Don’t settle for second best when you can have God’s very best.
‘Samuel did what the Lord commanded’(1 Samuel 16:4). Real obedience comes from ‘the heart’. It is more than just ‘keeping up appearances’(1 Samuel 16:7). ‘The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart’ – This is something we must never forget!’. ‘It’s the presence of Your Spirit, Lord, we need’ (Songs of Fellowship, 256) – This is the lesson we must learn from the stories of Saul and David. The great difference between the two men is summed up in verses 13-14: ‘the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David… the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul’. David exerted a good influence upon Saul (1 Samuel 16:23). Sadly, however, Saul’s best days were behind him. He was only a shadow of what he could have become if he had chosen to become ‘a man after God’s own heart’(1 Samuel 16:13-14). Don’t settle for second best when you can have God’s very best!
Jesus Christ is God’s very best.
‘We boast of the Name of the Lord our God…Through the steadfast love of the Most High’ we ‘shall not be moved’(Psalm 20:7; Psalm 21:7). We do not trust in things that ‘collapse and fall’. We build on ‘the Rock’(Psalm 20:8; Matthew 7:24-27; Psalm 18:1-3; Psalm 62:5-7). We ‘rejoice’ in our God. He has made us ‘most blessed for ever’(Psalm 21:1, 6; Ephesians 1:3). Think of Jesus Christ your Saviour. He is absolutely trustworthy. He is completely dependable. His love is an ‘unfailing love’(Psalm 21:7). In Him, there is salvation. In Him, there is joy. With His strong and powerful love, He has saved us. He has given us ‘a new song’to sing, ‘a song of praise to our God’(Psalm 40:1-3). Let us lift our hearts and voices to Him in praise and worship: ‘Be exalted, O Lord, in Thy strength,! We will sing and praise Thy power’(Psalm 21:13).
‘Reconciled’ to God through Christ, we have received ‘the ministry of reconciliation.’ Saved by Him, we are to ‘work with Him.’ We are ‘not to accept the grace of God in vain’ by living for ourselves. We are to be ‘ambassadors for Christ.’ We must proclaim the urgent message of salvation – ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.’ We must call men and women to respond to God’s message of salvation: ‘Be reconciled to God’ (2 Corinthians 5:18-6:2). If we are to be effective ‘ambassadors for Christ’, we must dedicate our lives to Him: ‘Let us cleanse ourselves… and make holiness perfect in the fear of God’(2 Corinthians 7:1). Without this heartfelt commitment to godly living, we cannot really serve the Lord at all. Our wrong lives will drown out our ‘right’ words. We need true lives as well as ‘true’ words.