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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 4/4/2013

Thursday, April 04, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 4/4/2013

1 Samuel 17:32-40
HOW TO BE A GIANT KILLER , Lesson 6a

Whenever I read this great passage, I am reminded of Israel’s trouble with giants in Numbers 13-14. After two years in the wilderness, Israel had arrived at the banks of the Jordan River. God had promised them the land on the other side of Jordan, but they stopped to send in spies to examine the land. When those spies returned, they reported that the land was a good land, but that it was a land inhabited by many great giants, (Num. 13:27-28). In fact, ten of the spies were absolutely terrified of the giants they had seen there, (Num. 13:33). Caleb and Joshua, who had seen the same giants, tried their best to get the people to trust in the Lord, enter Canaan and claim the land, but the people listen to the majority report and refused to battle their giants. As a result, they were all condemned to 38 more years of wilderness wandering. They were to wander until that faithless generation had died out.

38 years later, they arrive back at the Jordan River. Moses speaks to them to prepare them to enter Canaan. As he does, he lets them know that they are about to face some giants on the other side of Jordan, (Deut. 9:1-2). What’s the point? Israel fled from those giants 38 years before, when their children came back 38 years later, the giants were still there and they had to be faced.

I am speaking to a group of people today who are facing some giants. How do I know? We all face giants. I even have a few of my own! The bottom line is this: you may not want to face your giants. You may want to run from them in fear. You may want to avoid them and hope that they will just go away. You need to know that your giants will not just go away. They must be faced and they can be defeated.

This passage presents David as a young man. He is a young man filled with faith in the Lord. David is a young man who was not afraid to go to battle with the giants of life and claim victory in the name of the Lord. David was a giant killer and you need to know that you can be too!

That giant you are facing today, regardless of its nature, can be destroyed and it can be defeated. This text gives us precious insight into how that can be accomplished. Let me share with you three simple steps that are absolutely necessary, as I teach for a while on “How To Be A Giant Killer”.

YOU HAVE TO EXHIBIT THE RIGHT MOTIVES

A little background related to this text might be in order. David’s father Jesse had sent David to bring some supplies to three of David’s brothers who were fighting in Saul’s army, (vs. 12-13, 17-18). When David arrives at the battlefield, he finds Saul and the armies of Israel cowering in fear because of the taunts and threats of a giant named Goliath, (vs. 1-11).

It seems that Israel and the Philistines were carrying out an ages old ritual. Each army would produce a champion; these champions would fight to the death and the side which won that battle would claim victory over the enemy. The loser of that battle would become the servants of the victor.

Of course, the champion chosen by the Philistines was no ordinary soldier! In fact, his stats are quite impressive. He was some 9’ 9” tall! He wore armor that weighted in at 175 pounds. He carried a spear that weighed over 32 pounds. This monster was covered in brass, from head to toe. He was a formidable opponent, and his defeat seemed in question!

For 40 mornings and evenings, this giant had taunted the armies of Israel and had been challenging them to send out a man to do battle with him. For 40 mornings and evenings the Israelites had heard the challenges and had retreated to their tents in fear.

However, this day would be different! Goliath and his challenges were seen and heard by a young man named David. David’s faith and confidence in the Lord rises to the challenges and he offers to go out and fight this giant.

When David spoke of killing the giant, his motives were questioned. Some people may have thought that David was motivated by the financial rewards offered to the man who killed Goliath, (vs. 25-27, 30). His brother Eliab, speaking out of jealousy, tried to accuse David of promoting himself, (vs. 28). Eliab, and David’s other brothers, knew that David had been anointed by Samuel. They may have thought that he was trying to advance his name in Israel.

What were David’s motives? Perhaps David saw the offer of Saul, (vs. 25), as a stepping stone to the throne of Israel. Little did he know that many miles and many trials lay between him and his being king in Israel.

As I read this text, I am convinced that David’s heart was motivated by two things only. I do not think it was the money, the fame or the power. I think he was motivated by:

The glory of God – (vs. 26, 29, 36) – Goliath was mocking the God of Israel and David could not stand the thoughts of that happening!

By his role as the newly anointed king – (1 Sam. 16:1-12) – Just as David had protected his sheep from the attacks of the lion and bear, (vs. 34-36), he would protect his Israel from the attack of Goliath.

When you see the giants you are facing in your own life, ask yourself this question: Why do I want this giant defeated? What is my motive for wanting this giant dead? An easier life? Bragging rights? Power in the eyes of others? So that I will feel better? What? I would submit to you that there are only two proper motives for wanting to see your giants defeated:

A Desire For God’s glory – (1 Cor. 10:31) – This should be the ultimate motivator for all of life! Everything we do should be passed through the filter of God’s glory!

A Desire For God’s plan to be fulfilled in your life – (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17) – It is part of God’s plan for you to face your giant, or that giant would not be there. It may be part of God’s plan for you to defeat your giant. It may also be God’s plan for you that you live with your giant. Are you willing to accept His plan, regardless of what it is?

I would submit to you today that one of the primary reasons God used David to defeat Goliath was because David had the right motives for wanting that giant dead! And friend, one of the reasons you and I do not see our giants fall like we want them to is because we are often praying and operating from wrong motives, (James 4:1-3).

TODAY’S VERSE!

Isaiah 28:5 (New King James Version (NKJV)

5 In that day the Lord of hosts will be
For a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty
To the remnant of His people,

TODAY’S HYMN!

"I Shall Not Be Moved" By: Edward H. Boatner n (1993)

Glory hallelujah, I shall not be moved, Anchored in Jehovah, I shall not be moved, Just like a tree that's planted by the waters, I shall not be moved.
Refrain:
I shall not be, I shall not be moved, I shall not be, I shall not be moved, Just like the tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved

In His love abiding, I shall not be moved, And in Him confiding, I shall not be moved, Just like the tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved.
Refrain:

I shall not be moved, Jesus will not fail me, I shall not be moved, Just like the tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved.
Refrain:

Though the tempest rages, I shall not be moved, On the rock of ages, I shall not be moved, Just like the tree that's planted by the water, I shall not be moved.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, Gracious God! We are forever grateful knowing You are with us as we face our fears and our giants. We lift up to You our deepest fears knowing that You will deliver us from them. Set us free from all dread and anxieties that frighten us. Your presence in our lives is comforting and drives out all fears. You, O God, are greater than anything we may ever have to face. Thank You for Your peace and Your strength. This we pray in the glorious name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADOMB 4/4/2013 11:25AM

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall. ;-)

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SAINTBETH 4/4/2013 10:03AM

    Good one!

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/4/2013 9:50AM

    emoticon for another great lesson

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NELLIEH1 4/4/2013 8:53AM

    Yes, a powerful message indeed! Why do I really want to defeat this nagging giant in my life? I'm afraid that if it creeps an inch closer our little house will literally collapse into our cellar. Forty-seven years (or more) of paper and book accumulations must end! Now this may not seem like a giant. But I realize that GOD does not get the glory when my attention is on saving "for future reference", instead of following hard after Him!
David took five smooth stones; I must begin with boxes and bags for attack. David took very little with him; I must stop the "putting aside just in case". David stood and challenged: I must do the same. Emotional attachment to things disrupts my honoring and worshiping my Creator. To GOD alone be the glory!!

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RSSSLHB 4/4/2013 8:48AM

    emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/4/2013 8:24AM

    What a powerful message! Whatever we do should come from motives to glorify God! Thank you, Lord, for these thoughts this morning. Amen.

Comment edited on: 4/4/2013 8:26:57 AM

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AZMOMXTWO 4/4/2013 7:26AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 4/3/2013

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 4/3/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 17:32-40
SURVIVING GIANT COUNTRY, Lesson 5c

v. 41-54 SURVIVAL IS A MATTER OF TAKING

There comes a time when talk must stop and action must begin. The time had come for David to take that which he had already been given by the Lord. He walked down into that valley; faced that giant; declared his faith in God; slung that stone; and killed that giant. What a moment it must have been in young David’s life to see God do that which no one but David believed possible!

Friends, there is a time when the talking needs to stop and the taking needs to begin! As we face our own giants day by day, isn’t it about time that we started taking by faith some of the things we have only talked about up until now? For instance, we talk about God providing for us, (Phil. 4:19). But, we still worry over our finances. We talk about God’s grace in every situation in life, (2 Cor. 12:9). But, we still act like we aren’t going to make it. We talk about God being in control of our lives, (Rom. 8:28). But, we live like our lives are out of control.

Isn’t it time we stopped talking about all we could have in Jesus and we just started taking it? David defeated Goliath because he was willing to take what God had given him by faith. The same thing will work in your life and mine today! As we face our giants, we have already been promised victory, (1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:37); let’s take it. How? By doing what David did.

Place your trust in the Lord.

Believe that He can do everything that He has ever done.

Then, walk into your valley, square off with your giant and keep slinging until he falls. I am convinced that is the reason David took five stones to kill one giant. He knew he might miss on the first shot and he aimed to keep slinging stones until he had the victory.

Friend, whether you believe this teacher or not, here is the truth of the matter: You are a giant killer! Not because you possess any power; but because you serve a God Who possesses all power. Not because your aim is good; but, because you serve a God who never misses. Not because you deserve anything at all from God; but, because He has promised to give you His victory through His Son, the Lord Jesus. So, get out there and take what’s yours by faith! Your survival depends on it!

Conc: So, do you have a giant that you would like to see defeated in your life? Let me tell you, they don’t always fall easy! Goliath went down on the first swing; yours and mine might take many more than that. But, if your giant ever falls, it will be through the work of Almighty God in your life, on your behalf, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts,” (Zechariah 4:6).

It is interesting to watch the characters involved in this account. Saul nurses his fears; Eliab feeds his jealousy; Goliath polishes his pride; and David flexes his faith. The rest watched as David claimed victory. It could have been Saul; it could have been Eliab; it could have been any of the thousands of Israel; but it was left to a shepherd boy to claim the victory and teach them all about the power of faith.
So, tonight, you can hide in your tent and try to avoid that giant. Maybe he will just do away. He won’t. Look at verses 3 and 25. By the time the 40th day had arrived, Goliath had already crossed the valley and was starting up the mountainside toward the camp of Israel. Your giant won’t just go away; he will get closer and closer and eventually, he will defeat you, if you do nothing. Your giant will not be content to do nothing; he will take over your life if he can.

Or, you can get up and go out to meet that giant with your faith in the God of battles. That is the recipe for victory in the war against the giants of life. If you need to do a little giant killing this evening, this altar is a good place to load your sling and take your swing at your giant.

TODAY’S VERSE!
2 John 1:6 (New King James Version (NKJV)

6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Battle Belongs To The Lord” By: Jamie Owens (1985)

In heavenly armour we'll enter the land The battle belongs to the Lord No weapon that's fashioned against us shall stand The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:
We sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord
We sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord


The power of darkness comes in like a flood The battle belongs to the Lord He's raised up a standard, the power of His blood The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear The battle belongs to the Lord Take courage my friend, your redemption is near The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Almighty and Powerful God. We worship You as our Lord and King. We praise You that You are all knowing, all seeing, and all powerful. You uphold all things by Your might and power. You hold our lives in the palm of Your hand. You know and see both our past and our future. Make us instruments of faith and trust in You and in Your purposes for us.. Make us vessels of Mercy and vessels of faith and vessels of Trust in YOU. Use us to Your glory and honor. Lift us up so we may see and do all things from Your perspective. Do in us and through us all that Your hearts desires. These things we ask and pray in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RSSSLHB 4/4/2013 8:47AM

    emoticonVic emoticon

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NELLIEH1 4/4/2013 8:37AM

    Avoidance...procrastination..those are my operating procedures with this little "giant" in my life. Like those around the shepherd boy David, I look at the "HUGE" thing before me and shrink back into other activities or interactions instead of facing up and dealing with it. Confession is good, but now is the time to begin the process...the weeding out of stuff. Thanks again, Vic, for your faithfulness in sharing with us. GOD is using you to start me up all over again! emoticon ...in the Lord, not myself!!!

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FLEMIDG 4/4/2013 12:00AM

    Thanks for the wonderful teaching. God bless you.



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ANHELIC 4/3/2013 10:16PM

    Thank you Vic for the great lesson, hymn and prayer. We realize we don't face our giants alone and we will be victorious no matter what it is. God will do batter along side us. Thank you for this reminder, goodie and note. I have been busy for two days and have some catching up to do. Blessings to you Vic.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/3/2013 2:28PM

    Very fitting song for today's reading! I read somewhere, can't remember where, that David picked up 5 stones because he might have to fight Goliath's 4 brothers after he killed Goliath. Either way David is a good example of courage and faith.

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CAMSEDGE 4/3/2013 12:30PM

    Thank you for the lesson.

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TONYVAND1 4/3/2013 11:57AM

  So true Vic It is time to take acton and to know that the battle belongs to the Lord

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AZMOMXTWO 4/3/2013 7:37AM

  thank you

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SANDRALEET 4/3/2013 7:35AM

    I learned that some things in life just take time We want right away God gives us the way if we ask and follow his ways.He also gives us patient to wait for him answer

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WENDYSPARKS 4/3/2013 7:20AM

    Thank you and emoticon have a good day!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/2/2013

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/2/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 17:32-40
SURVIVING GIANT COUNTRY, Lesson 5b

v. 25-40 SURVIVAL IS A MATTER OF TRUSTING

When David hears the threats and defiance of Goliath, he determines that something must be done about this giant. He makes his intentions known, (v. 26-32); and David sets out to see Goliath defeated. But, as soon as David expresses his desire to see the giant defeated, he is met with criticism, (v. 28), and doubt, (v. 33). Yet, as we watch David move toward the moment when he will face off with the giant; we see a young man who has learned something about faith and trust in the Lord.

David has learned about God’s Purposes –1 Sam. 16:13 – David had been anointed as king to sit on a throne. David knew that he would not die this day.

David has learned about God’s Protection – v. 34-37 – David knew that everything God had done in the past, he was still able to do.

David has learned about God’s Power– v. 38-40 – David knew that victory did not reside in swords, shields, spears, armor and bows, but in the mighty power of God. He would go into this battle with the same God and the same weapons he had used before.

In other words, David’s trust was not in the army, the armor or the armaments; David’s trust was in Almighty God. The same God Who had protected him and given his victory after victory on the hills of Judea, would grant him the victory in the Valley of Elah! For David, there was only one giant there that day and His name was not Goliath. The only giant David had in his life was the Lord God Almighty, (v. 26; 32; 36-37).

What a lesson for those of us who also face giants from time to time! If we could ever learn the same lessons that David learned about fighting giants; we could make short work of them all. Here is what you need to know:

God did not save you for some giant to destroy – God saved you to take you home to glory some day! That giant cannot undo the eternal work God has already done in your soul, (Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:12). That giant is there as part of God’s eternal plan in your life. That giant is there to grow you, (Num. 14:9). There’s nothing quite like cutting your teeth on a few giants to help your faith grow stronger. You can trust God’s Purposes!

God will not change courses in the middle of the stream – He will always be that which He has ever been. One of the greatest attributes of our Lord is Him immutability. That simply means His unchangeableness! God is a God, Who cannot change, (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8)! The same God Who did all those marvelous, miraculous things we read about in the Bible is still the same God today! You’ve heard about the Red Sea; the Manna; Water from a Rock; the Meal Barrel and the Cruse of Oil; the Loaves and the Fishes; the Raising of Lazarus; etc. Well, the same God Who did all those things and countless others is still our God today! His Name says it all (Ex. 3:14). He is the self-existent; changeless God! You can trust God’s Protection!

We seem to have no trouble remembering our past defeats; but we have real trouble remembering that victories the Lord has given. Think about it! We can remember every valley; but can’t seem to remember even one mountain top.

God will never fail those who place their trust in Him – Those who trust men, methods and materials can and will fail. But, those who place their unwavering trust in God and His power will never fail. You see, our God is not a weak, anemic God. No! He is a God of power; a God of glory; a God Who is ever moving in mighty ways to make His power known. Those who trust Him as they face the giants of life can see that power work in their lives by faith. God is powerful, (Luke 1:38; Matt. 28:18; Jer. 32:17). And, those who walk with their faith in Him can experience that power, (Heb. 11:1; Eph. 3:20). God is “able” – (Dan. 3:17; Dan. 6:20; Heb. 7:25).

Where is your trust as you face the giants of life? Is it in man; in the economy; in self? Those will all fail. As we face our giants let us be certain that our faith and our dependence is in the Lord. He and He alone will never fail! Our survival depends on our being able to trust Him.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Numbers 14:20-21 (New King James Version (NKJV)
20 Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; 21 but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord—

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Trust and Obey” By: J. H. Sammis (1877)

1. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

2. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Refrain:

3. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
Refrain:

4. But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Refrain:

5. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father God, Mighty and Faithful God. We bow down before You, thankful for the faithful who have gone before us, who has taught us and shown us the way to live and the path to follow….Jesus, the way, the truth and the life! Helps to live like those that have gone before us, to follow their examples, to be faithful like them, to witness and encourage others to follow Jesus to Your glory. Enable us to persevere and be blessed, and be a blessings to others. These things we pray for us and for others in the name of Jesus, our Redeemer, Savior and King. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/2/2013 11:44PM

    David knew what God had said about him being the future king, and I am sure this encouraged him as he faced Goliath. Still it was an act of faith showing that He believed God to be true to His word. God has also told us that we are joint heirs in the kingdom with Christ. We are of royalty chosen by God to be future rulers. Daily our faith is being tested. May we face the giants with confidence just as David did knowing that God will give the victory!

Comment edited on: 4/2/2013 11:48:16 PM

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NELLIEH1 4/2/2013 5:33PM

    Like Nan, I too was struck with the fact that David knew he would not die that day because GOD had anointed him king (through Samuel) and he was still being trained up! In this life we also are being taught and tested with giants and little pits in our paths. And we know we will not die because Christ Jesus has given us resurrection life forever in Himself! "But...what if...if only...", my heart says. "I AM" my GOD answers!

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JADOMB 4/2/2013 12:30PM

    Thank GOD for being within us to show us the way and to help us slay all the giants that come our way. AMEN

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LOSTLIME 4/2/2013 12:05PM

    The Lord helps us in our times of need. Thank you,Vic for all these blogs.

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TONYVAND1 4/2/2013 10:57AM

  Walking with the Lord in the light of His word.

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WENDYW596 4/2/2013 10:15AM

    Thanks! I also love that old Hymn....... something to dwell on all day! emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 4/2/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon

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JERZGURL_NAN 4/2/2013 8:44AM

    I'm sitting here stunned over the statement that "David knew that he would not die this day". That was STILL a huge step. My faith in Jesus assures me that I will not 'die' today or ever but = yes - but.
No, I am ashamed to even consider a BUT.
In Christ Alone Will I GLory and ONLY In Christ Alone

ANyway - that act/step of faith alone was enough to merit the title - David, a man after God's own heart. WOW.

Have a blessed Day - it's sunny but still cool here in Jersey.

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ANNIE924 4/2/2013 8:38AM

    Thank you. Now I'm singing Trust and Obey in my head while I'm at work. Nothing better.

Have a great day. emoticon

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SANDRALEET 4/2/2013 8:10AM

    With God we overcome Thank you we do not have to Kill any one put pray for them and let God deal with then That love your enemy's is hard at times we are not to hate them put whot they do. We to are sinners

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/2/2013 7:57AM

    Amen!

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AZMOMXTWO 4/2/2013 7:52AM

  love your blogs thank you

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JOANIE69 4/2/2013 7:49AM

    Amen Vic, we ought always to give thanks and praise His holy Name.

LOVE that old hymn; had almost foregotten all about it! (I shall be singing it all day now.)

Blessings, Joan

Comment edited on: 4/2/2013 7:50:12 AM

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NEPTUNE1939 4/2/2013 7:32AM

    Amen!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 4/1/2013

Monday, April 01, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 4/1/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 17:32-40
SURVIVING GIANT COUNTRY, Lesson 5a

Part of God’s training plan for David involved God placing the young man in some difficult situations. In those difficult times, David learned to trust the Lord and walk in the power of God, not the power of the flesh. David learned the lessons necessary to survive life, and not just to survive, but to thrive in life. We see David in one of the most desperate times of his life in these verses. Here, David trusts God for some big things, and in return, he sees God do the miraculous.

Now, I know we have all heard these verses preached and re-preached countless times. And, it is doubtful that I will have anything new to add to what you already know. But, I feel that there are some helpful instructions contained here that, if followed, can help us to lead a more victorious life. I also know that I am teaching to people who are battling giants today. Some of you are facing some pretty significant giants in your life. I believe these verses can help.

As we watch David walk into the Valley of Elah and face a 9 foot 9 inch giant, we can see some much needed instructions about how we can survive when we are in giant country. I want to help you today and share those instructions with you as we look on the subject, “Surviving Giant Country”.

v. 17-24 SURVIVAL IS A MATTER OF TIMING

This day for David began like any other day. He plans to tend his sheep and do the same things he has done day after day for years. But, this day will be different! Jesse sends David to check on David’s three elder brothers who are fighting in Saul’s army. They have been gone at least 40 days, (1 Sam. 17:16), and Jesse is worried. You see, in those days countries did not have standing armies. Ordinary citizens would rally around the king when he called for volunteers to fight.

So, David goes to his brothers as he is commanded. When he arrives, he finds the armies of Israel cowering in fear because of the taunts of Goliath). Even King Saul appears to be too afraid to face the giant in battle.

But, while the army of Saul hides in their tents, David hears the giant as he blasphemes the Name of God and shames the people of God. David’s day had started like countless other days had started, but before the sun went down, David found himself face to face with a mighty big giant.

Isn’t that just how the giants of life come to you and me? They rarely give notice that they are coming. You get up one morning, expecting that day to be like any other day, and there it stands: a giant has entered your life. When they come, they always catch us off guard and they always frighten us. We look up at them and, most of the time; we have no idea what to do.

If we are going to survive in giant country, we need to understand that giants don’t just show up; their appearance is well timed. Now, from our perspective, they just appear. But, from God’s perspective, they are all part of His perfect plan for us.

If we could ever grasp the truth that nothing comes our way apart from the will of God, it would change our attitude toward the giants of life. Passages like, (Rom. 8:28; Psa. 37:23; Job 23:10; Jer. 29:11), etc. would become real to us and they would bring great comfort to our hearts.

Most of the time, we are just like Israel. They had wandered through the wilderness for two years after they left Egypt. They had arrived at the banks of the Jordan River. All they had to do was cross the river and take the Promised Land of blessing that God had already given to them. Instead of going in and taking the land, they first sent in 12 spies. The spies looked over the land and came back with their report. 10 of the spies were convinced of Israel’s defeat because of the presence of giants in the Promised Land. The spies own words tell the story best, (Num. 13:23-33). The people heeded the negative report of 10 men and had to spend 38 more years in the wilderness.

Here’s the point of all that: did God know about the giants? Could He have removed them before Israel arrived? Did He allow them to be there? The answer to all those questions is “Yes!” Yes, He knew they were there. Yes, He could have removed them. Yes, He allowed them to be there. God wanted Israel to face those giants. 40 years later, when they came back to the Jordan River, guess what, the giants were still there waiting, (Deut. 9:1-3). By the way this same principle is seen over and over in the Bible – 3 Hebrews in the furnace, (Dan. 3); Daniel in the lion’s den, (Dan. 6); Disciples in the storm, (Mark 6:45); etc. God knew about all of those events because they were part of His perfect plan!

Here is what I am trying to tell you: When that giant showed up in your life, it did not get there by accident. That giant is there by the providence of God. It is there because God sent it, allowed it, or however you want to say it. It is there because God, in His precise timing, wanted you to face it when it came to you.

When the giants come, we can get depressed and defeated; or we can realize that they are a tangible symbol of God working out His will in our lives. We can be like Saul and Israel and we can hide from the giant; or we can be like David and we can face the giant. We can be discouraged, or we can do like Job and worship in spite of what the giant is doing in our lives, (Job 1:20-21). The choice is ours. But, if we can ever understand that giants come according to God’s timing; it will help us survive in giant country.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Luke 20:36 (New King James Version (NKJV)

36 nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“To God Be The Glory” By: Fanny J. Cosby (1875)

To God be the glory, great things He has done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain:
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He has done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.
Refrain:

Great things He has taught us, great things He has done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Loving God! Thank You for the gift of GIANTS, for the glory we share in Jesus, and for the Holy Spirit in us. We value these above all else. Help us to continually be aware of Your presence and Your power working in us and through us. You teach us and gives us the words to think, say and do. You help us to do things right. Cleanse us from all ungodliness and make us a pure vessel in Jesus to Your glory, honor and praise. May we always adore and serve You in the holiness in which You have called us to live. These things we pray today in the blessed name of Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYW596 4/1/2013 9:10PM

    Thank you for this important teaching. I've been Born Again for 39 years, and I have have a lot of "giants" over the years, and they do make us stronger. No fun going through them, but looking back I could always see how God brought me through.

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/1/2013 6:51PM

    Job 23:10 "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." It's my choice.

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SUBSMITH 4/1/2013 5:02PM

    Beautiful. I was just pondering how God turns evil into good and blessing. Joseph said the same thing when he finally confronted his brothers.
And Jesus did the same at Calvary when he allowed the evil of the Jewish leaders to have their way in his death; so that WE would become children of God, forgiven, loved, blessed. God is awesome at redeeming our circumstances.

Then one of them (Jewish leaders), named Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for YOU that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."
He did not say this on his own, but as High Priest that year he prophesied
that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation
but also for the scattered Children of God,to bring them together and make them one. So, from that day, they plotted to take His life.
John 11: 49-53

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JERZGURL_NAN 4/1/2013 4:46PM

    I am so grateful for those Giants God so willingly slays for me and lovingly guides me to - like anxiety of speaking in front of groups, dealing with confrontation, accepting constructive criticism, restructuring finances as life changes all the time. Giants come in every size and God so desires to walk us through them!

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TONYVAND1 4/1/2013 4:10PM

  great lesson on conguering the giants in our life with God. May I always be ready.

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JADOMB 4/1/2013 12:14PM

    When evil Giants come knocking at your door, graciously open the door, then turn to Jesus and say, "Here my Lord, this one is for you". No Giant is too big for Jesus to take care of.

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SANDRALEET 4/1/2013 11:16AM

    Some of us God gave different job.We are not all giant killers Some are peace makers Teachers of the word and helpers we are the hands who help others

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GOOZLEBEAR 4/1/2013 9:35AM

    I have had "giants" in my life and seem to continue to have them since that always brings me closer to the Lord who gets me through all of them.
Thank you for this Bible Study this Monday morning!

Love that hymn! emoticon

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NELLIEH1 4/1/2013 9:34AM

    We do thank GOD for the gift of giants in our lives! (as paradoxical as that seems) Without GOD permitting them, we would continue in the same old ways. The huge challenges that come suddenly upon us are overwhelming and that is the point. We can no longer do it ourselves (not that we should be anyway); we must look to the LORD. It is so precious that He desires us so very much that He has a perfect plan for each one timed exactly to who/where/what we are. Ultimately, it is all for His glory. Thanks, Vic, also for the nudge to look back on how GOD worked in and through the previous giants in our/my live(s). When I was "deaf and blind" to Him, He allowed me to be badly shaken up by life's happenings, so I could finally hear and see Him once more. What an awesome GOD we serve by His mercy and grace!!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/1/2013 9:27AM

    I have faced many giants in my life. Praise God! It made me cling to Him in a way I would not have, otherwise. Thank you for posting these devotionals, Vic. I read them to my family.

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JOANIE69 4/1/2013 8:24AM

    Yes, there have been "giants" in my life too, one of which when our very lives were threatened when on a ship that almost sank in a storm. Another time cancer afflicted our only child, who miraculously survived and lives today. These things and others through life only made us trust in God for the moment, and wonder at His deliverance every day since. We are safe in our Saviour's care, and whatever He allows, good and bad, we praise Him and know His will is best.

Thank you for another thought-provoking lesson, hymn, and prayer to pray along with you, Vic.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 3/31/2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, SUN, 3/31/2013

David: A Man After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 16:14-23
HOW GOD BUILDS A KING, Lesson 4c

v. 11, 19, 17:15 GOD USES THE TOOL OF SAMENESS

There can be little doubt that day blended into day as David went about the monotony of keeping his Father’s sheep. Countless days, endless routines, the same things day in and day out. This is what marked the life of David. But, it was in the monotonous routine of life that David learned to be a man of God. It was there, alone on one of those mountains, doing the same things day after day, that David learned the priceless lessons of faithfulness. David applied himself to the task of giving his best during the mundane times of life. Then, when God promoted him, he did not have to learn to be faithful; he already knew how. He did not have to learn responsibility; he had already learned that lesson. God used the unending monotony of the routine to shape David for greater things.

The same is true for us. Often day blends into day and see our lives as nothing but a boring, monotonous existence. What we fail to see is that God is working, even during the routine times of our lives. As life unfolds, day upon changeless day, we learn to be faithful in the little things; we learn to be faithful to God. As we learn faithfulness in the seemingly insignificant areas of Life. God will expand our level of responsibility, (Matthew 25:21), “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” When life seems like drudgery, just keep walking faithfully with God; He is preparing you for greater things.

Therefore, let me encourage you to remain faithful in the little things. For, in the final analysis, the little things are the foundation of our lives. Keep praying, even when it appears that He isn’t hearing. Keep going to church, even when it seems nothing much is happening. Keep giving, even when it gets tight financially. Keep living for Jesus, day in and day out, refuse to turn back or waiver from following him. In His time, He will bless you and reward you for being faithful during the routine times of life.

V. 17:34-37; 40-51 GOD USES THE TOOL OF STRUGGLE

David’s life was not all about the mundane and the routine. We hear him tell about encounters he had with a lion and bear, (1 Sam. 17:34-37). We watch as he walks alone into a valley and kills a giant named Goliath, (1 Sam. 17:40-51). We see him ignored, (1 Sam. 16:11); criticized, (1 Sam. 17:28) and underestimated, (1 Sam. 17:33; 43-44). We can even see him as he is hated and pursued by King Saul, (1 Sam. 18:8-12; 19:9-10). God used the classroom of adversity as a valuable tool designed to teach David about the power, provision and providence of God.

There are times when the monotony of our lives is shattered by the harsh blows of adversity. God’s purpose in those times is not to hurt us, but to grow us, (2 Cor. 4:15-17; Rom. 8:28-29). He desires to teach us patience, faith and dependence upon Him. In order to do that, He sends us trials and adversity. After all, nothing teaches us more about the love, faithfulness and power of God than having Him safely lead us through one of life’s valleys. Many of the great people in the pages of Scripture learned more about the Lord in the furnace of affliction than they ever could have otherwise. (3 Hebrews, Daniel, Elijah, Widow of Zarephath; Noah; Widow of Nain; Mary, Martha and Lazarus; Jairus; Thief on the Cross, etc.)

God allowed David to walk through some hard places so that He might use him in the future in a greater fashion. God hones us on the rough stone of affliction, so that we might be used of Him in a greater way, (2 Cor. 1:4-6). Of course, many people do not respond correctly to their struggles. Many get upset and sit down on the Lord. That is not the response that leads to growth! You see, life is about 10% of what happens to you and 90% about how you respond to what happens to you. Look at the trials and testimony of Job, (Job 1-2). He walked through a harsh, hard valley, but he revealed a surrendered heart. He was willing to face whatever God placed in front of him, for the glory of the Lord. May God help us not to despise the tool of struggles, for it can build character far quicker than any of the other tools in God’s tool-chest.

Conc: As David was honed upon the wheel of life, God was shaping the boy into the man who would become king. Verse 18 gives a glimpse of the man David would one day become. Here, we can see some of the attributes that marked David’s life. These same attributes ought to be true of us as well. Why? These are the characteristics God wishes to develop in each of our lives. These attributes were cultivated using the four tools we have discussed.

He Is /Was A Skilled Man – The word “cunning” means “an artist, faithful and trustworthy in his art.” It refers to those who are “wise, capable, resourceful in every facet of conduct.” David learned all of the skills he would need as king while he watched his sheep. God uses the tools we have mentioned to teach us the skills we need to be used of Him.

He Is /Was A Strong Man – When David is called “a mighty, valiant man, a man of war” it refers to courage he had developed as he led the flocks in the hard places. As he fought off the lions and the bears; and as he defended the flock against the Philistines; he was shaped by the hand of the Lord, and David demonstrated the attribute of great courage. This trait was another crafted in David’s life by the tools we have discussed. This courage would serve David well as king.

He Is /Was A Shrewd Man – The phrase “prudent in matters” means that Davis was “careful in his speech.” He knew when to speak and he knew when to listen. That was also a trait that would serve him well. Some of us could learn that lesson. After all, the Bible says, “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.”( Proverbs 15:2).

He Is /Was A Striking Man – David is said to be “comely.” This refers to his physical appearance as well as the overall manner in which he presented himself. David had an air about him that drew men to him. He was a beautiful, glowing person who commanded reverence and praise. He was the kind of person you wanted to be around. Where did he learn this? He learned it in the anvil of life and God applied His various tools and shaped David for His glory.

He Is /Was A Sanctified Man – David’s greatest attribute was the fact that “the Lord is with Him.” David was a consecrated man who moved through life with the breath of Heaven on him. Not only was he a special person outwardly, but he was a special person inwardly as well. His heart was as refined as his body. This was another characteristic that was forged in the furnaces of Solitude, Secrecy, Sameness and Struggle. It is this characteristic that enabled David to become “a man after God’s Own heart.”

Does God have you in His workshop today? Is He developing your life into a life of honor for His glory? Whatever tools the Lord may be applying to your life today, let me encourage you to yield to Him. He isn’t trying to harm you; He is trying to develop Himself within your life. He is taking you and shaping you into His image of His Son, Our Lord, for His glory.

As you look at the life you are living; can you recognize the qualities that marked David’s life in your own? Can you see the evidence of God’s work in you like you ought to? If you can see room for improvement in your own life, then I challenge you to come before the Lord and ask Him to work on you. If you have been struggling against His work in your life, then I challenge you to come and submit to Him right now. God is in the business of building kings. What is He doing in your life?

TODAY’S VERSE!
John 12:46 (New King James Version (NKJV)

46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Shine, Jesus, Shine” By: Graham Kendrick (1988)

Lord the Light or Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus light of the world shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me.

Refrain:
Shine Jesus shine
Fill this land with the Father's glory
Blaze, Spirit blaze,
Set our hearts on fire
Flow, river flow
Flood the nations with grace and mercy
Send forth Your word
Lord and let there be light.

Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me.
Refrain:

As we gaze on Your kindly brightness.
So our faces display Your likeness.
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here may our lives tell Your story.
Shine on me. Shine on me.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of all grace! The Redeemer from Heaven was born one day; sent by You, Father, to show us the way. He was born to die, to be raised again, to live forever and reign instead. The Redeemer from Heaven, a Savior is He, He died on the cross for us. “Forgive them Father”, His love He proved. He died on that cross for us. The Redeemer from heaven, a Friend is He, from His throne in heaven he calls us. “Come to the cross, and follow me; and I’ll show you the way to eternity”. Thank You Father; Thank You Jesus; Thank You, Holy Spirit! These things we pray this morning with thanksgiving in our hearts in the name of our Blessed Redeemer, Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!
HAVE A BLESSED EASTER!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 4/1/2013 12:00AM

    Thank you Vic for an awesome lesson, hymn and prayer.. Yes, shine Jesus, Shine. What a blessing to know He is risen and lives. We are patiently waiting for His return to be caught up and join Him to live in eternity. Blessings on this Resurrection Sunday. Thank you for the goodie and note, Vic.

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MZLADY77 3/31/2013 7:22PM

    Thank you and thank you again! Love your blog. Happy Resurrection day! emoticon

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NELLIEH1 3/31/2013 5:04PM

    Thank you , Vic, for the nudge to ask GOD to work in our lives in His workshop, so that our hearts may be following hard after Him alone!!! So often we/I try to do that task ourselves/myself. It is impossible. But as you say so skillfully, it is our response (rather than reaction) to GOD that makes the difference. Hmmmm 10% what happens to us/lessons and 90% our response/our choices to bow the knee and agree with GOD.

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CANDEE412 3/31/2013 3:42PM

    I love the song. Thank you and have a wonderful Easter.

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LOSTLIME 3/31/2013 1:25PM

    Thank you for the inspiration. May God bless you on this most Blessed Day!

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JADOMB 3/31/2013 12:58PM

    Amen. God has never lost faith in me, and I will never lose faith in him. I will forever bask in the light of Jesus.

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CAMSEDGE 3/31/2013 12:34PM

    Thank you for the remembrance

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ILUVTTV 3/31/2013 12:12PM

    Thank you for this inspirational blog! I especially appreciate the reminder,

"There are times when the monotony of our lives is shattered by the harsh blows of adversity. God’s purpose in those times is not to hurt us, but to grow us, (2 Cor. 4:15-17; Rom. 8:28-29). He desires to teach us patience, faith and dependence upon Him. In order to do that, He sends us trials and adversity. After all, nothing teaches us more about the love, faithfulness and power of God than having Him safely lead us through one of life’s valleys."

How true this is and sometimes we do need the reminder.

He is Risen and Alive in our hearts!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/31/2013 12:02PM

    Very good lesson. Paul rejoiced during hard times because he knew God was "growing him". This does not mean he enjoyed it, but that there was a purpose to his suffering and God would see him through.

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LOOKINGUP2012 3/31/2013 8:46AM

    emoticon for a wonderful lesson. May we have the mind of Christ as we go through this wonderful day.

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SANDRALEET 3/31/2013 8:22AM

    We are molded pruned tested By God Who God loves he makes strong to accept whot ever comes our way He makes deep roots and good soil so we grow in him .

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JOANIE69 3/31/2013 7:37AM

    What a beautiful message and hymn and prayer for today!

Yes, Jesus shine! Thank You for rising again, and removing the fear of death and the victory of the grave. Sin has no more dominion over us! Hallelujah, He is risen!

Bless you and yours this Resurrection Sunday, Vic. Joanie

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