Mixed values


Finally, they entered the region of Zuph, and Saul said to his servant, “Let’s go home. By now my father will be more worried about us than about the donkeys!”
1 Samuel 9:5 NLT

It’s not used so much now, but one of the definitions of the word ‘dear’ is expensive. Nowadays it is used more when describing something as cherished and loved. The word ‘valuable’ has similar double meanings but it is more split between expensive and treasured – a diamond ring can be valuable, but so can a good employee. We also talk about someone being worth his weight in gold. The point of all this is that we tend to confuse people with things in how we value them. How can we describe someone in the same way we describe an inanimate object like a ring? How can we put a price on someone by saying that he is worth 12 stones of gold?

Saul knew that his father thought that he was more important than a few donkeys and that he should therefore call a halt to the search.

I get attached to inanimate objects. I like having them and using them. A few days ago I was in a panic because my mobile phone developed a fault and I couldn’t use it. The thing is that I couldn’t use it to keep in touch with people and that is the most important matter – people! I need to get my priorities right. People matter more than any matter. It’s not that they are more valuable than any item, or worth their weight in any substance. They are people. They are God’s children. They are the ones for whom God sacrificed his one and only son. They are more precious to God than Jesus!

It’s all about people. The things in life don’t matter. 

Ignorance is miss


If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honoured.
Proverbs 13:18 NLT

Whenever I discover by myself that I am doing something wrong or the wrong way, I correct it. I simply treat it as an adjustment to my ways. However, when someone else points it out I often treat it as a criticism. In fact, I am more likely to treat it as an attack and I go on the defensive, and sometimes the offensive! Yet, if I discovered the same point myself I would treat it as part of a learning process.

I need to be more ready to accept criticism, whether it is valid or not. There might be something valuable that I miss if I don’t and all that I’m doing is harming myself and possibly hurting someone else too. 

Good King, bad king


“This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots.”
1 Samuel 8:11 NLT

Too often, I put something over my relationship with God. Other things become more important and take precedence over him. Instead of seeking his will, I follow my own. Instead of doing what he wants, I do what I want. Instead of letting him be King and letting him rule over me, I let or make something else rule me. It’s crazy! I know that my Lord rules well, rules fairly and rules kindly and yet I go and choose a tyrant to run and ruin my life!

Good King, bad king? Fairly straightforward decision process there, eh? 

Don’t ask, don’t get


So Samuel took a young lamb and offered it to the Lord as a whole burnt offering. He pleaded with the Lord to help Israel, and the Lord answered him.
1 Samuel 7:9 NLT

Samuel knew that he had a job to do, and he did it. The people had come to him in fear and asked him to ask God for help, so he did it. God answered his prayer.

I have a job to do and it involves prayer. My life should be a prayer. I just don’t pray enough – a few minutes each day. I should be praying at all times. There needs to be a change and it is down to me. I am told that whatever I ask in Jesus’ name will be granted, but if I don’t ask it won’t happen. There needs to be change in my life, but if I don’t ask for it, it won’t happen. There needs to be change in the lives of my family and the people around me, but if I don’t ask for it, it won’t happen.

Ask and you will receive!



Similarly, a family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
Mark 3:25 NLT

So much of the world is in turmoil today because of sectarian or tribal strife. Such strife wrought havoc in Europe during and after the Reformation and I saw so much trouble in my childhood and youth, just because of Protestant and Catholic dispute and contention. Now I look at the middle east and Africa and see the strife between Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Christians, and between Muslim and Muslim. All crazy hatred, and it has only one destination – destruction.

At first, I looked at this text and knew that it had some strong message in it for me. My family is scattered – my brother in Canada, my children on two sides of England, my cousins all over the place. Not all of that is due to “feuding”. In fact, probably very little of it is, but I haven’t done enough to hold it together. Because there wasn’t feuding it didn’t fall apart, but it has all drifted apart for one reason or another, and the main reason is that there has not been enough effort to hold it together. That is something that I have to start correcting.

But I am also part of a bigger family – the church family – and I really have a lot of work to do, not just on other people – mostly on myself and my role in it. I have to change my attitude in so many areas and get on with it. Where I feel myself getting upset or disagreeing, I need to deal with it the right way, and that involves changing the way I look at the situation and the way I react to and deal with it. I need to stop getting involved my way and, instead, get involved the way Christ would.

Page 2 of 3112345...102030...Last »