Just imagine the surprise King Saul must have felt when Samuel told him that God had rejected him as king of Israel. In 1 Samuel 15:22, Samuel says to King Saul, “What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.”
God had just given Saul the victory on the battlefield, but He left Saul with specific instructions on how to handle the plunder. Saul followed God’s plan to a point. I imagine that Saul figured God wouldn’t care so much if they took some of the animals they captured and offered them as a sacrifice. Unfortunately for Saul, God did care and it cost him the throne.
God seems to be more concerned about our obedience to Him and His word than he is about our sacrifice. It seems that our sacrifice must come from our obedience to Him, not the other way around. Then our sacrifice isn’t about what we’ve given up or how we’ve done something wonderful. Instead our sacrifice demonstrates our love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus, who gave it all for us. There is no way to ever pay back the price Jesus paid for our lives. Everything we do is out of thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for us.
God has a plan for you this summer! It might be praying for and helping a neighbor, or it could be a mission trip to a new place. There are so many ways that we can walk in obedience to God, by serving others. This issue can help give you some ideas of where to go and how to get there.
Dr. Walt (page 14) challenges you to discover your destiny and provides practical ways to do it! I also want to introduce you to a few ministries that might be unfamiliar to you: Special Touch (page 28) and SPARK (page 39). Both provide the opportunity to serve others in various life situations. Make sure to read about Chuck Swindoll (page 24) and the wonderful teaching ministry of Insight for Living.
Whatever you choose to do this summer, give it your all (Ephesians 6:7)! I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.
All for Jesus!
Diana Jones, Editor