Click on this link for today's readings ~
2 Samuel 7:1-8:18 ~ John 14:15-31
Psalm 119:33-48 ~ Proverbs 15:33
Old Testament - Second Samuel 7 today is a big chapter! God essentially establishes a covenant with David - it isn't expressly called a covenant, so I suppose it is more of a promise. Verse 16 is a nice sum-up of God's promise to David - "Your dynasty and your kingdom will continue for all time before me, and your throne will be secure forever.'" The throne is secure forever because from the lineage of David comes Jesus. Jesus is forever. Genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:21-38 will give you more details on this lineage.
It is interesting that God does not want David to build him a temple, but lets David know one of his descendents will in verses 12 & 13 - "For when you die, I will raise up one of your descendants, and I will make his kingdom strong. He is the one who will build a house--a temple--for my name." We will later learn the reasons for this in 1 Chronicles 28 verse 3 when David says - "But God said to me, 'You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.'" David was a warrior - as is very evident in Second Samuel 8 today. David's purpose was to unite and establish Israel. David's son Solomon will build the temple for God.
I love David's prayer of thanksgiving to God in 2 Samuel 7 verses 18-29 today! How often do you pray prayers of thanksgiving like this?
An image is below for Second Samuel chapter 8 verses 9 through 11 today - "When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had destroyed the army of Hadadezer, e sent his son Joram to congratulate David on his success. Hadadezer and Toi had long been enemies, and there had been many wars between them. Joram presented David with many gifts of silver, gold, and bronze. King David dedicated all these gifts to the LORD, along with the silver and gold he had set apart from the other nations he had subdued."
Bible.org's commentary on today's Second Samuel readings today titled "Building God's House" is at this link.
New Testament - Wow. Today's John chapter 14 readings start off strong with a very short sentence of teaching from Jesus in verse 15 - "If you love me, obey my commandments." Not too complicated there, eh? :) Really... it's quite easy to understand. And believe. But to obey... hmmm... I've been thinking about that "obey" word quite a bit lately. In fact, it's a word that has been spray painted around my neighborhood lately - "obey" - I think for some political statement reasons. It's not really a popular word. But it's a pretty straightforward teaching from Jesus. Obey. Obey my commandments. "If you love me, obey my commandments." I really do believe that true freedom is found in this. When we are obedient to Jesus' teachings and God's will in our lives, we truly will be living "free" lives. I know it sounds like an oxymoron. But I believe it is true. The more we obey Jesus' teachings, the freer we truly become. Do you think this is true? Are you obeying Jesus' teachings in your life? Do you feel freer?
Want to see obedience in action? Look no further than below. :)
Well, if we are wondering how on earth we can possibly obey Jesus' teachings, he graciously answers this for us in the next two verses in today's readings - "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you." Basically, we cannot obey Jesus' teachings on our own. Using our own will power or smarts or strength, we will fail. We need the Holy Spirit, living with in us, to give us the grace and strength to obey Jesus' teachings. The Holy Spirit rounds out the Trinity and leads us and guides us. Are you looking for the Holy Spirit? Do you recognize the Holy Spirit living within you? Do you believe the Holy Spirit is leading you into all truth?
Verse 27 is a beautiful teaching from Jesus - ""I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid." Have you received the gift of peace from Jesus? Do you have peace of mind and heart?
Bible.org's commentary on today's John readings today titled "Having a Friend in High Places" is at this link.
Psalms - Today in Psalm 119 verses 47 & 48 we read – “I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.” Do you believe it is possible to delight in God’s commands? Why might this be a good thing? Do you believe it is possible to actually love God’s commands? What are God’s commands? Where can we find them? (okay, I’ll give you a hint – the answer is all over Psalm 119 :) - God’s Word, the Bible is where we can find God’s commands) Do you meditate upon God’s decrees as found in the Bible? Do you love the Bible? This seems like a strange question to ask in some regards. . . but, maybe ask yourself this – do you love books in general? I think many of us would say we love books. (Maybe using the term loosely. . .) So, if we were to consider just one book that it would really make sense to invest our time in; to meditate upon; to read for all of our lives; to love – what would that book be? Why would it be that book? Are you a bookworm when it comes to the Bible?
Today in Psalm 119 verse 37 we read: “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Are there currently things in your life that you are spending time on – focusing your eyes on – that are worthless? What are these things? Do you want to turn your eyes away from these things? Will you? Do you believe that your life can be preserved by the Word of God – the Bible? How will you continue to preserve your life according to God’s Word on a daily basis in 2006? Do you consider the Bible literally to be a "life preserver" for you in the midst of the raging rivers of life? Will you hold onto this life preserver each and every day?
Proverbs - Wow... how powerful is Proverbs 15 verse 33 today? - "Fear of the LORD teaches a person to be wise; humility precedes honor." Do you believe this to be true? Does fear of God teach us to be wise? Why would humility precede honor?
What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!