July 22

1 Chronicles 16:8-11 (NIV) 8Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. 9Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. 10Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Chronicles records the story of the ark coming to Jerusalem. The first time they tried to bring it their own way, and Uzzah died. The second time they did it according to the word of the LORD. There was great rejoicing. David danced so all-out that his wife despised him. Musicians were appointed to play before the ark on a regular basis. David gave gifts of food to everyone. It was truly a festive occasion.

At that time, David committed a psalm to his worship leader, Asaph. He didn't just give it to him, but committed it to him. Asaph had this Spirit inspired song and was now responsible to see it sung. Is that how we feel about Spirit inspired music? It is committed to our worship leaders so that they see it is sung to the LORD.

In this psalm, David commands us to give thanks to the LORD, to call on His name and to tell the nations what God has done. He is commanding us to send out missionaries. We are to sing to Him! We often sing about Him, telling of His wonderful acts, but we need to sing to Him also. We are to glory in His holy name. His name is the sum of His attributes. Glory in all that God is! If you seek the LORD, your heart should rejoice.

Then David shared a lesson that was just reinforced. He sought God when the Philistine army came against Israel. The first time God directed them one way to victory. The second time God directed them in a different way, and they defeated the enemy again. Look to the LORD and His strength; seek His face always. That is something Saul did not do, but David was determined to do.

Consider: Are you as determined as David to rely on God's strength and to seek His face always?

July 22

Acts 8:14-16 (NIV) 14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

After Stephen was murdered, the Jews that opposed the church began to imprison them. The believers scattered throughout Judea and Samaria, preaching the word as they went. Philip went to a city of Samaria. When the people saw the miracles that God did through him and heard his preaching, they paid close attention to what he said.

The apostles had remained in Jerusalem. On hearing the good news that Samaria was accepting the word of God, they sent Peter and John to help. Philip had preached the good news successfully, but as yet, no one had been filled with the Spirit. Peter and John prayed that they would be filled. They knew how important it was to have the Spirit working through them to produce lasting results. They remembered how Jesus had asked them to wait in Jerusalem until they were filled with the Spirit, who would empower them for ministry. These new converts in Samaria were like the disciples before Pentecost. They believed and were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Yet, they still lacked the power that would enable them to really be a witness of the new life in Christ.

After praying for them, they laid hands on the new converts and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Later in the same chapter, a man wanted to pay them money to receive the Spirit. Obviously they did not lay hands on everyone, or he would not have had to make such an offer. He was rebuked for the very idea that the gift of God can be purchased.

Reader, do you sense the need for the power to be an example of the Christian life. To be a witness not only means to tell others, but to live an example before others. If you are willing to obey, to let Jesus be the Master of your life, ask Him to fill you. He will (Luke 11:13).

Remember: You need His power to be a witness.