~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
1 Samuel 18:5-19:24 ~ John 8:31-59
Psalm 112:1-10 ~ Proverbs 15:12-14
Old Testament - Powerful verse in First Samuel 18:14 today - "David continued to succeed in everything he did, for the LORD was with him." I think that is so important to know - David succeeded in all he did because God was with him. And I believe this applies to us today as well. We will succeed in all we do if God is with us. Now - don't get me wrong - when I say succeed, I do not mean "succeed" as the world might define this word. I mean we will succeed spiritually in all we do if we are in a loving and growing and obedient relationship with God through Jesus. This success might mean that we actually become "poor" in the world's eyes and serve overseas or in our own town in a ministry. But - if we are living in right relationship with God than we have truly succeeded in life. Nothing else matters.
It is great to see Jonathan asking his father Saul to not murder David in First Samuel chapter 19. I read a commentary that said Jonathan had really been won over by David after David killed Goliath. It is thought that perhaps David shared with Saul and Jonathan his faith in God and why he was fearless of Goliath early in chapter 18 or late in chapter 17 (in yesterday's readings), and that Jonathan believed David's faith was true. In any case, we do see in chapter 18 verses 3 & 4 these words - "And Jonathan made a special vow to be David's friend, and he sealed the pact by giving him his robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt." Jonathan is obviously living up to this pact here in chapter 19. (picture above and below are really from yesterday's readings, but I thought they were both quite good pictures of David - and Jonathan below - nonetheless... :)
An image is below for First Samuel 18 verses 10 & 11 - "The very next day, in fact, a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave like a madman. David began to play the harp, as he did whenever this happened. But Saul, who had a spear in his hand, suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David jumped aside and escaped."
New Testament - John chapter 8 verses 34 through 36 are such powerful teachings for each of us to recognize - "Jesus replied, "I assure you that everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free." Do you believe it is possible to be a slave of sin? Do you believe Jesus can set us free from the slavery of sin? Are you free?
I believe verse 58 is one of the most powerful statements Jesus makes in the Gospels - "Jesus answered, "The truth is, I existed before Abraham was even born!"" Or the NIV of this verse is - ""I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" Jesus is quoting Exodus 3:14 here when Moses asks God who he should say sent him to free the Israelites from Egypt and God says - "I AM. Tell them I AM sent you." Jesus here knows what he is doing when he says that even before Abraham was born, I AM. Jesus is saying he is God. And he is. But, to the religious leaders at this time, this was blasphemy to their ears. And hence, they attempted to stone Jesus in the very next verse. Do you believe Jesus when he says, "before Abraham was born, I AM"?
Bible.org's commentary on our John chapter 8 readings today titled "Like Father, Like Son" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 112 verse 1 we read: “Blessed is the person who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” Is fear of the Lord healthy? Why or why not? Is fear of the Lord the beginning of wisdom? Are you blessed if you fear the Lord? Do you find great delight in God’s commands? What are God’s commands?
Psalm 112 is a great look at a godly person's life. Verse 4 stands out - "When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in." This is encouraging. When darkness overtakes us, if we stay true to God and Christ and faith, light will come "bursting in"! I like that... Know that the light is coming... Below is a fresco from 1517 by Raffaello of God separating the light from the darkness -
And verse 9 is a great reminder - "They give generously to those in need." Are you doing something in your life to serve the poorest of the poor? There are 1.2 billion people living in our world today on less than $1 per day. Is there something you can do to give generously to those in need? Below is an oil on canvas painting from 1611 by Bartolomeo Schedoni titled "The Charity" -
Proverbs - Proverbs 15 verse 14 is so powerful - "A wise person is hungry for truth, while the fool feeds on trash." I will humbly submit that since YOU are going through the One Year Bible, you are a wise person who is hungry for truth! :) Well, really, I mean it. The Bible is the best place to find truth. And trash? Well, interestingly I was having a conversation with 3 friends recently - 2 of whom participated in this One Year Bible with us last year - and we were discussing how each of us don't ever watch TV. We didn't quite use the word "trash" when discussing TV, but I think the term can fit... Can you imagine living your life feeding on TV? Yikes... So, really, when you look at how you invest your time are you hungry and feeding on truth or perhaps are you feeding on some trash? Will you throw that trash away?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!