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10 Rosensteinstraße
Böblingen, BW, 71032

We are an Assemblies of God church serving English speaking community in Stuttgart, Germany.

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June 20, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Samuel 13–14

Samuel, the man of God, had given Saul clear instructions: “Wait for seven days,

then I will come to you to make a sacrifice and show you what to do” (see 10:8). Easy enough, until everything began falling apart around Saul. The king’s army was in a bad place and his men began to leave. Saul had to do something. He had to act, so he did. He made the offerings to the Lord himself (13:6-10). And just as he was finishing, Samuel arrived, as he had said—on the seventh day. Samuel the prophet would not be happy with Saul the king. Saul had done what he should not have done—the king does not make the sacrifice, the priest does. In Saul’s moment of desperation, he sinned by stepping out of his God-given role and into that of another.

Sometimes doing something is the worst thing we can do. Sometimes the best thing we can do is nothing. That was what Saul should have done. He should have done nothing but wait on Samuel and, more importantly, trust in the Lord. Sometimes it takes more courage and faith to do nothing and prayerfully wait on the Lord than to do something.

What might you be trying to do in your own wisdom and strength instead of waiting on the Lord?

June 19, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Samuel 11–12

Saul had led God’s people to a great victory, and as the people basked in the aftermath, perhaps fueled by massive quantities of adrenaline left over from the fight, some called for those who had doubted their new king to be put to death (11:12). Hearing this, Saul could have heartily consented to this demand, thereby ridding himself of potential adversaries or at least resisters. Instead, he stood before the people and declared that

no one would be executed; instead, everyone should focus on the victory the Lord had given them (11:13). In this critical moment, Saul demonstrated wisdom, mercy, and grace and pointed his people to the Lord. We should give credit where credit is due.

But we should also look more broadly at Saul’s reign than just one moment. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that matters. We need to be careful never to rest on past accomplishments and moments of obedience. Yes, we should be grateful for them and recognize God’s kindness to give us these victories, but we should also never forget that our race is not done until we, by God’s sustaining grace, cross the finish line.

What victories has God given you in the past? How can these help you when you are tempted to give up or fall back into habitual sin?

June 18, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Samuel 9–10

Let there be no doubt: Saul was an impressive man (9:2). When the Israelites thought of the archetype for a king, surely Saul was at the top of the list. He was impressive, and that is a core characteristic of a king. A king who is impressive is easier to follow and easier for other nations to fear.

Little did the Israelites know, although they should have, that God was teaching them an important lesson. God was showing His people that their hope should not based on the leader of their imaginations but rather on one of His provision. The Israelites did not need a king who was tall, handsome, or who would strike fear into their enemies. They needed a king who, through his humility, would lead them, the enemies of God, into restored relationship with Him. God would show the Israelites this through the failure of Saul, the king who looked like a king but failed; in this he pointed toward Jesus, the King who did not look like a king but who brought victory over sin and death.

In what ways do you see Jesus reflecting the qualities of a king, and in what ways was He an unexpected king?

June 17, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Samuel 8

The Israelites had been led by a series of judges and prophets for generations, but as they turned their gaze toward the nations surrounding them, they noticed that the nations were all led by kings. So they wanted this too—to be led by a king—and

that was where they made their tragic mistake. The problem was not necessarily in wanting a king—God had said they would have kings (Gen. 17:6,16; 35:11; 49:10; Num. 24:7,17-19)—but in taking their eyes off of God and placing them on the nations around them.

The root reason why their demand for a king displeased God was because the people chose the pagan nations around them as a template for their lives rather than God and His word. They rejected their call to be a holy nation serving a holy God and instead sought to blend into their surroundings. God did not call His people to be cultural chameleons but countercultural lions who followed His lead and timing and looked forward to “the Lion of the tribe of Judah”—Jesus Christ (Rev. 5:5; see Gen. 49:8-12), and He has called us to be the same.

In what ways might you be tempted to blend in instead of stand out for your faith in God?

June 14, 2019

Jordan Campbell

Read 1 Samuel 6:17-21

The ark had made its way to Beth-shemesh, or rather, the Lord had brought it there. New location; same result. When seventy Israelite men failed to treat the ark with its requisite holiness, God struck them down. In some way, these men had treated that which was holy as if it were profane. They failed to treat the ark of the Lord with reverence. Just as it was a mistake to view the ark as a superstitious talisman, viewing it as a normal everyday item was just as much of a mistake, and seventy men paid for their irreverence with their lives. Then the rest of the town, just like the Philistines before them, hurried to rid themselves of the ark and send it on its way.

God is holy, and His holiness is not diminished in the slightest for His children—those who have trusted in Christ. Yes, our sins are forgiven. Yes, we have received Christ’s imputed righteousness. And yes, we are welcome to approach God as our loving Father. But even still, we should never forget that we always come before a holy God. Let us be careful never to treat He who is holy as if He were profane.

How might you tend to approach God irreverently: too casually, forgetting He is holy, or too cautiously, forgetting He is your Father?