Help me build on the gifts you’ve given me

David grew steadily more powerful, for the Lord of hosts was with him.  Have you ever watched the Olympic sport of pole-vaulting?   An athlete sprints down a runway with a long pole, wedges the pole into a holder, and uses his momentum and strength to catapult himself up in the air toward a very high bar.   Letting go of the pole, he soars over the bar, falls to earth, and lands on a big cushion. That moment of letting go of the pole can seem...

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So what is your nickname

. . . sons of thunder. Has anyone ever given you a nickname?   Maybe your mother used to call you Sweetheart or Buddy.   Maybe your speed and agility led teammates to call you Flash or Arrow.   Nicknames like these can be descriptive and sometimes humorous.   But they also show closeness and affection.   When someone gives you a nickname, they are saying not only how well they know you but how much they like you as well. In Scripture we read...

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I have come to hear your voice

He told his disciples to have a boat ready. Crowds upon crowds followed Jesus, and the more he healed, the more people pressed in on him.   So many people surged toward him, in fact, that he had to act to avoid being crushed.   But he had a boat ready, not for a quick escape, but so that he could continue to teach and heal. Just as he did back then, Jesus has a plan today—for your life!   He is always ready to teach you, to build you up, to...

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I embrace victory

Today the Lord shall deliver you into my hand. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to throw a rock at your problems and watch them all disappear?   This is what David did: he chucked a tiny stone at Goliath, and the dreaded giant collapsed. But there was more to this story than David’s bravery.   As his words to Goliath show, David also relied on the Lord to give him victory.   How else could one small stone make such a big difference? God wants us to...

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The Lord looks into the heart

The Lord looks into the heart. The stakes were high.   Samuel was in the middle of deciding which of Jesse’s sons should be anointed king of Israel.   If Samuel looked only at how tall or strong the young men were, he might overlook David, the youngest and seemingly the least capable.   But God had chosen David, and he needed Samuel to recognize that.   The challenge for Samuel, as well as for us, was to look at the realities beneath the...

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Teach me to welcome you

He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me. “I am doing now what I will do for all eternity.   I am blessing God, praising him, adoring him, and loving him with all my heart.” These words come from Brother Lawrence, a monk who lived in seventeenth-century Paris.   As the cook for his community, Brother Lawrence held one of its more mundane jobs.   But he made it a point to delight in the Lord even while doing mundane kitchen tasks. ...

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