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The Devotionals Thread

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Mods, can we make this a sticky thread?

I thought it would be cool to pass on different devotionals that I read. Please share your devotionals as well.  I'll start with this link from devotional that I read during lunch today:

and here's the devotional:

Different Drummer

Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.) (1 Samuel 24:2-3 NKJV)

You couldn't script a better scenario. Saul is bent on hunting down and killing David, but before he sets out with his troops, he attends to his needs in the very cave where David is hiding with his men! It certainly appeared that God was delivering David's enemy into his hands and that this was his chance of a lifetime. After all, Saul had been trying to kill David for the past six chapters. Why not take this opportunity to kill Saul? Even his comrades chimed in with a word of encouragement (1 Samuel 24:4).

It seems only natural and wise for David to take advantage of this situation. But what seems right in the natural isn't always right in the spiritual. God's people aren't supposed to let what's natural dictate what they do; they're called to march to the beat of a different drummer, a beat set by Jesus:

'You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you . . . .' (Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV)

It's only natural to hate and hurt our enemies, but our spiritual responsibility is to rise above the natural and love them with the love God has shown us. David understood this and took a pass on the chance to harm Saul:

And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul's robe. (1 Samuel 24:4 NKJV)

We need to emulate David by rising above the natural temptation to hurt our enemies when given the chance. Instead, Christ's love should be directing our steps and dictating our actions.

DIG - Why didn't David kill Saul when he had the chance?

DISCOVER - Do you have a 'Saul' in your life? How do you apply God's love to your relationship with him or her?

DISPLAY - Take some time right now to pray for your enemies and ask God to fill you with His love for them.

Great idea Colossus :)

Your Dwelling Place
by Max Lucado

You were intended to live in your Father's house.

Any place less than his is insufficient. Any place far from his is
dangerous. Only the home built for your heart can protect your heart. And
your Father wants you to dwell in him.

No, you didn't misread the sentence and I didn't miswrite it. Your
Father doesn't just ask you to live with him, he asks you to live in him.
As Paul wrote, "For in him we live and move and have our being" (Acts
17:28 NIV).

Moses knew this. "LORD," he prayed, "you have been our home since the
beginning" (Ps. 90:1). What a powerful thought: God as your home.

Your home is familiar to you. No one has to tell you how to locate your
bedroom; you don't need directions to the kitchen. After a hard day
scrambling to find your way around in the world, it's assuring to come
home to a place you know. God can be equally familiar to you. 

With time you can learn where to go for nourishment, where to hide for
protection, where to turn for guidance.

God can be your dwelling place.

God wants to be your dwelling place. He has no interest in being a
weekend getaway or a Sunday bungalow or a summer cottage. Don't consider
using God as a vacation cabin or an eventual retirement home. He wants
you under his roof now and always. He wants to be your mailing address,
your point of reference; he wants to be your home.

Listen to the promise of his Son, "If my people love me they will obey
my teaching. My father will love them and we will come to them and make
our home with them" (John 14:23).

Morning and Evening
A Devotional Series by Charles H. Spurgeon

Morning Devotion
Thursday, April 20, 2006

"That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death." --Hebrews 2:14

O child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer's death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home --a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, "Peace, be still", and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob's ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting.

Learning the Hard Way

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
--James 4:4

A phrase Solomon used many times in Ecclesiastes is "under the sun."  By using this phrase, Solomon was speaking of a horizontal, strictly human viewpoint of life.  He was declaring there was no fulfillment in
life under the sun--in other words, in life without God.  He'd learned the hard way.  Once he began his descent into human excess, Solomon rarely looked above the sun for answers.  He proved that the attempt to meet the deepest needs of our lives, while leaving God out of the equation, will leave us empty.

This is ironic when you consider his life story.  King David, the man after God's own heart, had raised Solomon in a godly home.  When David was on his deathbed, he had called young Solomon in to remind him of what really mattered in life. He told him, "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind . . . " (1 Chronicles 28:9).

In other words, David had been saying, "Son, you can't live off of your old man's faith. You need to get your own.  You need to serve God with an undivided heart.  You need to completely commit yourself to Him.  This is the secret I have learned about life."

For a time Solomon did follow the words that his father gave him.  Then he allowed his heart to be divided.  He tried to love the Lord and the world.  According to Scripture, that just won't wash.  The Bible reminds us "friendship with the world is enmity with God" (James 4:4).  If you are going to be the world's friend, you are going to be God's enemy.

--Greg Laurie, author of Losers and Winners, Saints and Sinners


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