After a lifetime of serving God, evangelist Billy Graham said, “Certainly, one lesson is to remind us of our responsibility to be diligent in our service for God right now. I may not be able to do everything I once did (nor does God expect me to), but I am called to be faithful to what I can do.” Reflecting on the value of her own life of service to God, Mother Teresa said, “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.”
What motivated Billy Graham and Mother Teresa to serve God sacrificially throughout their lives? Clearly, they both felt called to be faithful servants. God’s faithfulness to us should inspire us, in turn, to be faithful to Him and to our heavenly calling. In today’s passage, Samuel reflected on a lifetime of service and on the relationship between Israel and the God they were called to follow. He is “old and gray” (v. 2), and could share his experience with the nation.
He asked if they could find fault against him, and they declared his innocence. He then earned the right to recount for Israel the mighty acts God has performed on their behalf. Clearly, they had been quick to forget the faithfulness and divine provision of God. Samuel demonstrated his connection with God by calling down thunder and rain as a sign. He warned the nation that they should learn from their mistakes and determine to be faithful. The people were fearful. Would God punish them?
But Samuel insisted the answer is clear: God desires our obedience and our faithful service. He knows that we may turn from Him and His instruction. He is faithful to forgive, and we are called again and again to “serve him faithfully” (v. 24).