Sunday, May 16, 2021

Our Refuge

 1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 28; Psalms. 91; 1 Thessalonians 5 

“Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar.”

1 Kings 1:51


“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

Psalm 91:1, 2


David learned to rest on the shadow of the Almighty. His son Adonijah was striving for position and power and found himself clinging to the horns of the altar pleading for his life. For some reason Adonijah never learned to say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Perhaps he trusted in his family name, or his handsome appearance, or his influence over people. In the end, not even religious symbols provided a good refuge for him. He found himself all alone. When we offer our lives to God, we place them on the altar of sacrifice, like living sacrifices, and God’s presence becomes our refuge.


“Lord Jesus, you are my refuge, my fortress, my God in who I trust this day.”

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Gifts in Submission

1 Chronicles 25-27; 1 Thessalonians 4 

“…The sons of Asaph were under the supervision of Asaph, who prophesied under the king’s supervision. As for Jeduthun, from his sons: Gedaliah…all, under the supervision of their father Jeduthin, who prophesied, using the harp in thanking and praising the Lord.”

1 Chronicles 25:2, 3


The gifts of the Spirit must function in submission to authority for them to be effective. The sons of Asaph were submitted in their prophesying to their father who was accountable to the king. Where there is no submission to authority, there can be no true authority. The gift of prophesy is powerful for uncovering men’s hearts, for confirming guidance and direction, and for affirming the truths of God’s Word. It must always be focused on strengthening, encouragement and comfort (1 Corinthians 14:3). In submission to authority, this gift and others can develop in a way that honors God and encourages others.


“Lord Jesus, may your gifts grow in my life and bless others, and most importantly, You! I choose to live in submission to authority in all I do, for your glory.”

Friday, May 14, 2021

Normal Persecution

 1 Chronicles 22-24; 1 Thessalonians 3 

“We sent Timothy…to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were destined for them…when we were with you, we kept telling you we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way…”

1 Thessalonians 3:2-4


Opposition to our faith in Christ when we share the gospel of salvation is normal. Paul prepared his new believers with the normal expectation that both he and they would face persecution. Expectation that persecution is normal, changes how we respond to challenges. When we present the gospel as being all about our fulfillment in life and our happiness, we set new believers up for disappointment and a crisis of faith. Paul’s counsel and prayer for these young believers is that their faith would stand firm in persecution, their love would increase for each other, and their hearts would remain strong in the hope of Christ’s return. Faith, hope and love were his theme. We need the same refocusing and renewed expectations today.


“Lord Jesus, I repent for focusing on my needs and not on your grace toward me and my family. Renew our focus on faith, hope and love, with the normal expectation of persecution, so that we could be found faithful.”

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Pride

2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21; Psalms. 30; 1 Thessalonians 2 


“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. So David said to Joab…‘Go and count the Israelites’…Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David…This command was also evil in the sight of God…”

1 Chronicles 21:1, 2, 5, 7


Spiritual warfare is focused on Satan getting us ‘off side’ with God and his Word. God hates pride. David’s desire to count his army was motivated by pride, which opened the door to a request which might have looked reasonable to some, but grieved God. God reduced Gideon’s army to 300, because 10,000 would be too many to deliver Israel. God’s blessing and favor on David’s life and leadership was not a license to become independent from God. Seemingly innocent thoughts can have demonic origins. God used Joab to warn David that his scheme was going to bring guilt on Israel. Joab had killed many men, yet he understood that David’s request was wrong. David’s anguish at Joab killing Absalom might have prevented him from receiving Joab’s rebuke. When we are tempted, God always provides a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).


“Lord Jesus, I humble myself before you. Keep me from pride and willful sin.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Valiant Fighters

2 Samuel 21-23; 1 Thessalonians 1 


“Benaiah son of Jehoiada was a valiant fighter from Kabzeel, who performed great exploits. He struck down two of Moab’s best men. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion…And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.”

2 Samuel 23:20, 23


David’s bodyguard team was composed of men from a variety of ethnic backgrounds who were drawn to the vision and values of David’s kingdom. They were distinguished by their courage in battle and the willingness to risk their lives for the sake of their king. 


It’s understandable why Benaiah would face several of Moab’s best men in battle; however, why would he enter a pit on a snowy day to kill a lion? 


Did he think about this decision, or did he respond impulsively? 


Why did Paul fight wild beasts during his ministry in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 15:32)? 

He later wrote, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world…” (Ephesians 6:12). God is still preparing and calling mighty men and women of faith who are not afraid to battle wild beasts for the sake of their king and his gospel. Many are called, but few pass the test.


“Lord Jesus, your gospel and your glory are my delight. May I be found faithful.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

He Won Over the Hearts

2 Samuel 19-20; Psalms. 55; Matthew 28 


“And say to Amasa, ‘Are you not my own flesh and blood?...you are…the commander of my army in place of Joab’…He won over the hearts of all the men of Judah as though they were one man.”

2 Samuel 19:13, 14


David reached out to those who had rebelled against him. Amasa had sided with Absalom and had been named leader of Absalom’s army. With Absalom’s death, David invited Amasa back under his authority. David’s security in God’s call and the establishment of his authority gave him freedom to forgive and extend trust to those who had betrayed him. Even in responding to a rebellion, David walked with humility. It’s in the test that we discover what is really in our hearts. Humility and grace win the hearts of others and carry the day. Authority must be granted for it to be legitimate. David understood the importance of humility, forgiveness and grace in receiving authority.


“Lord Jesus, thank you that you have extended mercy, forgiveness and grace toward me. I willingly give you authority in my life this day, and choose to follow your leadership.”

Monday, May 10, 2021

Walking Before God

 2 Samuel 18; Psalms. 56; Matthew 27 

“For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”

Psalm 56:13


Our greatest gift in life is the privilege of walking with God, living in the light of his presence. The alternative is walking on a path that leads to destruction, full of stumbling. Our feet are symbolic of the choices we make each day to either walk with God or away from him. When our feet stumble, we lose our balance and become unstable in our ways. God’s grace is offered to us as a gift of life. To choose life is to choose Jesus and his forgiveness. To choose life is to choose the Holy Spirit, and being led by the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit. God’s path of life requires living in the light, confession of sin and freedom from fear. God’s power, grace and Spirit have delivered those who know Jesus from death and stumbling, so that they can walk with God in the light.


“Lord Jesus, I choose to walk in the light with you this day. Thank you for your deliverance and freedom.”

Our Refuge

  1 Kings 1; 1 Chronicles 28; Psalms. 91; 1 Thessalonians 5   “Adonijah is afraid of King Solomon and is clinging to the horns of the altar....