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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB May 26

  • 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 May 26
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

2 Samuel

I found some cool parallels on a website from today's reading.

The name "Mephibosheth" means "he scatters shame." The similar name, "Ish-bosheth," means the "man of shame. How awesomely prophetic is this young man's name in light of his fate.

       David & Mephibosheth                                                    Jesus & His Church

Phibby's grandfather was David's mortal enemy                  We were once God's enemies (Rom. 5:10)

Phib fell and was crippled                                                          We are fallen and crippled by sin.

Phib deserved to die (lineage and handicap)                         We lived under the penalty of death

David showed mercy to Phib                                                     We were shown mercy at the cross.

Phibby was given a place at the king's table                           We've been seated at the King's table

Phib was given an inheritance                                                   We have been given an inheritance

10:1-5 The war cries from the Ammonites. Check out another picture:

David Versus Ammonites

  • David sent his emissary to the Ammonites as an act of kindness.

  • The Ammonites humiliated David's emissaries shaving half their beards and cutting off their clothes and sent them home in shame and degradation.

The Lord Versus Mankind

  • God sent His emissary (Jesus) to man to show kindness and love.

  • Mankind humiliated Jesus by stripping Him of His clothes and dignity, spitting on Him, mocking Him, making Him a crown of thorns, and nailing Him to a cross.

I was trying to explain to my dad this week (who still can't understand why I take certain risks for the sake of ministry such as going to India and Haiti) that if you are serving the Lord and living in submission to His will, you cannot be killed "before your time." He does not understand this concept, but I know of no greater example than David fighting all these gorilla warriors for years (I'm sure he was on the front lines) and always coming away unscathed. I'm sure he had his battle wounds though.

11:1 In the spring of the year, when kings normally go out to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. Uh oh. Here was David's first mistake. He should have been out to war like the other kings. He usually WAS off to war like other kings. Why not this time?

11:2 Late one afternoon David got out of bed after taking a nap and went for a stroll on the roof of the palace. Here is a possible sign of boredom. Of course while the other kings are being productive at war, David has time for naps. The very fact that he likes naps makes him a "man after my own heart."

A GREAT movie to rent and watch after reading this chapter is Veggie Tables, King George and the Rubber Duckies. It is a precious and hilarious view from a kids' perspective of David's sin with Bathsheba. The story line follows a greedy king who had plenty of yellow rubber duckies in his own collection but saw a kid taking a bath across the way with his own yellow rubber ducky and just had to have it, even though he had his own rather large collection at home. If you like fun and creative ways of delivering truth, you and your whole family will enjoy this.

With David we can see his progression of sin. He looks at, he inquires after, he invites, he indulges. What is sad to me is how upright of a man Uriah was compared to David in this situation. It goes to show that no matter how honest, upright, and obedient we are before God, we are always prone to get off track if we're not vigilant. One of the biggest wake up calls in the Bible is 11:27:

But the LORD was very displeased with what David had done.

No matter how much we delude ourselves to the contrary, you cannot get away with sin. Ever. At some point, it will catch up to you.

John

Chapter 15: I am beginning to understand that the "life" that Jesus promised is not consciousness, but just as this chapter (and many others) reveal, true, thriving, fruitful life is being connected to the Vine. Death does not necessarily mean unconsciousness, but anything that takes us away from this abiding life in Christ.

15:13 And here is how to measure it—the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. I have often wondered if people who give up their lives for others (like the 9/11 Firemen) will receive life for "getting" real love and being Christlike. I mean, I know it goes against the whole idea of having to say the sinners prayer and all to get into heaven (which isn't biblical, by the way). But Jesus says there is no greater love, and the greatest commandment is to love God and love people. We are never more like Jesus than when we love.

15:16 You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. In context, this promise is for His chosen ones. Who are His chosen ones? Verse 14: You are my friends if you obey me. But we can see that we don't choose Him, He chooses us, so He gets the credit for empowering us to obey.

15:18-19 "When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don't. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you." I feel this hatred aimed toward me at times. I used to wonder what was wrong with me. But I find great comfort knowing (as long as my conscience is clear that I have not mistreated others) that I am supposed to be hated by the world. For me, it is "worldly Christians" who seem to fight against me more than unbelievers. I know this is not true in countries where other religions are fiercely opposed to Christianity. Also in our own country when some believers encounter atheists in their workplaces such as colleges and universities they are brutally persecuted.

15:20 Do you remember what I told you? 'A servant is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you! When people reject us, we must remember that they rejected Jesus too-even the mainstream religious system of His day rejected Him! When we get feeling like our efforts at evangelism or being lights to the dark world are being shot down and we feel like a failure, remember that Jesus "failed" at producing much fruit during His life too—all of the crowds, and all of His disciples deserted Him.

One way to look at it (I may have said this already)...if we're NOT being persecuted by someone at different points of our lives, we need to ask the self-evident question: WHY NOT? Friends, teachers, workmates, people at church, etc...there should be people at some point stirring up trouble against us if our lives are a true testimony to the Gospel.

Psalm

119:56 This is my happy way of life: obeying your commandments.

119: 59-60 I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your statutes. I will hurry, without lingering, to obey your commands.

Proverbs

16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.