1 Samuel 12:20-22 (NLT)
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. 21 Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you—they are totally useless! 22 The Lord will not abandon his people, because that would dishonor his great name. For it has pleased the Lord to make you his very own people

Samuel had led the people with his sons following in the ways of the Lord. However, Samuel’s sons did not have the integrity of Samuel. The people decided they wanted a king to rule over them like other nations. They wanted someone they thought would protect them, although God had always been their protector. The Lord told Samuel, it is not you they are rejecting. It is Me they are rejecting and displeased with. So God granted their request for a king. In the verses above Samuel is bidding farewell as leader. He tells the people even though they have sinned they should not turn their back on God; for God will not abandon His people.

Brennan Manning is an author, friar, priest, speaker and educator; but most of all a sinner saved by grace. It was May of 1963 when he graduated from seminary and was ordained as a Franciscan priest. In the late sixties he joined the order of Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld in Spain. There he committed himself to a life among the poor. Brennan carried water by donkey to the poor villages. He was a mason’s assistant; he shoveled mud and straw; he was a dishwasher; and he became a voluntary prisoner in a Swiss jail to understand the prisoners’ conditions and minister to them. He returned to the United States and continued to minister following the simple life of the Franciscans. In the mid seventies he began to teach, but fell into alcoholism. It was at this point he sought recovery and emerged wanting everyone to accept and embrace the news of God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ. He began to write and speak to others about God’s love. One of his famous quotes was, “"The Greatest single cause of Atheism in the world today are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable." He also asked these questions, “What saddened you this past month? Was it the realization that you do not love Jesus enough? That you did not seek his face in prayer often enough? That you did not care for his people enough? Or did you get depressed over a lack of respect, criticism from an authority figure, your finances, a lack of friends, fears about the future, or your bulging waistline? Conversely, what gladdened you the past month? Reflection on your election to the Christian community? The joy of saying slowly, "Abba, Father"? The afternoon you stole away for two hours with only the gospel as your companion? A small victory over selfishness? Or were the sources of your joy a new car, a Brooks Brothers suit, a great date, great sex, a raise, or a loss of four inches from your waistline?” Good questions to consider as we examine ourselves and our love for The Lord. I pray Heavenly Father we would allow your love to overflow in our lives. I pray we would pass the love of Jesus Christ on to those who need him. And in our own lives I pray we would accept the love of Christ when we stumble and fall.