How should true believers be remembered?
The author of 2 Samuel didn’t remember King David as being perfect. David committed sins. He even disobeyed God by taking a census of eligible fighting men in Israel. Yet David always repented when God convicted him. For this reason, David is remembered for his humility. He acknowledged that the good things he achieved were only accomplished through God’s power.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights” (2 Samuel 22:33–34).
Today’s believers should follow David’s example through humble submission and by looking to God for strength. When Christians are willing to follow the Spirit’s leading, He will make their way secure and cause them to stand on the heights of God’s power. Then, like David, they will be remembered for glorifying God by humbly doing His work on the earth.
Challenge for Today: Humbly bow to the one who calls you His own. Allow His Spirit to lead you.
Quicklook: 2 Samuel 22:31–37
People go to great lengths to find precious things they’ve lost. If their beloved pet is missing, they’ll put notices in the newspaper or on social media. If their car is stolen, they’ll call the police. If their wedding ring drops down the drain, they’ll probe through slimy muck to retrieve it.
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?” (Luke 15:8).
Our Heavenly Father has gone to vastly greater lengths to retrieve what’s most precious to Him. He sent His only Son to pay an enormous price for the sins of humanity. That made it possible for anyone who repents and receives Christ to be welcomed into God’s family.
How will lost souls hear about this good news? God doesn’t post ads on social media or in the newspaper. Instead, He implores His Church to tell everyone about His mercy. The Father will not rest until He has found what is lost—His precious children.
Prayer Suggestion: Father, help me to reach out to Your lost children and lead them safely home.
Quicklook: Luke 15:3–10
Todd and Brian were both troubled teens when a classmate took them to a Christian revival. Touched by the gospel, the boys gave their hearts to Jesus. However, when they returned home, they faced parents who mocked their newfound faith. Todd walked away from Jesus just to please his parents, but Brian refused to abandon his faith. His parents eventually surrendered to Christ as they watched their son thrive.
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
Hate is a strong word. Jesus had personal experience with family members trying to pull Him away from what He was called to do. Jesus respected His human parents, but He gave first priority to the Father’s will. If Jesus had surrendered to family pressures, people would have no way of being saved.
Thought for Today: It’s more hateful to abandon your faith for the sake of unbelievers than to persist in faith,so they might also receive Christ.
Quicklook: Luke 14:25–35
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing” (Luke 13:34).
Just one call from a mother hen and all her chicks immediately race to her side. She covers some under her wings; others nestle next to her soft feathers; a few flock behind her for protection. She fluffs out her wing feathers to add even more shielding. The chicks are hidden. She will protect her chicks from any threat.
But what would happen if the chicks did not come when mother hen called? They would likely perish. At the very least, they would miss out on being close to their mother. Herein is the analogy Jesus gave concerning Jerusalem and her people. They were special, deeply loved, but unwilling to gather around Him when He called. He calls to the church today. Will we hear Him?
Thought for Today: Listen for and respond to God’s voice. It can make an eternal difference.
Quicklook: Luke 13:31–35
What is the right way to answer a question during an interview? The goal is to give an answer that advances the opportunity for employment. A proper answer requires discernment. Is the interviewer asking to determine compatibility with the company’s environment or suitability to perform required tasks? Or is the interviewer looking for reasons to eliminate the applicant from a long list of potentials. The right way to answer a question requires an understanding of the person asking.
Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” (Luke 13:22–23).
The unidentified questioner asks Jesus what appears to be a well-prepared question. It’s direct, but the context fails to reveal the motive of the inquirer. Instead of giving a direct response, Jesus looks to the crowd and gives a dire warning: make every effort to enter through the narrow door. Jesus is the only Door to salvation.
Thought for Today: Knowledge of Jesus is not the same as having a personal relationship with Him.
Quicklook: Luke 13:22–27
The king of the Ammonites died, and his son Hanun succeeded him as king. David thought, “I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, just as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father (2 Samuel 10:1–2).
The kindness that Nahash had shown David is not known, but, in general, the history of the Ammonites toward Israel was not favorable. So it was not completely unreasonable for Hanun to suspect David’s motives in sending a delegation. But Hanun’s humiliation of David’s envoys guaranteed that David would not mistake Hanun’s heart. His snub of David’s kindness resulted in war and great loss.
Questioning the motivations behind an apparent kindness is not necessarily wrong, but choosing to wrong a person is never right. Hanun returned evil for good and suffered for his mistake.
Prayer Suggestion: Help me to honor God and show goodness to others.
Quicklook: 2 Samuel 10:1–5