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It’s Time to Begin! {Intro and Resources for Luke 1-5}

Welcome!

Today we begin our study in the book of Luke.  If you don’t have your optional Journal yet, I want to encourage you to pull out a notebook and use it to write out your thoughts and reflections on this week’s study.

Inside the journal it teaches you how to use the SOAK method to study the Bible.  This is how the method works:

  • S – The S stands for Scripture – Read the chapter for the day.   Then choose 1-2 verses and write them out word for word. (There is no right or wrong choice – just let the Holy Spirit guide you.)
  • O – The O stands for Observation – Look at the verse or verses you wrote out. Write 1 or 2 observations. What stands out to you? What do you learn about the character of God from these verses? Is there a promise, command or teaching?
  • A – The A stands for Application – Personalize the verses. What is God saying to you?   How can you apply them to your life?   Are there any changes you need to make or an action to take?
  • K – The K stands for Kneeling in Prayer – Pause, kneel and pray. Confess any sin God has revealed to you today. Praise God for His word. Pray the passage over your own life or someone you love. Ask God to help you live out your applications.

The goal is to SOAK God’s word into your heart everyday and let it transform your life, renew your mind and create a deeper intimacy with God.

Let’s take a look at the book of the Bible we are about to study.

The Book of Luke Overview

The book of Luke is a vivid account of the life of Jesus. Luke takes us on an exciting journey from Jesus’ birth, to his public ministry, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. Salvation is clearly found in no one else but Jesus!

Luke was a doctor and he took special care to record everything accurately. Of all the gospels, Luke gives us the most detailed account of Jesus’ birth. Luke shows the humanity of Jesus through showcasing his genealogy, his birth story, his growth as a boy, his prayer life and the betrayal and denial from some of his closest friends.

Jesus’ many miracles and parables, written in this book, along with his compassion for the outcasts and sinners, and his love for women and children, draw us in deeper to understanding our Savior. The climax is when Jesus rises from the dead and ascends into heaven!

Luke not only penned this book but he also wrote the book of Acts. These two books combined, make up one-fourth of the New Testament!

Author: Luke the physician (the only Gentile author in the New Testament)

Date: 63 AD

Key Verse: Luke 2:11
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Outline:
1.) The introduction (1:1-4)
2.) Jesus is born (1:5-2:52)
3.) Jesus’ preparation for public ministry (3:1-4:13)
4.) Jesus’ ministry in Galilee (4:14-9:50)
5.) Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9:51-19:27)
6.) Jesus’ teaching ministry in Jerusalem (19:28-21:38)
7.) Jesus’ death (22:1-23:56)
8.) Jesus’ resurrection (24:1-53)

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday – Luke 1

Tuesday – Luke 2

Wednesday – Luke 3

Thursday – Luke 4

Friday -Luke 5

The Reflection Questions for the Week

{These questions are included inside the journal .  If you do not have the journal, I encourage you to reflect on these questions and answer them in your notebook.}

Monday:

The world says believe and you will receive. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. But that is not what Luke 1:37 says. It says nothing is impossible “with God.” It is God who is the source of all power and possibilities.

Tell of a time when you saw God do something impossible in your own life or the life of someone you know.

Tuesday:

The King of Kings, the Messiah, Emmanuel-God with us, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, our glorious Savior was born! Oh what good news this is!!!

Have you placed your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins? If you haven’t, do it today! If you have, share your testimony. When did Jesus become your personal savior?

Wednesday:

At Jesus’ baptism, we see the Trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit-3 in 1. It boggles my mind to try to grasp the awe of the Trinity. I am so thankful that we have eternity in heaven to explore this mystery.

How does pondering how awesome our triune God is encourage you today?

Thursday:

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He used scripture to fight temptation. He di not use His supernatural power but rather He fought by simply wielding the sword of God’s word.

When we are tempted, we have the same resource available to us that Jesus used-God’s Word. In what areas of your life do you need to be better armed with God’s WOrd to help you fight your temptations?

Friday:

Jesus came for those who were not just sick WITH sin but also sick OF their sin. He did not come for the self-righteous but for those humble enough to admit they are a sinner in need of a savior.

Physicians fix broken bones and give healing to wounds. Jesus is the great Physician. What is one area where you need spiritual healing in your life, or have experienced spiritual healing?

 

 The Verses of the Day

Monday: Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

Tuesday: Luke 2:11 “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

Wednesday: Luke 3:21,22 “When Jesus had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Thursday: Luke 4:8 “It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.””

Friday: Luke 5:31,32: “Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every morning at GuysInTheWord and on Facebook at Good Morning Guys.

Please share in the comments:

Are you joining us?  Tell a little about yourself.  What is your name, where are you from and anything else you would like to share.

If you have any questions – ask below. 

I’ll see you back here this Wednesday as we go deeper into God’s Word together.

Johnathan

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Introducing the Book of Luke

Welcome!  It’s time to introduce the spring study.

Our next study will begin on Monday, March 13th in the Gospel of Luke.

We have a Luke Journal available if you’d like to have a guide to assist you in your study.

This journal includes:

*An Introduction to the Book of Luke
*An explanation of how to use the signature S.O.A.K. method of the GMG’s
*The GMG Coloring Chart
* The Verse of the Day each day
*A Reflection Question for each day
* Blank space for SOAKing each chapter of the Book of Luke

This companion Journal is NOT required to join us. 

It’s available now exclusively on Amazon.  Check it out there!

Every Monday, I’ll kick off the week with free resources and accountability here on the blog and then on Wednesdays, I’ll be here to discuss our reading from the Word, with a devotional.

You can also find Good Morning Guys on Instagram —-> HERE.

And on Facebook ——> HERE.

I’ll be back soon, with some free resources to assist you with your Bible Study.  Until then, I encourage you to subscribe in the sidebar so you don’t miss a post and follow me out on Instagram and Facebook.

I hope you’ll join us as we grow in Christ!

Johnathan

If you have any questions about our upcoming Bible Study, ask them in the comment section below.

This post contains an affiliate link.

3 Tips for Getting Out of a Spiritual Desert

We have all had them; periods in our lives when God seems so far away.

Our souls are hungry for Him yet we can’t seem to find Him.

We are discouraged.

It’s like walking through a spiritual desert.

I know how this feels. I’ve been there, and if you’re there today, be encouraged that every single Christian has been there.

But what do we do when God is silent in our lives, and we are in a spiritual desert?

In our passage today, 1 Samuel 28:6-19, we find an example, but sadly, it’s an example of what not to do when we are in a spiritual desert. King Saul is being threatened by a huge army of Philistines and is extremely scared. Because of his own sinful worry and distrust of God’s sovereignty, he decides to treat God like his own personal genie and ask Him how this battle against the Philistines will go. 

These wrong motives in asking God, and Saul’s already broken relationship with God because of prior unrepentant sin (trying to kill David), ultimately led to silence from God.

This is the darkest place a person can be, but it was a consequence of Saul’s own sin.

Instead of realizing why God was silent and repenting of his sin, Saul makes things ten times worse and ends up going to a witch, who he asks to call up Samuel from the dead.

This is extremely dark stuff, but a reminder that there are very powerful, very real forces of evil out there opposing God. (1 Peter 5:8) Thankfully we know we are on the winning team!

God allows Samuel to appear to Saul, and as a consequence for all Saul’s sin, Samuel ends up telling Saul that there will be a huge defeat and Saul is going to die in the battle.

So what can we take away today from this story?

1. When you feel far from God, don’t turn to worldly things for satisfaction, comfort, or answers.

There’s an old song from the Christian artist Plumb that says this: “There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us, and the restless soul is searching. There’s a God-shaped hole in all of us, and it’s a void only He can fill.”

These words perfectly communicate the fact that the only thing that can satisfy our hungry, discouraged, empty souls when we feel far away from God is God Himself, not anything else in this world. Turn only to Him when you’re discouraged.

2. When you’re in a spiritual desert, look for unrepentant sin.

Often times, but not always, the reason you feel far from God is your own sin. This is clearly illustrated in the life of Saul, who continued in unrepentant sin and because of this was not answered by God.

When there is sin in our lives, it draws us away from God and makes having an honest relationship with Him difficult.

This is just like if you were to break something that belonged to your mom, and decided not to tell her about it and just hide it. It would be pretty hard to act normal and have a loving relationship with your mom with that bugging you in the back of your mind, wouldn’t it?

It’s the same way with God.

If you are feeling far from God and realize that you have been sinning without telling God and asking Him for forgiveness, repent and ask Him for forgiveness, then your close relationship with Him will be restored.

3. When God is silent, cry out to Him and trust in His promises.

Maybe there isn’t any major unrepentant sin in your life, but you still feel far from God.

This could be because of a difficulty in your life, or maybe you’re just discouraged and you’re not sure why.

When you are in this situation, that is the time to get on your knees and really cry out to God.

1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Psalm 102:19-20 says, “For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the LORD gazed upon the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death.” 

God guarantees us that He hears us and that He is there.

He cares and even when it feels like He isn’t there, He is.

This is when you must trust in that truth and find comfort in it. 

Johnathan

Let’s talk in the comments below:

  1. When is a time when you have felt far from God?
  2. How did you get out of your spiritual desert?

 

Final Week! Good Morning Guys Resources {1 Samuel 26-31}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through 1 Samuel! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ. This is our last week of our study through 1 Samuel! It has been a blessing to study God’s word alongside of you all.

Our next study will begin on Monday, March 13th in the Gospel of Luke.

We have a Luke Journal available if you’d like to have a guide to assist you in your study.

It’s available now exclusively on Amazon.

I’ll post more details about this study soon.

Now back to 1 Samuel.  If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: 1 Samuel 26

Tuesday: 1 Samuel 27

Wednesday: 1 Samuel 28

Thursday: 1 Samuel 29

Friday: 1 Samuel 30-31

The Reflection Questions for the Week

Chapter 26-Monday

David trusted that God would reward his righteousness and faithfulness.

Do you trust that God will honor your faithfulness and how have you seen this in your life?

 

Chapter 27-Tuesday

David was discouraged and said in his heart, he was about to die – even though God had promised deliverance.

What we say in our hearts has incredible power to influence our choices. In what ways has your heart discouraged you in the past?

 

Chapter 28-Wednesday

God was silent when Saul called on him because he had not been following God’s revealed will for him.

Have you gone through a time of silence from God when you were living disobediently?

 

Chapter 29 -Thursday

David was in a bad place.  He had no home and was trying to live in both worlds.

Have you ever been in a place where you had too much of the world in you to be at peace with God and too much of God in you, to be at peace with the world?  What helped you to stop straddling the fence?

 

Chapter 30-31-Friday

Chapter 30

God, rich in mercy and grace, heard David’s cries for help and strengthened him.

God hears the cries of His people.  Do you need more strength for today?  Call out to God now. Write your prayer below.

Chapter 31

The account of Saul dying is sad, but sadder yet is the fact that Saul knew the previous day he would die and yet he did not repent or cry out to God.

Many tend to think that they will live as they want now and get right with God later in life.  Later never comes. Is there something you need to make right with God? Don’t wait – do it now.

 

The Verses of the Day

Monday:

The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness.

1 Samuel 26:23

 

Tuesday: 

Then David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish.

1 Samuel 27:1

  Wednesday: 

When Saul inquired of the Lordthe Lord did not answer him.

1 Samuel 28:6

 

Thursday:

So David set out with his men early in the morning to return to the land of the Philistines.

1 Samuel 29:11

 

 

Friday:

David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

1 Samuel 30:6

 

Thus Saul died.

1 Samuel 31:6

 

 

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our new Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

There are Consequences to Obedience

Consequences.

The word sends chills down the spine of any young child being disciplined. It means there will be unpleasant results of whatever transgression they committed.

When we sin and disobey God, there are always consequences as a result, and they are never pleasant.

But did you know that the Bible says there will be consequences when we choose to obey as well?

You are probably wondering how there could be anything but good results when we choose to obey God. In 1 Samuel 22:6-19, however, we see a horrible tragedy as a result of obeying God.

1 Samuel 22:6-19 tells the story of a tyrannical king Saul. King Saul is very jealous of David, who he knows is going to succeed him as king and wants to stop. Saul has his heart set on killing David.

In Chapter 21, David had gotten help from a priest named Ahimelech. David was short on food and had no weapon as he was running away from Saul, so he had asked Ahimelech for help. Ahimelech had helped David graciously by giving him bread and a sword.

While the bread was holy bread designated for priests, and Ahimelech had therefore broken the law by giving it to David, it likely saved David’s life. Regardless of whether or not it’s ok to break God’s law to save someone’s life, mercy and compassion were shown here by Ahimelech.

In today’s verses, King Saul finds out that Ahimelech had shown compassion to David and provided him with supplies from a member of his army who happened to witness it.

This does not sit well with Saul, and he calls Ahimelech and all the other priests from his town and after a quick questioning, orders all 85 of them to be murdered. After this, the whole town is ordered to be killed.

This is a horrible tragedy resulting from one kind act of a priest and the evil selfishness of  a tyrannical king.

The compassionate action taken on Ahimelech’s part, albeit one that broke God’s law, was a kind action that resulted in his death and the death of all those around him.

This sad story can still teach us something today.

Many Christians face danger and even death daily as a result of their obedience to Christ.

According to Open Doors USA, “Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.”

322 Christians worldwide lose their lives for their obedience to Christ every single month, not counting the hundreds more who endure violence for their faith.

According to 2 Timothy 3:12, these statistics should not surprise us.

It says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Life as a Christian is not guaranteed to be easy, contrary to many who misunderstand the gospel.

We are not guaranteed health, possessions, or any other worldly blessings.
Instead, we are guaranteed to have difficult times in our lives; times of sickness, times of financial disaster, times of broken relationships.
Most of all, we are guaranteed to be, at some point in our Christian lives, persecuted on some level for our faith.

This is not a popular message today.

We don’t want to hear these things.

But these things are necessary, and in fact, are very good for us in our faith.

God grows us through our sufferings and persecutions.

There are countless verses in the New Testament admonishing us to look to Christ in our sufferings and rejoice in them, because when we respond in this way, we are bringing more glory to God than any material or relational blessing in our lives ever could.

So today, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”  (1 Peter 4:12-14)

 

Let’s talk in the comments below:

  1. Describe a time in your life when you were persecuted for your obedience to Christ.
  2. How have the sufferings and persecutions in your life brought you closer to God?

 

Good Morning Guys Resources {1 Samuel 21-25}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through 1 Samuel! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ.

If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: 1 Samuel 21

Tuesday: 1 Samuel 22

Wednesday: 1 Samuel 23

Thursday: 1 Samuel 24

Friday: 1 Samuel 25

The Reflection Questions for the Week

Chapter 21-Monday

Just because we are following the Lord, it does not mean we will not have difficult times.

In Psalm 56:3, David said: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  What are you afraid of today and how can you trust God more?

 

Chapter 22-Tuesday

David couldn’t go home, or go see Samuel or Jonathan, and he couldn’t go to the house of the Lord.  In a humble cave he found refuge.

How is God your refuge and safe place, in times of discouragement

 

Chapter 23-Wednesday

Jonathan could not rescue David, but he could strengthen him.

Is there someone in your life who is in an inescapable trial?  You may not be able to rescue them, but how can you strengthen them today?

 

Chapter 24 -Thursday

Rather than taking matters into his own hands, David trusted God to judge and avenge him against Saul.

What situation in your life, do you need to trust yourself less and trust God more?

 

Chapter 25-Friday

There is a great contrast between Abigail and her husband Nabal.  Abigail was god-fearing, gentle and humble despite being stuck in a mismatched marriage.

Are you stuck in a relationship that is mismatched perhaps with a boss, co-worker, family member or spouse?  How can you remain gentle and humble in this difficult situation?

The Verses of the Day

Monday:

David took these words to heart and was much afraid.

1 Samuel 21:12

Tuesday:  

David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam.

1 Samuel 22:1

 Wednesday: 

Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God.

1 Samuel 23:16

Thursday:  

May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.

1 Samuel 24:12

Friday:

The name of the man was Nabal,and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved.

1 Samuel 25:3

 

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our new Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

The Secret to Successful Friendships

 

In the words of musical artist Bill Withers in his hit song Lean on Me, “We all need somebody to lean on.”

Friendship is one of the greatest blessings God has given us to enjoy in this life here on earth.

However, friendships among men are in dire shape.

Alan Loy McGinnis, an expert researcher and psychologist, estimates that only 10% of men have any real friendships in their lifetime.

Frankly, this is a heartbreaking and inexcusable statistic. What are some steps we as men can take to build the real, lasting friendships that are so vital yet so neglected today?

The answer to our question comes in 1 Samuel 18, where we will be focusing on Verses 1-5. These verses show the start of a friendship between David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan, that has served as the poster child of friendships countless times.

In Verse 1, Jonathan first meets David immediately after David has just killed Goliath. Jonathan is obviously amazed at what David had to say about his victory, because Verse 1 says “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” That’s some pretty crazy stuff right there!

Later we see in Verse 4 that Jonathan gave David his royal robe, armor, sword, bow, and belt. In giving these royal possessions to David, Jonathan is showing his great loyalty to their friendship.

 More importantly, he is showing great humility by acknowledging David as the next king, instead of himself.

Being the king’s son, he was expected to be the next king after Saul, but Jonathan had enough humility to know that David was chosen by God to be the next king.

Most of us would have a hard time giving up our future kingship to someone else at all, much less becoming best friends with them and voluntarily giving them all your royal garments as an act of loyalty!

This is a picture of true, radical, God-glorifying, soul-building friendship!

 

How can we as Christian men today implement what we see here in 1 Samuel 18:1-5? I see two main things we can work at.

  1. Humility: Jonathan showed humility in acknowledging David as the future king. Today you can show humility in a number of ways in your friendships.
    1. Acknowledging when you’re wrong: When you realize that you have wronged a friend and sinned against them, have humility and confess it to them, asking for them to forgive you. (Matthew 5:23-24)
    2. Confessing your sin and asking for help: We can’t fight sin on our own, and it’s prideful to think that we can. First of all we need God’s help, but secondly we need the humility to ask our friends for help too. Find a brother in Christ and keep each other accountable on the sins you most struggle with. (Galatians 6:1-2)
  2. Sacrifice: Jonathan showed great sacrifice in giving up his royal garments to David and loving him as his own soul! There are so many ways you can sacrifice for your friends. Here are a few.
    1. Sacrifice your time: Giving valuable, quality time to just talk and support your friends is a huge act of sacrifice.
    2. Sacrifice your resources: Maybe your friend is in need. Sacrifice your resources to help them out. Or maybe you just want to bless them in a special way. Show them you care by giving gifts to them.
    3. Sacrifice your own interests: Put what your friends want over what you want. Maybe they want to go to a movie and you don’t. Go with them anyway. That’s sacrifice!

If you seek to have humility and try to sacrifice of your time, resources, and interests for your friends, you will be well on your way to glorifying God and building more lasting, meaningful, helpful friendships that challenge you to be more like Christ!

 

Johnathan

Let’s talk in the comments below:

  1. How have friendships impacted you personally?
  2. In what ways specifically in your life can you demonstrate humility and sacrifice in your friendships?

 

Good Morning Guys Resources {1 Samuel 16-20}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through 1 Samuel! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ.

If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: 1 Samuel 16

Tuesday: 1 Samuel 17

Wednesday: 1 Samuel 18

Thursday: 1 Samuel 19

Friday: 1 Samuel 20

The Reflection Questions for the Week

Chapter 16-Monday

Even Samuel, a godly man, was judging who should be king based on outward appearances.

God does not see what man sees. God sees everyone’s hearts. Tell of a time when you wrongly judged someone based on their outward appearance.  What did you learn from this experience?

 

Chapter 17-Tuesday

David contrasted Goliath’s weapons with the name of the Lord God.  David was bold, not in his own strength but in God’s.

In what area of your life do you need to be reminded that the battle belongs to the Lord?

 

Chapter 18-Wednesday

As the firstborn son of Saul, Jonathan would have been the heir to the throne, yet he had no jealousy of David.

Jealousy divides.  Do you struggle with jealousy in any of your friendships?   Confess this sin today.

 

Chapter 19 -Thursday 

From this point until the day Saul died, David was a fugitive on the run for 20 years. What Saul meant for evil, God meant for good.  God was making David into a man of God.

How has God used a difficult situation in your life for good?

 

Chapter 20-Friday

God took David on his journey alone, to teach him a greater dependence on Him.

When have you gone through a time of learning greater dependence on God? How did it prepare you for your future trials?

 

The Verses of the Day

Monday:

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

1 Samuel 16:7

Tuesday:  

You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 

1 Samuel 17:45

 Wednesday:

The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

1 Samuel 18:1

Thursday:  

Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear, but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. And David fled and escaped that night.

1 Samuel 19:10

Friday:

Go in peace.

1 Samuel 20:42

 

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our new Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

Our Battle Plan

How are we supposed to truly live as Christians?

Many times we find ourselves asking this question. Is there one rule we can really focus on, and if we do, everything else will fall into place?

I know that I sometimes ask that exact question. As believers, our hearts should be so full of love for God that we are always asking what the best way to live for Him is.

1 Samuel 12:20-24 gives us the answer to that question.

1 Samuel 12:20-24 comes at the end of Samuel’s farewell address to Israel, as Saul is now taking over the kingdom and Samuel will be taking a backseat in the leadership of the country.

Samuel’s farewell speech rebuked the people for their sin of asking for a king, and to prove how horrible their sin was, Samuel called down thunder and rain.

The people were convicted for their sin and felt extremely guilty.

They were afraid that they were going to die because God was so angry with them.

However, in Verse 20, Samuel shows the great love and mercy of our God despite the Israelites’ sin.

“Do not be afraid.”

Those are the great words of grace from Samuel to the people. Samuel tells the people that while they have surely sinned, they should not dwell in their fear of punishment, but instead “serve the Lord with all your heart.”

 

As sinners, we can all relate to the words of the famous hymn, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, when it says “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”

We so often “turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.” (Verse 21)

So often our attention is turned to worthless things that distract us from God, but there is good news for every distracted Christian.

The greatest news of all is that, as Verse 22 says, “the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”

What a comforting truth for us today. We may continually wander into worthless sin, but God is always there to rescue us and set us back on the right course.

“What is the right course?” you may ask.

Samuel gives the answer in Verse 24. “Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.”

This is our battle plan. Every day we should wake up and say, “How can I serve God today?”

The most practical way to serve God is to serve others and put them before yourself, for in this way, you show God’s love.

God’s kingdom is backwards compared to the world, because in Matthew 20:26 it says, “But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.”

Even more importantly, when we serve others with the gifts God has given us, we are actually serving God. Matthew 25:40 confirms this when it says, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

In the end, the best answer to the question we all ask, “How are we supposed to truly live as Christians?” is to serve God faithfully with all our hearts.

The best way to do that is to put others before yourself every day, and use your gifts to serve them. This is what Samuel told Israel to do, what Jesus did for us on the cross, and what we should be doing each and every day.

Johnathan

Let’s talk in the comments below:

  1. What is distracting you from God’s path for your life? It could be a sin or something good that you have made into an idol.
  2. What is one way you can put others first today?

Good Morning Guys Resources {1 Samuel 11-15}

Welcome back to the Good Morning Guys Study through 1 Samuel! I pray your past week of study was beneficial to your growth in your relationship with Christ.

If you’re new, feel free to jump right in and follow along. Everything you need for this week is below, including this week’s Bible Reading Plan, Reflection Questions, and Verses of the Day.  Don’t forget to check back on Wednesday for my weekly blog post.

Here’s This Week’s Bible Reading Plan

Monday: 1 Samuel 11

Tuesday: 1 Samuel 12

Wednesday: 1 Samuel 13

Thursday: 1 Samuel 14

Friday: 1 Samuel 15

The Reflection Questions for the Week

 

 

Chapter 11-Monday

Though Israel was scared, they feared disobeying God more than they feared their enemies.

Who do you tend to fear more, God or man? Why?

Chapter 12-Tuesday

Samuel reminded Israel to serve God faithfully because God had done great things for them.

What great things has God done for you and how does that motivate you to serve God more?

Chapter 13-Wednesday

Saul had a heart that reflected Israel’s heart rather than God’s. A man after God’s own heart, honors God above all.

God is still looking for men and women who honor him first.  How is your heart today?

Chapter 14 -Thursday

Jonathan knew the odds were against him but he believed with the help of God, he could have victory.

The only thing that hinders God is unbelief.  Have you made God too small in your life? In what area do you need to trust God more?

Chapter 15-Friday

Saul’s sacrifices meant little because he had a disobedient heart.

Have you ever been tempted to give money or serve God rather than obey Him?  How is this type of relationship with God empty?

 

The Verses of the Day

Monday: Then the dread of the Lord fell upon the people.

1 Samuel 11:7

Tuesday:  Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.

1 Samuel 12:24

 Wednesday: The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.

1 Samuel 13:14

Thursday:  Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving by many or by few.

1 Samuel 14:6

Friday: To obey is better than sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22

 

Don’t forget to join me out on Instagram every day for the verse of the day at GuysInTheWord, as well as on our new Facebook page!

I’ll see you back here on Wednesday for our weekly blog post.

Johnathan

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