A song. A psalm of David.
1 My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
Reflection: This simple psalm of David reflects the benefits of beginning each day with praise and adoration of who God is and His faithfulness to us and love. David says His love is higher than the heavens and His faithfulness reaches to the skies. As He praises God for His benefits He is exalting God and this is what we were made for. When we praise God we lift Him up and others can see how Great is our God! Spend a moment praising God for all of his benefits and all of His great love for you and His faithfulness to you which is new every morning!!
1 Samuel 13
Samuel Rebukes Saul
13 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty-two years.2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Mikmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes. 3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become obnoxious to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Mikmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the Israelites saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him. 11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel. Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Mikmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.” 13 “You have done a foolish thing,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” 15 Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.
Reflection: We see today the downfall of Saul. God had provided for him Samuel to offer sacrifices at the right time assuring His presence and power and wisdom for every decision including militarily. The plan was for him to wait for Samuel for seven days, but Saul grew anxious and afraid and took matters into his own hand. The result was unauthorized worship and his kingdom being taken from him. Here we the connection between power and authority and obedience. When Saul took matters into his own hands and sinned, he lost the power that had been granted him. As the Story continues a new King from the royal line was being groomed from the house and line of David. A man after God’s own heart! Where has God called you to wait on him? How do you like Saul take matters into your own hand instead of waiting on the Lord’s provision?
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
Reflection: As Jesus begins his earthly ministry full of the Holy Spirit, he calls Philip by simply saying, “follow me”. Then Philip finds Nathanael and after Nathanael asks can anything good come out of Nazareth, Philip says “Come and see”. When Jesus saw Nathanael he said, “I saw under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Jesus’ call is one of challenge and invitation. Jesus invites us and already knows who we are before He calls us. He knows our fears, He knows our gifts, He knows our weaknesses and most importantly He sees us as we are. But He also sees us as we could be as we follow Him and surrender to the adventure of a lifetime. Notice the very personal nature of the call as well. Jesus knew these guys and called them!
Sometimes we relegate call language to ordained ministers or missionaries who are sent to faraway lands. But our first call comes from God who chooses us to bear fruit, fruit that will last. As we follow Jesus we will see greater and greater things as we give him greater amounts of our hearts and lives. As we open up and hear His voice we will find ourselves doing things we never thought possible. The last thing I thought I would be doing on Sunday mornings is preaching and teaching as a pastor. After hearing God’s call in my life in high school to follow Jesus and then later to become a pastor I can tell you there is nothing greater than sensing what God wants to do with you and then following. Has it always been perfect? No. Have there been disappointments and failures by me and others called alongside of me? Yes. But I look forward to even greater things that God will do in and through you and me as we hear Jesus’ call and follow!
You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth. Psalm 71:5 (NASB)
Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. 2 Timothy 1:14
Lord, we place all our trust in you. Thank you for guidance in days past and for the help of your Spirit in the days to come. As we live according to the treasure of your truth, may your word be a light unto our feet and a light unto our path. Amen.