devos from the hill


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A Tale of Three Kings – Chapter 1

A devotional from Gene Edwards book, A Tale of Three Kings

Chapter One

Our lesson today begins with the young boy, David. He is the youngest of 8 boys and at the bottom of the pecking order, he is relegated to the most menial duties of taking care of the family’s flock of sheep.

As the story in the book unfolds, we see that young David spends a lot of time on his own with his charges. He fills some of his time playing his harp and singing. He has much time to ponder the world and think about the God of his ancestors.

Additionally, he takes up the art of slinging stones with increasing accuracy. This proves to be a most excellent skill when he sees, one day, a bear about to attack one of the sheep. He is able to take down the bear with the precision acquired from so much practice! In another incident, David also killed a lion who threatened his flock.

Is it any wonder that when faced with the challenge to come up against the giant Philistine, Goliath, David feels physically, mentally and spiritually prepared?

All of that time spent alone, tending sheep, left to his own thoughts and devices, David could have become bitter and angry or filled with self-pity and fear. He could have rebelled against his lot in life and run off on his own. He might have developed a victim mentality and given himself over to slothfulness. Instead, he embraced his circumstances and found ways to develop useful skills that would give him aid at many times throughout his life. Even his musical ability was used to soothe Saul’s troubled spirit seen in I Samuel 16.

By working in and through David’s circumstances, God could be seen preparing him for some very great accomplishments, ultimately ruling a nation. Likewise, God is preparing in us, what he has prepared for us! It may not be by the means we think it is and it may not be for the reason we think it is; the important truth is to keep our hearts tuned to praising God and our minds fixed on learning what He has for us to do in each and every moment. When our time comes for action we will be ready.


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Called to Follow Jesus

God values availability over ability.
Lesson 46 from The HOPE Study Guide

INTRODUCTION

And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him.

– Matthew 4:18–22

And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax–gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

– Matthew 10:1–4

After resisting Satan, Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. Soon, people began to follow after Jesus. Most of these followers were common, ordinary people. But they saw something very uncommon and extraordinary in Jesus. Some left the security of their livelihoods to be with Jesus. Some of these were fishermen, to whom Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” From those who followed Him, Jesus chose an inner group of twelve. These became known as His disciples, and for nearly three years, they traveled with Him and learned from Him. They began to see the world through His eyes. As with everyone who follows Jesus, these men were being prepared for something far beyond anything they could imagine.

– The HOPE, Chapter 9

OBSERVE & CONSIDER

After resisting the temptation of Satan, Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. He was ready for His earthly ministry. It wasn’t long before people started following Him. From among these followers, Jesus eventually chose a smaller group who became known as His disciples.1 Jesus lived with these men. Day after day He taught them, by word and example. He invested His life in their lives. He shaped their souls. And through this inner circle of men, God started a work and a movement (namely, the Church) that is literally unparalleled in all of history.

Now if you were going to assemble a group to start such a movement to change the world, then you might look for some extraordinarily gifted and accomplished people. But once again, we see that God often does things very differently from the way we would do them. The men that Jesus called to be among His inner circle were not the most educated or influential men that He could have found. By all appearances these were common ordinary men. Several of them were fishermen. One was a tax collector. And one was a revolutionary. But Jesus saw the potential in each of them, and ultimately God used them to give birth to something very remarkable, something that is alive today and will live for eternity. Continue reading