May 18

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“David then went to live in the strongholds of En-gedi” (1 Samuel 23:29 NLT).

From: May 18, 2019

GOD’S PROVISION AND PREPARATION IN THE WILDERNESS

David fled from King Saul to live in the Judean wilderness of En Gedi, which provided both caves to live in and springs from which to drink. God provided for David in the wilderness. And although it was a very difficult time, it was also a time of deep spiritual growth and preparation for David as the future king.
 
En Gedi is situated near the Western border of the Dead Sea. It’s cliffs, caves and springs continue to be home to the Nubian Ibex, a type of mountain goat from which the area gets its name (“En Gedi” means “Spring of the young goat”). It is an oasis in an otherwise desolate wilderness.
 
Has the Lord ever allowed you a season in the wilderness for spiritual preparation? Even Jesus was led by the Spirit for 40 days in the wilderness before beginning His public ministry.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we would not willingly live in the wilderness, yet You sometimes lead us there for our sanctification. Thank you that even in the wilderness You are an Oasis of provision for us. We thank you that You are at work in us conforming us to the image of Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:16 NLT).

From: May 18, 2018

TWO FOLDS BECOME ONE FLOCK WITH ONE SHEPHERD
Jesus infuriated the Jewish leaders with His dual claim to be the only “Gate” by which the true sheep of Israel might be saved, and the “Good Shepherd,” whom only the true sheep of Israel would follow. Those who claimed to be shepherds of Israel, Jesus called “hired hands” who only cared for themselves. In contrast, Jesus said, “I AM the Good Shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know Me and I sacrifice My life for the sheep.”
 
So being born into the Jewish fold wasn’t enough. Jesus was calling out the true sheep from the Jewish fold who would be spiritually born again by believing in Him.
 
Then, Jesus shocked them further by announcing that He had other sheep not in the Jewish sheepfold. Who are these sheep? They are those who would believe in Jesus among the Gentiles. This is the “mystery” that the apostle Paul described, that “the Gentiles are fellow heirs [with the Jews], members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (Eph. 3:6).
 
The mystery called the Church was being revealed by Jesus, namely, that sheep from both the Jewish and the Gentile sheepfolds would become one flock with one Shepherd.
 
The implications of this were not missed by the Jewish leaders. Being Jewish, having the Torah, the Temple and the traditions was not enough. Even Gentiles who had none of these things would be able to be saved by simply believing in Jesus as the Christ. It was through Jesus that the promise to Abraham would be kept, that “all the nations of the earth would be blessed through his Seed” (Gen.22:18). That Seed, that Shepherd, is Jesus. He is the One who calls His sheep from two folds to become one flock with one Shepherd.

“And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the Lord’s priests” (1 Samuel 22:21 NKJV).

From: May 18, 2017

Abiathar, son of the high priest, Ahimelech, must have been left behind to care for the sanctuary when Saul called for his father’s attendance. When he heard that Saul had killed all the Lord’s priests, he fled to David.
 
Saul had falsely accused Ahimelech of “inquiring of the Lord” to aid David against him. But now by killing the Lord’s priests, he had actually driven Abiathar to David’s side, bringing the ephod, with the Urim and Thummim, with him (1 Sam. 23:6).
 
Saul’s killing of the priests was one of the most heinous acts of any Israelite king. It revealed his heart’s rejection of the Lord. Saul’s foot soldiers, who ran beside his chariot, refused to carry out his order to murder the priests. They feared the Lord, but Saul knew one who did not. So, Saul called on Doeg the Edomite to kill them. Doeg turned and killed not only the 85 priests, but went to their city and killed every living thing including women, children and nursing infants. That Saul would stoop to instruct an Edomite, to even touch the Lord’s priests, showed the insane hatred he had for the true king, David.
 
Centuries later, the son of an Edomite named Herod became king over Israel as a vassal of Rome. After hearing of the birth of the prophesied Son of David from the Magi, he murdered every baby boy under 2 years of age in Bethlehem attempting to kill Jesus. But he failed, for the Lord protected Jesus, just as the Lord protected David.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b ESV)

From: May 18, 2016

Jesus came that we might have life. The Greek word here is ζωή (zóé), which speaks of both physical and spiritual life. This life originates with, and is sustained by Jesus, who is Life. “Zoe” life is described both by its quantity (eternal), and its quality (abundant). Receiving Jesus, we receive His life. Many focus on the eternal nature of this life, but miss Christ’s emphasis on its “abundance” for the present. In Christ we are to thrive, living life to the full, bearing fruit, and exploding with vibrance all around!

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10 NKJV)

From: May 18, 2015

Jesus came that we might have life. The Greek word is ζωή (zóé), which speaks of both physical and spiritual life. This life originates with, and is sustained by Jesus, who is Life. “Zoe” life is described both by its quantity (eternal), and its quality (abundant). Receiving Jesus, we receive His life. Many focus on the eternal nature of this life, but miss Christ’s emphasis on its “abundance” for the present. In Christ we are to thrive, living life to the full, bearing spiritual fruit, and exploding with vibrance all around!

“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded” (John 10:18 NLT)

From: May 18, 2014

Some thought Jesus “demon possessed and out of his mind” when they heard him speak of his coming death and resurrection. Certainly, they are closer to the truth than those who would make Jesus merely a good man or a good teacher. A mere man doesn’t speak of having the “authority,” the power to control his life, so that no one can take it from him unless he gives it willingly. And further, that having given it, he could “take it up again.” No, in this his critics rightly understood his claim. For if Jesus doesn’t actually fulfill his outrageous claim to die sacrificially and rise again, then he is either a devilish liar or a raving lunatic. Yet, Jesus did fulfill his promise to die for us and rise again. And so, he spoke the truth and showed himself more than mere man. He is neither liar or lunatic. He is the Lord.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 ESV)

From: May 18, 2013

Jesus came that we might have life. The Greek word here is ζωή zóé, which speaks of both physical and spiritual life. This life originates with, and is sustained by Jesus, who is Life. “Zoe” life is described both by its quantity (eternal), and its quality (abundant). Receiving Jesus, we receive His life. Many focus on the eternal nature of this life, but miss Christ’s emphasis on its “abundance” for the present. In Christ we are to thrive, living life to the full, bearing fruit, and exploding with vibrance all around!