Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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By Faith

Reading: Hebrews 11: 29-40

“By faith” they walked through a sea, by faith the walks of a mighty city simply fell down.  By faith the giant was slain, by faith three hundred routed the thousands.  By faith touching the hem of a garment brought healing, by faith a man walked on water.  By faith the people of God have done things that would have been impossible otherwise.  Each and every time someone trusted fully in what God was calling them to and the miraculous occurred.

These stories are not stories of someone getting a wild idea and then asking God to make it happen.  Each is the story of how God spoke into the heart of a faithful follower.  Each is the story of a person hearing or sensing the voice or nudge of God and being willing to trust enough in God to lead them to respond by faith.  One can only assume there are thousands upon thousands who heard or felt God leading them as well but instead ignored it or refused the call.  We know this because we each are one.

Each of us that have heard or felt God leading us to do or say or be something are not without faith because we hesitated or were fearful or doubted.  We are human.  Each of us have also had experiences where we did step out by faith, where we did trust in where God was leading us.  In these cases lived were affected and maybe some were changed.  Perhaps our life was one that was changed because we followed God’s lead.

Just as all those who have come before learned and trusted and came to walk with God, we too are learning and building trust and growing by faith in our walk with God.  Just as those such as Moses, Joshua, David, Samuel, Rahab, Stephen, Peter, Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., and many more lived by faith to positively affect our faith and our world, we too can have a mighty impact for the kingdom of God.  May we be willing and trusting servants to answer the call of God and to step by faith to do God’s will.

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Hope … in a Child

Hannah’s prayer is answered and she gives birth to a son.  After weaning him, Samuel is given to Eli the priest to fulfill her pledge to God: “as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”  For the end to long years of shame and feelings of inadequacy and out of thanks for God answering her prayers, Samuel is given as a gift to the Lord.

Following these events Hannah offers up a moving prayer to the Lord.  One might expect it to be thanking God for a child or seeking blessings upon his life.  But it is not.  One can read Hannah’s experience into the prayer, but it is much more about God and who God is for us all.  It speaks of no rock like our God.  It reminds us that He raises the faithful up.  It tells us that God raises up the poor and needy to seats of honor.  It warns of what God will bring to those who think they are high and mighty.  The prayer flows with God’s love, grace, mercy, justice, and equality.  The prayer is quite upside down compared to the society of Hannah’s day – and to our’s today as well.

Yet today we still have hope in a child who was born to us, who descended from heaven’s riches and glory to dwell among us and to live a poor and simple life here on earth.  In Jesus we are taught that love, grace, mercy, justice, and equality are what matters and that we are to live our lives sharing these with others.  In Christ we learn that none of thee can be earned but that they are freely given so that we too can freely give them away to others.  Through His promise and by His example, may we do so today.

Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 2: 1-10

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Can You Hear Me?

In 1st Samuel 3 the Lord God called out to Samuel three times.  Finally Eli realized that it was God calling out to Samuel and he instructed Samuel to lay down and respond to God the next time He called out.  The young Samuel did not discern that it was God’s voice that he was hearing.

In our day and age, when there is so much noise all around us, it too can be hard to discern the voice of God when He calls out to us.  At times it is so easy to hit the snooze button, to plop down in front of the television, to read a magazine instead.  On other occasions it is easier to cross over to the other side of the street, to simply look away, or to make some excuse.

There is a reason though that God most often speaks in a still, small voice.  It is so that we have to be paying attention to hear and so that we have to make it our choice to respond.  God is a god of love.  In love, there is no forcing the issue.  There is only that still, small voice calling out to us.  Sometimes it is even hidden in the eyes of one in need or in the words of a friend.  Sometimes it is of the Spirit.  In all cases we must be listening and we must reply as Samuel did: “Speak Lord, you servant is listening.”

Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 3: 1-9