4 Ways to Give God the Glory and Not Yourself

gloryHave you ever been tempted to give yourself the glory for something you did, instead of giving God the glory?

Let’s play out a scenario here… You’ve just finished doing something awesome for the Lord.  Maybe it was lead a Bible study at your church, plan an outreach event for your church that brought in many people, or even led a group of people on a mission trip.  Whatever it was, it was a HUGE success!  Everyone is saying what a great job you did.  The pastor makes you stand up in front of everyone while they applaud you. “Great job!  You are awesome!”  Everyone rises to their feet and gives praise to you for a job well done.  And you love it!  You love the attention. You love that people are giving you credit for all the hard work you did.  You deserve it for sure. Doing this thing that God called you to do wasn’t easy.  Thankfully others recognize that and are giving you praise!

What is wrong with this picture?  Some of you may say nothing.  It’s okay to be recognized.  And you are right.  There is nothing wrong with being recognized.  The problem comes when we are taking the credit for what God has done.  The problem is when our hearts are in it for the wrong reasons.  The problem is when we do what God calls us to do for selfish reasons and not for what God wants us to do. The problem is when we boast of what we have done.  It is NOT right to take credit when all the glory needs to go to God.  God gave you some great gifts in order to do the thing which He called you to do.  God is using those gifts for His purposes and not yours.  You are God’s vessel.  You are being used by God to to share His name with others.  God is using you, yes, but for what He wants and NOT for what you want.

So how do I enjoy the praise, thanks, and pats on the back, without losing sight of God?

Here are four ways you can make sure you give God the glory and not yourself:

1.  Pray   Before you do anything, pray A LOT!  Ask for God’s will to be revealed to you. Ask God to give you wisdom in all you do for Him.

2.  Study Scripture   Dive into the Bible and fill yourself with His words.  Let them flow through you.   It will be helpful to know His Word and it will keep you from washing up on the shore, having forgotten all about God in what you are doing.  A great Scripture to memorize to help you with this is Psalm 115:1:

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and your faithfulness.

3.  Praise God At All Times    In everything you do, thank God.  Thank God for the good things and the bad things in your life.  Everything that happens, God can use to do His will.  Praise God at all times!

4.  Say “Go God!”  A friend of mine says this all the time, especially when she is thanked for doing something.  She says it helps keep her focused on God and what He does through her.  It keeps the emphasis off her and puts it on God, which is exactly where it should be. So the next time you are thanked for something you did for the Lord, just say “Go God!”

God has each of us where we are for a reason.  He has us there to serve HIS purpose.  He wants to do great things through us. However, we must be willing to step out of that spotlight and make sure God shines brightly and not us.  When we learn to do that, God will bless us so much more.

All praise and glory goes to our Lord!

Day Forty: The Promise to Never Fail

“And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed.”     Joshua 23:14

Today marks the end of our 40-day journey through Lent.  What an amazing walk through the promises of God!  Did you realize how many promises God makes with us?  And this is not the end!  I could go on for more than 40 days, too!

I enjoyed these past 40 days because it was a good reminder for me that our God is faithful. I think we all need reminders about this, especially when life gets crazy, or tragedy happens, or even when life is going great.  We all need to be reminded of the promises of God and that He will never fail.

In Joshua 23:14, Joshua is giving his farewell address.  He has faithfully led the Israelites for many, many years.  It all began under the leadership of Moses.  When Moses died, God appointed Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. He definitely had his work cut out for him but he faithfully followed the Lord through it all.

I really like Joshua.  I like his character, his style of leadership, his obedience to God, and how he encouraged others.  But before Joshua leaves this earth, he wants to give the Israelites one more reminder of God.  He tells them to remember that God never fails.  All they needed to do was look back and see how faithful God was at fulfilling all that He promised them.  He rescued them from the land of Egypt.  He provided food and water for them.  He gave them victories in battle against the enemy.  He never left them.  He guided them safely.  He provided excellent leaders to lead them.  And even though the Israelites messed up so many times and even though there were consequences to their actions, God never went back on His promises to them.  He remained faithful, despite their unfaithfulness.  Joshua reminded them that God never failed.

Are you having a difficult time remembering this promise of God to never fail?  Do you feel like God has left you or failed to follow through on His promises to you?  Sweet friends, I pray that your heart has been filled through this 40-day journey through Lent.  I pray these promises of God have revived your heart and helped you remember that God never fails.  God has not abandoned you.  He is present with you now.  And He loves you very much.

One of my favorite signs in my grandparents house when I was a kid was a sign that said “Jesus Never Fails.”  It hung above the door to their kitchen.  Every time I entered that room I was reminded of God’s promise to never fail.  This sign hangs in my mother’s house today and when I go there I love that I can continue to be reminded of this promise.

God never fails.  All you need to do is remember.  Then you will see that He is true to His Word and He loves you very much.

Tomorrow morning is a joyous day for all of us!  We know that Jesus died yesterday, but that tomorrow He will rise again.  Christ the Lord is risen!  Hallelujah!!

Thank you for joining me this Lenten season!  I pray that you will continue to follow my blog and hope that what God writes through me will bring you hope and encouragement in your faith.

Prayer:  Faithful God, thank You for all of Your promises.  Thank You for giving us so much.  Help us to remember Your promises each and every day.  Keep them fresh on our minds so that we will never feel abandoned.  Help us to be faithful to You, too.  We love you, Lord, with all our hearts.    In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1.  What promise from God strikes you the most?
  2.  What promise are you struggling with today?  Pray and ask God to help you see Him.

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Day Thirty-Nine: The Promise to Die

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.”   Matthew 16:21

Today is Good Friday.  It’s a somber day where we focus on the death of Jesus on the cross. We aren’t necessarily thinking about a resurrection.  Our pastor told us this past Sunday that many of us will celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (which we call Palm Sunday), and then we will come back the next Sunday and celebrate His resurrection.  We like to only think of and celebrate the good things that happened to Jesus.  But in doing that, we will forget some of the very important parts to the story of His resurrection.  He told us we do not need to skip over the other events that take place during this week (which is known as Holy Week). We need to remember.

In Matthew 16:21-28, Jesus is explaining to His disciples all that will happen to Him.  First, let me say what a blessing this is to these men.  Jesus is giving them a heads up. There’s going to be no surprises.  Jesus isn’t going to all of a sudden die without any explanation.  No, he’s telling the disciples, his friends, exactly what will happen.

And guess what?

They freaked out!  They didn’t want to hear any of that!

They began to shout and yell and tell Jesus He was crazy (well, not exactly in those words), but they were pretty adamant that this wasn’t going to happen.  Peter was the one who began yelling.  Verse 22 of Matthew 16 says:  “Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’, he said.  ‘This shall never happen to you.'”

Now let’s stop here for just a minute.

Who would ever have the boldness to rebuke the Lord…to His face!  That would be Peter.  I guess Peter was so upset that He basically told Jesus that this wasn’t going to happen.  No way.  Not on his watch. Nobody is going to kill the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.

And what does Jesus have to do?  Rebuke Peter!  He calls Him Satan!  Yikes!

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan!  You are a stumbling block to me, you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.'”  Matthew 16:23

I am sure Peter slumped back in his chair after that one…embarrassed, feeling guilty for having gotten so upset about Jesus promising that He would die.  Peter had heart.  He loved Jesus deeply…to the point of blowing up at the mere mention of Jesus dying.  Peter didn’t even want to talk about it.

Aren’t we like Peter?  We like to gloss over Good Friday.  Let’s not even think about or mention His death on the cross.  It’s too sad.  It pains us to even think about it.  It grieves us to know that Jesus willingly gave up His life for us.  I know I am one who does this.  I don’t like thinking about Jesus’ death and how they whipped, beat, and tortured Him.  It breaks my heart.  He didn’t deserve to die.  He did nothing wrong.  No one should have even laid on hand on Him.  His death was not fair!

But friends, Jesus had to die.

He was born on this earth, knowing that He would die to save everyone.  It was part of the plan…from the beginning (John 1:1-5).  We need to be mindful of this day. We need to grieve on this day.  This day plays a huge part in Holy Week.  We don’t need to skip it.  We need to remember it.  Because it’s only then that we can truly be grateful for His death, giving thanks to God for sending His Son to be our sacrifice and allow us to live eternally.

Mark 15:33-34, 37 says, “At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.  And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachtani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?)’…With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.  The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.  And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, ‘Surely this man was the Son of God!'”

Wherever you are today at 3:00 pm (Jesus’ time of death), stop what you are doing and remember the death of Jesus.  You could not live in heaven with Him if it were not for the sacrifice He made.

Prayer:  Eternal God, we know it grieved You to see Your Son die this way.  But, we know there was no other way.  Thank You for this sacrifice.  Thank You for loving us so much and sending us Jesus to save us.  Help us to focus on His death today and be reminded of the sacrifice He made.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. What does Jesus’ death mean to you?
  2. How can you make sure to share the message of Easter with others?

Day Thirty-Eight: The Promise to Be Our Joy

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”   John 15:11

You’re never fully dressed without a smile!

Have you ever heard that before?  If you’re into musicals you would know that this is a song from Annie.  This was one of my favorite musicals as a kid (and still is one of my favorites today).  My grandmother always used to say this phrase to me, too.  She knew how much I loved this musical and she also knew that I always smiled.

I like to think I am a pretty joyful person…although, if you ask my kids they would say I’m not happy all the time!  I’m the type of person who can easily get out of bed in the morning, loves to talk, loves to smile, loves to wake my kids up in that annoying sweet voice. I love being joyful to others and I always wear a smile.  I believe smiles are contagious.  I also believe that a smile can show the love of Jesus to others.  You never know the type of day a person is having and your smile just might be the one thing that gives them joy for that day.

You want to know what the real reason behind my joy is?

Jesus.

I have known Jesus since I was a little girl.  My parents raised me in a Christian home and we went to church every week.  I gave my life to Christ when I was 12 years old.  Since that day I have strived to live a joyful life in Christ.  The more I know about Jesus, the more joyful I become.  Even at 40 years old I am still learning many things about Jesus and who He is.  My joy in the Lord continues to grow deeper and deeper into my heart.

I am reminded of the song I learned as a child called “I’ve Got the Joy Down in My Heart”.  The lyrics say:

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?

Down in my heart. Where?  Down in my heart.

I’ve the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  Where?

Down in my heart to stay.

And I’m so happy, so very happy

I have the love of Jesus in my heart.

And I’m so happy, so very happy

I have the love of Jesus in my heart.

We sang this song many times at Sunday school and VBS when I was a child.  I always loved it and now that I have remembered it, I am sure this song will be stuck in my head for days!

In the John passage above, Jesus is in the middle of a discussion with His disciples.  He’s telling them so good stuff about Him.  Deep stuff like…He’s the vine and we are the branches, how we must abide in Him, how we should remain in His love, and how we should keep His commandments.  And then He says this verse from John 15:11:   “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

I wonder if the disciples began smiling and jumping for joy after this deep discussion?  Did they have the love of Jesus in their heart…the type of love that creates a deep joy in Christ?  I know they loved Jesus, but I’m not so sure at this point they truly understood what He was saying.  Would we have reacted the same as the disciples if we lived back then?

I am thankful that I can look in God’s Word and know the true reason of my joy.  I can read stories from His Word and know and understand that everything Jesus was saying was true and that things were going to be okay despite what lie ahead. We have a gift from the Lord…a spoken and written gift that He gave us so that we can read and know that Jesus is our joy.  When we know Jesus as our Savior then our joy is complete.

So if my joy is complete, does that mean I will be joyful all the time?  No.  There will be days where you feel anything but joy.  Days where all you want to do is not smile or talk to anyone.  But the great thing is, that the joy we have in Jesus does not disappear.  It is nestled deep inside our hearts.  So when we have days like this then we can know that Jesus is with us and we can remember His love for us.

Do you have joy down in your heart?

My prayer is that you will open your heart to that joy.  My prayer is that you will spend time getting to know our Creator, through His written Word and through time spent with Him in prayer.  My prayer is that His joy will shine brightly through you so that others can see Him.

BE JOYFUL!

Prayer:  Almighty God, thank You for sending Jesus so that our joy may be complete.  We admit there are times when we do not want to be joyful.  There is a lot of pain in this world and sometimes it’s overwhelming.  Help us to remember the deep love we have for You and may Your joy overpower the pain and sadness that lives in us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. What has hidden your joy recently?  What can you do to find His joy in you?
  2. How have you shown the joy of the Lord to others?

Day Thirty-Seven: The Promise to Be Persistent

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”  Revelation 3:20

Do you know people who are persistent?  These people work hard to go after things they want.  Maybe it’s your child who is very persistent when it comes to wanting to buy something or do something (I have a child like this…she never gives up).  Maybe it’s a friend who has a dream to become something and works hard to make that dream come true.  Maybe it’s a co-worker who works endless hours in order to get the promotion she deserves.  Maybe it’s your husband who was very persistent in asking you out on a date…and you eventually said yes (and aren’t you glad he was persistent?).  Or perhaps you are the persistent one…doing the best you can to raise your children in a Christian home.

But did you know that God is also persistent?

I know you may be wondering how the Bible verse from Revelation above has anything to do with persistence.  That verse never mentions God being persistent.  But yet it does…

I am reading a book by Priscilla Shirer called “Discerning the Voice of God: How to Recognize When God is Speaking”.  (Which may I make a plug for her now and say if you have not read any of her books then you are missing out!  She is an amazing and gifted writer and has a big heart for God.  Go get her books.  This book is exceptionally good!).

Chapter five of this book is about God being persistent.  All I want to do is tell you to stop reading my blog and go check out this chapter!  It’s that good. What she says in this chapter about God’s persistence has been echoed in my life.  I found myself saying, “Yes, yes, that’s me!” while I read her book.  Here’s a quote from it that is the main thing I want you to know about God’s persistence:

“When God has a message for you, He is persistent….He doesn’t come to you just once and then go away figuring ‘Oh, well, I guess she’s busy now.’ No, when God speaks, you can expect Him to keep showing up, refusing to go away.  Like with the boy Samuel in the temple (1 Samuel 3), the two travelers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24), the woman Jesus met at a Samaritan well (John 4), or the prophet Jonah running away from the Lord’s initial instruction, God keeps communicating until people recognize who He is and what He’s saying.”   (Shirer, page 78).

I have had instances in my life where God has spoken to me in several ways, all within days of each other.  He’s delivered His message to me through His Word, through dreams, through other people, through songs on the radio as well as the discussions of the DJs, through billboards on the side of the road, through television, through words printed on a t-shirt, and even through messages on my computer screen.  When God speaks, He wants you to hear and He will give you that same message in a variety of ways.

There was one instance several years ago where I had been worried a little about my future and what I felt God speaking to me.  Sometimes what God speaks is not always easy to hear or easy to do.  I was somewhat panicked because I wasn’t so sure about this message from the Lord.  It was causing me some anxiety.  As I was sitting in our church sanctuary praying, my phone rang.  Now, I usually don’t pay attention to my phone while I’m in the sanctuary, but I felt compelled to look to see who was calling me at 8:00 am.  It was our family friend, Bill.  He never calls me so I picked up thinking maybe he was going to say something was wrong.  But he told me that he felt God pushing him to call me this morning.  God wanted him to share with me that I was not to be afraid of the future.  None of that mattered.  All I needed to do was trust in Him.  I just sat there in tears as I told him those words were exactly what I needed to hear that day.  I love how God uses other people to deliver His message for us.

When I get a word from the Lord once, it settles in nicely and I think and pray about it.  When I get it a second time, my ears are more attuned. When I get it three times or more I know God is not playing around.  This is His message for me and I better pay attention.

I picture God standing at the door, like the one mentioned in Revelation 3:20, and He knocks…waiting to see if we will hear Him and open our hearts to Him.  Maybe we hear His voice, but aren’t so sure about opening it just yet.  We stand just on the other side of that door, afraid to open it.  We think about all the many reasons why we shouldn’t open that door so we keep it closed.  But He continues to knock.  Maybe we hear His voice again and this time open it just a little to see if what’s on the other side seems safe.  Then our fears take over and we shut it because we are afraid.  But He continues to knock.  This time when we hear His voice, we open it a little wider and wider and wider until the door is fully opened and we embrace the Lord and His message for us.  We’ve allowed His voice to drown out the fears and worries we have about doing what He’s asked us to do or going where He’s asked us to go.  And we are glad we have opened that door.

What I love about this imagery is the fact that God does not leave that door.  God is persistent.  He will stand at the door and knock until we open it and allow Him in. We may not listen to Him at first, but He will keep knocking.  Even if we choose to not listen (God gives us free will to choose what to do and sometimes our choices are the wrong ones…there have been times I have done this), God doesn’t ever leave that door.  He will continue to knock until we allow Him in.  God eagerly desires an intimate relationship with each and every one of us.  He wants us to respond to His messages.  He wants us to draw close to Him.  He wants us to open that door wide and embrace Him and the message He has for us.  I am so grateful for this and for God’s persistence in wanting us to do His will and to have a close relationship with us.

Do you hear His voice and hear His knock?

The question that remains is….Will you open it?

Prayer:  Persistent God, thank You for never giving up on us.  Thank You for continuing to knock on the door of our hearts.  Help us to lay aside all the fears, worries, and anxieties that keep us from opening that door to You.  Give us courage to eagerly swing that door open wide and allow You in our lives and to do the things which You call us to do.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1.  Has God been knocking on the door to your heart?  What is He saying to you?
  2.  Have you opened that door?  What is keeping you from opening it?

Day Thirty-Six: The Promise to Become Children of God

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”    John 1:12-13

Everyone in the world has two parents:  a mother and a father.  We all know that it takes a man and a woman to make a baby.  You were born on this earth because of two people who came together and they created you.  Now, some of you may have been raised by both your parents together in the same house.  Some of you may have been raised by both parents who lived in separate homes.  Some of you may have been raised by one of your parents because you lost a parent to death or divorce.  Some of you may not know who your birth parents are because you were adopted.  Some of you may have grown up in an orphanage or foster care and never really had parents who raised you.  Everyone on earth has parents…you just may or may not know them.

Did you know that when you give your life to Jesus and accept Him as your Savior that you become the child of God?  In the first chapter of the book of John we read that Jesus came into the world.  He is the true light (John 1:9).  He was with God in the beginning.  But even though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize that He was the Messiah, the Son of God (John 1:10).  They rejected Him.

But the good news is that when we receive and accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God promises we will become His children!  The Bible calls this being “born again” (John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23).  This term first pops up in John 3.  Nicodemus was a Pharisee who came to Jesus at night to tell Him that He believed in Him.  He came at night since he was a Pharisee and Pharisees did not believe Jesus was the Messiah.  Nicodemus didn’t want anyone knowing he believed in Jesus. When Nicodemus told Jesus that he believed in Him, Jesus replies back with, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3).  Then Nicodemus responds with a question because he is super confused.  “How can someone be born when they are old?  Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born again!”  (John 3:4).

Now this is where you get a little embarrassed for Nicodemus and hide your head.  What a silly question to be asking the Messiah!  Of course a person cannot enter the womb a second time to be born!  You crazy Nicodemus!

Jesus goes on to say that to be a child of God you will have been born of water and the Spirit (John 3:5).  This is how we can enter the kingdom of God which is eternal life with God.  We must be born again in order to become children of God.

Some of you may be saying, “That’s great,Vanessa, but how do I accept Jesus as my Savior?  What do I need to do?” 

Paul spells it out for us in Romans 10:9-10, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  

That’s it, friends.  We must openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead.  When we do this then we know we are saved.  We know that we are born again.  We know that we are a child of God.

My hope is that everyone in this world will come to know Jesus as their Savior. I want to be able to call every person my brother or sister in Christ.  I want everyone to come to know their true Father…the parent who will never leave them, never turn their backs on them, never stop loving them, and will always forgive them.

I am so grateful that I can say I am a child of God.  Would you join me in helping others come to know that when they know Jesus as their Savior, they are children of God?

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus so that we could know Him and become Your children.  Give us boldness and courage to share Your message with others so they can join Your family along with us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. Is there someone you know that is not a part of the family of God yet?  What can you do to reach out to them?
  2. Pray and ask God to open doors for you to share Jesus with others this week.

Day Thirty-Five: The Promise of Vengeance

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written:  ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'”    Romans 12:19

Have you ever had someone hurt you so much that all you could think about was seeking vengeance?

Maybe it was a damaging word that cut deep to your heart, a broken promise, a spouse’s affair, or a rejection.  Any time someone hurts or offends us, our initial reaction is to pay them back.  Get even.  Hurt them like they hurt us.  It’s only fair, right?

God says just the opposite.

In this passage in Romans, Paul is speaking to the people of Rome about the marks of a true Christian.  In the verse above, Paul is actually quoting the Old Testament from Deuteronomy 32:35 (NIRV):  “I punish people.  I will pay them back.  The time will come when their feet will slip.  Their day of trouble is near.  Very soon they will be destroyed.”  This passage is part of the song of Moses, which he sings near the end of his time here on earth.  Moses and Paul are both telling us that God is the one who judges.  He is the one who punishes those for the wrongs they do.  It is not our job to craft a cunning revenge plot so we can make sure that the person who hurt us gets paid back.  It’s God’s job.

I have been reading the book of First Samuel these past few weeks (part of my reading that goes along with the First 5 app).  There are two chapters in this book where David was ready for vengeance.  For most of First Samuel, King Saul is in hot pursuit of David because he does not like him.  David has been anointed the next king of Israel and Saul is super jealous!  He wants David killed, but David goes on the run in order to remain alive.  In First Samuel 24, Saul enters a cave where David and his men are hiding.  It was dark so Saul could not see them hidden.  David’s men urged him to kill him.  It’s only the right thing to do since Saul was trying to kill him.  So David gets close enough to Saul, but instead of killing him, he cuts off a part of his cloak.  Right after he does that David feels guilty.  He knew the moment he cut Saul’s cloak that he should not have done that.  It wasn’t his right to seek revenge on the man who wanted him dead.  No, it was God’s job.  And David knew that God would pay Saul back for what he was doing to David.  That moment wasn’t the right time.  David just had to trust and wait for God.

The second time David was ready to seek vengeance was against a man named Nabal (1 Samuel 25).  Nabal refused to feed David and his men after they had done him the favor of protecting his shepherds and their flocks.  David was filled with rage and was ready to kill…all because Nabal refused to give him food.  Crazy, right?  Starvation can make you want to do some outrageous things!  But God sent a sweet woman named Abigail, Nabal’s wife, to talk him out of killing Nabal.  Because of her words, David backed down, kept his cool, and did not kill Nabal.  David was reminded, through Abigail, that it was not his place to seek revenge.  It was God’s job.  He had to trust and wait for God.

I love how God uses all of Scripture to teach us, to show us how He helped others, and how He reminded them of His promises.  Vengeance is not ours.  No matter what someone has done to you, don’t pay them back evil for evil.  In Romans 12, Paul goes on to tell us what we should do when we want to seek revenge:  “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:20-21). 

Your first reaction to this passage is probably a loud, “What? I’m not being nice to my enemies!”  But I pray that you will heed these words and let God be the one to seek vengeance.  He promises that those who do harm to you will be punished.  If you have a hard time believing this promise, just read His Word.  He shows us all throughout that He does follow through with this promise.

“Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

Prayer:  Just and Holy God, thank You for the promise of vengeance.  Restrain us from the times when all we want to do is cause harm to someone who has hurt us.  Remind us of Your promise of vengeance and help us to love our enemies and be kind to them, even when we don’t want to.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal

  1. What has someone done to hurt you?  What did you do in that situation?
  2. How can you show love to your enemies?