Daily Devotionals

Humble

Humble

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered, “but he is tending the sheep.” (1 Sam. 16:11) THOSE WHO HEAR God’s voice calling them to do His work often have a predictable response. “Who, me?” Have you ever sensed God was asking you to do something that was way...
The God of Holy Character

The God of Holy Character

You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness. O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of earth. . . (Ps. 65:5) FUNERALS ARE GENERALLY NOTABLE for their glossy recollections of the deceased. And that is how it should be. The old proverb declares “Of the dead...
Proving Pudding and Character

Proving Pudding and Character

The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people. . . (1 Sam. 13:14) IF THE PROOF IS IN THE TASTE of the pudding, then, ultimately, the proof of character is in one’s deeds. All of us have known people who started well, with...
Character Affects Kingdom

Character Affects Kingdom

You acted foolishly, Samuel said. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. (1 Sam. 13:13) SOME TODAY THINK THAT CHARACTER might just be negotiable. To them, policy that coincides with their philosophy matters more; to others personal charisma and...
Character to Command

Character to Command

Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: “Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance?” (1 Sam. 10:1) IF IT TAKES NOBLE CHARACTER to respond to authority, it also takes noble character to handle...
Doing as Bidden

Doing as Bidden

Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the servant to go on a head of us”—and the servant did so—“but you stay here awhile, so that I may give you a message from God.” (1 Sam. 9:27) Character is often exhibited by one’s response to authority. If you’re a parent, you know that a...
Perspective Versus Presumption

Perspective Versus Presumption

But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans. . . (1 Sam. 9:21) Is it a sign of poor character to expect a promotion? Should one expect to be surpassed by the performance of others? Should one pretend...
Beauty by Choice

Beauty by Choice

He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man without equal. . . .a head taller than any of the others. (1 Sam. 9:2) Is your father a warrior? Saul’s was. Samuel the prophet called him “a mighty man of power.” He was no doubt respected among his friends and feared...
No One Said it Would Be Easy

No One Said it Would Be Easy

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him. (Ps. 64:10) GOD HAD ANOINTED KING DAVID . But with that came what often comes with leadership—opposition. Sometimes it is justified, such as when Nathan confronted David for murder and adultery (2 Sam. 12)....
Time to Represent

Time to Represent

I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. (Acts 2:17) When a nation’s government sends out an ambassador, it sends her with the authority to speak on behalf of the country’s leadership. In many ways, she is her nation’s voice,...
Step on Up

Step on Up

Here am I. Send me! (Isa. 6:8) Get up in front of all those people? No way. My husband and I were on a cruise ship, participating in a group activity. It turned out that the activity involved competition. The winner had the chance to win a free cruise. The ship’s...
A Million Bucks Stops Here

A Million Bucks Stops Here

Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. (Isa. 6:7) “The buck stops here.” The phrase has a fascinating origin. In frontier days, when players gathered around a poker table, they passed a marker from person to person to indicate whose turn it was to deal the...
Hitting Unsend

Hitting Unsend

I am a man of unclean lips and life among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty. (Isa. 6:5) One day, very early in my professional life, my inbox binged with yet another email from him again—that unusually demanding and relentless...
Ask, But Ask Sincerely!

Ask, But Ask Sincerely!

When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. (2 Sam. 11:7) “IT’S GOOD TO SEE YOU. How are you?” Do you ever wonder if the person who asks how you are really cares how you are? Have you asked how someone is...
When Words Fail

When Words Fail

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory. (Isa. 6:3) Try to describe the look on a groom’s face when he first sees his bride. The feeling of laughing with a friend until you cry. The beauty of a sunset that took your breath away. The...
The Master’s Presence

The Master’s Presence

I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted. (Isa. 6:1) Nothing compares to time spent in the presence of a master in his or her field. A singer auditions for a television show, hoping to learn from industry stars. A medical student shadows top surgeons. An...
Overcoming Your Spiritual Desert

Overcoming Your Spiritual Desert

I will praise you as long as I live. (Ps. 63:4) THIS IS A SPECIAL PSALM. According to John Chrysostom, one of the early church fathers, this psalm was sung every day. It was sung every morning and at every public gathering. You can see why those who sang it thought it...
I Surrender All

I Surrender All

Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.” (1 Sam. 3:18) ELI SURRENDERED TO THE LORD. The news was not good, but he accepted it as the God’s will. Charlie Shedd liked his tobacco pipes, and smoking a pipe became one of his favorite...
Speaking the Truth in Courage

Speaking the Truth in Courage

May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you. (1 Sam. 3:17) IT”S ONE THING TO SPEAK the truth in love. It’s another to speak the truth in courage. Occasionally someone will say, “Tell me the truth now. Don’t be afraid...
Speaking the Truth in Love

Speaking the Truth in Love

He was afraid to tell Eli the vision. (1 Sam. 3:15) HOW HARD IS IT to tell someone the truth when you know the truth will hurt? That’s what young Samuel faced. Then to complicate matters further, this painful message had to pass from a younger man to an older man....
Tingling Ears and Wagging Tongues

Tingling Ears and Wagging Tongues

And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.” (1 Sam. 3:11) CHANCES ARE YOU’VE HEARD the old saying, “If you ears are burning, it’s a sign someone is talking about you.” Others say,...
Improving Our Listening Skills

Improving Our Listening Skills

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10) LISTENING IS AN UNDEVELOPED ART for many people. We have one mouth and two ears. You would think we would understand that we should listen more than we talk. Jim Bishop was a popular writer,...
Facing Life with Enthusiasm

Facing Life with Enthusiasm

Then the Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” (1 Sam. 3:4) SAMUEL FACED LIFE WITH ENTHUSIASM. The background Scripture for today’s verse tells us Samuel did not know the Lord was calling him. He thought it was the old priest, Eli. Yet Samuel responded...
A God of Power

A God of Power

You, O God, are strong. (Ps. 62:11) One of my MISSIONARY assignments in Zimbabwe, Africa, was to plant new churches. In order to start new congregations, my colleague, Bob Cheney, and I decided to do door-to-door visitation. We thought that would be a good way of...