New? Start Here!
Request your free gift, connect with Insight for Living Canada, and learn more about our non-profit Bible-teaching ministry.
Read 1 Samuel 16:11; 17:34-35
Think ahead with me to 1 Samuel 17. Here is David, standing by Saul, as a giant lumbers across the distant landscape.
Saul says, "Who are you?"
Saul says, "Where have you been?"
"With my father's sheep."
Then Saul says, "You can't fight this Philistine. You're just a little kid."
Though only a teenager, David responds without hesitation:
Your servant was tending his father's sheep [that's solitude, obscurity, monotony]. When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock [that's reality], I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him. (1 Samuel 17:34-35)
Where did David get such courage? He had learned it all alone before God. What kind of man is this David? A man of reality. He's a man who remained responsible when nobody was looking.
Goliath was no big deal. Why? Because David had been killing lions and bears while nobody was around. He'd been facing reality long before he squared off against Goliath. David may have lived many centuries ago, but the things we can learn from him are as current as this morning's sunrise. Two stand out in my mind.
First, it's in the little things and in the lonely places that we prove ourselves capable of the big things. If you want to be a person with a large vision, you must cultivate the habit of doing the little things well. That's when God puts iron in your bones!
Second, when God develops our inner qualities, He's never in a hurry. When God develops character, He works on it throughout a lifetime. He's not in a rush.
It is in the schoolroom of solitude and obscurity that we learn to become men and women of God. It is from the schoolmasters of monotony and reality that we learn to "king it." That's how we become—like David—men and women after God's own heart.
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This final lesson on creating a legacy focuses on this critical element of mentoring—passing our legacy to those who will come after us. Unlike a relay, this passing of the legacy is not a moment but a lifelong attitude of mentoring others to carry on the tradition we received.View Details
The quality that distinctively sets apart believers as followers of Jesus is not a pithy bumper sticker or a fish emblem dangling from a necklace or a gilded dove pinned on the lapel. These are only symbols of our faith. The true mark of a Christian is love.
Our assurance as believers is that God has a plan and a purpose for us and He is constantly working behind the scenes in every circumstance in our life to further that plan. We need to remember it is His plan, not ours.
On a recent tour of Israel, my wife and I went to this hill to hear anew the familiar expressions of “Blessed are” preached by Chuck Swindoll. But there, on the Mount of Beatitudes, it was what I saw, more than what I heard, that really demonstrated the power of Jesus’ words.
Think of each song or hymn as a promise to God, a binding statement of your commitment. Picture the results of this commitment as you sing it with gusto. Then, after the song has ended, apply it with the same gusto. God not only loves a cheerful giver, He honours a sincere singer.