Shine

Scriptures: 1st Samuel 18:1-4; 20:3-4 & 23:15-18

 

Title: Shine

 

Structure:

  • Introduction
  • 1st Samuel 18:1-4 (Commitment)
  • 1st Samuel 20:3-4 (Affection)
  • 1st Samuel 23:15-18 (Remembering & Encouragement)
  • Conclusion

 

Introduction:

Today is the second of three Sundays when we focus on the work of Tranzsend and our NZ Baptist missionaries serving overseas

 

The framework for the three weeks of the campaign is…

  • Week 1 – Pray (Inoi)
  • Week 2 – Shine (Tiaho)
  • Week 3 – Thank (Mihi)

 

The catch word offered by Tranzsend for, this, the second week of the appeal is shine

Paua

 

To illustrate what they mean by shine, Tranzsend have used the image of a paua shell (Paua is a kind of shell fish)

  • An empty paua shell has a beautiful iridescent quality
  • It is in the nature of a paua shell to shine when it’s turned towards the sun

 

Psalm 34 verse 5 says…

  • Keep your eyes on the Lord and you will shine like the sun
  • The idea here is that God is the source of light and when we face him we reflect His light into the lives of those around us

 

Friendship is one of the main ways that we shine God’s light into the lives of others

  • A friend is someone who cares for you
  • A friend is committed to God’s best for you
  • A friend has affection for you
  • A friend remembers you, and
  • A friend encourages you

 

Commitment, affection, remembering and encouragement – it spells ‘care’

  • These are the different colours of the light of friendship

One of the classic Bible stories of friendship is that of Jonathon & David

  • Jonathon genuinely cared for David
  • Through his commitment, affection, remembering and encouragement, Jonathon shone God’s light into David’s life
  • The story of Jonathon & David’s friendship is found in 1st Samuel chapters 18 to 23

 

1st Samuel 18:1-4 (Commitment)

Jonathon was the son of King Saul

  • That means Jonathon was a prince of Israel (in Old Testament times)
  • Jonathon first meets David just after David has killed Goliath
  • We begin their story from 1st Samuel chapter 18, verse 1

 

After David had finished talking with Saul, the soul of Jonathon was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathon loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father’s house.

 

And Jonathon made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathon took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

 

May the Spirit of Jesus shine light on God’s word

 

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

 

On the wall here is the picture of a rope of three strands

  • There is a verse in Ecclesiastes which says…
  • A cord (or a rope) of three strands is not easily broken
  • You sometimes hear that verse read out at weddings
  • This image speaks of the strength which comes from binding your life to someone else in a solemn commitment

 

The thing that is striking here is that there are three strands – not two

  • Without the third strand the rope wouldn’t hold together all that well
  • You need the third strand for the plat to work
  • If two of the strands represent the two people in the friendship then the third strand represents God

 

1st Samuel 18, verse 1 says…

  • After David had finished talking with Saul, the soul of Jonathon was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathon loved him as himself.

 

In the context David has just killed Goliath and now he is talking with Saul, while Jonathon (Saul’s son) listens on

  • We don’t know exactly what David said to Saul in that conversation but we do know David’s words & actions resonated deeply with Jonathon
  • So much so that Jonathon’s soul was bound to David’s soul

 

What was it that bound their souls together?

  • I believe it was a shared commitment to God
  • Jonathon saw in David a young man who was completely committed to Yahweh and the Lord’s purpose for Israel
  • This was Jonathon’s heart too
  • They both wanted what God wanted for Israel

 

A friend is someone we share something in common with – perhaps a love of music or a love of cricket or a love of reading or whatever

 

C.S. Lewis said…

– “Friendship is born at the moment when one [person] says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…’ enjoyed such and such a thing, whatever it might be [1]

 

  • Friends love the same things
  • They enjoy doing the same activities together
  • Through their mutual enjoyment of a particular endeavour friends spend time together and a bond of trust and mutual understanding forms
  • Friends come to know each other

 

Aristotle put it most succinctly when he said…

  • “What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”

 

Jesus says, “You are my friends if you love one another”

  • The soul of Jesus is love
  • If we love one another then we share the same soul as Jesus
  • And we will enjoy the same things as Jesus

 

Jonathon shared the same soul as David

  • Like David, Jonathon was also a man after God’s own heart
  • The heart is the seat of the will – so to be a person after God’s own heart is to want the same things God wants, in the deepest core of yourself

When your life is bound so closely to another, then you genuinely do love that person as you love yourself – one soul, two bodies

  • Jonathon formalised his commitment to David by cutting a covenant – making a sacred agreement with David
  • Jonathon then sealed the covenant by giving David his robe (literally the shirt off his back) and his weapons – an incredibly generous gesture
  • Jonathon was committed to God’s best for David – he cared that much
  • What this means is that David & Jonathon’s friendship wasn’t primarily about them – it was about God

1st Samuel 20:3-4 (Affection)

A true friend cares for you and their commitment comes with affection

 

We tend to think of affection as a nice warm fuzzy feeling toward someone else

  • Affection may include warm fuzzy feelings but it runs deeper than that
  • Affection has to do with empathy – feeling what someone else is feeling

 

When your life is bound up with someone else’s then you can’t help but be affected by that person

  • So you feel what happens to them
  • If they are hurting then you hurt too
  • If they are lonely then you are sad
  • If they are happy then you are pleased
  • If they are distressed then you are moved to help them

 

We see Jonathon’s affection for David in chapter 20 of 1st Samuel

  • By this stage Saul has grown jealous of David and wants to kill him
  • David is distraught and goes to Jonathon for help, saying…

 

“Your father knows very well that I have found favour in your eyes, and he has said to himself, ‘Jonathon must not know [that I intend to kill David] or he will be grieved.”

  • Jonathon said to David, “Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do for you.”

 

 

That’s affection

  • Jonathon would be grieved to know his father’s intention against David
  • And when he does find out, Jonathon is willing to do anything to help David, even if that means deceiving his father Saul

 

At the end of chapter 20, after Jonathon has realised that his father Saul is mad and the best he can do to protect David is send him away secretly, Jonathon and David say goodbye, weeping together as they do

  • Their tears are an expression of their affection for one another

 

Commitment without affection is cold comfort

  • Commitment with affection warms us with the reassurance that we are not alone
  • When we show affection for others – when we feel what they are feeling and are moved to help – then we shine God’s light into their lives

 

For God so loved the world (he was so affected by the world he made) that he sent his only Son…

 

Affection comes with being a Christian

  • You can’t be a Christian and remain unaffected
  • When we follow Jesus it messes with us – the pain of the world together with the Spirit of God bothers us, disturbs us and moves us 

A true friend cares. This means a friend is committed to God’s best for you

  • A friend is affected by what you are going through
  • And a friend remembers you and encourages you
  • Commitment, affection, remembering and encouragement
  • These are the different colours of God’s light shining through friendship

1st Samuel 23:15-18 (Remembering & Encouraging)

Sky over Tawa - 19 May 2016 - morning

This picture was taken last Thursday morning (19 May), in Tawa

  • Isn’t it fantastic the way the light reflects off this dark cloud
  • Normally the proverb says: Red sky in the morning shepherd’s warning
  • Meaning we should watch out for bad weather that day
  • But on this particular occasion (last Thursday) the red sky in the morning was followed by a gorgeous blue sky day

 

When you look at a paua shell, it’s obviously beautiful – it’s pretty

  • But when you look at a dark cloud you don’t necessarily see the potential for beauty until the light shines on it at just the right angle

 

After David is forced to flee for his life from Saul he becomes an outlaw living in the wilderness

  • It is a hard life for David – he is living under a heavy black cloud
  • But Jonathon remembers David and encourages him
  • Jonathon shines light on David’s circumstances at just the right angle to make black look beautiful
  • From 1st Samuel 23, verse 15 we read…

 

While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. And Saul’s son Jonathon went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God.

 

Jonathon remembered David

 

Re-member – it’s an interesting word

  • We tend to equate remembering with recalling a memory or a thought
  • But there is more to remembering than this
  • To re-member is to put something back together again
  • Not just back together mentally – in our imagination
  • But back together practically – in reality
  • Remembering involves actually doing something tangible

 

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Mothers’ day

  • About a week or so before that I said to Robyn…
  • “I’m not planning to get you anything for Mothers’ Day this year”
  • My intention was to manage her expectations so she wasn’t too disappointed on the day
  • A lot of husbands wouldn’t be that sensitive you know

Robyn wasn’t too upset – she knows gift giving is not my love language

  • She just smiled and said something like…
  • “Thanks for letting me know. I wouldn’t want you to waste any time on my account”
  • She was joking of course – but it did make me think
  • There is more to remembering Mothers’ Day than simply waking up and saying, “Happy Mothers’ Day”
  • To remember someone requires doing something real

 

In the end I decided to put a bit of thought & effort in and got her a present – something unique to our relationship

  • I remembered her properly, with a meaningful gift

 

When we celebrate communion we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection by breaking bread and sharing a cup

  • Our remembering isn’t just a mental exercise – it is a meaningful action unique to our relationship with Christ
  • The body of Christ comes together (is re-membered)

 

When someone remembers you in their estate it means more than just writing a few words about you in their will

  • It means they give you something tangible and their legacy to you is special because of the relationship you shared

 

When we hold the Self Denial campaign each year to remember our Baptist missionaries serving overseas, we don’t just recall them to mind

  • We remember them in practical ways by denying ourselves certain luxuries and by offering money and prayer for their support

 

When Saul was trying to kill David and David was forced into hiding, Jonathon remembered David in a practical way by going to see him

  • There was some effort and time and risk involved in this for Jonathon
  • What if his father found out
  • Or what if David’s men misunderstood his actions and tried to kill him
  • But by going to see David, Jonathon was re-membering their friendship
  • He was putting their friendship back together – firming up the frayed ends of the rope, making it stronger

 

Returning to the image of the paua shells for a moment,

  • In order for the shell to shine it needs to be empty
  • We can’t shine God’s light into someone else’s life if we are too full of ourselves
  • We need to go through a self-emptying process if we are to reflect the light of God’s love to others
  • I’m not going to lie to you – this self-emptying may hurt

After finding David in the wilderness of Ziph, Jonathon then encourages him with words of affirmation and reassurance, saying to David…

 

“Don’t be afraid, my father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.”

 

To en-courage literally means to put courage into someone

  • No one else could put courage into David in quite the way Jonathon could
  • Not only was Jonathon David’s closest friend but, as Saul’s eldest son, he was also the next in line for the throne
  • Jonathon was basically saying to David…
  • “I lay aside any claim to the throne. I am committed to God’s purpose for you and for Israel. You have my full support”
  • At some point Jonathon had gone through a self-emptying process
  • His ego, his ambition, his pride, the temptation for power – all of that he put aside for the sake of God’s purpose, that David be king

The light of Jonathon’s encouragement for David was no cheap or flippant thing

  • His words came at great personal cost
  • Jonathon denied himself so God’s purpose could be carried out – he wanted God’s best for Israel and for David
  • What’s more he went against his father (Saul) to do it
  • Jonathon was a hero in the best sense of the word

 

In your newsletter this morning you would have received a cardboard paua shell

  • There are basically two types shells:
  • One is for putting on your fridge so you remember to pray for our Tranzsend missionaries
  • And the other is in the form of a postcard for you to remember someone who has shone God’s light into your life
  • We invite you to fill out the card with some words of encouragement and send it to them as a practical act of remembering

 

Conclusion:

A true friend cares. This means a friend is committed to God’s best for you

  • A friend is affected by what you are going through
  • A friend remembers you in practical ways
  • And a friend encourages you, even at cost to themselves
  • Commitment, affection, remembering and encouragement
  • These are the different colours of God’s light shining through friendship

 

Who has been a Jonathon to you?

  • Who can you be a Jonathon to?

Let us pray…

 

 

[1] From the book ‘Four Loves’

Advertisements