May 11

1 Samuel 8:6-7 (NIV) 6But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. 7And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.

Samuel didn't have a good role model in Eli. As far as raising children was concerned, Samuel's own sons were like Eli's. The people asked for a king so they wouldn't be stuck with the evil sons of Samuel leading them. It is the nature of men to want a human leader they can see. We always look for our superman. We want someone visible to follow. But when man has that much power and influence, he almost always becomes corrupt. The temptation to take advantage of the situation for personal pleasure is too great. Then you have the great disappointment of all who have elevated him and proclaimed his worth.

The grace of God allows leaders who are worshipped to fall. That failure turns our eyes back to God. Samuel warned them that this would happen. Still, they insisted on having a king. Samuel was displeased. He knew something in his spirit was saying that this was terribly wrong. God helped him understand by explaining, "It is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king."

Churches and ministries, heed the heart of God. One elevated man with final say and authority is the way of man. It is a rejection of God. God has always worked through men whose hearts are seeking Him, not the man with the best capabilities of being a CEO. Look at the disciples Jesus chose. They were a group of equals, with the real Leader, Jesus. The church should be the same today. The most capable of being a CEO among them was Judas.

Consider: Exalting man leads to disappointment. Exalting Christ keeps us on track.

May 11

Luke 12:15,20-21 (NIV) 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

Greed comes in many forms. It is one of the most destructive driving forces of this world. Since Jesus has called us out of the world, greed should not affect our decisions. As we are not yet made perfect, there is the temptation to allow greed back into our hearts. The whole advertising industry is geared toward provoking all kinds of greed. Their goal is to get you to believe that life does consist of what you possess. They tout happiness as possession of their product.

Jesus illustrated His point with a parable. A rich man had a great harvest. He did not have enough room to store it, so he decided to build bigger barns. He thought that for years he could live in luxury and enjoy life, but God knew he was about to die. What happens to all that wealth then? There is an end for every man and woman. You have never seen a moving van behind a hearse. What you take with you is your character and your relationship with God. To live for the temporal things of this life is to be a fool.

Are you rich in God? If your focus is eternity, greed will not be able to work its way back into your heart. Is there something you think you must possess? Ask yourself if it will help you be rich in God or if it is greed in disguise. Set your heart on things above and not on things of the earth.

Consider: How can I become increasingly rich toward God.