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Instruction and Assurance

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 12


Scripture Focus: Do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you, and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.” (1 Samuel 12.20b-23)


Devotional Thought: As Samuel passed on the mantle of leadership, he instructed and assured the people:


Instruction:

· Do not turn aside from following the Lord. It is so easy to do. Unless we are diligent, we lose our focus. I have known many people who have made a good start, only to turn aside.

· Serve the Lord with all your heart. Turning aside is a byproduct of split loyalties. When we try to serve two masters, we will fail.

· Do not turn aside after empty things. An “empty thing” is anything besides God - wealth, pleasure, power - that we think will satisfy us. Chasing empty things actually leaves us emptier.


Assurance:

· The Lord will not forsake his people. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. God will never leave us nor forsake us.

· The Lord has made you a people for himself. Our redemption from slavery has been paid through the sacrifice of Jesus. God has given his very best for us.

· I will pray for you. How comforting! We need to assure one another of our prayers, and follow through on that assurance.

· I will instruct you. In our jobs, our homes, and our churches, we need spiritual guidance. And, it is available in God’s Word, in the Holy Spirit, and in the saints!


Follow this instruction and have this assurance today!


Prayer: Lord, I need your instruction. Lead me in the way I should go. I need your assurance. In the pressures of life, I tend to forget your steadfast love. So, instruct me and assure me, I pray. And, Lord, help me to help others along the way. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 78.32-39

32 In spite of all this, they still sinned;

despite his wonders, they did not believe.

33 So he made their days vanish like a breath,

and their years in terror.

34 When he killed them, they sought him;

they repented and sought God earnestly.

35 They remembered that God was their rock,

the Most High God their redeemer.

36 But they flattered him with their mouths;

they lied to him with their tongues.

37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him;

they were not faithful to his covenant.

38 Yet he, being compassionate,

atoned for their iniquity

and did not destroy them;

he restrained his anger often

and did not stir up all his wrath.

39 He remembered that they were but flesh,

a wind that passes and comes not again.

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