1 Samuel 25:1
Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered for his funeral. They buried him at his house in Ramah.
I. End of an Era
THE DECEASE OF AN ILLUSTRIOUS MAN: saint, prophet, intercessor, judge, restorer of the theocracy, founder of the monarchy. "He was a righteous man, and gentle in his nature; and on that account, he was very dear to God" (Josephus)
A. For the people, the last judge is dead.
- They got what they wanted | A king to be like other nations. To give them security.
- There is no turning back | The past is the past.
B. For the king
- No more guidance | No access to God’s word.
- All alone
C. For David
- No one to declare him righteous but God
>>> There is a time in all of our lives where our faith transitions from our family or our spiritual leader to our own.
II. Transitioning from our faith to my faith
A. My parent’s faith
B. My churches faith
C. My spiritual leader’s faith
>>> Do I have to be on my own? You are never on your own as you follow Christ. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will be with you always. There is a time when you have to stand up on your own and live for him.
III. Am I On my own?
A. Joshua, as for me and my house
Joshua 24:14-15 - “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua took a stand Was he on his own?
Will you go back to your old god’s or serve new?
B. New Testament
Acts 15:36-41 - Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Who was right and who was wrong? We preach forgiveness, but It looks like Paul was putting out boundaries. Were they now on their own?
C. Life with a God who loves you is a personal journey we are all on.
God is missional | He has a plan for you personally and a plan for us together.
Hebrews 12:1-2 - Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
- We all have a race set before us.
- We do that by keeping our eyes on Jesus. Not on others or things or circumstances.
IV. We are the church | The assembly
A. We follow Him together
- We are a family of families. A tribe.
- We need to love and forgive and encourage each other on the journey.
- We have the same mission. To be God’s hands and feet in this world, to be salt and light.
- To share His message of hope.
B. We follow Him together but we all have a part to play.
- We have one Leader, Christ, and He leads us all even though our journey may not be the same.
- We need to encourage the journey in all our Christian friends.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) - Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
- We are supposed to live this faith together, but our walk is personal.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT) - Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
- Take a new grip and strengthen your weak knees. He has a life for each of us. It is a personal journey and I encourage you to move forward.
Philippians 3:12-14 - I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. 15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
Have you gotten stuck? Have you lost a leader, a parent, a group of friends? Has it made you stumble? Is it time for you to say… “as for me and my house…” Don’t lose the progress you made in that other body of believers, under that other pastor, or the home you grew up in. Don’t stop!