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Thoughts on the Conversion of Saul to Paul

Saul was misinformed and acting out of anger. He was hurting others who disagreed with him. His circumstances changed suddenly. He acknowledged the lordship of the One speaking to him. He learned that he was fighting against God. His companions were silenced by God’s presence. There was a period of silence (testing) during which he could have rationalized it all away. He became worse off (physically) than he was before he met Jesus:  confusion, darkness, lack of direction. He used this time of testing as a time for consecration. His answer came through someone he had previously maligned, hated and persecuted. His vision/dream only showed him part of God’s plan (physical sight). He was given sight and direction (relation of physical to spiritual). … Read entire article »

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How to Find the Devil

That’s kind of an odd thought isn’t it?  But that is the predicament that King Saul found himself in.  He was near the end of his life and reign.  He had long ago rejected God’s commandments and had found himself rejected by God.  Literally, Saul had lived a lifetime without God after knowing what the anointing and Spirit of God felt like as a young man. The Philistines had gathered together to fight Israel one more time.  Saul was desperate to find out something, anything about what the future held for him.  To his credit, he had been diligent to try and eradicate all the mediums and spiritists in Israel. Now, he tried one more time to get an answer, some kind of direction from God.  But God would not answer him … Read entire article »

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Are You Approachable?

In reading through Samuel, I came across a phrase which stood out to me in the story of Nabal.  In 1 Samuel 25, he is the man from whom David requested food when he was shearing his sheep.  He gave a rough, rude answer and sent David’s men away empty. When his servants were discussing the way he treated David’s men with Abigail, Nabal’s wife, they spoke this about Nabal:  “he is such a son of Belial that a man cannot speak to him.” (1 Sam 25:17)  This means that Nabal was so hardened and set in his ways that he would never listen to reason.  It was his way or the highway. I found it interesting that one of the character traits of ungodliness is that people cannot approach you.  So, … Read entire article »

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What to Do with Your Enemy

In 1 Samuel 24, as I was reading today, I pondered verse 4. Apparently at some point in the past, a prophet of God had spoken to David that God would deliver David’s enemy into his hand to do with as seemed best to David. What a prophecy! Can you imagine having that spoken to you: “Hey, God is going to put your enemy at your mercy.” That would seem to be a carte blanche statement allowing you to wreak havoc back upon the heads of the ones who have caused you grief. BUT WAIT! What is it that David desired to do? He desired to show mercy to his enemy? Mercy? He chose to spare the life of the man who was hunting … Read entire article »

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What David Learned from the Lion and the Bear

In Samuel 17:31-37, David has been brought before King Saul.  People have heard David’s bold words about how Goliath had to be faced.  Saul has sent for him. When David expresses that he will fight Goliath, King Saul says this is impossible due to his youth and inexperience. David shares the story of fighting against a lion and also a bear who had attempted to rob sheep from the flock he was entrusted to watch.  During this story, we can gleen a critical lesson that David learned from the lion. He says that a lion came and took a sheep from the flock.  He went after the lion and smote (or struck) it.  What he used, we don’t know.  But it was enough to apparently either knock the lion silly or seriously distract … Read entire article »

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God Looks on the Heart

In reading Samuel again, I was struck by something I hadn’t thought of before. In chapter 16, when God tells Samuel to go anoint a new king, we are told that Samuel looked at Jesse’s firstborn and said, “Surely God’s anointed is standing right here.”  God told Samuel that He had rejected Eliab because God looks on the heart, not the outside as man does. We’ve heard that before. What hit me is who God was speaking to:  Samuel.  This is the guy who had served in God’s presence since he was a child.  He heard the voice of God as a youngster and became established as a prophet in Israel.  Scripture even says that “God did not let his words fall to the ground.” Now, as a much older man, he had walked … Read entire article »

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Don’t Make God Speak Twice

Had some thoughts while listening to a sermon on Jonah. In Jonah 3, it says God spoke to Jonah the second time.  What happened between the first time God spoke and the second time?  We know. Jonah rejected God’s word. Jonah’s life took a decidedly downhill turn (repeated use of word “down”). Jonah possibly attempted suicide by telling the mariners to cast him into the sea.  (“I’ll show you, God.  I’ll die before I obey you.”)  That’s at least one way of interpreting his actions. God overrules Jonah even in the face of certain death. When the fish swallows Jonah, Jonah hit rock bottom. Jonah learned that you cannot run from God. Jonah repented. This all happened because Jonah did not obey God the first time that God spoke to him.  Wow. Jonah’s walk of obedience began while he was … Read entire article »

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God Gives Us Opportunity

Would you rather have cash in hand or an opportunity? Would you rather have a sure job or an opportunity? Would you rather have a paint by number or a blank canvas? How we answer these questions every day of our lives not only shows what we understand about God, but it also determines much of the course of our future. Listen to this Podcast on what God thinks about opportunity. [display_podcast] … Read entire article »

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Hidden Sin (Joshua 7)

Joshua 7 talks about the sad life of Achan, a man who tried to hide his sin from God. For those who are struggling with confession, guilt and overcoming the bondage of sin, this sermon is a must-hear. [display_podcast] You may also view the notes on this study by clicking on this link. … Read entire article »

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How to Teach Children About the Holy Spirit

Teaching children is always an adventure. Once you begin to share with children about the supernatural realm, some people become uncomfortable with just how to do this. This lesson talks about ways in which you can share some of the truths about the Holy Spirit with children. [display_podcast] Other ideas: Use examples and object lessons. Use testimonies (people you know, tapes, videos, MP3s, books). During your family prayer time, answer their questions, tell your own story. During group prayer time, find out if your children have any questions about what they hear or experience. During “revival” services, there are often great opportunities for children to experience more of God and His Spirit. Read and study Acts 2, 8, 10 and 19 with them.  Also 1Cor 12-14. Pray for them and lay hands on them. … Read entire article »

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