July 31, Reading 1 – 1 Samuel 3

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This is one of those precious records of where the Lord makes someone aware of Himself in a wonderful way. Paul’s meeting with Christ is equally dramatic and determinative for the future well-being of His people. This chapter makes the point that it was important that all of Israel recognized that God had attested Samuel as His prophet!

SJA Notes

“And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”

After the terrible moral depravity of Judges and then with the promise and hope we read of in Ruth, here we have the calling of Samuel the prophet by the Lord.

What a wonderful reading this is!

A young boy is called by the Lord.

We know from the previous passage that as a young fellow Samuel has been ministering to the Lord, growing in the presence of the Lord, growing both in stature and in favour with the LORD and also with man.

But here Samuel is CALLED.

How good then is Samuel’s response, both when he thinks it is Eli but also then when answering the Lord – “Here I am!”

This is a good encouragement to us, to respond as Samuel did, to say “Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.”

How much more we have today too, that the word of God has been revealed to us in Jesus, God the Son, His word become flesh.

This truth is never old or dusty, and we are able to wrestle with it and chew on it all the way to glory.

Let us be encouraged in this reading to be like Samuel, to thank God that we have His word revealed to us in Jesus, and to pray that His Spirit would be planting His word deep down in us, good soil, to bear much fruit.

* Gracious Father God,

May we be as Samuel here each day, listening for Your word and hearing and doing it.

Please write Your word on our hearts today, that we might not sin against You.

Please plant Your word deep down in us, and grow it, that we might be good soil and bear much fruit.

Please open the eyes and ears of our hearts, that we might see and hear what You have for us today.

Please sink us in self that we might rise in You!

Amen.

July 31, Reading 2 – Isaiah 46

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

Verse 4 is a comfort as you grow old. God still cares with the same passion and energy as He did when you were young. We suffer modern examples of Bel and Nebo here in Australia. Take heart, God is greater than the spiritual and secular forces arrayed against the Church.

SJA Notes

How good is this, the LOVE that is evident from the Lord in His words, “… Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”

Again in this passage the Lord is calling us to remember and stand firm – against idolatry.

“… For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me,”

But here we have Him declaring His diligence and compassion.

TO GRAY HAIRS He will carry us! How beautiful this imagery is, this truth.

He has made us, He will bear us. He will carry us, and He will save us.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour! He alone is God!

* Gracious Father, there is none like You. There is no other, You have shown us from the beginning, and will show us to the end.

Thank You for Your loving promise, to carry us through to gray hairs. That even in our old age You are God, the Lord, our Saviour.

Thank You Lord.

Please mark us as a people who are singular in our devotion to You, listening only to Your word, Your voice.

Amen.

July 31, Reading 3 – 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16

Reading

Audio, Visual

SAA Notes

This warning Do not be yoked together with unbelievers is for our comfort and well-being. This warning is for before you commit! Yoked means to be legally tied to someone in business or in any other relationship, such as marriage. Paul has already dealt with the situation where this is already so – 1 Cor.7:12-14.

SJA Notes

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”

As Mr. Henry says, there is a great difference between this sorrow/grief of a godly sort and the sorrow of this world.

Sorrow falls upon us all, throughout our days, and can come heavy or heavier.

What have we to do with sorrow, with grief?

Peter knows well the antidote, when he exhorts us,

“… Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

And what of our King?

Isaiah foretells the experience of Jesus,

“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;”

And what of our eternal hope?

We read of God in John’s revelation vision,

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

In our grief and sorrow, no matter the wound, we have an antidote! We have a Saviour and King who not only knows our wounds, but has borne them out fully! And we have a hope, sure and steady, that one day all sorrow and grief will be no more.

Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

* Father God,

Thank You.

O Lord, thank You. For our hope in You, in Your love for us, Your steadfast love and faithfulness.

That one day You will wipe every tear from our eyes.

O Lord, thank You.

Amen.