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

May 13

1 Samuel 14:1-52; John 7:31-53; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 15:5-7

Saul’s kingship was moving forward. They were experiencing victories at the powerful hand of God. Saul had a heart to hear from God before he took any move. Saul valued hearing from God before he took any military action. (In fact, in the previous chapter, Saul was so desperate to hear from God that he set up his own altar and made sacrifices.)

There was a time when Saul inquired of the Lord but God was silent! Saul knew there was something blocking his ability to hear from God. He found out it was the sin of his own son that stopped the voice of God. Unlike Eli, Saul was ready to punish Jonathan for his disobedience. But, the people pleaded with him for mercy– which he granted.

Have you experienced a time in your life when God seemed silent? Has hearing God’s voice become dull? Search your heart and go back to the last clear instruction you received from Him. You do not want anything to block you from hearing today– or any day. God is always speaking but our lack of obedience dulls our ability to hear. It is too risky to live life without hearing God’s voice!

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

May 12

1 Samuel 12:1-13:23; John 7:1-30; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 15:4

Samuel is transitioning his ministry and he presents himself before the people as a way to have an integrity check!  Not every leader is willing to stand before those whom they serve and have those people confirm their integrity. Samuel asked the people to present evidence against his character.

You see the greatest asset to a leader is his or her integrity. Many people desire to be leaders but without the integrity that goes along with it, you will never see the fruit of your leadership. Integrity creates influence. No leader alive has ever made all the right decisions. What causes people to follow is that they can trust the heart of the person in charge.

One’s heart will establish him even when accusations are hurled. As a leader, you are not immune from attacks and misrepresentations of your character. What you can do is live in such a way that they are proven to be false by your lifestyle.

Samuel exercised great spiritual power because his heart was right towards God. Check your heart today. Ensure that there is no pollution in your heart that would keep you from walking in a supernatural level of leadership. People will be inspired to follow you because of the integrity of your heart.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 14:1-52; John 7:31-53; Psalm 109:1-31; Proverbs 15:5-7

May 11

1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:43-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3

The power behind the throne is a man of God! Samuel, though he was getting old, was still the King’s connection to God and God’s plan. Though Saul was now the King, Samuel told him step by step what was to happen and how he was to go about being king.

The first thing Saul received was a new heart! Prior to his elevation to the throne, he was focused on his personal agenda. God gave him a heart to lead His people and to care for God’s sheep. Saul was positioned to succeed as King over God’s people. As long as Saul followed God’s mandates and directions, he prospered. When he departed from God’s ways, trouble arose.

God’s plan is the same for each of us as we rule as kings and queens on the earth. He has given you a man (or woman) of God to speak His Word into your life so that you stay on course with His purposes. Each believer needs a prophet to speak into his or her life. Respect this gift in your life because it will help guide you as you pursue God’s purposes for your life!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 12:1-13:23; John 7:1-30; Psalm 108:1-13; Proverbs 15:4

May 10

1 Samuel 8:1-9:27; John 6:22-42; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 14:34-35

Freewill is what sets us apart from all of creation. Every other living thing in creation has instinctual behaviors that they cannot override (even trained animals revert back to their inherent behaviors over time.) With all that God had done for Israel, they made the big mistake to choose a human king over The Eternal King.

If ever there was a time for God to override human will, it would have been at this point. Yet, God allowed them to do something that He was against. He sent Samuel to warn them and give them a realistic picture about what having a king would mean. They still chose an earthly king.

Are there times when you choose incorrectly and want your life to be like other people’s? Have you looked at the green grass of someone else’s life and rejected God’s path for yours? Have you subtly substituted God’s place in your life with someone else’s? If so, it will never end well.

The throne of our lives is reserved for only One: The Lord Jesus Christ! If an unworthy person sits on the Throne, they will lead us astray and cause us to fall. Renounce any false God or fraudulent king and let God be your God! He has earned that place in your life.

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 10:1-11:15; John 6:43-71; Psalm 107:1-43; Proverbs 15:1-3

 

May 9

1 Samuel 5:1-7:17; John 6:1-21; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 14:32-33

How easy it is to take God’s presence for granted. If we are not careful, we will take God’s presence lightly as if He were any other person. God’s presence is not to be played with. One of the most precious benefits we have as children of God is to enjoy His presence.

The Philistines thought they had an upper hand on Israel because they took the Ark of the Covenant, which represented the presence of God. The problem was The Almighty God cannot and will not be contained in an unholy place or vessel. When they took the Ark and put it in their temple next to their god, each day they found their god on the ground.

Even the people who held onto the Ark found themselves under attack. The truth is that the power of God is superior to all other gods. Our God knows this but do we? God’s presence and power are unparalleled. God has made that power available to you today.

Receive that power into your life and let that power flow from you to everyone you encounter. When God’s power flows through you, it will transform situations around you. That’s when healing happens and people are set free. This power is available to you right now!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 8:1-9:27; John 6:22-42; Psalm 106:32-48; Proverbs 14:34-35

May 8

1 Samuel 2:22-4:22; John 5:24-47; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 14:30-31

Are there people who are in a protected category for whom you turn a blind eye to their behavior? Eli was the priest and God had promised him that his family would always serve as priests because of Eli’s faithful duty as priest of the Lord.

However, Eli looked the other way when he was made aware of his son’s immorality. He did nothing. The saddest thing about this whole episode with Eli is that the young man who was sent to be mentored by Eli had to inform him of God’s judgment. God’s presence was removed. God’s hand was removed from Eli’s family and he died in obscurity.

With all that is happening in the world, are there areas where you turn a blind eye and say, “whatever”? If so, today would be a time to search your heart and ask, “Am I missing God’s presence or hand on my life because of looking away at injustice?” God is counting on you to stand firm on His principles regardless of who is committing the injustice. No one is above the standards of God. Let’s stand firm in Him!

Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Samuel 5:1-7:17; John 6:1-21; Psalm 106:13-31; Proverbs 14:32-33