Tag Archives: trustworthy

2 Samuel 1-2; 1 Chronicles 11

I am reading a book called Integrity: the Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Henry Cloud. One of the think pieces that stuck with me early on is the deeper layer of integrity, the one below the first response of trustworthy, honest, and sincere. The deeper layer leaves a wake behind its passing by, and that wake is telling of the core of who that person is.

When David learns of Saul and Jonathan’s deaths, he is deeply grieved. He writes a song in honor of the men. Saul was an enemy toward David, and David mourns the good of who Saul was. He chooses to remember well.

I read further into the scriptures and take note of David’s mightiest warriors. I read of the Thirty and I read of the Three.

20 Abishai, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three. 21 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three (1 Chronicles 11:20-21, NLT).

Remember Abishai? He was by David’s side when they went into enemy camp last week and retrieved the spear and water jug while Saul and his men slumbered. But here are the Three:

11 Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle.

12 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. 13 He was with David when the Philistines gathered for battle at Pas-dammim and attacked the Israelites in a field full of barley. The Israelite army fled, 14 but Eleazar and David held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord saved them by giving them a great victory.

15 Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there. 16 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.

17 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.” 18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord. 19 “God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these men who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three (1 Chronicles 11:11-19, NLT, emphasis mine).

The wake of their actions leaves a long impression upon me–their strength, ability, and bravery made them warriors, but something deeper within them set them apart from other warriors. Likewise, I wonder, did these elite see something in David that made them willing to stand apart for him? Or were they just being true to themselves and how God wired them?

There’s a lot to consider in these chapters: the example David sets in honoring Saul and Jonathan; the mighty acts of the Thirty and the Three; David seeking the Lord for direction; and the pouring out of a sacrifice to the Lord–these things all speak of integrity and wake.

I find I have more questions as I consider today’s culture’s transient environment of work/service and relationships. I keep seeking.

Courtney (66books365)


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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 2 Samuel, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Old Testament

Ezra 1, 2; John 19:23-42

Sometimes it’s hard to believe in change. Hard to believe that a circumstance would ever improve, could ever improve. When years tick by and nothing changes, it’s easy to feel forgotten, invisible. While I’ve never known exile on a mass scale, I’ve known what it’s like to live removed, even in a crowd (or across a holiday table), held at arm’s length and denied admission, inclusion. When years tick by and nothing improves, it’s easy to succumb to resignation.

This book in my hands tells me God sees me. This book tells me that nothing is impossible for him. He is still at work. This is what I hold onto, even after hope rejected, even after life upended. He is still at work. After disappointment, tears, wounds, I tell myself and want to believe: he is still at work.

Looking into God’s word shows me his faithfulness and power.

  •  In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom. Ezra 1:1, NLT.
  • Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. Ezra 1:5, NLT.
  • Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived. Ezra 2:1, NLT.

He shows me how he can stir hearts, unexpectedly, after waiting … after resignation.

He shows me how he restores.

He shows me his faithfulness again and again, fulfillment of prophecy–promises kept.

  • 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did. John 19:24, NLT.
  • 28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit. John 19:28-30, NLT.
  • 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.” John 19:32-37, NLT.

I read it in his word and know that he is powerful, and he is faithful. Sometimes I’m surprised, though, at what little opportunity I allow him in my life. Things so broken they seem impossible to fix. And when he stirs a heart, he shows me again and still, nothing is impossible.

Lord, thank you for so many changes you’ve brought about. I had been resigned for years that this was just what it was going to be, and you show me you’re not done yet. I’m so grateful. Thank you for seeing me, for catching tears, for desiring reconciliation so deeply that even the grave wouldn’t stop you from obtaining it.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year

Jeremiah 12; Joshua 23; Matthew 26; Acts 3

Note to self:

  • God’s promises never fail.

Joshua is not far from death and spends his time telling his fellow Israelites of what God has done. He encourages them–be strong, be careful to obey; he warns them–don’t turn away, be careful of the snares and traps of falling away; he reminds them–God’s promises never fail.

  • He uses difficulties to build endurance, not to break.

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5

  • Nothing is impossible with God.

When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?” Acts 3:12

Thank you, Lord, for promises kept, for strength in trials, for giving me opportunities to bless you, and for the many, many miracles accomplished daily in your name. Amen.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under Acts, Jeremiah, Joshua, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Matthew, New Testament, Old Testament

Numbers 1, Psalm 35, Ecclesiastes 11, Titus 3

Say to my soul, “I am your Salvation.”

Psalm 35:3b NIV

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Lord Jesus,

When things in this life do not seem to make sense, say to my soul, “I am your Salvation.”

When I stumble and fall over the same issues time and again, say to my soul, “I am your Salvation.”

When doubtful, anxious or negative thoughts persist, say to my soul, “I am your Salvation.”

When I feel lost and beyond hope, say to my soul, “I am your Salvation.”

“Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of truth.” (Casting Crowns)

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My soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in His salvation. My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like You, Lord?”

Psalm 35:9 & 10 NIV

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, who He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.

Titus 3:4 – 8a NIV

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Father,

You are so good! Who is like You Lord? The Almighty I Am, the Warrior of my enemy, the Comforter of my sorrows, the Encourager of my spirit, the Gentle Shepherd who leads and guides, the Savior of my soul. Oh how the list could go on. Please help me to always hold fast to you, to keep my hope and my trust in You, even when I don’t understand. You are trustworthy!

Amen.

– Beckie (look2thehills)

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Filed under M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Titus