God’s Blessings Flow through Open Hands

Daily Readings

Psalm 99

1 Samuel 2:18-21

Acts 15:1-5, 22-35

Daily Reflection 

Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: “May the LORD give you children by this woman in place of the one she has given to the LORD.” Then they would go home. The LORD paid attention to Hannah’s need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. 1 Samuel 2:20-21 (CSB)  

 

God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. 

  After receiving her heart’s desire, Hannah dedicated Samuel to be raised in the service of Yahweh under Eli. She could have renigged on her vow to God, but she didn’t. She could’ve clenched her fist on God’s blessing, but that would have stopped the flow of favor on her life. 

She followed through with great faithfulness to her commitment. Of course, her heart ached, as any mother’ heart would, for most of the year when she was away from her little “Sammy.” Year after year she watched him grow up from a distance. However, God soothed her heart by blessing her with more children. 

God’s says, “Give, and it shall be given to you…” (Luke 6:38). God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. For example, the same waters that collect in the Dead Sea once flowed through the Sea of Galilee. The ecosystems of the two bodies of water are vastly different. One is teeming with life, the other cannot support life. The difference is that the Sea of Galilee has an inlet and an outlet, but the Dead Sea only holds water. As the Dea Sea attempts to hoard all the waters received, evaporation steals her liquid leaving just the salt behind. The salinity increases stifling the opportunity for life.  And so it is with those that tightly grip things and refuse to return it to God’s service. 

What are you holding on to that God has called for? Of course, many immediately think of finances, but that is not the only area God desires to bless you. We can hold on to relationships, aspirations, or some other thing. Again, God’s blessings flow through open hands not clenched fists. Give it to God and watch his favor flow over your life.

 Suggestion for Prayer

Thank for His blessing in your life and ask how you can use them to serve Him. 

Reflection on Previous Sunday’s Reading

1 Samuel 3:1-10[11-10]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God’s Holiness Demands our Reverence

Daily Readings

 

Psalm 99

1 Samuel 2:11-17

Romans 9:19-29

Daily Reflection 

LORD our God, you answered them. You were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their sinful actions. Exalt the LORD our God; bow in worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. Psalm 99:8-9 (CSB)

 

God’s holiness demands our reverence. 

Our society has lost the proper sense of reverence.  Although the term is still in our colloquial language, it is often misdirected. We glamorize that which is wicked and shun what is right. God alone is to be revered. His holiness demands it. The reason is that God is good.

It has been said, that the goodness of God is the most terrifying concept in the Bible. Why? Because we are not good.  In other words, if God is good and we are not then this means we are at odds with the all-powerful, holy Creator.

In 1 Samuel 2:11-17, Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, did not respect God’s holiness and perverted the worship of Israel. Later, judgment fell on Eli’s family because he took no action to prevent their irreverence. God’s holiness demands our reverence. Yes, God is a God of love, but He is a holy God. Therefore, he should not be toyed with!

Many will cling to God’s goodness without realizing His goodness condemns their wickedness. For comparison, God’s is like the sun and His holiness like the sun’s rays. Without the sun, there would be no life. If you approached the sun, its life-giving rays would prove fatal. However, God has provided a way into His holy presence through Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 CSB).

 

In the age of grace, reverence for God’s holiness is not negated. Like the sons of Eli, we are commanded to approach God through properly offered sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb of God offered once and for all. By faith in his name, is the only means by which we can approach the radiance of the Father’s glory.  Hophni and Phinehas chose to abuse God’s grace in sacrilegious worship.  What will you do? Reverence the Jesus Christ with a life of submitted to his grace or live in rebellion to God? God’s holiness demands our reverence.

 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for the access given to His presence through Jesus’s sacrifice. Ask God to help you live a God-honoring life for His glory. 

Reflection on Previous Sunday’s Reading

1 Samuel 3:1-10[11-10]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God is Speaking – Will you Listen?

Sunday Readings

1 Samuel 3:1-10 [11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6

Daily Reflection 

 The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!?” Samuel responded, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (CSB)

 

God is speaking – will you listen?  

What would you do if you heard God speak? Would you listen? In the days of Eli, the Bible says the “word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread” (1 Samuel 3:1 CSB). It was in this spiritual dearth that God called Samuel. Samuel mistook God’s voice for that of Eli, but after several visits, Eli understood it was the Lord calling Samuel. After Eli’s instruction, Samuel received a word from God by listening. 

Will you listen? God is speaking now. Although God speaks in many ways, He communicates primarily through His written revelation – the Bible. Many desire a supernatural encounter like Samuel’s but neglect reading what God has spoken. The Bible is God’s word to you. Will you listen?  

 

Suggestion for Prayer

 Thank God for His infallible and inerrant written revelation. Ask Him to speak to you as you read its pages. 

 


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God has the Final Word!

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 2:1-10

John 7:9-24

Daily Reflection 

Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him. The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength. Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more.The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.1 Samuel 2:3-5 (CSB)

God has the final word. 

Hannah carried the shame of barrenness for years. She endured the whisperings of those around her. She persevered through the proud boastings of her rival, Penninah. It has been said that sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me. How untrue is this statement! Words hurt. 

Every time Penninah hurled an insult at Hannah it cut. However, Hannah’s prayer reveals to us that God has the final word. Some may think you’re a hopeless cause, but God sees you for who you are – His child.  A child made in His image that is full of potential. 

In life, people will slander you, saying all kinds of hurtful things. However, you mustn’t dwell on their words, because they are fleeting. God’s word is established in eternity. God has the final say. Remember some arrogant men, blinded by their own self-righteousness, viewed Jesus as a demoniac. But now Jesus has a name of above all names! 

 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for having the final word in your circumstance. Pray for those that hurl hurtful words to see their error before God humbles them. Also, pray for your own words to be seasoned with grace. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

 

 

God Hears Your Cry

Daily Readings

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18

1 Samuel 1:19-27

Romans 8:31-39

Daily Reflection 

After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (CSB)

God Hears Your Cry. 

We live in an age of the instant. We are annoyed by the buffering of a Youtube video, long lines at the grocery store, and drive-thrus that take more time than expected. If not careful, this instant-grits-mentality bleeds over into our spiritual walks. We wonder, “How many times have I prayed about this situation? Shouldn’t God have answered by now?” Rest assured, God hears your cry. 

Hannah prayed for Samuel, and it was “after some time” before she received an answer.  Before this answered prayer, Hannah was in agony over being barren. A “double portion” from Elkanah would not suffice. This gesture of kindness from her husband wouldn’t soothe the ache of Hannah’s heart. She desired a child – a son. 
 
Why did God take so long to answer? Could it be that God used this time to prepare Hannah’s heart? Did Hannah desire a child to prove she was as “good” a Peninnah? It’s possible. Regardless, the hot tears of Hannah’s brokeness washed away any prideful ambition. This delay prepared a young mother’s heart to be willing to say, “I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD gave me what I asked him for,  I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD” (27-28a). 

 

In seasons of silence, we question if God hears our prayers. He does. He is working on your behalf. However, patience is a virtue forged in the flame of heartache and tribulation. But God is working during the pain.  He may be shaping your motivations to align with His purposes. The Apostle Paul encourages us by saying, “He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything?” Romans 8:32 (CSB) Take heart. God knows your situation, and He hears your prayer. 

Suggestion for Prayer

Thank God for hearing your prayer. Ask for the grace to patiently wait for His answer. 

Preparing for Sunday’s Reading

1 Samual 3:1-10[11-20]

Psalm 139:1-6,13-18

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23-3:6


The “In the Word Together” (ITWT) blog series on www.kevinwbounds.com is a systematic approach to reading and reflecting on the Holy Scriptures in a community. To learn more about its origins click here.  ITWT utilizes the structure provided by the Revised Common Lectionary.

Revised Common Lectionary, Copyright © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts, admin Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

If you have found this post to be encouraging, please like, comment, and share it. Also, consider subscribing to the blog to have exciting content delivered to your inbox. If nothing else, take few seconds to say, Hello! I like it when people say, Hello.

Image Attribution**

Victors, Jan, 1619-1676. Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55181 [retrieved May 31, 2018]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hannah_VICTORS,_Jan.jpg.