READ: 2 Samuel 23-24
THINK: What makes someone a hero-a person of destiny? Those who achieve true greatness and leave a lasting legacy are almost always risk-takers. They stand out from the crowd, not because of recklessness or self-indulgence, but because they attempt what others fear impossible-like David's "mighty men." The best of the best don't do things for their own acclaim; they do what they do for the good of others, and ultimately for God's glory. If that's your purpose, you'll be amazed by what God can accomplish through you.
RESPOND: What does it mean for a leader to lead in "righteousness" and "the fear of God" (23:3)? How and why is this pleasant and refreshing, "like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth" (23:4)? What do the exploits of David's "mighty men" reveal about David's influence and his success? (See 23:8 note.) How can you inspire those around you? How can you show gratitude for how other's have supported you and contributed to your life and success? Why wouldn't David drink the water his men had risked their lives to bring him (23:13-17)? What kinds of obstacles stood against the mighty men when they accomplished amazing feats (cf 23:20)? What can you learn from their example? Why did God allow David to take a census of the fighting men, and how did this test David's faith? (See 24:1 note.) What was David's sin in doing this? (See 24:1 note, subpoints 3 & 4.) In what way did David disregard God's power through this? How did David show renewed trust in God after he repented (23:14)? How did David show humility and responsibility for his sin? (See 24:17 note.) Why did David insist on paying Araunah for the threshing floor rather than accepting it as a gift? (See 24:24 note.) What did this reveal about David's character and attitude toward God? What example does this set for you in your giving and service to God?
PRAY: Give God gratitude for faithful leaders. Ask God to help you be a positive influence and an inspiration to those around you. Ask God to prepare you for great exploits that will honor Him and promote His purposes.
ACT: Are you facing a seemingly impossible task or insurmountable obstacle? Do you have a big dream of something you would like to do for God? Ask Him to help you take a bold step to turn the situation into a feat of faith for His honor. Also, encourage someone else who has undertaken a big project or is going through a tough time with faith in God. Be willing to make a personal sacrifice to promote God's purposes.
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