God is for you!

Romans 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

The amazing truth about the gospel is that no matter where we find ourselves in life God will always be for us. God will always look out for our best interest. God is in the business of reconciling people to himself. He is a good Father that cares for his people. We can’t miss the fact that God is for us! We read in Romans 8:31 that if God is for us who can be against us? Personally my life has been filled with prayers to the Lord that signify my lack of trust that God is truly for me. It seems like sometimes in my life I feel like I am contending with God. It feels like at times God is truly against me. When my bank account is withdrawn..God must be against me. When friends leave my life..God must be against me. When people insult me and ridicule me with their words…God must be against me. I find myself in situations where at first glance it looks like God is not on my side. At first glance it looks dark. However the word tells us a different story. In 2 Corinthians 5:7 God tells us to walk by faith not by sight. Before looking at the bank account look to the one who Jehovah-Jireh. Before dwelling on past mistakes look to the one who graciously gives us a clean slate every second of our lives. Before looking at the battle look to the one who is fighting your battles. Before concluding that God is against you look to his word and let it transform your heart! Let the truth that God is for you sink in!

Before looking at the battle look to the one who is fighting your battles.

I’m going out on a limb here to say maybe God knew we would try to see our way through life! Just maybe he realized that we would have a hard time trusting him when it doesn’t look good. The thing is the devil wants us to believe that God is not good. The devil wants us to believe that God is not a good father. The devil wants us to believe that God is not on our side. Don’t believe the lie!! Walk by faith. Wherever you are at tonight, believe God is for you. It may look bad but trust that he is for you. Walk in the faith that God is fighting for you. Walk in the faith that God is fighting your battles. Walk in the faith that God is on your side!

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.

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Don’t Rebel God has a plan

Proverbs 14:12

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.

“God desires to be loved by men, although He needs them not; and men refuse to love God, though they need Him in an infinite degree.”

It’s so easy to run from the plan God has for our lives. It’s so easy to carve our own way and walk in our own plans. God tells us that he has wonderful plans for us! In Jeremiah 29:11 we see that God has plans that will not harm us. He has plans that will go beyond what we can ever ask, think, or imagine. God has a plan for every single one of our lives. But what happens when that plan isn’t what we want? What happens when it seems like God doesn’t have a plan for our lives. There are times in our walks with the Lord that we can easily rebel against him and his plan. We see in 2 Samuel chapter 20 that Sheba and Amasa were two men that were against the Kings plan. They ran from the plans the King had for them. This is a clear-cut example of me. Yes me. When it doesn’t seem like God has a plan I run. When it doesn’t seem like God is moving I run. When the plan doesn’t seem to fit my agenda I run. When the blessings don’t come I run! It’s such an amazing truth to know that no matter how far I run God will always be there.

It’s such an amazing truth to know that no matter how far I run God will always be there.

Psalm 139:8 tells us that even if we make our bed in hell he will be there! Where can we run? Where can we hide? Nowhere! God is running after you today. He’s not just pursuing you. He is chasing after you. He is relentlessly chasing after you. It’s amazing to think that God will be with me in the darkest moments even if I put myself there. Even if I stray away from his plans he’s still there. We find out later on in the chapter that the two men who rebelled against the Kings plan died. Our own way will always lead to death and destruction. Proverbs 14:12 tells us that there is a way that seems right to a man but that way ultimately leads to death. Not just destruction but death! Whatever God is asking you to do today listen to him and do it. Whatever he is asking you to leave do it and trust him. Whatever path God is asking you to walk on trust him and walk with him in it. Don’t take my word for it, take God’s. He has a plan! Trust him. Don’t rebel!

Blessings

Psalm 139:8

If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

Wait on the Lord

2 Samuel 19:24

He had neither taken care of his feet nor trimmed his beard nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came back in safety.

Father, teach us all how to wait.-Andrew Murray

Here in this passage we see Mephibosheth waiting for the king to come back. While he was waiting for King David to return he didn’t take care of his feet, shave, or wash his clothes. Now I am not saying to have bad hygiene or not shave. However what I do want to say is that sometimes we need to stop and wait for the King. This can be difficult because some people are waiting on the Lord when God has already told them what to do. The thing is God gave us a brain and he also gives us his wisdom. Use that. God can give you a job without filling out an application but it’s a partnership. God wants us to use the intelligence and wisdom he gave us when dealing with situations throughout the day. Know my heart when I say this. Waiting on the Lord isn’t inactivity but a heart cry towards the Lord. However there are big issues in life and decisions we need to make that we need to wait on the Lord’s response for. Waiting on the Lord is inclining your ear to his in hopes that he will speak to you. We need to understand that every problem we bring to the Lord is important and he will incline his ear to hear our cry!

We need to understand that every problem we bring to the Lord is important and he will incline his ear to hear our cry!

When it seems like God isn’t answering you just wait. Allow God to show himself true to you again and again. Allow God to answer those prayer request you have in his timing not yours. Let God be God!We are so prone to make decisions without consulting the word of God. We make decisions without waiting on the Lord to see what he has to say. Sometimes we need to breathe and wait. Don’t take my word for it.Let’s see what the word of God tells us about waiting on the Lord. Psalm 27:14 tells us to wait for the lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 130:5 tells us to wait on the Lord and allow our souls to wait on him. Isaiah 40:31 says that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. What will happen if we wait on the Lord. We will soar. Nothing will hold us down from living a full life! We will run and not grow weary! The battles we face will not make us weary because we waited on the Lord. We will walk and not be faint. We will be able to walk uprightly in the ways of the Lord and in his statues. What a smart decision it is to wait on the Lord. Today when you have important decisions to make wait on the Lord. Pray without ceasing and wait on his response. Get his yes or no. Get his answer before making a decision without him. Wait on the Lord!

Isaiah 40:31

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Have it all I have my King!

2 Samuel 19:30

Mephibosheth said to the king, “Let him take everything, now that my lord the king has returned home safely.

“You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom

Do you ever walk through life feeling like something is missing? Do you ever live life as if you need more things in order to be happy? Do you feel like God has forgotten about you when it comes to him blessing you? I’ve been there and quite frankly I’m there a lot. I question God asking him why I can’t have the good things in life. God why didn’t you bless me like them? Why do they have a nice car and I don’t? Why are they married and I’m still single? Why do they have kids and I don’t? Why why why. It’s funny how when God speaks to us through his word, all our questions seem to fade away. When we read in Psalm 84:11 that God withholds no good things from the people who follow him, questions seem to fade. When Psalm 23:1 tells us that we lack nothing, the question of why we can’t have more fades. Questions fade when God speaks to us. Questions fade when God encourages us. Questions fade when God gives us Hope. When he tells us we will be something. When he tells us we will one day be married. When he tells us we will one day have that daughter or son. When he tells us there is more to come, questions fade! Earlier In 2 Samuel chapter 9 we see Mephibosheth restored by David. A crippled man like him is placed at the Kings table and he is able to stay at the table always! What a picture for our eternal salvation today. Once we give our lives to God we are safe at the table! In 2 Samuel 16 we see Ziba (Mephibosheth acquaintance) lying his way into the inheritance of land that was supposed to be Mephibosheth’s. Fast forward now in 2 Samuel 19 Mephibosheth is basically telling David how much of a liar Ziba is. David than tells Mephibosheth that Ziba and him can divide the land amongst themselves. Mephibosheth’s response to gaining the land back is where God really spoke to my heart. Mephibosheth says in 2 Samuel 19:30 that he doesn’t need the land and Ziba can have it all! We have to keep in mind that the land isn’t inherently bad. The things we want aren’t necessarily bad but they can be if those things take the Place of God.

The things we want aren’t necessarily bad but they can be if those things take the Place of God.

Let us not fall in love with the stuff God gives us but let us fall in love with who he is. Let us be in love with Gods face and not his hand. Ziba was busy scheming his way to get the land because he felt like the land would satisfy. He was so worried about what he didn’t have and never focused on what he did have! Reminder to us. We have all we need and it’s found in Jesus! Mephibosheth knew that the only thing that satisfied his heart was to be with the King at his table! But why would Mephibosheth be so gracious in giving what should have been his away? Why would he respond this way? I mean if it was me I would say Divide it..Pshh this is my land. Go get your own land Ziba. No. He doesn’t respond this way. But why? Simple. Mephiboseth was with the King again! Mephibosheth knew that the land wasn’t going to satisfy him but the King was. Take it all he tells David! Oh how that would be our heartbeat. How that would be our cry. Take it all! In other words have it all. Have the money I have my King. Have the marriage I have my King. Have the kids I have my King. Have the well-paying Job I have my King. Have the fame I have my King. Have the land I have my King!

Blessings

Psalm 27:8

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

Discussion Question

Do you feel like God has forgotten about you when it comes to him blessing you?

How do you respond to the fact that God is not withholding anything from you today?

Is Jesus enough or do you need his stuff?

Love Your Enemies

2 Samuel 18:33

And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people- G.K. Chesterton

King David has been known for his victories. He has been known for taking down Goliath. David has also been known for where he started, the shepherds field. The thing is David really didn’t have much before becoming King. He had his sheep and his lyre that he played out in the field. He was also known for his biggest downfall. Bathsheba. However in that downfall God was able to still use David. God was still able to use a broken person like David. Today God is still able to use us in our brokenness! Let that sink in. Our brokenness is not an obstacle to God but in opportunity for us to fall more in love with him.

Our brokenness is not an obstacle to God but in opportunity for us to fall more in love with him.

It’s in our brokenness where we learn more about who God is. I would argue to say that David was not known for his Love. How can a murderer like David be loving? How can a bad father like David be loving towards people? Quick answer. God. God gave David a heart to love him and his people. Further God gave David a heart to love his enemies. One thing that is so shocking to me about David is the fact that he mourned when his enemies died. What’s even crazier is when he had the opportunity to kill his enemies he didn’t! Why? He loved his enemies! Saul was after David pretty much his whole life and what does David do when he has the opportunity to take Saul out? In 1 Samuel 24:6 we see that David doesn’t touch him because he is chosen. Wow! After that David falls to his face and respects Saul. This is such an amazing picture of how we should treat our enemies. Oh that we would have a heart to believe that God chose them! Oh that we would have a heart to respect them! We also see David loving his enemies when it came to Absalom. Absalom was out to take David’s life and how does David respond? Deal with him gently David says in verse 2 Samuel 18:5. Deal with him gently!? The person who wants to take off his head? David has the boldness and courage to say deal with him gently!? Oh that we would have a heart that deals with our enemies gently. That they would see our kindness and gentleness towards them. The people who David sent to find Absalom didn’t listen to David’s request to deal with Absalom gently and killed him. That reminds me a little of myself. I don’t listen. Jesus asks me to love my enemies but in all honesty at times I want to hate my enemies. I want to hate those who hate me. I want to return evil for evil. It is easy to love people who love you but how do you love people who will never love you? How do you love people who continually hurt you? How do you love someone who continues to make your blood boil? To make matters worse how do we love someone who is against God? How do we love people who are against the cross of Christ? The answer is simple. Spend more time with God. As we spend more time with God we will learn more about who God is and his love for all creation. Here is the real heartbeat of the story. Absalom was David’s son and what does David do when he finds out his son dies? He mourns. In other words David is a hot mess. He just lost his son! The crazy thing about this story is David mourns for a son that wasn’t for him. He mourns for a son that wanted nothing to do with him. What a beautiful picture this is about God and his love for his creation. Even when we are against the King, he still wants us. Even when we want nothing to do with the King he still wants us. Even when we don’t love the King he still Loves us! Let us treat our enemies like God still wants them! Let us treat are enemies like God has chosen them. Let us treat are enemies with respect. Let us treat our enemies with gentleness. Let us love our enemies!

Blessings

Matthew 5:43-44

You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

Discussion Questions

1. Do you only love people who love you back?

2. How do you respond when someone repeatedly hurts you?

 

Seek Godly Counsel

2 Samuel 16:23

23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.

God talks to His people-to each one of us-through His Word, through the counsel of godly friends, and through the Holy Spirit.”- Sheila Walsh

Seeking Godly counsel is one of the wisest decisions we can make as followers of Christ. It is also a challenging decision as well. Why? To put it bluntly, people can hurt our feelings when we come to them for advice. Godly men and women in our lives can tell us what we don’t want to hear. What can we tend to do when that happens? Run to someone who will tell us what we want to hear. The reality is for everyone who is telling you no there will be someone who tells you yes. For everyone who agrees with your decision there will be someone who disagrees.

The reality is for everyone who is telling you no there will be someone who tells you yes. For everyone who agrees with your decision there will be someone who disagrees.

That is why it is important to seek Godly counsel not just counsel from anyone. Psalm 1:1 tells us that we are blessed to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Christian counsel is what we need to seek, not ungodly counsel. Heres the real test. Are you going to listen to brother and sisters in Christ who can be trusted? Are you going to listen to brothers and sisters in Christ who consult the word of God before saying a word to you? Further, are you going to act on what they are saying? Absalom faced that same challenge and unfortunately he chose to listen to someone who didn’t consult the word of God. We need to be body that will pursue counsel from other believers not run from it. We need to pursue Gods word and his people when dealing with issues in life. We pick up here in scripture where Absalom is seeking counsel on what to do about his pursuit in killing his father David. Absalom’s a bad dude for trying to kill his father! A bad dude! In hopes to dethrone King David he comes to Ahitophel for counsel. Now keep in mind Ahitophel has a great track record. He was highly esteemed by both David and Absalom. In other words he could be trusted! Unfortunately Absalom listens to Hushai (David’s friend) instead. Why did he listen to Hushai not Ahithophel? Simply put, Hushai told him what he wanted to here. Absalom was prideful. Pride indeed kills. Absalom didn’t like Ahithophel devised plan because it didn’t involve him. He wanted to do it his way so he found someone who would let him. He wanted to be involved because it was all about Absalom. Hushai told him that he can be involved in the killing of David. Win win for Absalom right? Wrong. Because Absalom chose to seek counsel from someone who was going to tell him what he wanted to hear, it resulted in his death! In many cases listening to what we want to hear can lead to destruction! Absalom valued his pride instead of valuing Ahitophel’s counsel.  The importance of counsel is found elsewhere in scripture. Proverbs 11:14 tells us that without guidance people fall but with counsel there is safety. There is safety when we listen to counsel instead of our prideful ways! God even goes further to say in Proverbs 15:22 that without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. I want us to be challenged by these passages of scripture to seek Godly counsel with issues that we are facing today. Let us be courageous and listen to harsh words from a brother or sister. Let us be a family that values truth over our pride. Let us seek Godly counsel!

Blessings

Proverbs 24:6

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

 

Let them talk

2 Samuel 16:12

It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.”

“God had a Son that had no fault, but He never had a son that was not found fault with. God Himself was slandered in paradise by Satan. Let us not expect, therefore, to escape from the venomous tongue.”- Charles Spurgeon

There is a reality that if you call yourself a Christian and have the Holy Spirit in you, there will be times of persecution. There will be times where people curse you and curse the God you serve. As we see in this passage King David is being cursed at by Shimei. To put it bluntly Shimei does not like David. He does not like what David has done for the Kingdom of God. In fact we see early on this passage that not only was he hurling insults at David, he was hurling stones at him too! This story reminds me of David and Goliath. In 1 Samuel 17:42 we see that Goliath cursed David and told him that once he killed him he would feed the animals his body! Intense huh? It was intense for David and it is intense for us. Persecution was real for David and it’s real for us. How should a christian respond to being cursed at or persecuted? The beauty of this story is the way David responds. One would think why didn’t David just kill the man for wronging him? I mean David did have all this power as King. Why didn’t David say something back? The truth is David was humble. He knew that even in the persecution God could still bless him. He trusted God to see him through and he trusted that God was working on his behalf. We as christians need to stand firm during times of persecution, trusting God that he will always work all things for our good.

We as christians need to stand firm during times of persecution, trusting God that he will always work all things for our good.

Jesus has much to say about times of persecution. In Matthew 5:10 we see that the Kingdom of heaven is ours when we are being persecuted because of righteousness. Jesus goes even further to say that we are blessed when people insult us, persecute us, and say all kinds of evil against us. If Jesus looks at persecution as a blessing, we should be doing the same. Let us be grounded in love and humility when persecution comes our way. Let us understand that even in our persecution God can bless us. Let us hold tight to the fact that God is with us in times of persecution. So when someone insults you because of your faith. When someone persecutes you because you are a christian. Let them Talk. Why? Your Blessed by the Father of lights when they do!

Blessings

1 Peter 4:14

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

 

Hold Your Peace

2 Samuel 13:20

And her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar lived, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house.

If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble. -Thomas Watson

Here in this story we read that Tamar has been Raped by Amnon her brother. What Amnon did was terrible and it left Tamar as a desolate women. In short she was in an empty place deserted of people. Are you in an empty place today because of what someone did to you? Do you feel alone today? If so there is hope for you and his name is Jesus. Absalom tells Tamar to hold her peace. Today God is calling you to hold your peace that he freely gave. It was hers to hold and it’s ours to hold as well. In other translations we even read that she should keep quiet. In short she should not say a word because someones got her back. In the story we see that Absalom has her back but in our story we see that God has our back. God will see you through. He always does and always will.

In the story we see that Absalom has her back but in our story we see that Jesus has our back.

Today I want you to know that God has your back. He is fighting your battles. There is something about God’s peace that transcends our understanding. A peace that transcends every terrible situation you could possibly go through. This peace is a gift that is ours to take. Are you going through a terrible situation today? Did you get a bad medical report? How about your grades? How about your finances? In the midst of life’s storms there is a peace that we can call ours because Jesus graciously gives it to us. Christ graciously gave us peace because he knew we would need it. If your feeling alone today there is peace. If you’re struggling to make ends meet financially there is a peace. If you’ve been sexually assaulted there is a peace. If your sick there is a peace. If your insecure there is a peace. If you just lost a loved one there is a peace. If your boyfriend or girlfriend broke up with you today there is a peace. If your life is falling apart there is a peace. In your emptiness there is a peace. Hold your peace. It’s a gift. It’s yours!!

Peace be with you.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

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