Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10, 2014

Psalm 29, 1 Samuel 3:10—4:1a, Acts 9:10-19a

Today we continue looking at the voice of God. In the Psalm, the voice of God thunders, in Samuel and Acts the voice of God gives some difficult instructions. The boy Samuel has to tell Eli that he and his family will be punished because Eli's sons were blaspheming God, and Eli did not discipline them. How difficult it must have been as Samuel had to go to his elder and relay the Lord's message, which wasn't good news.
Or how difficult it would have been for Ananias to hear that God wanted him to go to a man known for killing believers in Jesus, and lay hands on this man so that his blindness would be healed. In one story, someone received news that they would be getting what they deserved. In the other, someone received healing that they didn't deserve. In both stories we see unlikely characters starting their work for the Lord. Samuel, a boy who didn't even recognize the voice of the Lord the first three times, becomes a prophet, one who hears the words of God and speaks them to people. Saul, a man known for killing believers of Jesus, has an encounter with Jesus (who he also didn't recognize at first), and then becomes God's "chosen instrument to take [His] message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel." (Verse 15 in Acts 9)
Can you think of other instances in the Bible where God used an unlikely person to do his work? The first few that I can think of are: Abraham, an old, childless man, will be the father of God's people, a great nation. Moses, another old guy with a temper and a speech impediment, will lead God's people out of slavery. Mary, a young, unmarried virgin, will bear and give birth to the Savior of the World.
God gave the people in each of these examples the capability to carry out his plan, even in less than desirable circumstances.
Can you think of examples from your own life where God has asked you to do something difficult? What was the outcome? In what ways has he gifted you beyond what you thought you were capable?

Prayer from Psalm 29:11
Lord thank you for giving your people strength. Lord thank you for blessing us with peace.

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