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King Saul of the Old Testament was a real mess.

In a way, one almost feels sorry for how tormented he felt, though it was of his own doing.

We don’t know all the “back story” of why this handsome, tall, sometimes-courageous man from a good family had borderline-schizophrenia issues.

We just know that he was the poster child for being emotionally and spiritually chaotic.

One of his worst periods — if not THE worst — is recorded in I Samuel 15.

It’s such a sad account of what could have been a tremendous time of celebration had Saul been the man God wanted and directed him to be.

I encourage you to read the chapter at this link so that you’ll see why God ended up rejecting Saul as Israel’s foundational king.

The takeaway point from the story is this: obeying God without editing His commands is far more important to displaying faith than is concocting a plan that appears faithful to people but really is rooted in selfishness.

Tithing — giving 10 percent of gross income — on Sundays when the offering plate is a wonderful display of obedience to Jesus’ command in Matthew 23:23 that Christians are to tithe.

But if we don’t link that tithing with obedience in terms of “go and sin no more,” there is little that separates us from the example of Saul.

Tithing does not wash out the soul stains from porn sessions on the computer.

Tithing does not undo the scars on a family member from coarse words said during an argument.

Tithing does not rebuild the relationship bridge with someone whose trust in us was destroyed because of failed integrity on our part.

And other generous gifts to God cannot appease our Father whose heart was broken by repeated ignoring of the Holy Spirit’s warnings against our Satan-pleasing choice to serve self.

To obey is better than sacrifice, God said.

Learn God’s Word.

Live God’s Word.

Share God’s Word.

Obedience will become more common in our lives as we do this.

Linked with sacrificial gifts, we can please God in ever-increasing measure this way.

After all, He clearly deserves the best we can do with giving AND obeying.

As always, I love you

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