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As His Own Soul

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 18

Scripture Focus: Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18.3)

Devotional Thought: In the ancient world, covenants were very important. Today we have contracts. Contracts are designed to benefit us and protect us from each other. Contracts are temporary and can be dissolved. Covenants, however, were based upon something more than law and protection. Covenants were agreements that each would care for the other for life.

Jonathan’s covenant with David was based upon love: "He loved him as his own soul." There is something mysterious about love, isn’t there? We are not sure where it comes from or how it originates, but we know it when we see it, and we are controlled by it when we feel it. I have some friends that are like that in my life.

When I was the pastor at Bethel Nazarene Church, I developed a friendship with Dick. He lived next door to the church. He always had a bountiful garden in the back and beautiful flowers all around. When I came to Bethel, however, Dick was not a member of the church. So, I got to know him first as a friend and only later as his pastor. Our friendship was based upon love. He did so much for me – for no other reason than because he loved me. I wish I could have done more for him, but I cherish all the times we spent together.

We all have a Friend like Jonathan was to David. We all have a Friend like Dick was to me. Jesus is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. He has sealed the covenant of friendship with you and me in his own blood. He loves us as his own soul.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you no longer call us servants, instead you have called us friends. What a friend we have in you, O Lord!

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 79.8-13

8 Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name's sake! 10 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!

11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die! 12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord! 13 But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

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