Daily Devotional 5/5/20

No Matter What Happens
 

I hope that this new day finds you well and at peace. I want to begin with the words of David in the fourth Psalm: 
 
1Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Tremble anddo not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.

 
It is the last verse of this Psalm that stands out to me. Let’s read it again, Psalm 4:8 “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
 
Pastors Steve and Kurt have been leading us on Sundays through a series on the Twenty-third Psalm. I hope, like me, that you have been inspired and refreshed by this series. I have been enjoying it so much and look forward to their new sermons together on Sundays! 
 
In the 23rd Psalm, David talks about God as the Good Shepherd who makes us lie down in green pastures. A sheep lies down because he is not wanting for anything. He is not frantically searching for food or other means of survival. He’s not running around in fear of a real or perceived danger. He is content and trusts that his shepherd is good and is watching over him.
 
When my children were younger, there were days (a lot of days!) that I would count the hours until it was time for them to go to bed. Confession: Sometimes I would start counting at 8 AM! When bedtime finally came, it was such a great feeling to have them tucked in their beds, leave their room, and think “Whew, done for the day!” … only to a minute later hear my name being called, or the sound of little feet coming down the hallway, or the sound of my bedroom door opening. This sometimes still happens, although thankfully less frequently now that they are getting older. Even now, it’s still the same very familiar: “I’m scared! I’m not tired! I just can’t fall asleep!” My husband and I explain that they are safe, there is nothing to fear, we are right across the hall, and that if they would just lie down and remain still for a few minutes with their eyes closed, sleep will likely come.
 
Some nights the fear would just take over and no amount of reassurance that we were a mere feet away in the next room would help. As weary parents, we would make a bed out of blankets for our son or daughter on the floor at the foot of our bed. They would be asleep nearly as fast as they crawled in! Being in our physical presence, they could finally relax enough for sleep to come. No matter what the night might bring, they knew they could face it because we were right there. 
 
A friend of mine recently recommended a book to me, Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23. I trust my friend and I know from experience that if she says a book is good and is worth reading, then it is… and I’m usually on Amazon ordering it.
 
The book is a compilation of eight weeks of oral teachings that the great theologian, Dallas Willard, did with a small group on the 23rd Psalm. In the book it says that from Dallas’ own experiences with Jesus, “he was convinced that the 23rd Psalm was not merely a pretty poem with charming sentiments but an accurate description of the kind of life that is available to anyone who will allow God to be their Shepherd.”
 
I’m only in Chapter 1 of this book but already have gained a lot from it! Dallas says that a life without lack is talking about a life from which fear is eliminated. Can you imagine that? – your life completely free of fear? I can’t. I worry, and worry, and then worry some more – about things that have happened, are happening, and might possibly someday happen. A life without fear is inconceivable to me, but that is just what is being offered and what is actually intended for all of us! 
 
Life without lack is possible solely because of the presence of our Good Shepherd. Like my children, I often keep pacing internally getting all riled up and fearful and my Good Shepherd is reminding me to lie down, be still, He is here, and I can trust His goodness.
 
God’s goodness is as true today as it ever has been. We must cling to that regardless of the circumstances we are facing today. We must trust the presence of our Good Shepherd and then we can surrender to His rest.In peace we can lie down and sleep, for He alone makes us dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
 
 
Instead of questions today, let me leave you with a challenge:
 
In Life Without Lack, Dallas Willard makes this interesting statement –
“Memorizing Scripture is even more important than a daily quiet time, for as we fill our minds with great passages and have them readily available for our meditation, ‘quiet time’ takes over the entirety of our lives. Memorization enables us to keep God and his truth constantly before our minds, allowing his Word and wisdom to help us.”
 
So let me challenge you to memorize a passage of scripture this week. If you have never memorized Psalm 23, that’s a perfect one to start with, or Psalm 1, or just the verse that I mentioned – Psalm 4:8. Then, instead of the anxious thoughts taking over, recite the new scripture passage in your mind. Recite it over and over until it beings to take root deeply in your life and see how God uses His Word to remind you of His presence and truth. 
 
I’ll close with the words of a prayer from Life Without Lack:
“Lord, slip up on us today. Get past our defenses, our worries, our concerns. Gently open our souls, and speak your Word into them.” Amen.
 
 
A life without lack is a life in which one is completely satisfied and sustained, no matter what happens. No matter what happens!


Daily Devotional 4/29/20

Bringing it all – Psalm 51 

Psalm 51 is a passage that a lot of people know. It sounds familiar to many of us as we read it, but as we look at the life of David and where he finds himself in this moment I wonder if we can’t find ourselves there too. I encourage you to read the whole chapter but I want to pull from a few verses that I think are important reminders today.  

 

  1. I think that it is most important to start where it starts and to hold this verse as a filter for the rest of the passage. David has been called out by God through Nathan for the bad things that he has done. In this he starts with “Have mercy on me, o God, according to your steadfast love: according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.” I think that its very important to remember that weather you yelled at your kid when you probably shouldn’t have or did something as serious as David had just done, grace and mercy are from God and through God alone. Seeing him and his grace first allows us to move forward.  

 

  1. It is through that filter that we then address verse 3 which says “For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.” Many people try to hide or run from their sin. Not only is this silly because God already knows, but it also leaves you hiding and running from God who wants to do something about it. When we can step forward knowing that we deserve the wrath of God but that his mercy is offered instead should make us the most grateful and humble people of all. We can humbly set all of our sin and shame before God knowing his goodness and mercy will meet us there.  

 

 

  1. Verse 17 sais “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart o God, you will not despise.” While this passage goes on to talk about how God desires sacrifices, we know that Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice and that Gods people not longer practiced this. However, I think that the sacrifice of our pride in brokenness is something that God will always desire. Not because he likes to see us broken, but instead because it is the place where we can find wholeness in Him.  

 

  1. I once heard a pastor pray before a time of worship and he said “Lord, help us to give all that we know of ourselves to all that we know of you.” While that stuck with me for a few years, It took on a new meaning when I got married. When you are young there is a temptation to think that you know all that there is about yourself. I mean after all it is yourself that you are talking about. However, when you get married and move in together, you begin to learn more about yourself than ever before. You learn there are things that you have always done one way and all of the sudden there is a different way to do it. Your behaviors and the ways you respond to situations are all through a different lens than ever before. I think that in many ways we are all in that space right now. We know our spouse and we know our families. However, we may have never known them quite like this. And as we learn and grow in who we are as families with all of the struggle and sin and joy and gladness, we are called to bring It before God. With humility and honesty for Him to make whole. None of us are perfect parents or spouses or even roommates. But when we recognize who God is and recognize our sin and all that we struggle with, then we through humility and honesty can repent of our sins and find newness in Christ.  

 

 

  • What have you learned about yourself and your family during this time?
  • How can you bring that knowledge and those experiences before God so that He can be at work in them?


Daily Devotional 4/28/20

In today’s Daily Devotional, Pastor Steve invites us to envision what it could be like when we are on the verge of taking our last breath.  He shares with us the infamous and surprising story of King David and Shimei as a way to help us think about what dying well could look like.

 

Key Bible Verses Referenced:  II Samuel 16:5-13, Psalm 23, II Samuel 19:17-24, Psalm 51:1, I Kings 2:8-12

 

Questions for Reflection: 

 

What does dying well look like for you?

 

David’s faith in God seems to have waned as he got older as mercy gave way to vengeance.  What threatens your faith and how can you offer that to our Good Shepherd?



Daily Devotional 4/27/20



Daily Devotional 4/24/20

Psalm 91 (New Living Translation) 

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High 
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
2 This I declare about the Lord: 
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; 
    he is my God, and I trust him. 
3 For he will rescue you from every trap 
    and protect you from deadly disease. 
4 He will cover you with his feathers. 
    He will shelter you with his wings. 
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, 
    nor the arrow that flies in the day. 
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, 
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, 
    though ten thousand are dying around you, 
    these evils will not touch you. 
8 Just open your eyes, 
    and see how the wicked are punished. 

9 If you make the Lord your refuge, 
    if you make the Most High your shelter, 
10 no evil will conquer you; 
    no plague will come near your home. 
11 For he will order his angels 
    to protect you wherever you go. 
12 They will hold you up with their hands 
    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. 
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; 
    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! 

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. 
    I will protect those who trust in my name. 
15 When they call on me, I will answer; 
    I will be with them in trouble. 
    I will rescue and honor them. 
16 I will reward them with a long life 
    and give them my salvation.” 

 

This Psalm has become one of my favorites because several years ago on a Women’s Retreat, I was sitting with the ladies at my table and talking about prayers. One of the ladies at my table introduced me to Psalm 91by saying this Psalm and taking the pronouns (I, you, them) and replacing them into proper nouns and inserting your own (or someone else’s) name. This made the Psalm come to life for me. It made it personal specifically to me, and since that time, I have prayed this psalm over my husband and children, my grandchildren and others. This Psalm is not contributed to David, but it has been a special and meaningful one to me.  

When we look and read the psalm and in further study of Psalm 91, we will see there are three different voices we’ll hear in the psalm. The first voice we hear is the voice of the individual proclaiming trust in God. Verses 1-8 speak of trusting in God because of his goodness. For instance verse 2 says: “This I declare about the Lord, he alone is my refuge, my place of safety, He is my God and I trust Him.” If I’m replacing the pronouns with a proper noun it sounds a little like this: “This Melissa declares about the Lord, He alone is Melissa’s refuge, Melissa’s place of safety, He is Melissa’s God, and Melissa trusts Him.” 

In Verses 9-13 is the second voice in the psalm, the voice of the advocate. This voice comes from the ones who support and express God’s power back to you. Verse 11 says: “For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.” It shows the lengths God will go to reach out and protect us.  

And finally we hear from the third voice in the Psalm, this is the voice of God himself. In Verses 14-16 God acknowledges our expression of trust and love in Him and He responds with the promise to answer. “When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.” Showing God’s desire to be with us in the good times and the not so good times. 

It’s been a long and trying week for us here in the Permian Basin. In all honesty, we’ve been encountering historical moments over and over in the past few months. We have crossed unprecedented territory and there’s no denying we are spent and weary…. But, as we continue to proclaim our trust in God, we will continue to see that God is still God, God is still with us and God has been and will continue to answer us… All because of his immense love for us.  

So my challenge to you is this, over the weekend, read this psalm, see if you recognize the three voices represented in it. Pray this psalm, pray it as it is, pray it by replacing the pronouns with your own name and pray it over your loved ones. I hope you find it come to life for you, I hope it helps you pray over others I hope it reminds you that God is good and in his timing, he will answer. 



Daily Devotionals 4/23/20

Trust 

David’s life was the perfect example to trusting God.  Throughout David’s life all he ever did was trust God.  From the moment God called for David to be anointed as king David went through many joyous times but just as many trials. One thing for sure David trusted God.  As I reread 1st and 2nd Samuel I noticed just about every choice or decision David had to make David prayed and asked God what he wanted him to do.  So I asked myself how often do I truly depend on God’s Direction? How well do I really trust God? 

Psalms 37:3 

 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; 
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. (NKJV) 
 

The Bible instructs us to “trust in the Lord”. So what is trust? 

The definition of trust: 

-firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. 

  1. Reliability- Do we know God to be reliable? YES! 
  2. Truth- Do we know God to be the truth? YES! 
  3. Ability- Do we know God is able? YES! 
  4. Strength- Do we know God to have strength? YES! 

So, if we know God has all the qualities of trust why is it so hard to trust God? 

I believe trust is a lifelong journey it’s not something we get as soon as we become Christian.  As we go along in the journey of being a Christian we will continually be learning to trust God.  It’s not a lesson learned but lesson being learned. 

Can we really say we fully trust God? 

I honestly don’t think we can. Why, because we are all sinners; we fail, we fall short.  We tend to trust other things like ourselves, spouses, family, our bank accounts and so many other things.  We have to learn not have so much trust in those things, because at some point those things will bring disappointment. 

What are some ways to practice trusting God? 

  1. Stop trusting yourself. We can be our own worst enemy. We can deceive ourselves so easily. 
  1. Trust the Word. Be in the Word. The Bible gives directions and examples of what God wants for our lives 
  1. Prayer. If you keep record of your prayers and the ways God answers those prayers it can serve as a reminder of how faithfully God is. 
  1. Don’t travel alone in this Christian journey. Accountability, Accountability! Surround yourself with people who you can count on to pray with you and encourage you when you are weak. Have back up!  
In the coming days of not knowing what is going to happen next it is important to trust God. I know its easier said than done, but remember God’s Got You! 


Daily Devotional 4/22/20

Deepening Your Relationship with God 

I actually had to go back and count, but we haven’t been able to physically worship together for 6 Sundays. For me, it’s been since March 1st, Confirmation Sunday, since I was in Lubbock on March 8 at Encounter with the youth. I look back of the last part of 2019, in November I had two continuing education trips – one to Chicago and one in Tampa for the National Youth Workers’ Convention. Then it was Thanksgiving, Christmas, Youth Ski Trip, then school and Confirmation both started on January 7, and the Confirmation retreat in January. Fast forward to Sunday, March 1. It was such a meaningful and beautiful service as 28 kids were confirmed. I wouldn’t say I felt a lot of pressure from November 2019 – March 1, 2020, but it was definitely a busy season for me professionally.  

Pressure begins at an early age. We have pressure from school, extracurricular activities, getting into the right college, and starting a successful career. Then add the pressures of marriage and raising a family. Our busy lives consist of lots of pressures. If you’ve ever felt pressure, most likely, you have had to add your priorities in the mix. We all have priorities. Priorities keep us grounded and can be a useful guide to when we respond to the pressures in our lives.  

I know a lot of you are probably feeling pressures like you’ve never felt before. Pressure to work from home while also helping teach your children as they continue virtual learning. Pressure of not being able to see your family and friends. Pressure to wear a mask or to not wear a mask, and the list goes on.  

During this time, I have heard so many stories of people finding more time to do the things they love, have always wanted to do, or taking time to be grateful for so many things they might have taken for granted. My daughter Faith uses writing and music in times of lament and praise, and on Saturday she wrote about having to miss her Junior Prom. “As today was the original prom date, I have had time to think about the implications of not being able to attend my junior prom. It is sad, but I know that I’ll definitely cherish next year’s dance and make it memorable. To me, this green dress represents the fact that no matter how much you plan, no matter how unlikely things may seem, life will always be unexpected. It means to never take any day for granted, because now, “maybe tomorrow” now means “maybe next year.” The dress that I was supposed to wear tonight is now in my closet, forcing me to stop and think about what really matters. Nonetheless, I know that this isn’t the case for everyone.” 

King David was a man who understood what it was like to live in under pressure. He served Saul after Samuel anointed David king, fought Goliath, and became a commander in King Saul’s army. When Saul became very jealous of David and discovered that the Lord was with David, Saul became even more afraid of him, and he remained David’s enemy for the rest of his life. Due to Saul’s fear and jealousy of David, Saul tries to kill him. David fled from Saul into the wilderness [1 Samuel 22:5].  

In Psalm 63 he sees himself in a spiritual wilderness thirsting for God’s presence and a place of refuge. It’s hard to imagine if I were under the kinds of pressure David faced at this point in his life, I would be writing songs. If I did the song would probably contain desperate requests: “God help me or God please get me out of here!” In Psalm 3, David did write something very similar to this. 

However, in Psalm 63, we see David in a spiritual wilderness thirsting for God’s presence and a place of refuge. Psalm 63 gives us a glimpse of a man after God’s own heart. David gives us an example of how we should all seek to have a deep, intimate relationship with God. Psalm 63 shows us that David’s priority was to seek the Lord. Seeking God should be our first priority.  

I know the pressures you might be feeling during this time, are like nothing you’ve ever felt before, and they are most likely changing each day. When you having these feelings, seek after God. What does it mean to seek after God? To seek after God means to develop an intimate and personal relationship with God. This relationship is one that is ongoing.  

There are ways you can develop a deeper relationship with God: 

  • Spend consistent time alone with him. 
  • Be honest with God because our souls our longing for God, even when we don’t know actually how we are feeling. David recognizes this when he says “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you.” In Romans 8:26-27 says “26And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 
  • Make God part of your everyday life.         

One of the ways I have grown closer to God after reading Psalm 63 is finding some of my favorite songs that remind me of Psalm 63. I made a Spotify Playlist. You could find it here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2878DidDhBblvR1L2lFrn5?si=GiNlV1Z6QCCduLZy7wILRA 

 

Questions: 

1. What does it mean to you to seek after God? 

2. Have you been spending more time with God over the last 6 weeks? 

3. When is a time you’ve been the most honest with God? 

Psalm 63 

A psalm of David, regarding a time when David was in the wilderness of Judah. 

1 O God, you are my God; 
    I earnestly search for you. 
My soul thirsts for you; 
    my whole body longs for you 
in this parched and weary land 
    where there is no water. 
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary 
    and gazed upon your power and glory. 
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself; 
    how I praise you! 
4 I will praise you as long as I live, 
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast. 
    I will praise you with songs of joy. 

6 I lie awake thinking of you, 
    meditating on you through the night. 
7 Because you are my helper, 
    I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. 
8 I cling to you; 
    your strong right hand holds me securely. 

9 But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin. 
    They will go down into the depths of the earth. 
10 They will die by the sword 
    and become the food of jackals. 
11 But the king will rejoice in God. 
    All who swear to tell the truth will praise him, 
    while liars will be silenced. 



Daily Devotional 4/21/20

Good morning, First Methodist Midland church family! Last week, began daily staff devotionals on the Psalms of David and David’s life. I am one who really likes the book of Psalms! I was glad that Pastor Melissa was honest last week about not really liking them, and you may share this opinion. For me, Psalms is my go-to place when I’m not sure where else to turn first in the Bible. 
 
The collection of Psalms in the Bible gives a place for every emotion – lament and praise, joy and sadness, gratitude, anger, bitterness, and deep regret. It’s ALL there!  This is comforting to me because it’s like giving permission for these emotions – that there’s a place for them. We sometimes want to hide some of these emotions that we view as less desirable, but the Psalms, and particularly David and the stories of his life, show us that it is good to admit them before God so he can work with us on them. If you didn’t get a chance to watch Jim Collett’s devotional yesterday – you should! It is excellent! He talked about pouring out our souls before God so He can help us move on from there.
 
In my last video staff devotional, I talked about an experience of God’s presence during illness when my husband Daniel and I were living in Guatemala for two years. The Psalms of David immediately bring to mind for me another experience during that time that I’d like to share with you today. While that first experience of extreme sickness occurred shortly after arriving in Guatemala, this experience took place after we had been living there for about a year and a half.
 
On New Year’s Day 2008, Daniel and I were in a clinic at a hospital in Guatemala City. I was thinking that I likely had developed pneumonia again. Imagine our surprise and great confusion when after a blood test the doctor came with the results and told me “Congratulations”! That was the way we found out that I was expecting a child.
 
Daniel and I had been married for six years at that point and very much wanted to have children. I had miscarried with our first, so while this new was very exciting, we also received it with a great deal of caution and wondering. The road during the next few months wasn’t an easy one. There were some issues with the pregnancy, so my doctor, in an abundance of caution, put me on five weeks of bed rest. When you are lying in bed for five weeks, it is hard to keep your mind from filling with fears – constantly wondering what was going to happen with that little life inside me.
 
As I mentioned at the beginning of this devotional, Psalms is my go-to place when I don’t know where else to go. So as I was lying there one day, I started reading the Psalms. I was reading the very familiar Psalm of David – Psalm 139. I love that my Bible titles this Psalm: “The Inescapable God.” This Psalm would probably rank among the most familiar Psalms, at least parts of it. You have probably heard the parts about “I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” or “you knit me together in my mother’s womb”. It’s a great Psalm, and these parts would have been appropriately meaningful to someone expecting a child, but these weren’t the parts of it that stood out to me. What leaped off the page that day were verses 5 and 6: “You hem me in, behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.” 
 
I imagined the hem on a piece of clothing and this visual was so comforting to me. I imagined that little life inside of me safely enclosed in God’s hands – like material that is folded over and stitched together to make a hem.  It wasn’t a guarantee that this life was going to make it and that I would one day see and hold him or her, but it was a strong reassurance that helped me to surrender – whatever happened with that life, it would be okay because he or she was held in God’s hands.
 
It wasn’t long after that day that I received an email from my sister in law on January 27, 2008. What do you know, she said….
 
“I ran across this verse the other day and you came to mind: Psalm 139:5 – You hem me in before and behind; You have laid Your hand upon me. When I read that I envisioned your baby in your womb because this is the passage that talks about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, so this is my prayer for Baby Harris!” 
 
That was like the exclamation point on it and how God uses other people to speak in our lives sometimes. It was as if He was saying, in case you are doubting that you heard me the first time, yes, I gave you this verse. Cling to it. I haven’t stopped holding your child.
 
There’s some powerful things in that and we would need many more devotionals to cover them all but let me just say as an aside – when you feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit – God’s bringing someone to mind: to pray for them, share a verse with them, a word of encouragement, maybe something physically you need to share with them  — do it! You may be their answer to prayer. That is such a wonderful and amazing part about God allowing us to be used in His work and about the body of Christ coming together!
 
Back to the story, I did cling to that verse and in August of 2008 our amazing son, who is now almost twelve, arrived into our lives. He is a constant reminder of God’s wonderful gifts!
 
Psalm 139:5 is now part of my son’s identity and I hope he always knows that God has hemmed him in behind and before and God’s hand is upon him.  
 
Let us pray – Thank you God for the gift of your Word. I pray that we would all remember today that we are hemmed in and can rest in the assurance that your hand is upon us. Amen.



Daily Devotional 4/17/20

GOD IS WITH US ON THE PLANE 

Some background from First Samuel 16 will bring you up to speed with our passage for today’s devotion. King Saul had recently disobeyed God’s command resulting in God taking away his anointing as King of Israel. Samuel was still mourning this loss when God came to him and said, “Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” 1 Samuel 1:1. Samuel arrives in Bethlehem in the presence of Jesse’s family. We pick up the scripture reading from here: 

“Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The LORD has not chosen these.” So, he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have? “There is still the youngest, “Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So, he sent and had him brought in. He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power…” 1 Samuel 16:10-13 

The story of John Jones who was traveling by plane from New York City to Boston on the 2:20 flight.  

Many of us, if not most of us, have missed our 2:20 flight to Boston. We missed it not because we were curious about our weight and fortune but because of an unseen life-threatening virus. Our normal way of life has been hi-jacked by COVID-19. Not only has our normal way of life been hi-jacked but we have no clue as to when and where this plane is going to land!   

As Christians, do we have any bases for hope during this Coronavirus hi-jacking of our normal way of life? Yes, as a matter of fact, we do! Paul says as Christians we have hope living in us. Colossians 1:27b…” Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Another way of saying the same thing is this: Wherever this plane takes us as Christians, we have Heaven in us!  

When we are introduced to the story of David, as it is found in First Samuel 16, we discover, at least, two things about David. First, we learn that he is a shepherd boy, 15 years of age or younger. Up to this point in David’s life, life was normal. You know things like routines – feeding and watering the sheep, walking the sheep from pasture to pasture, school bells, and Taco Tuesday at Rosas’!  It’s this second thing, that hi-jacks his normal way of life: he was chosen by God through the prophet Samuel to be Israel’s new king. You say, well that’s a good thing isn’t it. Yes, but this is where our lives and David’s intersect.  

The day Samuel anointed David to be king of Israel until the day he reigned in Israel as king was about 13 years.  During these 13 long years, the Bible tells us that David’s life was literally spent running for his life from King Saul who was trying to kill him! What David did not know at the time was that God was preparing him to rule, to lead, and to defend His People, Israel! God was preparing David to be a King. 

During this pandemic, you and I should know with absolute confidence that God is wanting to show His Kingdom both to us and through us!  Remember this verse, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” ( Matthew 6:33-34) Or, how about this scripture, “… Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”( Matthew 6:9-10) The stories of the Bible are there to encourage us to believe that God indeed has a plan! He had a plan for King David’s life, and He has a plan for each of our lives. CHRIST in us the HOPE of Glory reminds us that our Heavenly Father is on the plane with us, hi-jacked or not.  

During this pandemic, let us hold up high the banner of Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he [God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.”  

Let’s pray. Heavenly Father be our shepherd, our protector, our strength, our peace and our comforter until you come and rescue and redeem us from this time, we find ourselves. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Until we see each other again, face to face, may the Lord bless you!  

Brother Wade