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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 12/24/2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! We will be back on Dec 27th. In His Love! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/26/2012 12:29AM

    Hope you are having a wonderful time. See you when you return. Be safe and travel with God.

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NADINEL 12/24/2012 4:51PM

    Merry Christmas to you both!!!

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POETLKNG2LOSE 12/24/2012 4:10PM

    Merry christmas VIc to you and your family. emoticon emoticon

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FORMERFATGUY777 12/24/2012 2:30PM

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

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SAINTBETH 12/24/2012 12:19PM

    God bless you in your travels.

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TONYVAND1 12/24/2012 9:48AM

  Thanks Vic for you great posts

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/24/2012 6:41AM

    Thanking God for the gift of Christ and the celebration of His birth!

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WENDYSPARKS 12/24/2012 6:41AM

    Merry Christmas!!! HUGS!

Wendy emoticon mmm emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARINEMAMA 12/24/2012 6:36AM

    Be blessed!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/24/2012 6:34AM

    CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 12/23/2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 12/23/2012

Judges 8:22-35
THE TEMPTATIONS OF GIDEON’S FINAL DAYS, Lesson 12c

v. 28-35 HE FACED SOCIAL TEMPTATION
Gideon weathered one temptation successfully; he failed miserably in another. There is one final temptation Gideon faced, and he failed this one gloriously too. He failed in the area of social temptation.

Gideon Was A Celebrity – I will just touch this, because it has already been dealt with earlier. Gideon was a celebrity in Israel. As a result, there were certain temptations that came his way. There were temptations to wealth, power and glory. Gideon allowed his success to go to his head! Sometimes great success can lead to great defeat.

This truth is seen in the life of Elijah. The prophet stood on top of Mt. Carmel in the power of God and saw God give a great victory, (1 Kings 18:20-40). Then, he outran King Ahab back to Samaria, even though Elijah was on foot and the king was in a chariot, (vv. 41-46). Then, when Elijah is threatened by that wicked woman Jezebel, (1 Kings 19:1-3), he ran away in fear! Elijah’s greatest failure came on the heels of his greatest success. Be careful, the same can prove true in your life and mine as well.

v. 30-32 Gideon Was A Compromiser – We are told that Gideon took to himself “many wives”. We do not know how many wives Gideon had, but it was enough to allow him to produce 70 sons. Apparently, such a large number of women were not enough, because Gideon even had a concubine, or mistress.

Polygamy was tolerated in Israel, but never authorized by God. In fact, in the beginning, marriage was always one women and one man for one lifetime, (Gen. 2:18-25). The first polygamist was a man named Lamech, (Gen. 4:19). He was from the line of Cain, and has no regard for the will of God. In Deut. 17:17, the rulers of Israel were forbidden to take multiple wives. God knew that many wives would divide the hearts of the kings and pull them away from God. This was clearly seen in the life of King Solomon, (1 Kings 11:3). In fact, anywhere you find polygamy in the Bible, you find problems. ( Abraham, David, Jacob, Solomon, Etc.)

Gideon apparently believed that the Law no longer applied to him. He seemed to have the idea that he could do as he pleased and there would be no consequences for his actions. He paid a high price for his rebellion. So will we!

When we come to the place where we believe that we can do as we please, regardless of the cost to God and others, we are deceiving ourselves. There is always a price to pay for disobedience, and that price is high!

Gideon Was A Casualty – In the end, this great man lost his testimony, his influence, and his family. After he died, the people continued their downward slide into idolatry, (v. 33-34). When Gideon died, he was relegated to the past. He was forgotten by the very people he delivered, (v. 35). In chapter 9 we are told that one of his sons, a man by the name of Abimelech, who was the son of Gideon’s concubine, decided that he should be the king of Israel. Through a series of events, he killed all 69 of his brothers and was declared king. So, Gideon lost his family and everything he ever worked for.

The lesson here is this: When we walk in ways that are not God’s ways that are not His paths, there is a terrible price to pray for our disobedience. Our foolish decisions can put a bad taste in the mouths of those around us for the things of God. The way we act toward God, His people, His Word and His will speaks more loudly to those around us than the words we say. Therefore, be careful how you act, what you say, and what you involve yourself with, what you do will affect those around you! Don’t be a casualty of some foolish decision that seems right at the moment. Don’t be a Gideon!

Conc: What a shame it would be to live your life in victory and power, to the glory of God, just to see it all come to nothing because of a foolish decision. The landscape of human history is littered with such tragic stories. So many people have done so well only to see everything taken from them in the end.

It does not have to be that way in our lives. We can live well, and we can leave well. We can finish our course in a way that glorifies the Lord and leaves behind a good testimony. We do not have to end up like Gideon! I pray that none of us will!

If the Lord has spoken to you about some area of your life that needs to be brought back under His control, the time to obey Him is right now. If He has shown you that you have embarked on a fool’s errand, you can come back to Him today. If He has shown you that others are leading you into error like Gideon led Israel, the time to make a break from that situation is right now.

Is He speaking to YOU? Listen to His voice so you can finish well and avoid the temptations that felled Gideon!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“O Come, All Ye Faithful” By: John Francis Wade (1751)

1.O come all ye faithful joyful and triumphant Oh come ye O come ye to Bethlehem; come and behold him born the King of angels;
Refrain:
O come let us adore him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

2.Sing choirs of angels sing in exultation sing all ye citizens of heaven above; glory to God in the highest:
Refrain

3. Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to thee be glory given; word of the Father, now in flesh appearing:
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Precious Father, Gentle and Wonderful Jesus, Truly Awesome and Ever-present Holy Spirit, we love you. In your love and grace, may we use every failure in our life to glorify your name. Whenever we experience any kind of failure in our life, may we be able to use the failure to see your special mission and purpose for our life. As we commit our whole life to you, make our failures be a time when we can overcome being down, discouraged, or depressed. As we commit our whole life to you, in your love and grace, may we be able to discover your hidden wisdom in every failure. When we fail, may we always resolve to move forward for you rather than letting our life be mired down because we made a mistake. When I encounter failure, may we be able to use failure to be more and do more for your glory. All these things we humbly pray in the name of our most Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ, our Mighty God, and our Ever-Present Holy Spirit upon whom we can rely. Amen

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM?

Ps: My Wife and I will be taking 3 days off to celebrate Christmas with the family in Mathis, Tx. We will be gone Dec 24 thru 26. We will continue our daily lessons, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, on Dec 27. Hope to see you all again then!
From our family to YOURS!
HAVE A HAPPY and BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS! Vic and Mary Lou.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 12/23/2012 5:50PM

    Have a safe and Merry Christmas, Vic & Mary Lou emoticon

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AVANELL 12/23/2012 2:53PM

    I am so glad that Jesus lived a perfect life so He could be qualified to die for my iniquities! It is because of Him that I can experience God's grace and forgiveness when I mess up. As a human being I am imperfect, but through God's grace I am forgiven and by His Spirit I am empowered to live above the temptations that come into my life. May I always surrender myself to His ways and not mine so that I can overcome the temptation to sin! Lord Jesus, have Your way in me!

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TONYVAND1 12/23/2012 2:47PM

  Committing my life to Christ reven when I fail ,He loves me and lifts me up. Enjoy your days away Vic.

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DIANER2014 12/23/2012 9:09AM

    Thanks for the lesson Vic! Merry Christmas to you and Mary Lou! emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/23/2012 8:24AM

    I commit today! Moving forward : )

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SUNSET09 12/23/2012 7:48AM

  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy your holiday with the family! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 12/22/2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 12/22/2012

Judges 8:22-35
THE TEMPTATIONS OF GIDEON’S FINAL DAYS, Lesson 12b

v. 24-27 HE FACED SPIRITUAL TEMPTATION

v. 24 There Is A Request – This time, the request comes from Gideon. He has just weathered a great temptation, but in the very next breath, he betrays his words by his actions. As one fellow said, “The people want Gideon to have dominion, but he wants a donation.” He asks them for the golden earrings that they had collected from the corpses of the slain enemy soldiers.

Gideon is a study in contrasts. On the one hand, he exalts God and refuses to usurp the Lord’s place as sovereign over the nation. On the other hand, Gideon gives in to the temptation for wealth. He turns down one temptation only to yield to another. In the end, this one will turn out just as bad as the other one would have turned out.

v. 25-26 There Is A Response – The people do not even hesitate. They spread out a blanket and cough up over 1,700 shekels of gold, plus garments and other ornaments. 1,700 shekels equals about 57 pounds of gold. In today’s money that comes to over 1 million dollars. These people simply hand it over to Gideon, just because he asks for it.Consider this however; they refused to give when they were faced with doing something right, (8:6, 8). Now, they give, without question to this questionable request from Gideon. What a fickle bunch the children of Israel were.

Of course, we ought not to be too hard on them. How often have we found ourselves caught up in something that ultimately dishonors God just because we just jumped on somebody’s bandwagon? We need to make sure that any cause we embraced in our lives has the backing of the Word and will of God! Failing to do that will lead to embarrassment and chastisement from the Lord.

v. 27 There Were Results – Gideon took the gold he was given and made and “ephod” out of it. An ephod was a garment used in the ministry of the high priest. It was a sleeveless outer vest that came down to the hips. The high priest of Israel wore a linen ephod that had twelve stones on the front which represented the twelve tribes of Israel. There was a pouch on the front that contained the “Urim and the Thumim”, which were stones used to discern the will of God.

So, Gideon made an ephod, a high priests prayer garment from gold, and then he took this ephod and placed it in Orphah.

What is so bad about what Gideon did? We are told that “all Israel” went “whoring after it”. The word “whoring” means “to commit fornication”. The people of God went after this ephod and worshiped it because it represented victory over their enemies to them. The people were drawn away from the Tabernacle in Shiloh and they went to Orphah to worship at the ephod Gideon built.

Beware of anything that draws you away from the Lord and His worship. Anything that hinders you from worshiping Him His way is dangerous and will lead you into idolatry and apostasy. No matter how right it seems, if it isn’t according to His plan, it is not of the Lord. No matter how many people may be doing it!

There Were Reasons – Why did Gideon do such a thing? We are not told, but I would like to make a guess, if you will allow me to. It may just be that Gideon, while he did not want to be the king of Israel, wanted to be the spiritual leader of the nation. The High Priest was not fulfilling his office consistently or properly. It may be that Gideon thought he could do a better job.

After all, Gideon had seen God face to face. The Lord has called him and spoken to him. The Lord has used him in a miraculous fashion. He may have assumed that he was now qualified to lead the nation in their worship of the Lord.

If that was what Gideon’s intention, he was in clear violation of the Word of God. Gideon was not from the family of Aaron. Gideon was not a priest. He actually drew the people away from the tabernacle in Shiloh to worship his ephod in Ophrah. If that was Gideon’s intention, he was flat wrong!

Let’s give Gideon the benefit of the doubt for a moment. He was probably seeking the glory of God. He may have had pure motives. He might have wanted to prepare a memorial to glorify God for His great victory. That may have been in heart! Is it never wrong to do right?

We are told that the “ephod” became a “snare unto Gideon, and to his house”. The word “snare” has the idea of “a trap”. That ephod was what Satan used to destroy the testimony of an otherwise great man.

I said earlier that Gideon was a study in contrasts. I would also say that Gideon is a study in confusion! Here is a man who claims to know the Lord, and from all accounts he did. Here is a man who turned down personal glory to promote the glory of the Lord. Yet, here is a man who allowed himself to be caught in a trap that was so obviously wrong that it would be laughable, if the results were not so terrible.

Be careful what you do in your life. There are plenty of things that come our way that appear so innocent on the surface. Often, we fail to understand that those seemingly innocent things can be the tools and traps of the devil to destroy our influence and testimony. Before you embrace anyone’s cause, before you jump on the latest bandwagon, before you act on the latest “good idea”; ask yourself a few important questions.

How will this affect my life?
How will this affect the lives of others?
Will others be hurt by this idea?
Will people be left out by this idea?
Does what I am thinking of doing honor God?
Does what I am thinking of doing display true Christlikeness?
Does what I am doing allow me to do what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
How will this idea affect the church?
How will this idea affect the impression the community has concerning the Lord’s church?
How will this idea affect my testimony?
How will this idea affect how people feel about the Lord Jesus Christ?

You see, there are a lot of people who call themselves Christians. These same people do a lot of mean things to others. These same people stand in opposition to the things of the Lord. These same people find themselves on the wrong side of the Lord and His will. These same people commit a lot of sin in the name of self-will and self-worship. That is confusing to me.

Gideon lost his testimony because he failed to keep God first in his life. The same thing can happen to any person today. We must be sure that God, His will, His Word and His worship are what motivates us as we pass through this life!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Silent Night, Holy Night” By: Joseph Mohr, (Translated by) John F. Young

1. Silent night, holy night,
all is calm, all is bright
round yon virgin
mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

2. Silent night, holy night,
shepherds quake at the sight;
glories stream from heaven afar,
heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

3. Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
radiant beams from thy holy face
with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.

4. Silent night, holy night,
wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!


THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen.

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

Ps: My Wife and I will be taking 3 days off to celebrate Christmas with the family in Mathis, Tx. We will be gone Dec 24 thru 26. We will continue our daily lessons, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, on Dec 27. Hope to see you all again then!
From our family to YOURS!
HAVE A HAPPY and BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS! Vic and Mary Lou.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

W8WHITTILER 12/26/2012 8:17PM

    Silent Night is my all time favorite hymn.
It brings tears to my eyes each Christmas Eve during candlelight service, to know that God loved me so much that he gave such and awesome present, in the form of a tiny baby, A Savior!

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ANHELIC 12/23/2012 12:10AM

    Thank you Vic for your lesson, my favorite Christmas hymn and prayer. You have really made us think about what we are planning to do and how it will affect others around us but most importantly God. God bless you for the work you do in God's ministry.
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year. May you enjoy your time and come back. Drive safely. We will be all here patiently waiting for you.

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LADYFROMTHEWOOD 12/22/2012 9:36AM

    emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/22/2012 9:26AM

    Thank you Vic for shedding light on this story and giving important questions for us to ask ourselves. may your Christmas be blessed. emoticon

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RSSSLHB 12/22/2012 8:01AM

    emoticon blog Vic Merry Christmas

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EDITOR 12/22/2012 7:36AM

    Just LOVED this from today's lesson about Gideon: He refused to usurp the Lord.
Grab your dictionaries, thesaurus' , as well as the Bible, and learn of Him.

Thanks you for the goodie and note, Vic. I am grateful you are taking a few family days off, while you can. May traveling mercies be upon you and may you come home refreshed to continue on the path of faith. God bless.

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TONYVAND1 12/22/2012 7:32AM

  Great questions to ask before you do any thing. Have a wonderful Christmas celebration with your family Vic.

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BIGDOG18 12/22/2012 7:23AM

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 12/21/2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 12/21/2012

Judges 8:22-35
THE TEMPTATIONS OF GIDEON’S FINAL DAYS, Lesson 12a

This text showcases both the nest and worst aspects of Gideon’s life. This special man had just led the nation to victory over their enemies, the Amalekites and the Midianites. This victory was amazing! 300 hundred men defeated an army that numbered over 135,000 men. When the battle was concluded only 15,000 members of the enemy’s army escaped, ( Judges 7:7; 8:10). It was a great victory, and it was carried out in such a way that it left no doubt that God has performed it.

After the victory was won, Gideon even took the time to deal with a couple of Israelite villages that refused to help his army carry out the will of the Lord,( Judges 8:4-16). It is a dangerous thing to be found on the wrong side of the Lord, regardless of your motives.

Now that the battle is over and victory has been secured, Gideon is forced to face the greatest trial of his life. Surely, this peaceful farmer, who had been called by God to be a warrior, thought that his greatest battles were behind him. Little did Gideon know that the greatest battles he would face were still in front of him.

In his march to victory, Gideon overcame the stinging criticism of his opponents, the brutal enemies of his nation, and great but unfounded opposition. When you read Gideon’s story, you see that he was able, by God’s help, to overcome every external enemy he faced, but you will also see that he failed when he had to fight the inner men. He was victor on the field of battle, but he was a failure in the battle for his own heart.
What I see in the life of Gideon in these verses bothers me deeply. Gideon, to us, is the truth that it is possible to live a good life, accomplish much for the Lord, but still end up a failure.

How we finish the race is just as important, if not more so, than how we run the race. You can live a good life and then undo all your good by one or two foolish decisions. That is what Gideon teaches us today.

I want point out some areas of Gideon’s life in which he displays both sides of his character. He faced temptations in all three areas of his life. He succeeded in one area, but he failed in the other 2. Let’s take a few minutes today to examine these areas of Gideon’s life and we consider “The Temptations Of Gideon’s Final Days”.

v. 22-23 HE FACED SECULAR TEMPTATION

v. 22 There Is A Request – The Israelites are so impressed with Gideon’s victory that they come to him to ask his to become their king. The word “rule” has to idea of “dominion”. They are offering Gideon and his family a perpetual kingdom. They say the offer is for him, his sons and his son’s sons.

The people of Israel are just like people in every age. The man that can give them what they want, peace, security, success, and wealth, is the man they was to rule over them. You see this during the life of Jesus; you see it in our life today.

In John 6:1-15, Jesus fed a great multitude. He took five small loaves and two tiny fish and He fed somewhere around 20,000 people! The miracle our Lord performed that day was a miracle that could only be performed by deity. In fact, that was the whole point of the miracle. Jesus wanted His disciples and the people in the crowd to know that He was God. He wanted them to recognize Him for Who He is.

What the crowd saw was a man who could feed them. So, in verse 15, they tried to make Him their King by force. Jesus slipped away from them, because while He was a King, He would not wear the crown until He had paid for sin at the cross.

All Israel cares about is the fact that Gideon is a great warrior and that he can offer them safety and security. Thus, they come to him to offer Gideon the crown.

In 1 Samuel 8:19-20 the nation of Israel will repeat their request for a human king. Their reason is that they want to be like the other nations. They would rather be like the rest of the nations around them than had to be the special people of God.

That same trend can be seen in our world today. Churches and Christians alike are falling all over one another in an effort to be like everyone else. Where are the people who have the backbone to stand against for the things of God, even if they have to stand alone?

v. 23 There Is A Refusal – Gideon sees their request for what it is. The people of Israel should have been thanking God for the victory. Gideon knows that He did not defeat their enemies; he knows it was the power of God that gave the victory. The people should have been worshiping God and thanking Him for the victory they had just witnessed. They failed to see that while Gideon was the instrument, God was the One that wielded the weapon. God is the source of these lessons you are reading; I am merely the messenger or delivery boy.

Gideon does exactly what he should have done. He refused their offer and reminded them that their allegiance was to the Lord alone.

By the way, that will still work today! Did you know that the majority is not always right? It was the majority that cried “Crucify Him!” the day Jesus died. It was the majority that tried to throw Jesus down a cliff in Nazareth when He preached in the synagogue. The majority of the people refused to enter Canaan at God’s command and caused the rest of the nation to die in the wilderness.

Beware of falling into the mentality that “if everyone is doing it, then it must be all right.” Just because people everywhere are involved in drugs, alcohol, adultery, pornography, lying, stealing, and other forms of wickedness, does not make it right. We need to remember that, if we are saved, God expects us to yield to His will for our lives. After all, He bought us and He demands control over our lives, (1 Cor. 6:19-20). He expects us to live like we are a saved people, and when we don’t, there will be a price to pay for our rebellion!

One more thought before we move along in the message. Did you notice when this temptation came, it came on the heels of great success. You are never more vulnerable to falling into sin than you are just after you have experienced a great victory. That is the wisest man who ever lived cautioned us with these words, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall,” (Pro. 16:18).

Gideon overcame this temptation with a very firm “No!” He denied himself the glory and the honor and he delighted in bringing glory and honor to the Lord. Sometimes, you just have to say “No!” That’s what Joseph did when Potipher’s wife tempted him, (Gen. 39:8-9, 12). Sometimes, you need to say it to your friend. Sometimes, you need to say it to your family. Sometimes, you need to say it to yourself. There are times when you just need to say, “No!” God help us to have the backbone to do it!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” By: James L. Black (1893)

1.When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more,
And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair;
When the saved of earth shall gather over on the other shore,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder,
When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

2.On that bright and *sabbath morning when the dead in Christ shall rise,
And the glory of His resurrection share;
When His chosen ones shall gather to their home beyond the skies,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:

3.Let us labor for the Master from the dawn till setting sun,
Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care;
Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done,
And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy and Wonderful Father! You know the temptations that we are facing today. But your Word promises that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear. We ask for your strength to stand up under the temptation whenever we encounter it. Your Word also tells us you will provide a way out of the temptation. Please, Lord, grant us the wisdom to walk away when we are tempted, and the clarity to see the way out that you will provide. Thank you, God, that you are a faithful deliverer and that we can count on your help in our time of need. These things we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!
PS: My Wife and I will be taking 3 days off to celebrate Christmas with the family in Mathis, Tx. We will be gone Dec 24 thru 26. We will continue our daily lessons, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, on Dec 27. Hope to see you all again then!
From our family to YOURS!
HAVE A HAPPY and BLESSED MERRY CHRISTMAS! Vic and Mary Lou.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/21/2012 10:53PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. We are temped by the devil every day and with God's help we can overcome this. He will carry us through it and we will be victorious on the other side. Wishing you, your wife and family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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KIMPY225 12/21/2012 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAGIN2010 12/21/2012 11:25AM

    Yes Vic

May i not be led into temptation, with Gods help.

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/21/2012 9:14AM

    I am agreeing with you Vic for clarity for myself and other Christians to avoid every snare of the devil.

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TONYVAND1 12/21/2012 9:00AM

  I desire to finish the race well. I can only do that with the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells me. Keep me Lord from making foolish decisions.

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RSSSLHB 12/21/2012 8:26AM

    emoticon Vic

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/21/2012 7:45AM

    I am walking away a lot these days.....with a smile on my face!

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EDITOR 12/21/2012 7:34AM

    The miracle of His birth, once we know the Truth, affects us to this very day. The battles that we fight may still be before us, but I have confidence, that with Christ, on our death bed, we can say with Christ, "It is finished."
Like you, Vic, " I’ll be there. "
Thanks for the goodie and note.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 12/20/2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 12/20/2012

Judges 8:1-21
PRIDE, POLITICS, AND PERSISTENCE, Lesson 11c

v. 4, 10-21 SOME WERE PERSISTENT
While some people walked in their pride and others allowed personal political agendas to determine their allegiance, Gideon and his men simply persevered in their work for the Lord. In their persistence, they set a good example for those of us who desire to be found faithful in the Lord’s work.

v. 4 How They Continued – Instead of being discouraged and defeated by the criticism of Ephraim and by the callousness of the two cities from which he requested help, Gideon and his army pressed on in pursuit of the Midianites. I love the phrase in verse 4, which says, “faint, yet pursuing them”. These men were tired and weary from the battle. They are hungry and in great need of rest, yet they carry on! I love that attitude, don’t you?

Where did we ever get the idea that there was a place to sit down on the Lord? Where did we ever get the idea that it was OK to sit back while others did all the work? Where did we every get the idea that we could back off, slow down and take it easy in our spiritual walk? Where do some people get the idea that they can join a church and never do anything? Wherever those ideas come from, they certainly did not come from the Lord. I would suggest that it is an idea planted in our minds by the enemy to try and get us to quit on the Lord.

I would recommend that we be like Gideon and his men. I would suggest that even when we get weary; we press on for the glory of God, (Eph. 6:6; 1 Cor. 15:58)!
We all grow weary from time to time in the battle. When we do, we need to look to Jesus and learn from His example, (Heb. 12:1-3). We will only be in the world a short time, and then we will fly off to glory to be with Him. While we are here, let us determine to do all we can for His glory!

v. 10-12 How They Conquered – Gideon and his men defeated their enemies and captured the Midianite kings. They persevered in the face of opposition and criticism and they enjoyed a great victory. Because they would not be stopped short of victory, they saw God move in great power.

Those who refuse to quit and persist in following the Lord’s will for their lives, will see Him use them in great ways. That is His promise, (Gal. 6:9; 2 Cor. 4:8-9; Isa. 40:31). Those who persevere will enjoy the best of God’s blessings. Those who quit will see God do nothing!

v. 13-21 How They Concluded – Gideon came back with the Midianite kings. When he came to Succoth, he took their 75 elders and put them to death by dragging them through thorns and briars until they died, (vv. 15-16). When he came to Penuel, he tore down their tower and killed their elders, (v. 17). Then, Gideon slew the Midianite kings, (vv. 18-21). In other words, because he was obedient to the Lord and to His will for his life, Gideon enjoyed absolute victory over all his enemies. In the end, Gideon had the last laugh!

The principle is this: Those who walk with the Lord and do His will enjoy victory in their lives. If you want the Lord’s blessings, His power and His victory to be manifested in your life, the only path you should follow is His path. When you walk with the Lord, obedience to Him always results in victory! When you walk against Him, you can expect nothing but defeat!

Conc: If you had to sum up your life today, how would you do it? Would you say that you are walking in pride? Would you say everything in your life is about political advantage? Or, can you honestly say that you are doing your best to be persistent in your walk with Him? God is looking for people in this day that will take their stand for Him and say, “We will not back down.” He is looking for those who will get involved in His work and help those who are trying to serve Him. Are you one of those?

If the Lord has spoken to you about your heart, your life and your service, the place to talk to Him about it right here. Come to Him. Recommit your life to His will. Surrender yourself to all that He wants you to be and do, and get busy for His glory.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Trust and Obey” By: J. H. Sammis (1877)

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.
Refrain:

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.
Refrain:

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.
Refrain:

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Redeeming God! Use us to bring the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ to others. Equip us the knowledge of Thy word, and the love of Christ. Empower us with Thy Spirit and the courage to stand fast in Christ and be the servants we can be. Open the hearts of those who need to hear the good news. Teach us to be devoted in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Unify our effort and bless our effort to Your glory, praise and honor. This we pray and ask in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 12/20/2012 11:57PM

    Thank you Vic for your lesson, Hymn and prayer. I think your hymn says it for me. I try to trust God and obey Him. I will do my best to follow His path and go where he commands me to go. Thank you for your awesome teaching. Thank you also the goodie and note.

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BUFFEDSTUFF-- 12/20/2012 5:52PM

  amen emoticon Pray that I grow in obedience, as I slay the flesh and submit to the instruction of the Creator of my soul.


mercy and grace obedience and submission


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FORMERFATGUY777 12/20/2012 2:23PM

    I love the book of Judges. I find it describes our society in a nutshell. There is no king in the land so everyone did as they saw fit. In America we have taken Jesus off the throne of our heart. Therefore; there is no king in the land and you can see the results.

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IAM_HIS2 12/20/2012 1:43PM

    Well, Vic, it is interesting that it appears we are not answering your question. I feel my honest answer would have to be I am not pressing one. I sat down because of being tired. So, now I am going to stand up and keep pushing on. Thank you for the reminder.

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DIANER2014 12/20/2012 12:05PM

    Amen! Thank you Vic!

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SAINTBETH 12/20/2012 10:55AM

    Amen!

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TONYVAND1 12/20/2012 9:56AM

  Walking in Faith. Believing and knowing the victory has been won.

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CASTIRONLADY 12/20/2012 8:45AM

    May we all trust and obey as Abraham did, not questioning but going as the Lord instructed. Yes, he made major mistakes but the Lord was faithful to Abraham and continues to bless us through Him.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/20/2012 8:29AM

    walking with the Lord! Trying to do his following!

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/20/2012 8:27AM

    And the next two verses -
2 Cor 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

11 For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Very little is said about difficult persisting. Thank you for your message.

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EDITOR 12/20/2012 8:10AM

    Very nice, Vic. I can honestly say, I trust and obey. Easy to say and sometime with difficulty, but we let our yes be yes and amen. Thank you for your note and goodie. Thank You, Lord Jesus, that all that gather here today has heard Your sweet voice calling, "Follow Me."


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