1 Kings 11-12
H - "And Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from Yahweh, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice." - 1 Kings 11:9
E - God appeared twice to Solomon and gave him extraordinary wisdom. God had set up Solomon for success. But Solomon's heart turned away from God because of his wives and their false gods. Even though God had personally appeared to Solomon twice, nevertheless Solomon's heart turned away from God.
A - Father, I am a church leader, and you have appeared to me twice--in Hong Kong and Shanghai. You have set me up for success as a church leader here in Dunedin. There is so much opportunity to do good for you. But will my heart turn away? Please help me to examine my heart. In my life, is there any turning away from you? Any idolatry? Any religious adultery or pluralism?
R - "Jeff, you are making an accurate connection between Solomon and yourself. All Christian leaders will have either the heart of Saul, the heart of David, or the heart of Solomon. I invite you to have the heart of David. Be wholly committed to me, and I will establish your ministry. Be careful of spending too much time on non-Christian authors in your biblical worldview studies. Maximise time on prayer, personal Bible study, preaching and teaching, evangelism, and discipleship groups. You don't have to read everything, nor can you. Be wise. Your 'wives and concubines' could be the non-Christian books you want to read."
P - I understand, Father. Help me to keep the right priorities. Help me to specialise in building your Church. Teach me to be a wise, humble, servant leader, more and more like Jesus. May I nibble away at the Classics but not let them consume whole afternoons.
- Jeff Coleman