MJRVIC2000   256,936
SparkPoints
250,000-299,999 SparkPoints
 
 
MJRVIC2000's Recent Blog Entries

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 4/26/2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 4/26/2013

1 Samuel 22:1-4
CLIMBING OUT OF YOUR CAVE, Lesson 12C

v. 2 THE REFRESHMENTS OF THE CAVE
Caves make for hard living, but they are not altogether bad! There are some refreshing discoveries to be made in the caves of life.

The Refreshment Of His Family – David’s family comes to him in that cave. Here are people who used to doubt David. His own father ignored him, (1 Sam. 16:11). His oldest brother Eliab publicly rebuked David and criticized him, (1 Sam. 17:28). Now, they see in the man before them God’s man and God’s choice for king. The one they formerly would have passed over is the one they turn to for help! It seems that the caves of live have the potential to bring out our best.

I have seen many people suffer horrible things. I am always fascinated by how people respond to the pain they are called upon to bear. I have seen some crumple under the load. They have literally fallen apart and sunk down into the pit of self-pity. But, there have been others who, despite the great load of suffering they were forced to carry, rose to the challenge and tapped into a source of strength they did not know they possessed. They were changed by their experience and others were changed by watching them go through it! You see, it is not the storms you weather that define you; it is the way that you weather the storms!

Several years ago, I watched an older lady die. She had gotten sick very suddenly and she slipped into a coma; the doctors told her family that she was dying and that nothing more could be done for her. Her poor old husband sat near her bed in his wheel chair and he would talk to his wife. He would plead with her to wake up. He would beg her to get better and stay with him. This went on for several days. Then, one night while I was in the room, that old man got up out of that wheelchair, stumbled over to his wife’s bed. He leaned over, kissed her cheek and said, “It’s all right. You can go on now. I’ll miss you, but I won’t be very far behind you.” He sat back down and within just a few hours that precious lady was in the arms of Jesus. Her husband rose to the challenge that night! He won a newfound respect in the eyes of all who saw him enter his cave and pass through it with grace and dignity.

The Refreshment Of His Followers – These men who gathered themselves around David were there because they were fed up with Saul. The distressed came to David. This word means “to be under stress and under pressure.” We are also told that those who were in debt came. This speaks of those who “could not pay their bills.” The discontented also came. This word refers to those who are “bitter and who have been mistreated.” Here was a group of hundreds of people who have suffered under the tyranny and taxation of Saul and they are fed up. They go to David because they believe that he is God’s man for Israel.

I am sure that David could not see in his life what they saw. At that time, David could only see defeat and discouragement. While David could only see the cave; those who came to him could see the crown. They gathered themselves around him and believed in him, even when he was down!

Thank God for the encouragers of life! Thank God for those people who can see potential in our lives, when we can see nothing good in ourselves? Barnabas was that kind of a friend to Mark, (Acts 15:35-41). Apparently, it had an effect on the young man’s life and ministry, (2 Tim. 4:11).

God has a way of putting people around us who can serve as encouragers in our lives! I praise the Lord for everyone who has looked at my life and seen potential there that I could not recognize. What an encouragement they have been to this teacher!

By the way, there is a great need for that kind of ministry in the church today. There is always someone who stands ready to criticize and cut down; but there are very few who will come along side you during the hard times of your life and lift you up. Maybe God is calling you into that kind of ministry for His glory!

The Refreshment Of His Focus – Going through the pain of seeing all his props taken away was a painful experience for David. Having to flee from the palace to hide in a cave was humbling as well. However, in that humble hide away, God began the process of transforming David into a great king. God took that rag tag band of men and, working through David, transformed them into “David’s Mighty Men.” These men, and their exploits, are named in 2 Sam. 23. Because God sent these men to David in that cave, David was able to get his mind of his problems and focus his attention on leading them and training them to be a fighting force. It was a humble beginning, but David was focused and soon he would walk out of that cave and accept the crown.

If there is any one benefit of the cave that stands out, it is the fact that caves have the ability to focus our priorities. When we go into a cave experience, we soon learn what is important and what is trivial. The caves help us focus like nothing else!

Peter was all over the map; hot and cold, before he entered his cave experience. But, when he came out of that cave he was focused like a laser. That is what the cave will do for you! It will tighten your focus onto that which is most important: finding and doing the will of the Lord. Sometimes, I think that is why the Lord sends us into the caves. For example Jonah: He is running from God, but a few days in a cave focus his attention and he begins to run with God!

If the cave can do that, then it can’t be all bad, can it?

Conc: David entered his cave a broken and defeated man. He emerged as the captain of an army of might men. He went in running from a crazy king. He came out reaching out to take the crown. The cave refined David’s life and helped to prepare him for the tasks that lay ahead. He grew in that cave because he submitted to the cave.

What about you? Are your cave experiences a blessings to your life, or are they burdens that seem too heavy to carry? If you need some help dealing with a cave experience in your life, you will find the help you need in the presence of the Lord. Get to Him and get what you need today!
TODAY’S VERSE!
Jeremiah 29:7 (New King James Version (NKJV)

7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand” By: Jennie Wilson (1904)

1. Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Refrain:
Hold to God’s unchanging hand,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand;
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

2. Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling.
Refrain:

3. Covet not this world’s vain riches
That so rapidly decay,
Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures,
They will never pass away.
Refrain:

4. When your journey is completed,
If to God you have been true,
Fair and bright the home in glory
Your enraptured soul will view.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!

Loving Father, Awesome God! We worship You believing that You have always been and always will be Lord over everything You created. Our souls long for Your courts and to be in Your presence. Our hearts and our flesh cry out to You, Our Living God. We long to know You in a deeper and more meaningful way. Our souls hunger to be near You, to feel Your heartbeat and sense Your love flowing into us. We want to know all there is to know about You. Fill our hearts with such great knowledge of You that praising You becomes like the air we breathe, so we may show our love in worship to You. All honor, glory and praise belongs to YOU! This we pray in the gracious name of our Savior, 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!

I’LL BE AT A MAN’S RETREAT SATURDAY, BUT I’LL BE BACK WITH YOU ON SUNDAY!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 4/27/2013 10:43PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I have spent much time in caves until I turned everything over to God. Things turned around for me and this was a great reminder for me to keep in my mind. thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you for your teachings.

Report Inappropriate Comment
THRDTRY 4/27/2013 2:10PM

  What a beautiful post!
It's so easy to get caught up in thinking that caves are not only a burden but a burden we have to carry all on our own. I know that I so often separate out my weight issues (and, yes, successes too!) from my spiritual life. But that is completely missing the point!
Thank you so much for such a wonderful blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SISSIE21 4/27/2013 9:22AM

    Thank you for this wonderful story filled with a great lesson! I have worked in hospitals most of my adult life and have taken care of many people who were very ill or were dying. What I have learned is that the crisis of a health problem or even approaching death brings out many emotions and unfinished business in patients and their families. As a hospice nurse once said to me, the dying process makes any dynamics in a family that were already there intensified. It's like a tea bag that has stayed in the water longer. Same dynamics, just much stronger because of the impending death. I have found this to be true, but would also add that a health crisis can be a time of incredible growth and healing of relationships if one allows it and is open to change.
I love your analogy of the cave experience! And I agree that those difficult times in your life show who you really are inside by the way you respond. In the end, it's all we really have power over- how we choose to respond.
Thank you once again for an insightful lesson and hope you had a wonderful day at the retreat! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 4/26/2013 1:43PM

    Thank you for this incredible blog and your prayer. Not my will but His be done.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOSTLIME 4/26/2013 1:13PM

    Very nice blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOIT54 4/26/2013 12:47PM

    Thank you Vic

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 4/26/2013 10:16AM

  Thank you Vic for being an encourager in my life.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIMPY225 4/26/2013 9:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEH1 4/26/2013 9:35AM

    Thank you, Vic, for nudging us to truly look deeply into the cave experiences of our lives. When I review parts of my 71 years here on earth, I see caves that crushed me for years and others that indeed changed me from the inside out. Prayerfully the latter is more true than the former now as I head into present tests that are the preparations for my final examination! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/26/2013 9:36:20 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZMOMXTWO 4/26/2013 7:53AM

  great job thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 4/26/2013 7:04AM

    emoticon Vic emoticon job

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 4/26/2013 6:43AM

    emoticon emoticon for reminding me today that it is so easy to "cut down" and requires committment to the Lord to allow Him to use me to rather encourage and build up those around me. I love encouragement too, and have been hepled along my way as have you, by the truthful words of others that built me up...(not flattery). Today my prayer is just as you prayed here: "We want to know all there is to know about You. Fill our hearts with such great knowledge of You that praising You becomes like the air we breathe, so we may show our love in worship to You. "

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 4/25/2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 4/25/2013

1 Samuel 22:1-4
CLIMBING OUT OF YOUR CAVE, Lesson 12b

v. 1b-4 THE REVELATIONS OF THE CAVE

The Revelation Of His Call – As David’s props began to be taken away, one after the other, he probably began to doubt the promises that God had made to him so long ago. But, after a while, people began to show up at David’s cave. First, his family came; then the defeated and downtrodden men of Israel began to show up. David’s family came out of fear of Saul; the rest came because they believed David was God’s man for the future. They all cast in their lot with David. God used this motley group of people to show David that He still had a plan for David’s life.

I don’t know how God will do it, but somehow, while you are in your cave, He will come to where you are and confirm His faithfulness and His promises to you! God will use your cave as a banner to write His love over your life! For example: Elijah had his ravens; Moses had his burning bush; Jesus had His empty tomb. God has a way of showing us that it will be all right.

The Revelation Of His Character – When his family and the malcontents of Israel showed up, it probably added to David’s burden at first. (Psalm 57), which was also written during that time, expresses that thought in verse 4. But, David rose to the challenge and the truth of his character was revealed in what he did during those times. He took measures to care for his elderly parents and he rose up and led his men. In other words, instead of breaking under the pressures of the moment, David’s heart was revealed. The leader rose to the challenge and led! But, it took pain and problems to squeeze that out of him!

Just as it did in the life of David, suffering and pain will reveal exactly what we have in our hearts as well. Take Job for example. He suffered! Satan said, “Let me squeeze him and I’ll get lemon juice from him. I will prove that what he appears to be on the outside is all a show. Let me squeeze him and he will get sour. I will get lemon juice from Job!” So, he squeezed him and when he did, he did not get lemon juice; he got lemonade! Job did not get sour on the Lord; he just shouted in the devil’s face and got sweeter, (Job 1:20-21)!

What comes out of you when you get squeezed? Do you get sour and bitter when trouble comes? Or, do you display integrity and keep on praising the Lord; knowing that He is in control and will work all things out for His glory? Consider people and how they act! Suffering will expose your heart like few other things can!

The Revelation Of His Commitment – In spite of what the circumstances said about David and his situation, David held on to the promises of God, (Psa. 57:1-11). David knew where to go to find refuge in the times of trouble. He did not give up, even when most others would have. He held on to the Lord and the promises of God. He knew that God would come through in His time!

Oh, that we could display that kind of commitment in our own hearts and lives. When the pressure is on, don’t turn on the Lord. Remain committed to Him! He knows what He is doing and He will not fail you! So, don’t you fail Him! Nothing demonstrates our level of commitment to God than our continued obedience and faithful service, even when we are in one of the caves of life! Consider Paul and his attitude – (Acts 14:19-20; 2 Cor. 4:7-10)!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Leviticus 25:35 (New King James Version (NKJV)

Lending to the Poor
35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Know That My Redeemer Lives” By: Fred A. Fillmore (1917)

I know that my Redeemer lives,
And ever prays for me;
I know eternal life He gives,
From sin and sorrow free.
Chorus
I know, I know that my Redeemer lives,
I know, I know eternal life He gives;
I know, I know that my Redeemer lives.

He wills that I should holy be,
In word, in tho’t, in deed;
Then I His holy face may see,
When from this earth-life freed.
Chorus

I know that unto sinful men
His saving grace is nigh;
I know that He will come again
To take me home on high.
Chorus

I know that over yonder stands
A place prepared for me;
A home, a house not made with hands,
Most wonderful to see.
Chorus

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, Most Loving God! Help us to be aware of Your presence no matter where we are, and help us to always seek You for the right reasons. Thank YOU for reminding us from Your Word that faithfulness leads us to a blissful ending. Let the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable always in thy sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Salvation. As we consider Your heavens, we express our thanksgiving for all that You are. May we be inspired by Your word and Holy Spirit to tell of Your wonders to others. This we offer in prayer to You 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:

MZLADY77 4/26/2013 9:18AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 4/26/2013 7:03AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 4/25/2013 9:20PM

    What an awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. I have been stressed this week and this message came at the right time for me. I need to remember that God will never leave me during this time. Thank you for your goodie and note. Have a blessed evening.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SISSIE21 4/25/2013 7:22PM

    Thank you for this post. It is exactly what I needed to hear today. Keep them coming! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEH1 4/25/2013 1:45PM

    Oh yes, "Suffering and pain reveal exactly what is in our/my heart(s)!" And GOD does not give up on us when we a discouraged/down/depressed/dis-hear
tened. He does come. How will He lead/guide us today? How well do we see Him in our routines and challenges?

Report Inappropriate Comment
JADOMB 4/25/2013 12:03PM

    God is always welcome to my cave.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MINISANDY 4/25/2013 11:44AM

    Over the last few days I've felt myself slipping into that "cave" and feeling discouraged about it. Your words really gave me a lift about how God meets us where we are. He is with us - even when it looks like a dismal situation - and He has something positive He will bring out of it. Thanks so much for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 4/25/2013 10:26AM

    emoticon emoticon once again. Very timely in my life at the moment, in fact. Bless you, Joanie emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOIT54 4/25/2013 10:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOSTLIME 4/25/2013 9:44AM

    As always very nicely done. I hope that if I get squeezed the lemonade will pour out

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/25/2013 8:52AM

    I could hardly contain myself as I read this. God is so good! My prayer is that only His lemonade is what is squeezed out of my life. " Taste and see that The Lord is good"! Psalm 34:8

Comment edited on: 4/25/2013 8:57:48 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 4/25/2013 8:44AM

    I had forgotten that verse about David taking his parents to be cared for. It is so amazing that in the midst of a tough time, he the youngest, provided for his parents. David truly had a beautiful heart. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 4/25/2013 8:17AM

  God will show a way when there seems to be no way. Look to Him and He will guide you.


Report Inappropriate Comment
AZMOMXTWO 4/25/2013 8:07AM

  awesome thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 4/24/2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 4/24/2013

1 Samuel 22:1-4
CLIMBING OUT OF YOUR CAVE, Lesson 12a

Turn to Psalm 61:1-2 and listen to what David said in those verses. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by life? We all do from time to time! This text finds David is one of those times. He is in a dark, damp, dreary, depressing cave. He has experienced the loss of everything and everyone he leaned on in his life. He is alone, defeated and discouraged. David is in one of the cave experiences of life.

What David did not see at the time, but soon came to understand, was the fact that God was behind it all and in control of it all. David did not know it at the time but God was going to use his time in the cave to help David grow stronger in the Lord. The day would soon come when David would emerge from that cave far stronger in the Lord than he was when he entered that time in his life.

There are times when we too find ourselves in one of life’s cave experiences. We think all of our help and strength is gone. We feel alone, discouraged and deserted. Have YOU ever been there? Sure you have. In fact, some are there right now! Well, like David, when we are dwelling in one of the caves of life, we often fail to see the hand of God in what we are facing. But, I would remind you today that just as surely as God is behind all the blessings of life; He is behind all the burdens as well, (Isa. 45:7; Psa. 37:23; Rom. 8:29-29).

This passage contains some blessings that we need to consider today. Here, we can learn something about the cave experiences of life and how we can come out of them stronger than when we entered them. I want to take this episode from the life of David and teach about “Climbing Out Of Your Cave”. Notice the blessings that are contained in this passage.

v. 1 THE REALITIES OF THE CAVE

The Reality Of Sorrow – David has been brought to the absolute bottom of life! He is hurting, he is broken and he is defeated. The Crown Prince of Israel is living in a cave! He does not rest his head on a sumptuous bed in the palace, but on the unyielding rocks of a cave! He no longer sleeps in the bed of the princess, but he seeks rest in the damp darkness of a forsaken cave. He does not find comfort in the house of a friend, but he fights loneliness in a deserted, dirty cave. Psalm 142 was written during this period of time.

There are times like that ordained for each of us as well. We should not expect to get through this life untouched and unaffected by hardship and sorrow. In fact, the Bible is perfectly clear about this matter, (Job 14:1; Job 5:7; John 16:33; Eccl. 2:17; Eccl. 2:23). Just as they were for David, sorrows are part of our earthly experience. Thank God for a home where they cannot follow us, (Rev. 21:4).

The Reality Of Suffering – God allowed David to come to this cave, so that David might learn not to lean on the props of family, friends, finances, fame, the flesh or the future. David was taught, through his sufferings, to wholly lean upon the Lord. You see, God was not trying to destroy David. He was not trying to discipline David. God was attempting to develop David into the man of God the Lord wanted him to become.

The same is true in our lives. To teach us to look to Him alone, the Lord uses the hardships of life to develop us. God does not do this to break us; He does it to build us. However, times of breaking up and tearing down often come before the times of building up! (Heb. 12:5-13). As hard as it may be to understand and bear, God uses the times of affliction, suffering and pain in our lives to train us to become more like His darling Son, Jesus.

The Reality Of Separation – David has been cut off from his family, his friends and his followers. He is in a place that prevents fellowship with others. David was brought to the place where he had nothing and no one but the Lord God. That cave was a place of separation!

We often find ourselves in the caves as well, don’t we? God will bring us to the place where we are alone with Him and shut off from the rest of the world. We fear those times, but they often precede the times of God’s greatest blessings in our lives! David alone in the cave; Jacob was alone in his tent; Elijah alone by the brook; Job alone surrounded by his friends; Moses alone on the backside of that mountain; Jesus alone in the agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. Each of these experienced their greatest triumph after that time of being shut up and shut off by God. You see, there are lessons that are learned in the dark that cannot be learned in the light. There are truths that can only be understood by those who are cut off and shut up with the Lord.

In reality, the cave times of life can be a blessed time of instruction and growth. You see, we may not like it, and we may not understand it, but when the Lord has brought you to a place where you have no one and nothing but Him, He has done you a tremendous favor. Why? He is more than sufficient; He is more than enough; and He will never leave you, (Heb. 13:5). He is a faithful Friend and a very present help in trouble, (Psa. 46:1).

TODAY’S VERSE!
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (New King James Version (NKJV)

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Poured Out Like Wine” By: Traditional Arr: Reid Lancaster (1993)

Would you be poured out like wine
upon the altar for Me?
Would you be broken like bread
to feed the hungry?
Would you be so one with Me
that you would do just as I will?
Would you be light and life
and love My Word fulfilled?

Yes, I'll be poured out like wine
upon the altar for You
Yes, I'll be broken like bread
to feed the hungry
Yes, I'll be so one with You
that I would do just as You will
Yes, I'll be light and life
and love Your Word fulfilled

TODAY’S PRAYER!
O gracious Father, Loving God! We thank You that You know everything about us, and that You still love us, care for us and protect us. You know our hearts, out thoughts and our mistakes, and still You call us Yours, and chasten us because of Your great love. Thank You that You are always with us, teaching us and guiding us, comforting us and restoring us, so we may become more like the image of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are never alone, not even in the caves of life. You know us better than we know ourselves. Help us to know and love You better too. These things we pray and ask in Jesus’ Redeeming name. 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:

ANHELIC 4/25/2013 12:17AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. We all come to a point where we feel alone and have no one to turn to. It is times like this that we find God. He is the only one who will not leave us, but be there to see us through and strengthen us. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you Vic.

Report Inappropriate Comment
IAM_HIS 4/24/2013 3:51PM

    emoticon This is so special--I know suffering and it has given me so many blessings plus forced me to wake up to depend on the Lord.

Comment edited on: 4/24/2013 3:51:58 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 4/24/2013 3:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JADOMB 4/24/2013 1:08PM

    Yes, we ALL end up in caves at some times in our lives. As a good friend of mine told me when I was in one of those caves, "That you ended up in this delema is not of any concern now, but how well you come out is". We can either stay in the cave and become a victim, or climb out and finish the journey.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLLOVETT 4/24/2013 11:14AM

    My brokenness is part of who I am and I thank God every day for the lessons ( good and not so good) he has poured into my life!




Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOIT54 4/24/2013 10:35AM

    Thank you for the reminder.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 4/24/2013 10:28AM

    This is a beautiful hymn and prayer. Thank you so much for this lesson.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOSTLIME 4/24/2013 10:10AM

    May we emerge from our caves in His Light.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 4/24/2013 9:50AM

  Looking only to Jesus to get me out of the cave

Report Inappropriate Comment
SISSIE21 4/24/2013 9:10AM

    Thank you for this beautiful lesson. I think the sentence "However, times of breaking up and tearing down often come before the times of building up!" is so profound and has certainly been true in my life. Have a great day! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 4/24/2013 8:55AM

    Thank you once more, vic. I was inspired and moved by this lesson and the chosen hymn and your prayer. In fact I have printed off the hymn and prayer to refer to/pray often. Bless you, Joanie.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEH1 4/24/2013 8:27AM

    To be willing to be poured out and broken in You, GOD, is what we desire, but then we/I climb out from in under the rod and staff, forgetting the lesson, having to be taught all over again. Please, Lord, forgive me. emoticon emoticon Thank You for your word to me today, my Sovereign.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZMOMXTWO 4/24/2013 7:50AM

  thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDRALEET 4/24/2013 7:15AM

    I hear and read so many say the devil is to blame and take no head to whot God is trying to teach them .

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/23/2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/23/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 21:10-15
LEARNING TO LEAN, Lesson 11c

Psalm 34 DAVID’S SUPPORT SYSTEM IS DECLARED

Did David learn to lean solely on the Lord? I think He did! As the metal of David’s life was tempered in the furnace of affliction, and shaped upon the anvil of providence, David learned to lean completely on the Lord. He writes about this process in Psalm 34. If you will notice the title of this Psalm; it shows us when it was written. It came about, after all the props had been removed from David’s life. It also shows us that David’s focus had been turned toward God in Heaven. Notice how David learned to lean on the right One.

v. 1-3 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Praise – The focus of David’s praise has been shifted higher than position, popularity, people and pride. David has learned to lean on the praises of God. Psa. 86:10, “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.”

v. 4-7 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Protection – Instead of running to Jonathan, Michal or Samuel to try and find protection; David has learned the lesson that God is the One Who protects His people. Isa. 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

v. 8-10 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Provision – He doesn’t need the kindness of others, or the bread from the Tabernacle; he has learned to lean on the open hand of His heavenly Father for the provisions of life. Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

v. 11-17 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Promises – David has learned that the promises of men do not amount to must. He has also learned that those who learn to lean on the hand of the Lord will see every promise of God fulfilled in their lives. Psalm 119:89, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”

v. 18 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Presence – The other props in David’s life failed just when he needed them the most. He has learned that those who lean on the Lord are never without a faithful Friend. Prov. 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

v. 19-22 He Learned To Lean On The Lord’s Preservation – In the end, not a single crutch that David leaned on so heavily was able to secure him or protect him. He learned the priceless, eternal truth that God, and God alone, preserves His people. Psalm 61:2, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Conc: This leaning business hits pretty close to home for me. There are plenty of times I find myself leaning on this thing or on that person instead of the Lord. How about you? But, I have also found that when I learn to lean on other things in my life; God will systematically and painfully remove every crutch I have. He will bring me to the place where I am leaning on Him and on Him alone. That is where He plans to bring each of us!

Now, when God begins to dismantle our support system, it can get quite painful. But, we should not fear what the Lord is doing in our lives. He is merely growing us and teaching us that He is all we need. He is all-sufficient; more than enough; He is God Almighty, and He will never fail you, leave you or let you down. He wants us to learn this truth: When we have Him. We have all the support system that we will ever need! ( Psalm 46)!

There is a verse and a chorus from a song by a man named John Stallings that I would like to share with you. It speaks to the heart of what I have been trying to say this evening.

Sad, broken-hearted,
At an altar I’ve knelt,
I’ve found a peace so serene.
All that He asked is a Child-like trust,
And a heart that is learning to lean.

Learning to Lean
Learning to Lean
I'm learning to lean on Jesus
Finding more power then I've ever dreamed
I'm learning to lean on Jesus

Friend, what makes up your support system today? On what or on whom are you leaning for your support?

If you know that you are not leaning on the Lord as heavily as you should be, I would invite you to tear down your own support system today and lean fully on the Lord Jesus.

If God is in the process of tearing down your support system already, come to him and express your faith in Him afresh today. Ask Him to help you learn to lean.
If you have never been saved, this would be a good time for you to throw down all your crutches and come to the Lord and lean on Him for your salvation and all the needs of your life.

TODAY’S VERSE!
John 5:20 (New King James Version (NKJV)

20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus Paid It All” By: Elvina M. Hall (1865)

1. I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Refrain:
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

2. For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
Refrain:

3. And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Refrain:

4. Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
Refrain:

5. When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
Refrain:

6. And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.
Refrain:


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy and Righteous Father, God of Joy and Praise! You are Holy and Righteous, and we have no greater joy in life than entering into Your presence to exalt You with worship and praise. We will bless You at all times for You are an Awesome God, our God. Your praise shall continually be in our hearts and in our mouth. We welcome Your presence now and forever. We thank You that because You are all of these and more, we can be too. We praise You, Lord, with all our hearts, minds and souls, and promise to tell everyone of Your Greatness. You make us glad and we rejoice in You. In Your presence we find everything we need. When we worship You, it is the closest we can be to You this side of heaven. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! There things we pray in the glorious name of our Savior, 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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 4/23/2013 11:39PM

    Thank you Vic for this great lesson, hymn and prayer. Leaning only on God sounds really easy, but sometimes we run to a friend for help instead of going to God. I am learning that man can't do for us what God can do. Thank you for the goodie and note Vic. God bless you for your teaching.

Report Inappropriate Comment
POETLKNG2LOSE 4/23/2013 10:33PM

    Thanks Vic for the lesson and SANDRALEET for voicing what is only too true. Sometimes we have to go through things over and over before we get it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOIT54 4/23/2013 7:08PM

    Thank you Vic

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 4/23/2013 6:36PM

    emoticon Vic emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NELLIEH1 4/23/2013 5:11PM

    When we are exhausted, hurting, fearful, etc., we collapse into the arms of a dear one. But it is the LORD GOD who holds us moment by moment all day every day. There is no thing that ever separates us from His immense/infinite/eternal love which is Himself! Oh to gain that understanding and truly be leaning continually upon our Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer!

Report Inappropriate Comment
A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 4/23/2013 3:24PM

    I love how you separate it out verse by verse - sometimes when I read passages like this it all sorts of gets blurred and it's hard to focus on each element. Thank you for your faithfulness in putting these up.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 4/23/2013 1:27PM

    Thank you Vic, I need these lessons on leaning on God alone, now, more than at any time in my life. Being a "new'' deacon in a small rural church and community, (though I am experienced previously in a large church), is like walking on eggs. Very delicate path to walk, for reasons I cannot elaborate upon here, yet trusting in the Lord brings peace within. He is the only One Who can turn all things to good, as one surrenders all things to His sovereignty. To God be the glory, and may His Name be praised.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOSTLIME 4/23/2013 12:55PM

    Thank you,Vic! I need to lean on Him at this time in my life. Bless you,Vic.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JADOMB 4/23/2013 11:35AM

    One of my favorite funny sayings is, " a friend is one that will bail you out of jail, but a true friend is one that will be right there with you in jail". I think I should add one last part to that though, " but a very true friend in Jesus won't let you go to jail in the first place". Who would you rather have for a very true friend to lean on?

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 4/23/2013 9:45AM

  How soon we forget to lean on Jesus. Praying that I will lean on Him every day.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MZLADY77 4/23/2013 9:19AM

    Thanks again! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOOKINGUP2012 4/23/2013 8:03AM

    Great lesson on learning to lean on Jesus. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AZMOMXTWO 4/23/2013 7:51AM

  thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDRALEET 4/23/2013 7:17AM

    We like him have to learn that lesson more then once in our life

Report Inappropriate Comment


FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon 4/22/2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 4/22/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 21:10-15
LEARNING TO LEAN, Lesson 11b

DAVID’S SUPPORT SYSTEM IS DISMANTLED

The Process Of The Dismantling – David’s support system was in place, but it was not going to last for very long. God allowed a series of events to take place in David’s life that destroyed and removed every single prop he had in his support system. One day David was on top of the world. The next day, he was on the bottom. David became a man hunted by his enemies; haunted by death and hounded by destruction. David’s own estimation of his troubles is found in 1 Sam. 20:3b.

You see, God began the process of systematically dismantling every piece of David’s support system. Think of it:

David Lost His Position – 1 Sam. 19:8-10 – The Captain of Israel’s army, the greatest battlefield hero in the nation’s history, has become a fugitive from justice. Another prop is taken away.

David Lost His Popularity – As one removed from the public eye, David was soon relegated to memory. People probably assumed that Saul would be successful in his attempts to take David’s life. Still another prop removed.

David Lost His People – Every person upon whim David leaned in his life was taken away.

Michal Was Removed – 1 Sam. 19:11-17 – First Michal tells David of Saul’s plot and helps him escape; then she lies to her father and says that David had threatened to kill her unless she did. She deliberately walks away from David and they relationship will never be harmonious again. Another support is taken away!

Jonathan Was Removed – 1 Sam. 20:41-42 – Jonathan goes as far as he can to protect David, and in the end, Jonathan must send David away for his own safety. There is a tearful parting of these two close friends and they meet no more as friends in life. Still another support is removed from David’s life.

Samuel Was Removed – 1 Sam. 20:1 – In 1 Sam. 19:18, David went to his old friend and mentor, the prophet Samuel. But, eventually David had to flee from the presence of Samuel, because of the relentless pursuit of King Saul. He lost another of his supports.

David Lost His Pride – 1 Sam. 21:10-15 - Here, David reaches the bottom. Here, the last support in his system is torn away and David reaches the lowest point in his life. He goes into the palace of King Achish, the king of the Philistines, to see if this king will give him sanctuary. Imagine, the champion of the armies of Israel runs to the palace of the enemy to try and find a friend!

But, the Philistines have not forgotten that it was David who destroyed their champion. David is filled with fear that the Philistines will retaliate, so he pretends to be a raving lunatic, so that he might escape from these people too. Here he is, the mighty man who killed the great giant Goliath; and he is scratching on the gates and drooling on his beard like a mad man! Oh, how the mighty are fallen! The last crutch; the last prop in David’s support system has been systematically dismantled by the Lord and David has reached to bottom. He has nothing left!

Every dream, every lofty goal, every hope had been dashed to bits at David’s feet. He has nothing and no one on whom he can lean. He is alone, afraid and alienated. God has brought David from the very top to the very bottom of life. Why?

The Purpose Of The Dismantling – Why did God do this to David? Why did God so afflict a “man after His Own heart?” God did this to David so that David would learn to lean on the Lord and not on all the other props he had constructed in his life! To teach David the great truth that God’s people should lean only upon the Lord, God systematically removed one support after another from under David until he had been taught to lean wholly upon the Lord!

How we need to hear this truth! All the way through life we lean on one thing and one person after another. We trust and look to our parents when we are young. Later we lean on teachers, schooling and friends. Then, our prop becomes a job or a pile of money somewhere. We lean on this crutch and on that prop and we forget a couple of very important truths.

Our Support System Can Develop To The Place Where It Can Take The Place Of God In Our Lives – (Deut. 33:27; Isa. 41:10). Look at what you are depending on today. Do you ever find yourself trusting people, things and self, more than you trust the Lord?

Our Support System Can Prevent Us From Looking Up For The Help We Need – Our focus should be vertical and not horizontal! Nothing cripples our walk of faith any more than all the earthly, human crutches upon which we lean. These crutches cause us to look at what we can do for ourselves, or what others can do for us. In the end, all these props will fail; our gaze should be cast heavenward! When we lean on the unfailing prop of God Himself, we can be sure that He will always come through.
Our Support System Is Temporary At Best - Every plank in my support system can and will fail; but if we learn to lean solely on the Lord, He will never fail,( Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20)!

It’s not easy to take it, but the truth is, when the Lord finds us leaning on everything else in our lives instead of Him; He will begin the painful process of dismantling our support system one prop at a time. He does not do this to harm us; but to help us learn to lean on Him alone!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Ezekiel 11:19 (New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh,

TODAY’S HYMN!
“You Are My All In All” By: Dennis L. Jernigan (1990)

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all
Seeking You as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless Your name
You are my all in all
When I fall down You pick me up
When I am dry You fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

Oh my
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
Worthy is Your name

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, Caring God! Help us to recognize the ploys and tactics of our enemy, so that we will not aid and abet them in their goals. You, O God, are well able to deliver us from every evil work, and keep us safe. Thank You Jesus for putting the enemy under Your feet. Reveal to us anytime that our enemy tries to erect a stronghold in our lives, and enable us to separate ourselves from all his plans. Keep us from believing any lies of the enemy. Engraft Your word upon our hearts, and help us to live in truth by standing on the Truth of Your Word. Keep us ever watchful and aware of the enemy’s tactic. This we pray and ask in the blessed name of Jesus, Our Savior and Redeemer. 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:

SUNSHINE5268 4/23/2013 5:06AM

    great post emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANHELIC 4/23/2013 12:06AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Jesus is my all in all and is worthy of all my praise. Leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus is all we need to face our enemies. He will conquer them for us. Our support systems here on earth will fail one by one. Only Jesus will be with us until eternity. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you Vic for teaching us this important lesson.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANDOIT54 4/22/2013 6:19PM

    emoticon thank you

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKNPROGRESS49 4/22/2013 3:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYSPIRIT 4/22/2013 3:17PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUDITH316 4/22/2013 3:13PM

    Thanks Vic for an all inspiring Bible Blog, I also want to say thanks for posting the hymn, “You Are My All In All” By: Dennis L. Jernigan (1990) I knew the chorus but didn't k now the words to all the verses, not sure if I ever knew them, thanks for posting, hope you don't mind but I copied and pasted the hymn to share in one of my blogs today, no worries I'll make mention that it came from you...Blessings my brother, keep on Shining for Jesus, you are a blessing indeed.. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PANANA1 4/22/2013 2:30PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JADOMB 4/22/2013 11:28AM

    So true. Just like the baby chick that has to break out of the egg on their own power strengthens their chance for survival, so does one have to learn that the ONLY thing they really need is GOD to strengthen their chance for survival. We are foolish to depend on leaning on other weak humans. That is as risky as cheating off another students paper when feeling unable to do our own test. Especially when one has NO idea if that other student is doing any better on the test than they are. LOL

God wants us to be self sufficient and NOT needy of others. The ONLY true support system we should ever need is GOD. Any other support systems added are just the icing on the cake and NOT the cake.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOSTLIME 4/22/2013 11:05AM

    Thank you,Vic! I never knew that there were so many stories in the Bible. So many that can be put to this time and now. Starting out last year by finding a small congregation and pastor to start me on the road to finding my way to God. Then finding you on spark people was God's doing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TONYVAND1 4/22/2013 10:57AM

  May I always keep the Lord number 1 in my life and not allow my support systemns to be that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANIE69 4/22/2013 10:03AM

    WOW! In all my years of Bible study nobody has pointed out to me at least, that David, like Lot, lost "all" he counted on for support. So, he too was left with no one to lean on but God! And this does happen to us, to a lesser degree in my case, and we turn to the Lord for comfort and answers to our questions. As we age we realize all the more every day that we ought to lean ONLY on God. Nobody will be there with us as we pass through Jordon. Only the Living Christ will be there with us...why not trust Him that much NOW? Thank you Vic, and Glory to God. Joanie.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MZLADY77 4/22/2013 9:01AM

    Jesus is my everything. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RSSSLHB 4/22/2013 7:38AM

    emoticon Vic emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SANDRALEET 4/22/2013 7:25AM

    When we are to strong we think to well off our self

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363 364 365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379 380 381 382 383 384 385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399 400 401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430 431 432 433 434 435 436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 Last Page