In case you missed it, you can still watch all 4 main sessions from our 2018 Men’s Retreat (the sessions are powerful for anyone, men or women) at this link: https://theranch.org/2018-mens-retreat/. Topics include “Facing Your Fears” by Eric Elder, “Out of the Vortex (Breaking Addictions)” by Jefferson Williams, “5 Lies I Believed About Depression” by Kent Sanders, and “Going After Your Dreams” and “Why Everyone Should Consider Writing A Book” by Eric Elder and Kent Sanders.
Also, you can watch a church service anytime this week at this link:
LISTENING FOR GOD
by Alan Tison
1 Samuel 3:1-10
How do we hear the voice of God, Samuel’s life emulates 4 traits we should have in order to listen to the call of God
The following are actual bloopers found in church bulletins.
· The scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items for recycling. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
· Next Sunday’s Message – WHAT IS HELL, come early and hear our choir
· Weight watchers meeting Tuesday; please use large double doors at the side entrance.
· Ushers will eat newcomers
· Remember to pray for the many people who are sick of our church and the community.
· Our minister is on vacation; massages can be given to the secretary.
· This being Easter Sunday, Mrs. Johnson will lay an egg on the piano.
· The flowers on the altar are provided by Jason Edwards, the sin of Pastor and Mrs. Edwards.
Miscommunication it is all around us, we speak of it as a get out of jail free card” in our society – If we have a mishap, we call it miscommunication.
· Failure to Listen
· Out of the Loop
· Dad I did not hear you
· Mom, you want to clean the WHOLE room.
Through out the Bible God communicated with his creation in a number of ways.
· A Burning Bush
· Miraculous signs
Through this God teaches us he is not limited to one way of communication.
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
When God communicates with his creation, he does it in such a way as that one is assured God is speaking.
In 1 Sam. 3, we discover a young man who hears God voice and yet does not recognize him to be God. Yet after some prompting he soon learns to be a great listener for God.
COULD WE BE LIKE SAMUEL?
· Would we fail to recognize God’s voice?
· Do we need someone prompting us so that we might be able to listen?
· A better question today, What qualities in Samuel’s life made him able to hear the voice of God?
IN 1 SAMUEL 3 WE DISCOVER 4 QUALITIES IN SAMUEL’S LIFE WORTH EMULATING TODAY.
- Samuel had a servant’s heart. His role, Ministering before the Lord
Jewish historian, Josephus states Samuel was 12 years old at the time of his calling.
His tasks were to light the candles, tend to the furnishings and general housekeeping in the Tabernacle.
These were not the “glory jobs” of the Tabernacle, but none the less they had to be done.
Compare this to Eli’s sons – They grew up in the Tabernacle, saw their father administer the worship – But in 1 Sam. 2:12 Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD.
WHAT A CONTRAST Growing up in the same house, watching the same man (Eli), observing the same sacred items – yet two different outcomes.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY CHILDREN GROWING UP IN THE CHURCH REJECT THE CHURCH LATER ON IN LIFE? After all we have a promise Prov 22:6, Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
– PARENTS ROLE, Hannah prayed for her son (2:20) Hannah monitored her Son’s grow (2:19) Hannah and her husband were faithful in worship (1:21)
– Eli, knew his son’s sin (2:22) He was willing to confront their sins (2:23-25)
– THE CHILD’S ROLE – The attitude of the sons – Eli’s, No regard, Samuel, Servant hood
- There comes a time when children must take responsibility for their actions, Now if we will keep this two step approach of a Parent’s active role and a child’s submissive attitude, we will be able to claim the promise of Prov. 22.
2. Samuel had a good reputation
1 Sam 2:26
And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.
These are the same words used to describe Jesus in Luke 2:52
Why is our reputation so important? Simply put how people see us is how they see God. – Our actions reflect our leader.
That is why Jesus had such trouble with the Pharisees, they were representatives of God and yet their reputation for ritual and rules had become a departure of God’s grace.
Reputations must be formed, a reputation is not formed in one day, but it can be destroyed in one minute. A reputation cannot be passed on from one generation to the next but it can be destroyed in a relatively short time. A reputation is formed by living a consistent life before God
Billy Graham was one of the most respected men in the world today, with the many scandals that have come about in the last 20 years; Graham remained untarnished – WHY? Graham’s 3 laws of integrity
– He never was the first person to enter a hotel room
– He never ate dinner with a woman other than his wife
- He never was in a car alone with a woman other than his wife.
Samuel is an example of how a good reputation makes one available to be used by.
3. Samuel was obedient to authority.
3 times he thought he heard what he thought was the voice of Eli, and 3 times he went to see what his mentor wanted.
Obedience is an unnatural response. Few of us enjoy being told what to do. Our natural response is to be in control. Yet where there is control there is an absence of humility.
THIS IS WHEN PRIDE TAKES OVER – Don Shula, Former head coach of the Miami Dolphins tells of a vacation he was taking in Maine during the off season. He wanted to go some place where he go and relax without people recognizing he and his wife. When they arrived at their resort, it was raining so they decided to go to a movie in town. When they arrived at the Theater the house lights were on and he was surprised how small the crowd was for the movie. Yet when he walked in he was surprised to receive a round of applause from the patrons. They took their seat and waited for the movie to start. Secretly surprised, Shula leaned over to his wife and whispered, I guess there is not a place I can go where I am not recognized. I guess not she replied with a bit of sarcasm. About that time a man came over and with a friendly smile shook hands with Shula and his wife. Shula said I am surprised you know us. Should I know you the man asked? We are just glad you came in the manager said he would start the film until 10 people came in.
Samuel was obedient because he was humble.
Signs of Obedience
– Understand God is good – he has our best interest in hand.
– Submit to his authority – God is in control, Good Friday to Easter
- Realize there are benefits to ObedienceObedience in the good times – OT Promise of faithfulness, Moses, Joshua, Josiah
Obedience in hardships – Wilderness Wanderings
Obedience is the key to our salvation – are we willing to do what Jesus asks?
Even though Samuel was not receiving answers from Eli, He continued to be obedient to his mentor. In like manner we must always find our obedience in the Lord – EVEN WHEN HE DOES NOT ANSWER!
Obedience must be lived out
Of the Fiery Furnace
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
When we are obedient we are able to hear his voice – even in silence.
4. Samuel was willing to listen.
Eli realizing Samuel was being called by God now gives him a series of instructions to prepare for God’s call.
NOTICE THE INSTRUCTIONS
- Go back to your room – waiting, Have you ever been in God’s waiting room? Waiting to be used, waiting for an answer to prayer? WAITING PREPARES US
- If he calls you again – Anticipation, carries with it the idea of expectation. A young minister was distraught by the lack of results in his new church after his first few months of service. He visited D.L. Moody for some advice. Moody asked, “Do you expect decisions ever Sunday, when you preach? The young man replied. There is your problem – You Should.
- I am amazed the number of people who do not expect God to do great things. We pray and prayers are answered and we say it is a coincidence. We put God first in our finances and then when our needs are met we seem shocked. 1 Cor 2:9 However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” Each week I hope you anticipate God working in your life.
- Answer His Call – Be available, this may seem so simple, but it can be difficult to answer God’s call. So many things call out for our attention.
- Samuel did answer the call notice his words – SPEAK FOR YOUR
- SERVANT IS LISTENING, I imagine those are some of the sweetest words the lord can hear from our mouth.
I don’t know what you want to do with me BUT SPEAK FOR YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING
I don’t know how I can help BUT SPEAK FOR YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING
I am concerned about the future BUT SPEAK FOR YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENING
When Samuel made himself available he was ready to receive God’s instructions
Listening for God requires…
1. a servant’s heart
2. a good reputation
3. an obedience to authority
4. And the ability to be ready to listen.
Jesus himself used an illustration of listen for the voice of God in
1 “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
Who are you listening for today, who is calling your name, and what is your reply?