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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 12/4/2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Tue, 12/04/2012

Judges 6:1-10
THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING, Lesson 6c

v. 7-10 THEIR SECURITY , THEY EVADED
When the oppression of Israel become too great, they called on the Lord again. God heard their cry. By the way, isn’t God gracious to us? No matter how many times we fail Him; no matter how many times we turn away into sin, He is always there to forgives, receive us and restore us, when we repent and turn back to Him in faith. That is His promise to His people, (1 John 1:9). Thank God for His grace, faithfulness and mercy!
God heard their cry, but He did not give them a deliverer immediately. God sent them an unnamed prophet instead. He sent them a man of God with a word from Heaven.
This prophet’s message was designed to remind them of who they were. It was a message designed to confront their failure in light of God’s faithfulness.

The prophet’s message was designed to remind them of how good the Lord had been to them. It was designed to remind them how they should have been living because of their relationship with the Lord. Let’s examine that message for a few moments.

v. 8b-9a They Are Reminded Of God’s Deliverance – God had moved in supernatural power to deliver Israel from their bondage in Egypt. God gave them a deliverer named Moses. God demonstrated His power of the Egyptian gods through the plagues that fell on the land. God brought them out in great power, parting the Red Sea, and allowing them to walk over on dry ground. If for nothing else, they should have been faithful to God because of His grace and salvation in their lives.

God’s grace has been even more real in your life and mine! He has never parted a sea for me. He has never sent plagues for me. But, He did give His Son on a cross for me! He did put me in His plan before the world began. He did love me in spite of my sin. He did save me when I wasn’t even looking for Him. He did change my life just because I called on Him by faith. For that reason alone, He deserves my faithfulness, my love and my devotion.

I should not have to be coddled to get me to come to church. I should not be upset when I don’t get my way all the time. I should not whine, gripe and complain about my lot in life. I should not have to be begged to get me to serve the Lord. I was on my way to Hell when He saved me by grace! He should have my absolute, undivided attention!
Think back to how the Lord saved your soul! Does the fact that He saved you mean anything to you? It should mean everything!

v. 9b They Are Reminded OF God’s Deeds – Not only did God deliver them from Egypt, God went with them every step of the way. He drove out their enemies. He led them. He fed them. He never failed them, even when they failed Him. He gave them a good land and blessed them far beyond what they deserved. They should have been faithful to Him because of His blessings on their lives!

Look around! Look back! Look up! Look within! All around, we can see the evidence of God’s blessings on our lives. He has been good to us! He has blessed us materially, physically, financially, and best of all, spiritually. He has been faithful to us and He has given us the best! I believe that we ought to be faithful to Him out of gratitude for all the things He has done for us! I wouldn’t have anything if it wasn’t for the Lord! Every good thing in my life has come to me through His hand,( James 1:16-17).

Look at your blessings. Name them one by one! Hasn’t the Lord been good to you? Doesn’t He deserve your best in return? What if He took it all away today? I would still have to say that I am blessed. He has been that good to me!

v. 10 They Are Reminded Of God’s Demands – God reminds them that He, not the gods of the pagans, is their God. His words here remind us that He is a “jealous” God, (Ex. 20:5; 34:14), who will not allow those He has redeemed to go after other gods. Israel is made to see that they are suffering because they failed to keep God in first place. They have allowed other things to come ahead of Him and they are paying a high price for their low living.

God has not changed! He is still a jealous God. If He has chosen you in Jesus, saved you by grace and entered into a saving relationship with you, He expects you to live for Him alone. He does not expect that you will live for yourself. He does not expect that you will live for your things. He expects that you will walk with Him, love Him and live according to His will. When you do, He will bless you greatly. When you don’t there is a price to pay. If you belong to the Lord, you can expect to pay a high price when you live below His standards, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-12).

Look at your life right now. Who is first in your life? If it is anyone other than Him, you are headed for trouble!

Conc: Low living carries a high price! What will your disobedience cost you if it continues? What price are you willing to pay for your sin? Whatever it is, your sin is not worth what it will cost you in the long run!

If the Lord has spoken to your heart about any area of life, bring it to Him right now. Are you saved? Are you living close and clean? Are you faithful to Him? Are you reaping the whirlwind in your life? Come to Him right now and deal with the areas of your life that He has spoken to today!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“When Upon Life’s Billows” By: Johnson Oatman (1897)
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
Refrain:

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your Lord on high.
Refrain:

So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Divine Father, Glorious God! Help us to stand firm in the freedom You have secured for us in Jesus our Lord. Thank You, Jesus, for giving Your life so we could be free from the yoke of slavery to enemy of our soul. Enable us not to become entangled in it again. Keep us constantly aware when we accept some bondage into our life. Forgive us when we do fall and have mercy on us. These things we ask in Jesus blessed name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 12/5/2012 9:36AM

    Thank you for reminding us that He has given us so much! That I have to walk with Him everyday! Sometimes I tend to forget this!

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ANHELIC 12/5/2012 12:24AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson and reminder. We are blessed and we should be grateful that Jesus will never leave or forsake us and will quickly forgive us for our sins. He has to be number one in our lives or we won't survive. I am so grateful I have God with me all the time. God bless you for your teaching.

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NADINEL 12/4/2012 9:47PM

    Thank you, Vic!

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DIANER2014 12/4/2012 12:44PM

    Amen! Thank you Vic! God Bless You! emoticon

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JLLOVETT 12/4/2012 11:01AM

    I am a woman who now confidently approaches the throne of grace because of the finished work done by Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:16)
Thank you, Jesus! emoticon

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TONYVAND1 12/4/2012 10:38AM

  Living in Freedom I know that my Redeemer liveth and I praise Him every day.

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GAMMY98 12/4/2012 9:20AM

    How beautiful this is. After I seen that you had visited my blog I came to you page to thank you for your visit. Then went to read this blog. What a great lesson in this blog and thank you for it. emoticon

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GABY1948 12/4/2012 8:26AM

    Vic, this was a WONDERFUL blog. Thank you for inviting me! God Bless you! I shall be returning!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/4/2012 6:53AM

    praying for Jesus to walk with me thru all my trials! amen!

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LEANJEAN6 12/4/2012 6:32AM

    so nice-Lynda emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 12/3/2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 12/03/2012

Judges 6:1-10
THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING, Lesson 6b

v. 1b-6 THE SUFFERING THEY ENDURED
These verses chronicle the terrible price Israel paid for their foolishness in sinning against God. What they suffered serves to remind us that we do not get away with sin! We might think we can hide it. We might think no one will find out. The truth is, God knows, and in His time, He will expose it for what it is, (Num. 32:23; Luke 12:1-3). Let’s examine what Israel endured because of their sins. As we do, let us remember that the same judgment or worse might be upon our lives, if we fail to live for the Lord.

v. 1b-2a They Suffered Invasion – Israel was oppressed by the Midianites. The Midianites were the descendants of Abraham just like the Israelites were. They descended from a man named Midian. Midian was the son of Abraham and Keturah, (Gen. 25:1-6). Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died.

The Midianites appear from time to time in the Bible. Moses married a Midianite woman named Zipporah after he fled from Egypt,( Ex. 2:21). In Numbers, the Midianites were counseled by Balaam to seduce the Israelite men and turn their hearts toward idols. It worked and over 24,000 Israelites died as a result, (Num 25).

The word “Midian” means “strife”. The Midianites are a clear picture of the conflict the world around us has with the truth of God that we believe and obey. They are a picture of a corrupt world and its desire to draw the people of God away from God.

The only reason the Midianites had power over the people of God was because the people of God were unfaithful to the Lord. Their sin lowered the wall of separation between them and the world. Israel got into trouble because they refused to walk with the Lord.

When we refuse to stay close to the Lord and live according to His Word, we also open the door of affliction in our lives. Often, our troubles arise directly from our foolish decisions. Our sinful nature translates into weakness. Our weakness invites the enemies of righteousness to attack us. Our weakness often results in our being invaded by, attacked by and overrun by the world.

v. 2 They Suffered Imprisonment – The oppression of Israel by the Midianites resulted in Israel losing its will to fight. They ran away and hid in the mountains while the enemy overran their land. Their sin made them weak. It caused them to lose their will to fight. It left them utterly defeated!

When we allow sin to reign in our lives, we will find the same thing is true. Sin robs us of our character. It leaves us unwilling and unable to fight. When we allow sin to rule in our hearts, we become listless, lifeless and lethargic in our Christian life. Sin causes us to hide in fear while the enemy takes everything we value!

There are people today who have been imprisoned by their sins. They have allowed certain actions and ways of living dominate them so long that you have lost their will and ability to fight against them. They are a prisoner in their own life and they hide in fear from actions they think they cannot control.

The fact is, Jesus has the power to set you free,( John 8:36). But, you cannot hide in fear of your sin and enjoy the Lord’s freedom! If you would be free, you must deal with your sin! You must confess it, (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9). You must repent of it, (Luke 13:5). You must forsake it. You can be free, but you must be proactive. It will not simply happen by itself.

v. 3-6 They Suffered Impoverishment – Verse 6 tells us that Israel was “impoverished”. This word means “to make slack or feeble”. It comes from a root word that was used to speak of “a bucket dangling from the end of a rope.” It is a picture of helplessness and hopeless. It is a picture of a people at the very end of themselves.

Israel had everything they love taken away from them. They planted their fields, (v. 3), and their enemies came and took away their crops. They saw all of the livestock taken away, (v. 4). They were left with “no sustenance”. They were literally made “weak”. They were literally “at the end of their rope”. Everything they valued was taken from them. Everything they needed to sustain life was gone. They were left with nothing!
That’s what sin does! It strips us of everything we value and everything we live for. It leaves us slack, weak, at the very end of our rope. If you choose to live your life under the control of sin, do not be surprised when you look around and see the things you value taken from you.

Some people have chosen sin over a spouse and their marriage is gone. Some people raise their children to be the best, have the best and do the best, but they fail to raise teach them to love the Lord. Often, those parents see their children walk away from the Lord. Some people live for material things, forgetting that this material world is transient. When they end this life, they have nothing! Some people are caught up in getting their own way all the time. They forget that they must step on the feelings and needs of others to get there. There may come a time when people like that will look around and find that they are all alone!

I don’t know what you are investing in today, but I do know that investing in anything, but Jesus, pays dividends you do not want to reap, (Gal. 6:7-8). I do know that investing in Jesus pays off in dividends that are eternal, (Matt. 6:19-21). Where are you investing in?

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus Is Coming Soon” By: R. E. Winsett (1942)

Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear,
Freedom we all hold dear, now is at stake.
Humbling your heart to God saves from the chastening rod.
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake!

Chorus
Jesus is coming soon, morning or night or noon,
Many will meet their doom, trumpets will sound.
All of the dead shall rise, righteous meet in the sky,
Going where no one dies, Heavenward bound!

Love of so many cold, losing their home of gold,
This in God’s word is told, evils abound;
When these signs come to pass, nearing the end at last,
It will come very fast, trumpet will sound.
Chorus

Troubles will soon be o'er, happy forever more,
When we meet on that shore, free from all care.
Rising up in the sky, telling this world goodbye,
Homeward we then will fly, glory to share.

Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Awesome God! We don’t want to entertain sin in our hearts. We want our hearts to be right with You. If we cherish sin in our hearts, we know You will not listen to our prayers; but if we confess our sins to You, You are faithful to hear our prayers and deliver us from oppression. Enable us by the power of the Your Spirit to keep our hearts pure and spirit humble. Thank You for listening and not rejecting our prayers. Thank You for not withholding Your marvelous love from us. Teach us to be just like Jesus. This we pray in Your Beloved Son’s name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/4/2012 12:04AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson. As long as we bring out children up to follow God and walk in His goodness, we will not have to worry about them going astray. When we sin, confess and repent and teach our children the same. God will forgive us and love us unconditionally. Thank you for the goodies and notes.
Thank you for your awesome teachings.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 12/3/2012 2:25PM

    Thank you Vic for the lesson. I know that God will deal with the ones who left our church too; but it still hurts. Our church is in financial distress now because people who were not happy with what the pastor said or did and they left without talkingt it over. Our youth pastor resigned so that we could stay afloat longer; and our heart hurts for him and his family. My heart cries out for justice and mercy.

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TONYVAND1 12/3/2012 8:42AM

  We do need to confess our sins and repent and turn from our evil ways. He is faithful and will forgive us all that we confess in the Name of Jesus.

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SANDRALEET 12/3/2012 6:59AM

    We think that God will never repay the harm we did to others God will.We think we are special and do not have to pay for our country's sins .Since like time begun we will When God had enough God will punish

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/3/2012 6:54AM

    love todays hymn! thank you Vic!

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AZMOMXTWO 12/3/2012 6:48AM

  amen
thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTASTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 12/2/2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 12/02/2012

Judges 6:1-10
THE HIGH COST OF LOW LIVING, Lesson 6a

As we move through the book of Judges, a clear pattern has emerged. The children of Israel would serve the Lord as long as they had a strong leader. When that leader passed from the scene, they fell back into their sins.

When they sinned, God used the pagan nations living around them to chastise Israel. He allowed their enemies to afflict and oppress Israel to show them the high price of low living.

In chapter 6 we are introduced to a man named Gideon. His name means “he who cuts down”. When Gideon appears, he is an unlikely choice to be a deliverer. He is hiding out of fear for Israel’s enemies, (v. 11). Gideon was guilty of fear and faithless, but he was God’s choice to be the next judge of Israel, and God used him in a wonderful way.
Just before we look into the life of Gideon, we are going to consider the text that lies before us today. These verses set the stage for the ministry of Gideon in Israel. They also hold some powerful lessons for our lives as well.

These verses serve as a parable that speaks about “The High Cost Of Low Living). They teach us the truth that disobedience to the will of the Lord in our lives carries a price higher than we would ever want to pay. Let’s notice the lessons that can be gleaned from these verses, and how they can be applied to our daily lives, as we look at the subject, “The High Cost Of Low Living”.

v. 1a THE SIN THEY EMBRACED

The Bible simply says that “the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.” We do not know what their sin was, but we can assume that it was the same sin they had been guilty of in the past, (Judges 2:19; 3:5-7). They were prone to walking the same foolish pathway. They were guilty of falling into the same trap.

Israel was surrounded by pagan nations who worshiped false gods. They were surrounded by people who were continually trying to draw Israel away from, God and into their own wicked way of life. As long as Israel had strong leadership, they were able to live clean. When that leadership failed, they wandered away from the Lord. Israel was a weak, vacillating people who had trouble staying on course with the Lord.
Let’s not be too hard on them. I may be teaching a group of people who have the same problem. Everyone of us deals with certain areas of weakness. There are areas in our lives where we seem to be in a constant struggle for righteousness. The book of Hebrews refers to these areas as “the sin which doth so easily beset us”, (Heb. 12:1).
The words “easily beset” mean “to skillfully surround”. Our flesh loves sin. Our enemy, Satan, is a shrewd enemy. He knows our weaknesses. He knows how to entice us and draw us away into evil, ( 2 Tim. 2:25-26). Satan lays the trap for us because he knows what makes us tick, (James 1:12-16).

Every person has those areas of life that cause you trouble. There are areas where you are weak. Some have problems with their language. Some have problems with stubbornness and submission. Some have problems with gossip. Some have issues with sexual sin. Some have a pull toward alcohol and drugs. People struggles in many different areas.

You know the areas where you are weak. You know, that given the right circumstances, you will have trouble overcoming temptation.

If you want to succeed in the fight with sin, there are a few definite steps you can take.
Do not play near the trap. If you know there is an area of danger in your life, stay away from that danger. Joseph –( Gen. 39:12; 2 Tim. 2:22; Eph. 4:27). Satan is out to get you, so keep your distance, (1 Pet. 5:8).

Look for the avenue of escape, (1 Cor. 10:13). God will make a way out of our temptations, but it is up to us to use it!

Learn to consider yourself dead to sin and its influences, (Rom. 6:11; Col. 3:3-5).
Determine in your heart to serve God and Him only, (Rom. 6:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Sin is a constant problem for every saint, but it does not have to dominate and control our lives. We can have victory through our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, (Rom. 6:7, 14).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Victory In Jesus” By: E. M. Bartlett (1939)

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory (how He gave His life)
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, (of His blood's atoning) of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented (repented) of my sins (repented of my sins) and won the victory

Chorus:
Oh victory in Jesus (victory in Jesus), my Savior (my Savior) forever (forever)
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood (bought me with His blood)
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"
I then obeyed His blest command and gained the victory

Repeat Chorus


I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory
And I heard about the street of gold beyond the crystal sea (beyond the crystal sea)
About the angels singing (the angels are singing) and the old redemption story
Oh and some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory

Repeat Chorus (x2)

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Faithful Father, Glorious God! When we see the failure of others, we pray it will not shake our faith in Jesus, in Your promises and in Your Word. Help us not to do anything wrong, but to do that which is right in Your sight , and remain strong in Jesus. Enable us to not do anything against Your truth, but FOR Your TRUTH. We are glad that when we are weak, You are strong. Grant us a faith that does not depend on the rise or fall of others, but only on Jesus Christ our Lord. We know He won’t fail. It is in His Precious name that we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 12/2/2012 8:50PM

    Thank you, Vic! I appreciate these lessons. emoticon

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ANHELIC 12/2/2012 4:49PM

    Thank you Vic for you great lesson, hymn which I love and prayer. I know if we take our eyes off the Lord and follow Satan who is always trying to get us away from God, we will pay a high price. I thank God for the victory we will have with Him, I will remain following in his path. God bless you for sharing the wonderful lesson.

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ROLLINGREEVES 12/2/2012 1:20PM

    Amen, this is the the other little of piece of Spark I need. Thanks, Vic.

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SUNSETBREEZE05 12/2/2012 10:24AM

    Amen!! I am so thankful that He is strong. I fall he picks me up.

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TONYVAND1 12/2/2012 8:23AM

  I just love that old song because I know without a doubt that I can have victory through Jesus.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/2/2012 6:32AM

    thank you once again, Vic! Glory to God!

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CSDAYS 12/2/2012 6:24AM

    Amen! Blessings!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 12/1/2012

Saturday, December 01, 2012

DEBORAH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 12/01/2012

Judges 4:1-24
DEBORAH: A WOMAN OF CONVICTION AND COURAGE, Lesson 5c

MUSIC OF VICTORY
The victory over Sisera results in Barak and Deborah launching into song. Their song is recorded for us in chapter 5. It is a song of praise to the God Who gave them the victory over their enemy.

v. 1-12 They Praised God For His Virtues – The primary thrust of these verses is a refrain of praise offered to God for His wonderful works among the people of Israel. He gave them unity so they could raise and army, (v. 2; 9). The Lord Who had given them victory in the past would not fail them now, (v. 4-5). God, in His faithfulness, gave them Deborah to lead them, (v. 7). God allowed them to defeat their enemies and freed them from the bondage of their oppressors, (v. 6-7; 10-12).

They praise God for His power in their lives. That is a valid reason for praise in this day. Take a moment to inventory your life. Hasn’t God been good to you? You are saved and blessed beyond words. He is worthy of our love, worship and praise!

v. 13-18 They Praised God For His Volunteers – When the call went out for volunteers, only half the tribes came to fight. The rest refused to go to war. In the days of Joshua, every tribe was expected to fight for the nation, when Barak called for warriors, many would not come. (Verse 23) – The town of “Meroz” was cursed by the Angel of the Lord because it refused to send volunteers to help the Lord.

By the way, things have not changed today. The majority of the work is carried out by a minority of the people. The call has gone out for us to tell the world about Jesus, but few go. The call has gone out for us to take our stand against evil, but few have answered. The call has come for us to rally ourselves together and fight the good fight of faith, but few answer the call.

I thank God for those who are willing to work! I thank God for those who can be counted on to teach those classes, sing hymns of praise, come out to prayer meeting, support the special meetings of the church, and go to work for the Lord in these dark days. I just believe that God still blesses those who fight and work for Him!

v. 19-23 They Praised God For His Victory – The enemy was defeated by the power of God. He sent the rain and defeated the 900 iron chariots of the Canaanites. One raindrop is a tiny, fragile thing, but when it is united with many other raindrops, it becomes a thing of great power. Just as God took the weak raindrops and used them to wash away the enemy; He took the weak army of Israel and gave them a great victory.
We look at our world today and wonder whether we can have victory any more. I want to say that we can! If we will stand together and fight the good fight of faith, God will empower us and lead us to victory for His glory. You see, it isn’t numbers, wealth or human power that gets the job down; it is the power of God, (1 Cor. 1:26-31).

v. 24-31 They Praised God For His Vessels – They close their song by praising the Lord for His unsung heroes. They praised the Lord for the bravery of Jael in slaying Sisera. Her act of bravery allowed the nation to enjoy victory.

God always has His people. He has those secret ones through whom He is working. We ought to praise God for the unsung heroes of the Christian faith. People like Hur who, along with Aaron, held up the arms of Moses while Israel battled the Amalekites, (Num. 17). We have those same kind of heroes today: the prayer warriors, the silent servants, the people who do the little things that no one notices, and the people who serve behind the scenes. There is a God in Heaven Who sees who you are and He watches what you do. Carry on, and He will bless you in His way, in His time, (Gal. 6:9).

Conc: Verse 31 closes out the story and the song of Deborah. This verses is a prophecy that reminds us that the enemies of the Lord will be destroyed, while the faithful saints of God will shine with His glory some day.

Let me encourage you to keep on serving the Lord. I know the way gets weary. I know the path gets steep. I know that it often seems there is little reason, from a human standpoint, to carry on, but there is! One day Jesus is coming. When He does, He is taking His children home with Him. When we get there, we will stand before Him and give an account of our service to Him. On that day, if you have been faithful, you will receive rewards for everything you have ever done for His glory, (1 Cor. 3:10-15).

Others, who have lived for themselves, will see everything burn up and perish. But, you who are faithful, will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”

So, turn from sin, live for Jesus and look for the day when He balances the books. It will be worth it all then!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“FAITH IS THE VICTORY” By: John H. YATES (1891)

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Refrain
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
Refrain

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation‘s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ‘neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
Refrain

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be given.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heaven.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts[ with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conquering Name.
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Joyous God, may You fill us with all joy and peace as we place our trust in You; may we overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit as we live daily to Your wonderful glory. Help us to resist the things that would deplete our soul of Your Divine strength. Fill us instead with Your hope, peace and joy, so much, so we will overflow to others as we lift our voices in songs and praise to You. Pour new life into us; fill us afresh with Your joy and the hope that is ours in Christ Jesus. Take all hopelessness away and fill us with Your Great Love. We praise You and Your marvelous name as we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABY_GIRL69 12/2/2012 4:02PM

    Just can't stop praising the Lord for each victory...God bless & thank you for sharing...Dee

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ANHELIC 12/1/2012 10:21PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I am glad that I can serve the Lord in my small way. He is guiding me and I feel I am growing deeper in faith each day. Your lessons increase my knowledge of God's word. Thank you for your lessons. Thank you for the goodies and notes. Thay are encouraging as well. God bless you Vic.

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TONYVAND1 12/1/2012 8:18PM

  I am so blessed when I serve the Lord with all of my heart.

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LOSTLIME 12/1/2012 9:01AM

    Thank you for your lesson and prayer everyday! It brings me peace on the inside.

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DIANER2014 12/1/2012 7:18AM

    Thanks Vic! It is such a comfort to read your daily blog! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 11/30/2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

DEBORAH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 11/30/2012

Judges 4:1-24
DEBORAH: A WOMAN OF CONVICTION AND COURAGE, Lesson 5b

v. 4-24 THE SPECIAL MINISTRY OF DEBORAH

v. 4-5 Her Position – The Bible is very clear; Deborah was both a “prophetess” and a “judge”. Her name means “Bee”, and she was as busy as a bee! Matthew Henry says that her very name suggests the work of the bee: industrious, sharp perception (discernment), great usefulness, sweetness to her friends, and sharpness to her enemies.

The word “prophetess” suggests that she received direct revelation from the Lord and shared that word with His people. Deborah is not the only “prophetess” mentioned in the Bible. Others include: Miriam, (Ex. 15:20); Huldah,( 2 Kings 22:14); Anna, (Luke 2:36); and the four daughters of Philip, (Acts 21:9).

There is no contradiction between this fact and the fact that God only calls men to preach, (2 Tim. 3:1-8). God laid His hand on these women and poured His truth through them in an age when there was not a complete Bible. In this age, we have a completed Bible. God does not call women to preach in this age, (1 Tim. 2:8-15).

The word “judge” lets us know that she settled disputes among the people of Israel,( v. 5). They came to her with their problems and she rendered judgment. In a very real sense, Deborah, was the leader of the nation during those dark days.

v. 6-7 Her Prophecy – Deborah receives a word from the Lord and she calls Barak, to take 10,000 soldiers and go to war with the enemy. The Lord promises to defeat Sisera, the Canaanite general. God promises a great victory, if they will simply trust Him. And go to war.

v. 8-9 Her Problem – Deborah has a word from the Lord. She shares that word with Barak, and she finds that Barak seems to be afraid to follow that word. He is willing to go to battle, but only if Deborah will go with him. She agrees to go, but tells him that since he depended on a woman, the glory of victory will be given to the woman!

v. 10-24 Her Partner – Barak and Israel go to war with Sisera and the Canaanites. Barak gets 10,000 from his own tribe of Naphtali and the neighboring tribe of Zebulon, (Judges 4:6, 10; 5:14, 18). Later, the ranks swelled to 40,000,( 5:8), with volunteers from Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, and Issachar, (5:5:14-15). Some of the tribes refused to come, (5:15-17), but those which did saw God give them a great victory.
Considering the fact that Israel had no weapon,( 5:8), and no standing army, what Barak and Deborah did was an amazing act of faith. They trusted God and He have them a great victory!

Verse 15 tells us that God “discomfited” Sisera and his armies. Judges 5:21 tells us what happened. As they fought, God allowed the Kishon River to overflow its banks, the iron chariots of Sisera became stuck in the mud and the soldiers were swept away by the currents. All the soldiers of Sisera were slain, (4:15).

Seeing that his army was defeated, Sisera fled the battlefield on foot. He went to the tent of a man named Heber, who was of the Kenites. The Kenites were a people group who aligned themselves with Israel. This particular family, however, had turned on the rest of the tribe and took sides with Sisera and his army.

So, Sisera flees to the tent of Heber thinking that he will find refuge there. Heber’s wife Jael greets Sisera and invites him into her tent. She helps him hide from his pursuers, (v. 18). Sisera asks Jael for a drink of water, she brings him a drink of milk instead. The offer of milk served two purposes. First, it eased the mind of Sisera. He was convinced that he had entered the tent of a friend and that he was safe. He asks Jael to lie for him, (v. 20). Second, the milk would have helped him fall asleep. He was already tired from the battle and when he drank the milk and laid down in the darkness, it wasn’t long until sleep overtook him. While he slept, Jael takes one of the tent nails and drives it through Sisera’s head, killing him, ( v. 21).

In that culture, it was the woman’s responsibility to put up and take down the tents. So, Jael was used to swinging that hammer. This woman was not stupid! When she saw Sisera come to her tent on foot, she knew that he had been defeated in battle. She also knew that if she was caught hiding him in her tent, she might be put to death with him when Barak found them. She saw that Israel had come out on top in the battle and she wanted to be found on the right side when the dust settled. Jael was a wise woman!

Let me stop here and say a word about women in the church. Thank God for the women! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

They are not second class saints. They fulfill a vital role in God’s kingdom work. If all the women were removed from the average local church, the work of the church would grind to a halt. I have watched the ladies work while the men just stood around and talked. Most men are spoiled. Their mothers did everything for them when they were growing up. Their wives have done everything for them since they have been married and they don’t know how to do anything but grunt work outside.

Women hold a vital place in the work of the church. They are the ones who, for the most part, teach our children. They are the ones who have the kind of compassion that drives the outreach ministries of the church. They are the ones who bring the gifts of grace, love and mercy to the table. By and large, they are more dependable than the men, when it comes to be involved in the work of the church. The women in every church exert tremendous influence on the children in the church. I thank God for the godly, active women in the Lord’s church!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Jesus, Rose Of Sharon” By: Ida A. Guirey (1921)

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom within my heart
Beauties of Thy truth and holiness impart
That where’er I go my life may shed abroad
Fragrance of the knowledge of the love of God

Refrain
Jesus, blessed Jesus, Rose of Sharon
Bloom in radiance
And in love within my heart


Jesus, Rose of Sharon, sweeter far to see
Than the fairest flow’rs of earth could ever be
Fill my life completely, adding more each day
Of Thy grace divine and purity, I pray
Refrain


Jesus, Rose of Sharon, balm for ev’ry ill
May Thy tender mercy’s healing power distil
For afflicted souls of weary burdened men
Giving needy mortals health and hope again
Refrain

Jesus, Rose of Sharon, bloom forevermore
Be Thy glory seen on earth from shore to shore
Till the nations own Thy sov’reignty complete
Lay their honors down and worship at Thy feet
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, Glorious God! We pray that the eyes of our hearts may be enlightened in order that we may know the hope in which You have called us, the riches of our inheritance and Your incomparably great power for us who believe in Jesus Christ. Enable us to comprehend thy mighty works on our behalf because of our faith in You. Help us to seek and understand more of Your presence and power being manifested daily in our life to Your glory and Honor. These things we pray and ask in the Almight name of Jesus. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 11/30/2012 8:30PM

    Thank you for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I thank God that I can be a prayer warrier for God. Great women in the Bible are a blessing to God. I didn't realize how great some were and just what they did. Thank you for sharing this information to me. God bless you for your lesson today, Vic. I learned more today.

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TONYVAND1 11/30/2012 11:02AM

  Great Blog Vic and thank God for women in the church. My wife is an extension of me and I thanks God for her every day.

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PASTORMIKE7 11/30/2012 10:58AM

    Praise GOD for all of the women of the church!!!!

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LOSTLIME 11/30/2012 8:12AM

    Thank you for the daily lesson and prayer!

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CASTIRONLADY 11/30/2012 7:08AM

    Amen! Thank God for prayer warriors like yourself.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 11/30/2012 7:05AM

    thank you for our daily prayer!

linda

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