Advent | Forever King

The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end. -Luke 1:32-33 NIV

What was it like for Mary to hear these words? How could she ever imagine that she would give birth to a king that would reign forever. And what kind of a kingdom would he reign over? Would he be a king who would overthrow Roman rule? Over the next nine months she must have wondered about these words told to her by the angel. And how her mind must have returned to his words when she witnessed the guards nailing her baby boy to the cross. What joy she must have had when she witnessed her son rise from the dead and ascend to rule over a kingdom that will never end.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing Advent series.

The Still Heart

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. [Psalm 46:10-11 NKJV]

The context of this passage is God's deliverance of Israel over the army of Sennacherib. It is reported in 2Kings that 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were killed in their sleep by an angel. Regardless of how one reads the text, there is a sense of awe in the deliverance. God is able to protect us from harm.

Yet, in reality, sometimes bad things happen to us even when we pray for deliverance. It is why the admonition to "be still" can be so challenging in times of trouble. The words remind me again that trusting God is an exercise in letting go of the things that we simply cannot control.

Lord, when trials come our way, help us to let go of our trust in our abilities.

... this devotion is part of a series about King David.

Spiritual Disability

You have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.
You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us.
You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.
You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale.
You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us. [Psalm 44:9-14]

With all due respect to David ... he was a great, yet flawed, leader ... these are the words of a spiritually disabled person. One who wrongly sees the disability in their lives as something foisted upon them by God. These do not really understand that the sovereignty of God is in accord with the character of God.

Spiritual disability often occurs when we value the reasonings of our mind more than the those of our hearts. When we choose to troubleshoot our disability rather than trust in the Lord as we experience them. Sometimes the loud voice of our mind can deafen the quiet voice of our heart.

I do not want be spiritually disabled Lord. Open the eyes and ears of my heart that I might sense you today.

... this devotion is part of a series about King David.

The Strong Heart

You are the God of my strength [Psalm 43:2 NASB]

Interesting how David writes that the Lord is the God of "my" strength. Other translations render the word strength as stronghold, refuge or safe haven. The sense is that God has given each believer an inner place of strength, a stronghold, to run to in times when assaults come from every angle.

Jesus speaks of how the believer is clothed with power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes. It reminds me of how much power we each have at our disposal. Power to resist temptation. Power to influence our family and friends. Power to love as God loves, from a heart that is spiritually strong.

Thank you Lord for the gift of a strong heart.

... this devotion is part of a series about King David.