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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 5/2/2013

Thursday, May 02, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 5/2/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 25:2-44 (Read: Verses 2-13)
ANALYZING AN ANGRY MAN, Lesson 14b

14-31 DAVID’S ANGER CONFRONTED

14-20 Abigail’s Appraisal Of The Situation – Nabal was a fool, but his wife was everything that he was not. Her name is Abigail, which means, “My father is joy.” She was a beautiful woman physically, and she was a wise woman spiritually. She was as lovely of heart as she was of appearance.

When she hears what her foolish husband has done, she takes the necessary steps to make matters right. She gets together the food and things David and his men needed and she goes out to meet David with the hope that she can change his mind.

Look at verse 19. We are told that she did this without consulting her husband. She isn’t working against him, she is working for him! A carnal woman might have said, “This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I’ll just sit here and wait and David will take care of that old fool for me.” But, Abigail did not do that. She went to work behind the scenes trying her best to protect her husband. In fact, she very literally saved his life!
Why didn’t Abigail tell Nabal what she was doing? The same reason the servants did not talk to him, (vs 14-17). Nabal was totally unapproachable. He was probably so stubborn that when he made up his mind, he would not listen to reason. Being a stubborn man is as dangerous as being an angry man!

Let me just say this and move on. Fellows, you ought to listen to your wife. God gave her to you as a “helpmeet.” She is your completer. She will often have wisdom and insight that you do not have in the situations of life. Wise is the man who consults his wife and listens to what she has to say.

v. 23-31 Abigail’s Appeal In The Situation – When Abigail meets David, she humbled herself at his feet. She refers to herself as David’s “handmaid” six times and calls him “my lord” fourteen times. She comes into his presence humble, open, and honest. She admits that David and his men have suffered wrong at the hand of Nabal. She admits that her husband is a wicked man and a fool (v. 25). She asks for forgiveness and pleads with David to accept her gift and to spare Nabal and the rest, (v. 27-28).

She tells David that God sent her to stop him from murdering a man in anger, (v. 26). She tells David that if he kills Nabal in anger it will hang over his legacy like a dark cloud. If he does what his anger is telling him to do, he will regret it forever. She appeals to the spiritual side of David!

In these verses, Abigail reminds me of the Holy Spirit. When the flesh gets its anger stirred up, the Spirit of God will remind us that we need to act slowly, and sensibly. He will remind us of James 1:19-20, which says, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

v. 32 Abigail’s Achievement In The Situation – Abigail’s wisdom overcame the anger in David’s heart and he backed away from his plans. Disaster was averted because David was willing to listen to reason!

Sadly, the loud cry of anger in our hearts is so strong sometimes that we cannot, or will not; hear the still, small voice of the Spirit of God as He tries to reason with us. If we could just learn to calm down, listen to what the Spirit is saying to us and respond to Him instead of the flesh, it would save us a lot of heartache in every relationship in our lives.

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Peter 1:3 (New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Let The Beauty of Jesus Be Seen” By: Albert W. T. Orsbom (1916)

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me,
All His wonderful passion and purity.
May His Spirit divine all my being refine
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.

When your burden is heavy and hard to bear
When your neighbors refuse all your load to share
When you're feeling so blue, Don't know just what to do
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

When somebody has been so unkind to you,
Some word spoken that pierces you through and through.
Think how He was beguiled, spat upon and reviled,
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you

From the dawn of the morning till close of day,
In example in deeds and in all you say,
Lay your gifts at His feet, ever strive to keep sweet
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in you.

TODAY’S PRAYER!

Loving Father, Gracious God! You are the God of the universe and Lord of our lives. We worship You and give glory to Your name. You are holy and wonderful---amazing and awesome. Thank You for all You have done, are doing, and will do for us. You are able to do beyond what we can even think to ask for. We call on You today to meet all our needs in ways more wonderful than we can ever imagine. It’s with adoration and holiness that we pray and ask these things in the blessed name of Jesus, our Lord. Amen!

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ANHELIC 5/2/2013 10:54PM

    Thank you Vic for this great message, hymn and prayer. I have just had to put my anger aside and ask for forgiveness otherwise it would chew me up inside. I listened to that still small voice and feel much better by giving it all over to Him. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. Sending you God's blessings for teaching us.

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CANDOIT54 5/2/2013 7:19PM

    emoticon

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SISSIE21 5/2/2013 5:37PM

    I am finding these stories very interesting. To be honest I have never studied bible stories. I like the way you are incorporating the lessons in the story. Taking it to our SP journey, I would say that many women are emotional eaters and direct much of their anger inward. Perhaps men do as well, I don't know. So as I am reading your stories, I am hoping that not only anger directed
outward to others, but anger directed inward
will be addressed. I don't know how the story
ends, but perhaps that can be incorporated?
Looking forward to the next installment!

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LOSTLIME 5/2/2013 3:59PM

    thank you for the blog,Vic!

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QTEALADY20031 5/2/2013 3:06PM

    Thank you so much for this post......anger can lie within all of us but the Grace of God will quill that fire. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy your day! emoticon emoticon June

Comment edited on: 5/2/2013 3:07:10 PM

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TONYVAND1 5/2/2013 1:36PM

  I so appreciate the Godly wisdom of my wife. She is a rock and her love for Christ emmanates through out her.

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COOP9002 5/2/2013 1:08PM

    thanks for sharing.

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LOOKINGUP2012 5/2/2013 11:33AM

    Thank God for Abigail's lovely example of humility and beseeching on behalf of one who put themselves in danger. Humility opened the door for the Spirit of God to reach David. Awesome. And thank you again.

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NELLIEH1 5/2/2013 8:51AM

    I have to admit that we ladies also need to hear about anger and stubbornness. For we/I can get controlling of situations in order to protect ourselves from pain or to have things go our way. Abigail chose to try to save her husband and male family members in love, not self-protection. And GOD used her powerfully. Listening...that is truly the choice. And GOD enables us to do just that IF we will stop our inner raging and dwelling on what's wrong. (James 1:13-18 and Philippians 4:4-8)!

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AZMOMXTWO 5/2/2013 7:32AM

  emoticon emoticon

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RSSSLHB 5/2/2013 7:18AM

    emoticon thank you for posting Vic

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 5/1/2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 5/1/2013

David: A Man, After God’s Own Heart

1 Samuel 25:2-44 (Read: Verses 2-13)
ANALYZING AN ANGRY MAN, Lesson 14a

When we last left David, we were given a glimpse of why he was called “a man after God’s own heart.” He was given the opportunity to take revenge against King Saul. He was placed in a position where he could have killed Saul if he had so desired. Instead of murdering his enemy and claiming the kingdom of Israel for himself, David exercised grace and wisdom. He allowed Saul to live and David even reached out to his enemy in love and forgiveness.

Our passage today finds David in a different set of circumstances and in an entirely different state of mind. This text shows what happens when anger is allowed to control our lives.

Does anyone have a problem with anger? Maybe I should have asked it this way: is there anyone who does not have a problem with anger? The fact is we all get angry from time to time. The problem is we don’t always control our anger as we should. Often, our anger controls us and before we know it, our anger has caused devastation and destruction on a scale we never imagined. Someone said, “Anger like fire, finally dies out - but only after leaving a path of destruction.”

That is the danger of anger. That is why the Bible has much to say to the believer about controlling the temper. Listen to a few verses that touch on this issue.
Ephesians 4:26 - “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
Psalm 37:8 – “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.”

Proverbs 14:29 - “He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.”
Proverbs 19:11 - “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”
Ecclesiastes 7:9 – “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.”
Matthew 5:22 – “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

Today, I want to look in on this episode from the life of David. I would like for each of us to examine our own hearts as we think on the subject of anger and the problems it can cause. I want the teach on the thought “Analyzing An Angry Man”. Notice with me three thoughts that present themselves in this passage.

v. 2-13; 21-22 DAVID’S ANGER CONSIDERED

v. 2-11 The Reason For His Anger – David is on the run from Saul. He and his men are hiding in the wilderness. While they are there, they are doing two things. First, they are fighting skirmishes with some of the wild tribes in the area, (1 Samuel 23). Secondly, they served as a protective force for the shepherds in that area, (1 Sam. 25:7), preventing the enemy from taking the sheep and harming the servants. David and his men probably took on this sideline as a means to earn food and provisions while they lived in the wilderness.

Now, it was customary, in those days, for the person who received the protection to reward the person who provided the protection. Thus, when David heard that it was sheering time, (v. 4), he sent some of his men to remind Nabal that they had provided protection and that, as a result, none of his sheep had been lost, (v. 7). David sent his request at sheering time because that was when the shepherds sold their wool and made their profits from the flocks.

So, David sends his men to Nabal with a kind and courteous greeting, (v. 6). He reminds Nabal of the effective service they have provided, (v. 7). And, he makes no demands, but simply asks Nabal to do the right thing, (v. 8).

Instead of responding in gratitude, Nabal answers David’s men with harsh words. In verses 9-11, Nabal calls David’s integrity into question; he calls him a rebel; and he refuses to do right by David and his men.

Have you ever been done wrong by someone? Have you ever been hurt by another person? Have you ever been mistreated, misunderstood or had your name misspoken? Have you ever had your feelings hurt or been done dirty by another person? Sure you have! What was your first response?

When that kind of thing happens, the flesh tends to get all stirred up. We get angry and we say and do things we later regret. Some anonymous writer said, “Anger manages everything badly.” They were exactly right!

Although Alexander the Great conquered the known world, he couldn't conquer his own temper. On one occasion, Cletus, a childhood friend and a general in Alexander's army, became drunk and insulted the leader in front of his men. Alexander became enraged and hurled a spear at Cletus, intending merely to scare him. Instead, the spear killed Alexander's life-long friend. Remorse engulfed Alexander as he assessed the destruction of his uncontrollable anger. If we don't control our anger, it will control us!

v. 12-13 The Reaction Of His Anger – When David’s men return to him and tell him Nabal’s response, (v. 12-13), David blows his stack and gathers his men together to exact revenge on Nabal. He prepares 600 men to go after one man. Talk about overkill! Anger will make you do some pretty stupid things!


Anyone know what I mean? Have you ever said or done anything in anger that you wish you had not said or done? We all have! God help us to manage your tempers for the glory of the Lord. Aristotle said, “It is easy to fly into a passion—anybody can do that—but to be angry with the right person to the right extent and at the right time and with the right object and in the right way—that is not easy, and it is not everyone who can do it.” How true that is! An old Chinese proverb says, “He who flies off handle always makes bad landing.”

Nabal’s response should not have surprised David. Look at how the Bible describes this man, (v. 3). He is called “churlish.” This word means that Nabal was “hard to get along with.” He had a bad attitude! We are also told that “he was evil in his doings.” This means that Nabal made a habit of doing others dirty in life and in business. Verse 2 tells us that he was a rich man. The phrase “very great” means “heavy” and that tells us that Nabal was loaded. This also indicates that he was selfish. Even his very name gives us a glimpse into his nature. The name Nabal means “Fool.”

So, David encounters a man named Fool who lives up to his name. David responds to Nabal by going off in a blind rage to get even with him. Here is what we need to get into our hearts today: we cannot always control what the other person does to us; but we have the ability to be in absolute control of how we respond to what the other person does!

v. 21-22 The Results Of His Anger – As a result of his anger, David is temporarily insane! He takes a force of 600 men to kill one guy just because he feels insulted! That is insanity! David had refrained from killing Saul, because he saw Saul as “the Lord’s anointed”, (24:6), and as his own superior. Here, David sees Nabal as an ant that he can stomp into submission. David, after all, was going to be king someday; Nabal was a nobody! What right did this nobody have to rise up against King David? David would make him pay. David was blinded by rage!

That is what anger does! It takes control of the mind and turns sane men and women into raving lunatics. Anger will cause you to say things you wouldn’t ordinarily say. It will cause you to do things you would not ordinarily do. Anger will make you act like a fool! Anger will make you do things that you will have to repent of later! Can anyone identify with what I am saying?

Listen to these quotes concerning anger and its effect on the mind.
“A man in a passion rides a horse that runs away with him.”
“Anger is a momentary madness.”
“Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.”
“The proud man hath no God; the envious man hath no neighbor; the angry man hath not himself.”

May God help each of us today to take a close look at our own hearts and lives. I am sure, that if we were honest, we would admit that anger is a problem we deal with often. Thankfully, there was a solution for David and there is one for us as well.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Matthew 7:8 (New International Version (NIV)
8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Love One Another” By: Sunday School Teacher (1867)

Angry words! O let them never,
From the tongue unbridled slip,
May the heart’s best impulse ever,
Check them ere they soil the lip.

Refrain
Love one another thus saith the Savior,
Children obey the Father’s blest command,
Love each other, love each other,
’Tis the Father’s blest command.

Love is much too pure and holy,
Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment’s reckless folly,
Thus to desolate and mar.
Refrain

Angry words are lightly spoken,
Bitterest thoughts are rashly stirred,
Brightest links of life are broken,
By a single angry word.
Refrain

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Glory, God of Love and Judgment! We praise You and thank You that You have given us a sound mind and tender heart. Thank You for not being the author of confusion but that of peace. Thank You for giving us the mind of Christ. Enable us to cast down every argument, every temptation, and every high thing that is against the knowledge of Your teachings. Help us to bring every thought into captivity and renew in our minds to be the new person You created us to be. Help us to live in the righteousness and holiness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Forgive us when we fail to live by faith and to trust You in all things. These things we ask and pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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ANHELIC 5/1/2013 11:53PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. I have problem with anger when I have done something that doesn't go the way I want it to. I am learning to pray and ask for help to turn things in the direction they should go. Thank you for the goodie and note. Thank you for your teachings Vic.

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MZLADY77 5/1/2013 10:31PM

    emoticon I get angry sometimes especially things are not going my way.
It is not good to stay angry all the time...I will pray about it and let God have his way with me. emoticon

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CANDOIT54 5/1/2013 7:42PM

    I get angry but don't as much as I used to.

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TONYVAND1 5/1/2013 2:05PM

  I lways try to keep my anger in check. Allow God to rule in your heart.

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NELLIEH1 5/1/2013 1:32PM

    "...we cannot always control what the other person does to us; but we have the ability to be in absolute control of how we respond to what that other person does." This indeed is a vital lesson! Will I react, continuing to let my own evil desire for getting back me drag away and entice me to conceive and give birth to sin? Or will I respond (by GOD's Holy Spirit living within me) and move to forgive that offending one, healing the relationship? Sin full blown breeds death (as it did with Alexander and his life-long friend Cletus and with King Saul). Please help us, LORD GOD to always come to You with our anger!

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IAM_HIS 5/1/2013 9:31AM

    Oh Vic, I am going to read this blog another two times...I so very much need to live this. God bless you my dear friend.

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LOSTLIME 5/1/2013 9:23AM

    Thank you,Vic! Anger can eat you up inside if you let it. That's why it is so much better
to give your anger over to God. He will fill your soul with peace. Amen.

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SISSIE21 5/1/2013 8:58AM

    I especially like the sentence 'we cannot always control what the other person does to us; but we have the ability to be in absolute control of how we respond to what the other person does!' That is true, but what if you are the person getting the anger directed at you? How do you deal with all the negativity and still stay positive? What do you do if you have to be around this person? Maybe you can control the response but what it does to a person on the inside. Well that is another story altogether...
I keep telling myself that it is in some way a teaching situation. What is one to learn in these situations? I have already seen the emotional destruction that one angry mean spirited woman can cause. So staying calm and centered is imperative. I think we all find ways to deal with our anger, for if you let it fester inside, it will destroy you. And we are here on SP to regain our health, lose weight, get fitter and learn to deal with negative emotions without eating about them. So I guess personally I am confronted with this person at this time in my life to learn self care in the face of distress and crisis.
Good story, am hoping you address the other side of the coin, what to do when confronted with negativity and anger. It can eat you up inside. That does not seem like a healthy way to continue a spark journey.
Just my thoughts after reading your blog...
Have a great day! emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 5/1/2013 7:32AM

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RSSSLHB 5/1/2013 7:15AM

    emoticon Vic

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/30/2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 4/30/2013

1 Samuel 24:1-22
RESPONDING PROPERLY TO YOUR ENEMIES, Lesson 13c

v. 5-22 THE INTEGRITY OF DAVID’S LIFE

v. 5-7 The Integrity Of His Character – When David had the chance to kill Saul and exact his revenge; he refused to do it. Instead, David cut off a small piece of Saul’s robe. And, as soon as he did it, he knew he had been wrong. You see, even though David could not respect Saul the man; he still respected the office of Saul the King. He tells his men about this and stops them from harming Saul as well.

David immediately knew that his thoughts of revenge and his desire to get even were not from the Lord. He knew that taking matters into his own hands would not be pleasing to the Lord. David knew that matters like the hurts of life and the feelings of revenge are matters best left in the hand of God. David knew that he did not have the right to play judge and jury in the life of Saul.

Did you ever stop to consider the fact that when we take matters into our own hands and try to get even with others, we are actually taking the place of God? When we set ourselves up as another person’s judge and jury and we determine their punishment, we have overstepped our boundaries.

A person who walks with integrity understands the truth that none of us are perfect. He understands that we all fall short; we all sin; we all are guilty of hurting others. He knows that, ultimately, we all must give an account to God. Therefore, he leaves the matters of judgment and justice in the hands of the Lord. Even if we cannot respect another person because of how they act and what they have done to us; we should at least recognize the fact that they will have to answer to God and not to us, (Rom. 14:4; 12).

David’s reaction is worthy of note here. Instead of rejoicing in taking a small measure of revenge against Saul, David is shattered because he has touched the Lord’s anointed. David’s heart is so tender that even the small thing that he did brings conviction and condemnation.

Let me just say that I find it amazing that some people, who call themselves Christians, are able to hurt others with their words and deeds like they do. Someone who can say and do hurtful things to others is either out of God’s will, or they are lost! When our hearts are right with the Lord, even the slightest wrongs will cause pain and they will have to be dealt with! When you are right with the Lord, you won’t be able to get away with anything!

v. 8-15 The Integrity Of His Confrontation – When Saul leaves the cave, David follows him and sets the record straight. In these verses, David follows clear, biblical principles that teach us how we should react when we are wronged by others. Look at what he did:
1. v. 8 David took the first step.
2. v. 8 David humbled himself before Saul.
3. v. 8 David honored his Saul.
4. v. 9-11 David spoke the absolute truth concerning the situation.
5. v. 9-11 David declared his own guilt.
6. v. 12-13 David committed himself to doing the right thing.
7. v. 12-15 David placed his case in the hand of the Judge of the universe.

As we listen to David speak; we are given a clear picture of how all believers should respond in times of personal hurt. There is too much here for us to consider every detail, but there are lessons here that need to be gleaned!

We should not wait for the other person to make the first step – (Luke 17:3-5; Matt. 18:15-17). In my opinion, it is far better to deal with hurts between yourself and the lord, but if you cannot get past it, you are commanded to go to the offending person and get it settled.
We must remain humble and we must honor the offending party.
We should confess our own guilt in the situation
We must extend absolute forgiveness to the offending party – (Eph. 4:32; Matt. 18:21-22; Matt. 6:12, 14-15). See the clear illustration in Matt. 18:23-35.

Thomas A. Edison was working on a crazy contraption called a "light bulb" and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. Step by step he cautiously watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You've probably guessed what happened by now; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men twenty-four more hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have his bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who dropped the first one. That is what true forgiveness is all about! It is coming to the place where we trust the offending person once again!

We must commit ourselves to doing the right thing, regardless of what anyone else does. Just as surely as the offending person will face the Lord in judgment, so will we!
Ultimately, we must place our case in the hands of God and leave it with Him. If we carry around all the hurts and pains of this life, they will destroy us and eat us alive! Do not allow the things others have done to you ruin your life! This is not easy, but it is the will of the Lord!

If you are the offending party, however, there is a word for you too. The Bible is clear regarding your responsibility, (Matt. 5:23-24). You should never allow your pride to stand in the way of unity within the body of Christ!)
v. 16-22 The Integrity Of His Consolation – David’s grace in this situation touched the hard heart of King Saul. God used the actions of David to bring about peace that day. David got what he was after, not because he took matters into his own hands and set things right, but because he placed things in the hand of the Lord and demonstrated grace instead of bitterness.

Here is the bottom line, when we live the right kind of life and practice grace and forgiveness, God will take the pains of life and transform them into avenues of peace for His glory, Pro. 16:7.)

Abraham Lincoln was once being criticized for his attitude towards his enemies. "Why do you try to make friends with them?” a colleague asked. "You should try to destroy them." “Am I not destroying my enemies," the President asked gently, "when I make them my friends?"

Conc: In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it." It is better to forgive the injustices of the past than to allow them to remain, and let bitterness take root and poison the rest of our life.

There are some people who need to cut down some old mangled tress from your past and forget them. Today is a challenge from the Lord for each of us to let go of all our thoughts of vengeance and to extend grace to those who may be against us.

Here is the invitation: If you are dealing with a hurt, get it to the Lord today. Lay it down at His feet and forgive it and forget it. If you cannot do that, go to the person who has hurt you and get it settled. Do it for yourself, for your church and do it for the glory of God.

If you have hurt others and you know it, do the right thing and go to them and make it right. Even old demon-possessed Saul was able to confess his fault, (1 Sam. 24:17). Surely, you can do the same thing!

If the Lord has used this passage to speak to your heart; you need to do the things He is telling you to do today! Let’s listen to His voice and honor Him by our obedience!
TODAY’S VERSE!
Haggai 1:13 (New International Version (NIV)
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord.

TODAY’S HYMN!

“When My Love To Christ Grows Weak” By: John R. Wreford (1837)

When my love to Christ grows weak
When for deeper faith I seek
Then in tho't I go to Thee
Garden of Gethsemane!


There I walk amid the shades
While the ling'ring twilight fades
See that suff'ring, friendless One
Weeping, praying there alone


When my love for man grows weak
When for stronger faith I seek
Hill of Calvary! I go
To Thy scenes of fear and woe




There behold His agony
Suffered on the bitter tree
See His anguish, see His faith
Love triumphant still in death


Then to life I turn again
Learning all the worth of pain
Learning all the might that lies
In a full selfsacrifice


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father of Glory, God of Salvation and Judgment! We, who love You, hate evil. Keep us from doing evil, preserve our souls, and deliver us out of the hands of all wickedness. Show us what we need to see so that we can separate ourselves from all evil doings, especially taking revenge into our own hands. If we have unknowingly aligned ourselves with the enemy of our souls, help us to abstain from every form of evil. Separate us from evil so we can be the way You want us to be. If the things we are doing, seeing and saying support the enemy, help us to walk away from it, to repent, to turn away from it and return to doing Your will. We are grateful for Your ever presence, your guidance, and Your grace. This we offer in prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
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ANHELIC 4/30/2013 11:59PM

    Thank you Vic for this great lesson, hymn and prayer. Your lesson comes at the right time for me. I am in this situation being hurt by someone and it has been tearing me up inside. I am folowing your message, laying it at the feet of God, and forgiving this person in my heart. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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NELLIEH1 4/30/2013 10:04PM

    I am learning that I go to GOD with the pain/hurt/anguish, etc. to work through the forgiveness. Then I go to the offending person so that that one might also be set free. Our LORD is the One who enables us to forgive...give a word of pardon...just as we've been forgiven so much in Christ Jesus. Confrontation is then done in His love, not our own ways. President Lincoln had it right!

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SISSIE21 4/30/2013 9:54PM

    Thank you for another good lesson. What do you do if you are confronted day in and day out with negativity? I think it is easier to forgive when it is in your past, but when it continues to happen, what then? It is very challenging to be around someone who is spewing negativity. It is easier to forgive when it is something in the past, but an ongoing situation is difficult. That I believe is the challenge... emoticon

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CANDOIT54 4/30/2013 5:45PM

    Thank you Vic

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TONYVAND1 4/30/2013 4:13PM

  Thanks Vic for ereminding us that we need to leave every thing at the Lord's feet and He will look after things His way and not our way.

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LOSTLIME 4/30/2013 10:46AM

    Thank you for the lesson,Vic! When the bombs went off in Boston,I was hurt and couldn't believe that it happened. I grew up in Massachusetts so I know how important the Marathon is everyone there. I will tell you though, I did pray to the Lord
to forgive the 2 young men for what they did. I learnt that having hurt feelings or even
hate in your heart can cripple you. It brings you down and makes your life and self
impossible to live with.

God bless you,Vic. I am learning so much from you and others here at spark.

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/30/2013 10:25AM

    Beautiful lesson. I have both hurt and been hurt, as have all. These steps to true unity are very important.

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RSSSLHB 4/30/2013 8:59AM

    emoticon Vic emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 4/30/2013 7:42AM

  emoticon emoticon

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JOANIE69 4/30/2013 7:29AM

    Thank you Vic..I MUST print this lesson off too, as I have others of yours. This is SO pertinent in our lives as christians. We MUST practice forgiveness and not cast the first stone. It is SO easy to be offended, and not so easy to keep silent and wait for God to work all things out for the good of all. It is harder still to go to the one who offended and extend love to them. I especially can relate to this comment; "Today is a challenge from the Lord for each of us to let go of all our thoughts of vengeance and to extend grace to those who may be against us. " God help me and others to be so loving and kind, even as He is to us. To God be the glory.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 4/29/2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 4/29/2013
1 Samuel 24:1-22
RESPONDING PROPERLY TO YOUR ENEMIES, Lesson 13b
v. 3-4 THE ILLUSIONS OF DAVID’S LIFE
Put yourself in David’s place for just a moment. You are being hunted and hounded without a cause. A person you have done nothing against is after you. They are doing everything in their power to destroy your name and take your life. Then you are presented an opportunity to even the score. You are given the perfect chance to right all your wrongs. You are given the chance to take down your enemy on a silver platter. All you have to do is take that opportunity and your enemy falls and you win. They are shattered and defeated and you are victorious. They are humiliated and you are exalted. What do you do when that opportunity presents itself?

If you are living with illusions about what is right and what is wrong you exact your revenge; you take your pound of flesh and you walk away, congratulating yourself on having destroyed your enemy. However, if you see things through the eyes of God, you might do something entirely different. Let’s look at the illusions of life David had to overcome when a golden opportunity for revenge presented itself.

The Illusion Of Reputation – When Saul wandered into that cave where David and his men were hiding, and he laid down and went to sleep, David was presented with what appeared to be a golden opportunity. Here was his chance to get even. Here was his opportunity to even the score. Here was his opportunity to take by force everything God had promised him and everything Saul was denying him. All of David’s men even challenged him to take his sword and kill Saul, (v. 4, 10).

To these men, David was a hero! If he failed to kill his enemy when he was given the chance, would he not look like a coward in their eyes? There was the subtle temptation to get even and to protect his reputation.

How many times have we succumbed to this subtle temptation? How many times have we retaliated against someone who hurt us in an effort to protect our reputation? We do not want others to think that we were weak. We want the respect of those around us, so we lash out when we have the chance, thinking it makes us look big to those around us. My friends, I don’t want to hurt you, but when you think that way, you are living an illusion! You never look more childish and petty than when you take your revenge just to save face before others. Look at the example of Jesus and learn a valuable lesson – (Isa. 53:7; Matt. 26:53; Luke 23:34; 1 Pet. 2:23). Our reputation means nothing! Our opportunities to display the spirit of Jesus Christ mean everything!

The Illusion Of Revenge – Surely as David watched Saul enter that cave and go to sleep, thoughts of revenge like great, poisonous serpents coiled themselves within David’s heart. Surely the flesh said, “Now is your chance! Get him David! Take your dagger and end this persecution. No one has more of a right than you do. Kill him and be free. Kill him and be king!” So, David slips over to where Saul lies sleeping. David has a knife in his hand. He has the opportunity to end it all. Surely, he must have entertained thoughts of revenge in that moment. He has been presented with the dream scenario. No one would blame him if he killed the mad tyrant, in fact, most people would have applauded him for it! What to do?

Now, put yourself in David’s place. You have been wronged by someone. They have hurt you deeply. Then, you are given the perfect opportunity to get even. The chance to get your pound of flesh is handed to you on a silver platter. What do you do in that moment? Do you take the chance and destroy your enemy? Do you take the opportunity to “get even?” What do you do?

The flesh says, “Get them. They deserve it. Tear them down and make them hurt like they have made you hurt.” The world says, “Well, they did you dirty, get even with them. In fact, don’t stop with getting even. Hurt them worse than they have hurt you.” When that moment comes and it will; what you do depends on who you are listening to. The flesh and the world are like David’s men. They cry out for revenge. However, God has a different view of this matter. Listen to what He says about it: (Romans 12:19-21), “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” That is not the way of the world, but it is the will of God.

You see, the idea of revenge is merely an illusion. You can never “get even” with anyone. It is impossible to balance the scales of hurt. The only possible way to come out on top is to learn to respond to hurt with a godly attitude. In the rest of this passage, David shows us how to respond correctly to those who injure us.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Mark 9:50 (New International Version (NIV)
50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Ten Thousand Angels” By: Ray Overholt (1959)

They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where He prayed;
They led Him thro' the streets in shame.
They spat upon the Savior so pure and free from sin;
They said, "Crucify Him; He's to blame."

Refrain:
He could have called ten thousand angels
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called ten thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me.

Upon His precious head they placed a crown of thorns;
They laughed and said, "Behold the King!"
They struck Him and they cursed Him and mocked His holy name
All alone He suffered everything.
Refrain:

When they nailed Him to the cross, His mother stood nearby,
He said, "Woman, behold thy son!"
He cried, "I thirst for water," but they gave Him none to drink.
Then the sinful work of man was done.
Refrain:

To the howling mob He yielded; He did not for mercy cry.
The cross of shame He took alone.
And when He cried, "It's finished," He gave Himself to die;
Salvation's wondrous plan was done.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father God, Thank You for loving us enough to help us in all circumstances. Teach us how to have a happy ending to a sad circumstance. Teach us how to go from self-pity to trusting You. Change our attitude from demanding answers to repentance, and from wanting to please our feelings to affirming Your word and power. Release us from the usual prison of suffering and doubt, to an attitude to knowing Your word and exercising Your teachings. Thank You that You are all seeing, all knowing, all powerful, and all present. Help us to grow more like Jesus each day. These things we pray in Jesus’ name to Your glory. Amen!

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

ANHELIC 4/29/2013 11:58PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. We have to learn to let God revenge our enemy and not we ourselves. This was a great lesson for me as I am going through a problem and must turn it over to God, trust Him to take over.
Thank you for the goodie and note. God Bless.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 4/29/2013 5:42PM

    Thanks Vic for this message. I have learned the hard way about holding a grudge it only makes you become bitter and hard to live with. It does not hurt the other person at all as much as it hurts you and the ones you love.

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TONYVAND1 4/29/2013 3:10PM

  The Lord is always just and He will watch over us.

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NELLIEH1 4/29/2013 1:38PM

    Right, Vic, we must respond in GOD rather than react in self. How blessed we are to be enabled by the Sovereign LORD of the whole universe to do just that! He has given us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4;2 Corinthians 9:8). Christ died that we might live abundantly, not just exist in anger leading to bitterness as a result of taking things into our own hands. May we choose David's rather than King Saul's ways.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 4/29/2013 1:34PM

    Thank you! I've learned through much pain that holding on to the things that hurt me and wanting to "get even" that it weighed me down and was more stressful for me that the other person. They simply forgot the incident. Letting go of revenge and giving forgiveness is so freeing. Great Blog........ emoticon

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LOSTLIME 4/29/2013 11:26AM

    Thank you,Vic! Sixteen yrs ago, my husband wanted revenge on a young man who had killed his sister during a robbery. At the time,I had forgiven the young man because I knew that hating him would make my life heavy. My husband and adopted
daughter didn't feel that way. My husband today doesn't want revenge anymore. My
daughter still hasn't forgiven the young man. But I have been talking to her that she
needs to forgive him because the Lord wants her to. She did tell me that she doesn't
hate him anymore so I think that this is a start.

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CANDOIT54 4/29/2013 9:17AM

    Thank you so much. So perfect about revenge on someone who hurt me and the part about teaching us how to go from self pity to trusting in Him. I have been learning so much by reading your blogs. They help me alot. God bless you.

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RSSSLHB 4/29/2013 9:06AM

    emoticon for praying emoticon

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SISSIE21 4/29/2013 8:24AM

    In today's world and I am guessing it has probably always been this way, you are considered weak if you choose not to retaliate. In an ongoing situation with a difficult, negative person, it is hard not to entertain thoughts of revenge as you say David did. By not retaliating you are showing and practicing inner strength, even though others may not perceive it as such.
I am not saying it is easy. But it is possible. My belief is that a person's intent is the most important element. Are you doing something out of love and connection or out of hate and anger or feelings of superiority? The very familiar 'I am a better person than you are' syndrome is to me just the other face of the same coin.
Trying to live and be a decent person and stay positive in a complicated world is not always easy..
Thanks again for a great story with a powerful lesson! emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/29/2013 8:09AM

    I brought to mind many times during my last working years, Vengeance is mine and He could have called ten thousand angels. I have heard the testimonies of Christians in areas of persecution who, loving their enemies, win them to Christ. I pray God's love may abound in this nation more and more.

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JOANIE69 4/29/2013 8:00AM

    emoticon emoticon Blessings, Joanie

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AZMOMXTWO 4/29/2013 7:52AM

  emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 4/28/2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

DAVID, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 4/28/2013

1 Samuel 24:1-22
RESPONDING PROPERLY TO YOUR ENEMIES, Lesson 13a

Our studies have followed David from the sheepfolds of Judea to the battle fields of Israel. We have watched a boy mature into a man. We have watched David kill a giant, win the hearts of a nation, and we have seen him develop into a man of God. We have watched David as he climbed to the pinnacle of success and we have seen him fall into the depths of despair. We have seen him receive the love of many and the hatred of a few. It has been a blessing and a challenge to look into the life of David thus far.

Today, we find the sweet singer of Israel living in a cave. He is there because God has been systematically removing every single support from underneath David’s life. God has been teaching David the difficult lesson that only God is worthy to be leaned upon. While David is in that cave, he is presented with an opportunity that many men would have died for. David is presented with the opportunity to exact revenge upon his greatest enemy.

While David and his men hide in that cave, the providence of God brings King Saul into the same cave at the same time. David has the perfect opportunity to kill Saul, claim the throne and elevate himself all the way to the very top. But, David does not do what most people would have done in that situation. Instead of reacting with hatred, revenge and murder; David displays, love, grace, compassion and forgiveness. In this little glimpse into the life of David, we are allowed to see the real heart of this man. Here, it is easy to see why the Lord called David, “A man after Mine Own heart.”

As we consider the verses of this chapter today, we often find ourselves in the same place in which David found himself. Someone will wrong us or do something against us. We will be offended and hurt by their actions. Then, somewhere down the road, the opportunity will present itself for us to “get even.” We will have the chance to get our pound of flesh. What we do at that moment defines us! What we do when that opportunity for revenge presents itself reveals the true nature of our heart!

Like it or not, we all have encounters with others that do not go well. We all find ourselves hurt at times. When we hurt, we want the one who hurt us to feel pain as well. But, I believe that David’s life offers us some insight into what to do during the times of our lives when we have been hurt by others. I want to look at these verses today and teach for a few minutes on the thought “Responding Properly To Your Enemies”. Allow me to make a few observations from this text today.

v. 1-2 THE INJURIES OF DAVID’S LIFE

He Was A Hated Man – Looking at 1 Samuel 18:9, 15, 17, 21, and 26, it is clear that Saul hated David. He hated David because David was everything that Saul himself was not. He hated David because he walked with the Lord. He hated David because God was blessing David. He hated David because David was accepted and Saul was rejected. He hated David and he was determined to see David put death, (1 Sam. 23:14). Saul was consumed by jealousy and hatred. They were literally eating him alive!

Here is the thing to note: David was hated, not for evil in his life, but because his life was pleasing to the Lord! You see, David had never wronged Saul, but Saul was after David anyway. It is inevitable that some people will be against you as you go through life. Just be sure they are against you for doing right, and not for doing wrong, (Matt. 5:11-12; 1 Pet. 4:14-15). Sometimes people are against us for good reason! Sometimes, they are right and we are wrong! If people are to find fault with us, let it not be because we are stubborn, hateful and mean; rather let it be because we are holy, decent and good!

He Was A Hunted Man – When Saul heard where David was hiding, Saul pulled out all the stops to find him and kill him. There was once when Saul almost had David trapped, (1 Sam. 23:25-28), but God intervened and spare David. Then, when Saul located David again, he sent an army of 3000 against an army of 600, (23:13). Saul was doing everything in his power to take David down and prevent him from becoming the next king of Israel.

If we were honest today, we would admit that there are times when we feel like we are being hunted by those who dislike us. It seems that our enemies are pursuing us and are looking for every possible way to destroy us and defeat us. In Vietnam, The Viet-con had posted a “Wanted Dead or Alive” Poster on me for 25,000 piasters, not because I had done anything bad, but for the good I did: Helped an eleven year old blind girls, named HO, see for the first time in her life, built the 2nd school for the blind in all of Vietnam, introduce IR8 rise to Vietnamese farmers, and better breeds of hogs, helped the 2nd Republic of South Korea Marine Brigade decrease their casualty rate while helping the Vietnamese hamlets by having the South Koreans protect them and provide for their needs, etc. I never shot anyone although I was shot at many times and shot down once while flying.

Of course, Jesus said that it would be this way, (Luke 17:1; 2 Tim. 3:12). He reminded us that we are no better than He is, (John 15:20). As we move through this life, there will be times of disagreement and times when we are injured and hurt by those around us. It is an inevitable part of life!

Who among us has not been hurt by the words or deeds of others? I would venture to say that none of us has gotten this far in life and not been offended. Injuries will come and hurts will happen; but they should never be allowed to derail or define our lives. It is possible to overcome the evil others do to us and it is possible to rise above it and get passed it by the help of the Lord!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Hebrews 3:4 (New King James Version (NKJV)

4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“God Is the Fountain Whence” By: Benjamin Beddome (1817)

God is the fountain whence
Ten thousand blessings flow;
To Him my life, my health, and friends,
And every good, I owe.

The comforts He affords
Are neither few nor small;
He is the source of fresh delights,
My portion and my all.

He fills my heart with joy,
My lips attunes for praise;
And to His glory I’ll devote
The remnant of my days.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Blessed God! We know You want to bless us in countless ways that require believing without seeing. Help us to have that kind of strong faith. Help us to overcome all doubts and fears. Help us to have the kind of faith in Your Word and in Your promises that will bring glory, praise and honor to You by the lives we live. Help us to have faith in Your great love, Your goodness, and in Your power to deliver us and bless us. Help us to trust that You will answer our prayers even when we can’t see it. These things we pray in the blessed name of Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior. 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:

AZMOMXTWO 4/29/2013 7:53AM

  emoticon

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ANHELIC 4/29/2013 1:02AM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. Your lesson came at the right time for me. I am having problems overcoming something that happen and someone turned it into something that I supposedly had done. I have been praying to be able to put it aside and forget it, but it is difficult. I feel like presently, I am in the cave and need to get out to the sunshine.
Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you Vic for your continuing teaching.

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SISSIE21 4/28/2013 10:52PM

    Again a lesson that came at the right time in my life. Here are my thoughts on the subject of dealing with your enemies or people who mistreat you. In theory it is a wonderful thing to strive for, I remember well the lessons of my youth concerning turning the other cheek. In reality however it is a very difficult to do. Now this is of course just my opinion.
I see it as something to strive for and frankly I find it very difficult being around negativity and hateful people and try to avoid them at all cost. However we can't always control other people in our lives and how they are going to act to us or to others. Sometimes it is inevitable. I don't get pettiness or meanness, never have. Some people seem to thrive on it. Something I have never understood. It is a challenge to stay positive when someone around you does not act the same way. . Perhaps that will come in your lessons...
Have a great week, I am enjoying reading these. emoticon

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POETLKNG2LOSE 4/28/2013 9:35PM

    Thanks Vic for this lesson. Sometimes i have a hard time believing that He will come through. I battle with doubts and fears a lot. Sometimes my faith is weak but still i hold on.

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MZLADY77 4/28/2013 8:18PM

    emoticon emoticon Thank you for sharing.

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LOOKINGUP2012 4/28/2013 2:32PM

    Praising God for using you in such an awesome way. Your life is a tribute to God working in all situations. Thank you for another awesome lesson.

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LOSTLIME 4/28/2013 1:17PM

    Amen,Vic. We just have to follow His example through our lives.

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CANDOIT54 4/28/2013 10:31AM

    Amen. Thank you so much.

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RSSSLHB 4/28/2013 8:50AM

    emoticon emoticon Vic

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 4/28/2013 8:21AM

    Wow! Now this is an Awesome blog to stumble upon! Thank you so much for sharing,

I hope you have a blessed day! Praise God!

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NELLIEH1 4/28/2013 8:05AM

    Yes, Thank you, Vic! "He who would valiant be 'gainst all disaster, let him in constancy follow the Master!" - John Bunyan (1684)

Comment edited on: 4/28/2013 8:06:35 AM

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 4/28/2013 7:50AM

    emoticon

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JOANIE69 4/28/2013 7:42AM

    Amen and thank you Vic.
Jesus leads us on through it all, and my aim is
the one set forth in the last line of today's hymn ~
"And to His glory I’ll devote
The remnant of my days. "
May your Sunday and week ahead be blessed,
for you are a blessing to us. Joanie

Comment edited on: 4/28/2013 7:43:57 AM

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TONYVAND1 4/28/2013 7:10AM

  Amen Vic Do not let the hurts and betrayals of life distract you from praying and believing that Jesus is in control of our entire life.

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