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Angela Overton

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Then the Lord called Samuel.Samuel answered, “Here I am.”And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
1 Samuel 3:4–5, NIV.

Samuel, at this moment, did not know the voice of the Lord, but it is important to note that he had a spirit to listen. Samuel ran to Eli without hesitation because he was submitted to his authority. This story reminds me to have a willing-spirit and a servants-heart.

It all began with “Here I am.”

The voice of the Lord continued to call out to Samuel in the night, but it wasn’t until the forth time when Samuel could differentiate the voice of Eli, from the voice of the LORD.

1 Samuel 3:10 explains, “The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

How Can I Hear God’s Voice?

Many people ask, “How can I hear the voice of the Lord?” Well, it may be that God has been speaking to you, but you have not known the tone and cadence of His voice just yet. This takes time.

Repetition is not always a sign of disobedience. Samuel was in the house of the Lord when he heard God’s voice, but it took time for him to realize who was speaking to him.

Many times God is trying to teach us how He speaks. For me personally, God speaks to me when I am surrounded by nature. However, you may hate being in the middle of the woods, so it is very possible that God will speak to you in another place and in another way.

Repetition in a written narrative is a literary device to emphasize a certain point or to help a reader remember a key lesson. In the story of Samuel we can learn that God is patient when He is trying to teach us how to test and prove His will. Also, it is important to focus on Samuel’s willingness to answer the call by saying, “Here I am.”

Today, maybe you desire to learn how to hear the voice of the Lord. If that is your aspiration, then reply to the Lord, “Here I am. Speak, for your servant is listening.”

Prayer: Lord, I desire to be a willing vessel. I do not want to make decisions without Your direction in my life and I pray that you would help me hear Your voice. I know that You are speaking to me, but there is so much noise around me that can be a distraction. Lord, here I am, use me for Your service.

In this week’s news, billionaire Robert F. Smith pledged to pay all student loan debt of the 2019 Graduating Class of Morehouse College. The lump sum of payment is estimated to be approximately 40 million dollars and according to The Wall Street Journal, “That donation covers the student loans for about 400 graduates.”[1]

As I read through the reaction of some of the recipients, I began to cry because I was so happy for their blessing. They responded, “It’s a liberation gift.” “I’m still in disbelief.” Mr. Smith told one of the students, “Go out into the world and do things. Don’t worry about your debt’s.”[2]

“Don’t worry about your debt’s.” What an incredible statement.

The Debt of Sin

I’m going to assume that most people reading this right now has some form of financial debt. I am not discounting this incredible blessing of Mr. Smith, but when you think of what Jesus did for us on Calvary, it surpasses any and all other gifts. Nothing compares to what our Savior did for us.

The weight of debt is paralyzing. However, the weight of sin is deadly.

This article led me into a quandary of questions. “Which would I be more excited about right now? Someone paying my debt –or– Jesus forgiving my sins?” If I’m completely honest, my husband and I have been on a walk by faith journey for over a year, and my constant prayer is for God to be our provider, and I thought, “I would be SO HAPPY for financial freedom.” But, I had to bring myself to an altar this morning and remind myself that nothing—NOTHING—is more important than my salvation. Nothing is more exhilarating that Jesus paying the debt of sin. Would I be happy if someone paid my debt? Yes, over the moon happy! However, I never want to be more happy about momentary blessings than eternal salvation.

Colossians 2:13–14 explains what Jesus did for us, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Jesus paid more than 40 million dollars, He paid for our debts with His life. And, He paid the debt for more than 400 people, He paid the debt of all humanity.

Never Forget

I can never forget what He did for me.

I never want to lose my deep sense of awe and gratitude of salvation, and I never want to forget the moment when I felt the weight of sin lift off me as I was baptized in Jesus name. More than anything in this world, Lord, I desire You.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your eternal blessings. Yes, Your word states that You are my provider, but more than blessing me financially, You will pay my debt of sin. I pray that you will bless Mr. Smith and his family, and I pray that You will bless every reader of More To Life Today, because You know their needs and You hear every prayer. We trust You, Lord, and we are so grateful for Your everlasting life.

[1] Cameron McWhirter and Jake Holland, For Morehouse Class of 2019, Billionaire to Pay Off Graduate’s Debt, The Wall Street Journal, Monday, May 20, 2019—Vol. CCLXXIII NO. 117, A3.

[2] McWhirter and Holland, Billionaire to Pay Off Graduate’s Debt, A3.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of out faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2.

The question must be asked, What kind of joy would there be hanging on a cross?

The scripture says that the joy was set before Him—the joy was youand me.

The heartbeat of God has always been for humanity, regardless of the personal price He would choose to pay at Calvary.

His heart beats ardently for the 7.65 billion people on this earth right now as He waits at the door of every person’s heart, knocking, and patiently waiting for us to answer.

The Value Of A Soul

Jesus taught that the value of a soul was more precious than anything on this earth and explains that there is joy that erupts in heaven over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7).

Multitudes sought Jesus, and He responded to their needs. However, we find Jesus pursuing many people, one person at a time. Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, the woman at the well in Samaria, the thief on the cross, and the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, were among those who Jesus gave personal, one on one, attention to.

Weren’t we all Samaritans?
Weren’t we all thieves on the cross?
Weren’t we all sinners?

The joy that was set before Jesus as he hung on a cross, in tormenting pain, was to see you and I choose to take up our cross and follow Him.

The Heartbeat Of Jesus

God’s heart is beating for you, it is beating for your family, it is beating for your coworkers, it is beating for the broken, it is beating for the world. When He sees you, He doesn’t flail His arms in the air in anger and say, “Don’t be so ungrateful, don’t you know I died for you?” Rather, He says, “Don’t you know how much I love you? Don’t you know I endured the pain of the cross to prove my love, even if you never reciprocate yours? Don’t you know that you are my joy?”

Today, as we celebrate our Resurrected Lord, lets commit to sharing the joy of our salvation with at least one person this week.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for enduring the cross and despising the shame of Calvary for me, for my family, for the world. I am so thankful that You have given me hope for eternal life and I pray that You would lead me to someone to share my hope with. Lord, let me feel Your heartbeat for souls. Teach me how to love people like You do. Help me to see other people the way you see me, in Jesus name.