Heroes of Faith, Volume 4

Do you have a “Bucket List?” Are there are few great achievements, adventures, places and people you’d like to experience at least once in your lifetime?

Recently, I filled one of my buckets. My friends, Matt and Stephanie, joined me in the annual bicycle “Ride Across Indiana” (RAIN). I learned about this one-day, 160-mile, annual ride from Terre Haute to Richmond 10 years ago. From the moment I heard about it, I had my heart set on completing the ride. This year, the time was just right. Best of all, I got to do it with friends from my church family!

Generally speaking, a “Bucket List” item is one that invokes vision and perseverance. There’s a dream that isn’t yet attainable, but driving behind all that is passion, planning, and the patience to seek the goal. While the origin of the expression may be more about accomplishing something before one “kicks the bucket,” I prefer to see my “Bucket List” as life goals that I’m pouring my heart into, drip by drip, passionately filling my bucket over a lifetime of God’s grace. Some items I’m pouring into are rather trivial, like the RAIN ride. But others are of great significance in my relationships and the Kingdom of God. Being a godly father for my daughters in every season of our lives together, for example, is a big bucket. It’s one that I’m pursuing one day at a time, even now as we relate to one another as mature adults. I’ll never check that one off, till we see Jesus together.

This issue of Grow Deep is the fourth in a series of “Heroes” editions we’ve produced at Webster Gardens. Unlike previous volumes, this issue revolves around one hero: David. Other than Jesus, more chapters in the Bible are devoted to David stories (66 in the Old Testament). Additionally, 73 Psalms are attributed to David. And the New Testament makes reference to David 59 times. This short series only scratches the surface of David.

While he probably didn’t call it that, I believe David has a “Bucket List.” Honoring the Lord. Defeating enemies. Uniting Israel. Becoming king. Building a great capital city. Reforming worship and the priesthood. Building the temple. Preparing Solomon to be king. These are just a few of his passions that are pursued over decades of perseverance.

When the Bible shows us a hero, however, it’s not the size of the bucket that it measures. It’s not how many chapters or references they get. What’s important to the Biblical narrative is how the hero points us to Jesus. David, a man of many more sins than accomplishments, is a man after God’s heart. David’s greatest “bucket” is seeking God’s heart. That’s an endurance test greater than any other for all of us. To seek God’s heart is to seek “the Anointed One,” “the Messiah,” the one we know as Jesus. It is a slow, lifetime, heart-transplant procedure. David’s life inspired so many scriptures, so that we could also read and reflect on them. And like David, daily the Lord is filling our “bucket,” our “heart” by imprinting the heart of His Son, Jesus, upon us.

Jesus is biologically “the Son of David,” but more importantly Jesus is the fulfillment of David’s “bucket.” Jesus is “Son of David” because He brings David and all of us the heart of God. So take this short journey with David, Solomon, and the heroes of old. Let their stories supply you with something greater than themselves. Let them drip Jesus into your bucket and shape your “Bucket List” with the ultimate, lifetime achievement experience of pursuing God’s heart.

I want to thank Glenn Sprich, Amy Gray, Jacqui Skoglund, Pastor Rudy Blank, Sharon Pahde, Claudia Niemann, Milissa McDaniel, and Edie Grieshaber for pouring their hearts into this issue as our writers. By sharing their gifts, they too are filling our buckets with the grace of God.

Keep chasing God’s heart! Grow Deep!
Pastor Bill Geis
July 2017