July 25

1 Chronicles 21:1-3 (NIV) 1Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel. 2So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are." 3But Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"

David's kingdom was established and blessed. His enemies were subdued and paying tribute. When the spiritual enemy could not attack from without, he attacked from within. Satan can inspire men to attack the people of God. When that fails, he will try to corrupt the people of God through their thought life.

What was so evil about numbering the people? David had already learned again and again that the victory was not about superior forces but the blessing and leading of God. Numbering the nation was a way to count on his physical resources. What does it matter how many men you have prepared for battle if God is not with you? This is contrary to lesson upon lesson that God had shown David. Even Joab, the commander of the army, knew this was a mistake.

Joab got to the point when he said, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over." It was not just a census on David's heart, but able bodied men. He pleaded with the king not to go through with this sin, but the king did not listen.

Consider: Have you experienced a friend or loved one pleading with you not to go through with something because they knew it was not of God, yet you would not listen? There is always a big price to pay when we do that. Recognize spiritual attacks, and consider the advice of godly friends. (continued)

July 25

Acts 10:34-35, 44 (NIV) 34Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.

44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.

Up to this point in the history of the early church, the Christians were all Jewish or converts to Judaism. To help the church past their prejudices, the Lord gave Peter a vision of foods that the Jews considered unclean. He told him to eat them. Peter said he could never do such a thing. The Lord told Peter that hat He called clean, Peter should not call common.

In a nearby town, a very sincere Gentile worshipper of God received a vision of an angel telling him to send for Peter. At the same time, the Spirit told Peter to go with the men who were coming to look for him. Peter asked the man why he had called for him. As the man relayed the angelic vision he had seen, Peter began to get the message that God was trying to impress on his heart. You don't have to be Jewish to trust in the Messiah, Jesus, for salvation.

As Peter began to share the message that these Gentiles had already heard, the Holy Spirit came upon them. Peter's company was amazed that the Gentiles were given the gift of the Spirit. This was the first time they had seen Gentiles receive the Spirit. From this point on, they church would begin to see that Jesus is the Savior of the world.

Do you see the Gospel as pertaining to a certain group, color, class or type of people? Many years earlier, when Jesus met the woman at the well, the Samaritans declared Him to be the Savior of the world. It is the same today. Every person, rich or poor, black, yellow, or white, needs the Savior as much as you or I.

Remember: Don't hesitate to share the wonder of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection with those you come in contact. Then watch the Spirit do the work in their lives.