Daily Devotion for March 3, 2018
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Peter, Paul and Mary is not a group one would associate with gospel music, but they really rock this song by the Reverend Gary Davis.
He was the strongest man that ever lived on earth.
One day old Sampson was walking alone
He looked down on the ground and he saw an old jaw-bone.
He lifted up that jaw-bone and he swung it over his head,
And when he got to moving ten thousand was dead.
If I had my way,
If I had my way in this wicked world,
If I had my way
I would tear this building down.
Sampson and the lion got in attack
Sampson he crawled up on the lion's back
You read about this lion - he killed a man with his paw
Sampson he got his hands around the lion's jaw
And he ripped that beast till the lion was dead
And the bees made honey in the lion's head.
Delilah was a woman, she was fine and fair
She had lovely looks, God knows, and cold black hair
Delilah she climbed up on sampson's knee
And said "tell me where your strength lies, if you please"
She talked so fine, she talked so fair,
Sampson said "Delilah, cut off my hair,
Shave my head just as clean as your hand
And my strength will be like a natural man."
To Turn My Eyes to Eternity
Oh gracious God, who has promised us an eternal life of peace and joy within your Kingdom, let me remember, today and always, how fleeting are the problems and pleasures of this life. The earth and its nations will pass away, soon enough. My bank account, my fame and prestige before others, my accomplishments and failures, even my very body, will not belong to me one day soon.
You will wash away my iniquities. But every beggar I have fed, unto the least of these, what I have given will be counted as if to Christ. What love I show, what sin I avoid or repent, will rest for all time in your heart; for you are pleased when we show your love and obey your will. Grant me this day to lay up my treasure in heaven, and give me all confidence that the judgments of the world are fleeting vanity; but your judgments are eternal.
To Spread the Gospel
Father God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior you have found my heart worthy enough to save, and have entrusted me to spread the Gospel. You have handed to me the very keys to the kingdom of heaven. Let me not grow weary of His cause. And by His grace and mercies given to me, let me be proven worthy of my call. As your Son taught us, the harvest is plentiful, but the gatherers are few. Let me stand for my call in Jesus Christ and take my place among those who gather, not by argument and rancor, but by living as a shining light before the world, always ready to witness to your gifts, your Word, and your glory.
[Let me not grow weary of His cause.]
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip us with every good thing that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight; through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Mark 10:43-45 (ESV)
Whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.
1 Samuel 14:1-23 (NLT) (abridged)
Jonathan Takes Action
(Saul is near total defeat. He has 600 men armed with farm tools, hiding in the hills, hunted by a Philistine army of over 10,000 men. Only he and Jonathan even have swords.)
One day Jonathan son of Saul said to the young man bearing his armor, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez, and the other Seneh.
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
Jonathan said, “Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Wait there until we come to you,’ we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come up to us,’ we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the Lord has given them into our hands.”
So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.” So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”
Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
Then panic struck the whole army — those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties — and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God. Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.
Then Saul and all his men assembled and went to the battle. They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords. Those Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines, went over to the Israelites led by Saul and Jonathan. When all the Israelites who had hidden in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were on the run, they joined the battle in hot pursuit.
Notes on the Scripture
hat an extraordinary reversal of fortune! The great Philistine army, on the verge of extinguishing the little remnant left with Saul and conquering the fledgling Hebrew nation, is thrown into panic by two events; Jonathan, with only his armor-bearer to back him up, climbs a steep cliff to a Philistine outpost and destroys it, whereupon God sends an earthquake.
The Philistines are thrown into a panic and the momentum utterly shifts; the Philistine army flees its main camp in Gibeah, its soldiers routed in fear and fighting among themselves; Hebrews who had opposed Saul and joined the Philistines, finally join the Israelites; the Israelites in hiding came out.