Days
Luke 12:00-6:00pm

The Word For Today

The differences between Samson and Samuel 1



'Time would fail me to tell of...Samson...and Samuel.' Hebrews 11:32 NKJV

Samson and Samuel are mentioned in the same Scripture, but there are big differences between them. You ask, 'Why should I be interested?' Because as a Christian, you are like them. Each had a miraculous birth, so they're a picture of those who've been born again and called to serve God. Paul writes, 'These things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition... Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall' (1 Corinthians 10:11-12 NKJV).

Difference one: finances. Samson was greedy and manipulating, whereas Samuel practised integrity. One day Samson bet thirty Philistine princes that they couldn't solve his riddle, saying, 'If you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty changes of clothing' (Judges 14:13 NKJV). Quite a wardrobe! Samson's emphasis was 'you shall give me.' He's an example of Christians in business who discredit the cause of Christ by unethical practices, and those in ministry who twist the Scriptures and resort to emotional manipulation to raise money. The world is watching, so let's heed the Scripture: '...do what is honourable in the sight of all' (Romans 12:17 ESV). Samuel was totally different. After forty years of his exemplary leadership, the people paid this tribute to him: 'You have not cheated or oppressed us' (1 Samuel 12:4 NIV). When others can say that about you, you did it right! Jesus said, 'Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' (Matthew 6:21 NIV).

The condition of your heart is revealed in how you handle finances.

Soulfood: Phil 1-4 Mt 8:1-9 Ps 79 Pro 2:9-10,

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Start a journal of your spiritual journey



'Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar.' Exodus 24:4 NKJV

One of the secrets of Moses' great success in life was this: he spent time each day with God, and he wrote down what God told him. And you should do that too. Here's why. Writing: (a) clarifies your thoughts; (b) gives you a permanent record you can refer back to; (c) allows you to measure your progress. We only remember what we take time to record.

One of the best-known American missionaries was Jim Elliot, who became a martyr for Christ in 1956 in Ecuador. He kept a spiritual journal, and it makes interesting reading: 'My devotional reading pattern was broken. I have never restored it... prayer as a single man was difficult... now it's too hard to get out of bed in the morning... I've made resolutions on this score before now, but not followed them up.' Such writings become a mirror that reflects your true spiritual condition - a condition it's easy to forget unless it's staring you in the face each day. Elliot, like all of us, struggled with the spiritual disciplines. But unlike most of us, he kept a written record of his spiritual defeats as well as his spiritual victories.

Keeping such a journal will force you to reflect on your heart's true condition, record your progress, regain your lost momentum, reject your bad habits, reinforce your good habits, and help you to reach your spiritual goals. Do you know any other discipline that offers such benefits? No? Then start a journal of your spiritual journey today.

Soulfood: Lev 26-27 Mt 7:15-29 Ps 74:12-23 Pro 2:7-8,

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Give God your 'firstfruits'



'Honour the Lord with... the firstfruits of all your increase.' Proverbs 3:9 NKJV

Solomon writes: 'Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine' (Proverbs 3:9 NKJV). The people who heard these words lived off their land and their livestock. Whenever they reaped a harvest or birthed new cattle, they'd take the first sheaf or the firstborn calf to the temple and offer it to the Lord. These were called 'firstfruits'. By doing this they acknowledged that 'everything I have comes from God, and belongs to God. And everything I'll need for the future depends upon God's goodness to me'.

There's not a more important money management principle you'll ever hear than this: give God your 'firstfruits', not your leftovers! Businessman Arthur DeMoss was a spiritual giant and benefactor who gave millions to God's work and left behind a foundation to carry on his legacy. DeMoss said that to be successful you should give God the first 'dime' out of every dollar, the first hour out of every day, and the first day out of every week.

You ask, 'Does that mean God won't love me if I don't tithe?' No; you can't do anything to earn God's love. However, giving back to him willingly demonstrates our obedience and love for God.

Soulfood: Lev 23:26-25:55 Mt 7:1-14 Ps 74:1-11 Pro 2:6,

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