There is a simplicity about a child’s faith in God which is deeply refreshing. As leaders we have seen this at Jaffa Club this term. It has greatly encouraged us.
Jaffa Club (Jesus A Friend For All) meets each Wednesday at Lindfield Primary School. We have 13 children who come for games, craft and teaching from the bible. Some are from Christian homes; others have no church background.
This term we have been looking at the Psalms and the amazing truths they teach us about God. At our last session the children were asked to write their own Psalm. We had doubts about setting this task.
But, without hesitation, a group of seven year olds penned the following:
‘When I am in trouble, you are always there to help me.’
‘You give me happiness.’
‘You are so powerful that I can never be more powerful than you.’
‘When I awake in the morning you are with me - day and night you always help me.’
‘You help us and never sleep or doze.’
It’s not far off King David’s best, and like his, it flowed straight from their hearts.
Children often grasp more easily than adults the incredible truths about God. When we asked them what do we need God’s help for, one child replied, ‘We need God’s help for everything’. We asked who they would go to if they had a problem. Most put God first on their list.
As leaders we have needed God’s help too. In September we started with just me and Oli Taylor leading. But after much prayer God provided two more leaders, Gemma Sawyer and Lizzi Green. We have also seen the difference prayer makes. When we pray together before Jaffa, and especially when First Priority prays for us, the children are calmer, the conversations deeper, the attitudes gentler. When we pray, God works.
Please do keep praying for Jaffa and the other work going on in our schools. Please pray that God would keep stirring the hearts of the children and drawing them closer to Him.
Next Sunday (18 September) we begin a new series of sermons in our morning services focused on the life of King David. This picks up the sequence we have been following in the Old Testament each autumn for the last three years. In 2009 we followed the story of God’s people from the creation of the universe, through Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham and Isaac to Jacob; then last year we journeyed with Moses from Egypt through the wilderness to the Promised Land. Now we jump on nearly three hundred years to around 1000BC, to the time that God’s people are well settled into this land after many battles under Joshua and the Judges. At the insistence of the people the prophet Samuel has anointed a king to lead them: Saul. But what started with such high hopes has started to go badly wrong . . .
Why is David so important for us to spend three months looking at his life?
There are several reasons why he is relevant to us today:
He is a prominent character
in the Bible; there is more about David than about anyone else except Jesus.
You’ll find these stories in the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, and parts of 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles.
His life was an exciting one
– a rise from humble, even obscure, beginnings to great power as the king of Israel when the kingdom is first established as a significant political force in the land; and then an account of the struggles he had in that position of power, not least with himself. It’s a story told with searing and, at times, disturbing honesty.
His story is the basis for two vital ideas in our understanding of what God would ultimately do in Jesus’ life.
Early on David was marked out as a future king by being anointed with oil (1 Samuel 16). In Hebrew the word for anointed is messiah; it was the sign that he had been chosen by God; and then at a later stage of his life he was the person who established the kingdom centred on Jerusalem.
Above all, it is the story of someone described by God as ‘a man after my own heart’ (Acts 13.22).
Wouldn’t we all want to be described like that?