When We Demand A King…

frank-sinatra-1963-billboard-650And now, the end is near; And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full. I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this, I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do, And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course; Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this, I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew when I bit off more than I could chew.
But through it all, when there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall; And did it my way.

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried. I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that; And may I say – not in a shy way,
“Oh no, oh no not me, I did it my way”.

For what is a man, what has he got?If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels; And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -And did it my way!

Do you recognize those words? Frank Sinatra made them famous, for sure. But we didn’t need Sinatra to sing them in order for us to fell and affirm them. We are a people who often seek to do thing our way.

That is the lesson that comes through from our Bible study this week. Israel wanted it their way. They didn’t want God to be their king. They wanted a king like the nations had. If only they knew what they were really wanting and what they would really get.

If only we knew when we express the same sentiment. We get more than we bargain for when we tell God, “I want to do it my way.”

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When God Speaks…

0820samuel-prophet0010We are stepping into 1 Samuel this week.

From the outset we are confronted with a sad situation. In 3:1 we are told, “And the word of Lord was rare in those days.” A nation and a people are in dire straights (whether they realize it or not) when the word of the Lord is rare.

Thankfully for us, God breaks through. He did so for Samuel and Israel by means of an auditory call to the young man while he slept. He does it for us every time we open the Bible and put our eyes on the text.

God is so good to give us his word. He is so gracious to communicate with us. He does not leave us to speculate about who he is and what he is all about. He reveals himself to us and makes himself known.

Thanks be to God!

A Glimpse of God’s Love

Copy_3_of_1876Merle_Hugues_Ruth_In_The_Fields

“A cool breeze on hot summer day…”

“A rose in the midst of thorns…”

“A silver lining among the dark clouds of a storm…”

“The bowl of ice cream that you quietly scoop after the kids have gone to bed…”

All of these phrases probably evoke some kind of sense of relief and refreshment in your mind as you read them. (The last one is especially powerful in my life.)

It is nice to feel that refreshment once in a while. That is the feeling we get when we come to the book of Ruth. The judges just wear us out as we read about their faithlessness and sin over and over and over again.

But here, in this short book, we meet the godly woman, Ruth. And in so doing, we are taught wonderful lessons about the redemptive heart of God.

I am praying for you as you prepare to teach this week.

When The Deliverer Needs Deliverance

judges samson destroy templeSamson, Samson, Samson…

Don’t you just want to take him by the hand, or by the neck, and just say, “What in the world are you thinking?” A man with so much potential and who accomplished so many great things is the same man who has an almost incomparable fall. (Is said almost. David, Judas, and a litany of kings could be mentioned here, for sure.)

So what do we learn from Samson? Watch out who cuts your hair? Hardly.

We will learn this week about the power of God to use broken vessels for his glory.

God Makes A Mighty Warrior

This is a great lesson. I love the story of Gideon, and I think the authors of this lesson hit the nail on the head thisGideonandwool week.

Gideon is scared to death of the Midianites, he shakes in his sandals when God chooses him, he doubts God and faithlessly puts him to the test…oh, and he becomes a mighty warrior for the Lord.

How does that happen?

That is just the way God does it. We see this same reality in its greatest clarity on the cross as God makes a way for us to be forgiven of sin, for his wrath to be satisfied, for Satan to be vanquished, and for death to be destroyed. He does all of this through the humiliation of his Son; the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

How wonderful it is when God shows us his strength.