The nine-foot, 400-pound Goliath challenged the children of Israel and blasphemed Almighty God. David, a seventeen-year-old fuzzy-cheeked lad who came to visit his brothers demanded to know why they were not accepting the challenge. The brothers explained that you could easily get hurt by fighting fellows like Goliath. They felt certain Goliath was just too big to hit. David knew that Goliath was too big to miss with God’s help.
Next, David wanted to know where the king was, and his brothers explained that the king did not feel so well. When David told the brothers he would fight Goliath, they figured he was crazy. Obviously, the brothers were comparing their size to Goliath’s, and that made nine-foot Goliath pretty big. David was comparing Goliath’s size to God, and that quite obviously made Goliath pretty small.
Whatever your obstacle may be, the size is never larger than the ability of God and the petitions of His children.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7–8).
Christ’s Constraining Love
“For the love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Corinthians 5:14).
- It constrains us to forsake sin.
- It constrains us to accept Christ.
- It constrains us to go on to perfection.
- It constrains us to give liberally.
- It constrains us to suffer patiently.
- It constrains us to obey cheerfully.
- It constrains us to pray daily.—Stauffer, Give Ye Them to Eat Sermon Outlines
Take Up the Cross
Jesus knew what it meant to take up the cross. He was headed toward Jerusalem and knew what awaited Him there.
William Barclay tells us that when Jesus was about eleven, Judas the Galilean led a rebellion against Rome. He had raided the royal armory at Sepphoris, which was only four miles from Nazareth.
The Roman vengeance was swift and sudden. Sepphoris was burned to the ground; its inhabitants were sold into slavery, and two thousand rebels were crucified on crosses which were set in lines along the road as a warning to others tempted to rebel. Jesus likely saw these or at least heard of this.
Be Still, and Know
Get on your knees and talk to God about men; now, get on your feet and talk to men about God (cf. 1 Peter 2:9–10).
Be still and know that God is:
- Gracious (Psalm 145:8).
- Glorious (Isaiah 43:7).
- Good (Romans 2:4).
- Great (Jeremiah 10:6).
- Gentle (Isaiah 40:11). —Mark Posey
Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then Lord Chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten among the group and cried, “Neil!” Not daring to question or disobey the “command,” the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees! —Today in the Word, July 30, 1993
Before You Hit “Share” or “Like”
Before you hit “share” or “like” on that post, consider Paul’s admonition from Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
- Is it true? Each day, hyped-up fear-fed articles are posted about new applications, foods, vaccines, politics, local events, the family next door. Many of them are just not so. Simple common sense should tell us that one-half of these things are not so, and discretion should eliminate the rest. If it is really that important, take the time to do some fact checking.
- Is it noble? Not every noteworthy event in life needs space in our heads. Mark your space with things worthy of real honor.
- Is it just? Fanning the fire of rebellion toward things that are truly right tears down the very ones who need help most.
- Is it pure? It helps to become a little savvy with social media. Sometimes an old friend will pass along a great uplifting story, but they shared it from a Facebook group or page that either has a foul name, or commonly passes along material filled with profanity. Make a choice to check out first if the story is true, and then find a clean source to share. Not only will you help yourself, you help those who you want to encourage.
- Is it lovely?
- Is it of good report? Remember your reputation. When you share that page, your character goes with it, for good or ill, they will be latched together from that point on. Do you really think those two or three good things are worth the filth one needs to swim through.
- Is there any virtue? Is this really what it seems to be, and does it provide the best you want those whom you care about and lead to follow. Does it raise the bar?
- Is it worthy of praise? Life is already full of enough sorrow. Our broken hearts desperately need things worthy of praise and rejoicing.
Remember Solomon’s admonition in Proverbs 4:23: “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” —Author Unknown