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10 Rosensteinstraße
Böblingen, BW, 71032

We are an Assemblies of God church serving English speaking community in Stuttgart, Germany.

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August 7, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Kings 3:1-9

Although the main point of this passage is Solomon’s request for wisdom, we also see some early warning signs of the trouble to come. Verse 1 notes that Solomon made an alliance with Egypt. Egypt! The site of four hundred years of bondage for God’s people. God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, described Egypt as “that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it” (Isa. 36:6).

Verse 1 goes on to say that Solomon sealed the alliance by marrying Pharaoh’s daughter. While forming alliances through marriage has long been a common practice among world powers, God explicitly forbade His people from marrying foreigners because of the danger of apostasy (Deut. 7:3-4). It wasn’t about mixing races but mixing faiths. This was the first of many foreign wives who would ultimately lead Solomon into idolatry (1 Kings 11:1-4). How sad that Solomon didn’t ask for wisdom before he made these two mistakes, although, as we will see, even God’s gift of wisdom was not enough to overcome Solomon’s sin.

When do you typically seek God’s wisdom: before or after you’ve already made up your mind? Why?

August 6, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Kings 2:13-25

In this section, we see Adonijah, the eldest son of David, make a selfish and transparent bid for power by asking for a woman associated with David to be given to him as a wife. In the ancient world, a new king’s power was validated when he took the wives of the former king. Adonijah’s request was not merely to obtain a spouse but a brazen attempt to grasp the throne. We might miss this nuance, but Solomon didn’t. He saw through this power play, and Adonijah paid for it with his life.

In contrast to Adonijah’s self-centered actions, Solomon would not ask God for anything self-serving when God invited him to ask for anything he desired (3:5). Eventually Solomon would be led astray by his own wives later on in his reign, as he struggled to use his wisdom (see 1 Kings 11:1), but here at the outset, he was more interested in displaying God’s justice to the people than he was serving his own interests.

What does the world see when they look at your life? Do you display your own ambitions or do you display God’s character?

August 5, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Kings 2:1-12

David’s dying words to Solomon signal a transitional point in the life of Israel: David’s reign primarily being characterized by war and Solomon’s as an era of peace. First, David’s words echo the covenantal charges given to Joshua (Josh. 1:6-9) as well as the description of the ideal man in Psalm 1: Be strong and courageous (1 Kings 2:2); honor your obligations to the Lord and walk in His ways (v. 3); walk faithfully before God and there will always be one of your descendants on the throne of Israel (v. 4).

Second, David trusted Solomon to exercise wisdom in some matters of justice. These were timely and precarious matters pertaining to individuals who negatively affected David’s reign and public influence, and the beginning of Solomon’s reign seemed to be the appropriate occasion to address them. Of note in this passage is the way David counseled Solomon to deal in wisdom with his enemies.

Interestingly enough, even after Solomon executed David’s enemies, God would commend Solomon for his request for “an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (3:9), a request where avenging his personal enemies was not a first priority but second to serving the good of his people (3:11). Accordingly, wisdom is not opposed to justice, and true justice is a display of God’s wisdom.

When has someone trusted you to act with wisdom concerning something important? Why should we not pit wisdom and justice against one another?

August 2, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read John 10:1-21

In describing Himself as the good shepherd, Jesus made an interesting contrast between Him and a hired hand (vv. 12-13). A hired hand, Jesus contended, was not reliable because he didn’t care about the sheep. And why should he? They wouldn’t be his sheep. So if a wolf came along to snatch a sheep, the hired hand would not risk his own life to save that sheep. Instead, he would run off and likely plead his case later to the owner of the sheep of how much danger he had been in.

But Jesus is no hired hand. He is the good shepherd because the sheep are His. He owns them. He loves them. And that is why He sacrificed His life rather than preserve it.

We need to see Jesus for who He truly is, but it cannot stop there. We also need to see ourselves for who we truly are. Do you? Do you see yourself as the beloved sheep you are? Do you understand that Christ’s love for you is fixed because you are His and He is yours? Jesus is no hired hand who will run off and abandon you. And neither are you some random sheep.

How can you tend to see yourself incorrectly at times? Why?

August 1, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read Isaiah 40:1-11

There are times when we are keenly aware of our need of the almighty strength of God’s arms. We need His power to sustain us. Perhaps we are facing a situation that overwhelms us. Perhaps we are facing down an adversary that we know we cannot beat. In these times, we scan the horizon for our Rescuer to step in and bring His full strength to bear. This is what is in mind in verse 10.

But there are also times when we need God’s strong arms not for their strength but for their comfort. We need His love to lift us up. Perhaps we feel alone. Perhaps we have failed yet again. In these times, we fall to our knees and long to feel the embrace of our loving Father. This is what is in mind in verse 11.

In this coupling, we are reminded of the great character of our God. Our powerful Creator is also our gentle Father. He is always there for us, always knowing what we need, and always ready to provide whatever that is in that moment.

How have you experienced God’s power and love when you needed each?