Summary: A sermon to encourage young people to answer when God calls.
When God Calls Your Name
1 Samuel 3:1–10
A Japanese legend says a man died and went to heaven. On a sightseeing tour of his new home, he was shown all kinds of mansions. It was all beautiful, exactly as he had pictured it, until they came to what looked like a merchant’s shop.
On the shelves were piled what looked like dried mushrooms. Looking closer, he saw they were actually human ears! His guide explained that these were the ears of those who went diligently to church, listened with pleasure, yet did nothing about what they heard. . . So only their ears went to heaven.
Illustration taken from Allen Webster
James says, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
The challenge I want to make to you today is not to just listen to the word of God, but to Trust and Obey the word of God. Trust meaning to hear it and believe it. Samuel is an example of a youth who learned to trust and obey when God called his name. Let’s look at five lessons we can learn from the young Samuel.
V. A Flower CAN Grow in a Desert.
A. Samuel lived in a time when religion was unpopular.
1. “The word of the Lord was Rare.” I Samuel 3:1
2. Even some of the priests were corrupt. I Samuel 2:12–20
B. You may not live in the best circumstances in which to serve God.
1. Everyone at school seems to disobey God.
2. You may have to attend church alone or with little support.
3. Some of your so–called “Christian” friends are living sinful lives.
C. You don’t have to be a weak Christian because of your circumstances.
1. You just have to make a decision to be like Samuel and be a flower in the desert.
2. Samuel wasn’t isolated from his sinful world but he made a decision to be separated from it.
V. There comes an age in everyone’s life when become accountable to God.
A. At some point, ALL young people must make a personal decision for Christ.
B. At what age do we become accountable?
1. Jesus was twelve when he was “about His father’s business.” Luke 2:42, 49
2. Twenty was the cut–off to enter the Promised Land. Numbers 14:29
C. When one knows the difference between right and wrong they have reached an accountable age.
V. When God calls we must Not Refuse.
A. God does call people today.
1. His call today is not like the call of Samuel.
2. His call today is Through His word. 2 Thessalonians 2:14
3. It is not just the preacher, or your parents, or your friends who are calling you to obey the gospel. God is calling you to obey!
B. We can resist or reject the call.
C. God wants ALL people to answer His call.
V. Get to know God while you are Young.
A. We know God when we understand His word and are Followers of it. 1 John 2:3–6
B. We can know ABOUT God but not KNOW God.
C. Illustration: The Prince of Granada was sentenced to Madrid’s infamous prison in fear that he might aspire to the throne. For thirty–three years he was in solitary confinement with only one book to read, the Bible. He read it hundreds of times and learned many things like:
There are 3,538,483 letters in the Bible.
The word “girl” appears only once in the bible.
No word of more than six syllables can be found in the Bible.
The ninth verse of Esther 8 is the longest verse.
He knew all these things but never became a Christian. It is a tragedy to spend hours in study or year after year in Bible class and worship and not make application of what we read and hear.
V. Trust and Obey, there is no other way.
1. Illustration: A pilot was having difficulty landing his small plane since fog hid the runway, so the airport decided to land him by radar. As he received instructions he remembered a tall pole in his flight path. Overcome with panic he radioed to the control tower. A blunt reply came back, “You obey instructions, we’ll take care of the obstructions.”
2. The most natural response to the call of God is that of Samuel, “Here I Am.”
1. Obedience does not mean sinless perfection but that we obey from a pure heart for the right reasons. 1 John 1:8–10
2. Illustration: Once a superintendent of education had three applicants to fill one vacancy for school bus driver. He had an idea how to select the best driver. He took all three applicants to a stretch of road with a sharp curve on a steep hill and asked, “How close to the cliff can you drive to the edge without going over the cliff?” The first driver said, “I believe I can get within two inches of the cliff.” Not to be outdone the second driver replied, “I believe I can get within one inch!” When the superintendent looked at the third driver he said, “Do you think I’m crazy? I’m not interested in how close I can get to the edge with a bus full of children. I’ll try to stay as far away from the danger as I can get.” - Guess who received the job?