Sunday Scriptures — Unsin Me

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While preparing to lead a lesson on David’s penitential Psalm 51 this month, I read a commentator who said “purify” was the same as “unsin”. Isn’t that interesting?

Psalm 51 is David’s petition to God for forgiveness after the prophet Nathan confronted David about his adultery with Bathsheba, and murder of her husband, Uriah. In this psalm David admits his guilt, and asks for God’s forgiveness. He pleads for the restoration of his relationship with God.

David pleads with God based on knowledge of who God is.

God is gracious, loving and compassionate. David understood God is our only hope. He understood we can go before God and confess our sins, knowing God will not hurt us despite our sin.

In this psalm David didn’t rationalize his sins as we might. He did not blame others for his actions. He made no excuses. He owned his sin and bowed before God in humility, begging for God’s forgiveness.

When David asked God to purify, or unsin him, he asked for God to take David’s sin away. Cleanse him through the sacrificial blood. Blot out his guilt as if no sin occurred. David asked God to return him to fellowship with God, and change his heart and life.

Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and shed blood paid the debt we owe for our sins. Still, God wants to see evidence of sorrow and brokenness over our sins from those who claim him as Lord. It is only through repentance of our sins we can have a restored relationship with God, and that restoration allows us to be useful to him once more.

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God, be merciful to me because you are loving. Because you are always ready to be merciful, wipe out all my wrongs. Wash away all my guilt and make me clean again. Psalm 51:1-2 (NCV)
 I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Tell Others

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

Oftentimes, I reread the Book of Psalms and marvel not only at the comfort they contain, but the way David expressed his heart so beautifully. One such Psalm is the 40th.

In the midst of David’s pit of despair, he cried out to God for help. God heard his cry. Not only did God hear, he acted. God lifted David from his pit and steadied him along his way.

David’s prayer for help turned into a song of praise because God gave him a new song to sing. No longer depressed and despondent, David told others of the glorious things God did for him. Through David’s testimony those who heard could stand amazed before God. They too, could put their trust in God.

I wonder … when we find ourselves in our pits and miry bogs, how do we respond? Do we cry out to God for deliverance, and wait patiently for his help? Once God rescues and steadies us, do we sing our praise to him, or do we go on our merry way without a second thought?

Could it be our testimony of what God has done for us just might be the thing that points others to our glorious Lord? If that is true, what happens when we receive God’s blessings but keep quiet about them?

Although written ages ago, David’s songs of praise are still read today. Many have benefited from David giving the glory back to God. Many have received comfort and put their trust in the Lord through David’s songs.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful for people to hear our songs of praise to God for what he has delivered us from, and brought us through, and stand in awe before him?

What comes to your mind when you think of what God did for you when you cried out to him? Have you let others know of the glorious things he has done? If not. Why not?

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I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him. Psalm 40:1-3 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Christian Devotions February 10, 2016. Please stop by.

Sunday Scriptures — Broody

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

While researching chickens for a novel I am writing, I came upon some interesting information concerning broodiness.

Broodiness is a hen’s instinct to hatch eggs. A hen that’s thinking of brooding may cluck like a mother hen while she’s getting on or off the nest, and while she’s on the nest will puff out her feathers, growl, yes … growl, and peck your hand if you reach under her for an egg.

Just because a hen is sitting on a nest doesn’t necessarily mean she’s setting on eggs, though. She may still be thinking about the eggs she recently laid, or she may be hiding from some bully that’s higher in the peck order.

So while there are honest to goodness broodies and there are wanna be broodies, there is a test for true broodiness, however. Who knew?

Gently reach beneath the hen and remove any eggs you find. If she runs off in an hysterical snit, she’s not broody. (Just moody!) If she pecks your hand, puffs out her feathers, or growls, then she’s actually setting on her soon-to-be-hatched chicks.

The book I read on the subject said clucking is one sure sign of broodiness. It also said broody hens hiss like snakes when annoyed and disturbed. Pretty much telling anyone near to stay away.

Broodies’ growl is a harsh sound usually accompanied by feather-ruffling that indicates defensiveness and distrust which can also include a peck that means don’t mess with me.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve known my fair share of broody, clucking, huffy-puffy people. And if I’m truly honest, I’ve had my fair share of broody, clucking, huffy-puffy moments as well.

In the Bible there were many broodies, but the first one that comes to my mind is spear-chucking, feathers-ruffled, hissy-fit-throwing King Saul.

Man …

Multiple times the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel mentions Saul got angry, lost his temper, and threw a spear at either David or Jonathan’s head. Not to mention the episode where he had 85 priests killed at one time.

Saul puffed himself up and gave credit to himself even when the great deeds weren’t his accomplishments. He hissed, growled, and pecked at those around him who were a threat.

Seems to me Saul fit both broody categories. He sat on something worth protecting, his dynasty, but by the end of his reign it was all wishful thinking.

There are several techniques which can be used to discourage broody hens. In Saul’s case, God removed the kingdom from his line and gave it to David.

Next time we find ourselves being broody, how about we make sure what we are protecting is worth fighting for and not just a bad case of ruffled feathers?

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 Jonathan asked his father, “Why should David be killed? What wrong has he done?”  Then Saul threw his spear at Jonathan, trying to kill him. So Jonathan knew that his father really wanted to kill David. 1 Samuel 20:32-33 (CEV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Seek God First

Isaiahby Sandy Kirby Quandt

While David and his men ran from Saul, they heard that their enemy, the Philistines, were stealing grain from the town of Keilah. David wanted to do something about it. He had several choices. Head out immediately and attack those pesky Philistines, do nothing and hope they went away, or ask God what David should do.

Seems pretty simple sitting in a comfy chair reading the scriptures … of course David should seek God’s will before taking action. But do you think it was a simple decision for him to make?

How about us? Do we always inquire of God before we head out to do something?

I wish I could say, “Of course. All the time. Wouldn’t dream of taking a step without asking God first.”

That is what I should do, but that isn’t always what I do.

David inquired of God and God told him to go on to Keilah. God himself would help David and his men conquer the Philistines. So David and his small army went up against the large army of Philistines and slaughtered them with God’s help.

King Saul, on the other hand, saw the fact David had come out of hiding as an opportunity to kill him so he headed to Keilah to do just that.

But Saul didn’t check to see what God wanted him to do. Saul’s hatred for David spiked to such an intensity he was blinded to anything else. He may have even thought God was giving David over to Saul.

I guess we can allow our ambition, passion, hatred, drive to push us to do things we think God may be giving us the go-ahead for, when in actuality, that isn’t the case.

Saul knew God had chosen David over him. The prophet Samuel told Saul God had removed the kingdom from him and his line. Surely, Saul didn’t think God would be on board with Saul murdering David.

Before we jump into things, shouldn’t we ask some questions first? Is this something God wants us to do? Is it something that lines up with what we know of who God is? Are we sure of our motives for wanting to do this? Are we fooling ourselves God would approve because we want it so badly?

I know from my own experiences we can want something so bad sometimes, we convince ourselves it has to be from God. Or it has to be what he wants us to do. I’m finding those are the times we need to go to godly people whose opinions we know are grounded in the Word of God and seek their counsel.

Does anyone else struggle with going to God first before acting?

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One day news came to David that the Philistines were at Keilah stealing grain from the threshing floors. David asked the LORD, “Should I go and attack them?”

“Yes, go and save Keilah,” the LORD told him.

But David’s men said, “We’re afraid even here in Judah. We certainly don’t want to go to Keilah to fight the whole Philistine army!”

So David asked the LORD again, and again the LORD replied, “Go down to Keilah, for I will help you conquer the Philistines.”

So David and his men went to Keilah. They slaughtered the Philistines and took all their livestock and rescued the people of Keilah. Now when Abiathar son of Ahimelech fled to David at Keilah, he brought the ephod with him.

Saul soon learned that David was at Keilah. “Good!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got him now! God has handed him over to me, for he has trapped himself in a walled town!” 1 Samuel 23:1-7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — You’re Our Only Hope

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

If you remember, in the first Star Wars movie Princess Leia sent her robot, R2D2, to Obi- Wan Kenobi. Her message was simple. Help me, Obi-Wan. You’re my only hope.

Many a time I’ve uttered…cried…pleaded…the same words to God. HELP! You’re my only hope. There is no other. You alone are able. Help me, Jesus.

While David was running around the country hiding from crazy Saul, he wondered where he should look for help. Should he look to other armies to come riding over the mountains? Should he look to his own cunning and cleverness? What about the safety of the caves?

Although David did align himself with other armies, was very clever and feigned insanity, and hid in caves, he knew all that was useless unless God…the LORD God Jehovah…Sovereign over all…was with David.

We can look to other things as our hope but our true, lasting help will only come from God. He is our help in times of trouble. He is the author of our eternal salvation. He is our present help who will never leave or forsake us.

Who needs Obi-Wan when they have Christ?

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I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!                      Psalm 121:1-2

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Use Your Own Armor

Isaiah 40By Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the story of the shepherd boy, David, when he went up against the giant, Goliath, King Saul offered David his armor and sword for the battle. David put on the king’s equipment, tried to walk around in it, then decided it was useless. It wasn’t a good fit. It wasn’t his style. He’d never worn such things before and right before battle was not the best time to be breaking them in.

Kind of reminds me of the scene in Lord of the Rings where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli are in Rohan preparing to battle the Orcs. Gimli puts on the chainmail armor. Way too big. So he takes it off. He knew his strengths and ill-fighting armor was not one of them.

Each of us has been given our own armor — abilities. If we try to put on the armor of someone else it won’t fit. We won’t be a bit of good using it. We’ll trip over our feet, and fail miserable.

But we do that sometimes, don’t we? We think someone else has a better sword. We try to wield it but it’s too heavy. We get exhausted in the process and aren’t very successful with it.

Not all of us are singers or poets. Not all of us are orators or evangelists. Not all of us can grow vegetables or paint pictures. Some of us are technology whizzes. Some master craftsmen. Some are the architects others are the builders. Some create the things others sell. Some like to work in groups. Others prefer solitude.

Not everyone feels comfortable teaching children or feeding the homeless. Taking care of the sick may make us squeamish. Walking behind the locked doors of a jail to witness to inmates is definitely not for everyone…And all that’s okay.

What say we put on the armor God gave us? Take up the individual skills and abilities he put inside us. Stop trying to put on what belongs to someone else, even if it does look way cool.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Leave your comments below.

Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again. 1 Samuel 17:38-39 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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