1 Samuel 13:8-9 Taking Things Into Your Own Hands

Impatient man

He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 1 Samuel 13:8-9 

Most people do not like to wait for other people. When they want to get something done, they do it themselves. Often it is because they have been let down by others in the past. Friends or co-workers did not show up, so the job had to be done alone.

Having patience to wait for someone else is not something most people have. They want the help and they want it right away on their own timetable.

Saul had done this very thing. He was getting ready to fight against the Philistines. He and Samuel had agreed to a set date for Samuel to come and offering the sacrifices to God for His favor in the battle.

When Samuel did not show up at the appointed time, Saul immediately took things into his own hands. He proceeded immediately to offer the sacrifices to God, something he was not allowed to do. As soon as he had finished offering the sacrifices, Samuel showed up. It was at this point Samuel stated that God was already beginning to pull the kingdom away from Saul, because he did not obey.

It is common for people to call out to God for help, but do not wait for His answer. Or when they hear Him say He will provide the answer, they do not wait for His timing to answer the prayer.

This is often done out of fear. They do not believe God can or will actually accomplish what He said He would do. Instead of following God’s instructions, they take things into their own hands. This shows a lack of faith in God.

God’s word has said that He will provide for you. When you hear that God will do this, you must trust His words. At those times when God says to wait, you must wait. Do not jump ahead of God and take things into your own hands. Leave the events in His hands.

God is faithful and will not break His word. He will do what He needs to do at the perfect time, not your time. Wait on Him and trust Him.

I pray today that you will trust God’s timing; that you will trust God’s word in your life; that you will obey God’s commands to you; and that you will leave things in God’s hands. 

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Hebrews 10:6-7 What Pleases God

 

Man on a river

with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am–it is written about me in the scroll–I have come to do your will, my God.’ Hebrews 10:6-7

Determining what pleases a god is what a lot of people are trying to do all over the world. People in every religious belief are striving to please their god in whatever way possible.

The majority of people and religions focus on sacrifices to please their god. Several religions will offer animal or food sacrifices, while many will focus on physical sacrifice of self. People will beat themselves or deny themselves of pleasures of food or things in order to attempt to please their god.

While in false religions, where people are worshipping false gods, this is often expected, it also occurs within Christianity. There are many people who are offering sacrifices to attempt to please God. They give up certain things, they get rid of certain things in their attempt. At times this is needed because God has called them to do that sacrifice, but often it is just trying to please God without doing what pleases God.

In the verse today, it is quoting from Psalm 40:6-8 and what Jesus, Himself had also quoted about Himself. God did not really want all of the sacrifices that were prescribed in the Old Testament Law. What He wanted was an obedient heart, a person who would do His will–the very thing Jesus did.

Believers today need to focus on doing God’s will in every area of their lives. There will be times that they must offer a sacrifice, but in order for that sacrifice to mean anything, they must be doing God’s will and desire.

God’s will is for every person to love Him with all of their life and love others also. This means one will do whatever God wants, when He wants and how He wants it done. This means people will strive to be a living example of Jesus to the world.

You are a disciple of Jesus, so you are to live your life just as Jesus did.

Sacrificing your time and money does some good, but to please God focus on doing His will. Find out what God wants you to do and do it with a cheerful heart to the best of your ability. In this way you will please God.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will do what God wants you to do; that your life and heart will please God; that your life will be just like that of Jesus; and that God will be pleased with your thoughts and actions.

Deuteronomy 17:1 Don’t Sacrifice Your Least

Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable to him. Deuteronomy 17:1

After laying down the regulations on the many different types of sacrifices that were to be done, Moses points out to not give an animal with any defect in it. Animals with a defect in them were detestable to God and He did not want them. It would render the sacrifice worthless.

People know that they should give offerings to God and many try to give some type of offering. The way many give, however, is not in a good way. They give out of obligation or guilt rather than love for God. This can be seen in what they give and how they give it.

Today, believers do not have to give sacrifices to God of animals. The sacrifices today are of time, money and other things. Money is only given after all the bills and fun expenses are paid for. It is the bottom of the barrel or left over money that is given as a sacrifice.

Others will give things to those in need, but the objects given are the leftovers or the things no longer wanted and are worn out.

In other words, the things given are defective. These are the things not wanted or given out of guilt, rather than love.

God wants you to give from a loving, caring heart. This giving of a sacrifice to either Himself or to someone else must be done with the best, not the least. Remember that a sacrifice is something that is given up that will cost you something. It is something given that is not easy to give.

Once given, you must trust God to meet your needs, because you have given up something that is needed for yourself also. Just as the Israelites could have used the animal given, you can use what is given.

How are you giving to God today?

Are you sacrificing your best?

Or are you getting rid of what you no longer want?

I pray today that you will give only your best to God; that you will trust God to meet your needs; that you will sacrifice out of love for God and others; that your sacrifices will be acceptable to God; and that God will touch many through your giving.

Leviticus 4:1-2 Unitentional Sins

“The LORD said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD’s commands–” Leviticus 4:1-2

As God is giving Moses the directions for the different sacrifices required, one of them is for sinning unintentionally. This is a sin where a person accidently slips up and sins, rather than a premeditated sin. God goes into some great detail as to what can be sacrificed and how to go about it in the verses following.

People will sin. It is a part of the human life since the fall of Adam. Every person has inherited the desire to sin against God. Each person wants to do his/her own thing and not allow God into the picture.

Most people think of sin as only doing things that God commanded not to do in the Bible or just those “bad” things, like murder and stealing. However, doing anything that God does not want you to do is a sin. This can include doing good things that God has told you not to do.

A lot of people will have a problem with that last statement. How can something good be a sin? It is because God has not told you to do it.

In this way, these can be sins that are unintentional. You did not mean to do those as a sin, but it still was a sin.

God offers forgiveness for it. In the Old Testament it was a process of offering the correct animal for sacrifice, and having it sacrificed in the proper way. If the process was not followed correctly, the sacrifice was not accepted and the person was not forgiven.

Today, forgiveness is found in Jesus. Before you can be forgiven though, there is a process that must be followed. You must go before Jesus and ask for that forgiveness. You must also believe that He will forgive you. You must believe in His death and resurrection.

Take out any of the parts of the process, and you may not be forgiven.

Whenever you find yourself having done some sin, immediately seek God and His forgiveness. Turn from your sins and start to follow God again.

God is not seeking to destroy you, but to forgive you and help you live for Him. Don’t stay in your sin. Accept Jesus.

I pray today that you will know Jesus personally; that you will know the forgiveness He offers you; that you will seek the forgiveness of Jesus; and that God will help you turn from all sin.

Leviticus 1:3 Correct Offerings

“If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, you are to offer a male without defect. You must present it at the entrance to the tent of meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD.” Leviticus 1:3

The book of Leviticus is a book of regulations of all requirements for the Israelites in following God. A large portion of it deals with the various animal sacrifices that are required. One of the common rules with all of the sacrifices of animals is that it must be without defect. This is stated over and over throughout the book.

An animal with a defect is one that has been injured, born with an abnormality, dirty, or weak. This animal had to be in perfect condition. If it was not in excellent condition, the sacrifice would not be accepted by God.

The idea behind God’s rules on this was so that people would not offer their worst or their leftovers. God only wants the best from every person. God was making a way to get right with Him. In the Old Testament it was through sacrifices of animals that the way was cleared.

In the New Testament it had changed. There was no longer any need for a sacrifice for salvation. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice without any defects.

Despite the idea that sacrifices are not needed for salvation, sacrifices to God are to be made on a regular basis by believers. Sacrifice of time, money, energy, material items, and the list goes on.

God pours blessings into your life so that you may in turn pour blessings into the lives of others. What God does not want from you is the leftovers. Many Christians get their paycheck, pay their bills, set aside their retirement, take some “fun” money, and then with what is leftover give some to God as an offering. This is a defective offering.

God wants the best from you. Give God your best time, efforts, and materials. He will pour out many blessings on you when you put Him first in everything. Don’t give Him the leftovers or the junk, but only the best offerings.

I pray today that you will understand the offering God gave  you in Jesus; that you will only give God the best of everything  you have and are; that you will learn to offer proper sacrifices to God daily; and that you will have the right heart towards loving and worshipping God.

Hebrews 9:14 A Greater Cleansing

“How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” Hebrews 9:14

Throughout the Old Testament high priests had to offer goats and other animals as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. It was looked upon as a great thing. Yet, all it did was cover up the sins of the people. Those sacrifices were unable to remove the sins.

When Jesus came, He came as the High Priest. He had to offer a sacrifice, not for His owns sins, but for the sins of all the people of the world. The sacrifice He chose was the perfect one–Himself.

He went into God’s presence as the High Priest to offer His sacrifice. He laid Himself upon the altar of God–the cross. There He shed His blood for every sin of every person throughout all time.

The author of Hebrews now is saying think about this. If the blood of those animals was great, even though they really did not do anything of eternal value, how much more valuable is the blood of Jesus?

His blood does not just cover up your sins, it removes your sins. It not only removes the sins, it clears your guilty conscience so that you may serve God.

Many believers condemn themselves because of past sins. They feel guilty about committing some sins over and over. Jesus shed His blood to remove the guilt and to cleanse your past. You may now stand holy and righteous before God.

Since you are now holy and righteous, you may also stand before God to serve Him. What does God want you to do for Him?

Kings have servants who clean floors, provide food, provide entertainment, and many other things. God wants you to reach His lost children, be the witness of Jesus, and be His hands, feet and voice in this lost world.

You may be small in the world’s and your own eyes, but to God you are a great servant if you are doing what He wants you to do.

How are you serving God today?

I pray today that God will reveal ways He wants you to serve Him; that God will provide the strength to do His work; that you will be willing to do what God wants; and that you will be holy and righteous in Jesus.