May 13

1 Samuel 12:23-25 (NIV) 23As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away."

Samuel had anointed Saul as king. Shortly after, Saul led them in a great victory. Samuel gave them a sign to help them discern what an evil decision they had made in asking for a king. Then he encouraged them to make the best of their wrong choice by seeing that they and their king serve God.

In today's passage, Samuel comforts them with the fact that he will pray for them. He says it would be sin for him not to. We often think of sin as an evil action we commit, but it also the good that we should do but don't.

He also promised to continue to teach them the good and right way. As Christians, we have an obligation to those under our influence, to teach them the good and right way the LORD has taught us. Israel had seen the hand of the LORD in power. Their attitude of fear, in regard to their relationship with God, was a good thing. They realized His might and holiness and their need for instruction.

Be sure to fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. We need that reminder. So many distractions would pull us away from that good frame of heart and mind. Consider the great things He has done for you. That will help you keep a heart of gratitude and put distraction in perspective. Yet if you persist in doing evil, it doesn't matter how great a king you have, God will sweep you and your hero away.

Consider Calvary, Easter, Pentecost, and your salvation. The LORD has done great things for you!

May 13

Luke 15:8-10 (NIV) 8"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

The religious leaders noticed that Jesus was always with "sinners". They suggested he should find better company. Jesus answered them with several parables. The first was of a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. If one was lost, the shepherd would leave the 99 and search for it. When it was found, he was full of joy.

Then he told them about the woman in our passage today. The homes in Palestine were dimly lit by small windows. A coin could easily be lost in the cracks of the floor covered in dust. Why was this such a thing of importance to her? It may have been a part of a ten coin wedding headdress. The women of that day would scrimp and save to gather enough coins to chain together ten coins that showed they were married. The coin was the equivalent of a day's wages. If the family fell on hard times, she had this reserve to rescue them with. It would be similar to a woman losing her wedding ring today. No wonder she would search desperately till she found it.

The point of Jesus' parable is that God is searching for the lost. He does not wait until we clean up our act and come groveling on our knees to Him. He goes out and searches with desperate love for us. He is thrilled when He finds us. All heaven has a party when one person is found. Jesus taught us how much the Father desires us to be right with Him. It is not the demanding insistence of a dictator, but the tender love of a Father that longs for your fellowship and inclusion into His family. In answer to the leaders' question, Jesus was saying that He was right where His Father's heart was. I wonder which mindset we have today, that of Jesus or that of the religious leaders?

Prayer: God, please give me a great desire to see the lost found.