The story of Jonathan often goes unnoticed in the grand scheme of the Bible.He doesn't quite carry the weight and popularity that some of the "big hitters" do, such as Abraham, Moses, Paul, and Peter just to name a few. But just because his story gets overlooked doesn't accurately reflect the importance of the lessons therein. In fact Jonathan sets an invaluable example of a life lived truly by faith and not by sight. The story is found in 1 Samuel chapters 14-23 and I encourage you to check it out this week on your own time! Jonathan knew something about God that led him to live with the boldness that he often displayed. What was it? He knew that God was always on the move. He knew that God has always been in the business of changing people's lives and moving on behalf of His people. This confidence that Jonathan had in God led him to live in a way that was filled with faith filled steps. There are a few things that Jonathan knew that we must also learn if we want to see God move in our lives, our families, and our communities: 1. God honors our obedience. (1 Sam 15:10-22) Here are a couple sayings to keep in mind: God doesn't desire sacrifice, but obedience. No one ever graduates from obedience.
2. God rewards our faithfulness. We have all been given unique skill sets, talents, and gifts and God wants to see us use them. With each talent that God has given you and I, there is a corresponding opportunity to use them. As we use our God given talents for His causes, His rewards are great.
3. God develops and responds to our growth. (1 Sam 23: 17-18) This last point is very important to not only understand but to put into practice. Any follower of Christ should never be stagnant. Stagnation is a sign that we've stopped following Jesus, because anyone who is following must be growing. Growth doesn't happen overnight so don't get discouraged if you aren't where you want to be yet. Remember, it's a continual process; just keep moving!
Perhaps the most important thing we learn from Jonathan is that he understood his role and that he would be judged on his faithfulness not his position. Which takes us to the bottom line... Our ability to accomplish anything of value in the kingdom of God is a result of our ability to view ourselves accurately.
Here's a few questions to ask ourselves as you and I try to apply these simple, yet
1. In what way am I being obedient? a. In what way am I not being obedient? b. What am I willing to do to become more obedient? 2. What am I using my talents to do? a. How can I improve my talents and use them more effectively? 3. Where am I growing or not allowing growth to happen?
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