VIDEO Fight or Flight!: The Shepherd Boy

You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel. 1 Samuel 17:45

The story of David and Goliath is a classic. The shepherd boy arrived at the battlefront to find the armies of Israel quaking because of the Philistine army and its outsized champion. In front of everyone, David confidently selected five smooth stones and the rest is history.

What we sometimes forget is this: One chapter earlier, the prophet Samuel arrived at Jesse’s house, met his sons, and anointed David with the anointing oil that represented the Holy Spirit. Samuel anointed the boy as king, “and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward” (1 Samuel 16:13).

It was the Holy Spirit in David’s heart that gave him the wisdom to fight rather than to flee. How greatly we need the same anointing! As Christians, we have the Spirit living within us. Let’s ask for a fresh empowering by our indwelling Spirit for every giant we face.

If we are ever to do anything for God and for his Church, we must be anointed with holy oil…. You cannot do David’s work if you have not David’s anointing. Charles Spurgeon

Defeating Giants, 1 Samuel 17:45-47 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

Watch Me!

From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise. Matthew 21:16

“Watch my fairy princess dance, Grandma!” my three-year-old granddaughter gleefully called as she raced around the yard of our cabin, a big grin on her face. Her “dancing” brought a smile; and her big brother’s glum, “She’s not dancing, just running,” didn’t squelch her joy at being on vacation with family.

The first Palm Sunday was a day of highs and lows. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds enthusiastically shouted, “Hosanna! . . . Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9). Yet many in the crowd were expecting a Messiah to free them from Rome, not a Savior who would die for their sins that same week.

Later that day, despite the anger of the chief priests who questioned Jesus’ authority, children in the temple expressed their joy by shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (v. 15), perhaps leaping and waving palm branches as they ran around the courtyard. They couldn’t help but worship Him, Jesus told the indignant leaders, for “from the lips of children and infants [God has] called forth [His] praise” (v. 16). They were in the presence of the Savior!

Jesus invites us to also see Him for who He is. When we do, like a child overflowing with joy, we can’t help but revel in His presence.

By:  Alyson Kieda

Reflect & Pray

How do the daily distractions and discontent of others draw your focus away from God? What will help you to keep your eyes on Jesus? 

Loving God, thank You for all You’ve done for me! I’m amazed at the great lengths You went to so that I could find joy in You. Help me to keep my focus firmly on You.

Sunday Reflection: Trusting in His Will

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

People—Christians included—love to feel as though they’re in control, able to influence outcomes by the actions they take. And to a degree, that’s true. But when things don’t go our way, many times we refuse to accept the outcome. Instead, we fight for our idea of how things should be, regardless of what (or whom) it will cost us. This certainly isn’t a peaceful approach to life.

True peace comes only when we trust God and recognize how little control we actually have—not only over difficult circumstances, but over good ones, too. The genuine peace we long for comes through submission. Think of Jesus praying just hours before He was arrested, knowing what would befall Him and how He would be betrayed. In His grief, the Lord prayed for something different to happen. But then He said to the Father, “Not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Let this be our attitude as well, as we remember the only way to be truly free is to trust God’s perfect and loving will.

Think about it
• Are there any areas of your life that you’re trying to control? Offer them to God, praying, “Father, not my will, but Yours be done” each time they come to mind.

Filled with Fruit

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:11)

The unique phrase “fruits of righteousness” has many supporting teachings, the most famous of which is where the Lord Jesus compares Himself to a “vine” and we who are His adopted sons and daughters to “branches” (John 15:1-6).

Paul reminded the Philippian church that the fruits ultimately result from Jesus Christ, just as Jesus illustrated. We “cannot bear fruit” by ourselves (John 15:4). Not only does our very life come from God, but the ability to produce godly fruit can only come through and by God.

Isaiah noted that all of our self-produced righteous deeds are like “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The fruit for which we are “ordained” (John 15:16) has its source in the thrice-holy Godhead and its manifestation by the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

Those Holy Spirit character traits are the innate property of the vine that becomes instilled in the branches, or us. This enables us to bring forth the fruit that represents the “DNA” of the vine in which we are abiding. Being connected to the vine makes it possible for us to “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).

The “husbandman” (God the Father) is superintending the vineyard (John 15:1). When branches wither and do not produce fruit (see also Matthew 13:18-23), they are taken away. The branches that do produce are purged (Greek kathairo, “cleaned up”). As Peter noted, “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). With God, “all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Without Him, “[we] can do nothing” (John 15:5). HMM III

Some Just A Huckster

He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30

Some young preacher will study until he has to get thick glasses to take care of his failing eyesight because he has an idea he wants to become a famous preacher. He wants to use Jesus Christ to make him a famous preacher. He’s just a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. They will ordain him and he will be known as Reverend and if he writes a book, they will make him a doctor. And he will be known as Doctor; but he’s still a huckster buying and selling and getting gain. And when the Lord comes back, He will drive him out of the temple along with the other cattle.

We can use the Lord for anything—or try to use Him. But what I’m preaching and what Paul taught and what was brought down through the years and what gave breath to the modern missionary movement that you and I know about and belong to was just the opposite: “O, God, we don’t want anything You have, we want You.” That’s the cry of a soul on its way up.   SAT029

Lord, give us that hunger to know You; deliver us from the pride that makes us want to use You. Let me pray today with John, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Amen.

The Spirit Is Himself God

Whither shall I go from my spirit?…There shall my hand lead me, and my right hand shall hold me. —Psalm 139:7, 10

Satan has hindered us all he could by raising conflicting opinions about the Spirit, by making Him a topic for hot and uncharitable debate between Christians….

It would help us if we could remember that the Spirit is Himself God, the very nature of the Godhead subsisting in a form that can impart itself to our consciousness. We know only as much of the other Persons of the Trinity as He reveals to us.

It is His light upon the face of Christ, which enables us to know Him. It is His light within us, which enables us to understand the Scriptures. Without Him the Word of truth is only darkness.

The Spirit is sent to be our Friend, to guide us over the long way home. He is Christ’s own Self come to live with us, allowing Him to fulfill His word, “Surely I am with you always,” even while He sits at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. TWP091-092

[W]e are not filled with an influence; we are not filled with a sensation; we are not filled with a set of ideas and truth; we are not filled with a blessing, but we are filled with a Person…and its very essence is the indwelling life of Christ Himself. WCC122-123

He Showed Himself Alive

Luke 1:3

The Apostle Paul declared that the entire structure of the Christian faith rests upon the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Referring to Jesus, Luke wrote in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles,

“He showed himself alive!” (Acts 1:3 ASV). These words are the key to the amazing events which Luke describes. Indeed, were it not for the appearance of the risen Lord, there would have been no “Acts of the Apostles” to describe.

“He showed Himself alive.” To whom? To those who saw Him die. It was imperative that those who saw Him die should also see Him alive again. He had not been a brave but deluded fanatic dying vainly for a lost cause. He had not died as a political pawn or a condemned criminal. He had died as the divine agent in God’s supreme act of love.

And “He showed Himself alive” to those whose hopes were dead. We cannot fully understand the disappointment and dejection and despair of the followers of Jesus in those days after Calvary. We catch some of their hopelessness in the sad faces and despondent tones of the two who spoke with the “stranger” on the Emmaus road that first Easter Sunday afternoon. “We had hoped,” they said, “that He was the One who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). “We had hoped!” The inference was plain. They spoke of hope as being something in the past.

But they didn’t remain that way. Read in that twenty-fourth chapter of Luke the joyous record of “burning hearts” and running feet and jubilant witnesses. And all because “He showed Himself alive” to those whose hopes were dead. There is no other way to explain the transformation of the grieving into the joyful, the doubting into the confident, the frightened into the bold. “He showed himself alive,” and the invigorated, invincible disciples became one of the leading proofs of His resurrection power.

And here is the final truth for you and me: “He showed Himself alive” to those who were dead in sin. To the Corinthian church, Paul wrote, “He appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Corinthians 15:8). Even those who did not actually see the risen Lord were beneficiaries of His appearing.

“Christ is risen! Hallelujah” Believe in the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus. Believe in the spiritual fact of the risen Christ, who will “show Himself alive” to you. Accept not alone the evidence of the empty tomb. Accept the irrefutable and incomparable evidence of the indwelling Christ.

Bramwell Tripp, To the Point