May 24 | Daily Devotion

Lectio Continua: a continuous reading of every verse

Lectio Semi-continua: shorter reading selections from the passages

Lectio Divina

“And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him.”
~1 Chronicles 11:9

We all need heroes. Growing up, I tried to emulate Dr. J’s (Julius Irving) moves on the court, played Batman and Robin with my friends, drew pictures of Speedracer’s car, and used my toy guns to take care of bad guys like the Rifleman. Our heroes change as we grow and mature, but our need for them doesn’t. We still look for people to emulate, people who inspire us.

The Chronicler reminds the exiled community about some of its heroes, especially King David. Scholars have noted that many of the sordid details from David’s life are not recounted here. The Chronicler is not trying to gloss over his failures; he just doesn’t want to dwell on them. We all know the king wasn’t perfect. In today’s reading, David is a hero surrounded by heroes. He is a man of courage and action. He takes Jerusalem, he surrounds himself with brave warriors, and he decides to make worship an important priority in his kingdom. Imagine how inspiring the exploits of the former king would be to a people forced to live far from their home.

The stories of our past can teach us, warn us, and very often inspire us. Of course, Jesus is our greatest Hero, the One who came to bring light into a dark world of people who wanted Him dead. But the Bible does not tell only of God’s exploits, nor is it limited to stories of the God-man, the greatest of heroes. God also told stories about His people! (Hebrews 11 pushes us to find encouragement in the lives of those who walked the earth before us.) God’s people often do things that are big and bold. Let them inspire you.

I have found that, while my heroes have changed, my desire to follow in their footsteps has not. Men like John Calvin and Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, C. S. Lewis, and Winston Churchill now people my personal hall of fame. I even have a few modern heroes like Billy Graham and John Piper. These men aren’t perfect, but they inspire me. Their example encourages me to be a person of faith and courage, a person who is not afraid to dream and act, a person who knows his flaws but is still willing to be used by God. Who are your heroes? Find a hero or two and emulate the best in them. Then, to paraphrase one my heroes, Jonathan Edwards, live with all your might.

Lectio Divina is written by F. Lionel Young III, who serves as the senior pastor of Calvary Church in Valparaiso, Indiana. He is the author of A New Kind of Missionary, a popular introduction to global Christianity.