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will intercede with the LORD for you." When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah.  (1 Sam. 7:4-6)

This brings us back to the reason why Samuel set up a memorial stone and named it "Ebenezer" meaning, "Stone of Help." DEVOTION always leads us to the right places in God. Devotion is a "Welcome" sign from your heart to God.

Nothing will protect you, preserve you, and provide for you like the presence of Almighty God through the grace of His Son Jesus Christ!


Resurrection Power = Power to Stand

Thursday, April 08, 2010 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. (Romans 8:11)

This morning I woke up thinking about the power of Jesus' resurrection. I know that Easter Sunday has passed, but the resurrection life that Jesus has given us is not limited to a single day.

As a matter of fact, Christ's resurrection from the dead was all about taking off limits and doing the impossible. The biblical Greek word for "resurrection" is "anastasis" which is comprised of two root words meaning "up" and "to cause to stand." The literal meaning is, "To cause to stand up."

Resurrection power is not only about rising from the dead at the end of life, it's about standing up and rising above whatever obstacles that face you today, or any day, of your present life.

Because of Jesus, you can stand, or stand again!