Scriptures: Hebrews 12:1-6
Thanksgiving is a time of remembrance. History shows us that the pilgrims were not thanking God for perfect lives without problems, instead they were thanking God that they could practice their religion freely. To reach this goal it required great personal sacrifice.
As we come close to the Thanksgiving holiday, let's take some time to remember:
Remember: God does His best work in the lives of ordinary people! In Hebrews we read about a "great cloud of witnesses." We look at men like Abraham and Noah: ordinary men with ordinary lives who God used in extraordinary ways in extraordinary situations. God uses ordinary people who will make a daily choice to follow Him. Our goal as Christians must be to stay on course.
Remember: to keep your focus on Jesus! The truth is that once you put Jesus at the center of your life: everything else falls into place. Many Christians lose the focus because they put a lot of focus on careers, problems and even secret sins. We must keep our focus on the cross of Christ and the things of this world will not seem so important.
Remember: Things worth having will require sacrifice. Ask yourself: what price I am willing to pay to have a deeper relationship with Jesus? Jesus endured the cross so you could gain an inheritance in Heaven. Jesus will empower you to press on beyond your own abilities: He wants to give you strength beyond your deepest needs.
Are you ready to look unto Jesus: the author and finisher of your faith?
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 25:23-33
Abigail did not choose this conflict with David: she was pulled into it. This conflict started with two men: Nabal and David. Nabal was known for his rude behavior and David was easily angered, and Abigail ends up right in the middle of this natural conflict.
Abigail tries to head off the conflict with David: she demonstrates great courage. Abigail recognizes that her husband's behavior is wrong, and decides to do something about it. She never excuses or condones her husband's actions.
Abigail reveals her faith in God by showing a spirit of humility. In these verses, we read that she called David "lord" fourteen times. Abigail allowed prophetic utterance to flow out of the humility of her heart: David was a future king! We must remember that faith is more than words: it is viewable actions. Abigail took action! Before she could speak to David, she road out and got in his way. It's take courage and humility to be a peacemaker.
David makes a powerful statement to Abigail saying: "blessed is they advice." David valued Abigail's words. Her courage and words kept David from making a terrible mistake. She kept David from having a cloud over his head as he became King of Israel. God had a great plan for David's life, but a moment of personal satisfaction could have destroyed his destiny.
When you demonstrate faith, humility and courage there is no need for a great show of strength! Wisdom is rewarded with relief from above. The world wants us to seek revenge, but revenge is not as sweet as the world shows it to be. Instead of revenge, in the face of conflict take a step back! Ask yourself: is a moment of satisfaction worth destroying a relationship? Is evening the score worth ruining your witness? Is conflict more important than the plan God has for your life?
So how does the story of Nabal, Abigail and David end? The Lord smote Nabal and he died. Because David saw Abigail's wisdom, faith, courage, humility and grace: he asked her to be his wife! Abigail went from being married to a fool to being married to the king.
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 25:1-44
This Old Testament story is a type and shadow of Christ and His church. Abigail symbolizes those who are held captive because of their choices or the choices of others. Nabal symbolizes the world: a controlling, demanding and selfish master. David symbolizes our Savior: offering a better life.
First we look at Nabal. Nabal was self-willed, greedy and angry. His name literally is translated to mean "fool!" His own employees considered him to be worthless.
Then we have Abigail: who was the complete opposite of her husband. She was wise, caring, approachable, organized and trustworthy. Abigail had the gift of discernment, which is the ability to read people, situations and how to act accordingly.
Finally we have David who was a born leader forced to live in the wilderness because of the wickedness of King Saul. David was hungry, dirty, tired and being hunted. He was not living the kingly life he imagined. He on "was edge."
All of these human natures and event led to natural conflict. A conflict between a wife, Abigail, and her husband Nabal. They were two complete opposites: Nabal who reacted with prideful emotion and whose wife's love was overshadowed by her fear of him. On the other hand is Abigail who responds with diplomacy and tact. Nabal thinks only of himself, while Abigail considers everyone involved. Fortunately for Nabal, Abigail stays with him regardless of his actions.
Conflict is part of all relationships and it can bring: change, growth and understanding. Nabal did not learn the right things from his conflicts, which caused conflict to follow him from one relationship to the next. Abigail matured as a person through times of conflict and grew in courage and grace.
Jesus views our commitments, but also observes how we handle conflicts: conflicts in the home, on the job, in the church and in the world. God has a great plan for your life, but how you handle conflicts determines your future.