Sunday, February 24, 2013

No Games James

James, the brother of Jesus, spoke words of wisdom. He wrote one book (five chapters) in the New Testament. While Jesus was alive, James and his other brothers and sisters didn't understand Jesus' mission on earth.

After the cross and resurrection, however, James got it. He became a leader in the Jerusalem church. Here are some of the great things he said that we can use every day of our lives:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. James 2:1 
As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26
You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:2 
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:7-8
Think About It
James was dead serious. He was a "no games" kind of man. He spoke the truth. The things he said are life changing.

Pray About It
Thank you Father God for sending Jesus, your Son. Thank you for James, His brother, who led the Jerusalem church. Lord may we read these scriptures this week and apply them to our lives. Amen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Abigail, The Peacemaker (1 Samuel 25)

When King David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal, a very rich man, was in Carmel shearing his 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. All the time Nabal traveled to the shearers King David and his men protected Nabal, his people and flocks.

King David sent 10 men from his army to request provision from Nabal, but Nabal would not even give them water and bread. This made King David angry. He said to 400 of his men, "All of you, put on your swords!" They were ready to kill Nabal and his people for returning evil for good.

One of Nabal's men went to Abigail, Nabal's wife, and told her the terrible way he treated King David. He said, "When we were in the wilderness we were not harassed. King David and his men were a wall of protection around us."

Abigail knew how bad her husband was and she prepared to meet King David. She and Nabal's men loaded donkeys with 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs. When she saw King David she got off her donkey and fell at his feet. She took on the guilt of her husband, Nabal, and asked the King to forgive him. Because of her gracious act, she kept King David from killing all Nabal's people.

King David said to her, "Praise to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! Blessed is your discernment and blessed are you. You kept me from participating in bloodshed today."

Think About It
Nabal did evil in God's sight and died for it. Abigail brought peace between two nations and lived to marry King David. Maybe you and I will not marry a king for doing what is right, but God honors what we do. Nothing we do for His glory goes unnoticed. Think of ways this week to be brave and act in ways that honor God.

Pray About It
Holy God, thank you for stories in your word that show us how to live. May we think of them when we face bad people, and trust you to carry us as you did Abigail. Amen.