Monday, September 26, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Young Samuel became a fearless man because he practiced three habits in his early life
1. He was available
"Speak Lord for your servant is listening"
Does anybody remember the Y2K scare? There actually was a scare even high level pentagon officials were saying they were not quite ready if embedded chips do not function properly anymore. was a scare and so my family stockpiled just to make sure we had everything available that we would need. It might have been a bit excessive, but we had a five car garage full of supplies that just now are all being used up ten years later. Like I said it was a five car garage full of supplies. That is pretty funny and you laugh, I do to now, but say something had happened? We would have been ready, and we would have had stuff available for our needs. Samuel had that same readiness and availability to serve God and he shows it in his first encounter with God where he says, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening". Are you available for what the Lord would have you do?
2. He listened to the Lord
"Your servant is Listening"
"So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli." (1 Samuel 3:15 NASB). This was a difficult message that God gave Samuel to deliver, but he listened and lay down in the temple until morning just in case God might give him some other message. We go on a Houseboat Camp every year with our youth ministry and toward the end of the week we are able to have a 3 hour alone time with God. I love this because it gives me a chance to listen to God during three hour solo time. I hardly ever get that chance just to listen to God for an extended period of time. What is God saying to you and are you listening? Maybe you need to turn some stuff off and be quiet and just listen to God.
3. He delivered a dangerous message (even though it was a message of judgement)
If God called me to go to the Pope and deliver a message that he was disobedient to God and his children are scoundrels and they are going to die, and the Pope will eventually die after seeing his children die and he will fall backwards and land on his head and die! Wow I don't know if I could deliver a message like that if God asked me to. Can you deliver a dangerous message? 1 Corinthians 1:23 says, "but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness." Our message is not safe you have to stumble over Christ or you may not have received Christ at all. If you have not stumbled or dealt with the foolishness of our message you may only have received moralism. "Be good and God will like you". That is NOT the gospel! Jesus is good for you! receive His goodness and righteousness!
Close: "Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord." (1 Samuel 3:19-20 NASB) Will you as a young person grow in fearlessness or will you strive to be liked and accepted? If you are available, if you listen to God, and if you are willing to deliver a dangerous message you will grow as Samuel did and God will "be with you and, let none of your words fail".
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Ruth was fearless because she made decisions to love three people in her life. You can have a look at the video about love in the video I have posted. I have to admit I love Veggie Tales and especially silly songs with Larry. The video is called "endangered love". After watching that video I want to ask the question what do you love? We love some pretty silly stuff, like manatees, but I want to propose that what you love will make you fearless. And on the other hand what you don't love can also make you a coward. Ruth, a character in the Bible became fearless because she loved the right things. Let's look at her story
Ruth was a foreigner married to an Israelite, but her husband dies which is one of the worst positions a woman could be in in that culture. She then travels to Moab with her mother in law Naomi. she has to work the fields just to put food on the table. So she goes to work and she collects a ephah of grain the first day she works which is like a bushel or about 36 liters. Leviticus 19:33 shows how Israel was supposed to treat foreigners, and Ruth was a foreigner so the people treated her well. "'When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the lord your God." Ruth shows her fearlessness in her love.
1. She loves her mother (in law)
Her mother (Naomi) was a little bit bitter. She said let my life be called Mara (which means bitter) I like giving nicknames but this one sucks as a nickname. Nicknames can be awesome for people, but Naomi is content with 'bitterness' as her nickname.
But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." Naomi needed Ruth more than Ruth needed Naomi and Ruth saw that and listened to that need.
2. She loves her mothers people
"Your people will be my people"
Simone my wife is German and I have made her people my people, and her culture my culture. This has become a great joy to me to be included in her family and culture. I have even learned a language in the process. I can now say "I love the German people! All of Naomi's people's customs became Ruth's customs. Gleaning, kinsman-redeemer, laying at the feet of a prospective husband, all the laws of Israel became her culture. She took on all 600 and something laws as her own. She loved her mother's people.
3. She loves her mother's God
"and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me." What do you love? How do you know what you love? What do you spend your money, time, effort, energy, and thought on? That is what you love. Do you love the Lord in this way?
Chris Tomlin wrote a song about the covenant that Ruth makes with Naomi. Check out the video below and cry to God like Ruth did "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God". Let us say it like Ruth did, "I will follow you".