May 9

1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV) 10The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."

Little Samuel was raised under Eli in the Tabernacle. His older brothers (Eli's real sons) were very wicked. The word of the LORD was rare, and there were few visions. One night Samuel heard the Lord call his name but thought it was Eli. This was the first time he had a personal encounter with God. After asking Eli if he called a second and third time, Eli finally realized God was calling Samuel. He told Samuel to ask the LORD to speak and tell Him he was listening.

Do you know that the LORD knows your name? When He calls your name there is a sense of His personal relationship with you. You are not just one of the many but personally known by God. He wants to commune with your personally.

Eli told Samuel the perfect response. When God calls our name, we need to invite Him to speak to our hearts. We need to present listening ears out of respect and reverence. I believe the LORD wants to speak to us more than we are willing to listen. The LORD is seeking out those who will listen.

What He has to say to us is often something we would prefer not to hear. It often shakes our comfort zone as it did with young Samuel. The LORD was telling Samuel of the impending judgment about to fall on Eli for not restraining his sons from their wickedness. It would be a guiding principle in Samuel's life. He knew he had a responsibility to act in the restraint of evil.

Consider: When God calls your name, are you willing to listen?

May 9

Luke 11:8,13 (NIV) 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs

13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Jesus told a parable about a man who had a guest arrive late in the evening. In the oriental tradition, the community is to see that its guest is well received. The reputation of the community is at stake. Is the community hospitable or hostile? The man went to a neighbor who was sleeping. He asked for bread to set before the guest. We may have a problem with translation at this point. The word translated 'boldness' is, in the original, the opposite of shame. The oriental would lose face if he did not get up and provide the bread. He would have been letting down the entire community.

When we look at the passage in this light, it may be teaching us something other than persistent knocking on God's door. The man who is without shame may be the one who was in bed. It may be telling us that God has a reputation. He has His name to defend. If an evil man will get up for the reputation of the community, how much more will God respond to your prayers for His great name's sake. If you, a sinful person give good things to your children because it is expected of fathers and mothers, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

Do you want to walk with God? Do you desire to live a life pleasing to Him? You just need to ask your gracious, loving Father, and He will surely give you the Holy Spirit. It is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives that empowers us to be more like our Father in our words and actions. Have you stumbled in an area? Ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit to help you crucify the flesh and walk in holiness. He will give you of Himself, not because you are bothering Him, but it is His very nature to do so. It is His character to give good things to those who ask. Expect the answer to come in an even greater measure than your original request. Why? Because God is the giver of all good things. His name is on the line. He is always true to His nature.

Remember: If you ask for good things, you can expect God to answer. Take a moment to ask for good things.