May 23

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39; John 13:1-30; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 15:29-30

Unforgiveness is a powerful and destructive force. It clouds one’s judgment and causes one to act in vengeful ways. This is what happened to Joab. David’s forces, led by Joab, were in constant battle with Saul’s forces (led by Abner). They met on the field of battle and Joab’s brother, Asahel, was killed by Abner. Joab never released this offense.

Some time later, David forges a truce with Abner so that the Kingdom of Israel can be united. Abner and David meet and they are at peace with one another and moving forward with a plan to reunite Israel. When Joab hears that Abner was with David, every ounce of unforgiveness arose in him and he, without David’s knowledge, tricks Abner into returning to Hebron for a conversation. Joab kills Abner by breaking the truce that David had just made. What was the end result of all this? David curses Joab and his descendants. Was it worth it? Maybe for a minute but not for several generations of poverty, sickness, and untimely death.

If you are holding onto any resentment or unforgiveness, I implore you, “Please let it go.” It will only cause you to derail your own future. Regardless of what they did, hear the words of Jesus, “Put away your sword… Those who use the sword will die by the sword.” Let it not be so for you!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 4:1-6:23; John 13:31-14:14; Psalm 119:17-32; Proverbs 15:31-32

May 22

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11; John 12:20-50; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 15:27-28

Have you ever gone on a journey and you knew you were close to your destination? You were in eager expectation of what you will do once you arrive. But something happens, a detour of some sort, and now your arrival has been delayed. How do you handle times like these?

Saul and Jonathan were dead. There was no human obstacle to stop David from taking his rightful place on the throne. Just as he was ascending to the throne, Abner, Saul’s army commander, proclaims one of Saul’s sons as the king. Hadn’t David been through enough? He endured the assassination attempts of Saul. Now, that it looks like the obstacles are clear, another one pops up.

When you have a promise from God, understand that obstacles will arise. They are meant to break your spirit and keep you from moving forward. There is a real enemy who desires to turn your faith into fear. He wants to intimidate you.  You have to purpose in your heart, whatever God has for you, it is for you. No one can take what’s yours! You hold onto what God said! He will defend you and ensure that you end up exactly where He promised!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39; John 13:1-30; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 15:29-30

May 21

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 11:55-12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 15:24-26

Have you ever done everything you were supposed to do and things still did not work out properly? I mean: you dotted all your “i”‘s and crossed all your “t”‘s and yet, things did not go as planned?

This is what happened to David! He and his men had lived in peace with the Philistines. They were called out to go and fight. Like the dutiful solider, he rallied his men to go to war. After spending time on the battlefield but never engaging in the battle, David and his men were sent home. When they arrived back at home to Ziklag, all their families and their possessions were taken.

David’s men were very angry because instead of protecting their families, they were fighting someone else’s battles. They turned that anger towards David. David, as you have seen, would inquire of the Lord, when his next steps were uncertain. In the end, God tells David that he will recover everything that was taken (with a bonus).

Have you ever had your Ziklag moment when you did what was right and it looked like you received the short end of the stick? Don’t fret! God is still just and He will not let you lose in any situation. Pursue and you will recover all!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 2 Samuel 1:1-2:11; John 12:20-50; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 15:27-28

May 20

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-54; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23

Saul had become desperate to hear the voice of God because God had been silent. There was no prophecy and no direction. He was facing a big opponent in the Philistines and Saul needed to know what to do next. Because He could not get a word from God, he took it upon himself to search for some direction.

He went to a psychic so he could speak to Samuel’s spirit. There is such a fascination with what happens after death in our culture today. It is nothing new. To be sure, there is life after death! There is a real spirit world that lives on beyond the demise of our physical body.

The person that you are is not your body but your spirit. Your spirit is immortal and will live on in eternity. Saul compounded all of his bad decisions by going to a psychic to contact the spirit world. Don’t ever allow spiritualists, tarot card or palm readers, psychics and the like to “read” your future. It is not of the Spirit of God! It opens the door to evil. God has made the Holy Spirit available to you to tell you whatever you need to know about your future (that is one benefit you have that Saul did not have).

God knows your future and is willing to tell you. Ask Him. Wait on Him. He will speak because He loves you! If He hasn’t spoken clearly, then don’t make a move because it is dangerous to go forward without direction from God.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 11:55-12:19; Psalm 118:1-18; Proverbs 15:24-26

May 19

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:20-21

Just because you are anointed, you cannot take advantage of others. David was in a privileged position knowing that he was anointed to be king. He could have killed the man who was pursuing his life but he knew better. You see, you cannot take liberties with the favor that God has given you.

Even though David was anointed, so was Saul! David had to respect the anointing on Saul even though David was anointed too. When David drew close to Saul, he cut his robe. As soon as he did it, he was convicted that he had stepped over a line. David repented. He approached Saul and told him that even though he could have taken his life, he respected God too much to do it.

Saul, who had previously desired to kill David, now affirmed that God was with him and had truly given David the throne of Israel. David made a vow to Saul that he would never harm his children when he ascended to the throne.

When you are anointed, you can afford to be gracious. After all, you did not anoint yourself! Your anointing comes from God. Don’t frustrate the anointing by acting in a way that dishonors the calling on your life. Regardless of the pressure or the situation, protect your anointing. It is the pathway to your destiny.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 11:1-54; Psalm 117:1-2; Proverbs 15:22-23

May 18

1 Samuel 22:1-23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 15:18-19

Nothing can stop your destiny. As we look at David’s ascension to the Throne, it was a rocky one. Samuel anointed him and you would think it would be an easy path to be King. Quite the contrary! Saul pursued David in order to kill him. Saul was so vengeful that he even killed people who helped David.

Yet, in all of Saul’s searching, he was always one step behind David! The more he searched, the more he missed him. God was ordering David’s steps. David would not take a step until he heard from The Lord as to what he should do. David was then bold enough to listen when God gave him instructions. David’s obedience is what protected his life against the assaults of Saul.

God didn’t just do this for David, He does this for all His children. God has anointed you to accomplish certain things in life and that is your assignment. Believe that nothing can stop you or even kill you before you accomplish that for which God put you on this earth. Your purpose can keep you alive.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:20-21

May 17

1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; John 9:1-41; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 15:15-17

God never intended for us to take this journey alone. He puts friends in our lives that will be there for us– no matter what. Jonathan and David had that kind of relationship. As great as King David became, none of it would have been possible without the friendship of Jonathan.

David had a bright future (a God-ordained future) but in order for David to get there, he needed help from some key people. David needed his warriors who fought along side him in battle. David needed the wisdom and guidance of Samuel to discern the Lord’s will and David needed Jonathan to live long enough to see God’s promise become a reality.

The strange thing is that Jonathan was the son of a man who hated David. Why did Jonathan choose his friend over his father? One word: covenant! David and Jonathan made a covenant to protect, provide for and promote each other. Covenant is easy to make when things are going well. But, when there are challenges, this is where the covenant will be tested. Jonathan stayed true to covenant. Every covenant you make whether marriage, business partnership or friendship, it will be tested.

This is the time where you show your loyalty to your covenant. If you have a covenant friend in your life, take some time to renew that covenant (like David and Jonathan did). If you have not yet identified that person, ask God to show you who they are. God has put someone in your life to serve in this role. Your destiny is tied to them.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 22:1-23:29; John 10:1-21; Psalm 115:1-18; Proverbs 15:18-19

May 16

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 15:12-14

When the favor of God is on your life, some will not celebrate it. Did you know that your success can make others mad? Yes, those who see God’s favor as limited to only special people will think that the favor on your life means that there is no favor available for their life.

That is not God’s way! God has enough favor for all of His children and He has freely given it to us. But, if we neglect it or disqualify ourselves from it, it’s no one’s fault but ours. David just did what God told him and he succeeded in everything he did. The same will happen for you.

Favor is the birthright of the Believer! Expect it to show up on your life. Expect that people will not like it. But, don’t let their resistance cause you to act in a way that would cause God’s favor to lift off of your life. In all that David endured up to this point, he never crossed the line of righteousness and went against God’s standards. You and I have to do the same thing.

Don’t deny the favor on your life. Thank God for it and let God’s favor take you where your intelligence and network cannot take you. It’s yours for the asking.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 20:1-21:15; John 9:1-41; Psalm 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 15:15-17

May 15

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4; John 8:21-30; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 15:11

One way to assure success when you are facing a giant situation is to get God involved. Israel’s army was paralyzed with fear because of Goliath. He taunted them daily and they could not muster the courage to fight him.

When David came to the camp to bring his brothers some food, he heard the rants of Goliath and wondered why no one was challenging him. After all, Goliath was mocking God! David steps forward having no military experience and offered to fight a trained warrior. How could David be so confident?

It was because he had a track record of God helping him in impossible situations. When he was alone and the flock was attacked, David had to rely on God! He attributed his success to God’s intervention. Sure enough, David stood before someone who was better trained, better resourced (Goliath had state of the art weapons) and bigger in stature; yet, with one smooth stone, he brought Goliath down. What made the difference? God’s help.

God will help you defeat any giant you face. You just have to include Him and follow His directions. Your giants will fall.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 18:5-19:24; John 8:31-59; Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 15:12-14

May 14

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23; John 8:1-20; Psalm 110:1-7; Proverbs 15:8-10

Did you know it was possible to bring sorrow to God? This is exactly what Saul did. He was given specific instructions about how to handle the Amalekites. When God speaks, He speaks with clarity. He does this because if God is unclear then He cannot hold us accountable for obeying an unclear instruction. He told Saul through Samuel to “completely destroy the Amalekites….” No vagueness at all.

Saul, however, only destroyed the things that he felt were worthless and kept the best for himself! When Samuel confronted him, Saul was erecting a monument to himself! He had allowed the position that God put him in to cause him to become boastful and prideful. It made him so confident in himself that he openly disobeyed God’s instructions.

When Samuel confronted him, he blamed the people for leading him astray! Saul’s disobedience cost him everything! He lost the throne and disqualified his successive generations from sitting on the throne. Our disobedience can derail not only our lives but also the lives of those around us. In the same way that disobedience brings sorrow to God, our obedience brings joy!

Have a willing heart to obey God and there is no promotion that He will withhold from you!!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 17:1-18:4; John 8:21-30; Psalm 111:1-10; Proverbs 15:11