Daily D – 1 Samuel 12:22
The LORD will not abandon his people, because of his great name and because he has determined to make you his own people.
1 SAMUEL 12:22 (CSB)
We are all well acquainted with initiative and response. Ollie the Border Collie grabs a tennis ball and runs to the stairs. He stands on the first landing and waits for me. He drops the ball when I arrive. He loves watching it bounce down the stairs. When I stoop to pick it up, he lowers his head and gives every ounce of his focus to what I do next. The roles of initiative and response are then reversed.
He took the initiative. I responded.
I was engaged in deep work when my iPhone rang. When the house phone rings, it is usually a sales call of some sort. Those calls go to voicemail if I do not recognize the caller’s number. When I answered my iPhone, the caller said, “David?” I responded, “Yes.”
Then he said, “What kind of business are you in? I want to get it right for your yellow pages listing.”
I hung up.
Initiative and response. He took the initiative to cold call me. I responded by hanging up. He needed to move on to someone who might be willing to use the service he was providing. I needed to get back to deep work.
When it comes to our relationship with God, he always takes the initiative. He also responds. This verse indicates, along with many, many others, that this is God’s nature. It is how he does business.
He enjoys drawing men, women, boys, and girls to himself. He wants everyone everywhere to experience his great love. The ESV translates this verse in part this way: “because it has pleased the LORD to make you a people for himself.” God loves loving you.
The Message paraphrases this text this way:
GOD took delight in making you into his very own people.
Why does God not abandon you or forsake you? Why does he not give up on you? Because it is his joy to draw you into a relationship with himself that is real and meaningful, loving and purposeful. He wants to take the modeling clay of your life and turn it into a masterpiece reflecting his glory and grace.
God is determined to do you good.
Today is the one-hundredth day of the year. Psalm 100 is a good song for today. Right in the middle of it it says this:
He made us,
and we are his—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Acknowledge God. He made us (initiative). We are his. We belong to him. He is our Father in heaven (Matthew 6:9). His our Shepherd (Psalm 23).
How do we respond to him? Psalm 100 is a good guide. Sing and shout to him (verse 1). Serve him with gladness, with joyful singing (verse 2). Acknowledge him for who he is (verse 3). Enter his presence with thanksgiving and praise (verse 4). Know that he is good and that his faithful love endures forever, his faithfulness to all generations (verse 5).
Our response is to see all of life as worship. Our response is to live lives that honor him and serve others. Our response is to know God and to make him known.
God is calling you today. He will call you by name. Please do not send him to voicemail. Please do not hang up. A good response is, “Our Father in heaven, whatever you want, I want, too.”
I will respond to who God is and to what he wants.
Our Father, You are God. I belong to you. Whatever you want is what I want, too. Amen.
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Daily D – Psalm 143:8-10
Psalm 143:8-10 Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
Daily D – Psalm 142:5
Psalm 142:5 Then I pray to you, O Lord. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”
Daily D – Ezra 3:11-13
Ezra 3:11-13 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: “He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid. But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance.
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 35:22-25
2 Chronicles 35:22-25 After Josiah had finished restoring the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led his army up from Egypt to do battle at Carchemish on the Euphrates River, and Josiah and his army marched out to fight him. But King Neco sent messengers to Josiah with this message: “What do you want with me, king of Judah? I have no quarrel with you today! I am on my way to fight another nation, and God has told me to hurry! Do not interfere with God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.” But Josiah refused to listen to Neco, to whom God had indeed spoken, and he would not turn back. Instead, he disguised himself and led his army into battle on the plain of Megiddo. But the enemy archers hit King Josiah with their arrows and wounded him. He cried out to his men, “Take me from the battle, for I am badly wounded!”
Daily D – 2 Chronicles 32:31
2 Chronicles 32:31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart.