April 30

Luke 22:31-53

Jesus told Peter ahead of time that he would deny Him. Why? Why tell Peter ahead of time what he was going to do? I think one reason was because Peter could have the confidence that God knew what was going to happen before it happened, encouraging him in faith. One, he would know what he went through was an attack from Satan himself. Two, he would know that Jesus was in his corner in prayer for him. Three, he would know that he could return. Four, he would know that he was responsible to strengthen the believers. When Peter said he was willing to go to prison and even die for Christ, he meant it, and he would do those things. However, Jesus also confirmed His words with a sign, so Peter would know Jesus was hearing from God and give him hope for the future.

God has done similar things for us. We’ve heard prophecies, words of knowledge, words of wisdom given to us or through someone else for us. We’ve had people share dreams and visions, and we’ve experienced them ourselves. Perhaps you can recall when you heard the voice of God or were led by His Spirit. God is always on our side! We can put our trust in Him.

In verse 35, Jesus reminds the disciples of their ministry trips and His provision for them as they went. We also, can be confident that as we step out in obedience, God will meet us there with His grace to provide with all we need to accomplish the mission – provision for finances, meals, lodging, anointing, and anything else we require. We just need to obey!

Jesus instructed the disciples to get swords. They said they had two. He said it was enough. Then they go to the Garden and Peter does what? He pulls out a sword, aims for the high priest’s head, misses, and chops off the man’s ear. I wonder if Peter thought Jesus was telling them to fight. However, Jesus said to permit them to take him and healed the ear. It’s important that we know when to act and not to act.

2 Samuel 23-24

David’s last words were words of praise to God. Life never really ends; we just move out of our body into another place. With the one chance we have to live this life, let’s live it for God, and to live it well in His eyes.

We also see some of the strength and victories of David’s team. These “mighty men” served the king, and because of their submission, they were used by God to do great things!

In chapter 24, God moved David against Israel because the Lord was angry with the people. It caused David to get a count of Israel and Judah. After the count, David’s heart convicted him. He was counting men that would be used in battle, an act of self-reliance.

The Lord sent a plague on Israel and many died – remember, God already is angry against Israel for their sin. David’s choice to sin opened up the door to punishment. He made an offering to the Lord, purchasing the sacrifice, saying, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing.” The sacrifice we make needs to be our own.

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