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Category Archives: 1 Samuel

My God is…Served 1 Samuel 12:20-24

I Samuel 12:20-24 – And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless. For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil

“Forget this; I’ve already messed up so badly, why bother?” Have you ever felt that way? You’ve sinned, you feel bad about it, but you don’t turn away from the sin. Sometimes our shame from our sin is exactly what helps to keep us in our sin. Maybe this hasn’t happened to you, and I hope it hasn’t, but it has happened to me. I have sinned and then said, well I crossed that line, now what’s the difference. What does it matter if I change my ways, people will always know me for that sin. These are lies by the way. The devil wants us to hold on to our sin. Satan will use whatever he can to keep us from standing in the grace of God. When we act like this, whether it is a brush with the law, drinking, sex, drugs or using profanity, we do not have to remain in the sin. You and I have not gone beyond God’s grace. We can’t. We can never go so far that God cannot redeem us. His mercy and grace are waiting for us. We don’t have to fear the wrath of God or the judgement of people, because when we repent and turn from our sin, God is faithful with His mercy and grace.

Do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart

heart-love

We need to keep our focus on the Lord. When we’re tempted to say we’re a hopeless case, our focus is on ourselves. We’re saying we’re too far gone, we’ve made too big of mistakes, but as Christians, we don’t need to fear how far gone we are or how big our mistakes are, because God, who is capable of all things is bigger than our mistakes. He can forgive us and give us mercy beyond any of our failures. So what are we to do when we realize we are in the midst of sin? We need to serve the Lord with all our heart. We need to refocus. We need to keep our eyes on God. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who feel the same way about God. We need to have Christian friends and acquaintances who will hold us accountable and point us back towards God when we go astray. The Lord can use our friends to redirect us back to Him when the sins and pleasures of this world distract us from God.

Do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless

Our world is very focused on ourselves. We talk about what we have achieved for ourselves. What we want. What we deserve. But outside of God, everything else is useless. With God, all things have more meaning. It isn’t wrong to be successful, but if it distracts us from our Lord and His saving grace it is. It isn’t wrong to be in love with someone, but if it distracts us from God, it is wrong. The good in this world is only good as long as we are focused on God. It is only good because of what God has done for us. Without the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, all our works are like dirty rags. Our accomplishments, our money, our legacies are nothing without them being centered on Jesus Christ. Only with God at the center of our actions can anything be “good”. God is the source of all goodness.

Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

God has done so much for us. We need to put God at the top of our list and serve Him. Put Him at the center of your life and things will change. You can be sure of that. Some people won’t like it. Some people will disown you. Some people will ridicule you, but we can stand strong, because the Lord is good and will bring us through all trouble and we will be able to enjoy eternal life with Him in heaven. God has made sure, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, that we will be blessed for all eternity. He is not going to get rid of those who love Him, who put Him first in their lives. He loves us, and because He loves us, we are free to serve Him in everything we do. Because of His love, we are free to turn from our sin, not become a hopeless case. He can turn our lives around. When we put Him first, changes will be made in our lives. By His strength and mercy, we no longer have to give in to things that are destructive. We can live free of the burden of our sin, and stand strong in the grace and forgiveness provided by our Lord Jesus Christ. Stand free. Stand Strong. Turn from Sin. Cling to Him.

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Posted by on October 16, 2013 in 1 Samuel, My God is Served

 

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My God is looking at the heart 1 Samuel 16:7

1 Samuel 16:7b – The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance,

Homeless: Don't Judge Me

Don’t judge me

but the Lord looks at the heart.

Don’t judge a book by its cover 

How many times have our moms said that to us? Our whole lives we’ve been told you can’t judge based on appearance, but to be honest, we all do. We see a well dressed man and think he must be a titan of industry or at least a successful businessman. We see a disheveled looking woman sitting at an intersection, and we assume she’s the product of her own choices.

What does your cover look like? 

We work hard to keep our covers looking good too, don’t we? I know I do. I want my hair to look good, my husband to be kind and my children to be polite. Those things are all good, but part of my motivation for these things is that I want people to assume my life is good. I want them to think that I’m a good wife and mother, that I’m kind, that I’m trusting in God, that I’m not full of sin. Some of the time I am those things, but I also fail quite regularly. But I don’t want anyone to know that. I don’t want to admit my failures.

God judges the heart

God can see through our cover. He can see right through to our heart. He knows our motivations, our failures and our successes. He knows what we truly value and where He is on that list. He’s not judging us on what we’re putting out there, but what is going on in our hearts and minds. He knows the true us, like no one else. Even those we are closest too don’t know us as well as the Lord does. He knows our fears, short comings, talents, gifts and humor. He gets us. He loves us.

He loves us

He knows the whole story. He knows where you’ve come from and where you’re headed. He knows that it’s because of the way your father treated you that you have a hard time trusting your husband. He knows that it’s your insecurity and need to look good that makes you yell at your children when they embarrass you. He knows that you love your mom and want to stop fighting with her. He knows you’re still sad about your grandpa’s death, even though it happened years ago. He knows us and loves us. He delights in us.

Don’t judge a book

The truth is, our failures and success are both necessary in who we are becoming. Often sharing the truth about our feelings, who we are and what embarrasses us is actually the best way to build true relationships. When we share our innermost secrets, we find ourselves bonding, exposed and vulnerable. It’s not always an easy place to be, but when we’ve found people we can share things with, we find ourselves in true relationship. We no longer have to pretend. They know us, and have either accepted or rejected us for who we are, and there is something really freeing about that. That is how it is with our Lord. He knows us so intimately. He knows our thoughts, dreams, fears and pain. It is because of that vulnerability of Him truly knowing us, and loving us anyway that we can build that true relationship with Him. One of freedom and growth that can only come when one feels truly secure in a relationship.

Do you feel secure?

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in 1 Samuel, My God is looking at the heart

 

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My God is…a God who knows 1 Samuel 2:3

 I Samuel 2:3 – “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God praying who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.”

Hannah’s Prayer – This verse is a segment of Hannah’s prayer. In 1 Samuel chapter 2, Hannah’s prayer gives us a glimpse into her heart. She is praying a prayer of thanks to the Lord for giving her Samuel. I find Hannah amazing. She prays and prays to the Lord for a Son, begging him, putting conditions on the request. Not conditions for God, but for her. If God gave her a son, she was going to give that son right back to God.

Promises to the Lord – How many of us when we’re desperate make promises to the Lord? We try to bargain with Him, but when we get what we want, it’s as if we’ve forgotten what we promised. We might say, “Lord, if I get that raise, I’ll give more to the church.” But when we get that raise, we go out and buy a boat instead of giving more to the Lord. Is it wrong to buy a boat, no, but when you’ve promised that money to the Lord, then it’s wrong. Hannah didn’t do that. She longed for a son, she wept for a son, and nothing. She prayed for a son, and when the Lord gave her that son, she kept her promise and gave him back to God for His service all of her son’s life. That couldn’t have been easy.

Don’t be boastful or arrogant – Hannah had been tormented by her rivals about the fact that she couldn’t have a child for her husband. She was angry, and they told her it would never happen. Her husband supported and encouraged her, but in this prayer, we see how she felt about what these ladies had been saying. She warned them that they shouldn’t be boastful or arrogant, because the Lord knows all. He knows the hearts of man and who is putting God first. These ladies were concerned about their own status, not on serving the Lord, and Hannah knew she was putting the Lord first. She trusted Him to do what is right. In the verses following our reading Hannah points out how God can turn things around. He can make the poor rich, and the rich poor. The Lord searches the heart and knows what is true.

Fix your eyes on Jesus – Keep your eyes focused on Christ. Turn from your past hurts, sins and pains and turn towards Christ, trusting that He knows your heart, your mind and your needs. Trust Him to take care of you like He took care of Hannah. He can turn things around.

Are things turning around?

Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.

“For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

“It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

“He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

 
 

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