All posts by JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 107/260: Nathan

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-5

Authority from the Lord

Israel was at peace. David wanted to build a house for God. The prophet Nathan, knowing that the king had found favor in God’s sight, said, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you” (2 Samuel 7:3). Nathan’s mistake is that he did not ask God if that is what He wanted David to do.

Many times, we have the best of intentions, but we do not seek God’s will before setting out to accomplish our plans. We may think that God would certainly approve – but without first consulting His Word, how can we know?

Jesus warned that there would be some on the Day of Judgment that had good intentions but lacked the authority for their actions. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Were they intentionally sinning against God? No! They thought they were doing good things! But Jesus calls their practices lawless. Why? Because they had no authority to do the things they claimed to do “in Your name.”

We see throughout the Scriptures examples of people who attempted to serve God in ways that He did not command or authorize. Nadab and Abihu are a prime example of this. They used “profane fire…which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1). The New International Version translates this, “unauthorized fire…contrary to his command.”

Are you practicing anything that is unauthorized? Profane? Contrary to God’s commands? Consider the actions you participate in during worship. Are there elements of that worship for which authority cannot be found in the New Testament?

Do not presume to know what is acceptable to God. Look for answers in His revelation – His communication with man. Don’t make the same mistake Nathan made.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 106/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 7

The Humility of David

God had blessed David so richly, giving him authority over all Israel and granting peace with his enemies. Not only that, David recognized the great material blessings God had provided for him, namely “a house of cedar” (2 Samuel 7:2). Even as he recognized this blessing, David pointed out a disparity between his residence and the dwelling place of the ark of the covenant, which “dwells inside tent curtains” (2 Samuel 7:2). Thus, the king wanted to correct what he saw as a slight against God’s presence.

The prophet Nathan encouraged the king to proceed, but God put a stop to his plan. “Will you build a house for Me to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the time that I brought the children of Israel up from Egypt, even to this day, but have moved about in a tent and in a tabernacle” (2 Sam. 7:5-6). God made known to David that He did not need the king to do anything for Him. God is omnipotent and omnipresent; He can provide for Himself as He sees fit, and no dwelling place constructed by man can contain Him.

Instead, God told the king, “Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever….And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16).

The Messianic overtones in this promise are crystal clear. After David’s death, God said He would “set up your seed after you.” Jesus was born through the line of David. “I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name.” This is a prediction of the church; it was no afterthought! It was purposed from the very beginning of creation!

David’s reaction to this promise was one of humility. “Who am I , O Lord God? And what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” (2 Samuel 7:18). David recognized that he did not deserve anything the Lord had promised him. He was a humble servant. “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant” (2 Samuel 7:28). Let us have the humility of David when God graciously blesses us!

Prophecy and Proof (Acts 13:13-41)

Prophecy and Proof Acts 13:13-41

Acts 13:13-41

I. The historical background of the Messiah (Acts 13:13-23)

    A. The exodus, wilderness, and Joshua (Acts 13:16-19; Deuteronomy 7:1-2)
    B. David (Acts 13:20-22) and his part in God’s plan (Acts 13:23)

II. The prophecies and proofs of Jesus (Acts 13:23-37)

    A. John the Baptizer’s testimony (Acts 13:23-25; John 1:29-30; 3:30)
    B. Paul’s target audience: “those among you who fear God” (Acts 13:26)
    C. Jesus’ rejection and crucifixion fulfilled prophecy (Acts 13:27-29)
    D. Jesus’ resurrection fulfilled prophecy (Acts 13:30-37; 2:29ff)

III. Jesus is the answer to every man’s problem of sin (Acts 13:38-41)

    A. Forgiveness and justification (Acts 13:38-39; Galatians 3:23-25)
    B. Warning against rebellion (Acts 13:40-41; Habakkuk 1:5; Isaiah 53:1)

Psalm 21: The Blessing of Victory

Psalm 21 The Blessing of Victory

Psalm 21

I. Thanksgiving for mercies granted to the king (Psalm 21:1-6)

    A. Joy in the salvation of God (Psalm 21:1; 1 Peter 1:10-12; Ephesians 3:4)
    B. Prayer (Psalm 21:2; James 1:6; 1 John 5:14-15)
    C. The crown (Psalm 21:3; Galatians 4:4-5; 2 Timothy 4:8)
    D. Life (Psalm 21:4; John 10:10)
    E. Honor and majesty (Psalm 21:5-6; 2 Samuel 7:18; Ephesians 2:8-9)

II. The hope of future victories (Psalm 21:7-12)

    A. Steadfast trust (Psalm 21:7; 1 Corinthians 15:58)
    B. The enemies of God do not stand a chance (Psalm 21:8-12; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Matthew 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; 25:21, 23)

III. The reward for faithfulness (Psalm 21:13)

    A. The power rests with God, not with us (Psalm 21:13)
    B. Coffman: “There can be no higher activity on the part of mankind than that of worshipping and praising the Creator” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Philippians 2:12-13)

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 105/260: David

Read 1 Chronicles 16

Sanctify God in Your Heart

David took great joy in the blessings of God and often expressed his gratitude to the Almighty. The words of the psalm recorded in 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 can also be found in the inspired collected psalter (Psalms 96:1-13; 105:1-15; 106:47-48; etc.).

David was not shy in speaking of the Lord’s blessings. Don’t we love to share good news? Many times, by the way we talk, it seems like we have nothing but agony in our lives! Let’s refocus on the positive things and see how much praise is due the Lord! Take note of David’s words:

  • “Make known His deeds among the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:8)
  • “Talk of all His wonderful works!” (1 Chronicles 16:9)
  • “Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.” (1 Chronicles 16:23)
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.” (1 Chronicles 16:24)
  • “Give to the Lord the glory due His name.” (1 Chronicles 16:29)

Are we successful in carrying out these instructions? Perhaps we fail so often at expressing joy in God because we don’t fully appreciate who He is. David declared, “For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens” (1 Chronicles 16:25-26). The heathen nations in the times of David worshiped whatever god they deemed convenient at the time. Even David’s wife, Saul’s daughter, Michal, had an idol in her house (1 Samuel 19:13).

Do we have idols today? Perhaps we do not “worship” them as gods, but do we ever elevate them to a place of importance above God? Consider your list of priorities. Where does God rank? Does He ever take a backseat to a ballgame? Work? Maybe even family?

Sanctify God in your heart. Set Him above all else, acknowledge His blessings, and tell others what He has done for you!

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 104/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 6:1-12; 1 Chronicles 13:1-14; 15:1-15

Learning From Mistakes

While there are many positive incidents in the life of David, and we can learn from the many godly actions and encouraging attitudes he often displayed, there are also some bad examples from which we can learn. There is great value in learning from your own mistakes, but if we can learn from the mistakes of others, isn’t that even better?

David said, “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:3). He had a great idea but failed in the proper execution of it. He did not take the time to determine the correct procedures to transport the ark. “So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart” (1 Chronicles 13:7).

God had given specific instructions about transportation of the ark with specially made poles placed through engraved rings (Exodus 25:12-15; 37:1-5). These instructions were not followed. When the oxen that were pulling the new cart stumbled, Uzza reached out to steady the ark. He did not want it to fall. “Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13:10).

Was David wrong in wanting the ark nearby, so that he could consult with the Lord before making big decisions? Was Uzza wrong in his desire to not see the ark fall to the ground? The intentions of these men were good; the execution of their intentions was wrong. God had spoken on the matter and they had ignored God’s instructions.

David learned from his mistake and admitted his error. In instructing the Levites later to transport the ark, he said, “For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult him about the proper order” (1 Chronicles 15:13).

David learned from his mistake, and we can learn from his mistake as well. When we seek to do something for the Lord, should we not consult His Word to be sure we are acting according to His will? Whether it concerns salvation, or worship, or everyday life, should we not strive to serve Him according to His wishes?

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 103/260: David

Read Psalm 110

A View of the Messiah, His Rule, and His People

Writing by inspiration, David prophesied about the coming Messiah in Psalm 110. We know that this Psalm was written by David because Jesus Himself said that it was (Matthew 22:41-45). Peter also, by inspiration, ascribed the Psalm to the pen of David when the apostle quoted from it in Acts 2:34-35. Paul alludes to it in 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 in reference to Christ’s enemies, and the Hebrews writer quoted from the Psalm in making the point that God never said these things to any of the angels but to the Son only (Hebrews 1:13).

Christ is the King; He rules over His kingdom. That kingdom is currently in existence; it is not a future institution, but a present one! Paul says that God has “conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:13). The kingdom is none other than the church. Jesus Himself equates the two in Matthew 16:18-19.

Not only is Christ the King, but He is also Priest. Only one other man in history served as both king and priest—Melchizedek. Indeed, David writes, “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4). The Hebrews writer quoted this verse as well in Hebrews 7, pointing to Jesus as One who “has become a surety of a better covenant” (Hebrews 7:22).

In Christ’s kingdom, His followers are “volunteers” (Psalm 110:3). Christians become Christians by choice, and that choice often comes with consequences in this life. Jesus must have the preeminence in one’s heart and mind. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciples. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple….So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).

Do you serve Jesus as your King, knowing that He gave His own life as a sacrifice as your High Priest? Are you willingly following as a volunteer? He is the One appointed by the Father to rule.

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 102/260: David

Read Psalm 21

God – The Source of Strength

David was the king over all Israel, yet even with all the power and might he possessed, he recognized there was One even more powerful. “The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!” (Psalm 21:1).

Notice the gratitude of the king toward God in this Psalm. He is thankful that God has not only heard but granted his requests. “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips” (Psalm 21:2).

He recognizes that God is the source of “blessings of goodness”; it was God who even “set a crown of pure gold upon (the king’s) head)” (Psalm 21:3). God would lengthen the king’s rule and provide salvation, honor, and majesty to the throne (Psalm 21:4-5).

God’s blessings created steadfast joy in the heart of the king, knowing that He would guard and protect His faithful followers and execute justice upon those who oppose Him and His people. “For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved. Your hand will find all Your enemies; Your right hand will find those who hate You” (Psalm 21:7-8).

Those who set out to oppose God will not succeed. He “shall swallow them up in His wrath” (Psalm 21:9). “They devised a plot which they are not able to perform” (Psalm 21:11).

No man’s strength can ever overtake the Almighty; He is the One who provides strength to men. “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power” (Psalm 21:13).

Do we not serve the same Almighty God today that David served while he sat on the throne? Our wildest imaginations cannot match the power, the strength, or the blessings that are available to the children of God. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 101/260: David

Read 2 Samuel 3:1-39; 5:1-5; 1 Chronicles 11:1-3

Unity Under David

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Those words are attributed to the fifteenth-century monk and poet John Lydgate. And there is truth in it. Even if you do everything right, there will be someone who thinks you should have done something better.

In the transition from Saul’s kingdom to David’s, there was division. Saul’s son Ishbosheth assumed the throne and reigned for a short time in Benjamin, while David reigned over Judah from Hebron. For seven and a half years, the kingdom was divided until a dispute between Ishbosheth and Abner.

Abner tried to switch sides, but Joab refused to trust him and decided to murder him. David’s reaction won the respect of many. “And when all the people came to persuade David to eat food while it was still day, David took an oath, saying, ‘God do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else till the sun goes down!’ Now all the people took note of it, and it pleased them, since whatever the king did pleased all the people” (2 Sam. 3:35-36).

They proclaimed, “Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall shepherd My people Israel, and be ruler over Israel’” (2 Samuel 5:1-2). After seven and a half years of reigning over Judah in Hebron, he was anointed king over all Israel and began to rule from Jerusalem, “according to the word of the Lord by Samuel” (1 Chronicles 11:3).

Was David’s reign perfect and without incident? Did he always have the support of all the people? Sadly, no. David was human and failed at times. He sinned and brought harm upon the nation and upon his family. But here for a moment, Israel was united under one king, and “whatever the king did pleased all the people.”

The King we serve today is none other than Jesus Christ. Sadly, there are people who are not pleased with Him. They want to do things their way and ignore His authority. If we serve Him and follow the will revealed by inspiration, we can enjoy unity in the kingdom—His church—today. Are you pleased with your King?

That Which Is Precious To Peter

That Which Is Precious To Peter

I. Faith (2 Peter 1:1)

    A. The problem of false teaching (Jude 3-4; 3 John 9, 11)
    B. Warning against false teachers (2 Peter 2:1-19)
    C. Continue in the truth because faith is precious (John 8:32; 2 Peter 3:18)

II. The trial of our faith (1 Peter 1:6-9)

    A. The testing of faith (James 1:2-3)
    B. Present suffering will not compare to eternal glory (Romans 8:18)

III. A gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4)

    A. Gentle/meek (Matthew 5:5)
    B. Quiet/peaceable (1 Timothy 2:2)

IV. The promises of God (2 Peter 1:2-4)

    A. God’s revelation is sufficient (Proverbs 17:8)
    B. God’s promises are conditional upon obedience (Romans 11:22)

V. Christ (1 Peter 2:4-7)

    A. The living stone chosen of God (1 Peter 2:4-5)
    B. Old Testament prophecies
      1. Isaiah 28:16 (cf. Ephesians 2:19-22)
      2. Psalm 118:22

VI. The blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18-19)

    A. Intrinsic value (Acts 3:6; Mark 8:36-37)
    B. The blood of animals not sufficient (Hebrews 10:4, 10)