"Finding Your Safe Place"
Passage: 2 Samuel 7:1–7:29
April 2nd, 2017
Key Passage: 2 Samuel 7
“Prayer is the only entryway into genuine self-knowledge. It is also the main way we experience deep change— the reordering of our loves. Prayer is how God gives us so many of the unimaginable things he has for us. Indeed, prayer makes it safe for God to give us many of the things we most desire. It is the way we know God, the way we finally treat God as God. Prayer is simply the key to everything we need to do and be in life. We must learn to pray. We have to.” Tim Keller
1. God’s promise is a King and a Kingdom.
“The Christian life is not just about making sure you avoid God’s wrath. Far from it! It’s about being in a right relationship with God, and ultimately enjoying him forever. That is to say, it’s about gaining what we cannot lose— becoming a citizen of his eternal kingdom. From the moment a person becomes a believer in Jesus Christ, everything in his life changes forever. I know, I know— sometimes it doesn’t feel like that. There’s no heavenly confetti, and there are no trumpets, no angels singing (at least not that we can hear), but it’s true nonetheless. Everything changes. God has ‘delivered us,’ Paul says, ‘from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son’ (Col. 1: 13).” Greg Gilbert
2. The heart experience of the Gospel [the King and the Kingdom] can happen only through prayer, 2 Samuel 7:18-29; Romans 8:15-16; Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-21; 6:10-20.
“How long has it been since you looked up from the earthly details of life and came face to face with the Grand Canyon of what God has done for us in the gospel— his unfathomable grace in forgiving people who have rebelled against him, his breathtaking plan to send his Son to suffer and die in their place, to establish the throne of the resurrected Jesus over a kingdom of perfect righteousness, and to bring those who are saved and redeemed by his blood into a new heaven and new earth where sin and evil will be forever conquered! How is it that I let the beauty and power and vastness of that gospel be crowded out of my mind so often and for so long? Why is it that my thoughts and emotions are often dominated by silly things like whether my car is clean, or what’s happening on CNN right now, or whether I was happy with my lunch today, rather than by these glorious truths? Why do I so often organize and think about my life as if I were wearing blinders, rather than in the light of eternity? Why does this gospel not permeate, all the time and all the way to the bottom, my relationships with my wife and children, my coworkers and friends and fellow church members? I know exactly why. It’s because I’m a sinner, and worldliness will continue to linger in my heart and war against me until the day Jesus comes back. But until then, I want to fight against that. I want to fight against spiritual laziness— against the drugged stupor this world constantly threatens to put me in— and I want to embrace this gospel hard and let it affect everything— my actions, affections, emotions, desires, thoughts, and will.” Greg Gilbert
“The first thing we learn in attempting to pray is our spiritual emptiness— and this lesson is crucial. We are so used to being empty that we do not recognize the emptiness as such until we start to try to pray.” Timothy Keller