Before Paul put the final period on his first letter to the Thessalonians he issued a double-edged command: “encourage…and build up one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In a world more sinful than saintly, such a command is necessary because the spirit of discouragement is dangerous.More Information
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Read 2 Samuel 7:4-17
God does not call everybody to build temples. He calls some people to be soldiers. He calls some people to do the gutsy work in the trenches. He calls some people to compose and conduct music. God has all kinds of creative ways to use us—ways we can't even imagine and certainly can't see up there around the next bend in the road. One of the hardest things to hear is that God is going to use someone else to accomplish something you thought was your role to fill. That's what David had to hear. "It won't be you, David...it will be your son, Solomon."
"Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far? And yet this was insignificant in Your eyes, O Lord GOD, for You have spoken also of the house of Your servant concerning the distant future.... Again what more can David say to You? For You know Your servant, O Lord GOD!" (2 Samuel 7:18-20)
Isn't that like a little child? When a child refers to himself, he often calls himself by name. Just like a little boy, David sat down before the Lord and said, in effect, "Dad, what is David, that You've blessed my house and You've blessed my life, and You've brought me from leading a little flock of sheep to giving me this magnificent throne? Who am I?"
It's important that every once in a while we sit down, take a long look at our short lives, and count our blessings. Who are we to have been protected from the rains that fell and the strong winds that destroyed regions, leaving hundreds homeless? Who are we that He has blessed our house and kept it safe? Warm in the winter...cool in the summer. Who am I, Lord, that You should give me health and strength to be able to hold a job or pursue this career or get this degree? Or to have parents who have encouraged me? Or to have these great kids and to see them grow? Who am I?
"Dream or no dream, I'm a blessed person," says David. Here is more evidence that David was a man after God's own heart.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Insight for Living Canada is here to proclaim these great truths to those who have never heard them, and to remind God’s people of them when the storms are raging. But we can only do it because people like you choose to help.
In John 20:24–30, John described the stirring scene when Jesus appeared to His disciples—except for Thomas—following His Resurrection. Naturally, they were huddled in a closed room in fear for their lives.
While I visited many historic and beautiful locations, two rather lonely places were especially significant, adding depth to the biblical narratives: Caesarea Philippi and the garden of Gethsemane.