Reading and meditating on the story of David peels away layer’s displaying God’s will and purpose. Humanly inexplicable, simply pray God’s will into being in your life.
Dear Lord, I believe that You uphold the creation by the strength of Your mighty power and Your great wisdom, and that in Your Word You have laid out all that we need to live godly lives that are pleasing to You.
I desire to do Your will oh God, and I pray that I may serve You in the manner that You require. Lord, in humility of heart I admit that I can do nothing of myself, but only as You give me Your sufficient grace, Your wisdom and Your strength.
Help me I pray, to live each day of my life in holiness and righteousness, in humility of heart and with self-control. Help me to walk in spirit and in truth and to do only those things that I have heard from You, through the Word of God and the gentle promptings of Your Holy Spirit in my inner soul.
May I look to You and not to the ways of the world. May I grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus, and may I apply myself diligently to pursue You greater plans and purpose in my life, willingly accepting correction, eager to forgive others and enjoying sweet fellowship with You day by day. This I ask in Jesus’ name,
Beloved I pray for you, in the battle of life may you begin to wax stronger and stronger till you become a champion and may your enemies become weaker and weaker until they are thoroughly destroyed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Man is a fickle creature. It is not unusual for him to flit from plan to plan. Never really having a destination and changing with the wind. We see it even with people who root for professional football. One year they will start out as huge fans of a particular team. By mid season, when that team is no longer winning, they will begin to root for another team which has more wins. We change our minds on a whim. When we make plans in our own hearts, they are very changeable. When one dream gets too hard for us, we chase after another. When that one dead ends, we are off to yet a third endeavor. So it is with man’s plans. God’s plans are different. When God has a plan for us, it is steady. He knows the beginning and ending, as well as every bump on the road in between. So many people have left the path ordained for them by God only to wander from dream to dream and then to finally end up the path God had intended for them from the beginning. How much time would save if we just did it God’s way from the beginning? How much pain would we spare ourselves if we didn’t give in to our fickle nature? God’s plan will always be the best plan.
And we pray:
Lord, I know You have a plan for my life. Before I was even born, You Knew me and made a plan for me. Help me follow Your plan and not my own. When I stray from the path You intended, help me to find my way back. When I am stubborn and want to have my own way, remind me of why Your way is best. Shut doors that I have no business walking through and open doors for me that You would have me enter. Thank You for taking care of me and setting me on a solid path for my life. Amen.
There are actually three roots of religiously themed exclamations: Invocations, oaths and curses. They all originate in the era when religion was almost universal. The invocation is an attempt to obtain the protective presence of the deity in the face of a challenging situation, such as when meeting something unexpected. “Oh my God!”, “Holy Mother of God!” “Saints preserve us!” and the originally quoted “Jesus Christ!” all fall in this category. They are generally an expression of overwhelm and surprise more than anything.
Oaths and curses, on the other hand, are used to strengthen one’s statements. The phrase “So help me God” is lifted right from courtroom oaths, and implies that if what I say is not true, God will stop helping me, a cruel fate in a world where the devil and his army roamed. In extreme cases one might even invoke the devil himself or the realm of hell as one’s destination if lying, basically cursing oneself. (This is a common source of profanity here in Norway, but less so in English.) A similar sentiment is found in the Old Testament, where an otherwise holy man swears: “God let it go badly with me both now and later if I …”
Over time, when a phrase is used so commonly that children grow up hearing it, they will acquire immunity and use it as simply a part of the language. And this is how even extreme scenarios like perdition have become part of casual speech in many western countries. I do not know how it is handled in other parts of the world though.
We are tested that we may grow thereby. The flour and oil that provided for them to eat did not run out till the drought was over. Next???
The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. 1 Kings 17:22
Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.Then he cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
The Lord heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of The Lord from your mouth is the truth.”
And we pray:
Beloved I pray with you. Today The Lord will hear your voice, whatever good thing that has died in your life: your business or home shall be revived, and they shall live in Jesus’ name, Amen.
David was a shepherd boy who grew up to be a king of God’s people.
This is the first verse of probably the most famous Psalms. People who have never read the Bible or even visited a church have heard at least some of this Psalm. It is traditionally read at graveside services and even engraved on headstones. This verse uses the familiar shepherd image to describe God. The shepherd’s job is to care for the sheep, to keep them safe, to make sure they had adequate water, and good grass to eat. This verse says that because the Lord is my shepherd and I will not want for anything. Because He is my shepherd, He cares for me and takes care of all my needs. I want for nothing because He Loves me.
In those days, Saul and his army of Israelites were fighting against the Philistines. Jesse’s three oldest sons went with Saul into battle and Jesse’s youngest son, David, remained at home tending sheep.
One day, Jesse came to David and said, “Take this bread to your brothers and bring this cheese to the field officer.”
David set out on his errand. He reached the camp just as the Israelites headed into battle against the Philistines. David rushed to his brothers in the battle line. Just as he arrived at the line, the Philistine champion, named Goliath, shouted at the Israelites.
When the Israelites saw this man, they retreated, very much afraid. They said to David, “Do you see this man? He comes to insult Israel. If anyone should kill him, the king would give him great wealth and his daughter as well.”
When David’s brother, Eliab, heard him speaking with the men, he grew angry with David and said, “Why did you come here? With whom did you leave the sheep? I know your arrogance and evil intent. You came here to enjoy the battle!”
David replied, “What have I done now? I was only talking.”
Saul heard that David was asking about the Philistine champion, so he sent for David. David came to Saul and said, “Do not let your majesty lose courage. I am at your service to go and fight this Philistine.”
Saul answered David, “You cannot go against this Philistine. You are only a youth. Goliath has been a warrior since his youth.”
Then David said to Saul, “I tend my father’s sheep. Whenever a lion or a bear comes, I attack it and rescue the sheep. The Lord who delivered me from the claws of a lion and a bear will also keep me safe from this Philistine.”
David picked up five small stones and put them in his shepherd’s bag. And with his sling in his hand, he approached the Philistine.
The Philistine then moved to meet David. David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone. He hurled it at Goliath with his sling. The stone struck the Philistine in the forehead, and he fell prostrate on the ground.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled.
Saul then asked his general, Abner, “Whose son is that boy?”
Abner replied, “I have no idea.”
So when David returned from killing Goliath, Abner took him to Saul. Saul then asked David, “Whose son are you?”
David answered, “I am the son of Jesse of Bethlehem.”
We are all created for a purpose! What is yours?
Why was David so special? There are many answers that could be given that would not be wrong: David was courageous, he was passionate for The Lord, he was obedient to The Lord, he was a worshipper of God, he was repentant when he sinned, he had great character, and he had a zeal for building The Lord a house. And you? What draws you out from the crowd?
We all have dreams. Sometimes they’re big. Oftentimes they’re too small. But sometimes, amidst the broken washer and the missed deadline, the dirty diapers and the lonely nights, we lose sight of those dreams and feel like our lives are an endless cycle of wake-run-crash-repeat.
We shall go for a stroll through The Word; take notes and take a knee. Bow, lay out, seek/search and ask. IT is promised by The Creator of ALL, Amen.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb. 11:6)
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalms 81:10)
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:11)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt. 6:33)
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (Prov. 10:3)
He who did not spare His Own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! (Eph. 3:20)
The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer, my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Ps. 18:2)
Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Gen. 22:8)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares The Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Gen. 9:3)
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek The LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Mt. 21:22)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask The Father in My name, He may give it to you. (Jo. 15:6)
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And thereby put Me to the test, says The LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Mal. 3:10)
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … (Mt. 6:25-34)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Mt. 7:7-8)
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. (Eph. 3:16-17)
Whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, that The Father may be glorified in The Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. (Jo. 14:13-14)
If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:22)
But The Helper, The Holy Spirit, Whom The Father will send in My name, He will teach you ALL things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (Jo. 14:26)
But according to His promise we are waiting for new Heavens and a new Earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet. 3:13)
The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Ps. 145:15-16)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
We can memorize these. Live them! They were written for a REASON! Just as you are Created for A reason. Find it and live it. It is YOUR purpose!
And Jesus said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;
and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything’?
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks –RECIEVES, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:5-13
IF you want and/or need something badly enough; you will do everything in your power to obtain it! Every waking moment even rest time (IF you can rest!) Is spent focused on your hearts desire.
Let me ask? What is your hearts desire? Is it ‘right’/legal? Then, the desire is ‘right’! A new life, live it right.
God has given us some very clear instructions in His Word as to how we are to live for Him. These include the command to love one another (John 13:34-35), the call to follow Him at the cost of denying our own desires (Matthew 16:24), the exhortation to care for the poor and needy (James 1:27), and the warning to not fall into sinful behaviors like those who don’t know God (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). Jesus summed up a life lived for God when a teacher of the law asked Him the most important of commandments. Jesus replied, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).
Jesus’ prayer prior to His crucifixion also sheds light on our purpose. Referring to believers, He prayed, “I have given them the glory you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them” (John 17:22-26). Jesus’ desire is for relationship with us.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” A life lived for God glorifies God. We pursue God with our entire being – heart, soul, mind, and strength. We abide in Christ (John 15:4, 8) and therefore act like Him by loving others. In doing that, we bring glory to His name and also enjoy the relationship for which we were originally created.
Those who wish to live for God must seek Him in His Word. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to apply the Word to our lives. Living for God means giving up ourselves and desiring God’s will above all else. As we draw nearer to God and come to know Him more, His desires will more naturally become ours. As we mature, our desire to obey God’s commands increases as our love for Him increases. As Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
But, how much should we pray? How long should we pray for something? Are you like some people who may pray one time and that’s enough? Do you pray a few times about some need and then stop? Is it ever ok for us to stop praying? I guess when you get the answer, then maybe so. God has a lot to say about prayer and how much we ought to pray. In response to His disciples’ request for Him to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1), Jesus told them to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. The Apostle Paul affirmed this in several of his letters. Romans 12:12 says we should “be constant in prayer”. Colossians 4:2 says to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”. Of course, everyone knows 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says, “Pray without ceasing.” Lest this important truth about not being prayer quitters should be lost on His disciples, Jesus told a parable to stress the importance of persistent prayer.
“Therefore, my brothers dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and my crown, so stand fast in The Lord, my dearly beloved.”
“Therefore” means that something important preceded this verse. Paul is referring to Philippians 3:20-21: “For our conversation (conduct, citizenship) is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” If we are to “stand fast,” or as the NIV translates it, “stand firm,” what we stand for should be worth it. I think that Philippians 3:20-21 gives us ample reason to take our stand in Christ. The notes on this verse in The Life Application Bible gave us the answer on what it means to “stand fast in the Lord.” “The way to stand fast/firm is to keep our eyes on Christ, to remember that this world is not our home, and to focus on the fact that Christ will bring everything under His control. Standing firm means steadfastly resisting the negative influences of temptation, false teaching, or persecution. It requires perseverance when we are challenged or opposed.” (page 2001) I am indebted to this note for the following points.
We are reminded to “stand fast in the Lord.” The footnote above told us to “keep our eyes on Christ.” When we take our eyes off of Christ, we put them one something, or someone, else. Whatever or whoever it is that has stolen our focus, it will definitely not help us in our Christian living. When I think of this, I think of Simon Peter walking on the water. (Matthew 14:22-33) Peter asked Jesus to let him walk on the water, and as long as Peter looked at Jesus he did fine. When he put his eyes on the wind and waves he began to sink. In other words, Peter did not stand fast because he took his eyes off of Jesus. When we let anything else take over our vision, our minds and our hearts, we waver and fall short of the Christian service that we can offer. We need to be careful about letting the problems of this life call our attention to them instead of Jesus. Satan surely wants us to do this.
We are reminded that “this world is not our home.” It is a fact that we are in the world but not of the world. We can’t help but live in the society to which we were born, but we should not let that society keep us from standing fast. When we get too enamored with the things of the world, we get side-tracked from our commitment to Jesus Christ. We have to be involved in the workaday world, but we cannot stand fast if we forget that this world is not our home.
We are reminded that “Christ will bring everything under His control.” We will stand fast if we remember that this world is passing away. It doesn’t seem like it is, but it is. We need to remember what John wrote in his first epistle verse 17: “And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.”Everything that is of this world is temporary. It seems today that Satan is in control, and he is in control of the world system, but he is not in control of Christ and we belong to Christ. We need to remember that when we are tempted to move away from our commitment to Christ.
We are reminded that: “Standing firm means steadfastly resisting the negative influences of temptation, false teaching, or persecution.” We have to remember that the world system hated Christ, and He said that they would hate us as well. We should stand fast even when it is unpopular to do so, and it is getting increasingly so today.
Take Paul’s advice here and “stand fast in The Lord.” in prayer and faith, Amen.
Hebrews 4:8, NIV: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.”
Hebrews 4:8, ESV: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.”
Hebrews 4:8, KJV: “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”
Hebrews 4:8, NASB: “For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.”
Hebrews 4:8, NLT: “Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come.”
Hebrews 4:8, CSB: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.”
What does Hebrews 4:8 mean?
This verse is notable for a major difference between the King James Version and virtually all other mainstream translations. While the KJV refers here to “Jesus,” other translations refer to “Joshua.” The KJV makes this same choice in Acts 7:45. In Hebrew, both of these men share the same name. Moses’ successor was named Yeshua, as was the son of Mary. Both of these names came into the Greek as Iēsous. The New Testament uses this version of the Hebrew name for several people (Colossians 4:11; Luke 3:29).
However, since the primary English name for the son of Nun, who was the central figure of the conquest of Canaan, is “Joshua,” this is the name which probably ought to be used for this reference in Hebrews. From a purely lingual standpoint, using “Jesus” is a valid translation by the KJV, especially since that translation does not use the English name “Joshua” anywhere in the New Testament. It is, however, much less clear than other translations which more precisely specify the person in question.
The context of this verse is the potential loss of one’s spiritual inheritance. This “rest” is symbolized by the failure of Israel on the borders of Canaan. Since they lost faith, God denied an entire generation entry into the Promised Land. According to the writer of Hebrews, there are three key facts to consider. First is the use of words like “today” in later Scriptures (Psalm 95). Second is that only those who were disobedient were cut off from their inheritance (Hebrews 3:16–19).
Finally, here, is the fact that the “rest” won by Joshua was not permanent or complete. If it had been, there would have been no need for David to appeal to the nation to obtain that rest in Psalm 95. Jewish theology held that the Promised Land would not be permanently held until it was ruled by Messiah. In other words, this rest is something still available to the children of God. It’s important to see the application to the original readers of the book of Hebrews, and to modern Christians today. Salvation is not at stake here (John 6:39–40), but eternal rewards certainly are (Revelation 2:26–27). Earthly, material, or political dominion is not the issue, either. As applied to Christians, this is a matter of our spiritual inheritance, not dominance of our physical world.
The next few verses will round out the writer’s argument. God rested when His creative work was complete (Genesis 2:2). Israel was denied “rest” in Canaan when they failed to complete their work (Psalm 95:7–11). In order for us, as Christians, to enter into our inheritance “rest” in Christ, we must “rest” from our work in the same way, and for the same reason, that God did: after completing our work.Context Summary Hebrews 4:1–13 reassures Christians that they have not missed their opportunity to enjoy the ”rest” promised by God. Chapter 3 warned about the dangers of losing faith and disobeying God. In this passage, the writer points out that psalmists like David, who came long after Moses, encouraged Israel to obtain God’s rest ”today.” Since God’s rest on the seventh day of creation came only after His work was done, and Israel only suffered loss when they failed to complete their assigned work, Christians should strive to complete the work given them by God, in order to obtain the greater heavenly rewards. The most potent tool we have in this effort is the razor-sharp Word of God.
Chapter Summary In Hebrews chapter 4, the author refines the theme of chapter 3. An entire generation of Israel lost out on their inheritance of the Promised Land due to a lack of faith. Here, the author points out that the rest promised by God is still offered, through Christ. The razor-sharp truth of the Word of God will separate what is truly spiritual from what is faithless. We should make every effort to obtain our inheritance in Christ, which is something separate from our eternal salvation. We can also be confident, knowing Jesus can uniquely sympathize with our temptations and sufferings.