Monthly Archives: April 2009

Do We Still Do This?

What a powerful reading. To read about all the things God did for His people and still they tested Him. Still they disobeyed, they refused to trust and believe, even after all that God had done. It is hard to believe that anyone could fail to trust or believe after seeing the things that these people saw. But what about you and I, are we any different? I have seen and experienced God do some amazing stuff. He has never let me down or lead me astray. He has proven Himself to be faithful time after time. He has guided me and protected me through some terrible storms in life. And yet I still find myself doubting His power. I still fail to believe and have the kind of faith I should. It’s easy to read these passages today and say, “how could these people still fail to trust and believe?”, after all they had seen and experienced. When maybe we should ask ourselves the same question. After all we have seen and experienced, eternal salvation and the power of Jesus’ blood. Even after that, we often lack faith and confidence and are unwilling to place our trust in God. Trust and obey God today, He has proven Himself faithful, not only to those in generations past, but to you and I as well.

Surprise Transition

I was surprised at yesterday’s reading and transition. After reading Samuel, I just knew that the transition would be to Psalm 18, which starts off the very same way as a song that David wrote about what had happened as well, but was longer. To my surprise, it went to them finishing up on commenting about the fool.Just goes to show you, everyone gets different ideas about different things. I’m sure glad scripture is consistent. Don’t think I am any kind of scholar… it just so happens that I use the first part of Psalm 18 in some of my funeral messages from time to time. I just had never realized that part of it was quoted in Samuel as well.Another thought to ponder… if this was in coalition about the foolishness of Nabal, why didn’t David speak of the wisdom of Abigail? Usually if I speak about something that was bad but has a good point at the end, I drive home that good point. Maybe he just didn’t want to use names and maybe his point was the rewards Abigail received from being faithful to God and her king. Had she not, it surely would have meant death to her also. All in all, for me it was about Psalm 18 and the exact words from the book of Samuel that really hit home. What hit home for you today? May you realize you have been set free from the coils of death that grasp at you!

Shelter From The Storm

Have you ever found yourself in need of a place of refuge but could find no shelter? I certainly have. I can remember a time in high school when I was camping out on the ranch one night with my cousin. It was a wonderful night the stars and moon lit up the night sky and a cool breeze was blowing so we did not bother to put up the tent, in fact, we did not even take one with us. Instead, we just built a small fire and laid out on top of our bed rolls. Sometime just after midnight I woke up to the sound of thunder and the sight of lightening on the horizon. Not long after that the rain started and our small fire went out. We found little shelter or refuge inside of our sleeping bags and finally decided the best course of action was to walk over a half mile back to my grandfather’s house. It was a long, cold, dark walk. But when we reached his garage there was an amazing sense of peace that overtook me. At last I had reached shelter, a refuge from the storm.In today’s reading David said “for in you my soul takes refuge.” Can you say the same? Where do you find refuge from the spiritual, physical, and emotional storms of this world? Too many times we take refuge in our money, power, status, family, friends, jobs, education, or ourselves. While these may provide limited, temporary shelter, they will not last during the storm. Just like my sleeping bag could not provide the shelter I needed that night so many years ago. Sometimes we need to put our pride aside and take […]

David and the Psalms

One of the things I am finding really cool about this bible is the fact that it is in chronological order. It’s awesome to look at how the Psalms tie into everything that is going on in David’s life. It kind of puts it into perspective, that David didn’t just sit around one day and start writing all these down, but no, it’s almost as if they were personal journal entries of what he was feeling and dealing with at specific moments in his life. You get a real personal look at how he viewed everything that was going on around him, and how he looked and turned to God during every situation, and looked to God to deliver him from all that was going on. Look at what David said in Psalm 5:4-5, you are not a God who takes pleasure in evil: with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. Also look at verse 11. But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. David was going through some bad stuff, but the entire time, no matter what it was he was always looking at things in the mindset of how GOD views things. Us as humans, having a flesh, we tend to view things how we want them done, or how we think they should be handled. But not David, he was always viewing things of how God views them, and relying on God to take care of all the problems that were coming up. But you notice also, David wasn’t just sitting around waiting on God. No he was taking action, and the […]

Scrapper

Every time you read through biblical history you can pick out something different to focus on. As we come to the good ol’ story of David and Goliath, something that sticks out to me more than ever. David liked to fight! He was a scrapper! Listen to Eliab, David’s oldest brother, “why have you come down here and with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.” Then David being the shy guy that he is… ha ha, yeah right, goes on to tell his stories of how God gave him the ability to kill bears and lions with his own hands. I have to be honest with you, if God let me kill a couple of bears and lions with my own hands.. I would be telling every one of you about it as you came into my office with the bearskin rug on my floor, and a lion mounted by my desk…. I promise you that…. ha ha! So God had stirred in David’s heart a passion to fight, fostered it if you will… but you have to see that it was focused to fight against what is wrong…It was a focused energy. It is just amazing what God can do even with a boy who is willing to follow him. All that time, killing the lions and bears, prepared David, gave him the confidence he needed to go against Goliath. What is God preparing you to go up against? How has He allowed you to experience life up to this point? Some of you may be young and just starting […]

Half Way…

Have you ever done something only half way? Have you ever asked someone to carry out a simple task and yet they only completed part of it? Maybe it was a child who half-heartedly cleaned the room, or a co-worker who did just enough to get by, or a family member. Doesn’t it frustrate you?How many times do we do this to God though? In today’s reading, Saul does what is convenient for him, but does not do exactly what God called him to do. Instead he did the task only half way. The result? He lost all favor in the eyes of God. When Samuel shows up, Saul says, “I have carried out the Lord’s instructions.” I love what Samuel then says. “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?” You were supposed to kill them ALL!!! Saul gives his excuses and says but…I am going to sacrifice them to God. And then Samuel replies with my favorite line for the day, “To obey is better than to sacrifice.”Are there cattle lowing, and sheep bleating in your life? What is it that God has called you to do that you have only completed half way? What is it that you have refused to do, or refused to let go of? There is no excuse that is acceptable, repent and obey today! Obedience is the key to living the full and abundant life. Anything less than total obedience to God is disobedience. It’s a powerful lesson we should all learn as soon as possible.

Courageous Women

Today you find the end of a story about a courageous woman and the beginning story of another courageous woman. Ruth was a woman who took her role as a woman seriously. In the world today where we have seen servitude slandered, put down, and un-glorified, it’s nice to see that some things still have not changed in this world. (Wow! Solomon comments on that). It is tough for us, as people, to accept what God has placed on us, as men and women, to do forever. Men were created to work, lead, and provide for their families. Women were created to nurture, bear children, and be a help mate (that includes working). Both men and women are equal in value but given different responsibilities. Ruth was a woman who was strong, understood her role, embraced it, and did it in such a way that God allowed her to be a part of the heritage of Christ. It is amazing what happens when we submit our will to God’s will. I don’t care if you are a man or a woman, we all have to submit our will to His will. Jesus himself showed us that in the Garden before his death, “not my will, but Your will be done”. 1. Ruth doesn’t leave her family even when her family pushes her way. 2. She doesn’t complain about her circumstances. 3. She does something about it..She shows love to her mother-in-law who is embittered and she wins her over with loyalty. Ruth sees that Naomi is mentally unstable and sticks with her to provide for her. Naomi is so overcome with bitterness and maybe physical sickness, to the point she allows Ruth to go out […]

Depressing To Read

WOW it is so GREAT to be back in Texas!!! I have missed you all and am so ready for Easter. Don’t forget to bring someone with you this weekend!! I was reading today’s scriptures on the plane ride home and to be honest I was very depressed. My heart ached as I read about the horrible things that those men did to the concubine. Then the Master did what he did to incite violence and tried to attain justice through his own vengence on those evil men. It saddens my heart to think of all the evil mankind has done and continues to do. There is no shortage of sin and evil in the world and none of us are exempt from dealing with the pain it causes. When we see or read about obvious sins like in our text for today, we are quick to judge and condemn. But are our sins any less offensive or evil in the eyes of God? As I read, I thought to myself, “if this scene in the Bible is so bad what will the Day of Judgment be like when all evil is exposed and revealed for what it really is?” Just think about all of the evil things that have not been written down and all of the sin that is unseen or unheard. What a day that is going to be! As Easter approaches we should all rejoice because as believers our sins have been washed away. We are forgiven, we are free, we are clean, we are Christians, thanks be to God! May we rejoice because evil will not prevail, Jesus will.

God uses the least of us

When you are reading today’s scripture, pay attention to how Gideon responds when the angel of the lord came to tell him that he was with him, calling him a “mighty warrior.” Now me, if someone called me a mighty warrior, especially an angel of the lord, my head would swell so big and I would be walking around thinking I was Obi Wan Kenobi (star wars jedi that kicked everyone’s butt). But Gideon was an Isrealite, and culture was a huge part of what they believed in. He knew what his tribe, or what his clan was and he knew he was basically at the bottom of the pole in social status. But so many times in history, God uses the lowly in his work. Sure he could have grabbed a guy that was a huge warrior, that was big and cut, knew great war techniques and was dashingly good looking (just kidding), but using a person like this, it would be really easy to give all the reward and the credit to that individual. God doesn’t always use what we would think to be the best choice in handling whatever situation is at bay. Just look at all of Jesus’ disciples. If we were alive back then and we saw who he chose we would probably think what a bunch rag tag heathens, what would he chose these guys for. But God knew these men’s heart and what they could become, and as a result these guys were critical in helping form the early stages of what Christianity was to later become. Look at Paul, who was a huge jerk that basically went around killing Christians, who became the guy who pretty much […]

To Be Commanded

It is amazing the things that happen when we don’t work together. You can pick up on some of that, now that Joshua is dead. You can also pick up on some things that can happen when you don’t obey the word of God in your life.There are some great things that we will be observing as we go through the old Testament. The one thing I want to focus on is Deborah. God allowed her to be a judge to the people of Israel but when it comes time for war, God gave her a message to give to Barak… “The Lord, The God of Israel, Commands you: Go take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon river and give him in to your hands.”Wow! Receiving a command from the Lord, nothing more, nothing less, but to go and get after it.But Barak is hesitant and it does not tell us in what attitude he responded, but it tells us his words and those words must have been spoken out in words of doubt in some way, for God comes back to tell Deborah that Barak will not receive the glory of victory, but a woman will, because of the way he responded.It seems like I keep on landing on days that the Lord commands someone to do something and they don’t obey! That’s the tough thing about being a Christian I think, reading the Old Testament. In the New Testament we really grasp a hold of forgiveness. So is there ever a point where we go […]

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