DAVID KNEW HIS SHEPHERD

Morning

Psalms-46-Verse-1p

And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.” 1 Samuel 27:1

The thought of David’s heart at this time was a false thought, because he certainly had no ground for thinking that God‘s anointing him by Samuel was intended to be left as an empty unmeaning act. On no one occasion had the Lord deserted his servant; he had been placed in perilous positions very often, but not one instance had occurred in which divine interposition had not delivered him. The trials to which he had been exposed had been varied; they had not assumed one form only, but many–yet in every case he who sent the trial had also graciously ordained a way of escape. David could not put his finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, “Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me,” for the entire tenor of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him, that God would be his defender still. But is it not just in the same way that we doubt God’s help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness? Have not his lovingkindnesses been marvellous? Has he once failed to justify our trust? Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head he has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that he who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God, proves that he will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our unbelief, and let the dogs devour it.

Evening

Good Shepherd - John 10-28

“He shall gather the lambs with his arm.” Isaiah 40:11

Our good Shepherd has in his flock a variety of experiences, some are strong in the Lord, and others are weak in faith, but he is impartial in his care for all his sheep, and the weakest lamb is as dear to him as the most advanced of the flock. Lambs are wont to lag behind, prone to wander, and apt to grow weary, but from all the danger of these infirmities the Shepherd protects them with his arm of power. He finds new-born souls, like young lambs, ready to perish–he nourishes them till life becomes vigorous; he finds weak minds ready to faint and die–he consoles them and renews their strength. All the little ones he gathers, for it is not the will of our heavenly Father that one of them should perish. What a quick eye he must have to see them all! What a tender heart to care for them all! What a far- reaching and potent arm, to gather them all! In his lifetime on earth he was a great gatherer of the weaker sort, and now that he dwells in heaven, his loving heart yearns towards the meek and contrite, the timid and feeble, the fearful and fainting here below. How gently did he gather me to himself, to his truth, to his blood, to his love, to his church! With what effectual grace did he compel me to come to himself! Since my first conversion, how frequently has he restored me from my wanderings, and once again folded me within the circle of his everlasting arm! The best of all is, that he does it all himself personally, not delegating the task of love, but condescending himself to rescue and preserve his most unworthy servant. How shall I love him enough or serve him worthily? I would fain make his name great unto the ends of the earth, but what can my feebleness do for him? Great Shepherd, add to thy mercies this one other, a heart to love thee more truly as I ought.

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

ACT OF KINDNESS

October 16, 2013
A Faithful Friend
2 Samuel 9:1-13
Read

One day David asked, “Is anyone in Saul’s family still alive—anyone to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan‘s sake?” He summoned a man named Ziba, who had been one of Saul’s servants. “Are you Ziba?” the king asked. “Yes sir, I am,” Ziba replied.
The king then asked him, “Is anyone still alive from Saul’s family? If so, I want to show God‘s kindness to them.” Ziba replied, “Yes, one of Jonathan’s sons is still alive. He is crippled in both feet.”
“Where is he?” the king asked. “In Lo-debar,” Ziba told him, “at the home of Makir son of Ammiel.”
So David sent for him and brought him from Makir’s home. His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.” Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”
“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”
Mephibosheth bowed respectfully and exclaimed, “Who is your servant, that you should show such kindness to a dead dog like me?” (2 Samuel 9:1-8)

Reflect

Mephibosheth was afraid to visit the king, little knowing that David wanted to treat him like a prince. Although Mephibosheth feared for his life and may have felt unworthy, that didn’t mean he should refuse David’s gifts. After all, David was the king and commanded Mephibosheth’s presence in his court.
In an era in which many kings put rivals to death to avoid the threat of usurpation, David’s treatment of Mephibosheth showed him to be the kind of leader who accepted his obligation to show love and mercy. David was kind, partly because of his loyalty to God’s previously anointed king (Saul); partly for political reasons—to unite Judah and Israel; and mainly because of his vow to show kindness to all of Jonathan’s descendants (1 Samuel 20:14-17). His generous provision for Jonathan’s son goes beyond any political benefit he might have received.

Respond

Each time we show compassion, our character is strengthened. Are you able to forgive those who have wronged you? Can you be generous with those less deserving?

Source:  http://www.newlivingtranslation.com/05discoverthenlt/lasb.asp

Fear of the Lord is The Beginning

l

 

Proverbs 1:7 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 3

The benefit of wisdom is better than gold.

INSIGHT

Inherent within the human heart is a longing for peace, love, and joy. Among Christians and non-Christians alike, the desire is the same. Yet peace, love, and joy do not answer just any beck and call. They will come only by certain means; they are fruits on the tree of wisdom. Wisdom will bring length of days (v. 2), peace (v. 2), favor with God and man (v. 4), strength to your bones (v. 8), honor (v. 16), pleasantness (v. 17), paths of peace (v. 17), confidence in life (v. 26), and freedom from the snares of life (v. 26). Foolishness brings harm (v. 29), oppression (v. 31), and shame (v. 35). We all long for the benefits of wisdom. We must remember that she comes with a price: submission to the will of God and the truth of Scripture.

PRAYER

As you consider the benefits of wisdom, praise the Lord that we may share in His character:
Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11).

You are great, O Lord God. For there is none like You,
nor is there any God besides You, according to all that
we have heard with our ears (2 Samuel 7:22).

Pause for praise and thanksgiving.

Pray this confession to the Lord:
Has the Lord as great delight in burnt
offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams (1 Samuel 15:22).

Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.

Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
— Greater sensitivity to sin
— The ministry of your church
— Whatever else is on your heart

Offer this closing prayer to God:
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever (Psalm 23:6).

(Credit:  http://www.walkthru.org/)

June 21, 2013 How can I please the Lord?

Blessings come from obeying God

How can I please the Lord?

But Samuel replied [to Saul], “What is more pleasing to the Lord, your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams. Rebelling is as bad as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as bad as worshiping idols.

1 Samuel 15:22-23 NLT

If you love me, obey my commandments.… You are my friends if you obey me.

John 14:15; 15:14 NLT

 

 

True Friends of Jesus Obey Him

 

How do we demonstrate our friendship with Jesus? Quite simply, we do what he says. If we refuse, we have no right to call ourselves his friends. 

In 1 Samuel 15 the Bible tells how King Saul disobeyed the Lord’s command to completely destroy the enemies and their livestock. When Samuel asked the king why he heard the bleating of sheep and the lowing of cattle, Saul basically replied, “Oh, right, thanks for reminding me. We’re saving those to offer to the Lord later!” 

Samuel recognized a lie when he heard one and replied, “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22 NIV). God wants the same from us, not some great annual recommitment that we soon break. He wants consistency. Regularity. Faithfulness. He wants our obedience. 

Adapted from Breakfast with Jesus by Greg Laurie, 
(Tyndale House) p 162

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

Charles Spurgeon

Morning

“Thou shalt love thy neighbour.”
Matthew 5:43

“Love thy neighbour.” Perhaps he rolls in riches, and thou art poor, and living in thy little cot side-by-side with his lordly mansion; thou seest every day his estates, his fine linen, and his sumptuous banquets; God has given him these gifts, covet not his wealth, and think no hard thoughts concerning him. Be content with thine own lot, if thou canst not better it, but do not look upon thy neighbour, and wish that he were as thyself. Love him, and then thou wilt not envy him.

Perhaps, on the other hand, thou art rich, and near thee reside the poor. Do not scorn to call them neighbour. Own that thou art bound to love them. The world calls them thy inferiors. In what are they inferior? They are far more thine equals than thine inferiors, for “God hath made of one blood all people that dwell upon the face of the earth.” It is thy coat which is better than theirs, but thou art by no means better than they. They are men, and what art thou more than that? Take heed that thou love thy neighbour even though he be in rags, or sunken in the depths of poverty.

But, perhaps, you say, “I cannot love my neighbours, because for all I do they return ingratitude and contempt.” So much the more room for the heroism of love. Wouldst thou be a feather-bed warrior, instead of bearing the rough fight of love? He who dares the most, shall win the most; and if rough be thy path of love, tread it boldly, still loving thy neighbours through thick and thin. Heap coals of fire on their heads, and if they be hard to please, seek not to please them, but to please thy Master; and remember if they spurn thy love, thy Master hath not spurned it, and thy deed is as acceptable to him as if it had been acceptable to them. Love thy neighbour, for in so doing thou art following the footsteps of Christ.

Evening

“To whom belongest thou?”
1 Samuel 30:13

No neutralities can exist in religion. We are either ranked under the banner of Prince Immanuel, to serve and fight his battles, or we are vassals of the black prince, Satan. “To whom belongest thou?”

Reader, let me assist you in your response. Have you been “born again”? If you have, you belong to Christ, but without the new birth you cannot be his. In whom do you trust? For those who believe in Jesus are the sons of God. Whose work are you doing? You are sure to serve your master, for he whom you serve is thereby owned to be your lord. What company do you keep? If you belong to Jesus, you will fraternize with those who wear the livery of the cross. “Birds of a feather flock together.” What is your conversation? Is it heavenly or is it earthly? What have you learned of your Master?–for servants learn much from their masters to whom they are apprenticed. If you have served your time with Jesus, it will be said of you, as it was of Peter and John, “They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”

We press the question, “To whom belongest thou?” Answer honestly before you give sleep to your eyes. If you are not Christ’s you are in a hard service–Run away from your cruel master! Enter into the service of the Lord of Love, and you shall enjoy a life of blessedness. If you are Christ’s let me advise you to do four things. You belong to Jesus–obey him; let his word be your law; let his wish be your will. You belong to the Beloved, then love him; let your heart embrace him; let your whole soul be filled with him. You belong to the Son of God, then trust him; rest nowhere but on him. You belong to the King of kings, then be decided for him. Thus, without your being branded upon the brow, all will know to whom you belong.

All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)