Saturday, May 2, 2020

May 2

You are chosen. Samuel had Jesse bring his sons before him, but the Lord rejected each of them. I’m sure Jesse thought that one of his older sons would be the one, surely it wasn’t the youngest! Samuel had Jesse send for David, who was tending sheep, and as soon as he appeared, he was anointed, and the Holy Spirit rushed upon him from that day forward; then Samuel left! That was it, no further need to hang around or advise him. He didn’t become king that day, he wasn’t ready; however, he had been anointed for service, much like when we accept Jesus as our Savior. Now he had to go through trials, and learn to listen to the Lord, and follow him closely. We don’t think about that when we become a Christian; accepting Jesus is just the beginning, there is much to learn. God sends us through rigorous training, but not like we expect; you don’t even know you are being trained! If you pay attention, you will notice his hand in every aspect of your life. What you learn during that process is to trust him, and to acknowledge that it is he who is taking you through the trials, how you handle it is up to you. Bend so you don’t break; that’s what it means to surrender.

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:13

Friday, May 1, 2020

May 1

The Lord looks at our heart. Many people try to appear godly by putting on a beautiful display, dressing to perfection, and speaking empty words to cover the truth.

Saul didn’t follow the instructions of the Lord when he went to war, and the Lord regretted making him king. He sent Samuel to anoint a new king from the family of Jesse, a Bethlehemite. When he saw Eliab, he was sure that this son was the one the Lord wanted, but God had other plans, and told Samuel not to look at his height or stature because he had rejected him, and told him that he looks at the heart. This should cause many to tremble; you can look as spiffy as you want, but God can see the hate hidden in your heart. 

As each of us try to keep a nasty virus at bay by staying clean and washing our hands continuously, if we don’t have a clean heart, we may already be dead. Pray that the Lord brings to your attention any areas of your heart that need refining, and allow him to do a work in you. I don’t know about  you, but I would never want to be passed up for promotion like Eliab, and his brothers, because of an unclean heart.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD's anointed is before him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:6-7

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30

While I walked on the beach, I asked the Holy Spirit to speak to me and reveal a lesson that I could share. One of the ways I hear God’s voice is through his creation. As I walked, I noticed some scattered debris that had washed up, and had been pushed high up on the shore, probably at a very high tide. So I moved from the wet sand to pilfer through the debris, because I know that sometimes I can find treasure hidden underneath. As I walked along the high tide line, I noticed that the temperature was much hotter. I had moved away from the cool, clear water, up to the dry and dusty sand. I felt he was telling me to stay near him, and to not go after the treasure that draws me away from him, and the safety of his arms. I moved back to the water's edge and continued to walk to where the beach came to an end, and perched within the rocks was thousands of beautiful seashells. I spent the good part of an hour rummaging through the treasure he had placed in my path. The lesson today is to keep your eyes on Jesus, and not wander off his path; if we stay the course, he will present us with treasure beyond our expectation.

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. Psalms 63:1-3

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April 29

Are we as guilty as Israel when they asked for a new ruler? Samuel recounted everything the Lord had done for them, and chastised them for wanting a king, and rejecting God as their king. Samuel had done a good job as a judge, yet they weren’t satisfied, and wanted to replace him because he was getting old. It is said that they wanted a king for ungodly reasons, so God gave them an ungodly king when he appointed Saul. Does this sound familiar? They had their heads buried in the sand as many do today. God may rule against you if you are seeking the wicked to rule over his people, or he might appoint them so you get what you asked for. If you are itching for God to appoint the godless over you, I hope the cries of his chosen overrule you! Do we continue to reject God, and have him decide to appoint an evil president to rule over us, or do we turn to him, revere him as our King, and have him let us keep the one who follows him? Cry out, you who are chosen, that we not have evil rule over us in the future.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 1 Samuel 8:6-7

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

April 28

At my vacation home, I was able to start from scratch, and decorate it  however I wanted. The “bones,” such as the tile and cabinetry, are neutral, and easy to accommodate whatever colors I desired to use. I decided to keep the pallet calm by using mixes of gray, and cream, adding in rattan decor, for a beach feel. Then I added teal thinking it would be enough color for my taste, but I was wrong! After staying closed inside for a couple of weeks, I became antsy for more color, but not just any color, lots of color, bright vibrant, powerful color. I went back to my house and harvested some pictures and artwork from the walls, and closets, which were full of decorative items that needed to be used. Some of the items I decided to use are originals, given to me by my friends; I couldn’t be more excited to add them to my walls, and fulfill my desire for color. 

Our life in Jesus can be like that, beautifully designed, perfectly clean, and satisfying. However, if you get anxious about it, and feel the need to add more color to your life, realize that if you are completely immersed spiritually, it is far from being mundane. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help you cultivate your spiritual gifts; we all have them, but most people don’t utilize them. 

Here is a link to help you determine what your gifts are; in case you don’t know.

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Monday, April 27, 2020

April 27

It was the second time I had done it; you would have thought that I would have learned my lesson the first time. Never again will I buy organic potting soil! All the bags of soil were heavy, and seemed to be full of water, so I opted for the lighter ones, not really paying attention to the label. Much to my dismay after opening them, the smell was quite “organic!” I’m sure my plants will love it more so than the plain, but my nostrils hate it; it’s a stench! 

Don’t we all do that, opt for the easy way? It’s easier in the here and now to go the way of the world, the opposition is less threatening than going down the path of Jesus. I caution you not to take the easier path. When the Lord brings you home after you’ve chased after worldly things, and opens you up, like I did the organic soil, you will be filled with manure, and a stench to the Lord. The manure is good for my plants, but it’s not good for you. From this point on, when I hear the word “organic,” I will think of the stinky potting soil, and I will remember that what seems easy is not always the best route to go. 

But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Romans 6:21-22

Sunday, April 26, 2020

April 26

There was something significant that the Holy Spirit brought to my attention today. Samuel was still very young, serving in the temple of the Lord. I’m sure he had many duties there, and he had been dedicated to the Lord by his mother, but the scripture says that he did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. Now remember, Samuel is living in the temple! How could he not know the Lord? God help us! We’re talking about Samuel, a major prophet of the Lord! I know, he was very young, but wouldn’t you think that by being brought up in the temple, he would already know the Lord? If Samuel didn’t know the Lord at that point, what makes you think you know him? Here’s the answer: if you have been transformed, and born a second birth into the Kingdom of God through Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides in you. How do you know the Holy Spirit resides in you? Jesus says that you will know his voice. John says you will not keep on sinning. Don’t get me wrong, you will probably sin, but the burden of guilt will rest heavily upon you, and you will be more diligent in trying to avoid it. God called out to Samuel, he heard his voice, and God gave him a word for Eli the priest, and he knew him from that point on.

"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him." 1 Samuel 3:7  1Sa 3:7

“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18