He knows your name! He knows your every thought! He sees each tear that falls! He hears you when you call! It may be hard! It may seem impossible! But nothing is impossible with God! So don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Give it up to God for He hears your prayers and He knows your heart!
What are you in need of? What is the desire of your heart? What is your priority?
Today’s readings takes a look at someone who was in need and gave that need up to God…
A Barren Woman’s Petition is Granted
1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim—his name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3Now this man used to go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to Adonai-Tzva’ot in Shiloh. (The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were kohanim of Adonai there.) 4Then on the designated day Elkanah would sacrifice and give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters, 5but to Hannah he would give only one portion—even though he loved Hannah—for Adonai had closed her womb. 6Her rival would taunt her bitterly to provoke her, because Adonai had closed her womb. 7So it was year after year, whenever she went up to the House of Adonai, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8Then her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why is your heart so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9After eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah got up. Now Eli the kohen was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the Temple of Adonai. 10While her soul was bitter, she prayed to Adonai and wept. 11So she made a vow and said, “Adonai-Tzva’ot, if You will indeed look upon the affliction of Your handmaid, remember me and not forget Your handmaid, but grant Your handmaid a son, then I will give him to Adonai all the days of his life and no razor will ever touch his head.” 12It came to pass, as she prayed long before Adonai, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13Now Hannah was praying in her heart—only her lips were moving, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Get rid of your wine!” 15But in response Hannah said, “No, my lord, I am a woman with an oppressed spirit! I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. Instead I’ve been pouring out my soul before Adonai. 16Don’t consider your handmaid a wicked woman. For out of my great anguish and grief I’ve been praying until now.” 17Then Eli responded, “Go in shalom, and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you asked of Him.” 18“May your maidservant find favor in your eyes,” she said. So the woman went her way; she ate, and her countenance was no longer dejected. 19They rose up early in the morning and worshipped before Adonai, then went back to their home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and Adonai remembered her. 20So it came to pass at the turn of the year that Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She called his name Samuel, “because I have asked Adonai for him.” 21When the man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer the annual sacrifice to Adonai and to fulfill his vow offering, 22Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, I will bring him, so he may appear before Adonai and stay there forever.” 23So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him—only may Adonai establish His word.” So the woman stayed home and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour and a jar of wine, and brought him to the House of Adonai in Shiloh, while the child was still young. 25After they slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26“It’s me, my lord!” she said. “As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to Adonai. 27For this boy I prayed, and Adonai has granted me my petition that I asked of Him. 28So I in turn dedicate him to Adonai—as long as he lives he is dedicated to Adonai.” Then he bowed in worship there before Adonai.
–from 1 Samuel 1
Live in joy! Live in peace! Live believing and trusting in God! Praise Him and worship Him for what He is doing, has done and is going to do in and through your life! Walk in His ways! Allow Him to guide your every step! All things are possible for those who believe! Put your trust in God! Do you hear that still quiet voice? Are you obedient to the Spirit’s call? You don’t want to hear the loud booming voice, so allow God to be with you and guide your every step, your every thought, your every word and your every action!
Hannah’s Prayer of Exultation
1Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in Adonai, my horn is lifted high in Adonai. I smile wide over my enemies, for I rejoice in Your salvation. 2There is none holy as Adonai, for there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. 3Boast no more so proudly— insolence comes out of your mouth. For Adonai is the all-knowing God, and by Him deeds are weighed. 4The bows of the mighty are broken, but the stumbling are girded with strength. 5Those full hire themselves for bread, but those starving hunger no more. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she with many sons languishes. 6Adonai causes death and makes alive, He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7Adonai makes poor and makes rich, He brings low and also lifts up. 8He raises the helpless from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill, to make them sit with nobles, granting them a seat of honor. For the earth’s pillars are Adonai’s, and He has set the world on them. 9He guards the steps of His godly ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness. For one does not prevail by might. 10Those who oppose Adonai will be shattered. He thunders against them in heaven. He judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to His king, exalting the horn of His anointed one.”
Eli’s Sons Sin Against Adonai
11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy served Adonai before Eli the kohen. 12Now Eli’s sons were worthless men; they did not acknowledge Adonai. 13Now this was the custom of the kohanim with the people: whenever any man offered a sacrifice, the kohen’s servant would come along, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the kohen would take for himself. This is how they dealt with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15Even before they burned the fat, the kohen’s servant would come and say to the one offering sacrifice, “Give the kohen meat for roasting, since he will not accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16If the man said to him, “Let them first burn the fat up as smoke, and then take as much as you desire,” he would reply, “No! But you must give it now—otherwise, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great before Adonai, for the men despised the offering of Adonai. 18But Samuel was ministering before Adonai, as a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May Adonai give you offspring from this woman instead of the one she requested from Adonai.” Then they would return to their place. 21So Adonai visited Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew before Adonai. 22Now Eli had grown very old. He heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how they slept with the women who served at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear evil reports from all these people concerning you. 24No, my sons! For this is not a good report that I hear Adonai’s people spreading around. 25If a man sins against another, God may pardon him; but if a man sins against Adonai, who will intercede for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because Adonai desired to put them to death. 26Meanwhile, the child Samuel kept growing and increasing in favor both with Adonai and also with men. 27Now there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says Adonai: Did I not reveal Myself clearly to the house of your father when they were in Egypt belonging to Pharaoh’s palace? 28Also did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My kohanim, to officiate at My altar, to burn incense and to wear an ephod before Me? Did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of Bnei-Yisrael? 29Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest of every offering of Israel My people? 30Therefore Adonai God of Israel declares, I indeed said that your house and your father’s house should walk before Me forever. But now declares Adonai, far be it from Me! For I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disdained. 31Behold, the days are coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your household will reach old age. 32Moreover, you will behold the distress of My dwelling, despite all that is good that has been done to Israel. So no one in your household will reach old age, forever. 33Any man of yours that I did not cut off from My altar would make your eyes weep and your soul grieve. So all the increase of your household will die as young men. 34Now this will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—on the same day both of them will die. 35“Yet I will raise up for Myself a faithful kohen who will do according to what is in My heart and My mind. Then I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one all the time. 36Anyone left in your household will come and bow low to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say: ‘Please, assign me to one of the priestly offices so that I may eat a morsel of bread.’”
–from 1 Samuel 2
So what will you do when you are called? How will you respond to the calling? God created you on purpose for a purpose! God has a plan for you and God’s plan is good! Have you experience God yet? Have you heard Him speak to you? Do you know what to do if you did? Don’t ignore Him! Don’t come up with excuses! Don’t delay till you hear the big booming voice! Go for it! Do not miss it!
Calling of Samuel
1Now the boy Samuel was in the service of Adonai under Eli. In those days the word of Adonai was rare—there were no visions breaking through. 2One day, Eli was lying down in his place—now his eyes had grown dim so that he could not see, 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Samuel was lying down in Adonai’s Temple, where the ark of God was. 4Then Adonai called, “Samuel!” So he answered, “Here I am.” 5Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he replied, “I didn’t call—go back to sleep.” So he went back and lay down. 6Then Adonai called Samuel yet again. So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he answered, “I didn’t call, my son—go back to sleep.” 7Now Samuel had not experienced Adonai yet, since the word of Adonai had not yet been revealed to him. 8Adonai called Samuel again for the third time. So he got up and went to Eli, and said “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that Adonai was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel, “Go back to sleep, and if He calls you, say: ‘Speak, Adonai, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back and lay down in his place. 10Then Adonai came and stood and called as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11Then Adonai said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone that hears it will tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity that he knew about, because his sons brought a curse on themselves yet he did not rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.” 15Then Samuel lay down until the morning, when he opened the doors of the House of Adonai. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” “Here I am,” he replied. 17“What is the word that He has spoken to you?” he said. “Please don’t hide it from me. May God do so to you and even more if you hide anything at all from me that He spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing. Then Eli said, “He is Adonai. May He do what is good in His eyes.” 19So Samuel grew up and Adonai was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20Then all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was entrusted as a prophet of Adonai. 21Adonai started to appear once more in Shiloh, for Adonai revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Adonai.
–from 1 Samuel 3
In the old days God’s Spirit would fall on specific people, at specific times, for specific purposes! In the new Testament times, the Spirit is available to be with us as our comforter and our guide! He is available to be with us, never leaving us and never abandoning us! Will you receive the Spirit in your life? Will you live a Spirit filled life? Will you walk in the calling of God and navigate by the Spirit of truth? We all have a choice! We all get to choose! God is always available and always there! Will we choose to walk with Him rather than walk away from Him? Will you do what He asks? Will you walk in His ways? Will you accomplish His call on your life? Will you stick to it and complete the work He has given you to do? Will you point people to Jesus? Will they see Jesus in and through your life? Will you be Jesus with skin on to those God brings into your life?Will you be available to do what God is asking and calling you to do? Will you demonstrate servanthood? Will you demonstrate obedience? Will you demonstrate faith? Will you demonstrate walking in the power of the Spirit? Will you be a living sacrifice that is pleasing to God?
John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders
1In those days, John the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” 3For he is the one Isaiah the prophet spoke about, saying, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’” 4Now John wore clothing from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River. 7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance; 9and do not think that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! For I tell you that from these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire! 11“As for me, I immerse you in water for repentance. But the One coming after me is mightier than I am; I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He shall clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He shall burn up with inextinguishable fire.”
The Heavens Open at Yeshua’s Mikveh
13Then Yeshua came from the Galilee to John, to be immersed by him in the Jordan. 14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be immersed by You, and You are coming to me?” 15But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him. 16After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”
–from Matthew 3