Charles’s quotes


"It is surely ours to combine these elements of mourning for sin and joy in our salvation in one complex and composite experience which keeps us perpetually humble and yet perpetually joyful too."— Rev William Still

Showing posts with label 1 Samuel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1 Samuel. Show all posts

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Help us, Lord, to be honest with You.

1 Samuel 23:1-29
Help us, Lord, to be honest with You - Do we want to get our own way or to do Your will? Set us free from the self-centred illusion that You will always support us  in everything that we decide to do. Help us to see that there's a great difference between 'what I want' and 'what You want.' Teach us to choose Your will rather than our own will.

Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously. Help us to take Your salvation even more seriously.

1 Samuel 28:3-25
Help us, Lord, to take sin seriously - "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). Help us to take Your salvation even more seriously. Help us to believe that the story of our life is more than the story of our sin. It's also the story of Your salvation. When we are deeply aware of our sin, may we become even more deeply appreciative of Your promise of salvation: "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).

When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves ...

1 Samuel 29:1-30:15
When, Lord, things are going badly, we start feeling sorry for ourselves - when we should be getting strengthened by You. You are "our strength and our shield." You give us Your "strength" and Your "peace" (Psalm 28:7-8; Psalm 29:10-11). Give to us the peace that comes to us from knowing that we are not alone. May we not fall down in our weakness. May we stand up in Your victory.

Dedicated To The Lord ...

The name, “Samuel”, tells the story, leading up to his birth. His name means “God hears”. Samuel was given this name to indicate that he was God’s answer to Hannah’s prayer: “I asked the Lord for him” (1 Samuel 1:20). She gave her son back to the Lord - “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. In return, I am giving him to the Lord. He will be dedicated to the Lord for his whole life” (1 Samuel 1:11,28).
Hannah’s prayer begins with the words, “”My heart finds joy in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1). Her son, Samuel, was going the Lord’s way. This was something which made Hannah rejoice in the Lord. We read about Samuel’s spiritual growth (1 Samuel 2:18,21). “The boy Samuel grew up in front of the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:18,21). “The boy Samuel continued to grow and gained the favour of the Lord and the people” (1 Samuel 2:26). For Samuel, this was just the beginning. There were greater things to come: “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground” (1 Samuel 3:19).
Samuel’s spiritual  growth was in stark contrast to the disobedience and downfall of Eli’s sons. This is the context within which we must grow spiritually. We are surrounded by disobedience. We must look away from all of this disobedience. We must keep our eyes on the Lord. We must ask the Lord to give us His grace so that we might go on growing in Christ.
The Lord had His hand on the boy Samuel, and he grew to be a man of God, empowered by the Spirit of God. The ministry of Samuel was a mighty demonstration of the power of the Spirit of God (1 Samuel 3:19-21). God was with him - in power. God was sending His blessing down from heaven. He was giving His Word to Samuel - “the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the Word of the Lord”. God’s Word was reaching out, through Samuel, to “all Israel” (1 Samuel 3:21).
The ark of the Lord signified the Lord’s presence among His people. Even the Philistines, Israel’s enemies, recognized the presence of God among His people - “the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid , for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us!” (1 Samuel 3:6-7). When God’s ark was absent, God’s presence was not among the people - “the glory of the Lord has departed” (1 Samuel 4:21). When the ark of the Lord, containing the Word of the Lord, is returned to its rightful place among God’s people, the blessing of God returns. We need to honour God and His Word, if there is to be blessing among us. If God and His Word are taken lightly, there will be no blessing.
God calls His people to return to Him wholeheartedly. They are to make a commitment to the Lord, and serve only Him (1 Samuel 7:3). When we dedicate our lives to the Lord, we are not left to go it alone. The Lord is with us. He is our Helper - “Until now the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). The call to be dedicated to the Lord is always accompanied by the promise of His help.
The people of Israel were warned. They were not to have a human king. They were to have no other king but the Lord. They disregarded the Word of the Lord. They wanted to have a king. They wanted to be like other nations. Having the Lord as their king wasn’t enough for them. They were determined to get their own way. They insisted on having a human king. God allowed them to have a king - Saul. There was no real blessing under Saul’s leadership. He was not a true man of God. He did not influence the people for God.
Samuel and Saul were very different. Samuel loved the Lord. Saul “didn’t follow the command of the Lord” (1 Samuel 13:14). Today’s Church needs men like Samuel in its leadership. He was committed to the priorities of prayer and God’s Word - “It would be unthinkable for me to sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. I will go on teaching you the way that ids good and right” (1 Samuel 12:23). Samuel called upon the people to “fear the Lord, and serve Him sincerely”. He emphasized that they were to fear the Lord and serve Him with a sense of gratitude for all that He had done for them - “Consider the great things He did for you” (1 Samuel 12:24). As well as the Word of command, grounded in the remembrance of grace, there was also the Word of warning: “But if you go on doing what is evil, you and your king will be wiped out” (1 Samuel 12:25). May God help us to be like Samuel - “speaking the truth in love”.
Saul enjoyed success as a military leader: “Wherever he turned, he was victorious” (1 Samuel 14:47). He was a failure as a spiritual leader: “Then the Lord spoke to Samuel, “I regret that I made Saul king. He turned away from Me and did not carry out My instructions” (1 Samuel 15:10-11). God’s Word of judgment was pronounced on Saul: “You rejected what the Lord told you. So the Lord rejects you as king of Israel” (1 Samuel 15:26).
David was the one, chosen by God, to be king - “Anoint him.He is the one” (1 Samuel 16:12). This was for the future. For the present, there was the challenge of Goliath. God’s will had been made known to David. Now, through his victory over Goliath, the will of God would become clear to all the people. David’s victory was really the Lord’s victory: “I come to you in the Name of the Lord ... The Lord will hand you over to me ... The whole world will know that Israel has a God. Then everyone gathered here will know that the Lord can save without sword or spear, because the Lord determines every battle’s outcome. He will hand all of you over to us” (1 Samuel 17:45-47). When we face our “Goliaths”, we must look beyond him to the Lord. When we take our eyes off the Lord, the “giants” look bigger than they really are. When we keep our eyes on the Lord, the “giants” are cut down to size. We are to be like David. We are to rise to the challenge - in the strength of the Lord. Armed with the armour of God, we can face our enemy, Satan, with the confidence that our God will give us the victory.
There’s a great contrast between David and Saul. It is summed up in 1 Samuel 18:12 - “The Lord was with David but had left Saul”. The sadness of this situation is summed up in 1 Samuel 18:29 - “Saul became David’s constant enemy”. The seriousness of this situation is summed up in 1 Samuel 19:10 - “Saul tried to nail David to the wall with his spear”. Saul had been thinking about doing this for some time (1 Samuel 18:11).
Jonathan’s faithfulness to David arose from his love for him (1 Samuel 20:17). This is true of God. He loves us. He is faithful to us. The story of David runs parallel to the story of Saul. It highlight. the continuous conflict between God and Satan. David was God’s man. Saul had become Satan’s tool. God is sending His blessing. Satan is seeking to hinder God’s blessing. This is the conflict that we see in the story of David and Saul. This is the conflict that is still going on in our lives. It’s an unequal conflict. The victory belongs to the Lord - not to Satan!
The story of David and Saul is a story of two very different men. David recognized that the Lord was in control. Saul, on the other hand, was trying to keep himself in control. There are two very different attitudes to life - trusting the Lord and taking things into our hands. We see David’s attitude to the Lord in his response to Nabal: “Blessed be the Lord, who defended me against the insults of Nabal and kept me from doing wrong. The Lord has turned Nabal’s own wickedness back on him” (1 Samuel 25:39).
Saul sinned against the Lord (1 Samuel 28). God’s judgment came upon Saul (1 Samuel 31). While Saul is still king, in these final chapters of 1 Samuel, the chief emphasis is placed on David. God’s work is moving on. It doesn’t stand still. God is looking to the future. Saul was yesterday’s man. David was God’s man for the future. We must move forward with God. He is leading us on to greater blessing.

Far too easily, Lord, we accept defeat - when You're leading us on into Your victory.

1 Samuel 30:16-31:13
Far too easily, Lord, we accept defeat - when You're leading us on into Your victory. What's wrong with us? It's sin. That's our problem. It never goes away, this problem of ours - but we don't have to fight against it in our own strength. Our sin may seem to be inevitable - "That's the way I am. That's the way I've always been. That's the way I'll always be." Our sin isn't invincible. Jesus triumphed over sin. That's what He did when He died for us and rose again. Jesus won the victory for us. He gives His victory to us. Help us, Lord, to receive His strength, to walk in His victory, and to say. "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:23).

God hears ...

The name, “Samuel”, tells the story, leading up to his birth. His name means “God hears.” Samuel was given this name to indicate that he was God’s answer to Hannah’s prayer: “I asked the Lord for him” (1 Samuel 1:20). She gave her son back to the Lord - “I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request. In return, I am giving him to the Lord. He will be dedicated to the Lord for his whole life” (1 Samuel 1:11,28).

The Lord’s presence among His people

The ark of the Lord signified the Lord’s presence among His people. Even the Philistines, Israel’s enemies, recognized the presence of God among His people - “the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid , for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us!” (1 Samuel 3:6-7). When God’s ark was absent, God’s presence was not among the people - “the glory of the Lord has departed” (1 Samuel 4:21). When the ark of the Lord, containing the Word of the Lord, is returned to its rightful place among God’s people, the blessing of God returns. We need to honour God and His Word, if there is to be blessing among us. If God and His Word are taken lightly, there will be no blessing.

No other king but the Lord

The people of Israel were warned. They were not to have a human king. They were to have no other king but the Lord. They disregarded the Word of the Lord. They wanted to have a king. They wanted to be like other nations. Having the Lord as their king wasn’t enough for them. They were determined to get their own way. They insisted on having a human king. God allowed them to have a king - Saul. There was no real blessing under Saul’s leadership. He was not a true man of God. He did not influence the people for God.

Success as a military leader, failure as a spiritual leader

Saul enjoyed success as a military leader: “Wherever he turned, he was victorious” (1 Samuel 14:47). He was a failure as a spiritual leader: “Then the Lord spoke to Samuel, “I regret that I made Saul king. He turned away from Me and did not carry out My instructions” (1 Samuel 15:10-11). God’s Word of judgment was pronounced on Saul: “You rejected what the Lord told you. So the Lord rejects you as king of Israel” (1 Samuel 15:26).

A great contrast between David and Saul

There’s a great contrast between David and Saul. It is summed up in 1 Samuel 18:12 - “The Lord was with David but had left Saul”. The sadness of this situation is summed up in 1 Samuel 18:29 - “Saul became David’s constant enemy”. The seriousness of this situation is summed up in 1 Samuel 19:10 - “Saul tried to nail David to the wall with his spear”. Saul had been thinking about doing this for some time (1 Samuel 18:11).

Two very different attitudes to life - trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands

The story of David and Saul is a story of two very different men. David recognized that the Lord was in control. Saul, on the other hand, was trying to keep himself in control. There are two very different attitudes to life - trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands. We see David’s attitude to the Lord in his response to Nabal: “Blessed be the Lord, who defended me against the insults of Nabal and kept me from doing wrong. The Lord has turned Nabal’s own wickedness back on him” (1 Samuel 25:39).

The victory belongs to the Lord - not to Satan!

Jonathan’s faithfulness to David arose from his love for him (1 Samuel 20:17). This is true of God. He loves us. He is faithful to us. The story of David runs parallel to the story of Saul. It highlight. the continuous conflict between God and Satan. David was God’s man. Saul had become Satan’s tool. God is sending His blessing. Satan is seeking to hinder God’s blessing. This is the conflict that we see in the story of David and Saul. This is the conflict that is still going on in our lives. It’s an unequal conflict. The victory belongs to the Lord - not to Satan!

God is leading us on to greater blessing.

Saul sinned against the Lord (1 Samuel 28). God’s judgment came upon Saul (1 Samuel 31). While Saul is still king, in these final chapters of 1 Samuel, the chief emphasis is placed on David. God’s work is moving on. It doesn’t stand still. God is looking to the future. Saul was yesterday’s man. David was God’s man for the future. We must move forward with God. He is leading us on to greater blessing.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Can You And I Become Giantkillers - For God?

1 Samuel 17
David faced a giant. We face giants. His giant was called Goliath. Our “Goliaths” are the giants of unbelief and disobedience. We’re told that it doesn’t matter what you believe. We’re told that it doesn’t matter how you live. Like David, we must rise up with faith in the Lord. Like David, we must move forward in obedience to the Lord. Let us challenge today’s “Goliaths” – “I come to you in the Name of the Lord … whom you have defied.”We do not face these “Goliaths” in our own weakness. We face them in the strength of the Lord. Knowing that “the battle is the Lord’s”, we take our stand upon the Word of God: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord” (1 Samuel 17:45-47; Isaiah 54:17).

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Lord, You are the King. There is no king like You.

1 Samuel 8:1-9:10
Lord, You are the King. There is no king like You. No human king can even begin to compare with You - the divine King, the "King of kings" (Revelation 19:16). We lift to You our song of praise: "O worship the King, all glorious above. O gratefully sing, His power and His love."

Sunday, 18 November 2018

What are the most important things in our lives?

1 Samuel 19:1-24
What are the most important things in our lives? Why are they so important to us? Everything revolves around ourselves, Lord. We forget about You. Call us back, Lord - back from the brink, back from "the broad way that leads to destruction" (Matthew 7:13). Call us into "safety, certainty and enjoyment" (George Cutting) - saved by You, assured of Your salvation, enjoying Your salvation.

We come to You, Lord, with sadness. You give us gladness.

1 Samuel 1:1-28
We come to You, Lord, with sadness. You give us gladness. How does this gladness come to us? It comes to us when we stand upon Your Word, when we believe Your promises. Our life is not controlled by our feelings - the feelings that drag us down, the feelings that pull us away from You. Your promises lift us out of these feelings. They lift us into Your presence. They assure us of Your love. They lead us into Your blessing. Thank You, Lord, for Your promises and Your presence, Your love and Your blessing.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!

1 Samuel 9:11-10:16
"Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!" When, Lord, we say that You are the great King, may we not think only of the greatness of Your power. May we think also of the greatness of Your love.

Holiness, holiness, the only life that the Lord will bless

1 Samuel 6:17-7:17
"Holiness, holiness, the only life that the Lord will bless" (Don Francisco). Lord, You are the holy God. You call us to be holy. The way of holiness is the way of blessing. Help us, Lord, to walk with You in Your way - the way of holiness, the way of blessing.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

The Power, The Victory, The Thanksgiving

The Power – “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” (1 Samuel 16:13).
The Victory – “I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty … the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45, 47).
The Thanksgiving – “I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me” (Psalm 30:1).

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