“Bless God that Christ Jesus gave us the victory.”
We celebrate and revere Jesus for the tremendous sacrifice He made. Without Him, we would not have life or a relationship with God. We live in victory because of Christ.
As we celebrate the life of Jesus, this celebration is continued when we walk the path of Christ. Friends, let’s walk in victory by loving and forgiving as He did.
Did you know that through Jesus, we can live in victory?
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1 Samuel 31
1 Now the Philistines attacked Israel, and the men of Israel fled before them. Many were slaughtered on the slopes of Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines closed in on Saul and his sons, and they killed three of his sons—Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malkishua. 3 The fighting grew very fierce around Saul, and the Philistine archers caught up with him and wounded him severely. 4 Saul groaned to his armor bearer, “Take your sword and kill me before these pagan Philistines come to run me through and taunt and torture me.” But his armor bearer was afraid and would not do it. So Saul took his own sword and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer realized that Saul was dead, he fell on his own sword and died beside the king. 6 So Saul, his three sons, his armor bearer, and his troops all died together that same day. 7 When the Israelites on the other side of the Jezreel Valley and beyond the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned their towns and fled. So the Philistines moved in and occupied their towns. 8 The next day, when the Philistines went out to strip the dead, they found the bodies of Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa. 9 So they cut off Saul’s head and stripped off his armor. Then they proclaimed the good news of Saul’s death in their pagan temple and to the people throughout the land of Philistia. 10 They placed his armor in the temple of the Ashtoreths, and they fastened his body to the wall of the city of Beth-shan. 11 But when the people of Jabesh-gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all their mighty warriors traveled through the night to Beth-shan and took the bodies of Saul and his sons down from the wall. They brought them to Jabesh, where they burned the bodies. 13 Then they took their bones and buried them beneath the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted for seven days.
The world is full of hurting people who, in turn, hurt other people. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we must truly understand and give forgiveness as God Himself gives to us. When a prodigal son or daughter returns from the pigpen, we must welcome them home.
Those who walk with God daily have experienced His presence. Remember that you know your Father in Heaven. Don’t be offended when the lost get the same opportunity. Let the hurting heal by accepting them. Don’t be jealous or legalistic. God loves us all.
Are you inviting the lost home?
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1 Samuel 30
1 Three days later, when David and his men arrived home at their town of Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid into the Negev and Ziklag; they had crushed Ziklag and burned it to the ground. 2 They had carried off the women and children and everyone else but without killing anyone. 3 When David and his men saw the ruins and realized what had happened to their families, 4 they wept until they could weep no more. 5 David’s two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel, were among those captured. 6 David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God. 7 Then he said to Abiathar the priest, “Bring me the ephod!” So Abiathar brought it. 8 Then David asked the LORD, “Should I chase after this band of raiders? Will I catch them?” And the LORD told him, “Yes, go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you!” 9 So David and his 600 men set out, and they came to the brook Besor. 10 But 200 of the men were too exhausted to cross the brook, so David continued the pursuit with 400 men. 11 Along the way they found an Egyptian man in a field and brought him to David. They gave him some bread to eat and water to drink. 12 They also gave him part of a fig cake and two clusters of raisins, for he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for three days and nights. Before long his strength returned. 13 “To whom do you belong, and where do you come from?” David asked him. “I am an Egyptian—the slave of an Amalekite,” he replied. “My master abandoned me three days ago because I was sick. 14 We were on our way back from raiding the Kerethites in the Negev, the territory of Judah, and the land of Caleb, and we had just burned Ziklag.” 15 “Will you lead me to this band of raiders?” David asked. The young man replied, “If you take an oath in God’s name that you will not kill me or give me back to my master, then I will guide you to them.” 16 So he led David to them, and they found the Amalekites spread out across the fields, eating and drinking and dancing with joy because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels. 18 David got back everything the Amalekites had taken, and he rescued his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. David brought everything back. 20 He also recovered all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock. “This plunder belongs to David!” they said. 21 Then David returned to the brook Besor and met up with the 200 men who had been left behind because they were too exhausted to go with him. They went out to meet David and his men, and David greeted them joyfully. 22 But some evil troublemakers among David’s men said, “They didn’t go with us, so they can’t have any of the plunder we recovered. Give them their wives and children, and tell them to be gone.” 23 But David said, “No, my brothers! Don’t be selfish with what the LORD has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. 24 Who will listen when you talk like this? We share and share alike—those who go to battle and those who guard the equipment.” 25 From then on David made this a decree and regulation for Israel, and it is still followed today. 26 When he arrived at Ziklag, David sent part of the plunder to the elders of Judah, who were his friends. “Here is a present for you, taken from the LORD’s enemies,” he said. 27 The gifts were sent to the people of the following towns David had visited: Bethel, Ramoth-negev, Jattir, 28 Aroer, Siphmoth, Eshtemoa, 29 Racal, the towns of the Jerahmeelites, the towns of the Kenites, 30 Hormah, Bor-ashan, Athach, 31 Hebron, and all the other places David and his men had visited.
“Learn to live an introspective life with Christ, so that you may see the ebbs and flow of life and how the Hand of God intertwines within it all.”
Listening to Christ and the Holy Spirit on a regular basis helps you develop the ability to be reflective. When you can stop, think, and see your life in seasons, you can then understand why each season is necessary to help you grow in Christ.
Following Christ does not mean an easy life. But it does mean that you submit to God, knowing that He loves you and desires for you to live in victory. If there is one thing should glean through introspection it’s that we need to God.
Are you reflecting on who God is in your life?
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1 The entire Philistine army now mobilized at Aphek, and the Israelites camped at the spring in Jezreel. 2 As the Philistine rulers were leading out their troops in groups of hundreds and thousands, David and his men marched at the rear with King Achish. 3 But the Philistine commanders demanded, “What are these Hebrews doing here?” And Achish told them, “This is David, the servant of King Saul of Israel. He’s been with me for years, and I’ve never found a single fault in him from the day he arrived until today.” 4 But the Philistine commanders were angry. “Send him back to the town you’ve given him!” they demanded. “He can’t go into the battle with us. What if he turns against us in battle and becomes our adversary? Is there any better way for him to reconcile himself with his master than by handing our heads over to him? 5 Isn’t this the same David about whom the women of Israel sing in their dances, ‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands’?” 6 So Achish finally summoned David and said to him, “I swear by the LORD that you have been a trustworthy ally. I think you should go with me into battle, for I’ve never found a single flaw in you from the day you arrived until today. But the other Philistine rulers won’t hear of it. 7 Please don’t upset them, but go back quietly.” 8 “What have I done to deserve this treatment?” David demanded. “What have you ever found in your servant, that I can’t go and fight the enemies of my lord the king?” 9 But Achish insisted, “As far as I’m concerned, you’re as perfect as an angel of God. But the Philistine commanders are afraid to have you with them in the battle. 10 Now get up early in the morning, and leave with your men as soon as it gets light.” 11 So David and his men headed back into the land of the Philistines, while the Philistine army went on to Jezreel.
It’s common to believe that a good leader wields power and a fancy title. Friend’s that is not a leader. If you want to share the power of Christ, lead by serving others.
Christ is the ultimate leader. While He can do anything, He shows us love by meeting our needs. Mirror the teachings and ways of Christ. We can do this by serving each other.
How are you serving your brothers and sisters in Christ?
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1 Samuel 28
1 About that time the Philistines mustered their armies for another war with Israel. King Achish told David, “You and your men will be expected to join me in battle.” 2 “Very well!” David agreed. “Now you will see for yourself what we can do.” Then Achish told David, “I will make you my personal bodyguard for life.” 3 Meanwhile, Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him. He was buried in Ramah, his hometown. And Saul had banned from the land of Israel all mediums and those who consult the spirits of the dead. 4 The Philistines set up their camp at Shunem, and Saul gathered all the army of Israel and camped at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the vast Philistine army, he became frantic with fear. 6 He asked the LORD what he should do, but the LORD refused to answer him, either by dreams or by sacred lots or by the prophets. 7 Saul then said to his advisers, “Find a woman who is a medium, so I can go and ask her what to do.” His advisers replied, “There is a medium at Endor.” 8 So Saul disguised himself by wearing ordinary clothing instead of his royal robes. Then he went to the woman’s home at night, accompanied by two of his men. “I have to talk to a man who has died,” he said. “Will you call up his spirit for me?” 9 “Are you trying to get me killed?” the woman demanded. “You know that Saul has outlawed all the mediums and all who consult the spirits of the dead. Why are you setting a trap for me?” 10 But Saul took an oath in the name of the LORD and promised, “As surely as the LORD lives, nothing bad will happen to you for doing this.” 11 Finally, the woman said, “Well, whose spirit do you want me to call up?” “Call up Samuel,” Saul replied. 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed, “You’ve deceived me! You are Saul!” 13 “Don’t be afraid!” the king told her. “What do you see?” “I see a god coming up out of the earth,” she said. 14 “What does he look like?” Saul asked. “He is an old man wrapped in a robe,” she replied. Saul realized it was Samuel, and he fell to the ground before him. 15 “Why have you disturbed me by calling me back?” Samuel asked Saul. “Because I am in deep trouble,” Saul replied. “The Philistines are at war with me, and God has left me and won’t reply by prophets or dreams. So I have called for you to tell me what to do.” 16 But Samuel replied, “Why ask me, since the LORD has left you and has become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done just as he said he would. He has torn the kingdom from you and given it to your rival, David. 18 The LORD has done this to you today because you refused to carry out his fierce anger against the Amalekites. 19 What’s more, the LORD will hand you and the army of Israel over to the Philistines tomorrow, and you and your sons will be here with me. The LORD will bring down the entire army of Israel in defeat.” 20 Saul fell full length on the ground, paralyzed with fright because of Samuel’s words. He was also faint with hunger, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21 When the woman saw how distraught he was, she said, “Sir, I obeyed your command at the risk of my life. 22 Now do what I say, and let me give you a little something to eat so you can regain your strength for the trip back.” 23 But Saul refused to eat anything. Then his advisers joined the woman in urging him to eat, so he finally yielded and got up from the ground and sat on the couch. 24 The woman had been fattening a calf, so she hurried out and killed it. She took some flour, kneaded it into dough and baked unleavened bread. 25 She brought the meal to Saul and his advisers, and they ate it. Then they went out into the night.
There isn’t a distance too far for God when it comes to His children.
Call on Him wherever you’re at and He will make up the difference.
Do you know how much God loves you where you’re at?
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1 Samuel 27
1 But David kept thinking to himself, “Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe.” 2 So David took his 600 men and went over and joined Achish son of Maoch, the king of Gath. 3 David and his men and their families settled there with Achish at Gath. David brought his two wives along with him—Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal’s widow from Carmel. 4 Word soon reached Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he stopped hunting for him. 5 One day David said to Achish, “If it is all right with you, we would rather live in one of the country towns instead of here in the royal city.” 6 So Achish gave him the town of Ziklag (which still belongs to the kings of Judah to this day), 7 and they lived there among the Philistines for a year and four months. 8 David and his men spent their time raiding the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites—people who had lived near Shur, toward the land of Egypt, since ancient times. 9 David did not leave one person alive in the villages he attacked. He took the sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothing before returning home to see King Achish. 10 “Where did you make your raid today?” Achish would ask. And David would reply, “Against the south of Judah, the Jerahmeelites, and the Kenites.” 11 No one was left alive to come to Gath and tell where he had really been. This happened again and again while he was living among the Philistines. 12 Achish believed David and thought to himself, “By now the people of Israel must hate him bitterly. Now he will have to stay here and serve me forever!”
“God will always leave the light on for His children so that we know how to get back home.”
When you’ve walked with God for a time, you begin to realize, even in your best efforts, you will make mistakes. It’s not because you don’t love the Lord; it’s because you’re human. As such, we will wander away from home. Just remember, you’re never too far away. Fortunately for us, when we ask Him, God shows us the light that guides us home.
Like a loving parent who leaves the light on when you’re out late, God does the same. Friends, He is our Father in Heaven, who is delighted by our presence, whether we show up daily or if we’ve been gone for a while. When you see Christ for who He really is, you begin to realize He is an unconditionally loving Father who desires to see us all come home.
Did you know that God wants you at home in His presence?
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1 Samuel 26
1 Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.” 2 So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 Saul camped along the road beside the hill of Hakilah, near Jeshimon, where David was hiding. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4 he sent out spies to verify the report of Saul’s arrival. 5 David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors. 6 “Who will volunteer to go in there with me?” David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother. “I’ll go with you,” Abishai replied. 7 So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him. 8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!” 9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD ’s anointed one? 10 Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. 11 The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!” 12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the LORD had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep. 13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance. 14 Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, “Wake up, Abner!” “Who is it?” Abner demanded. 15 “Well, Abner, you’re a great man, aren’t you?” David taunted. “Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven’t you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him? 16 This isn’t good at all! I swear by the LORD that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the LORD ’s anointed! Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?” 17 Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?” And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king. 18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime? 19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the LORD has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the LORD . For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the LORD ’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’ 20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD ? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?” 21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.” 22 “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The LORD gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the LORD placed you in my power, for you are the LORD ’s anointed one. 24 Now may the LORD value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.” 25 And Saul said to David, “Blessings on you, my son David. You will do many heroic deeds, and you will surely succeed.” Then David went away, and Saul returned home.
“No matter how big of a mess you’ve made, God is willing and able to clean it up.”
There will be times in our lives where we make messes. Some will be minor, and some will feel like the biggest catastrophes of your life. We get into bigger trouble when we try and clean it up on our own. Friends, no matter the size of the mess, we have someone in our lives who is all too thrilled to clean up after you.
Wherever you are in your walk with Christ, God is with you. He is like a Holy Janitor, joyfully walking down the halls of your life. When something gets messy, He’s there to clean it up. He wants to do that for you. But you have to be willing to let Him in so that He can. So the next time you make a mess, call on Him.
Do you know that you can call on God to clean up the mess you made?
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1 Samuel 25
1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah. Nabal Angers David Then David moved down to the wilderness of Maon. 2 There was a wealthy man from Maon who owned property near the town of Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and it was sheep-shearing time. 3 This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife, Abigail, was a sensible and beautiful woman. But Nabal, a descendant of Caleb, was crude and mean in all his dealings. 4 When David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 he sent ten of his young men to Carmel with this message for Nabal: 6 “Peace and prosperity to you, your family, and everything you own! 7 I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. 8 Ask your own men, and they will tell you this is true. So would you be kind to us, since we have come at a time of celebration? Please share any provisions you might have on hand with us and with your friend David.” 9 David’s young men gave this message to Nabal in David’s name, and they waited for a reply. 10 “Who is this fellow David?” Nabal sneered to the young men. “Who does this son of Jesse think he is? There are lots of servants these days who run away from their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I’ve slaughtered for my shearers and give it to a band of outlaws who come from who knows where?” 12 So David’s young men returned and told him what Nabal had said. 13 “Get your swords!” was David’s reply as he strapped on his own. Then 400 men started off with David, and 200 remained behind to guard their equipment. 14 Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s servants went to Abigail and told her, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he screamed insults at them. 15 These men have been very good to us, and we never suffered any harm from them. Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us. 16 In fact, day and night they were like a wall of protection to us and the sheep. 17 You need to know this and figure out what to do, for there is going to be trouble for our master and his whole family. He’s so ill-tempered that no one can even talk to him!” 18 Abigail wasted no time. She quickly gathered 200 loaves of bread, two wineskins full of wine, five sheep that had been slaughtered, nearly a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes. She packed them on donkeys 19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead. I will follow you shortly.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal what she was doing. 20 As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had just been saying, “A lot of good it did to help this fellow. We protected his flocks in the wilderness, and nothing he owned was lost or stolen. But he has repaid me evil for good. 22 May God strike me and kill me if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!” 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed low before him. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “I accept all blame in this matter, my lord. Please listen to what I have to say. 25 I know Nabal is a wicked and ill-tempered man; please don’t pay any attention to him. He is a fool, just as his name suggests. But I never even saw the young men you sent. 26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, since the LORD has kept you from murdering and taking vengeance into your own hands, let all your enemies and those who try to harm you be as cursed as Nabal is. 27 And here is a present that I, your servant, have brought to you and your young men. 28 Please forgive me if I have offended you in any way. The LORD will surely reward you with a lasting dynasty, for you are fighting the LORD ’s battles. And you have not done wrong throughout your entire life. 29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the LORD has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the LORD has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!” 32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the LORD, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.” 35 Then David accepted her present and told her, “Return home in peace. I have heard what you said. We will not kill your husband.” 36 When Abigail arrived home, she found that Nabal was throwing a big party and was celebrating like a king. He was very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything about her meeting with David until dawn the next day. 37 In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him what had happened. As a result he had a stroke, and he lay paralyzed on his bed like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the LORD struck him, and he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise the LORD, who has avenged the insult I received from Nabal and has kept me from doing it myself. Nabal has received the punishment for his sin.” Then David sent messengers to Abigail to ask her to become his wife. 40 When the messengers arrived at Carmel, they told Abigail, “David has sent us to take you back to marry him.” 41 She bowed low to the ground and responded, “I, your servant, would be happy to marry David. I would even be willing to become a slave, washing the feet of his servants!” 42 Quickly getting ready, she took along five of her servant girls as attendants, mounted her donkey, and went with David’s messengers. And so she became his wife. 43 David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, making both of them his wives. 44 Saul, meanwhile, had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to a man from Gallim named Palti son of Laish.
Living without God is like being in a car without a driver. You will crash
If you desire to run your race, ask God to give you direction and let Him steer.
Will you learn that God is the direction you need?
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1 Samuel 24
1 After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. 2 So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. 3 At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave! 4 “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the LORD is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe. 5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the LORD ’s anointed one, for the LORD himself has chosen him.” 7 So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, 8 David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him. 9 Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? 10 This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the LORD placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the LORD ’s anointed one.’ 11 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me. 12 “May the LORD judge between us. Perhaps the LORD will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. 13 As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you. 14 Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? 15 May the LORD therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!” 16 When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry. 17 And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. 18 Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the LORD put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. 19 Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the LORD reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. 20 And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. 21 Now swear to me by the LORD that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!” 22 So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went back to their stronghold.
” You know you’ve lost your way when the things you’ve adorned yourself with are more valuable to you than God.”
The world places value on arbitrary things that have little to do with the truth. Because many have bought into this value system, True Value– God– has no place in their hearts.
God will soon make an appraisal, looking to see which of us are holding on to True Value instead of flesh value. Friends, look at what’s in your heart because God is counting.
Do you know what is truly valuable, or did you sell your soul for trinkets?
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1 Samuel 23
1 One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. 2 David asked the LORD, “Should I go and attack them?” “Yes, go and save Keilah,” the LORD told him. 3 But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!” 4 So David asked the LORD again, and again the LORD replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.” 5 So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. 6 Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him. 7 Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” 8 So Saul mobilized his entire army to march to Keilah and besiege David and his men. 9 But David learned of Saul’s plan and told Abiathar the priest to bring the ephod and ask the LORD what he should do. 10 Then David prayed, “O LORD, God of Israel, I have heard that Saul is planning to come and destroy Keilah because I am here. 11 Will the leaders of Keilah betray me to him? And will Saul actually come as I have heard? O LORD, God of Israel, please tell me.” And the LORD said, “He will come.” 12 Again David asked, “Will the leaders of Keilah betray me and my men to Saul?” And the LORD replied, “Yes, they will betray you.” 13 So David and his men—about 600 of them now—left Keilah and began roaming the countryside. Word soon reached Saul that David had escaped, so he didn’t go to Keilah after all. 14 David now stayed in the strongholds of the wilderness and in the hill country of Ziph. Saul hunted him day after day, but God didn’t let Saul find him. 15 One day near Horesh, David received the news that Saul was on the way to Ziph to search for him and kill him. 16 Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” Jonathan reassured him. “My father will never find you! You are going to be the king of Israel, and I will be next to you, as my father, Saul, is well aware.” 18 So the two of them renewed their solemn pact before the LORD . Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh. 19 But now the men of Ziph went to Saul in Gibeah and betrayed David to him. “We know where David is hiding,” they said. “He is in the strongholds of Horesh on the hill of Hakilah, which is in the southern part of Jeshimon. 20 Come down whenever you’re ready, O king, and we will catch him and hand him over to you!” 21 “The LORD bless you,” Saul said. “At last someone is concerned about me! 22 Go and check again to be sure of where he is staying and who has seen him there, for I know that he is very crafty. 23 Discover his hiding places, and come back when you are sure. Then I’ll go with you. And if he is in the area at all, I’ll track him down, even if I have to search every hiding place in Judah!” 24 So the men of Ziph returned home ahead of Saul. Meanwhile, David and his men had moved into the wilderness of Maon in the Arabah Valley south of Jeshimon. 25 When David heard that Saul and his men were searching for him, he went even farther into the wilderness to the great rock, and he remained there in the wilderness of Maon. But Saul kept after him in the wilderness. 26 Saul and David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, 27 an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again. 28 So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape. 29 David then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn that who you’ve been looking for this entire time was God.”
When you don’t know who Christ is on a personal level, there will always be something missing. As He is our creator, intrinsically we desire to know Him. Still many choose synthetic alternatives that fall devastatingly short of the real thing.
Friends, understand that it is God we seek. You won’t find the answer in another person, in a pill, in a bottle, or anywhere else. Stop indulging in fake, temporary distractions and call out to God. Don’t wait until you cannot find Him for yourself.
Are you going to wait until you meet Him to know who He is?
Enjoy the reading
1 Samuel 22
1 So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and all his other relatives joined him there. 2 Then others began coming—men who were in trouble or in debt or who were just discontented—until David was the captain of about 400 men. 3 Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, “Please allow my father and mother to live here with you until I know what God is going to do for me.” 4 So David’s parents stayed in Moab with the king during the entire time David was living in his stronghold. 5 One day the prophet Gad told David, “Leave the stronghold and return to the land of Judah.” So David went to the forest of Hereth. 6 The news of his arrival in Judah soon reached Saul. At the time, the king was sitting beneath the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, holding his spear and surrounded by his officers. 7 “Listen here, you men of Benjamin!” Saul shouted to his officers when he heard the news. “Has that son of Jesse promised every one of you fields and vineyards? Has he promised to make you all generals and captains in his army? 8 Is that why you have conspired against me? For not one of you told me when my own son made a solemn pact with the son of Jesse. You’re not even sorry for me. Think of it! My own son—encouraging him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day!” 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing there with Saul’s men, spoke up. “When I was at Nob,” he said, “I saw the son of Jesse talking to the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub. 10 Ahimelech consulted the LORD for him. Then he gave him food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 11 King Saul immediately sent for Ahimelech and all his family, who served as priests at Nob. 12 When they arrived, Saul shouted at him, “Listen to me, you son of Ahitub!” “What is it, my king?” Ahimelech asked. 13 “Why have you and the son of Jesse conspired against me?” Saul demanded. “Why did you give him food and a sword? Why have you consulted God for him? Why have you encouraged him to kill me, as he is trying to do this very day?” 14 “But sir,” Ahimelech replied, “is anyone among all your servants as faithful as David, your son-in-law? Why, he is the captain of your bodyguard and a highly honored member of your household! 15 This was certainly not the first time I had consulted God for him! May the king not accuse me and my family in this matter, for I knew nothing at all of any plot against you.” 16 “You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted. 17 And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the LORD, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the LORD ’s priests. 18 Then the king said to Doeg, “You do it.” So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. 19 Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. 20 Only Abiathar, one of the sons of Ahimelech, escaped and fled to David. 21 When he told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD, 22 David exclaimed, “I knew it! When I saw Doeg the Edomite there that day, I knew he was sure to tell Saul. Now I have caused the death of all your father’s family. 23 Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life, for the same person wants to kill us both.”