Obedience better than sacrifice

Sermon on 1 Samuel 15:1-25 

I. God’s Command. 1-3“Then Samuel said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel; now therefore, listen to the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'”” 1 Samuel 15:1-3 NASB

  1. The Lord remembers wrong done to His people.
  2. The Lord will punish those who do wrong to His people.
  3. The Lord is exact in His execution of judgment. 

II. Saul’s Conquest. 4-9

“Then Saul summoned the people and numbered them in Telaim, 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. Saul came to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the valley. Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, so that I do not destroy you with them; for you showed kindness to all the sons of Israel when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites. So Saul defeated the Amalekites, from Havilah as you go to Shur, which is east of Egypt. He captured Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:4-9 NASB

  • Saul remembers those who showed kindness to God’s people.
  • Saul has a ‘better’ idea?
  • Sometimes we think we have a better idea.
  • Sometimes we forget what God told us?

III. Samuel’s Concern. 10-23

“Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, “I regret that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” And Samuel was distressed and cried out to the LORD all night. Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul; and it was told Samuel, saying, “Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a monument for himself, then turned and proceeded on down to Gilgal.” Samuel came to Saul, and Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of the LORD! I have carried out the command of the LORD.” But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.” Then Samuel said to Saul, “Wait, and let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.” And he said to him, “Speak!” Samuel said, “Is it not true, though you were little in your own eyes, you were made the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel, and the LORD sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go and utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are exterminated.’ Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD, but rushed upon the spoil and did what was evil in the sight of the LORD?” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the LORD, and went on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”” 1 Samuel 15:10-23 NASB

  • How can the Lord ‘regret’ making Saul a king over Israel? We know why!
  • Have you caused the Lord regret?
  • When’s the last time you had an all night crying spell over someone?
  • Saul was quite proud of himself. Let’s build a monument!
  • Saul, “I did…”
  • “The people …”
  • Saul, You Lose!

IV. Saul’s Confession. 21-25

“But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God at Gilgal.” Samuel said, “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.” Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; I have indeed transgressed the command of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and listened to their voice. Now therefore, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship the LORD.” But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” As Samuel turned to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you.” 1 Samuel 15:21-28 NASB 
Until next time,


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A Woman of Titus Two

My husband will not talk to me! I’ve got a 25lb. turkey to cook for our family reunion! 

The two year old is throwing a temper tantrum. 

Every body wants me to do for them but no one wants to do any thing for me! 

I need a listening ear. I need to make a call. 

Who am I going to call? I’m calling a W.O.T.T. = A Woman Of Titus Two 

A most honorable position in the early Church is the position given to older women. They are the natural advisers to the young of both sexes. 

3. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 

4. so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 

5. to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5 NASB 

 I. Characteristics of older women in Titus two. Verses 3

  1. Reverent Behavior Holy – close relationship with God, not promiscuous 
  2. Watches her tongue Does not spread tales, gossips. Malicious or otherwise. It is not an indication of a woman who possesses the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Resolve to say nothing at all about people if you cannot find anything good to say.

    Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? 

  3. Abstains from drinking She does not drink wine. A word of caution here It is not fair to females when people say that it is worse for a woman to drink, smoke, etc. then for a man! 
  4. Teaches what is good Because she wants to be an encourager. Because she wants to be an example to younger women. This is not a do as I say do but a do as I do proposition.  

II. Challenge given to younger women of Titus two. Verses 4b-5 

  1. Encouraged to love their husband. To be ‘in love with.’ It is more than physical love. 
  2. Encouraged to love their children. To be ‘in love with.’ It is more than a proud attraction.

    It is an awesome responsibility and commitment to raise a child not as your doll to handle as an object to do as you please and impose your will onto but as a creation of God where you have become a partner with Him to raise a living being to Honor Him in obedience to His will.

    To the unmarried = behave as someone who has been separated unto God. It will involve how you dress, how you act, and certainly to practice abstinence. 

  3.  Sensible. ‘Act like you got some sense.’
  4. Pure. Keep yourself completely for your own husband. This is not something you are doing for him as much as you are doing it for yourself and for your love for God. 
  5. Keepers of the home 

    There are many women who will find these remarks as offensive. It is not my intent to offend but to communicate a clear perspective God has on bringing a homemaker. There is no greater responsibility and privilege in this world than to make a home and especially to make it a Christian home.

  6. Kind 
  7. Submissive 
  • Being submissive to your own husband is a role relationship and not one which measures equality. God is no respecter of persons. Therefore all men and women, husbands and wives are equal in his eyes. 
  • Being subject to your own husband is an act of obedience to the command of God found in Ephesians 5:22, 24 

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5 KJV 
Until next time,


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Work of the Holy Spirit 

In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit had a ‘come and go’ ministry. At Pentecost He came to indwell believers and abide in the living Church of Jesus Christ. 

Old Testament ‘Come and Go’ 

“So the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; and he blew a trumpet, and the Abiezrites were called together to follow him.” Judges 6:34 NASB 

“Now the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD terrorized him.” 1 Samuel 16:14 NASB 

“Now the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, so that he passed through Gilead and Manasseh; then he passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he went on to the sons of Ammon.” Judges 11:29 NASB 

“Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalms 51:11 NASB 

New Testament ‘Here to stay’ 

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” John 14:16-17 NASB 

We are not reservoirs for the Holy Spirit but channels. 

Conversion first, then filling, and overflowing. 

  • Resisting has to do with the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Grieving has to do with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 
  • Quenching has to do with the endowment of the Holy Spirit for service. 

In practice many Christians have an unofficial theology which looks upon the Spirit as being of a lower essence than are the Father and the Son. 

In effect the Trinity is visualized as FATHER, SON and holy spirit. 

FATHER                       SON                   Holy Spirit 

“It is my conviction the ministry of the Holy Spirit is first and foremost that of service to God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son now sent through his born again children.” We need to live in constant communion with the Holy Spirit.

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God’s Prescription for Loneliness

4. “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the LORD, and exult before Him. 

5. A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. 

6. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.” Psalms 68:4-6 NASB 

A mother enters her home and finds her four children have been executed. Ages 16, 14, 13, and 10. Couple of days later the father is found floating in a reservoir. It was ruled a multiple murder/suicide. Why? The reasons could be many. Someone suggested it was loneliness. There is no excuse for such a horrific act as this. Loneliness doesn’t even seem to fit. Loneliness is listed as one of the ten saddest words in the English language.http://www.dictionary.com/slideshows/sad-words?param=flyout%23lonely (Click on link) 

Loneliness is evil. It is the poorest of companions.  

Biblically it was experienced by Moses [exile], Elijah [depression] and the greatest gravity of loneliness was experienced by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while dying on the cross for our sins, He was separated from God the Father!  

It is profitable for us to consider God’s Prescription for loneliness. 

I.  Know the Causes of Loneliness. 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to 
a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

a. It can be self-inflicted. [Talking to oneself is okay. Don’t answer] 

b. It can be caused by difficulty in communicating with others. 

c. Separation from God. “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”” Genesis 2:18 NASB 

d. Separation from family. 

II. Know the Results of Loneliness. 

a. Some people become violent, bitter and angry. 

b. Some people just become severely depressed. Withdrawn 

c. Some people develop low-self esteem 

Seventy two (72%) present of Americans experience loneliness each week! http://www.cbsnews.com/news/many-americans-are-lonely-survey-finds/  Those in the nursing home, those without good friends, those with no church family to associate with and those who during the holidays will experience the loneliness of separation from loved ones. 

III. Know the Treatment for Loneliness.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 

a. Reconciliation Our ministry is one of reconciliation:

1. To God. John 15:15

2. To family and individuals.

b. Develop a quiet time

c. Seek a meaningful place of service 

d. Focus on the needs of others 

e. Strengthen family bonds 

f. Maintain the proper perspective 

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:13, 20-21 NASB 

When we say we have a living hope we are indicating our confidence in the future, our consistent trust in Jesus, our patient endurance of life’ struggles on a daily basis. 

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A Man and His Cap – A Spiritual Lesson?

It’s been a good day with an early morning yard work project before a trip to town. A quick stop at Kenny’s Real Italian Water Ice for a flavorful cool drink, then some shopping before early dinner. 

The man decided to wear his slightly new but unused cap. Styling and profiling while out about town! Time for dinner before heading home. Pleasant conversation while enjoying each other’s company. The perfect gentleman naturally takes his hat off while out dining with his love, the flower of his heart. 

So you know what happened. Upon his arrival home, he realized he left his hat at the restaurant. He could have dismissed the whole matter but he didn’t. A quick call to the restaurant but no sign of the hat from the staff. A few hours later a second call was made just in case. Still the staff said no sight of the cap. 

The wife used to work as a waitress and knew cleaning under the booths and table are done at closing so she decided a call the next day might be in order. Just after the noon hour a third call was placed. No sighting this time except for someone saying they thought the manager found a cap and placed it in his office but no one knew where in the office he put it. Call back after four when the manager would be there. 

Shortly after five a fourth call was made. In short, they had the cap. The man went by there and re-claimed his cap. All was well. 

Now why share such an experience? The man and his cap taught me a spiritual lesson. It seems God reminded the man how he should be as tenacious and persistent in re-claiming souls back to God. How active are we about getting that lost soul to come back to Jesus? Certainly that lost soul is more important than a hat!

Until Next Time,


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Unquestionable Discovery: An Easter Message

John 20:1-10

John was writing an historical account. John was not interested in giving insurmountable evidence for the resurrection. 

  1. John was interested in giving the evidence that immediately lead him to understand and believe. 
  2. John was interested in giving enough evidence to lead anyone to immediate belief — if a person is willing to believe. 

John’s record of Jesus’ resurrection is a strong historical account of the event. To an honest, objective, and good heart, the evidence is convincing. 

We must remember that God through inspiration has not formulated the Scriptures to prove anything. God proclaims in Scripture the He is (exists), that He is love, and that He has shown love supremely by sending His own Son to save a lost and dying world. 

What God wants from us is love and belief, love for the Lord Jesus Christ and belief in the supreme power of of loving God. This is just the point of the resurrection account. We are to believe because we love even as Mary and John loved. 

I. The unsealed tomb. 20:1-2 

  1. Mary visited the tomb early, when it was still dark. Matthew actually says it was ‘the end of the Sabbath,’ meaning between 3-6 am. Jesus rose before dawn, before the sun arose on Sunday morning. Significant to the early Christian believers, so significant that they broke away from the common division of the week which began with the Sabbath or Saturday. They began to count their days beginning with Sunday, the day of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2) Jesus’ resurrection on Sunday means that He had been in the grave for three days just as He said. His resurrection from the dead was a triumph, a conquest over death. Death reigns no more. Jesus’ resurrection on the first day of the week , Sunday morning. In the grave on the Sabbath, unable to observe the laws governing the great season of the Passover and the Sabbath. He was dead to the law and its observances. In Christ’s death believers become dead to the law. 
  2. Mary saw the stone rolled away. Strong evidence for the resurrection. 
  3. Mary ran to Peter. Shows Peter was still the accepted leader. In spite of the likely rumored account of his cowardice denial of Jesus. Peter had repented and set himself to resume his task. Mary revealed an unquestioning love. They have taken the Lord. 
  4. Mary is a supreme example of someone who loves and believes. She was one of the last to leave Jesus at the cross, one of the first to attend the tomb, and one who still called Him Lord. 

II. The unoccupied tomb. 20:3-6 

They discovered the empty tomb and the linen clothes. They “went forth” to the tomb. John outran Peter. 

John stopped at the tombs entrance and glanced in. He noticed the linen. Peter actually entered the tomb. He too, noticed the linen clothes. 

If the body had been removed by the authorities or stolen by someone, the linen would have been taken with the body or left in a disheveled mess, thrown someplace on the floor. 

If a man wishes to discover the empty tomb, he must get up and ‘go forth‘ to look at it. He must investigate, then he will see. Getting up and going forth is the only way a man can ever discover the Risen Lord. 

III. The undisturbed linen. 20:7-10 

Two significant points. 

1. Note the linen clothes. Suddenly it dawned on John and Peter that the linen clothes were undisturbed. The Greek word ‘wrapped together’ (entetuligmenon) is the verb which is used for actually winding the linens around a body for burial. The Greek word is saying is the linens were ‘still in their fold’, wrapped just like they would be wrapped around a body–as if the body had just evaporated. They were not disheveled or disarranged. Four things: 

  • It would be impossible to extract a body from its wrapping and leave them in good order. 
  • The wrappings would have been taken with the body if the body had been moved. 
  • The wrappings would have been disheveled and disarranged and scattered if thieves had ransacked the tomb. 
  • The wrappings could never be placed in the exact spot on the rock slab where the body lay. Yet this is how they were lying according to the Greek text. It was this that led John to immediate belief. 

2. Note John’s immediate belief. 

  • John did not believe because of the insurmountable evidence, but because he loved Jesus. 
  • Seeing the linen clothes penetrated John’s mind and he remembers Jesus’ prophecy that He would rise again. John realized wHt had happened and believed. 
  • This is the point of his account of the linen clothes and of the way the account is presented. This is also the point of the resurrection account. 

A loving God wants love–a heart full of love. He wants a person to simply believe. He wants a person to simply believe that God is (exists) and that God is a rewarder of them that love Him.  

Believe in the resurrection not because of evidence but because of your love for God.

Until Next Time,


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Interruptions: sub-title She Touched Me!

My brother broke my leg. Well, he aided and abetted in the incident. It happened in this fashion. We were staying at my sister’s house. There was a circle driveway in front of her home. My brother and I decided it would be fun to race each other on our ‘chopper’ bicycles. 

My brother had taken the front forks off old bikes and added a pair to his and to my bike. We looked like we were racing Harley Davidson choppers! 

We made our laps around the circle driveway in front of several homes. I was on his tracks with my front tire kissing his rear tire. We went to round a sharp turn when I made my move. I ducked to the inside bringing my front tire along his back tire. I was taking the lead on the most important lap, the last lap! 

That’s when it happened. The front forks, which my brother had installed on his bike broke loose sending his wheel off in one direction and me plowing into the ground. I hit my brakes so as not to run over my brother and hurt him. I crashed hard. My leg under the bike. 

Just at that moment visitors coming out of the house hollered asking, ‘you all right?’ Before I could answer my dad said sure they are! That was about three thirty in the afternoon. I got to the house where I was able to elevate my leg. 

The pain did not let up. About eleven thirty that night I went to the emergency room for them to look at my leg. I was hurting. I sat there in a wheel chair waiting my turn. The nurse was coming to get me to take me back for diagnosis and treatment when she stopped in her tracks. She turned and walked away. 

I was mystified. What’s the deal? Turns out my injury was interrupted and the pain prolonged because a police officer feel down and scraped his knee. Really? A scraped knee interrupts a leg broken in three places? Apparently so. 

Interruptions. We all deal with them from time to time. They come in various forms. Jesus dealt with one which is recorded in Mark’s gospel chapter five. You and I can learn from His interruption. 

The woman who touched God. 

Mark 5:21-34

21) “When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. 

22) One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet 

23) and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” 

24) And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him. 

25) A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 

26) and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse- 

27) after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 

28) For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 

29) Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 

30) Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 

31) And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” 

32) And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 

33) But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 

34) And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”” Mark 5:21-34 NASB 

Do intrusions bother you? Jesus was dealing with Jarius when the woman with the issue of blood interrupted the occasion. 

I. The Intrusion of a certain woman. 25-26

Issue of blood. 12 years. 

An ongoing hemorrhage. 

Suffered many things from many doctors.

Jesus, her last resort.

Why wait? Maybe didn’t know about Jesus? Maybe He became convenient? Maybe someone told her what Jesus did for them?

Perhaps penniless. 

Her cost? A display of faith. Stepping out in front of the religious leaders, the doctors, and the naysayers!

II. The Implication of Believing faith. 27-29

Recognizes the Source of healing. 28

Stimulation to action. 

No action-no faith.

III. The Interest of Jesus. 30-34

Touch of faith

Disciples growing in their understanding of Jesus

Woman fell at Jesus’ feet

Jesus calls her daughter

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