Becoming a disciple: True brotherhood

Scripture – 2 Samuel 21:7

But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the LORD that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.

Observation

David and Jonathan were brothers. They were friends. There was something of great value between them. David had promised Jonathan that he would protect his descendants. In this passage David has to choose seven of Saul’s grandsons to be handed over to the Gibeonites so they could be hanged. He did not choose Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son.

True brotherhood extends even past death. For David his brotherhood with Jonathan was something that defined his life, much more that his relationships with his actual blood brothers.

Application

Sometimes God weaves true brother-like relationships into our lives, relationships that can be much stronger than we have with actual siblings. These brothers are a gift from God. We should never run from vulnerability with the brothers God puts in our lives because we find freedom and life through a brother in the Spirit than even our brothers in the flesh.

I want to be more aware of the spiritual realities in my relationships. I want to be able to see what God intends for them and how he plans to use me to serve, love and bless my brothers.

Prayer

Father, you are my dad and the dad of my brothers. Thank you for brothers in the Spirit. Show me glimpses of what you intend for these relationships so I do not miss out on opportunities to bless them. In  the name of Jesus, your Son, the very reason I can talk to you right now. Amen.

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Becoming a disciple: After God’s own heart

Scripture – 1 Samuel 14:52

There was hard fighting against the Philistines all the days of Saul. And when Saul saw any strong man, or any valiant man, he attached him to himself.

Observation

Saul was a scared leader. He was scared because he knew his time as king could come to an end at any moment – because the Lord had found someone after his own heart and would make them king.

Saul assumed it would be a strong and courageous man, so whenever he met on, he invited them to work for him. The saying goes, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”.

It’s easy to see how Saul’s fear and worry became the center of his life over time. He was trying to hold onto the kingdom for himself, which was already destined for David, a poetry-writing, harp-playing, sheep-herding teenager.

Application

Jesus teaches us to pray – “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. Sometimes its easy to say those words but what we’re hoping for is – “I hope the stuff you want to do is exactly the stuff I want to do”.

There is freedom in focusing on God’s heart and allowing him to bend our hearts around his, and there is fear and anxiety when we try to squeeze God into our own thoughts and dreams of what could be.

In my life, I want to be known as a man who lives in the freedom of trusting in the will of God – never trying to gather around me people or systems or things that I could naïvely believe could help keep God’s will from being done.

Prayer

Dad, I ask that your will to be done today. Soften my heart to more clearly hear your voice and trust you. In Jesus’ name, amen.