May 21, 2018 1 Samuel 17; Psalm 9; 2 Corinthians 3

“There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42 (NLT) The heart of this ministry is to inspire a love for God’s Word and encourage the discipline of daily Bible reading and SOAP journaling. These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Discover One Thing Reading Plan

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Stand | Kelley Deases

S~ For forty days the Philistine (Goliath) came forward every morning and every evening and took his stand. 1 Samuel 17:16 (NIV)

O~ Christians are not the only ones who will take a stand and defend their beliefs.  Whether it is an opposing religious worldview or a political issue that flies in the face of biblical truth, we do not have a corner on the market for standing firm. But, just the same, we need to be prepared to do so as God calls us into His service to defend His Name before men.

A~ This past week, I saw the movie “God’s Not Dead.”  It took on this very topic — standing up for your faith in Jesus Christ even when it is difficult, unpopular, and could cost you dearly.  They cited this passage from Luke 9:26: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”  The plot of the movie was taken from a host of real-life court cases across the U.S. involving university students maintaining their right to hold their Christian faith and speak up for it in the midst of an adverse college culture or professor.

P~ Father, Thank You for the courageous people who stood firm for their faith against what seemed like a Goliath in their path.  Empower me through You Spirit when I face daunting giants willing to stand firm against the truth, that I may be found faithful.

BRAVE | Kim Chipman

S~ “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.” 1 Samuel 17:33 (NLT)

O~ Goliath was an *enormous* Philistine warrior. He taunted the Israelites to fight him. “I am the Philistine champion, but you are only the servants of Saul.” David – in simplistic wisdom and trust – asks, “who is this pagan Philistine anyway that he is allowed to defy the Armies of the living God?” He has no fear. He trusts completely. David goes to tell Saul that he will fight Goliath. Saul’s response? Don’t be ridiculous!  David knows he is fighting not in his own strength, but the Lord’s. He is confidently trusting the Lord.

A~ Why am I not as confident as David? There are plenty of Sauls in my life – naysayers who think I’m ridiculous. Sometimes the voice in my head is the worst of all! You think you can change anything for God? Who do you think you are? No one cares if your feelings are hurt, why even have an opinion? What’s the big deal anyway? You have no right to say anything about anything, you’re not so perfect yourself. God can’t use YOU. There are people much more equipped and have it way more ‘together’ than you do. Maybe you think you see a better way, maybe you THINK your heart is being let by God, but no one will be interested. You should just keep quiet.

And on and on it goes the voice in my head. And some voices in my world, too.

But what if…what if today I take each thought captive to the obedience of Christ and choose to think only on Your Truth.

Who do I think I am? I’m not perfect, but I’m giving it my best. I’m not equipped, but when I’m weak Your power is made perfect through me. I’m a light – Your light – the evil one wants me to sit down and be quiet but I don’t want him to win! I am a princess of the King of Kings! I am redeemed! I’ve been bought with a price! What is this pagan world anyway, that it is allowed to defy the Armies of the living God? I am a warrior in God’s army – in His power I can be BRAVE. I can be brave and know that I am the apple of Your eye ~ equipped as far as I need to be to do my part ~ and today, world, the Lord will conquer you and I will kill you and cut off your head! I am strong and powerful in Christ! I am a warrior in God’s army. I am BRAVE, redeemed, forgiven, cherished, and loved. That’s who I am!

P~ Thank you for Your Word this morning! I’m ready to take on the world now! I love you!

More Than a Sunday School Story | Joni Tyner

S~ So David triumphed over the Philistine with only a sling and a stone, for he had no sword. 1Samuel 17:50 (NLT)

O~ This is referring to David, the shepherd boy, killing Goliath, the giant Philistine soldier with his sling shot.  Earlier in the chapter, Saul gives David his own armor (v.38) and David gives it back because it was awkward and he couldn’t move in it. He was comfortable with his faith in God and the abilities he had mastered as a shepherd boy. He was attentive, he had skills to watch and anticipate danger, (v. 34-36) and he knew where his faith and security was. (v. 37) “The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

A~ I remember being taught this story as a young child in a rural Lutheran church.  I remember teaching about David to toddlers and elementary kids over the years when my kids were little and I taught Sunday School.  This scripture is more than just a child “story”, it is in scripture, God’s Holy Word, it is truth we should study, learn and then apply to our own lives.

Looking at 1 Samuel 17, I see two main applications.  First, David acknowledged the Lord for his success.  He had been trained to be a shepherd and he did it well. He was good at what he did, he was comfortable with the skills he had, (using the slingshot instead of Saul’s armor.)  He used his past experiences to help him with a current problem.

Second, he simply trusted the Lord even though he faced great danger. He wasn’t afraid of the giant. He was well prepared to do what God called him to do.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you once again for showing me that your Word is more than just a childhood story. It isn’t like reading books about Santa, it is truth, it has purpose, it is for our benefit.  Please help me to do the skills I have in life well, I don’t need to be proficient in everything, just what You have specifically assigned to me.  When life’s giants jump out at me and I need to go to battle, please, help me be fearless so that I may successfully win the battle with You.

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