Thursday, May 28, 2009

1 Samuel 27-28

1 Samuel 27-28
5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.
First of all, what a great message from Carlynn today on TRUSTING God! Vs 5, Saul was afraid and terror filled his heart. He inquired of the Lord but He didn’t answer to instead of waiting patiently for Gods answer, Saul sought out a ”medium” or a spiritist.
Vs 11-13 show that the “medium” wasn’t used to people responding when she’d call on the dead! She cried out (vs 12) and Saul said to her “don’t be afraid, what do you see?”
Having her summon Samuel, Samuel didn’t have good news for Saul! He reiterated what Saul already knew, that God had turned away from Saul because of his disobedience when he didn’t destroy the Amalekites. On top of that, Samuel told Saul that he and his sons and his army would all be destroyed by the Philistines.
Acts 9-
Here is a person in History that God CHOSE, predestined to do His will and who fully repented/turned from his life of sin! Saul was a persecutor of Christians and God blinded him on the road telling him what he needed to do. (vs 6)

When God called to Ananias (vs 10) he was hesitant to obey the Lord and said (vs 13) “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” God replied to Ananias “Go! In other words, don’t ask questions, I have a plan and know what I’m doing! Vs 15 “This man is my chosen instrument.”
Reading through this passage, Paul hadn’t received the Holy Spirit yet until Ananias arrived at his home (vs 17).
The Disciples were afraid of Saul too until Barnabas told them how the Lord had spoken to him.
Paul’s life is a testimony of true faith, he turned from his life of sin and vs 22 “22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.” He became more and more powerful, PROVING Jesus is the Christ! Vs 27 says Paul “preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus” and vs 28 he “spoke boldly in the name of the Lord.” Thos are powerful words! He had confidence, assurance in what he believed!

Because of Paul’s testimony, the church was strengthened, encouraged and it grew! (vs31) That verse also said they were “living in fear of the Lord.” The people were fearing God more than man! Matthew 10:28 "Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The woman Docas (vs 36) had died and Peter, got down on his knees and prayed! God heard Peter’s prayers and raised her from the dead and as a result MANY people believed in the Lord!
God, I thank you that you hear our prayers and that you answer them God!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2 Samuel 21-22 Acts 21-

2 Samuel 21-22
This is the first chapter in a few chapters where David consults the Lord again and it's because of a famine!

17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, saying, "Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished."

This sentence makes so much sense to me! Why did the Kings always go out into battle with their men?

David writes a song to God describing His greatness! I think these were my favorite verses. 31 "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 32 For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?

Acts 21-
Paul's friends tried to persuade him not to go to Jerusalem because of the persecution he would face there! Instead, Paul answered, "vs 13 Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus."

Paul goes on to preach and the people of the city seized him, dragged him out of the temple and tried to kill him! Roman troops saved Paul as he was being beaten. The bound him and carried him to the barracks because the violence of the mob was so great! It's just amazing to see what Paul endured over and over again for the gospel. Even when facing physical pain, he preached!

God, thank you for this day you've created! God, help me to be more like Paul, when faced with conflict of persecution, to persevere because YOU God are more important than what man thinks!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2 Samuel 19-20 Acts 20-

2 Samuel 19-20

Joab sure wasn't afraid to speak his mind against the King whom God had anointed! Sometimes we need that friend who'll confront us harshly with what needs to be said! "6 You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead.7 Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now."

18 They crossed at the ford to take the king's household over and to do whatever he wished. When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king 19 and said to him, "May my lord not hold me guilty. Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind. 20 For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first of the whole house of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king."

After wronging the King, Shimei was quick and humble to apologize! He fell prostrate at the king and confessed his sin.

3 When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them, but did not lie with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows.

This is so sad! Because Abasalam had publicly humiliated the concubines of David, they lived out the remainder of their days as widows!

(vs 1) Now a troublemaker named Sheba revolved against David, taking men of Israel with him! David said he would be more trouble than Absalam was and to hunt him down. Upon arriving at Abel Beth Maacah they started to destroy the city trying to get in to get Sheba. A "wise woman" asked to speak with Joab and found out that he only wanted Sheba! They cut his head off and threw it over the wall of the city!

Acts 20-
(vs 1-2) Despite all that Paul encountered or knew what was coming, he spoke words of encouragement to the disciples! Paul has such a testimony!

24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. "

Paul warns the men too that wolves will come to try and destroy the flock and to beware of them! 30Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

God, help me to guard against whatever wolves might come, help me to speak words of encouragement like Paul did, and to remember my life is yours to do whatever you want with it! Help me to share the gospel with those who need to hear and that their eyes may be opened to the truth. When trouble comes too God, help me to be wise, like the woman in 2 Samuel who saved her whole town by simply asking Joab what he wanted! Thank you for the friends in my life who exhort me in the truth! Lord, most of all, when I sin like Shimei did, help me to fall prostrate and confess it to you right away God!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Acts 17-
The first Century church faced so many things that I've NEVER seen today. Speaking in tongues, laying on of hands, evil spirits that dwelled inside of people and then physically attacked other Christians!

14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, "The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel." For the LORD had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.

God listened to the prayers of David and Ahithophel gives Absalom advice to attack David! This would have been horrible for Absalom's group if they proceeded to do that! Ahithopel then commits suicide because Absalom didn't follow his advice.

It's good to see David's men warning him, staying loyal to them, hiding in a well to get the information to David, and how people brought David pottery, bedding and food too!

David wants to ride out with his troops but his men say it's better for him to stay home. We then see David say "I will do whatever seems best to you." We don't see David inquiring of the Lord!

Absalom, while attacking the Kings men, was riding a mule and his head got caught up in a tree. David had asked his men not to kill him (even though he was a threat). Davids men killed him and David says at the end of the chapter he wishes it was him that died instead of his son. (vs 33)

Lord, help me to be bold like Paul, who spoke out dispite opposition! Help me to seek guidance from you, Like David used to do.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2 Samuel 13-14 Acts 17-

2 Samuel 13-14

David's son did a horrible evil thing to his sister Tamar yet David didn't punish his son! Absalom (another of David's sons and Tamars brother) decided to take matters into his own hands and had Amnon killed.

Absalom (vs 33) isn't accustomed to waiting around for answers! He sends for Joab, twice, so he can send a message to the King. When Joab doesn't come, Absalom has his field burned down! That got Joab's attention and the King then met with Absalom! Poor Tamar, that her father wouldn't avenge the wrong doing and for living her life desolate and with her brother. She'd even spoken out against the act Absalom was about to do! He sinned against her and it effected her the rest of her life :(

14 Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.

Just like 2 Samuel reminds us, we will all die on this earth. Still, God provides a way for us to not be estranged from Himself, if we repent of our sins and live with faith and trust in Jesus Christ!

Acts 17-
I just read through this chapter last night while reviewing Partners chapter 1!

11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

30In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.

God, help me to examine the scriptures daily and with eagerness! Help me to repent of my sins, to throw off the things that so easily entangle and let me run with perseverance the race marked out for me.

2 Samuel 11-12 Acts 16-

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2 Samuel 9-10 Acts 14-

2 Samuel 9-10

I've been noticing most passages that David inquired of the Lord. He doesn't say that in this passage. He sends his men to the Ammonites and his men are captured and come home humiliated.

The Israelites had enemies in front and behind them yet Joab knew God was in control. He said "12 Be strong and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The LORD will do what is good in his sight."


Vs 8, Peter is speaking about whether or not the Gentiles are saved and need circumcision. He writes "God who knows the heart." Vs 8 says how "God made a choice" and gave them the Holy Spirit just like He'd given the Holy Spirit to the Jews. Vs 11 says "We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved."

Verse 39 says that Paul and Barnabas had "such a sharp disagreement that they parted company." To the best of our ability we should try to promote unity among the church and try to be like-minded with our Christian brethren.

God, I am so thankful to know you know my heart and for salvation! Help me Lord to promote unity and stay away from disagreements that cause division.