July 20: Serving the Glory of God
2 Samuel 5:1–6:23; 1 Peter 4:1–11; Psalm 136:1–26
When we avoid community, we may develop an inflated opinion of our own character. It’s easy to think we’re kind people when we’re not held accountable to others. It’s easy to think we’re always right when no one disagrees with us. Conversely, it’s in our relationships that our true selves are often revealed. When we’re actively involved in a community, we face hundreds of instances where we need to make choices. These choices either serve others, or they serve our own desires.
When Peter states, “Above all, keep your love for one another constant, because love covers a large number of sins” (1 Pet 4:8), he’s saying that choosing to love often sets all motives in the right place. It dispels our own pride and puts issues into perspective. When we are truly loving others, it’s not about our pride or “being right.” It’s about helping others grow in faith by using our God-given gifts.
Peter goes on to show just what this looks like: “Be hospitable without complaining. Just as each one has received a gift, use it for serving one another, as good stewards of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, let it be as the oracles of God; if anyone serves, let it be as by the strength that God provides, so that in all things God will be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 4:9–11). When we love others and use our gifts for their benefit, our actions do more than serve the other. Since they find their origin in Christ’s love, they serve to honor and glorify Christ.
Living in community with others may often be difficult. We’ll meet with challenging people and situations that will require us to continually pray to the giver of gifts for renewed strength and the ability to serve. We’ll face conflict that needs to be met with wisdom and love. Through prayer and the work of God in our lives, we can love and serve others with the love of Christ.
How are you exerting your own pride in your relationships with others? How can you serve them with your unique, God-given gifts?
REBECCA VAN NOORD
- Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and said thus, Behold, we are thy bones and thy flesh. And in time past when Saul was our King, thou leddest Israel in and out: and the Lord hath said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the Elders of Israel came to the king of Hebron: and King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David King over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign: and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years, and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. The King also and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: who spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking that David could not come thither: But David took the fort of Zion: this is the city of David. Now David had said the same day, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites, and getteth up to the gutters and smiteth the lame and blind, which David’s soul hateth, I will prefer him: therefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into that house. So David dwelt in that fort, and called it the city of David, and David built round about it, from Millo, and inward. And David prosered and grew: for the Lord God of hosts was with him. Hiram also king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar tree, and carpenters, and masons for walls: and they built David an house. Then David knew that the Lord had established him King over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake. And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. And these be the names of the sons that were born unto him in Jerusalem, Shammua, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon, And Ibhar, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia, And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphelet. But when the Philistines came, and spread themselves in the valley of the Rephaim. Then David asked counsel of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hands? And the Lord answered David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Phlistines into thine hands. Then David came to Baal Perazim, and smote them here, and said, The Lord hath divided mine enemies asunder before me, as waters be divided asunder: therefore he called the name of that place, Baal Perazim. And there they left their images, and David and his men burnt them. Again the Philistines came up, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David asked counsel of the Lord, he answered, Thou shalt not go up, but turn about behind them, and come upon the them over against the mulberry trees. And when thou hearest the noise of one going in the tops of the mulberry trees, then remove: for then shall the Lord go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. Then David did so as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines from Geba, until thou come to Gezer. Again David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, even thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the Ark of God, whose Name is called by the Name of the Lord of hosts, that dwelleth upon it between the Cherubims. And they put the Ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, that was in Gibeah. And Uzzah and Ahio the sons of Abinadab did drive the new cart. And when they brought the Ark of God out of the house of Abinadab, that was at Gibeah, Ahio went before the Ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all instruments made of fir, and on harps, and on Psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put his hand to the Ark of God, and held it: for the oxen did shake it. And the Lord was very wroth with Uzzah, and God smote him in the same place for his fault, and there he died by the Ark of God. And David was displeased because the Lord, and said, How shall the Ark of the Lord come to me? So David would not bring the Ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David, but David carried it into the house of Obed-Edom a Gittite. And the Ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite, three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-Edom, and all his household. And one told King David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that he hath, because of the Ark of God: therefore David went and brought the Ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom, into the city of David with gladness. And when they that bare the Ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he offered an ox, and a fat beast. And David danced before the Lord with all his might, and was girded with a linen Ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought the Ark of the Lord with shouting, and sound of trumpet. And as the Ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw King David leap, and dance before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. And when they had brought in the Ark of the Lord, they set it in his place, in the midst of the Tabernacle that David had pitched for it: then David offered burnt offerings, and peace offeirngs before the Lord. And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the Lord of hosts. And gave among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a piece of flesh, and a bottle of wine: so all the people departed every one to his house. Then David returned to bless his house, and Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, O how glorious was the King of Israel this day, which was uncovered today in the eyes of the maidens of his servants, as a fool uncovereth himself! Then David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me rather than thy father, and all his house, and commanded me to be ruler over the people of the Lord, even over Israel: and therefore will I play before the Lord. And will yet be more vile than thus, and will be low in mine own sight, and of the very same maidservants, which thou hast spoken of, shall I be had in honor. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. 2 Samuel 5:1–6:23
- Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, which is, tha the which hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin, That he hence forward should live (as much time as remaineth in the flesh) not after the lusts of men, but after the will of God. For it is sufficient for us that we hae spent the time past of the life, after the lust of the Gentiles walking in wantonness, lusts, drunkenness, in gluttony, drinkings, and in abominable idolatries. Wherein it seemeth to them strange, that ye run not with them unto the same excess of riot: therefore speak they evil of you. Which shall give account to him, that is ready to judge quick and dead. For unto this purpose was the Gospel preached also unto the dead, that they might be condemned according to men in the flesh, but might live according to God in the spirit. Now the end of all things is at hand. Be ye therefore sober, and watching in prayer. But above all things have fervent love among you: for love shall cover the multitude of sins. Be ye harberous one to another, without grudging. Let every man as he hath received the gift, minister the same one to another, as good disposers of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the words of God. If any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God ministereth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom is praise and dominion forever, and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:1–11
- Praise ye the Lord, because he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Praise ye the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever: Praise ye the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever: Which only doeth great wonders, for his mercy endureth forever: Which by his wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth forever: Which hath stretched out the earth upon the waters: for his mercy endureth forever: Which made great lights: for his mercy endureth forever: As the Sun to rule the day; for his mercy endureth forever: The Moon and the stars to govern the night: for his mercy endureth forever: Which smote Egypt with their firstborn, (for his merc endureth forever) And brought out Israel from among them; for his mercy endureth forever) And brought out Israel from among them; for his mercy endureth forever: With a mighty hand and stretched out arm; for his mercy endureth forever: Which divideth the Sea into two parts, for his mercy endureth forever: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it; for his mercy endureth forever:And overthrew Pharoah and his host in the red Sea; for his mercy endureth forever: Which led his people through the wilderness; for his mercy endureth forever: Which smote great Kings: for his mercy endureth forever: and slew mighty Kings: for his mercy endureth forever: And slew mighty Kings: for his mercy endureth forever: As Sihon King of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth forever: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth forever: And gave their land for an heritage; for his mercy endureth forever: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant; for his mercy endureth forever: Which remembered us in our base estate; for his mercy endureth forever: And hath rescued us form our oppressors; for his mercy endureth forever: Which giveth food to all flesh; for his mercy endureth forever: Praise ye the God of heaven; for his mercy endureth forever. Psalm 136:1–26