Jonathan gives David a promise, a wardrobe, and protection. "There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Prov. 18:24). David found such a friend in the son of Saul.

Oh, to have a friend like Jonathan. A soul mate who protects you, who seeks nothing but your interests, wants nothing but your happiness. An ally who lets you be you. You feel safe with that person. No need to weigh thoughts or measure words. You know his or her faithful hand will sift the chaff from the grain, keep what matters, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away. God gave David such a friend.

He gave you one as well. David found a companion in a prince of Israel; you can find a friend in the King of Israel, Jesus Christ. Has he not made a covenant with you? Among his final words were these: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). Has he not clothed you? He offers you "white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed" (Rev. 3:18). Christ cloaks you with clothing suitable for heaven.

In fact, he outdoes Jonathan. He not only gives you his robe; he dons your rags. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Cor. 5:21 NIV).

Jesus dresses you. And, like Jonathan, he equips you. You are invited to "put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil" (Eph. 6:11 NLT). From his armory he hands you the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (vv. 13–17).

Just as Jonathan protected David, Jesus vows to protect you. "I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me" (John 10:28 NLT).

You long for one true friend? You have one. And because you do, you have a choice. You can focus on your Saul or your Jonathan, ponder the malice of your monster or the kindness of your Christ.

Copyright 2013 Max Lucado  from Next Door Savior. . Used with permission. All rights reserved.

"The Road to Healing"

Written by Margaret D. Mitchell

"And Jesus said to him, 'Go; your faith has made you well.' Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road." -Mark 10:52 (NASB)

Recently, I found myself driving along a highway I hadn’t been on in decades. When I was a child, my father used to drive the same interstate most summers with my brother and me nestled in the backseat and my mother in the front. This was our familiar route to family vacations.

But recently, on this one particular summer day, I found myself driving alone to a hospital to sit with a new friend during her husband’s surgery.

On the way, I could feel the perfect peace and presence of God in my car; and I thought, “Isn’t it wonderful how The Lord cycles us up the same road for divine purposes?”

This was the interstate we traveled to visit a family church one summer, where I received salvation as a teen. And now, God had me travel this same road again to reach out to a couple in need of Jesus.

And just like many prayed for me that summer to come closer to Jesus, God now had many praying for my new friend and her husband to come closer to Him.

God never disappoints.

I knew God was making a way for this couple where there was no way, just like He did for me one summer.

I knew God was leading them out of a comfortable place, just like He did for me one summer.

I knew hearts had been touched on this day (including mine), just as many were one summer (especially mine).

I witnessed the faithfulness of God’s presence show up on this day, just like He did in that church for me all those years ago one summer.

And I knew God had more for my new friend’s husband and more for her and more for me and more for my husband. And I felt so grateful that He still uses me as His vessel in this way.

And I love how He still heals and how He still uses healings and miracles in deeply personal ways to touch a heart to follow Him more faithfully.

I love how in Mark 10:52, God opens a man’s eyes to see Him and to know Him, to recover and to regain his sight; then encourages his faith in Him, like a reward; then the man followed Jesus. There’s nothing like living proof to a person in need. No one can take that away.

I love the urgency in Isaiah 57:14-15 when God spoke through the prophet Isaiah regarding His healing and comfort and life for the repentant of heart…

"’Build up, build up, prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people.’ For this is what the high and exalted One says—he who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'"

God is faithful.

The word “road” in Isaiah 52:14 transliterates into the Hebrew word “derek,” which means “way.” Isn’t that what Jesus is for us? Our way, truth and life (John 14:6)? What God said through Isaiah and what Jesus did in Mark 10:52, He still does today.

We live in accelerated times. What purposed interstate does God have you on? Do you see any present-day parallels or cycles springing from your past? Have you noticed that when you complete a cycle designed to help you, God will then use you to reach out from that completion to help to others?

Pray…

Dear Lord, Thank You that You never forget our joyful moments and that You even use them to touch my heart to remember our special times together. Thank You for using all that I have been through for the benefit of others. Take me wherever You desire. I am willing because I trust You to be faithful to Your Word and to love me, to Your glory. Amen.

 

Used with permission. from Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work

Doesn't Fit My Religious Agenda

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your stretcher, and walk."
And immediately the man was healed. And he took up his stretcher and walked. Now this day was the Sabbath.                            John 5:8-9 CPDV

Key Thought:

God created the Sabbath to be a day of blessing, rest, and reverence.

Isn't it funny how religion can ruin the blessing of God with its own rules? Because Jesus did something they classified as unlawful on the Sabbath (rather than looking at God's intent of establishing the Sabbath), they discounted the miracle, ignored the joy of the one healed, and criticized the one who provided the blessing. How often do we do that in other areas in our religious lives? Hmm... better move on, that's too convicting. Bottom line: let's make sure our traditions and rules don't keep out God's blessings simply because they don't fit into our religious agenda.

Today's Prayer:

God, forgive us for turning your blessings into hardships, your joy into drudgery, and your grace into a set of rules. Forgive me for not rejoicing more with those who rejoice and for not comforting those who have been wounded. Help me find the balance of Jesus in knowing your will about worship while responding to the needs of those around me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

 
Used with Premission  - What Jesus Did!  are written by Phil Ware.

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager