ABC: Eagerly Exclaim

By Chris Baxter

The ABC posts continue. To review: Ask and Accept, Believe and Be Bold, Call on Christ, Delightfully Do. Today, it’s Eagerly Exclaim!

Eagerly Exclaim? Synopsis of 1 Samuel 2:12-16, 27-35.

There once was a priest named Eli who served in the temple of the Lord. God had chosen him and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to carry out the duties of the sacrificial offerings of the Israelite people. This priestly role was a high honor and privilege; yet, Eli and his sons disrespected the ordained position. Instead of offering a burnt sacrifice of meat to the Lord for the people, Hophni and Phinehas would cook and eat the best part of the offering themselves. They were not eagerly exclaiming the name of the Lord to the people of Isreal. In fact, Eli was allowing his sons to do just the opposite; their actions were defaming Him. The Lord asked Eli, “Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?” Because of these misdeeds, unfortunate consequences played out with Eli and his household.

Eagerly Exclaim! Synopsis of 1 Samuel 3.

However, there once was a young boy named Samuel who grew up in the temple of the Lord in the midst of Hophni, Phinehas, and Eli. One night the Lord spoke to Samuel as he was lying down beside the ark of God which was in the temple. Samuel mistook God’s voice for Eli’s voice three different times in the night. When he finally realized it was the Lord, he said,“Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.” And from that point forward, Samuel became a spokesperson for the Lord and he eagerly exclaimed His name. Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. God blessed Samuel for his listening ears and obedient heart.

When comparing these two passages, here are a couple of questions:

Am I like Samuel, speaking words of truth and serving the people around me?

Or am I more like Eli’s sons, misusing the gifts God has generously placed before me, all for my own benefit?

What practical thing can I do today to be more like Samuel?

Sometimes I confuse the main point of life: God is at the center, not me. And God is a good, good God! He is for me! I am here for the purpose of eagerly exclaiming His good news, His love, His forgiveness, His compassion, His grace…all of which are found in Christ. When I do proclaim His name to others, in bold words or with loving actions, I am living for a purpose bigger than myself.

Eagerly exclaim His love and his truth towards a neighbor, family member, or even a stranger today. See how this act of obedience will not only bless the recipient’s heart, but experience how it will increase your faith-walk as well.

Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen. Psalm 72:18

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Daily Prayer

How should I shine?

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  Luke 8:16

Dear Lord,

You gave us your eternal light for a purpose. Help us to remove the covering of fear or doubt or passivity that hinders your truth from shining out of us. Instead fill us with strong courage and active faith. May your light within us shine out on whomever we encounter today.  Amen.