Father" Just the sound of His voice gives you hope and
reassurance. You take what He says seriously. For when the Father speaks, He
can change the laws of Physics! Your Father can create or destroy anything with
a single word! Your Heavenly Father is there for you! He provides you with
incredible support from the rest of His family. You never have to face anything
alone again. Why not talk with Him today? Like a dad, He is eager to listen to
you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 29-(Psalm 24:8) "The Mighty Warrior" Imagine a soldier standing victorious over his foes. He is fearless! He is tough! He IS a Mighty Warrior. This is your Lord! There is nothing God cannot handle. When he stands with you, you can be sure that your victory is secure. What enemy are you facing today? Who is opposing you? If you are facing an attack of some kind, remember to trust your Mighty Warrior! For, you have access to the most powerful ally available today. So pray about it, and watch your mighty warrior come through and seal your victory.
Apr 28-(Psalm 82) "The April 27-(Psalm 82) "The Needy" They literally have nothing to offer you. They are poor... destitute. For some, they are an annoyance. The needy will always be with you. You see them on the side of the street, or living in boxes under bridges. The psalmist declares that God watches over the needs of the poor. He is right! Do you have a soft spot for the less fortunate? God's heart is tender with the poor. He extends His mercy to the poor… and so should you! Today, be on the lookout for people who are needy. Help others experience God's love by loving the needy around you. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 27-(Psalm 49) "The Mortal" No matter how much you have or how much you know, you are mortal. Like any animal, you are powerless to avoid a fact of life—you are going to die. This is what you have in common with every living creature. So what will you do with the time you have left on earth? Will you spend it building a legacy of personal accomplishments that will be forgotten? Or will you focus on the bigger picture? Will you focus on eternity? Will you accept 'the inevitable', and turn your attention toward God? Today, take a long look at your mortality. Accept your limits and helplessness as a human being. Seek your Lord!! For He can snatch you out of the grave, and give you eternal life. Use the rest of your life to pursue God and honor His name.
Apr 26-(Psalm 1; Psalm 14; Psalm 15; Psalm 36; Psalm 37; Psalm 39) "The Wicked" Make sure you read these Psalms this morning!! They describe the traits and fate of the wicked. The wicked don't call on God... In fact they don't respect God at all. They ignore the needs of the misfortunate. The wicked slander and deride others. They bend the rules in order to get ahead. But God wants you to understand that the wicked are as frail as grass. They may appear to be flourishing, but soon the wicked wither and die. How about you? Do you share any of the traits of the wicked? Today, remember God's warning to the wicked. Pursue your God with humility. Crave His word… and be blessed!
Apr 25-(Psalm 121) "The Watchman" He is stationed in a tower that overlooks the town. He stands guard through the night so everyone can sleep in safety. He's the first to sound the alarm when danger comes. The Watchman provides a sense of security. This is the image David gives in these Psalms. He compares God to the Watchman! How does it feel to know that God watches over you? He guards you from evil 24/7. God is determined to keep you safe. So whatever you face today, rest assured that The Watchman has got your back, and will protect you from disaster.
Apr 24-(Psalm 91) "Shaddai" You are in a safe and secure place. Under his mighty arms, nothing can destroy you. Those who want to harm you are powerless. Evil cannot get close enough to touch you. If you stumble, He sends angels to pick you up and keep you on your feet. If you get into trouble, He's there to get you out. Doesn't that sound wonderful? This happens when you take hold of God. When you seek to know Him, trust Him, and call out to Him, He comes running to the rescue! He is eager to save you. Are you holding on to God? Are you trusting Him with whatever you are facing? Today, renew your commitment to The Lord. Make Him your refuge and experience the security that comes from His almighty power. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 23-(Psalm 77, 86) "The Discouraged" David is faithful; but, for some reason, he's restless. He tosses and turns in bed. Why? He's discouraged. Things aren't going his way. People are attacking him. These attacks are weighing him down. He feels all alone. He starts to question God's love and power. He wonders if things will ever turn around for him. He wonders... he quietly sits and ponders. Not knowing what else he can do, he meditates and prays. Then he remembers the mighty things God has done long ago. He's not just being sentimental or wishing for the good old days. He realizes that his God has done some amazing things, and will do amazing things once again. His prayers turn from sadness to praise. He asks God to give him an undivided heart. Are you discouraged? Do you feel all alone? The God who parted the Red Sea is eager to work a miracle in your life!! The God who saved you out of all your muck and filth is ready to work again. Today, reflect on all the wonders God has worked in your lifetime. Continue to be faithful and serve Him. Be patient! Wait on God to work again. And above all, ask Him to get your heart ready for when He does. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 22-(Psalm 61; Psalm 62; Psalm 64; Psalm 69) "My Rock" What gives you resilience? What helps you persevere? David is facing more and more criticism and bashing. People are throwing David under the bus. Does it hurt? Why of course it does!! These guys are Pros!! They know exactly how to discourage him. They know all the tricks to undermining his confidence and joy. But David does something wise. He does something empowering. David calls out to his Rock. When you pray, you invoke the power of God in your situation. When you pray to your Rock, God will give you quiet confidence and incredible hope. Today, if you are under attack, call out to your Rock… and He will get you through your toughest time. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 21-(Psalm 35; Psalm 41; Psalm 43; Psalm 55) "Mean People" They love to hurt you. They enjoy watching you squirm and suffer. They spread lies about you too. They long for your demise. The world is filled with mean people. David is facing an onslaught of attacks from mean people. What do you do? Do you fight back? Do you fight fire with fire? Is it okay to be bitter? The answer may not excite you. You trust The Lord with it! You surrender your desire to retaliate or run, and you stand firm with your God. As you read David's tirade, you will notice something interesting. David doesn't take matters into his own hands. Yes, he complains to God, but he doesn't grab his sword and rush out the door to settle the score. No... He lets God settle the score. He calls on God to deal with the mean people in his life. He chooses to treat others like God treats him—with mercy. This takes a lot of spiritual guts! But when you choose to respond with kindness over reacting in anger, you are being just like Jesus. While mean people put him on a cross, he did not retaliate or make any threats. He entrusted what mean people were doing to him, to His Father. Do you have the spiritual guts to respond like Jesus? When mean people are hurting you, surrender your anger and bitterness to God. Who knows? The mean people in your life may turn to God!! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 20-(Psalm 13; Psalm 17; Psalm 23; Psalm 26; Psalm 28; Psalm 31)
"The Shepherd" Carefully read these Psalms again. Of all the things God is called by David, he often uses the term 'Shepherd'. Why? It's because the term 'Shepherd' describes The Lord the best. The shepherd represents great care and protection. It's the shepherd that is constantly taking care of his flock. He is willing to risk his life for his sheep. A shepherd leads and feeds; guides and provides; protects and directs. All of these qualities your Lord does for you every day! It's no wonder that when he found himself facing trouble, David would call out to his shepherd… and you should too. Today, if you are facing trouble, call out to your shepherd, and he will come running to the rescue. Call out to God, and experience His love and power to make you safe.
Apr 19-(Psalm 5, 10, 11) "The Wicked" They are everywhere... They live in your workplace; among your family; on your campus; and in your community. The wicked are everywhere. Now, the wicked may not appear so 'wicked' to you. They can be the nicest people in the world. But a closer look reveals that they have little interest in, or regard for, God. The wicked spread malicious lies and manipulate the system to their personal gain. With pride and arrogance, the wicked boast of their accomplishments. They take advantage of weaker people, crushing them like a bug. Occasionally, the wicked will disrupt your life, making life difficult. What do you do with the wicked? David asks this too (11:3). What you do is call out to God. Ask Him to work His justice, and grant you the wisdom to trust His work. Take refuge in Him and trust Him to settle the score. For, God is on His throne! He has all he needs to make things right, and He will always have your back! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 18-(1 Chronicles 28:2-29:22) "Solomon" 'Seek the Lord and be strong... Don't be afraid or discouraged, and do the work.' (vs 9-10,20). This is the advice Solomon gets from his dad as he begins to build the Temple. This is still good advice to live by! For, when you seek The Lord in everything you do, He will keep you balanced. Seeking God's favor helps you face those moments of fear and discouragement with greater confidence. For, God will always be with you! This is true whether you’re building a godly family, building a career, or building up God's Kingdom. Today, seek The Lord, and do His work. Seek The Lord... do not be afraid… and work! For, your God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until the work is done! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Chronicles 23:1-26:11) "The Levite" Here in these
chapters, you find a list of names. These names make up the Levitical
priesthood. These special servants managed the articles and activities in the
Tabernacle or the Temple. Everyone had a job to do. In a way, you have a
special responsibility in God's Kingdom too. Your priesthood is more than
Levitical...it's 'royal' (1 Peter 2:9). That means your bloodline can be
traced all the way back to God's very throne!! So you have a special job to do
too, as God's chosen person. Today, start looking for what God wants you to do.
Volunteer your time and talents to lift up your Lord. Become the kind of 'Levite'
that will help God's Kingdom grow. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 16-(2 Samuel 21:1-14) "Rizpah" There is a drought across the Promised Land. God is unhappy with the way Saul has treated the Gibeonites. Without consulting God, David hands over 7 of Saul's grandsons to relieve the pain and bitterness of the Gibeonites toward the house of Saul. The Gibeonites waste no time, and execute the 7 immediately. It's another huge blunder for David. As the bodies of two of them begin to decay while exposed in public humiliation, Rizpah, their mother, guards over them. Imagine her chasing away vultures and jackals for six months! Why does she do this? She does it out of a deep love for her boys. Rizpah is an inspiring example of a mother's love and devotion to her children. Rizpah also illustrates God's great love for you. For, He loves you so much that He will never leave your side. He will chase off any who try to devour you. Today, cherish the kind of love you have from God. Let His love fill your heart with gratitude and praise. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 15-(2 Samuel 19:5-20:26) "Joab" David has been crying uncontrollably over the death of his son Absalom for days. You may assume that this is a touching moment between a father and son, but it's not. David has let his emotions get out of control so much so that he can't see clearly what he is doing. Without realizing it, he has insulted his mighty men with his crocodile tears. This is where Joab steps in... Joab rebukes David, telling him that he is sending a mixed signal to his men, and if he doesn't do something quick, he's going to lose the throne. David finally wakes up!! Look... everyone needs to be challenged from time to time. No man is perfect! Everyone is going to have one of those days when, for whatever reason, they’re not thinking clearly. That's when they need a courageous friend to speak a little sense into them. Do you have anyone like that? Will you listen to their rebuke? David said, a rebuke from a friend is kindness and like ointment (Ps 141). Do you have the courage to speak up like Joab? Remember, your timely words could prevent a foolish decision. Today, appreciate and listen to those who correct you. Also... Don't be afraid to rebuke a friend who is about to make a huge mistake. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 14-(2 Samuel 16:15-19:4) "Ahithophel" He is a trusted advisor to the King. But when David flees from Absalom, Ahithophel becomes Absalom’s chief advisor. The Lord thwarts Ahithophel's advice. This leads Absalom to utter ruin. Are you getting good advice and counsel? How do you determine if the counsel you get is good? If you have access to solid counsel, are you listening? Today, decide that you are going to get godly counsel. Open your heart to learn from the godly around you.
Apr 13-(2 Samuel 14:25-16:14; Psalm 3) "Absalom" He deserves death for killing Amnon, but his father King David spares his son's life. Absalom is restricted from seeing the King and living in his home for the next few years. And when Absalom has had enough, he strongly demands to see his father; as if he's entitled. Absalom hasn't learned a thing. He foolishly believes he was justified in avenging the rape of his sister Tamar. David would eventually restore his favor to his son. But with bitterness, Absalom would spend the next four years working to undermine his father's power and influence. It works! David flees for his life as his son Absalom enters Jerusalem as a self-proclaimed King. Do you have an Absalom living near you that discredits you in some way? Is there someone who is trying to torpedo your impact on others? If so, learn from David, and trust The Lord. Leave your foes in the hands of God (Ps 3). Trust God to settle the score. Trust Him to do what is right. Focus more on what you can do to make it easier for God to change you, rather than finding pleasure in getting even with your Absalom.
Apr 12-(2 Samuel 13:1-29) "Amnon" He rapes her! Amnon rapes his half-sister Tamar!! What makes a guy do such an evil thing to his beautiful sister? Lust... It's lust! Amnon doesn't love Tamar; he lusts after her. Amnon couldn't care less for Tamar. She's nothing but an object of pleasure. And his guilt and shame drive him to hate her!! Lust is a powerful sin! It's lust that causes Amnon's down fall. For, Absalom (Tamar's brother) hates Amnon for what he's done; so he plans and executes his revenge. That's the problem of lust. It deceives you with promises of pleasure and satisfaction; but, in reality, it produces nothing but heartache. David knew this well. How about you? Is lust getting out of control for you? If you are facing lust in your life, get serious about it before you get out of control and do something you regret. The answer to your lust is love! The antidote is the love of God. Today, call on your God to help you. While you are at it, ask your godly friends to help you. When you do, you are taking a serious step toward overcoming your lust. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 11-(1 Chronicles 11:10-47; 2 Samuel 23:9-17) "Eleazar, Abishai, Shammuh" They fought beside thirty warriors, and were known as The Mighty Three. These brave and valiant men loved David deeply. They supplied support and helped David have many victories. Do you have some mighty men around you? Do you have a network of faithful Christians who help you to be victorious? Can you name the 'mighty' people God supplies in your life? Look, you need strong Christian people at your side! You must make the effort to cultivate good relationships with people who have stronger faith. When you do, you are becoming stronger and more difficult to defeat. Today, appreciate the good and faithful friendships God supplies. Praise God for the mighty people at your side. Let them help you to gain many victories. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 10-(2 Samuel 21:15-22; 1 Chronicles 18:1; 1 Chronicles 19:1-19; Psalm 60; 2 Samuel 11:2-12:17; Psalm 51) "Nathan" His name means "a gift from God", and this is what he is. For David has gotten himself in over his head. His lust has led to murder and to a cover up. But God loves David too much to let him get away with it. He sends the prophet Nathan to confront his sin. And when Nathan does, David breaks! Psalm 51 captures David's gut wrenching sorrow for what he has done. Do you have someone like Nathan who has the courage to bust you out? If so, you need to thank God for this special gift. For, a friend who will confront your sin is a gift from heaven. David would one day say, "Let the righteous man strike me, it's a kindness. Let him rebuke me, it's ointment on my head. I will not refuse it!" (Psalm 141:5). Maybe David was thinking about Nathan when he wrote this song. Today, thank God for your Nathan. Appreciate the 'Nathans' God sends by listening to their rebuke. Let these 'gifts from God' help you turn from your sin and turn back to God. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 9-(2 Samuel 9) "Mephibosheth" Because of a terrible fall, he has been crippled since he was 5 years old. It's hard to get around. The good thing is that he happens to be the son of David's best friend. So David finds Mephibosheth in the small town of Lo Debar, (i.e., Nothing), and brings him to his beautiful palace. On behalf of Jonathan, David gives Mephibosheth all the land that belonged to his grandfather Saul. He also gives Mephibosheth a standing invitation to eat with the King's family every day for as long as he lives. In a way, you are like Mephibosheth—you have been crippled from a FALL... Man's fall. Sin has made your life difficult, giving you nothing (Lo Debar) but heartache. But God wants to restore what belongs to you, and invites you to His great banquet table as one of His own. God does this not based on your merit, but solely in honor of His son Jesus. Are you amazed at this? Are you grateful? You should be. Today, praise your God for being so good to you. Praise Him for inviting you into His presence. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 8-(2 Samuel 6:12; 1 Chronicles15:1-16:36; Psalm 105; Psalm 96) "Obed-Edom" Imagine the Ark of the Covenant is in your living room. This is the same Ark that Uzzah touched; and then he died! This holy box contains Aaron's staff, some manna and The 10 Commandments. For three months Obed-Edom's home is abundantly blessed because the presence of God resides in his home. So when the ark is being prepared to be moved to Jerusalem, Obed-Edom packs up his things and follows it into town. Why? He wants to stay as close to God as possible. He knows that his life is blessed the most when he is closer to God. He won't let the Ark be out of his sight. He becomes a gatekeeper, a musician, and one of the attendants before The Lord for the rest of his life. How close are you to your Lord? What are you doing to stay close to Him? Are other things drawing you away from God? Today, don't let The Lord be out of your sight. Get as close to Him as you can… and be abundantly blessed! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 7-(1 Chronicles13) "Uzzah" It's not clear if he meant to do it, or it was just an accident. But Uzzah tries to steady the cart that is transporting the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem… and dies!! Why? Regardless of the motive, Uzzah disregards God warning and touches the Ark of the Covenant. This may sound petty, but this is a big no no! A lack of respect for God can get you into some serious trouble. Today, learn from Uzzah's disaster. Respect and accept what God is saying to you.
Apr 6-(2 Samuel 2:1-5:5; 1 Chronicles 11:1-3; 1 Chronicles 12:23-40) "Asahel" He can run like the wind! As he slowly catches up with Abner (Saul's commander), his hunger for victory causes him to make a foolish mistake. Without warning, Abner plants the tip of his spear into the ground, and Asahel slams into the other end. Asahel lies dead! You'd think Abner's woes are solved, but this triggers a feud between two families. Joab (Asahel's brother) wants his 'pound of flesh'. Though Abner is justified in killing Asahel, and he makes peace with David, Joab finds a way to get his revenge. What can you learn from all this? A desire for a 'reckoning' only makes things worse. Revenge doesn't change anything. Asahel is still dead, and Abner is still sad. David is heartbroken. Israel is mourning. Strife will continue in Joab's family all his life. Before David dies, plans to eliminate Joab are in the works. Who is hurting you? Who would you like to get even with? Revenge doesn't make things even; it doesn't settle the score. Revenge only makes things worse. Everyone loses!! Today, do not take vengeance against your enemies. Trust God to settle the score. Love your enemies… and take the high road to peace. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 5-(1 Samuel 28:3-25; 1 Samuel 31:1-13; 1 Chronicles10:13-14; 2 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 1:1-27) "King Saul" A great tragedy has occurred. A King lies dead on the battlefield next to his sons. Why? Why did this happen? Saul was chosen by God to be the King of His people. But Saul would not choose God to be King of his heart! Who sits on the throne of your life? Who will be the King of you? Right now, people, pleasures, possessions, problems, and preferences are all clamoring to take some kind of control of your life. Today, kick these kings off your throne, and give your heart to The King of Kings! (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)
Apr 4-(1 Samuel 25:2-28:2, 29:1-11, 30:1-31; 1 Chronicles 12:1-7, 12:19-22) "Nabal" He's cantankerous, surly, and flat out mean. Nabal has the reputation of being a grumpy and frumpy kind of guy! Difficult to deal with, Nabal's selfishness eventually gets him into trouble with David; so much so, that David is ready to kill him!! This sends Nabal's wife, Abigail, into crisis mode. She quickly throws together 200 loaves of bread, 2 skins of wine, several sheep, some cakes and grain for David and his men. Her humble plan works to ease tension and stave off David's brutal plans of revenge. Do you have a reputation of being a grumpy guy? Can you be difficult to deal with? Look...Being a jerk only makes life more difficult, and will make you miserable. Sooner or later, a cantankerous spirit will come face to face with disaster!! Nabal dies of a heart attack!! Yikes!! Don't be this person!! Today, strive to be pleasant with others. Do your best to treat others with consideration and respect. Your kindness can take the 'drama' down a notch or two, creating harmony and peace in the relationships you have.
Apr 3-(1 Samuel 22:6-23; Psalm 52; 1 Samuel 23:1-14; Psalm 63; 1 Samuel 23:15-25; Psalm 54; 1 Samuel 23:26-24:22; Psalm 57; 1 Samuel 25:1) "David" One the most challenging things every believer faces is how they treat people who treat them poorly. Saul has been pursuing David for quite some time. He wants him dead! It's so bad that David's men are pressuring David to kill Saul. But when David gets another chance to take Saul out, he doesn't. He lets him live. Why? David cannot bring himself to harm the Lord's anointed. Instead of taking matters into his own hands, David lets God handle it. How do you treat those who are mistreating you? How do you respond to those who want their pound of flesh? As difficult as it may be, God wants you to treat your enemies with mercy and respect. He wants you to trust His justice. Today, make it your mission to treat those who long for your demise with love and humility. Leave room for God's wrath. This will be very challenging; but if you do, you will be glad you did.
Apr 2-(1 Samuel 21:7-12; Psalm 56; 1 Samuel 21:13-15; Psalm 34; 1 Samuel 22:1-2; Psalm 142;1 Chronicles 12:8-18; 1 Samuel 22:3-5) "David" Things are not going very well for David. As he flees Saul, David finds himself in the countries that are hostile toward God. He is feeling powerless and alone. But David does something powerful. He cries out to God. God hears David's prayers, and protects him from those who seek to destroy him. Whatever you are going through, be encouraged by the fact that God is with you. He has never left you. He's protecting you right now!! So try to relax. Today, be grateful for all the things God is doing. Call out to God and talk with Him. Trust God to work out everything (including your trials) for His good.
Apr 1-(1 Samuel 18:1-19:18; Psalm 59; 1 Samuel 19:19-21:6) "Jonathan" There is no better example of real friendships in all the Bible than the friendship between David and Jonathan. These guys loved each other deeply. What a blessing to have a friendship like these two. It's these kinds of friendships that bring out the best in each other. Godly friendships help you trust The Lord. Jonathan's friendship is seen in his generosity, honesty, sacrifice, and support toward David. Jonathan is willing to risk his life and throw away his throne for his best friend. Do you have friendships like David & Jonathan? Better yet, are you a friend like Jonathan? Who needs you to be like Jonathan? Today, appreciate the godly friendships you have. Do the things that will deepen your friendships. Be a great friend to someone today. (CLICK to share your thoughts with me!)