The glory belongs to the Lord, not to anyone else!

1 Samuel 18:1-30 'Loved' by 'all Israel and Judah' (16,28), David was hated by only one man, the most powerful man in the land - Saul (29). Saul was full of envy (7-8), suspicion (9) and violence (10-11). Saul had been proved wrong (17:33,50), and he didn't like it! David had more success with the …

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Rejoice in the Lord, and grow in him.

Hannah’s prayer begins with the words, “My heart finds joy in the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:1). Her son, Samuel, was going the Lord’s way. This was something which made Hannah rejoice in the Lord. We read about Samuel’s spiritual growth (1 Samuel 2:18,21). “The boy Samuel grew up in front of the Lord” (1 Samuel …

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When a king did more harm than good: God had greater things in store for Israel – but not until Saul’s reign was over!

1 Samuel 8:1-9:10 Israel's demand for a king did not arise from love for God. It was motivated by human pride (8:5,20). Having 'rejected' the Lord as King, the people made their choice. They did not choose for God! They 'chose for themselves' (8:7,18). God allowed them to have their king but He did not …

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We all make mistakes. May God help us to learn from our mistakes.

1 Samuel 14:24-52 Making mistakes: it's part of life for all of us: 'We all make mistakes. If any one makes no mistakes... he is a perfect man' (James 3:2). What are we to make of the 'mistakes' made by Saul and Jonathan? Saul's 'mistake' was an error of judgment which 'troubled the land' (24,29). …

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A heartfelt prayer that was heard and answered (Part One)

1 Samuel, chapters 1 and 2 History is full of stories about people. They are people from whom we can learn lessons for our our life in today's world. In 1 Samuel, we read about Hannah, Samuel, Saul, Jonathan and David. History tells us about God. It is His Story. This is important. We will …

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The Holy Spirit – Learning from 1 Samuel

Everyone was so happy - ‘Long live the king! (1 Samuel 10:24). Everything seemed to be so promising - ‘The Spirit of God came mightily upon Saul’ (1 Samuel 11:6). God’s people were victorious (1 Samuel 11:11). God’s people ‘rejoiced greatly’ (1 Samuel 11:15). This is not, however, the whole story. Things were to get …

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Never to be forgotten

In 1996, Willie McDonald died at the age of ninety. I had only known him for a short time. I will always remember him as a man who loved the Lord deeply. He was small of stature, but he was a man of “strength”: real, spiritual strength (Psalm 90:10). He was “strong in the Lord”, …

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More than a mysterious presence – the good news of God’s love

We look at the world around us, and we feel like we are near to God. Where does this feeling of God's nearness take us? Does it take us to Jesus Christ, our Saviour? or Are we left with something less than faith in Christ? When we feel that God is speaking to us through …

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Some Simple Thoughts From The Scriptures

Genesis When I was writing these words, I was thinking of some of the stories in the book of Genesis (the book of beginnings). I was thinking about Adam, Abraham and Joseph - and I was thinking about Jesus!___________________________________________ It was the genesis of my life.Things were looking so good.Then, it all went badly wrong.What …

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The story of Goliath is still with us – and God is still with us!

"I come to you in the name of the Lord" (1 Samuel 17:45). These words were spoken by David. They were spoken to Goliath. It seemed like David didn't have any a chance against Goliath. The odds were stacked against David. Everything pointed to a Goliath victory - everything except this: "I come to you …

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In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

1 Samuel 17:38-18:30; John 16:5-17:5; Psalm 68:1-6 At the heart of David’s triumph over Goliath, there is this great testimony: “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47). When we face ‘Goliaths’ in our own …

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Don’t settle for “second-best.”

Fourth Sunday in Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Don’t settle for “second-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 …

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We must learn from those who fell from the Lord …

1 Samuel 13:1-14:23; John 13:18-38; Psalm 66:13-20 We must never be proud, taking the grace and power of God for granted. We must learn from those who fell from the Lord: (a) Saul did “a foolish thing” – he did not keep the command which had been given to him by the Lord his God …

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The life which glorifies God – love God and love your neighbour.

1 Samuel 10:9-12:25; John 12:37-13:17; Psalm 66:1-12 Jesus washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:5). Samuel prayed for the people (1 Samuel 12:23). Those who truly love will, like Jesus and Samuel, live to serve others. This life of service is to be combined with a life of worship. We are to “shout with joy to …

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What we do for God can never compare with what He has done for us.

"Be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you" (1 Samuel 12:24). What we do for God cannot even begin to compare with what He has done for us.  Anything that we do - fearing the Lord and serving Him faithfully …

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King Jesus – so much greater than king David

1 Samuel 21:1-23:29; John 18:1-24; Proverbs 13:10-19 David was delivered from his pursuer, Saul. David became the king of Israel. Jesus was delivered into the hands of His enemies. Following His resurrection, Jesus was declared to be the King of kings. “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares …

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No human king can compare with Jesus – the King of kings.

1 Samuel 8:1-10:8; John 12:12-36; Psalm 65:1-13 Saul was an unworthy king. Jesus is the King who is altogether worthy – “Blessed is the King of Israel” (John 12:13). We are to bring “praise” to “God our Saviour”. We are to “shout for joy and sing” (Psalm 65:1,5,13). He is worthy of all praise, glory …

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The story of Goliath is still with us – and God is still with us! — Learning From God’s Word

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“I come to you in the name of the Lord”(1 Samuel 17:45). These words were spoken by David. They were spoken to Goliath. It seemed like David didn’t have any a chance against Goliath. The odds were stacked against David. Everything pointed to a Goliath victory – everything except this: “I come to you in […]

The story of Goliath is still with us – and God is still with us! — Learning From God’s Word

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Fourth Sunday of Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Don't settle for second 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 …

Continue reading Fourth Sunday of Lent: 1 Samuel 16:1,6-7,10-13; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41

Speak, for Your servant is listening …

1 Samuel 1:1-2:26; John 10:22-42; Psalm 63:1-11 “Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:13). They “sinned against the Lord” – “they did not listen to their father’s rebuke” (1 Samuel 2:25). God is calling us back from this way of living. He is showing us the better …

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The light of the righteous shines brightly.

1 Samuel 14:24-15:35; John 14:1-31; Proverbs 12:28-13:9 “To obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Samuel 15:22). “Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me … Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching” (John 14:21,23). “In the way of righteousness there is life; along that path is immortality” (Proverbs 12:28). …

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A baby was born – and everything was about to change! …

1 SAMUEL  1:1-28 -  Hannah ‘wept’. Hannah ‘was no longer sad’ (7,18). What made the difference? No child had been born. She had not even conceived. These things did not happen until later (21). Why was there such a change in Hannah? She believed. God’s Word had been spoken (17). Hannah believed His Word. She …

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Overview Of The Old Testament: 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 1-7 Hannah ‘prayed to the Lord’ (1:10-11). God answered her prayer (1:20). God does not always answer our prayers in the way that we want. Sometimes, rather than changing our circumstances, He simply speaks His Word to us: ‘My grace is sufficient for you’ (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Always, He ‘gives grace to the …

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Our God reigns – and He saves.

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 18:25-40; Psalm 68:15-20 “The Lord … has appointed David leader over Israel” (1 Samuel 25:30). Christ’s Kingship is far greater than David’s – “My Kingdom is not of this world … My Kingdom is from another place” (John 18:36). Our God reigns (Psalm 68:16). His reign is seen in His work of salvation: …

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Jesus Christ – the King of the Jews: going to the Cross for a world of lost sinners

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25; John 19:1-27; Psalm 68:21-27 To be “the King of the Jews” was a great honour. David recognized this when he said, “But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed” (1 Samuel 26:11). Pilate didn’t. He sent Jesus “to the cross” with this “notice … Jesus of Nazareth, the …

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Jesus’ death was a triumph – not a tragedy.

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13; John 19:28-20:9; Psalm 68:28-35 The contrast between the death of Saul, the first king of the Jews, and Jesus, the true King of the Jews, is striking. Saul’s death was a tragedy. Jesus’ death was a triumph. The contrast is the difference between a man who said, “it is enough” (Saul had had enough …

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Two very different attitudes to life – trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands

The story of David and Saul is a story of two very different men. David recognized that the Lord was in control. Saul, on the other hand, was trying to keep himself in control. There are two very different attitudes to life - trusting the Lord and taking things into our own hands. We see …

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Success as a military leader, failure as a spiritual leader

Saul enjoyed success as a military leader: “Wherever he turned, he was victorious” (1 Samuel 14:47). He was a failure as a spiritual leader: “Then the Lord spoke to Samuel, “I regret that I made Saul king. He turned away from Me and did not carry out My instructions” (1 Samuel 15:10-11). God’s Word of …

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