Quarterly Journals
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The Brokenness of A Man

“It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” – 2 Samuel 16:12 ESV

Most of the men in my generation remember the street bravado that we ran into when roaming our neighborhood. Stepping on another kids brand new sneakers was like putting your life at risk. Marc Bain wrote an article in November 2015 that stated that 1,200 people were killed each year over sneakers.[1]  Kevin Smith wrote an article in February 2014 titled, “How to React When Someone Steps On Your Sneakers”[2] where he gives 10 reactions to someone stepping on another person’s sneakers. King David was the poster child for the reaction of a person whose sneakers you would never want to have stepped on. When David’s men came back and told him how Nabal reacted to King David’s friendly greeting David’s response was, “Put on your swords”, 1 Samuel 25:13 ERV. People didn’t step on David’s shoes and get away with it. Stepping on a man’s new ‘kicks’ was a sign of disrespect or an indication that a person had been ‘dis’.   When the Prophet Nathan told David the story about how the rich man disrespected the poor man, King David’s immediate reaction was extreme anger but it turned out that the story was about him, “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man”, 2 Samuel 12:7 KJV.  The brokenness of a man starts with the truth.  Even though King David had committed adultery with an innocent man’s wife and set the man up to be killed so David could hide his sin, David did not become broken up about what he had done until the Prophet Nathan confronted him with the truth. The truth is that the only people that please God are those that have a broken and humble heart, “The sacrifices God wants are a broken spirit. A broken and crushed heart, O God, you will not despise”, Psalm 51:17 EHV. God resist those that have a high opinion of themselves or refuse to obey His commands, “…when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not”, 1 Samuel 28:6 KJV. God is so determined to break and crush our spirit so that we become more willing to obey His Word that He will even go as far as to put challenges or people in our lives that will help break us, “…lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure”, 2 Corinthians 12:7 KJV

Shimei took advantage of King David’s circumstances by cursing David as David and his men walked by Shimei’s house.  The ‘don’t step on my shoes’ David had already been broken. David’s disobedience resulted in his son Amnon raping his daughter Tamar (2 Samuel 13:11-15) and his son Absalom murdering his son Amnon (2 Samuel 13:28-29). Now the broken David was susceptible and vulnerable to the taunts and criticisms of his enemies. Disobedience leaves us not only broken but with feelings of guilt. Guilt puts us in bondage and makes us spiritually weak. Brokenness through obedience gives us freedom because we are spiritually free to serve God with a guilt-free conscience. It’s not just what we do and don’t do that God is interested in. The Lord examines our very thoughts.  If we look at a woman the wrong way we have sinned, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”, St. Matthew 5:28 KJV. The breaking of a man works from the inside out, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”, Hebrews 4:12 KJV. This is the reason why our brokenness starts with the way we think. In order to change what we do we have to first change the way we think, “…be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”, Romans 12:2 KJV. Selfishness, bitterness, anger, frustration, disobedience all come from the way we think which affects the decisions we make. Pride comes from the way we think about ourselves and God wants to break our pride so that we are easily used by Him without resistance and hesitation. The reason why the perfect and upright God-fearing man named Job, who stayed away from evil, suffered the tragic loss of his children and property was so that God could get to Job 42:6 KJV, “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”. Job spent over 30 chapters in the Holy Bible trying to explain why he felt like he was such a good person and had lived such a good life who didn’t deserve the suffering that he was experiencing but when God put His resume up against Job’s resume it became no contest. God reserves the right to test everything to see if His standards have been met and that includes us,“Prove all things”, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 KJV. Jesus Christ is the standard. 
A person who obeys the Lord’s commands meets the standard.  God is most definitely going to test us.  The Father tested Jesus and Jesus response was, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done”, St. Luke 22:42 KJV. The Lord Jesus Christ himself had to be tested and broken to the point that God the Father was pleased in doing it, “…the Lord wanted to crush him and to make him suffer”, Isaiah 53:10 CEB.  If it pleased the Father to crush the one that He used to create it all to get what He wanted, then what less should we think God will do to us? The real question is are we willing to have our spirit and will crushed? Take note that God will get what He wants out of us whether we are willing or not. If we are willing, we will obey Him.  Disobedience is an indication that we are not willing. Then the questions are will we make it out of the hungry lions’ den and will the Lord join us in the fiery furnace so that not a hair on our head is singed, neither our coats changed, nor the smell of fire passes on to us? (Daniel 3:27).  The ravenous lions ate up the disobedient before their feet hit the floor and the flames of the furnace were so hot that the heathen men who put the Hebrew boys in it were burned up. If we suffer lets chose to do it in obedience to God’s Word. The brokenness of man should start with his obedience to God’s Word so that we can praise God freely and joyously regardless of our circumstances, “…rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name”, Acts 5:41 KJV
Submitted By Trustee Stanley Ridley

[1] https://qz.com/554784/1200-people-are-killed-each-year-over-sneakers/

[2] https://www.complex.com/sneakers/2014/02/how-to-react-when-someone-steps-on-your-shoes-dave-chapelle


What Consecration Really Means…

Consecration is a special time for Shiloh. We not only see a brand-new year of our lives, but we also have the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the ministry in which we were assigned.  However, what does it really mean? What does it mean to be consecrated to the ministry and work of the church?

The Old Testament references the example of Aaron and his sons who were consecrated to “minister unto God in the priest’s office (Exodus 28:41).  In this act or ceremony, God gave specific instructions to consecrate priests for this work (Exodus 29:1-44).  But is this enough?  Is the attending of a ceremony the only thing required of us as leaders in ministry? The answer, of course, is no. The act of consecration is far more than ceremony.  The ceremony is the outward showing of our rededication.  But each of us must personally rededicate and commit ourselves to the work and ministry of the church. You’ll notice that in the New Testament, that the word, consecration is not mentioned at all.  Let’s examine why this may be. 

Consecration is defined as to make holy or to dedicate to a higher purpose.  You are being set aside for a specific purpose.  It is simply a declaration.   In the Old Testament, to note this, sacrifices were made.  Animals, were set apart and sacrificed as part of the consecration ceremony.  The sacrifice was something given to God for Him to use as He pleased. However, Paul said in Romans 12:1 that we all should “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service”.  We are the sacrifice that are set aside and given to God for Him to use us as He pleases.   Our Pastor has been teaching from the book of Romans and emphasizes the rededication and the giving of ourselves to the Lord.  This act is personal and if done sincerely and whole-heartedly, the real rededication of our hearts and lives will have already taken place and when we stand before the church the outward ceremony will truly be representative of what God has already done in our hearts.

To this end, let’s re-examine ourselves and more specifically – our own hearts.  Let’s rededicate and recommit ourselves to the Lord and to the ministry to which we have been assigned.  Let’s be leaders that are representative of God.  Let’s be that “living sacrifice” – set apart for the work of ministry – “holy, well pleasing to God”.
Submitted By Sis. Shonna Washington