Monday, May 1, 2017

May 2, 2017

An inspiring challenge from Max Lucado:

Take Goliath Down 
by Max Lucado

Goliaths still roam our world. Debt. Disaster. Dialysis. Danger. Deceit. Disease. Depression.

Super-size challenges still swagger and strut, still pilfer sleep and embezzle peace and liposuction joy. But they can't dominate you. You know how to deal with them. You face giants by facing God first.

Focus on giants—you stumble.

Focus on God—your giants tumble.

You know what David knew, and you do what David did. You pick up five stones, and you make five decisions. Ever wonder why David took five stones into battle? Why not two or twenty? Rereading his story reveals five answers. Use your five fingers to remind you of the five stones you need to face down your Goliath. Let your thumb remind you of …


Goliath jogged David's memory. Elah was a déjà vu. While everyone else quivered, David remembered. God had given him strength to wrestle a lion and strong-arm a bear. Wouldn't he do the same with the giant? A good memory makes heroes.

"Remember His marvelous works which He has done" (1 Chron. 16:12). Catalog God's successes. Keep a list of his world records. Has he not walked you through high waters? Proven to be faithful? Have you not known his provision? How many nights have you gone to bed hungry? Mornings awakened in the cold? He has made roadkill out of your enemies. Write today's worries in sand. Chisel yesterday's victories in stone. Pick up the stone of the past. Then select…


Note the valley between your thumb and finger. To pass from one to the next you must go through it. Let it remind you of David's descent. Before going high, David went low; before ascending to fight, David descended to prepare. Don't face your giant without first doing the same. Dedicate time to prayer. Paul, the apostle, wrote, "Prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long" (Eph. 6:18 MSG).

Prayer spawned David's successes. His Brook Besor wisdom grew out of the moment he "strengthened himself in the Lord his God" (1 Sam. 30:6). When Saul's soldiers tried to capture him, David turned toward God: "You have been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble" (Ps. 59:16).

Invite God's help. Pick up the stone of prayer. And don't neglect …


Let your tallest finger remind you of your highest priority: God's reputation. David jealously guarded it. No one was going to defame his Lord. David fought so that "all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's" (1 Sam. 17:46-47).

David saw Goliath as a chance for God to show off! Did David know he would exit the battle alive? No. But he was willing to give his life for the reputation of God.

What if you saw your giant in the same manner? Rather than begrudge him, welcome him. Your cancer is God's chance to flex his healing muscles. Your sin is God's opportunity to showcase grace. Your struggling marriage can billboard God's power. See your struggle as God's canvas. On it he will paint his multicolored supremacy. Announce God's name and then reach for …


David ran, not away from, but toward his giant. On one side of the battlefield, Saul and his cowardly army gulped. On the other, Goliath and his skull-splitters scoffed. In the middle, the shepherd boy ran on his spindly legs. Who bet on David? Who put money on the kid from Bethlehem? Not the Philistines. Not the Hebrews. Not David's siblings or David's king. But God did.

And since God did, and since David knew God did, the skinny runt became a blur of pumping knees and a swirling sling. He ran toward his giant.
Do the same!

Let your ring finger remind you to take up the stone of passion.

One more stone, and finger, remains:


David didn't think one rock would do. He knew Goliath had four behemoth relatives. For all David knew, they'd come running over the hill to defend their kin. David was ready to empty the chamber if that's what it took.

Imitate him. Never give up. One prayer might not be enough. One apology might not do it. One day or month of resolve might not suffice. You may get knocked down a time or two … but don't quit. Keep loading the rocks. Keep swinging the sling.

David took five stones. He made five decisions. Do likewise. Past. Prayer. Priority. Passion. And persistence.

Next time Goliath wakes you up, reach for a stone. Odds are, he'll be out of the room before you can load your sling.

From Facing Your Giants Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2005) Max Lucado

May 1, 2017

"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:" Psalm 37:3-5

All this week I have been sharing with you on the thought "either you control your desires or your desires will control you." As we come to the end of this study on temptation we are face to face with the fact that people usually end up doing what they want to do. Most people are driven by their desires. They don't have to be, but most are.

The key to controlling your desires is to forget about your desires and focus on what God desires.

In this Psalm the Psalmist tells you three ways to do that and we have talked about two of them:

Want God - "trust in the Lord and do good"

Worship God - "delight yourself in the Lord"

Today you will learn the third thing God desires - Walk with God - "commit your your way to the Lord"

In the Hebrew the word for "commit" is literally translated "roll". "Roll your way on the Lord" or in other words, "roll with the Lord". Since we don't roll, walking with the Lord is a good translation.

When God first created Adam, they walked together in the paradise of Eden. That fulfilled God's desire and made Adam happy, too.

It stands to reason that if God desired to love Adam and to be loved by Him, and if God created you with a need to love God and to be loved by Him, then wanting Him and worshiping Him and walking with Him should satisfy you both!

When God IS your chief desire, His desire is met and so is yours!

April 30, 2017

"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:" Psalm 37:3-5

Everyone wants to know how to get God to give them the desires of their heart. Delight in the LORD seems easy enough! So, how does one delight in the LORD? There have been many fanciful interpretations of what it means to delight yourself in the LORD, but only one revelation of what this means is found in the Scriptures.

"Delight" here in Psalm 37:4 is the Hebrew word "oneg", which means "to treat as a delicacy." There are very few places in the Scriptures were the word "oneg" is used. Yet, because it is a rarity, it will help us solve a mystery. There is one place, and only one, where it tells us exactly how to delight in the LORD, even using the word "oneg".

This word used in the combination and context as it is here has the connotation of worship, which brings us to our second idea of how to desire God. We should WANT Him more that we want anything else on the planet. In the words of the Psalmist, "As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"

A second way He tells us we should desire Him is through WORSHIP. What does that mean?

Our word "worship" comes from to old English words "worth - ship" and literally means "giving worth" to God. What gives worth to God? Your devotion and desire! So, if you want to keep your desire above temptation make God the object of your chief desire. Honor Him with your emotion and your will.

Worship is so much more than what you often think. When you think about worship you may think about several songs an offering and a sermon. If worship is only a one hour per week deal with you, you will not give God the worth He desires - and deserves. Worship is a 24/7 and a 365 proposition. Worship is absolute devotion to God. As the Apostle Paul, one of the most devoted Christ-followers of all time, wrote: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship."

If you want to strengthen yourself against temptation aim your desire - your wants and your will - at God. In other words, worship Him. Not just for an hour on Sunday, but live a life-style of worship. Live in His Word daily, that's worship. Walk in His ways daily, that's worship. Love your spouse and your children, that's worship. Give eight hours work for eight hours wages, that's worship. Whatever you do you do it as unto the Lord - that's worship. That is what He desires and therefore, what you must desire.

This is what the Psalmist meant when he said, "Delight yourself in the Lord". 

Will you take delight in Him today? 

Will you aim your want and your will at Him? 

How will you do that today?