We were looking at 1 Samuel 3 in our men’s Bible Study this morning and contemplating God’s message to the boy prophet in the temple. God is calling Samuel in the early morning hours and Scripture says, after the second misunderstood call, “Samuel did not yet know the Lord.” It’s an explanation, really, of why Samuel wasn’t recognizing the call. What strikes me is that, although Samuel didn’t yet know God, God certainly knew Samuel.

And he called him.

And we see a dual purpose of the Word of God as the Lord speaks to him in the temple. God tells Samuel of the judgment against Eli and he invites Samuel into a relationship with him. God gives Samuel information, revealing himself and his will to Samuel. And he gives him an invitation to join him in what he’s doing with his people.

God speaks both to inform us and to form us, for information and formation. God’s words come to us as sovereign command. But they also teach us and draw us closer to him.

J. I. Packer wrote this about God’s Word in his 1973 book Knowing God:

“God, our Maker, knows all about us before we say anything; but we can know nothing about him unless he tells us. Here, therefore, is a further reason why God speaks to us; not only to move us to do what he wants, but to enable us to know him so that we may love him. Therefore God sends his Word to us in the character of both information and invitation. It comes to woo us as well as to instruct us; it not merely puts us in the picture of what God has done and is doing, but also calls us into personal communion with the loving Lord himself.”

God’s Word as fellowship invites us into personal relationship with him. As government, God’s Word maintains the relationship by telling us how to live.


FootballThis next part of today’s post also serves as both information and invitation. I’m announcing today the formation of The Kingdom, The Kids, & The Cowboys Top 20 College Football Poll, or as it will come to be known, The KKC College Football Poll.

Here’s the information: 20 pollsters, regular readers of this blog, will submit their weekly Top 20 football teams to the poll by noon every Monday. The ballots will be counted, the votes tallied, and the KKC College Football Poll will be released to the public on the blog each Tuesday.

Here’s the invitation: you can be one of the 20 pollsters! The only requirements are that you are a college football fan and that you faithfully submit your votes by noon every Monday during the college football season. I’m taking the first 20 who respond to me by email.

Just email me the following information about yourself:

current city of residence
where you spent your formative years (from 6-12 years old)
the college you attended
your favorite college football team
the college football team you hate

Just email that info to me at astanglin@legacychurchofchrist.org

Again, I’m taking the first 20 pollsters. Once I get 20 emails, I’ll get in touch with you and give you a few more details. If I get more than 20, I could use the extras for alternates that we may need a couple of times during the season. The college football season begins in one month. On Thursday August 28, North Carolina plays South Carolina in Columbia, Oregon State is at Stanford, and Baylor’s hosting Wake. The next day SMU actually plays on ESPN against Rice in Houston. And then it’s a full slate that Saturday including TCU at New Mexico, Texas against Florida Atlantic, and home games for A&M and Texas Tech. So the very first poll, the preseason poll, needs to be out in a couple of weeks. The deadline for you to get your email to me to become an official pollster is Friday August 8.

I’m also looking for a logo we can use for The KKC College Football Poll. If you want to design one, email it to me at the same address.