Category Archives: May Devotions

Forgiving Your Enemy

http://ref.ly/2S9.1-10

 

This chapter discusses what king David did concerning Mephibosheth. He was the son of Saul—David’s enemy. David became Saul’s archenemy when he won so many battles. The Israelites began to sing praises to David because of this. This made Saul angry toward David. He tried to kill David, but he was able to escape Saul. Saul searched for David to kill him, but God protected David. David had an opportunity to kill Saul, but David respected Saul as king.

 

          David wanted to know if there were any of Saul’s descendants left. He was doing this for Jonathan’s sake. Verse 1. It was found out that there was a servant of Saul living whose name was Ziba. David sent a messenger to him wanting to know if he was the same servant of Saul. He inquired of Ziba. He wanted to know if there were any Saul’s descendants alive. He wanted to show kindness toward anybody who remained. This showed that David held no animosity toward Saul or his family. This is how we should respond to our enemies. We should not hate those who are relatives of our enemy. Although their relative did us wrong, we should still extend hospitality toward their family. We must accept what they did without a root of bitterness. This is the way God expects us to behave toward those who may have offended us.

 

          When David heard about Mephibosheth, David invited him to live with him. This man was lame, and David placed him at the king’s table. Because David forgave Saul, he was able to extend hospitality to Mephibosheth.

 

          Some of you may be saying that this is a hard thing to do. Let me give you an example of forgiveness. Many years ago, I was spiritually abused by my pastor. By right, I should have forgiven him, but I had a hard time forgiving him. I prayed to Jesus asking Him to help me forgive this pastor. After that prayer, time went by. One morning my phone rang around 7:30 a.m. When I asked who was calling, it was that pastor. He began to weep, and so did I. He asked me to forgive him, and I did right away. While he continued to weep and talk, I realized that the Lord had given me the strength to forgive him. When I got off the phone, I praised God for giving me the strength to forgive him. We were both set free from this incident. I can now pray for him that God will restore him to his former ministry. This is what forgiveness is all about. If you are having a hard time forgiving someone, tell the Father about it. He will help you to forgive that individual.

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Divine Diligence

Psalm 23 might well be called “David’s Hymn of Praise to Divine Diligence.” For the entire poem goes on to recount the manner in which the Good Shepherd spares no pains for the welfare of His sheep.

Active Faith

http://ref.ly/Ge22

Abraham left his family in Ur at the divine direction of God. God told him that his descendants would number the stars in the heavens, and like the sand. He would give Abraham a promised seed. At the time, Abraham had no children. Sarah could not have any children at the time. We know the story of how Sarai gave Abraham her handmaiden, Hagar. She bore Abraham a son naming him Ishmael. God told him that Ishmael was not the promised seed. Sarah gave birth to a son, and they named him Isaac. This son was the promised seed. Abraham received instruction from God to sacrifice the promised seed. Abraham believed that God would somehow deliver his son from death. Every step that Abraham made was a step of faith. When they got to the place of sacrifice, Abraham tied his son down on top of the wood. Isaac had asked Abraham where was the sacrifice. He simply told his son that God would provide. Jehovah-jireh. And God did provide. When Abraham lifted his hand to slay his promised son, an angel stopped him. http://ref.ly/Ge22.11f Note also verse 12 of this same chapter. When God saw the faith of Abraham, God provided a ram in the bush for Abraham to sacrifice. This is active faith. Abraham came down from the mountain with his living son

Finally My Brethern

Finally, my brethern, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10.

Be who God has called you to be. Remember you are rooted and grounded in the love of Jesus. When the winds of life and its challenges come against you, stand firm, be unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord. For your reward is great. You have a hope that goes beyond the grave!

A Closer Study of Three Important Words

 

There are three words in Hebrews 11:1, which summarize what biblical faith, is substance, evidence, and witness. The word “substance” means literally “to stand under, to support.” Faith is to a Christian like the foundation of a house. It gives confidence and assurance that he will stand. Faith is the confidence of things hoped for. Where there is faith, there is confidence. Since our faith finds its object in God, we have a foundation, which is unmovable, unchangeable, lasts forever. Whatever is promised will be experienced.

The word “evidence” means conviction. It is the inward conviction from the Lord that what He has promised, He will perform it. The presence of God-given faith in one’s heart is conviction enough that God will keep His Word.

The word “witness” (KJV “obtained a good report”) is also an important word. It occurs once in verse 2, twice in verse 4, once in verse 5, and once in verse 39. Hebrews 12:1 follows this thought by listing the individuals who had active faith. The witness in these individuals’ lives shows God’s divine approval upon their lives and ministries.

Faith is a practical thing. Hebrews 11:3. This is true despite what unbelievers say. Faith helps to understand what God does. We receive revelation knowledge through faith in God. This kind of faith enables to do what others cannot do! We see what others cannot see. Note bid enabled them to do what they were called to do. They succeeded because of their active faith. Note what Dr. J. Oswald Sanders says on this subject: “Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.” [Ibid.]

The best way to grow in faith is to walk with the faithful. The remainder of this chapter deals with the lives and labors of great men and women who walked in faith. These men and women are found in the Old Testament. Here are the elements revealed in the life of these individuals:

(1) God spoke to them through His Word;

(2) Their inner selves were stirred in different ways;

(3) They obeyed God;

(4) He bore witness about them.

Notice the word “obeyed.” Once they heard, they walked in obedience to what they had heard. They did not flinch at what they had received from God.

 

Biblical Faith is Confident Faith

Hebrews 11:1 (NASB)
(1) Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)
(1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Do you have the “now” kind of faith that is spoken of in this verse? The word “now” is important.

Technically speaking, the word “now” is used as a transitional word. It is the changing from one subject to another subject within the text. This verse is a description of what faith does and how it works. True biblical faith is not blind optimism. It is not manufactured “hope-so” feeling. It is not intellectual assent to a doctrine. It is not believing in spite of evidence. That is called superstition.


Biblical faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.

This kind of faith operates very simply. When God speaks, we hear His word. We trust what is written in the Word of God. When God speaks, we hear His Word. Then we act upon it. No matter what the situation looks like, we move in faith. It is like when the ladies’ prayer group got together this past Thursday, I stood in for my oldest son. The pastor’s wife said she saw my son driving the truck. That meant that he would get the job. We prayed. We believed by faith, and God gave us a vision of the outcome of our prayer.

The secular world does not understand true biblical faith. This is because they do not possess this kind of truth. They do not always see biblical faith in action unless they know a believer. There was a cynical editor named H. L. Mencken. He defined faith as “illogical belief in the occurrence of the impossible.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (Be Series) – New Testament, Volume 2 – Be Confident (Hebrews) Hebrews – Chapter Ten, p. 312]. Faith is as strong as it object is. It is not a manufactured feeling. It is our response to what God has revealed to us in His Word and through prayer.