1 Samuel 15:22 Obedience And Sacrifice

Obedience

But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 

Obedience is something that most people find difficult to do. Wanting to do their own thing, the majority of people choose not to be obedient. They want to twist or bend the rules to their own favor. People want to do their own thing, their own way, in their own time. It is about self, not about God or others.

Saul had been told to completely destroy all of the people and animals of the Amalekites as he and his army went to battle against them. Instead of destroying everyone and everything, the men kept some of the animals for a sacrifice. Saul thought it would be good to keep those animals to be able to offer a great sacrifice to God. However, that was not what God had commanded him to do.

Although most people do not like to sacrifice anything, they will quickly sacrifice something rather than obey. In churches there are people who will donate a lot of money to the church or organizations or they will offer help in some ministry on a regular basis. Yet, at home or work, they do not live for God or obey His commands on purpose. They feel that their large offerings cover up their sins and puts them in right standing with God.

God does not want sacrifice if there is no obedience. In this case, sacrifice is trying to earn one’s way into heaven, rather than trusting Jesus for salvation. Believers are to obey everything God says and trust what He says first. Once the obedience occurs, then sacrifices can be done to worship and honor God.

Take a look at your own life and see how well you are doing at obeying what God has told you to do. God is interested in you obeying His every word, His word in little things as well as in the great things.

If there is no obedience, there is no love. Jesus said that if you love Him, you would obey Him. Love is greater than any sacrifice.

Once you love and obey God, then you may do the sacrifices as God leads you. Not the other way around.

Are you obeying God today?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will obey what God tells you to do; that you will trust everything God tells you; and that your heart and life will obey God first before any sacrifice. 

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Deuteronomy 8:2 The Reason For Tests

Taking a test

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. Deuteronomy 8:2

Very few people like to go through testing. It is often a time of high anxiety and fear. The higher the importance of the test, the higher the level of fear and worry a person may have.

Testing usually determines what is next in the life of a person. If the person passes the test, he can move on to the next level in whatever field the test was for. If he fails the test, he steps back and either quits or has to re-take the test.

While the common thought of what a test is, is that it is a written test, the majority of tests people take are not written down. They are tests of character. When a person is working for someone, the boss is testing the person by watching how he works and reacts to things. This is done to determine if the person can get a promotion.

Moses tells the Israelites to remember what they went through in the wilderness. That time of wandering was a test from God. It was an unwritten test to determine what was in their hearts and how well they will follow God’s commands.

Even to this day God still tests people. Even though He already knows what is in their hearts, He tests them to see how they will react to situations and how well they will obey God. Although with God, He gives the answers to the test. He tells people how to act and follow Him. All a person needs to do is obey God’s commands and he will pass the test. Once a person passes God’s test, God will move him forward to the next level.

Think about the hard times in your life, the times of being in a wilderness. Those times are there to help build you up. They are a test to determine how well you will follow God.

Each time you are tested by God, you have to make a choice. Will you follow God’s commands in the situation? Or will you follow the ways of this world?

Following the ways of this world, will be failure. Following God will always be passing. God can then move you up and forward.

How are you passing?

I pray today that you will know God’s commands for your life; that you will recognize the tests of God; that you will pass every test of God; and that you will follow God with all of your heart and life. 

Numbers 20:12 Trust God Enough To Honor Him

Boy with bible

But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.” Numbers 20:12

It is easy for a person to claim to honor someone, but it is a different thing to actually show that honor at all times. In order to show honor to someone, one must trust that person completely.

Most people will trust a person to a point, they do not trust completely in all things, at all times. There is usually a point of question where that trust breaks down. At that point honor for that person is dropped, there is no longer any trust.

After God had done many things in and through Moses in the process of bringing the people out of Egypt, Moses lets his trust down. God had told him to speak to the rock to bring water out of it. The people had been complaining about no water and that they were brought there to die. In anger at the people Moses struck the rock, rather than speaking to it as God had commanded.

Since he did not trust God enough to obey Him and honor Him in front of the people, there would be a price to pay. Moses would no longer be able to lead the people into the new land God had promised them.

While believers claim to believe in God and obey Him, there are times some will choose not to follow out all of God’s commands. They will allow their own feelings to rise up and not trust God, then choosing their own way to do something. Fear or anger often causes these actions.

As that is done, there can be consequences to the action of not honoring God’s word. God will take the person off of the path intended.

You must know that God always has your best interest in mind when He has you do something. No matter what you are feeling, you must act according to what He says.

God has great plans for you, but you can derail those plans by taking things into your own hands. Doing it your way, will dishonor God. Show the world that God is great, by doing what He asks you to do. This is the greatest honor you can give God.

I pray today that you will know what God asks of you; that you will trust God’s plans for you; that you will honor God with your trust and obedience; and that the world will see Jesus in and through you.

Exodus 5:21 Being Unpopular

man pointing finger in anger

and they said, “May the LORD look on you and judge you! You have made us obnoxious to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Exodus 5:21

Being liked is something most people want. They want to be liked by the people they are around. Some even desire to be very popular. They would like to be like some celebrities, whom every one knows who they are no matter where they go.

In order to be popular with the people, many will do whatever it takes. Often personal standards are compromised or completely tossed out. People will do what everyone likes, just to make them happy and be popular. When a person speaks, they will say what the others want to hear, in order to be loved and popular.

This type of action has also occurred in the church. There are different preachers who will only speak good words and refuse to talk about sinful acts and God’s coming judgement. They want to be popular.

However, doing God’s will is not always the most popular thing to do. Moses was told by God to go before Pharaoh to demand he let the Israelites go. Instead of releasing the people, he made their life harder. This made Moses unpopular with the people.

Even though he was unpopular, Moses continued to do what was God’s desire for him to do. He did not bend under the pressure to be liked or popular with the people.

Doing what God wants is not always the easiest or most popular thing to do. It goes against the ways and desires of this world. Even inside the church, many people don’t see it as God’s will and fight against a person. They will talk bad about the person or even walk away.

As a believer, God may call you to do some work for Him that may not be popular with the people. It may turn both believers and non-believers against you, because they are refusing to see God’s will.

Yet, just as Moses did, you must continue to do what God has called you to do. Popularity will not get you into heaven. It is faith, trust and obedience that will get you to heaven. Obedience is what will allow God to say you have done well, good and faithful servant.

How well are you doing God’s will today?

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will do God’s will for your life; that God will give you strength to do His will; that God will protect you from the people; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

1 John 2:4 Do Your Really Know God?

 

Sunset on ocean

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 1 John 2:4

Claiming to know a person is easy to say. It is common to hear about someone who has met someone else one time and they claim to know that person. Or they have read a lot about that person and they claim to know that person. While they may know a little about that person, they really don’t know that person, unless a lot of time is spent with that person in person.

Claims are easy to make, because they are just words. It takes more than just words to know a person.

All over the world there are people who claim to know God. Many will even go to church on a regular basis, carry a bible and be able to quote the bible. As they claim to know God and will talk about Him, they will also live their lives in willful sin and refuse to do what He is asking them to do. Others will claim to know him, will flee sin, yet, will not do what He asks them to do.

John says that if a person does not do what God asks of him, he really does not know God.

God’s love, mercy and goodness is so great that if a person really knows God, he will know His love, mercy and goodness. Knowing those things will cause a person to want to serve Him and obey Him.

Very few people want to hurt someone who really loves them. They want to do good to that person who loves them. God’s love is greater than any love a person can give. Jesus gave His life for each person.

If you, as a believer, claim to know God and really know His love for you, then you will want to obey Him in every area of your life, with every thing He says.

Do not be the one who claims to know God, yet, will not do what He says to do. Be the one who will do whatever God tells you to do. Show God the love for Him that He shows for you by your obedience.

Ask yourself how well you really know God today. Do you know His great, infinite love for you?

Are you showing you really know God by your obedience and love to Him?

I pray today that you will know God’s love to you; that you will know God’s commands to you; that you will do what God commands; and that you will love God as He loves you. 

Romans 16:19 Wise And Innocent

 

innocent person

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. Romans 16:19

Paul is rejoicing over the what he has heard about the Romans. They were being obedient to God’s word. They were striving to live Godly lives as Jesus did.

Even though they were being obedient, Paul added something to that. He wanted them to be wise about what is good and innocent of anything that is evil.

Being wise is having the correct information and knowing what to do with it. Many people can know a lot of information, but do not correctly use it. There have been people in the church who know the laws of God, but use those laws to condemn or cut down people, instead of pointing them to Jesus to save them.

Over the years there has been believers who were violent against non-believers and would kill them because of sin. This was not using any wisdom in how to reach the lost for Jesus.

Along with using good wisdom, Paul said that they must be innocent of evil. This can be innocent of doing evil and knowing what is evil.

The world thrives on seeing and doing evil. They cannot get enough of it. That is their nature, but Christians should be different.

There are some believers that tend to purposely live in some sin or they are constantly watching sin and enjoying it. Knowing the commands God has given is all that a person needs to know about sin. The less a person knows about sin, the less chances there are for him to be tempted to sin.

Filling oneself with evil things, only pushes God out of the picture and one’s life.

As a believer strive to keep yourself pure of any evil. This is pure in action, thought, word, and sight. And do not use your knowledge of good and evil to condemn or cut a person down. Show God’s love and mercy. Use good to bring a person to a saving knowledge of Jesus and flee from all evil.

God can and will give you the wisdom you need to keep you pure and from all evil, if you allow Him to.

Living in this way will be true obedience to God’s word. Jesus came to save the world, not condemn the world.