Summary: A look at the emergence of Samuel as hope for a struggling community as model for what is happening in our nation during this election year. It is an opportunity for all to see the possibilities that exist as we embrace this time of change.

The Possibilities are Limitless: When You Change

1 Samuel 2.16-36

It is not difficult to see that the wind of change is blowing in 2008. The number 7 biblically is representative of completion thus 8 is a new beginning, a time for change, a time for fresh starts. I want you to know as you process in the beginning of this new year that you have an opportunity to start fresh in every area of your life and opportunity for you to walk in the light of new beginnings with new hope and new promise. For our nation 2008 will bring about a new beginning in the presidency. I have been and continue to be fascinated with the 2008 elections especially on the democratic side. This past week the New Hampshire primaries were held and we witnessed history in New Hampshire as we had witnessed history in Iowa. Senator Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary and what we saw was for the first time in our nation’s history that two primaries was won by a political minority. An African American in the person of Barach Obama in Iowa and now a female in the person of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. I want you to embrace what is happening in the political arena as model for your own life that change is possible and that the possibilities are limitless. If the bible is true, and it is, then nothing is too hard for God. God is able to turn situations and circumstances around, God is able to make a way out of no way, able to turn a negative into a positive, able to transform the abnormality in to a miracle. I declare to you on behalf of the Holy Spirit that this is your year for change, your year for maturation, your year to walk into your promise. What did not mature for you last year will find new possibilities in this year. What did not work out the way you hoped or prayed will find fulfillment in this year. God has not started something in you that God is not able to bring to past. What God has spoken to you via the Holy Spirit will come to fruition because the Lord’s word will not fail, will not succumb. Just a not to enemy there is no devil in hell, no demonic spirit in high places that will cause the word of God to falter in your life. On last week we had the opportunity to see how God matured a blessing in the life of Hannah. I hope that you were able to see how she took her worship to a new level and in doing so God honored her and blessed her with the desires of her heart. What we discovered was a process that would lead to change if we too leaned to that process. We saw that it was important to not just be at church but be in church, we saw that we had to take our prayer life to a new level and we saw that had to walk in faith if we were going to experience change. Today we want to build on the premise developed last week that we may see that the possibilities are limitless with God. When we last visited the heroine of our text we found her spirit and personality had changed as she walked in faith after the man of God had prophesied on her life what God was about to accomplish. It takes a change in spirit and personality for change to take place any where else in our life. You have to change how you approach work, how you approach problems, how you approach family and even how you approach church. What we want to share with you today is that the change that will be precipitated by you can create change in every area of your life.

1. It can change church life vs 17 18 “but Samuel was ministering before the Lord” The blessing that Hannah had prayed for and desired had come to fruition. The bible shows that Hannah honored her vow before the Lord by taking the fruit of her blessing and bringing it to the Lord. When the child that God had blessed her with was weaned, or had became old enough to not need breast feeding Hanna took him the Lord. Her son, Samuel was no more than three years of age when Hannah delivered him to Eli. Little could she have known that her actions would create a change in the house of God. This must have been the most difficult thing that Hannah had ever done in her life. She put her trust in God and she honored the vow that she had made before the Lord. So often in the middle of distress promises are made but not followed thorough on when God does what God promised to do. Lord if you bless me with this job I will tithe, if you get me through this trouble I will be faithful. Promises are made but often time not kept. We are quick to promise God while in distress but slow to keep them when God comes though. However Hannah keeps her promise and she delivers the son of her prayers to the priest Eli to rear him in the house of God. The blessing of the priesthood was passed down generationally. The sons of Eli were expected to assume the duties of priest at the time of Eli’s death. Even though Eli had done his best in rearing them his efforts had gone to waste. His sons according to the text were wicked men that had no regard for the Lord. They robbed the people of their offerings for the Lord, the slept with the women that came to make offerings. The bible says of them they treaded the Lord’s offering with contempt. The place that should have been sanctuary for the people had become a holy hell. The place that should have offered hope brought despair and distress. God reprimanded Eli for not bringing his children in alignment and charged him with correcting the behavior of his wayward sons. Yet the actions of the two boys continued to be a blot against the house of the Lord. With all of the distrust that was taking place and the ire that had been turned against the house of Eli there was good news in the house of God. The good news was that Hannah had kept her vow, because what Samuel brought to the house of God was hope. What he brought was possibility, what he brought was new beginnings. In the mist of the narrator’s discourse about the failures of Eli’s son is the glimmer of hope in regard to Samuel. We are told that Samuel ministered before the Lord and grew in statue and favor with the Lord and men. What Hannah did in honoring her vow, was create change in the house of God. I want you to know as much as your change is going to bless you, as much as your change is going to cause you grow and mature in other areas of your life it is going to bring honor to the house of God. When you keep your vow, when you keep your promise there is a blessing for the house of God. Hannah brought the promise back the Lord the first fruit of her womb. It is because she honored her vow that the house of God was blessed. You too are going to be a blessing to the house of God when God blesses you. When you walk into your promise it will be a testimony to what faith and trust in God will do. Too many folk get blessed and get quiet, I am looking for the Lord to bless me a way that I can’t keep it to myself, that I can’t shut about his goodness and his mercy. There is a blessing for the house when the people began to shout, began to give declaration to what God has done in their lives. When the tithe become the first fruit and not the last fruit, when God becomes first and not last.

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