Absolutely LOVE my devotion in full. This, all this and when epic fail hits, humble myself, kneel before God and ask for forgiveness. It’s amazing how much the things that matter most become the only things that really matter. ❤️❤️❤️
Love, love, love.
Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18 (Saul’s comparison issues)
1 Samuel 18:12 (NIV) “Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with David but had departed from Saul.”
When a friend receives unexpected blessings and rewards, it presents you with a choice. Do you celebrate their success? Do you feel anger, wondering why them and not you, because you work just as hard? Or do you experience jealousy, wishing it could be you instead of them, because you know their true character, and they don’t deserve it?
This passage presents Saul with that same dilemma. He too had a choice to make and rather than choosing to celebrate David’s success, Saul responded in anger and jealousy.
After his stunning victory over Goliath, Saul welcomed David into the royal household. He entrusted David with military power and control. The place where the shepherd boy once played harp and lyre became his home. But it was not a happy home. Far from it.
We witness an ugly side of King Saul as David’s early military success and popularity lit jealousy’s flame in Saul’s heart. David’s continued success, and the love Saul’s son and daughter had for him, fueled that jealousy into a flaming inferno.
Remember, God had stripped His Spirit from Saul, and it left a gaping hole, a perfect entryway for the devil to gain a foothold. So, when Saul realized the people were shifting their love and loyalty to David, his sick and twisted jealousy spiraled out of control. Scripture tells us an evil spirit forcefully came upon Saul, prompting him to hurl a spear at David … twice … to kill him. Yet, God protected David from Saul’s murderous hands.
Jealousy, pride, rage and fear held Saul hostage. Especially after Saul discerned that God had removed His hand of protection from him and placed it on David. In fact, three times in this passage the writer tells us how Saul feared David. Each time, noting it was because God was “with David.” Saul’s life tragically portrays what life is like void of the Holy Spirit.
Like Saul, we too receive the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. But, unlike Saul, ours is not placed upon us for a particular purpose or time of service for the Lord. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive God’s indwelling presence as a most precious and incomprehensible gift. (Acts 2:38) God seals our hearts with His Spirit for eternity. (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13) It is a guarantee of our promised inheritance. (Ephesians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 1:22)
This is all a matter of the heart. A heart indwelled by the Spirit is a surrendered heart. A surrendered heart is willing to trust, and yield its wants and desires to the One who truly is in control. When uncontrolled emotions like jealousy and envy flood a surrendered heart, we are more willing to humble ourselves, kneel before God and ask forgiveness. We are empowered and equipped to give up our right to be right, to have it our way and, instead, celebrate the success of others.
Let’s not forget the significance of this treasured gift. The Spirit is God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us, and through His Spirit, He enables us to survive all things, overcome all things and do all things.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the indwelling presence of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to walk fully surrendered in Your presence daily. Through it, may I know how wide and high and deep and long is Your love. Help me to walk in humility and celebrate the successes of those around me, free of jealousy and envy all the days of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.
More Moments About 1 Samuel 18
Read 1 Samuel 18:1-4. This passage introduces us to one of the most extraordinary friendships in Scripture, that of Jonathan, Saul’s firstborn son, and David. God knit their hearts together from day one. 1 Samuel 18:1 says, “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself.”
Why was it extraordinary? Because Jonathan was the heir apparent to the throne and should have been the next king of Israel. But God had a different plan, and He brought Jonathan and David together to deliver David to Israel’s throne.
Jonathan sets the stage for God’s plan not long after David moved into the royal palace. Scripture tells us Jonathan made a covenant with David and gave him his royal regalia … his robe, tunic, sword, bow and belt … in recognition of David’s divine election to be king of Israel. (1 Samuel 18:4) Jonathan willingly gave up his kingship for David, and endorsed his actions through his words in 1 Samuel 23:17, “You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” Jonathan’s love and respect for both David and the Lord enabled him to humbly accept his new role, free of resentment or jealousy.
Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Today’s story is a beautiful example of this “three stranded friendship.” A friendship knit together and ordained by the Holy Spirit. A friendship grounded in God’s love. A friendship that allows God to work in and through it to do kingdom work.
If you have these friendships, praise God for them. If you don’t, pray for the Lord to bring them into your life.
Take a few minutes today to text, call or write a friend and share how much he or she means to you.
Our Daily Bread, March 29th, 2017
Trial by Fire
Last winter while visiting a natural history museum in Colorado, I learned some remarkable facts about the aspen tree. An entire grove of slender, white-trunked aspens can grow from a single seed and share the same root system. These root systems can exist for thousands of years whether or not they produce trees. They sleep underground, waiting for fire, flood, or avalanche to clear a space for them in the shady forest. After a natural disaster has cleared the land, aspen roots can sense the sun at last. The roots send up saplings, which become trees.
For aspens, new growth is made possible by the devastation of a natural disaster. James writes that our growth in faith is also made possible by difficulties. “Consider it pure joy,” he writes, “whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2–4).
It’s difficult to be joyful during trials, but we can take hope from the fact that God will use difficult circumstances to help us reach maturity. Like aspen trees, faith can grow in times of trial when difficulty clears space in our hearts for the light of God to touch us.
All I need in the morning is coffee, mascara & Jesus. You are the best!
Loved By Grace,
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