You can tell I wasn’t preparing to share this, because my handwriting is terrible, but I HAD to share. See, SEE what God is telling Gideon in Judges 6:14 (NLT)
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
The emphasis, of course, is mine.
How many times do we want to ignore God’s call because we’re not good enough, talented enough, outgoing enough, strong enough…? We feel like someone else would be better because THEY have what’s needed. But that’s not the way God does things.
He wants us to bring Him what WE have. Yes, the strength Gideon had was minimal, but his strength wasn’t the point – God’s was. It was Gideon’s weakness that made room for God’s glory.
Go. Go with the strength YOU have!
In yesterday’s Bible reading, I came across Joshua 4:6 and its timeliness struck me.
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, “What do these stones mean?”
This particular memorial served two purposes.
1. It was to remind those who experienced that amazing, dry-ground walk through the Jordan River, so that they would always remember God’s power and how He’d moved on their behalf.
2. It was a tool that would help them teach their children about God and their relationship with Him.
What is Memorial Day?
1. It is a time to remember the truth that freedom ISN’T free, and that we owe a debt to those who ensured our freedom to live as we do today. At the very least, our debt is to remember.
2. It is a tool, a time we should take advantage of to really educate our children, to help them understand more about this nation we live in and why we have it. It is our opportunity to introduce them to some who survived, and let their stories introduce our children – and us – to many who did not. Our children can’t remember, but we can tell them rather than letting them assume Memorial Day is nothing but a day for family reunions and hotdogs.
Someone (George Santayana?) once said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The worship service can be a challenge for me. At times I try to enter in, only to have my mind wander rabbit trails like an undisciplined animal. Today, as I faced this challenge yet again, I heard God say, “Lay it on the altar.”
“It” was the train of thought that currently demanded my attention. Rather than giving it space in my thoughts, God was calling me to sacrifice my right to pursue it; He was calling me to lay it on the altar. This, I suddenly realized, is a big part of the sacrifice of praise.
Be they random thoughts, fears, plans, hurts… when we lay them before God, turning them over completely to Him, we make a sacrifice. We give up the right, at least for a time, to feel fear, to make plans, to indulge in hurts… For what is really a brief time, we sacrifice them to Him, giving Him all of our attention and praises instead. It’s not easy, but true sacrifices never are.
There are two times I particularly don’t want to go grocery shopping – when I’m hungry and when I’m overly full. When I’m hungry, it seems like everything tries to jump in the cart. When I’m overly full, nothing looks good and I don’t buy it unless it’s already on the list (which often isn’t complete).
This is a simple illustration of what Proverbs 27:7 is saying. When my soul is satisfied IN HIM, even the seemingly sweet things of the world lose their appeal. When I’ve not been spending time with Him, when my soul is unsatisfied because I’ve slipped away from eating at His table, even the bitter things of the world start looking good.
I’m dealing with Plantars Fasciitis, and this is proving to be an educational experience. Truly.
See, the pain is in my heel, so I assumed that was where the problem was. I was wrong; the root of the problem is in the arch of my foot. But get this; that problem is made worse when my calf muscle is too tight. You see, it’s all connected.
So is pretty much everything else in life. Just like a too-tight calf muscle can cause problems in my seemingly unrelated heel, someone who is “too tight” in life can cause problems in and for other people. Whoever said that no man is an island spoke truly. Like it or not, we are connected to others, and the decisions we make-even those that supposedly affect only ourselves-can trigger definite consequences in the lives of those around us. It’s a fact we would do well to remember.
“Store my commands,” he says, and “Write them deep in your heart.”
God’s Word isn’t just a book meant to sit on a shelf between church services. It is the very Word of God, words from God that He gave us for a reason. We aren’t just to look at them, or simply read them. We are to learn them, to interact with them, to use them. Yes, we are to KNOW them, to have them be so truly part of who we are that it is as if they were physically written in our hearts.
God’s Word is THAT important.
…though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
1 Cor. 13:2b
We tend to think of faith as IT. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and to him who believes (has faith) all things are possible. But here we see that faith itself must be built on a foundation of love or there is no true profit in it.
This makes sense, because God IS love. Given that God is love, if our faith is in Him it must be built on love. So it is not enough that I pray and ask for help in building up my faith; I must first determine to build up my love.