Bible in 365 Days – Day 101

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Samuel 9-12

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Samuel 9:3-6, 14-17 NLT

One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.

Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!”

But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.”

So they entered the town, and as they passed through the gates, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the place of worship.

Now the Lord had told Samuel the previous day, “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him to be the leader of my people, Israel. He will rescue them from the Philistines, for I have looked down on my people in mercy and have heard their cry.”

When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord said, “That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Saul embarked on a journey to his destiny because of a simple thing. He was searching for lost donkeys.

    One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” So Saul took one of the servants and traveled through the hill country of Ephraim, the land of Shalishah, the Shaalim area, and the entire land of Benjamin, but they couldn’t find the donkeys anywhere.

  2. At a point during his journey, Saul wanted to turn back.

    Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!”

  3. Saul’s servant influenced him into making a step that took him to the next stage of his journey. His servant reminded him to consult God before giving up.

    But the servant said, “I’ve just thought of something! There is a man of God who lives here in this town. He is held in high honor by all the people because everything he says comes true. Let’s go find him. Perhaps he can tell us which way to go.”

     

Application:

The journey you are on is God’s way of getting you to where you are meant to be. Saul’s search to find his father’s donkeys led him on a journey that ended with him being crowned the first king of Israel. Every decision or move he made, during that journey, led him one step closer to God’s predestined end result. Equally worthy to note is that Saul’s decisions had the power to lead him away from his destiny. He got to his predestined end result because his servant, his companion and influencer, steered him in the direction he needed to go by reminding him of the importance of consulting God for directions.

Your journey, no matter how innocuous, brings you one step closer to your destiny. Similarly, your decisions has the potential of bringing you nearer or farther from that destiny. Mind the companions (influencers) you take along with you and don’t forget to consult God. Saul’s journey ended with him as king, where will yours take you?


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XOXO
Chañel

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Bible in 365 Days – Day 100

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Samuel 4:12-22
  • 1 Samuel 5-8

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Samuel 8:4-7, 19-20 NLT

Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”

Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer.

But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”

 

Observation (s):

  1. Israel wanted a physical king like all the other nations.

    Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”

  2. Israel failed to see that they rejected God as their King, through their desire to mirror other nations by getting a physical king.

    Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. “Do everything they say to you,” the Lord replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer.

  3. The people’s heart was set on getting a king. They refused to listen to Samuel’s warning about the restrictions that having a king would place on them.

    But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said.“We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.”

     

Application:

I recently saw a video of a young woman who has been job hunting for over a year. All her applications were rejected. Due to these rejections, this woman acknowledged that she was depressed and suffered from self-esteem issues. She often asked herself the questions: “Why didn’t they want me?”, “Why wasn’t I good enough?”

If being rejected by a stranger can cause such as serious blow, can you imagine how God would have felt at Israel’s rejection? Israel was God’s people. God has been with them the whole way, from Egypt to Canaan, fighting for them and leading them into battle. He has been their King yet the people requested an earthly king because they wanted to be like earthly nations. In their eagerness to conform to the world, they overlooked the role God plays in their lives and ignored Samuel’s warnings of the challenges to come.

Don’t make the mistake of the Israelites. Consider this. You reject God each time you choose the earthly version of a role that God already plays in your life. Don’t be so caught up in mirroring others that you reject God’s role in your life and bypass the warnings of the hard road ahead. Think and act careful.


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Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 99

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Focus Chapters:

  • 1 Samuel 1:9-28
  • 1 Samuel 2-3
  • 1 Samuel 4:1-11

 

Standout Verse(s):

1 Samuel 1:10-11, 19-20, 26-28, 2:20-21 NLT

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

“Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.

Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LordAnd the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Hannah desperately desired a son. She appealed, in anguish, to the Lord. The Lord granted her request.

    Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.

    The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

  2. Hannah made a great personal sacrifice when she honored her vow. She dedicated Samuel, the person she had desired the most to God, once he was weaned.

    I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.

  3. After Hannah dedicated Samuel to God, the Lord blessed her with 5 more children.

    And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

     

Application:

Have you ever yearned for something desperately? What if God gave you your heart’s desire and then told you that you had to return it, would you give it up? For most of us, that would be a hard choice, with us eventually choosing to hang on to it or the releasing  option coming in at a close first. In fact, many of us would posit that it would perhaps have been better to have never received our heart’s desire at all.

This is the choice that Hannah was faced with. She desperately desired a child. She made a vow to God, promising to dedicate her blessing to Him, if He blessed her with a son. Lo and behold, God delivered and Samuel was born! With the child now in her arms, Hannah did not hesitate about keeping her promise. As soon as Samuel was old enough, she returned him to God. Then an amazing thing occurred! God did not leave her empty-handed! In due course, He rewarded her faithful sacrifice by blessing her with five more children. She was blessed five-fold!

Oftentimes, God asks us to release what He had given us initially because He has a bigger blessing in store. He multiples His blessings through our sacrifice. Are you busy holding on to the little that God has given you? Did you make a promise to sacrifice that little in a cause to Him? It is time for you to release. God is waiting to bless you multi-fold.


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Chañel

When you encounter God…

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A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a friend about the way youngsters who are Christians behave. She was lamenting the fact that they don’t really behave like Christians. The only thing that came to mind to tell her is that it’s because they haven’t encountered God for themselves yet. A few nights later as I knelt at my bedside praying, that same thought came to me: things will not change until you make it your duty to encounter God.

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