2 Samuel 22:1-23:23 + Acts 2:1-47 + Psalm 122:1-9 + Proverbs 16:19-20
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Old Testament - Today in Second Samuel chapter 22 we read David’s Song of Praise to God! This is an incredible chapter and certainly reminds us why David composed so many powerful Psalms as well. In fact, you will notice that this song of praise from David today is, oh, the same as Psalm 18... :) It is thought that this Song was composed shortly after David's victory over an enemy, but before his sins against Bathsheba and Uriah. The Song starts off with David using the metaphor of a rock in verses 2 & 3: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection." The metaphor of a rock is very appropriate for David, as he often had taken refuge among the rocks of the desert (when fleeing from Saul, for example), but David realized that his true security was found only in God.
In verses 31 through 33 of David’s Song of Praise to God in today's readings we read these incredible words: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” Can you imagine yourself saying these words to God in praise? Can you say these words now to God? It is interesting to think about the word “perfect” – used twice in these verses. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have been accused of being a “perfectionist.” But, really, can you or I be perfect or create anything perfect? I don’t think so. I do think we can live in a loving, growing relationship with God who will arm us with strength and make our way “perfect.” But, it is not us making us perfect. It is God. God’s way is perfect. His word – the Bible – is flawless. This is why we study the Bible. We are flawed people looking for flawlessness. God and the Bible deliver this to us. Is God a shield for you? When the storms of life come, do you take refuge in God? Do you believe there is any other God besides the Living God of the Bible? Is there anything else out there? I don’t think so. I’ve looked. I have never found anything else besides our Heavenly Father, Son & Holy Spirit. He is the Rock whose way is perfect. Who arms us with strength and makes our way perfect.
New Testament - Today we read the incredible Acts chapter 2 where the Holy Spirit comes at Pentecost! Below is an amazing paintings of this scene in Acts 2 titled "Pentecost" by the Hungarian painter Istvan Dorffmaister from the year 1782. Please take a few moments to really meditate on this painting and what the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost meant to the church and means personally to you today...
We also read in Acts 2 today about how the early church flourishes. You may hear some churches today say that they are “Acts 2:42” churches. Today we read these incredible words about the early church in verses 42 through 47 – “They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” How do these verses speak to you? Do you think this is how church today should be as well? Do you see aspects of these verses in your church today? Do you see aspects of these verses in your life today? Is your church an “Acts 2:42” church? Do you think it should be? How will you yourself help it to be an Acts 2:42 church?
Bible.org has four commentaries on our readings in Acts today! They are all titled "Putting Pentecost in Perspective" and then diving into the following topics listed below. These are well worth reading!
The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament (Acts 2:1-13) is at this link
The Holy Spirit in the Gospels (Acts 2:1-13) is at this link
Peter’s Interpretation of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-40) is at this link
The Firstfruits of Pentecost (Acts 2:41-47) is at this link
Psalms - Psalm 122 is the third in this series of Psalms of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. This is a joyful Psalm today! Today in Psalm 122 verse 1 we read – “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”” Have you ever had this experience? Have you ever rejoiced when someone invited you to attend church? Have you ever given this experience to others? Have you said to others in your life, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”? Do you make it a regular habit to invite people to church? Does church bring joy to you? Do you think it might then also bring joy to others? Others who are waiting for you to simply invite them? Will you? Will you rejoice with those around you through the simple & graceful act of an invitation? Are you yourself part of a church community? Are you attending church on a regular basis? Do you believe that being in community with other Christians each week will help grow your relationship with God? If you are not part of a church community, will you seek one out this upcoming week?
And verse 6 is so true then - and still true now - "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." Will you join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem?
Proverbs - Proverbs 16 verse 20 closes with an amazing little teaching that really stood out to me today: "Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be happy." The first half of this Proverb is great / makes sense. Listen to instruction. Allow some discipline in your life - wait, I mean, embrace godly discipline in your life... :) Really. And then you'll prosper. If we ignore instruction. Ignore discipline. No prosperity - financially, emotionally, etc. Fine. Makes sense. But check out that second half of the Proverb - "Those who trust the Lord will be happy." How amazingly simple & true is that?? And how often is this Truth completely missed in our culture today? We look for happiness everywhere else besides God!! Yes, we want happiness. But trusting in the Lord for happiness? Forget about it. That seems too easy / boring / etc.. I'd prefer to pursue this addiction, or that greed, or that idol... and our list of looking for happiness from everything besides God can go on and on and on. I am sure you know what I mean. But let's look at this teaching one more time and perhaps we'll really start to let this sink in today: "Those who trust the Lord will be happy." Do you believe this to be true? Do you trust the Lord? I mean, really. Do you really trust the Lord? With everything? With all that you are? In every moment? Let us seek true happiness where only true happiness can be found! Let us live every moment of our lives trusting in the Lord.
Worship Video: Today's readings in Acts about Pentecost reminded me of the Getty song "Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God:"
Has the Holy Spirit breathed on you? Click here for the Living Breath of God!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." Acts 2:42 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that your church is an Act 2:42 church. Pray that you are helping to make your church an Acts 2:42 church. Pray that your church is devoted to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: How do you trust in the Lord each day in your life? Meaning, how do you make sure you stay focused on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in your life every day? Is it through prayer, fasting, community, Bible study, etc.? Do you ever find yourself having some days where you have lost sight of trusting in the Lord? Where you are looking elsewhere for happiness? How do you bring yourself back to trusting in God on those days instead of trusting in worldly things? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
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