1st Samuel 1:26-28:
Then they [Elkanah and Hannah] slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child [Samuel] to Eli [The High Priest]. And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to Yahweh. For this child I prayed, and Yahweh has granted me my petition that I made to Him. Therefore I have lent him to Yahweh. As long as he lives, he is lent to Yahweh."
Hannah had been wanted a child for a long time. One day, while in the courts of the house of God, Hannah prayed that God grant her request for a child. In that request, Hannah pledged the child to God.
And God heard the prayer of Hannah:
Soon after the prayer, Hannah became pregnant. Then Samuel was born.
What Does This Mean?
We know that God answers prayer. We open ourselves up to God's will for our lives when we pray. We, by means of faith, connect to God through prayer. So when God answers, we listen.
Hannah raised Samuel for three years. That is the time a child was weaned from his mother. Then THEY brought Samuel to Eli the Priest.
It was both Elkanah and Hannah who decided to give Samuel to God. Yes, it was Hannah's prayer and pledge. And yes, is was both Elkanah and Hannah's decision based upon Hannah's prayer.
So they gave their son, Samuel, to God for His service.
What Does This Mean?
Simply put, when we hear the will of God for us either through the Word or through prayer, we decide, by means of faith, to follow through. We put our lives and faith into action by both giving and using.
We Give of Ourselves:
God has blessed all of us in so many ways. And He calls to us to give back a portion of those blessings to further His Kingdom. We give from our Time, Talents, and Treasures, those things that God has blessed us with.
And What Did God Give?
God gave it all. He gave His one and only Son to become a human being who died to forgive our sins and rise to give to us a new life. Since God is willing to do that, then we give as well.
We Use the Gifts:
God gave to us Spiritual Gifts as part of our disciple's life. These gifts were given in order to be used; put into practice.
So no more sitting on the sidelines. Just like Hannah, pray that God give to you the insight and knowledge. Take that insight and knowledge and decide that you are going to do something. Then give from your blessings and use the gifts God has laid out for you.
Please, let's dialogue on this meaningful and glorious life.
And He [Jesus] went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So His fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, those having seizures, and paralytics, and He healed them.
Healing and Jesus:
Can you imagine the scenes of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people trying to get to Jesus. Why? Because He was doing something that no one else was doing. Jesus was healing people of their diseases and afflictions.
As a result of Jesus' miracles of healing, people came from all around. People, who were enemies and foreigners of Israel, came to be healed.
And those that came to Jesus, were healed.
Can you imagine people's lives being changed?
People's lives were being transformed from those who cannot participate in society to those who can. People's lives are being "reborn" to a new life. Their bodies and minds broken by disease and oppression were being made whole.
Think about it this way.
What if you has a disease that caused you to not be able to live the way you used to? What if your were troubled by "spirits" that caused you to cease to live a "normal" life?
And what if you found out about someone who was making people whole again?
Would you seek Him out?
What would keep you from seeking Him out? What is keeping you, right now, from seeking out the One who can heal you of disease and affliction?
Is it skepticism? Is it doubt? Is it a lack of trust and faith? Is it placing your trust in someone else? Is it all of the above and more?
Yes, it is all of the above and more.
For those who came to Jesus, He healed them. Even those who didn't come to Jesus, He healed. My point is, Jesus does heal.
He does heal everyone.
Then why do people continue to die of diseases? Then why do people continue to live lives crippled by body as well as spirit and mind? Borrowing the question, "Why was so and so healed and not me?"
You are healed.
Maybe not physically. Yet you are healed because of the reason why Jesus came in the first place.
Jesus brought healing of death itself.
Jesus brought, and is the source of, the ultimate healing. Jesus came and healed us of sin and death. Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he dies, yet shall he live." (John 11:24)
We all will die. That is the result of sin that ruins God's glorious creation. And God the Father sent Jesus, His Son, to die for us and take away that sin that permeates our lives.
The ultimate healing is faith in Jesus who saved us and promised us resurrection and new life. The ultimate healing is being perfected by God to life with Him forever in heaven. In heaven, there is NO broken bodies and lives. In heaven, there is NO disease and grief. Satan can no longer oppress you.
So believe in Jesus.
For you will be healed. You will be healed of sin, death, hell, and the oppression of Satan. That is the ultimate healing.
I am the LORD [Yahweh], that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.
The Old is Gone:
God, Yahweh is His name, is telling Isaiah to announce to the people of Israel along with the rest of the world, that something new is coming. And that Yahweh, "I am who I am," will let people know about it before it comes to pass.
He did that through the prophets and the apostles. Yet I get ahead of myself.
Hold On to the Past:
When someone says, "the former things have come to pass," meaning they are now complete, what is your natural reaction? You want to hold on to the past. You grieve that which will be gone. You resist the new.
That's normal. That's human. But is it right? Is it in line with God's will? No, it isn't. Our lives are sinful. They are contrary to God's Will. We need a leader, a servant of God, to point out that we're on the wrong and sinful path and to lead us on God's path of grace and life.
The New Has Come:
Jesus gave Himself as the sacrifice for all sin for all time. Jesus, the Servant of God who is the delight of God the Father, laid down His life and forgave our sins. Jesus gave to us His Life as a substitute for our sinful lives. Jesus took our sin onto Him and passed His grace filled life to us.
Does this new life sound appealing to you? Do you want to know more? Do you know you need to "make a change" but you don't know to what?
Come and talk to us at Faith. Come and hear the Grace of God in Jesus. Our service times are posted on the website.
You can also comment to this post and we'll engage in dialogue about the new life in Jesus you can have.
And when His parents [Joseph and Mary] saw Him [Jesus], they were astonished. And His mother said to Him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress." And He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"
A Parent's Worst Nightmare:
As a a parent, how would you feel if you "lost your child?" I think panic would describe, in part, the emotions that you would feel. Imagine how Joseph and Mary felt when, after a day of walking, they couldn't find Jesus anywhere amongst their travel group. Jesus wasn't with His friend's families. Jesus was not with them. Fear began to set in.
While still within in their minds, Joseph and Mary left the safety of the group and began the day long trip back to Jerusalem. After they arrived, the panic setting in even more, searched for Jesus for three days.
Then they reasoned where Jesus could be. And sure enough, Jesus was in the temple. Now how do you feel? The panic starts to wane. Relief starts to take panic's place. And another emotion then will start. That is, anger.
Mary's chastisement of Jesus incorporated all of those emotions, at least. If there were me, I would want to both love on him in relief and warm his backside for scaring me half to death.
Yet Jesus said something intriguing.
Must be in My Father's house:
Jesus is saying, "This is where I need to be. Why were you worried about me?"
If I said that to my parents after they were searching for me for three days, plus two days traveling, my backside would have been warmed.
Yet when you think about what Jesus said and who Jesus is, then what He said makes perfect sense. Jesus needs to be in the house of God. And that is where He is.
Jesus is always in the His house, whenever two or more gather in His name. That can be congregations, schools, Sanctuaries, classrooms, and houses. Jesus is everywhere people are gathered in His name.
Jesus is always in His Father's temple, meaning, the hearts of every believer in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
Jesus is always in His Father's temple of every believer who believes in the salvation from sin, death, and the influence of Satan.
And Jesus is in His Father's temple of every believer who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, lives their lives according to the grace of God the Father.
Are you searching for Jesus?
Are you looking for Jesus? Are you trying to find Him who died and rose for you?
Jesus is in God's Word. Pick it up and start to read it. You will see Jesus in all the pages of God's Word. Jesus is there. He stands at the door of your heart and knocks.
How will you respond? Open the door.
Do you want to know more? Please reply and let's "talk."
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.