Your Servant is Listening

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

In the book of 1 Samuel in the Old Testament we read the story of a woman who desperately cried out to God for a son. Samuel was the answer to Hannah’s pray. After he was weaned, she took him to the temple of the Lord, and left him in the care of Eli, the priest.

One night when Samuel was a young boy, he woke from his sleep to a voice calling his name. Thinking it was Eli, he went to him and asked what the priest needed, but Eli hadn’t called the boy. This happened three more times before Eli realized God was the one calling Samuel. He told Samuel to lie back down, and if he heard the voice again, to say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.”

In my February 25, 2018 Sunday Scriptures post I referenced Priscilla Shirer’s book, Awaken. 

Today, I’m going back to her book. This time to talk about listening to God’s voice when he speaks to us.

Priscilla told of being on a volleyball team where team members would shout, “I’ve got it!”, then both players stepped aside believing the other player had the play.

When neither stepped up to hit the ball, it dropped and the point was lost.

I’ve seen that happen in sports. Perhaps you have as well.

The point of Priscilla’s devotion, and mine, is to question whether we yell, “I’ve got it!” when presented with a ministry opportunity, only to step back and let the opportunity fall to the ground?

Though a boy, Samuel stepped up and answered God’s call. He was listening.

Priscilla’s final thoughts were these:

If the Father allows you to see a need, and He softens your heart to be tender toward it, this is your opportunity to engage. It’s your invitation to respond and join in His work.

Just as Samuel was willing to be a part of the plan God had for his life, and join in God’s work which included anointing David as king, don’t you think we should respond as Samuel did?

Speak, LORD for your servant is listening.

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Later, the Lord came and stood there, calling out, “Samuel! Samuel!” as he had before.

Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (ISV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Step Aside

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Watching the Winter Olympic Games got me thinking about how the Olympic Torch is handed off. After each person does their job, they step aside, much like runners in a relay race.

That thought took me to look at Moses and David. Near the end of both their lives, one thing they pursued was not theirs to complete. God chose another to fulfill what these two dreamed would be there’s.

For forty years Moses led the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land of Canaan, which the Lord promised his people. But as Moses stood at the entrance to the land, God told Moses he would not lead the people in. Joshua would.

From the time David was king, maybe even before, he dreamed of building a temple for the Lord his God. He had magnificent plans for a building that would surpass all others. One fit for the presence of Jehovah God.

But God had other plans.

God did not let David build the temple. Instead, God chose David’s son, Solomon, to build it.

I imagine both of these men were crushed at the outcome of their service and work for God. We see no grumbling or complaining to the fact, however. What we do see is these two men of God accepted his decision, and stepped aside for the one who came after them.

They didn’t selfishly insist on fulfilling the own ambitions. They didn’t get in the way of the one God chose to complete the task. They simple handed off the baton, and stepped aside so someone else, a person of God’s choosing, would complete the race they began.

Maybe we’ve come right to the gate of our long-held dreams, only to have God hand the baton to someone else to complete the race.

How do we respond when that happens? Do we, like Moses and David, step aside, or do we cling to what we believe is our right and refuse to yield the project to someone else when it’s their turn?

Finishing well does not always mean seeing a project through to completion. Sometimes it means we step aside so others can share in the glory of the task God called us to begin.

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I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plant, but it was God who made the plant grow. The one who plants and the one who waters really do not matter. It is God who matters, because he makes the plant grow. There is no difference between the one who plants and the one who waters; God will reward each one according to the work each has done. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Sunday Scriptures — Remembering the Victims

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Remembering the victims of the Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Serenity Prayer

God, give me grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen

          Reinhold Neibuhr

Please join me in praying for the families, friends, and classmates of:

Alyssa Alhadeff

Scott Beigel

Martin Duque Anguiano

Nicolas Dworet

Luke Hoyer

Aaron Feis

Jaime Guttenberg

Christopher Hixon

Cara Loughran

Gina Montalto

Joaquin Oliver

Alaina Petty

Meadow Pollack

Helena Ramsay

Alexander Schachter

Carmen Schentrup

Peter Wang

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They act as if my people’s wounds were only scratches. ‘All is well,’ they say, when all is not well. Jeremiah 8:11 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry — A Gentle Reminder

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

A Gentle Reminder

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Too often, Lord,

instead of letting You navigate,

I rush around

trying to orchestrate everything myself.

How blessed I am

that you care enough

to point out my mistakes,

to discipline me, and

to direct my paths.

You gently remind me

that Your yoke is easy

and Your burden is light…

that I don’t have to prove myself,

nor compare myself

to others.

I only need

to please You.

©Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Her book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry is available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at www.francesgregorypasch.com.

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I wish you well.

Sandy

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Fear Not For God is With Us

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

I’ve never been a fan of scary movies or Stephen King novels. Nope. There is enough to worry, fear, and fret over without deliberately adding something else. And what I have found to be true is whatever our troubles, we need fear not for God is with us.

During a recent conversation with a friend the topic of being fearful came up. Whether others consider our fears rational or real doesn’t matter. What matters is the things that make us fearful are real to us.

All throughout the Bible God and Jesus tell those who are listening to fear not.

Joshua was told to be bold and courageous multiple times. He was told to fear not for God was with him.

The Babylonian captives were told to fear not for God was with them.

Esther was told not to fear. Ruth was told not to fear. Christ’s disciples were told not to fear.

Don’t you think if the Bible says fear not so many times, then we humans are a people with things in our lives which cause us to fear? Don’t you also think if the Bible tells us to fear not for God is with us; to cast all our cares – fears – on God because he cares for us; to not let our hearts be troubled; and be anxious for nothing, then we need to turn our fears over to God right away, and rest in his love and care?

Easy to say. Difficult to do.

Just as I choose not to watch slasher films or read King’s books, I must also choose to run to Jesus at the first moment fear begins to grab hold of my heart, and not wait until I am totally paralyzed by it before I seek his help.

Fear is a liar. God is not.

We have the freedom to choose who and what we will believe.

How about you?

Do you thrive on the adrenaline rush and enjoy being scared out of your wits by fear? Whether you do or not, one thing is certain, we need not be afraid of what happens in our world, because we know God will never leave or forsake us in the midst of all the scary stuff that surrounds us.

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Do not be afraid—I am with you! I am your God—let nothing terrify you! I will make you strong and help you; I will protect you and save you. Isaiah 41:10 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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For His Own Sake

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Recently I read a verse in Isaiah which says God forgave us for his own sake, not ours.

That caught me off guard. Does it catch you off guard as well?

When I consider how my salvation was purchased at the cost of God’s son Jesus’ life to declare me forgiven, I don’t think of it being for God’s own sake, but for mine. I’m the one forgiven, after all.

But when I look closer at forgiveness, and the benefits we receive when we forgive, I see how forgiving others is for my sake, not theirs.

When we refuse to forgive the wrongs others do against us, we’re the ones who suffer. Not them.

They aren’t sitting around wringing their hands over what they’ve done to us. They’ve moved on.

When we forgive, we forgive for our own sake. It releases us from falling into Satan’s trap of bitterness. It keeps our hearts from becoming hardened. It allows us to love and trust again.

If we allow unforgiveness to define us, to become our mode of operandi, we’ll be miserable, don’t you think?

Unforgiveness can cut us off from opportunities for joy because we’ve closed ourselves off from potential hurt … and potential love.

Forgiveness is not easy. I know. That’s where God’s Holy Spirit comes in. He is the one who gives us the ability to say, “I forgive for my own sake.”

That is not saying the wrong done to us was right. It says we leave it in God’s hands.

God is the only one who can take away our sins. He is the only one who blots them out through the power of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Cavalry. God is the one who tells us we are forgiven, and remembers our sins no more.

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I, yes, I alone am he who blots away your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Isaiah 43:25 (TLB)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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