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Friday, September 27, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Obtain


David heard,

believed, acted

upon God’s word

promise settled

in his heart.


Reign of Israel

built on victorious

seen, battles ahead

secured

by covenant.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Reflection Questions


1.     What immediate promise are you waiting upon the Lord for?

2.     Are you at peace with it or anxiously watching?

3.     If you have anxiety, what is the primary cause—from sources outside of you giving advice or within your own heart with worry challenging you?

4.     How do you seek His counsel while you are waiting and working towards your ‘house’?



Share: What scripture verse sustains you in hope?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


2 Samuel 7:11, “from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.”


God made a covenant with David and David took Him at His word.

David didn’t understand why or how or when all the promises would be fulfilled but he gave his return pledge in trust. Regardless of his own abilities or lack of, regardless of immediate confirmation or not; he trusted in God’s word over his own inadequacy. He began to live into the promise as completed.

David waited in faith and action.

Why then with so many stories of God’s faithfulness do we continue to struggle with His promises to us: to give counsel and wisdom, strength and compassion, hope and a future.

We often wait in timidity.

Perhaps we’ve had so many promises broken to us in our lives, or broken our own to others, that we see them as feeble words lacking conviction until proven. Or we’ve broken our own commitments to God so dramatically we can’t even imagine we still have a trust relationship left.

When we put our-self at the center of expectations we are left with dry dust.  Somewhere along the way we reverse our words with God’s promises and are left empty-handed. Instead, like David, we can only obtain promises when we put God’s words at the center of our lives and live into them—with faith—in our own ‘houses’—ourselves where the Lord abides in us and we in Him.



Psalm of Worship: Psalm 73: 23-24

“Nevertheless I am continually with Thee; Thou hast taken hold of my right hand.
With Thy counsel Thou wilt guide me, And afterward receive me to glory.”

Friday, September 20, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Motives


Plans laid.


New government

brought anticipation

hope rippled

through population

no longer considered

an oddity

but a real nation

king and all.


Presumed God agreed

best plan for justice

gambled away heart for assimilation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What does administering justice look like to you?

2.     Why does justice need to be combined with righteousness?

3.     What could the look like publicly today?

4.     What could it look like privately in families?


Share: From whom have you experienced God’s way of lovingkindness blended with truth?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


1 Samuel 12:14, “If you will fear the Lord and serve him and heed his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well; but if you will not heed….”

Samuel administered justice under God’s guidance. It was a personal relationship, which Samuel then extended to the people. Trustful—honest—loving—kind—accountable.

Even as the people insisted Samuel replace himself by asking God to give then a king, they openly announced that he had never defrauded them or oppressed them. His administration of justice was in reality not the issue. Israel wanted to be like the other nations, wanted to be under a king. Perhaps wanted less personal scrutiny, less accountability. Like a toddler turns his back on a parent in the mistaken assumption they cannot see what his is doing.

Still loving, Samuel gave the warning. Without God’s voice present justice could be compromised, all might not be well. And they dismissed his concerns. The underlying motives took priority.

Sometimes I wonder how often we too bow to our own personal desires, personally and publicly, over the Lord’s commands and cloak it all under progress. Pretend—ignore—avoid—the hint of wrong motives.

Please keep reminding us Lord, that only in Your words can a real relationship grow into honest justice. Only by Your power can we become truly personal to one another in truth.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 89:14

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne;
Lovingkindness and truth go before Thee.”


Friday, September 13, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Follow


Deborah listened and foretold

Balak obeyed and followed

gathered Israel’s warriors.


God’s answer to their prayers

victory came through

obedience, willing hearts

searching for relationship

a return  to holy reign.


One by one choosing, as Jael

drove the wooden peg, her

opportunity to serve call.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     What words do you need to hear to freely volunteer to go for the Lord?

2.     Is there a severe situation in your life enslaving you or those you love with fear and helplessness?

3.     Are you willing to follow when God gives you an opportunity to conquer by faith?


Share: What challenge has the Lord called you to?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Hebrews 11:33, “who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions.”

Deborah listened and followed the voice of the Lord. Barak followed Deborah’s plan, as long as she journeyed with him. Jael followed the opportunity in her hands. When it was all over, Deborah and Barak sang, “That the leaders led in Israel, That the people volunteered, Bless the Lord!” Judges 5:2

They conquered a kingdom that had kept Israel severely enslaved for twenty years.

Each responded according to the abilities and opportunities they were each given. “If you go, I will go!” Barak told Deborah. She reminded him he would not then receive the acclaim for the victory. Instead it would go to her—a woman and in that day’s culture Barak’s reputation would be diminished.

Yet he was completely unwilling to perform the task apart from her. I wonder if in reality he was unwilling to move apart from God’s voice and he knew God had spoken through Deborah. Perhaps his reputation didn’t matter as much to him as living a faith that followed only God’s words in obedience. Once she agreed he flung himself wholeheartedly into the instructions. The obstacles became irrelevant. He kept his eyes on God, as did Deborah and Jael, and experienced God’s deliverance.

Lord, please keep us from false hesitation and give us courage to follow with commitment and integrity—wherever You lead.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 110:3

“Thy people will volunteer freely in the day of Thy power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, The youth are to Thee as the dew.”

Friday, September 6, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


Challenge


White—an entire

army cowered in fear

before Goliath’s strength

shrunken by his boasts

David challenged

dependant on God’s honor,

Word

incensed by defilement

stood.

Won—the battle

and yet today

we forget.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry



Reflection Questions


1.     Who or what are the Goliaths in our present world that can cause shock waves of fear?

2.     What added words from God do we have that David did not?

3.     How often do we depend upon them first, or as a last resort or not at all? Why?


Share: How have you defeated a Goliath by standing on faith?


Monday, September 2, 2013

Faith Seeds: Prayers and Poetry


1 Samuel 17:45, “But David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.’”

David rejected the advanced armor that Saul provided. He stuck with the skills he already knew as a shepherd—slings and stones—not high-powered weaponry but familiar. Yet even with those he did not presume to fight Goliath on worldly terms of combat or expectation.

His entire defense was based on God’s word—His name—His character. And upon that David stepped out in trust.

How often, I wonder, do we fight or flee our giants based on abilities or lack of them? We search out all our options and stockpile our resources. We look for ways to gain an edge in case a catastrophe stomps against us.

When Nebuchadnezzar prepared to throw Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego into the fiery furnace they made it clear that, whether they survived the flames or not, they served God alone.

Regardless of the consequences they stood upon His name in trust.

Lord, please help us to loosen our fearful grip on worldly protection and begin to trust in Your name. To call on You for wisdom and guidance and strength to stand with a faith that accepts only Your deliverance by Your word.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 121:2

“My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber,”

 
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