Martyr

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t block someone’s growth in Christ by bailing them out of their experiences.”

TB

Bailout

When we love people, it’s natural to want to protect them from uncomfortable or unknown situations. The trouble is, when we go throw life’s challenges, those who seek the Lord will learn directly from Him. If you prevent others from lessons, you block them from seeing the hand of God in action. More to the point, you become an unnecessary martyr playing hero. Don’t let your pride interrupt another’s walk with Christ.

Graduation

Walking through the valleys of life is uncomfortable. But there’s a point to those seasons. We gradually graduate in our relationship with Christ when we go to Him for our needs. And those tough seasons show us how mighty and reliable God is. We can never fully understand His ability to work through our lives if we’re constantly running to the resources of others. Friends, let God be your resource. Conversely, step aside so that others may know Him too.

Today’s Question

Are you stagnating someone’s growth in Christ by being a pretend savior on their behalf?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 10

1 Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it over Saul’s head. He kissed Saul and said, “I am doing this because the LORD has appointed you to be the ruler over Israel, his special possession. 2 When you leave me today, you will see two men beside Rachel’s tomb at Zelzah, on the border of Benjamin. They will tell you that the donkeys have been found and that your father has stopped worrying about them and is now worried about you. He is asking, ‘Have you seen my son?’ 3 “When you get to the oak of Tabor, you will see three men coming toward you who are on their way to worship God at Bethel. One will be bringing three young goats, another will have three loaves of bread, and the third will be carrying a wineskin full of wine. 4 They will greet you and offer you two of the loaves, which you are to accept. 5 “When you arrive at Gibeah of God, where the garrison of the Philistines is located, you will meet a band of prophets coming down from the place of worship. They will be playing a harp, a tambourine, a flute, and a lyre, and they will be prophesying. 6 At that time the Spirit of the LORD will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person. 7 After these signs take place, do what must be done, for God is with you. 8 Then go down to Gilgal ahead of me. I will join you there to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. You must wait for seven days until I arrive and give you further instructions.” 9 As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart, and all Samuel’s signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When Saul and his servant arrived at Gibeah, they saw a group of prophets coming toward them. Then the Spirit of God came powerfully upon Saul, and he, too, began to prophesy. 11 When those who knew Saul heard about it, they exclaimed, “What? Is even Saul a prophet? How did the son of Kish become a prophet?” 12 And one of those standing there said, “Can anyone become a prophet, no matter who his father is?” So that is the origin of the saying “Is even Saul a prophet?” 13 When Saul had finished prophesying, he went up to the place of worship. 14 “Where have you been?” Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant. “We were looking for the donkeys,” Saul replied, “but we couldn’t find them. So we went to Samuel to ask him where they were.” 15 “Oh? And what did he say?” his uncle asked. 16 “He told us that the donkeys had already been found,” Saul replied. But Saul didn’t tell his uncle what Samuel said about the kingdom. 17 Later Samuel called all the people of Israel to meet before the LORD at Mizpah. 18 And he said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, has declared: I brought you from Egypt and rescued you from the Egyptians and from all of the nations that were oppressing you. 19 But though I have rescued you from your misery and distress, you have rejected your God today and have said, ‘No, we want a king instead!’ Now, therefore, present yourselves before the LORD by tribes and clans.” 20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. 21 Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! 22 So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” 23 So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else. 24 Then Samuel said to all the people, “This is the man the LORD has chosen as your king. No one in all Israel is like him!” And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” 25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the LORD . Then Samuel sent the people home again. 26 When Saul returned to his home at Gibeah, a group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him. 27 But there were some scoundrels who complained, “How can this man save us?” And they scorned him and refused to bring him gifts. But Saul ignored them. [Nahash, king of the Ammonites, had been grievously oppressing the people of Gad and Reuben who lived east of the Jordan River. He gouged out the right eye of each of the Israelites living there, and he didn’t allow anyone to come and rescue them. In fact, of all the Israelites east of the Jordan, there wasn’t a single one whose right eye Nahash had not gouged out. But there were 7,000 men who had escaped from the Ammonites, and they had settled in Jabesh-gilead.]

Sturdy

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Remember that God created us to be sturdy and resilient.”

TB

Shatter

The enemy will deceive us by making us believe we are fragile creatures incapable of a lot. But friends, that is not so. With God, all things are possible, including your ability to persevere when life gets challenging.

Foundation

God will allow us to go through seasons of challenges, not because we’re in trouble, but rather to show us what we’re made of. Many of us fail to realize the power we have in Christ. When He is for us, nothing can come against us.

Today’s Question

Do you know how mighty God is and how He created you in His image?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 9

1 There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin. He was the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. 3 One day Kish’s donkeys strayed away, and he told Saul, “Take a servant with you, and go look for the donkeys.” 4 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. 5 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!” 6 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.” 7 “But we don’t have anything to offer him,” Saul replied. “Even our food is gone, and we don’t have a thing to give him.” 8 “Well,” the servant said, “I have one small silver piece. We can at least offer it to the man of God and see what happens!” 9 (In those days if people wanted a message from God, they would say, “Let’s go and ask the seer,” for prophets used to be called seers.) 10 “All right,” Saul agreed, “let’s try it!” So they started into the town where the man of God lived. 11 As they were climbing the hill to the town, they met some young women coming out to draw water. So Saul and his servant asked, “Is the seer here today?” 12 “Yes,” they replied. “Stay right on this road. He is at the town gates. He has just arrived to take part in a public sacrifice up at the place of worship. 13 Hurry and catch him before he goes up there to eat. The guests won’t begin eating until he arrives to bless the food.” 14 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. 15 Now the LORD had told Samuel the previous day, 16 “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.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said, “That’s the man I told you about! He will rule my people.” 18 Just then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and asked, “Can you please tell me where the seer’s house is?” 19 “I am the seer!” Samuel replied. “Go up to the place of worship ahead of me. We will eat there together, and in the morning I’ll tell you what you want to know and send you on your way. 20 And don’t worry about those donkeys that were lost three days ago, for they have been found. And I am here to tell you that you and your family are the focus of all Israel’s hopes.” 21 Saul replied, “But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?” 22 Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and placed them at the head of the table, honoring them above the thirty special guests. 23 Samuel then instructed the cook to bring Saul the finest cut of meat, the piece that had been set aside for the guest of honor. 24 So the cook brought in the meat and placed it before Saul. “Go ahead and eat it,” Samuel said. “I was saving it for you even before I invited these others!” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 When they came down from the place of worship and returned to town, Samuel took Saul up to the roof of the house and prepared a bed for him there. 26 At daybreak the next morning, Samuel called to Saul, “Get up! It’s time you were on your way.” So Saul got ready, and he and Samuel left the house together. 27 When they reached the edge of town, Samuel told Saul to send his servant on ahead. After the servant was gone, Samuel said, “Stay here, for I have received a special message for you from God.”

Seasons

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God loves and accepts you in all of your seasons.”

TB

Harsh

If you think walking with Christ means you won’t have hard days, I’ve got some tough news for you, they happen. More to the point, if you think God wants you to tamp down unpleasant feelings, never acknowledging them, you’re headed for a breakdown.

Release

So rather than pretending that everything is fine when it’s not, go to God. Tell Him you’re upset, air your grievance, He can take it. God delights when we are with Him, no matter what state we’re in. So when life gives you lemons, have a chat with God, He’s a kind listener.

Today’s Question

Do you know that God loves you even when you’re mad?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 8

1 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. 2 Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. 3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. 4 Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. 5 “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.” 6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. 7 “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. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. 9 Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.” 10 So Samuel passed on the LORD ’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. 12 Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. 13 The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. 14 He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. 16 He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.” 19 But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. 20 “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” 21 So Samuel repeated to the LORD what the people had said, 22 and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.

Oh, Brother

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Don’t get so caught up in your brother’s mistakes.”

TB

Glaring

When we experience an offense from a person we do life with, it’s easy to judge them and their behavior. After all, we see it clear as day. But friends, the same way we see the faults of others is the same way they see ours.

Expectations

The reason we get so bothered by other people’s flaws is that we’ve placed expectations on them. And when we place expectations on each other, we fail to go to the One who fulfills us. So walk in love and let God intervene.

Today’s Question

Are you placing expectations on your brother?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 7

1 So the men of Kiriath-jearim came to get the Ark of the LORD . They took it to the hillside home of Abinadab and ordained Eleazar, his son, to be in charge of it. 2 The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time—twenty years in all. During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the LORD had abandoned them. 3 Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you want to return to the LORD with all your hearts, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Turn your hearts to the LORD and obey him alone; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the LORD . 5 Then Samuel told them, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the LORD for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah and, in a great ceremony, drew water from a well and poured it out before the LORD . They also went without food all day and confessed that they had sinned against the LORD . (It was at Mizpah that Samuel became Israel’s judge.) 7 When the Philistine rulers heard that Israel had gathered at Mizpah, they mobilized their army and advanced. The Israelites were badly frightened when they learned that the Philistines were approaching. 8 “Don’t stop pleading with the LORD our God to save us from the Philistines!” they begged Samuel. 9 So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the LORD as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the LORD to help Israel, and the LORD answered him. 10 Just as Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines arrived to attack Israel. But the LORD spoke with a mighty voice of thunder from heaven that day, and the Philistines were thrown into such confusion that the Israelites defeated them. 11 The men of Israel chased them from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way. 12 Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the LORD has helped us!” 13 So the Philistines were subdued and didn’t invade Israel again for some time. And throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the LORD ’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines. 14 The Israelite villages near Ekron and Gath that the Philistines had captured were restored to Israel, along with the rest of the territory that the Philistines had taken. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites in those days. 15 Samuel continued as Israel’s judge for the rest of his life. 16 Each year he traveled around, setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal, and then at Mizpah. He judged the people of Israel at each of these places. 17 Then he would return to his home at Ramah, and he would hear cases there, too. And Samuel built an altar to the LORD at Ramah.

On Purpose

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God created you with a purpose in mind.”

TB

No Accident

Despite our worldly programming, we aren’t here by accident. In order for us to truly know this, we must be tapped into Christ.

Intention

God intentionally created you, which means He values you. Read His word and build your relationship so that you may know your purpose.

Today’s Question

Do you know that God has a plan for you?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 6

1 The Ark of the LORD remained in Philistine territory seven months in all. 2 Then the Philistines called in their priests and diviners and asked them, “What should we do about the Ark of the LORD ? Tell us how to return it to its own country.” 3 “Send the Ark of the God of Israel back with a gift,” they were told. “Send a guilt offering so the plague will stop. Then, if you are healed, you will know it was his hand that caused the plague.” 4 “What sort of guilt offering should we send?” they asked. And they were told, “Since the plague has struck both you and your five rulers, make five gold tumors and five gold rats, just like those that have ravaged your land. 5 Make these things to show honor to the God of Israel. Perhaps then he will stop afflicting you, your gods, and your land. 6 Don’t be stubborn and rebellious as Pharaoh and the Egyptians were. By the time God was finished with them, they were eager to let Israel go. 7 “Now build a new cart, and find two cows that have just given birth to calves. Make sure the cows have never been yoked to a cart. Hitch the cows to the cart, but shut their calves away from them in a pen. 8 Put the Ark of the LORD on the cart, and beside it place a chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors you are sending as a guilt offering. Then let the cows go wherever they want. 9 If they cross the border of our land and go to Beth-shemesh, we will know it was the LORD who brought this great disaster upon us. If they don’t, we will know it was not his hand that caused the plague. It came simply by chance.” 10 So these instructions were carried out. Two cows were hitched to the cart, and their newborn calves were shut up in a pen. 11 Then the Ark of the LORD and the chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors were placed on the cart. 12 And sure enough, without veering off in other directions, the cows went straight along the road toward Beth-shemesh, lowing as they went. The Philistine rulers followed them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. 13 The people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley, and when they saw the Ark, they were overjoyed! 14 The cart came into the field of a man named Joshua and stopped beside a large rock. So the people broke up the wood of the cart for a fire and killed the cows and sacrificed them to the LORD as a burnt offering. 15 Several men of the tribe of Levi lifted the Ark of the LORD and the chest containing the gold rats and gold tumors from the cart and placed them on the large rock. Many sacrifices and burnt offerings were offered to the LORD that day by the people of Beth-shemesh. 16 The five Philistine rulers watched all this and then returned to Ekron that same day. 17 The five gold tumors sent by the Philistines as a guilt offering to the LORD were gifts from the rulers of Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. 18 The five gold rats represented the five Philistine towns and their surrounding villages, which were controlled by the five rulers. The large rock at Beth-shemesh, where they set the Ark of the LORD, still stands in the field of Joshua as a witness to what happened there. 19 But the LORD killed seventy men from Beth-shemesh because they looked into the Ark of the LORD . And the people mourned greatly because of what the LORD had done. 20 “Who is able to stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?” they cried out. “Where can we send the Ark from here?” 21 So they sent messengers to the people at Kiriath-jearim and told them, “The Philistines have returned the Ark of the LORD . Come here and get it!”

Simply Profound

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“There is no secret on how to meet with God. It only requires an open and honest heart.”

TB

Don’t

Many don’t connect with God not because He’s not available but because they honestly aren’t seeking Him. Before He can even tap your shoulder, you must sincerely acknowledge that you need Him. We are all useless and hopeless without God. Fortunately, He does find us valuable, but it’s up to us to realize that.

Do

When you begin to realize the magnitude of God, do reach out to Him. Let Him know you’re lost and that you’re aware of who He is. God is not looking for perfect people. He’s looking for just the opposite. So come as you are and seek Him out. He will be glad and delight in your presence. It’s as simple as that.

Today’s Question

Are you honestly seeking God or honestly seeking all else?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 5

1 After the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they took it from the battleground at Ebenezer to the town of Ashdod. 2 They carried the Ark of God into the temple of Dagon and placed it beside an idol of Dagon. 3 But when the citizens of Ashdod went to see it the next morning, Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark of the LORD ! So they took Dagon and put him in his place again. 4 But the next morning the same thing happened—Dagon had fallen face down before the Ark of the LORD again. This time his head and hands had broken off and were lying in the doorway. Only the trunk of his body was left intact. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor anyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod will step on its threshold. 6 Then the LORD’s heavy hand struck the people of Ashdod and the nearby villages with a plague of tumors. 7 When the people realized what was happening, they cried out, “We can’t keep the Ark of the God of Israel here any longer! He is against us! We will all be destroyed along with Dagon, our god.” 8 So they called together the rulers of the Philistine towns and asked, “What should we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?” The rulers discussed it and replied, “Move it to the town of Gath.” So they moved the Ark of the God of Israel to Gath. 9 But when the Ark arrived at Gath, the LORD’s heavy hand fell on its men, young and old; he struck them with a plague of tumors, and there was a great panic. 10 So they sent the Ark of God to the town of Ekron, but when the people of Ekron saw it coming they cried out, “They are bringing the Ark of the God of Israel here to kill us, too!” 11 The people summoned the Philistine rulers again and begged them, “Please send the Ark of the God of Israel back to its own country, or it will kill us all.” For the deadly plague from God had already begun, and great fear was sweeping across the town. 12 Those who didn’t die were afflicted with tumors; and the cry from the town rose to heaven.

Abdicate

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Abdicate your throne so that God may take His rightful place in your heart.”

TB

Thorns

Your throne is made of thorns when your flesh, pride, and ego control your mind, body, and soul. When your agenda is self-worship and the audience of man, it shows. Friends, watch yourselves because though you are fooling man, surely you are not fooling God.

Submit

The world is temporary as is the pleasures it contains. Do not make your inheritance in this world, because it will not serve you in the next. Submit to God, so that you may know true peace and true inheritance. His gifts are more valuable than anything in the world.

Today’s Question

Are you still sitting on your prideful throne?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 4

1 And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel. At that time Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelite army was camped near Ebenezer, and the Philistines were at Aphek. 2 The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men. 3 After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.” 4 So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were also there with the Ark of the Covenant of God. 5 When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake! 6 “What’s going on?” the Philistines asked. “What’s all the shouting about in the Hebrew camp?” When they were told it was because the Ark of the LORD had arrived, 7 they panicked. “The gods have come into their camp!” they cried. “This is a disaster! We have never had to face anything like this before! 8 Help! Who can save us from these mighty gods of Israel? They are the same gods who destroyed the Egyptians with plagues when Israel was in the wilderness. 9 Fight as never before, Philistines! If you don’t, we will become the Hebrews’ slaves just as they have been ours! Stand up like men and fight!” 10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. 11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed. 12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and arrived at Shiloh later that same day. He had torn his clothes and put dust on his head to show his grief. 13 Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town. 14 “What is all the noise about?” Eli asked. The messenger rushed over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and blind. 16 He said to Eli, “I have just come from the battlefield—I was there this very day.” “What happened, my son?” Eli demanded. 17 “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines,” the messenger replied. “The people have been slaughtered, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also killed. And the Ark of God has been captured.” 18 When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for forty years. 19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near her time of delivery. When she heard that the Ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth. 20 She died in childbirth, but before she passed away the midwives tried to encourage her. “Don’t be afraid,” they said. “You have a baby boy!” But she did not answer or pay attention to them. 21 She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead. 22 Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”

Starting Point

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“If you want to see clearly, let God be your starting point.”

TB

Murky

When we lean on our flesh and our own understanding, the world is murky, dark, and full of misleading principles. Friends, the world is not ours and if we don’t understand that foundational context, we will be a slave to our experiences. To avoid this trap, let God be your foundation.

Clear

The world doesn’t change because we have God. No, we change, discerning good from evil, real from fake. God is not here to disappear our obstacles. He’s here to give us the Truth so that we may follow Him. When God is our starting point, the Truth never changes lighting our path forever.

Today’s Question

Who or what is your starting point if not God?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 3

1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon. 2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly the LORD called out, “Samuel!” “Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” 5 He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did. 6 Then the LORD called out again, “Samuel!” Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” “I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.” 7 Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before. 8 So the LORD called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the LORD who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, LORD, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. 10 And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 11 Then the LORD said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them. 14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.” 15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the LORD had said to him. 16 But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” Samuel replied. 17 “What did the LORD say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” 18 So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the LORD ’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.” 19 As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. 20 And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD . 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.

Table Scraps

Woman Scraping Food Leftovers Into Garbage Bin

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“God does not give paltry solutions for your life; His will is forever

TB

Surface

Many of us seek God to give short-term solutions, rather than to dig out the trench and repair it. It’s mainly because we cannot see or believe that Christ desires to help up build something more profound. If you cannot see a better life for yourself, go to God for some answers.

Deeper

The world shows us lies, lulling us to believe that resources are finite and only the ‘strong’ survive, but friends, that is not so! God has infinite resources for His children that He wants us to tap into. So, build your relationship with Him to heal and live your life as He desires for you.

Today’s Question

Why are you looking for table scraps when God has an inheritance planned for you?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 2

1 Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the LORD ! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. 2 No one is holy like the LORD ! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions. 4 The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. 5 Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away. 6 The LORD gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up. 7 The LORD makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up. 8 He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD ’s, and he has set the world in order. 9 “He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone. 10 Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.” 11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the LORD by assisting Eli the priest. 12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD 13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, 14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. 15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting. 16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.” 17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD ’s sight, for they treated the LORD ’s offerings with contempt. 18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD . He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. 19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. 20 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 LORD . ” 21 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 . 22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD ’s people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death. 26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people. 27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD : “I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. 28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. 29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel! 30 “Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me. 31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age. 32 You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days. 33 The few not cut off from serving at my altar will survive, but only so their eyes can go blind and their hearts break, and their children will die a violent death. 34 And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day! 35 “Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever. 36 Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. ‘Please,’ they will say, ‘give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough to eat.’”

1:1

Hi Peeps,

Today’s Quote

“Thank God we are able to go to Him one on one.”

TB

Tutor

Jesus is a loving Tutor, who desires a unique and personal relationship with each of us. When we raise our hand to ask for help, He answers.

Study

Use the lessons He teaches you to guide your life. When you attend His 1:1 sessions, He sets you up for success in all that you do.

Today’s Question

Did you know the best Tutor is available for everyone?

Enjoy the reading

1 Samuel 1

1 There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. 3 Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas. 4 On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. 5 And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the LORD had given her no children. 6 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. 7 Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. 8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?” 9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD . 11 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. ” 12 As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 “Must you come here drunk?” he demanded. “Throw away your wine!” 15 “Oh no, sir!” she replied. “I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD . 16 Don’t think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.” 17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.” 18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad. 19 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, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the LORD for him.” 21 The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the LORD and to keep his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, “Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the LORD permanently. ” 23 “Whatever you think is best,” Elkanah agreed. “Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise. ” So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned. 24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. 25 After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26 “Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD . 27 I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” And they worshiped the LORD there.