August 12

1 Chronicles 22-24, Psalm 70

Last week a long-term patient came to see me for a problem visit. When I entered the room she was already in tears. She was my patient for years and I had already shared the gospel message with her and frequently spoke to her about Jesus. She confided that the problem was really minor but she was struggling with her fear of dying and disease and needed Christian advice and that's why she was there. Over the years I have had the pleasure of developing relationships with my patients. This model of patient care is now a thing of the past. The new model being put forth to the new generation of providers (that is what they now call us rather than physicians to make us interchangeable with everyone at every level who provides care) is to follow protocols and guidelines in a much colder cookbook approach. With changing insurance policies patients also change providers frequently, therefore preventing relationships to develop even if the physician was so inclined to practice the "old" way of relationship building with continuity of care. Add to this model of physician training the new business model of medicine. The overwhelming majority of practices are now owned by hospitals and venture capital companies. This business model requires strict adherence to timed visits, quick turnover of patients, and financial productivity. Bringing this back to my initial example, the 15 minute visit that my patient was given which turned into 45 minutes of Christian counseling would never be tolerated in the "new" system and I would be fired. This is what is happening around the world to my generation of physicians and is a major reason that our group is fighting to remain private and independent of outside influences.

In today's reading we see David giving sound advice to his son, Solomon along with the leaders. We read his advice to Solomon in 1 Chronicles 22:11-13, "Now, my son, may the Lord be with you; and may you prosper, and build the house of the Lord your God, as He has said to you. Only may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, and give you charge concerning Israel, that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will prosper, if you take care to fulfill the statutes and judgments with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage; do not fear or be dismayed." Notice David's advice: the source of his strength and courage was based on the Word of God and the purpose of his prospering was to bring glory to the Lord. How far humanity has strayed from this advice. The source of success is now viewed by the educational institutions and jobs attained. Parents will say, "don't you want to make something of yourself? You have to study hard, go to a good school, make money, and be successful". So the emphasis is on self and personal success devoid of God. What is the carrot dangled in front of our children? Often what is promised for these efforts is a nice house, nice cars, nice vacations, etc. Though there is nothing wrong with having nice things the focus on this is responsible for the self-centered, ego-driven, selfie-taking, self-glorifying world that we find ourselves in. The main purpose for prosperity given to Solomon as it should be to our children is to glorify God.

David's next advice went to his leaders as we read in 1 Chronicles 22:17-19, "David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, "Is not the Lord your God with you? And has He not given you rest on every side?...Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. Therefore arise and build the sanctuary of the Lord God,...". Notice the advice of David as to the proper order: seek first, then serve. Much too often we have the wrong order, we want something to do in service to the Lord more than focusing on our relationship with God. Seek a relationship with God and our individual ministries will become increasingly clear as God gives us enlightenment and direction. Seek to serve before the relationship we can become so busy in service that even in doing the things of God we are not seeking a personal relationship with Him. Relationships require much more effort and thought on our part but are so much more fulfilling. This is true for every sphere of our life but especially with God. If we feel lost in our Christian walk and unfulfilled let's get back to what God wanted all along from us. He wants our hearts, He doesn't need our works unless they come from a seeking heart. This is why, when Jesus was questioned by the lawyer as to which is the greatest commandment, Jesus responded in Matthew 22:37, "Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster