May 21

1 Samuel 18:3-4 (NIV) 3And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.

One of the ancient covenants that remained from tribal days was this one that Jonathan entered into with David. Jonathan had the same heart of faith in God and His ability to defeat the enemies in life. When he heard David speak, his soul resonated with the same tone of faith and courage in God. He loved him as himself. He saw his own heart toward God in David. You may have felt something like this when you heard a brother or sister share their testimony.

This covenant took the form of the exchange of clothing and weapons. It was, in symbolic style, saying that my possessions are yours and your enemies are mine. It is not recorded that David gave his clothes and weapons to Jonathan, but as a person of lower class and wealth, he had already committed himself to the royal family. They had entered into a covenant to defend and provide for one another.

It is a wonderful gift of God when you find someone that shares your heart for ministry. They come along side you with understanding and encouragement, and you do the same for them. This is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, who became a man, the last Adam, in order to come along side us. He took off his robe of glory and weapons of power to be with us. We give Him our weak and meager allegiance and He gives us His clothing of glory and weapons of light. We have entered into a friendship covenant, promising to fight side by side against our common enemy.

Prayer: Lord, help me be as faithful to You as David was to Jonathan! Thank you for those who share my heart for You.

May 21

Luke 17:20-21 (NIV) 20Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

The Jews believed the Messiah would lead them to victory over all their enemies and set up a Jewish nation like that of David's. If Jesus was this Messiah, their natural question would be when He would begin this kingdom. Jesus' answer shows that His perspective of the Kingdom of God is very different from theirs. As usual, they are thinking on very physical and temporal terms, whereas Jesus is speaking about spiritual realities that are eternal.

Jesus told them that we would not be able to carefully watch as things changed step by step. It is not an outward event. You won't be able to point to a specific battle or political maneuver. The Kingdom is something that takes place within a person. The Kingdom of God is established in a heart when the King of kings reigns in that heart. Then that person is a subject of the King and has entered into the Kingdom.

You can see the transformation in the life of the person because he serves a new master. Jesus began His ministry preaching the same message as John. "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." Since the resurrection of Jesus, the Kingdom is preached. We often hear a compromising form of the Gospel that implies you get a free ticket to heaven and go on being your own king. Is that really entering the Kingdom? The Kingdom has come to every heart in which the King reigns.

Consider: Is He reigning in you?