Struck with a Double Edge Sword

Judges 1:8 – Now the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it; they struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire.

I often hear people on the radio and television talking about their unhappiness with how society has changed in their eyes. Some people suggest that we must change the leaders of our country. Others suggest that we must enact more laws to make significant change. Still others just throw up their hands in frustration. If we as Christians are not happy with the moral direction of our country, how should we respond?

In today’s passage, the children of Judah “fought against Jerusalem and took it; they struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire”. That is exactly how we must approach our cities and our country “with the edge of the sword”. As I read this passage, the “edge of the sword” reminded me of God’s Word which is “powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword,” (Hebrews 4:12). It should be our goal to preach the Gospel in our families, at our work and through our cities so that we can “set the city on fire” with the Holy Spirit.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

How Long Will You Neglect?

Joshua 18:3 – Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?
At our church, we have been studying the Book of Ecclesiastes written by King Solomon, the wisest man to ever walk the face of the earth. People may ask why Solomon was the wisest, but the answer is quite simple — he asked to be the wisest. It seems that so often we do not fully receive the Lord’s blessing in our lives because we simply do not ask.
In today’s verse, we are asked, “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?” In each of our lives, the Lord has many blessings in store for us, yet we “neglect to go and possess”. My prayer for each of you today is that you will ask for and use the Lord’s blessing in your life to bring honor and glory to Him. If the Lord blesses you with wisdom, use that wisdom to tell people about Jesus. If the Lord has blessed you financially, use those fiances to reach the lost and broken in Jesus’ name. Whatever your blessing may be, use it today to further His Kingdom.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Your Inheritance

Joshua 16:4 – So the children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
I have heard stories of people who have had their lives changed by receiving an inheritance. Whether it be a parent or a long, lost relative, this inheritance brought blessing to them in ways they could have never imagined. Unfortunately, regardless of how much one may be blessed by an earthly inheritance, that blessing will one day end. Fortunately, that type of inheritance is not the only inheritance we have to look forward to.
In today’s scripture, we are told that the children of Joseph “took their inheritance”. We too, just like Joseph’s children have an inheritance that is available and waiting for us. No, it is not money, but something far greater. No, it is not a house, but a mansion that Jesus has prepared for us. No, it is not jewelry, but streets made of gold. The Lord has prepared an inheritance for you that is far greater and more valuable than anything this earth could ever offer. If you haven’t already done so, secure your inheritance today by giving your life to Jesus.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

You Have Great Power

Joshua 17:17-18 – 17 And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot,  but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong.”
 
I have been blessed with being able to coach various sports at various levels throughout my adult life. Through all of those years and all of those teams, I have observed one important point. The confidence a particular team has in    itself can determine wins and losses far more than talent and ability. I have coached teams that have won games they should have not won and I have coached teams that have lost games they should not have lost. Why did this happen? Because teams thought they could win and others thought they should lose. As Christians, our mindset also plays an important role in the victory we will have over our trials.
 
In today’s passage, Joshua reminded the children of Joseph that they would be successful.  However, Joseph’s children did not believe it. You will face trials and problems that will seem much bigger than you abilities to conquer them. Remember to not trust in your own capability, but trust in the power of the Lord. Joshua was victorious because He trusted in the Power of the Lord. You too will be victorious if you place your trust and faith in the Lord and His strength to conquer the trials you face.
 
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey! 

In His Images

Genesis 1:27 – 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

It seems more-and-more that people are dissatisfied with who they are and what they look like.  I recently read an article of a man who got a judge to declare that he was no longer a man or woman. The judge declared that he is the first “genderless” person in history — neither man or woman. It seems that people work so hard to change who they are that they forget that God made them perfect to begin with.

In today’s scripture, we are reminded that “God created man in His own image”. Because God created us in His own image, we should remember that if we are in His image, we were put together beautifully and perfectly.  Before we allow our mind to wander on all the things “wrong” with who we are, remember all of the amazing ways that God has created you to be beautiful and perfect in His eyes and in His image.

I pray for blessing today for you on your Journey!

My Old Guitar

Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Over 30 years ago, I purchased a bass guitar so I could play in a worship band at church. Well, after a few years, my playing days were over and my bass guitar ended up in the garage. Recently, I discovered a need for my old guitar in our worship band. After a little TLC from the guitar shop, it sounds good as new and is blessing a whole new generation of people with its sound. Do you sometimes feel like my old guitar?

In today’s passage, we are told to “not grow weary….for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart”. Perhaps you feel like my guitar. You have been “put in the garage” with no use left in ministry. Remember that God does have a plan and purpose for your life. He has never given up on you and He never will. In His timing, you will be brought out again to bless an entirely new group of people with your special gifts and talents. Remember, God never gives up on you so you should never give up on yourself.

I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Do Not Grieve God

Genesis 6:5-7 – Then the Lord[a] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Sometimes people will say or do things that hurt our feelings.  I remember my mom telling me one day how her heart was so hurt over a comment someone had made to her.  I felt so bad seeing my mom cry and felt so bad that I could not fix the situation for her.  She was grieved in her heart.
Have you ever looked at God in such a way to fully know and understand that the heart of the living God can actually be grieved and hurt.  I think this verse highlights the true loving and very real nature of God.  The passage shows the expressions of sorrow by our God and shows how his heart can be grieved by the actions of people.
I don’t know about you, but I never want God to look at me one day and say . . . You, by what you have done, have made me sorry.  Nor do I ever want him to say . . . You, by what you have done have hurt and grieved my heart.  The reality of God is that He exposes his loving heart to us, waiting for us to accept it and love Him back.  Honor him and love Him today.  May His heart dance and sing a song of joy over you today.
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Silence!

John 8:2-10 – Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

Have you ever been around someone who just wants to argue with you? It seems to be more and more prevelant in the political culture today.  Someone may ask you a question wanting you to defend your position, when in reality, they really do not care what you have to say, they just want to argue.
 
I think that is how Jesus must have felt when the scribes and Pharisees started to question him about about the woman who was caught up in sexual sin.  They really didn’t want to hear the truth from Jesus, they just wanted to argue and try to use Jesus’ words against him.  What they didn’t realize is that Jesus was far wiser and smarter than them.  Jesus knew that some questions deserved a silent response. Jesus knew how to quench the fire of evil.
 
Next time someone wants to argue with you about nonsense, remember how Christ might respond — silence. 
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Every 7 Years

Deuteronomy 15:1-2 – 15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts.And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release.
 
There is no greater feeling for people than to pay off a debt. Whether it be a credit card, mortgage, car loan, etc., there is a “freedom” we experience when we know that a particular financial burden has been lifted. The same can be said for our walk with the Lord and other Christians. 
 
In today’s passage, we are told that the Israelites were to 15 “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts….because it is called the Lord’s release.” When it comes to our spiritual journey, we are all given “the Lord’s release” in the form of grace. God told the Israelites to show grace because they first had been shown that same grace by God. The Lord expects all of us to show that same “release” to those around us in the form of grace. We are quick to expect grace from others, but, perhaps not so quick to give it. If we are to walk in the Spirit, we must show God’s grace to all because He first showed it to us. As you look at your life, if God showed you the same amount of grace that you show others, what would your life look like?
I pray for blessings today for you on your Journey!

Don’t Look Back

Genesis 19:26 – 26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

I help coach a high school baseball team as the first base coach. As our batters come to first base, I ask them if they know our signs. All I am looking for is a “yes” or “no”. I have told them that 1 million times! Never-the-less, I always have at least one runner shout out our signs giving them away to the other team. Why do we always do what someone has told us not to do?

Today’s verse describes when Lot and his family were fleeing from Sodom and Gomorrah as the city was being destroyed.  Angels told Lot and his family to hurry and leave or they would be swept away when the city was destroyed.  As they were fleeing, Lot’s wife looked back and she too was destroyed.

Someone shared with me this week a speaker who likened Lot’s wife looking back as looking back on past sins.  I believe the speaker was right.  Focusing on past sins, when God tells us to flee from that creates destruction in our lives. We are new creations in Christ. We need to believe that and live it out daily.

Always remember that you are forgiven and Christ never turns back — so why should you?