Thursday, February 23, 2017

Can You Hear Him Now? 2/23/2017

"So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, 'Here I am, for you called me.' Then Eli discerned that the Lord was calling the boy. And Eli said to Samuel,"'Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, 'Speak, for Your servant is listening.'" 1 Sam 3:8-10

God in His divine wisdom saw fit to call a young boy into his service. Samuel was a product of a devout father and a mother who struggled to bear children. For years his mother cried and prayed that God would bless her and that if He did, she would give the child to Him. God answered her prayer and she kept her promise. She left the boy with God's man, Eli, at a tender age and he began to be instructed in the way of the Lord. Then at a God determined point in his life, he was called into service by the very voice of the Almighty.

Beloved, there are many things that call to us today. We are inundated with messages from a variety of media that contend for our attention. Some of these messages are positive, some neutral and some negative. We must ask ourselves, however, if we are tuned in to God. It is His call that is quiet but firm, powerful and consistent. He placed within each of us the ability to recognize His voice. Paul writes, "...that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse" Rom 1:19-20. Contextually, this is a chastisement for those who have ignored the call of God and have acted unrighteously. But it clearly reveals that He has placed within us the ability to hear and know Him.

Further, His voice can be heard in our morality; our sense of right and wrong. Whether one is a believer or not, we all have a sense of what  we should do over against what we should not. This is  the God channel. It is not here stated that we hear God's audible call today. In fact Heb 1:1-2 tells us a bit of the history of His communication with us. The point is He still speaks. Be it through observed nature that make His existence evident or the conscience He has placed within us to respond to Him, He still speaks. When He calls, we need to turn everything else off and respond, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Pursuing discipleship,


Friday, February 10, 2017

Disagreeing Without Being Disagreeable 2/10/2017

"And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord. And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches." Acts 15:39-41

The truth is that we will not always agree. The bible is our guide in so many ways, but there are many areas that are not specific and are up for interpretation.

In this case, there were two very good friends and brothers in the faith who separated over whether or not to include a young disciple. They both felt so strongly about their polar opposite opinions that they did not continue their work together.

On the face of it, this may seem a tragedy, in reality, however, it is not. You see beloved, the work continued, the number of young "interns" were doubled and separately, the two duos were able to cover more territory and do more work than might otherwise have been possible. Neither of these men who were so strong in the faith and so critical to the growth of the church were dissuaded from the faith because of their difficulties. They continued on.

Some may separate from us due to differences of opinion, but as long as the cause of Christ is served and the spreading of the gospel continues, we must trust that all things are working together for good as part of God's grand design. Let us also not give up hope on maintaining our fellowship one with another. Later, Paul reunited with Mark and described him as being valuable to his work. One way or the other, we will see each other again as long as we remain in Him.

Pursuing discipleship,