Saturday, April 27, 2013


2 Samuel 11

King David got complacent.  Complacency breeds contempt.

2 Samuel 11:1-2 ESV

In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.

That's not to say that keeping busy will completely prevent you from having an affair, but it sire might help.

Second mistake, he let his flesh enjoy the beauty of a woman who was not his wife.  Your wife is your definition of beauty.  And no other woman is yours to enjoy.  Period.

Heavenly Father, please help me stay on task and at work in your Kingdom.  I know that the enemy will tempt me and try to distract me, but please give me strength and integrity to be faithful to you and faithful to my wife. You have blessed me with a wonderful wife. I love you, Lord.  I ask in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

driving out the enemy

1 Samuel 24

As I read through Joshua, I was disappointed at the end when it said that the Israelites failed to obey God and completely drive out all of the enemy.  (It still bothers me that God would have the Israelites completely destroy other peoples, but I trust that God is perfectly just and realize that we are all deserving of destruction because of our sin.)

Furthermore, after Saul was anointed as king of the Israelites, he did not obey the LORD and completely destroy a people, which was subsequently complicated by his confusion of the roles of king, prophet, and priest.

In my own life, I wonder how I have settled with the enemy co-residing with me in my heart and soul.  The flesh is so sneaky (like the Gibeonites who pretended to be from a far distance), and I imagine that I probably make excuses for not pursuing holiness by living with a little bit of lust, a little bit of pride, and a little bit of gluttony. 

Well, the Israelites are an example to us that we must take extreme measures to remove the flesh nature and sinful practices from our lives, or else, over time, they intermingle, which is the death of us.

Heavenly Father, please help me be vigilant at mortification of flesh nature and sinful practices.  You desire a "no tolerance" policy, and I need to obey you.  Please help me be aware of the stealthy sinfulness in my life.  Please illuminate my heart, soul, and mind with the Light of Christ so that I can see clearly and walk in obedience.  Lord, I want to honor you, and I want my life to be useful for your good work.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Vocational freedom and fear

1 Samuel 15

10:6-7 ESV Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

I'm not quite sure how to interpret this.  Perhaps God was saying some think like, "You shouldn't have a king anyway, so I don't care what you do.". Or perhaps He meant, "I have anointed you with myself, so go use the God-given gifts and skills to do good things."

10:21-22 ESV. He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by its clans, and the clan of the Matrites was taken by lot; and Saul the son of Kish was taken by lot. But when they sought him, he could not be found. So they inquired again of the Lord , "Is there a man still to come?" and the Lord said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage."

It seems like fear and self criticism are two common enemies of vocational effectiveness, especially in leadership.  As the Lord leads us to lead, we need to trust Him and follow Him.

Heavenly Father, please lead me, and I will follow.  Please give me boldness to lead others.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Types in Ruth


1:16 But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you."

These verses remind me of how blessed I am to have Brandi as my wife.  She is such a loyal and faithful partner, and I am continually impressed by her love.

1:1 In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. ... But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, ... and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. ... Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, ... 7 ... and they went on the way to return to the land of Judah. ... 2:3 So [Ruth] set out and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers, and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the clan of Elimelech. And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem. ... 14 And at mealtime Boaz said to her, "Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine." ...  3:9 And she answered, "I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer."

Perhaps this is an overgeneralization of this story, but it seems to me that God uses suffering to lead us into the lives of people who do not know God (e.g., Ruth), so that we can engage them and show them the love and redemption of God in Christ (e.g., Boaz).

Heavenly Father, thank you for a wonderful wife.  And thank you for the opportunity to engage people around me to know you and experience your redemption and restoration.  I love you, and I pray that my life is filled with your life today.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

They did not consult the Lord

Judges 17

I have been impressed with his verse this past week:

Joshua 9:14 ESV
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord .

The Gibeonites tricked the Israelites because the Israelites evaluated the situation and made a decision without consulting the Lord.

This scares me.  How many times have I done this?

Heavenly Father, I want to stay close to you and always talk with you about every issue and decision in my life.  I love you, and I want to walk with you.