March 26

1 Samuel 25-27, Psalm 85

In 1 Samuel:25-27, David continues to undergo various trials so that he might become a vessel that can be used by God.  As we move through these stories we see just how imperfect David is.  There are times that he takes the time to bring the situation before God and acts admirably.  But often, especially when he acts in haste (1 Samuel 25:13, in his response to Nabal’s rebuke and 27:1, when he flees to escape Saul in the land of the Philistines) he acts in his own strength and fails.  This should come as no surprise to any of us, in fact it should encourage us.  For like David, I often fail miserably.  But I see in David’s life a God who is full of mercy and grace.  I see a God who forgives as often as we repent.  I see that God can use all of us, imperfect as we are, as long as we come to Him with a humble and contrite heart.

When we look at this further, we see how different God’s style of parenting is compared to ours.  May we never forget that those of us who are born of the Spirit are God’s children.  In Roman’s 8:15-17, Paul says, “…you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”.  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”  Most of us have been raised in a religious system which taught us that if we only behaved better then God would love us more.  This is so untrue and places those who believe this in bondage.  The truth is, that if you are a child of God, there is nothing you can do which would make God love you more or less.  God’s love is infinite and unconditional.  The reality is God is crazy about us, He is totally in love with us, solely because of what His Son did and our acceptance of this (therefore becoming his child), not because of what we do.

When we consider how different the world’s system parents, our goal is to move our children from dependence on us to independence.  We want our children to excel in school, activities, friendships, the workplace, etc.  Most parents will state that they want their children to be happy, married, comfortable and stable.  I realize that this is not God’s ways.  In fact,the word independence would not be God’s way.  As we train our children, we should be moving them from dependence on us to dependence on Him.  It doesn’t make a difference how old your children are, if you find them outside the arms of God, begin discipling them now.  I have seen this with my own children, all of whom became independent and products of the world.  It has been a beautiful experience to personally disciple them on a regular basis through Bible study and see them learn to depend more and more on God.  This process of sanctification is a marathon, not a sprint, and is a lifelong pursuit for all of us.  In Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato