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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB June 1

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Jun 01
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

2 Samuel

18:29 "What about young Absalom?" the king demanded. "Is he all right?"

Ahimaaz replied, "When Joab told me to come, there was a lot of commotion. But I didn't know what was happening." It is obvious from his behavior that Ahimaaz likes to get credit and attention. He knew full well that Absalom was dead, but he wanted the king to honor him for bringing good news, so he was deceitful about it.

18:33 The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son." A beautiful thought about this verse is that, as a Christ type, David represents the heart of Jesus over Adam's sin and the sin of all His children. The huge difference is that Jesus could and did die in place of His many sons and daughters. On a human note, I can only imagine the regret David must have felt for rejecting his son during his life. I'm sure he blamed himself for his son's rebellion, since he ignored him for so long.

19:5 Then Joab went to the king's room and said to him, "We saved your life today and the lives of your sons, your daughters, and your wives and concubines. Yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed of ourselves. I totally understand Joab's position in all of this, too. He viewed Absalom's rebellion and David's lack of discipline in his kids' lives as weakness. When he killed Absalom, I am sure he felt completely justified and right in doing so. David's love and protection for Absalom was admirable and undeserved, much as God's love for His children. But David also had human weaknesses in not holding his children accountable for their sins and not dealing with their sins.

19:6 You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you. Why is it that so many people, especially in families, are exactly as Joab described? I have seen it over and over in my own extended family that a person will favor and kiss up to the more dysfunctional relative and despise, mistreat, or ignore the healthier, pure-intentioned ones who show the truer love. Often times this ends up that the self-duped person gets taken advantage of and used, while the more healthy relatives get pushed aside and treated unfairly. So weird.

19:9-10 "The king rescued us from our enemies and saved us from the Philistines, but Absalom chased him out of the country. Now Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, is dead. Why not ask David to come back and be our king again?" There's a little Absalom in all of us! Our king rescued us from our enemies, but we chased Him out of our lives. Once we come to the end of our own devices and realize that our little king can't run our little empire because we find out he's "a dead man," we have only one way to look-up!

John

20:8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. The "other disciple" is John, but I find it strange how he often speaks of himself in 3rd person, and how he describes himself as the "one Jesus loved." It seems a little boastful to me, but I could be wrong.

20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Many times we read that people who knew Jesus did not recognize Him after His resurrection. Is this because He hid Himself from them, or because He was so changed in appearance? Personally, I imagine that just as He was described as plain and no outward beauty to attract people to Him in His earthly body, that His resurrected body is just the opposite.

20:17 ...but go to My brethren and say to them, `I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.' I love this verse! One of the first things out of Jesus' mouth is that He has now brought us near to God in restored and equal relationship. We now have all the rights and privileges as sons and daughters, just like Jesus! Such a miracle.

20:19 "Peace be with you." Now peace between God and man was the new order!

20:22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Wow, this is so amazing. The Holy Spirit that would fill all believers came out of Jesus.

20:29 Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." This would be us!

20:31 ...but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. This is like the power statement of the whole Bible! This pretty much sums up what it means to have life! Belief. Faith.