2 Kings 4:3 (KJV) 

Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbors, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

The prophet of the Lord spoke these words to the widow, and she and her two sons listened. This family had a debt and only one flask of oil. They collected as many empty vessels as they could and filled them all from their single flask. When they ran out of vessels, the oil stopped. The widow paid her debt in full, and they had plenty to live on, as well. 

As I embark upon 2017, I am encouraged by this account of God’s all-sufficient power. This passage ignites a fire inside of me. God is able! I know that God can provide for my every need, but do I really believe that He will? 

Yes. Yes, I believe. Throughout this Christmas season, everywhere I looked I’ve seen the word “Believe”. On ribbon, on wrapping paper, on wreaths, and stand alone, the word “Believe” caught my eye again and again. I realize the marketers have the belief of Santa Claus in mind, and movies such as The Polar Express, which I love, promote this idea to “Believe”.

However, as a Christian, I take “Believe” to a new level. My faith in Jesus Christ as God’s only begotten Son and as my resurrected Savior is the foundation of all I believe. I believe God is the creator of the world. I believe God hears and answers prayers. I believe there is hope for each individual. I believe God has purpose for my life. I believe God has purpose for your life, too.  I believe God is not only able, but He is willing to work miracles on our behalf. I believe God is all-sufficient, all-knowing, all-present, and all-powerful. I believe. 

Do you believe? 

Can you see yourself?

2 Samuel 12:7

“You are that man!…”

2 Samuel 11-12 Summary:

King David did not got out and fight in the war as he normally did. One night on his terrace he saw Bathsheba taking a bath. David sent for her, slept with her, and sent her home. Bathsheba soon discovered she was pregnant and sent word to the king. 

Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, was one of David’s mighty men, and he was away fighting as King David should have been. Eager to cover his sin, David called Uriah home from battle, fed him, and even got him drunk to coerce Uriah to go home and sleep with his wife. Uriah’s code of honor would not allow him to take pleasure with his wife knowing his brothers were fighting in battle. 

David sent Uriah back to war carrying a letter for the commander which contained Uriah’s death sentence. David commanded that Uriah be moved to fight on the front line and the other men were to retreat. After the death of Uriah, David took Bathsheba as one of his wives. 

Adultery and murder…I thought David loved God?

The child born to David and Bathsheba became very ill and died. David fasted and prayed for the life of the child but to no avail. Once the child died, David washed, ate, and went to the house of God to worship. All of David’s men were perplexed by his actions, but David explained that as long as there was hope for the child to live he continued to pray and fast. Since the child died, David realized the child could not come back to him, but he could serve the Lord and see the child some day in Heaven. (2 Samuel 12:22-23) This passage grants such hope of us seeing our loved ones again. 

After the death of Uriah, the prophet came to David and told him a story. There was a very rich man who decided to throw a party for visiting friends, but instead of feeding his friends from his own vast wealth, he took the only sheep from a poor man. This sheep had been like a child to this poor man and was his only possession. David was so angry. He wanted that rich man killed for his heartless actions and demanded to know who was this man.

Nathan replied, “You are that man!” 

Wow! David’s heart broke. He was King and could have any one he wanted, yet he took the wife of his friend, Uriah. David tried to cover his sin, but he could not see the severity of it until Nathan told him this simple story. 

It’s a curious thing how people do not “see” themselves. People get so caught up in being moved by emotions that they don’t “see” the way their actions impact others. Whether it’s words or actions, you cannot turn back time. You might be sorry and repentant, but oftentimes, damage has already been done. 

David repented, and a God still blessed his future, but repercussions of his actions could not be undone. Uriah died. The child died. David’s sin was uncovered, and his household suffered throughout his reign. 

Ask God to show you yourself today. Are there some changes you can make in your life? Look into the Bible. Let the Word of God be your mirror. Does your reflection look like the Lord? 

A Place for Jesus 

Read 2 Samuel 7:1-29

Verse 5: “Are you the one to build a house for me to live in?” (NLT)

I hope you will take time to read this chapter in its entirety. David is often called “a man after God’s own heart”. This story demonstrates this characteristic of David beautifully. 

David, as king over Israel, had all he could desire. Yet, he was troubled to think of the ark of God dwelling in a tent. David felt an unction to build God a house.

This thoughtful gesture pleased the Lord.

Have you considered God lately? How comfortable our lives have become in the USA. I have a home, a bed, a family, a routine. Overall, I am relatively content. But, have I created a place for the Lord in the midst of my life?

As I think about the Christmas story (Luke 2), remembering the humble birth of our Savior in a stable, I imagine the craziness of the city surrounding young Mary and Joseph. All the people had to leave their comfortable place and travel to be counted for taxation. There were so many people that all the rooms were filled. No room could be found for an expectant mother laboring to deliver her first born child. What terrible conditions! 

Now, I look around me, present day Christmas, and I notice the hustle and bustle of people everywhere. Schedules are filled with this party or that event. Few smiles are shared in the shopping malls. Oftentimes a spirit of grudgery overtakes a spirit of joy. Is there any room for Jesus today? 

Will you build God a house?

Will you open up your heart, body, and soul as a place for Him to dwell? 

Will you make room for Jesus this Christmas?

Friend to a King 

Have you ever met someone for whom you just feel a special kinship? You share easy conversation and perhaps have similar interests. As you spend more time with this friend, you discover you are willing to do anything for this person.

Jonathan was heir to the throne, and David was anointed to be the next king. This should have caused great division between these two young warriors, but instead, the two became fast friends. Jonathan would do anything for his friend, David, even give up his place as future king. Jonathan symbolized his honor for David by giving him all his possessions.

1 Samuel 18:1-4

After David had finished talking with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king’s son. There was an immediate bond between them…Jonathan sealed the pact by taking off his robe and giving it to David, together with his tunic, sword, bow, and belt.

David mourned for his friend when he heard of Jonathan’s death in battle. When given the chance, David remembered the promises made to Jonathan and passed the blessing onto Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. 

2 Samuel 9:7

“Don’t be afraid,” David said [to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth], “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father….”

The rewards to friendship are amazing. I encourage you to show yourself friendly towards others and gain friends. Remember to keep your promises, and guard your priorities. Friendship is more important than position or power. 

Proverbs 18:24

A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly….

John 15:14

[Jesus says], “You are my friends, if you do what I command.”

How thankful we should be that Jesus left His position and relinquished His power to become as one of us, live a perfect life, die on the cross, and pay the ultimate price for our sins! He first loved us, so we have freedom to love Him and live for Him. 

I am a friend of God. I am a friend of the King. Are you? 

An Unlikely King

Oh to see through the eyes of God! If only we could tear away every preconceived ideology from our thinking and really “see” people for who they are on the inside. What are their thoughts? What are their motives? 

We can’t. Therefore, it is so important that we not judge one another but leave that to the Lord. Certainly, blatant acts contrary to the Word of God must receive rebuke, but I’m thinking more along the lines of the judgements we tend to inflict in everyday life. 

Judgement has an array of extremes. We might look upon a benefactor to a charity with high regard and respect, not realizing that he gives with grudgery and a prideful heart with a sole purpose for personal monetary gain come tax season. The praises of onlookers being the only reward for his actions. 

Perhaps we harshly condemn the beggar on the street corner imploring him to “get a job”, not knowing the battle of depression warring in his mind. Maybe he lost his job, couldn’t pay his rent, and being an orphan growing up in various foster homes, he has no where to turn. The truth is: we don’t know his story. 

Who are we to judge?

Our job is to love.

John 13:35 (NLT)

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

The children of Israel sought a king to reign over them, and from all physical attributes, Saul was perfect. Pride entered his heart, and he made choices contrary to God’s command. I hope you will read the books of 1 & 2 Samuel for yourself. There are wonderful stories of war, friendship, lust, and love. The Bible portrays the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can learn from the history set before us. The following 3 scriptures are from the New Living Translation & set the background for today’s “Priddy Words”.

1 Samuel 9:2

…Saul was the most handsome man in Israel- head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land.

1 Samuel 13:13-14

…Samuel exclaimed [to Saul], “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. Had you kept it, the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom must end, for the Lord has sought a man after his own heart….”

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Dear Lord, 

Help me to love others as You love. Let me offer mercy and forgiveness to others as I desire to receive mercy and forgiveness from You. Grant me opportunities to show others the hope of Your salvation during this Christmas season.

In Jesus name, Amen. 

Rejecting God? 

1 Samuel 8:5(HCSB)

…appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.

1 Samuel 8:7

But the Lord told [Samuel], “…They have not rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king….”

The Lord speaks to Moses ” face to face as a man speaks unto his friend” (Exodus 33:11) because the children of Israel fear God and refuse to go to the mountain with Moses. God desires to dwell among His people. God walks daily in the garden with Adam until sin causes separation between God and Man. Even on giving Moses the instructions for the tabernacle, God’s presence dwells in the midst.

Throughout the book of Judges, God allows His spirit to move upon men & women to lead Israel into victory over their enemies. God raises Samuel as a prophet to give voice to His commands. Israel removes foreign gods and listens to the instructions of Samuel until his old age and rebellious sons cause the people to seek a king. 

Samuel takes offense at this request. The cry of the people acts as personal judgement, but God tells Samuel the people are not rejecting him, but God, Himself. The people take their eyes off of God and seek the leadership of man. Rejection of God is the beginning of destruction. The reason the people state: to be the same as other nations. How sad. Israel, God’s chosen people, wants to be like everyone else. 

In your own life today have you rejected God? Are there things or people you revere more than your time with the Lord? God has spoken to you through His Word. You can glean from the pages of the Bible the instructions you need to follow for success in your everyday life. If you reject the commands of God,  then you are rejecting God. If you allow other people to influence you contrary to God’s Word, then you are rejecting God. 

Stand firm today. Call upon Jesus, and He will answer. You will be surprised to see the Lord’s handiwork active in your life when you choose to follow Him wholeheartedly. He sends the answers in different ways, so be watchful and maintain an attitude of thanksgiving and prayer. 

Philippians 4:6-7(HCSB)

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.