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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 1/4/2013

Friday, January 04, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Fri, 1/4/1213

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

Judges 11:29-40
BE CAREFUL LITTLE MOUTH WHAT YOU SAY, Lesson 15a

Jephthah was the son of a man named Gilead and an unnamed prostitute, (v. 1). His birth caused him problems with his half-brothers. After their father died, they refused to share the family inheritance with Jephthah and they forced him out of the family home, (v. 2-3). Jephthah became the leader of a band of mercenaries who protected the people of Israel from their enemies.

Sometime later, the Ammonites attacked the Israelites, (v. 4). This promoted the leaders of Jephthah’s tribe to reach out to him,(v. 5-6). Apparently, they were familiar with his prowess as a military leader. They ask Jephthah to come back and lead them to victory. If he will do that, they promise to make him the head of their tribe, (v. 7-10). Jephthah answers their call and returns with them to address the Ammonite problem.

In verses 12-28 Jephthah tries a series of diplomatic measures to cool tensions with the Ammonites and avoid all-out war. In correspondence with the king of Ammon, Jephthah learns that they are attacking Israel because they want back some of the land that Israel took when it entered Canaan, (v. 13). Displaying an amazing grasp of Hebrew history, Jephthah answers the Ammonites with several convincing arguments that prove they are wrong in attacking the people of Israel.

Verses 14-22 – The Israelites did not take the land from the Ammonites. They took it from the Ammorites who originally took it from the Moabites. The Ammonites had no stake in the land at all.

Verses 23-24 – The Lord had given the land to Israel. God was given all the glory and credit for giving them the land. Jephthah tells them to take what their god has given them and be satisfied.

Verses 25-26 – Israel had lived in the land for hundreds of years. The Ammonites had not tried to claim the land during the three hundred years Israel had possessed, why were they attempting to claim it now?

Verse 27 – The Ammonites are reminded that by attacking Israel, they are in fact attacking God! He will judge who is right and He will give the victory to whom He chooses!
The Ammonites fail to listen to that arguments put forth by Jephthah because they are ignorant of the Word of God; they do not care about the will of God; and they have no regard for the Person of God or the people of God. They press their attack against Israel.

When Jephthah attempted to negotiate with the Ammonites, he was not compromising. He stands firmly upon the Word of God and declares the facts of the situation. What he is doing is trying to prevent them from being annihilated in war. He knows that God will give Israel the victory and he is trying to save lives.

Jephthah teaches us the truth that the best response is always a peaceful response. When you are attack, do not attack back. Instead, approach those who attack you with offers of peace. If they receive your overtures and reconcile, you have gained a friend. If they persist in their attacks, the Lord will take care of them in His Own way, and in His Own time, (Rom. 12:17-21; Matt. 5:38-48).

This brings us to our text verses. In these verses Jephthah has another valuable lesson to teach us. In these verses we witness a man who makes a rash vow that he lives to regret. Jephthah teaches us that we need to take heed to every word that comes out of our mouths, and nowhere is that more than when it comes to the words we speak to the Lord.

Little children are sometimes taught a song that has a line that goes:
Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say, For the Father up above, Is looking down in love, So be careful little mouth what you say.

In these verses, we are going to learn the truth at what we say matters, especially when we say it to the Lord. This passage will teach us that He expects us to keep the vows we make to Him. So, let’s consider the truths that present themselves to us in these verses as I try to teach on the thought “Be Careful Little Mouth What You Say”.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Matthew 11:29 (New International Version (NIV)

29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

TODAY’S HYMN!
His Yoke Is Easy” By: D. S. Warner (1893)

1.I’ve found my Lord and He is mine,
He won me by His love;
I’ll serve Him all my years of time,
And dwell with Him above.
Refrain:
His yoke is easy, His burden is light,
I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so;
His service is my sweetest delight,
His blessings ever flow.

2.No other Lord but Christ I know,
I walk with Him alone;
His streams of love forever flow,
Within my heart His throne.
Refrain:

3.He’s dearer to my heart than life,
He found me lost in sin;
He calmed the sea of inward strife,
And bade me come to Him.
Refrain:

4.My flesh recoiled before the cross,
And Satan whispered there,
“Thy gain will not repay the loss,
His yoke is hard to bear.”
Refrain:

5.I’ve tried the road of sin and found,
Its prospects all deceive;
I’ve proved the Lord, and joys abound,
More than I could believe.
Refrain:

TODAY’s PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Loving Savior, Gracious God! Thank You that You are our heavenly Father and You have made us to be Your child. We are grateful for the inheritance You have given us in Christ Jesus, and for making us joint-heirs with Christ. Help us to understand all that this means and how we are to possess what You have for our lives. Holy Spirit, we come before You and ask You to speak to our hearts about whatever I need to know. Show us what You want us to see. Enable us to follow Your teachings as we move into this holy inheritance, which You have provided. These things we pray in the blessed name of Jesus. Amen!


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ANHELIC 1/4/2013 8:49PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson. I remember reading that everything starts with our mind, if we think it, we would very likely say it without realizing we didn't want to. Once it comes out of our mouth, we can't take it back. Yes so, be careful what we say and I have learned to walk away from trouble. Following God's word is safest for us.

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NADINEL 1/4/2013 1:06PM

    Thank you, Vic, for this wonderful lesson. I appreciate reading these. God's Word is always true.

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SAINTBETH 1/4/2013 11:05AM

    God is good!

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/4/2013 9:37AM

    Amen! emoticon

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RSSSLHB 1/4/2013 9:20AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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TONYVAND1 1/4/2013 8:57AM

  Trusting God to reveal His plans for me for this year. May I be found faithful

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/4/2013 7:51AM

    I know God has a nice plan for us all but I am off to not so good 2013! I have been very ill (kidney stone) and my daughter b roke her ankle (may need surgery).
God loves us all!

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DIANER2014 1/4/2013 7:48AM

    Amen! Thank you Vic! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/3/2013

Thursday, January 03, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Thu, 1/3/2013

A GLORIOUS MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 11:1-11
THE REJECT WHO BECAME THE RULER, Lesson 14d

9-11 AN AMAZING RESPONSE
I do not know what I would do if I were Jephthah and that bunch of yahoos came to me. I probably would not respond like he did. His is an amazing response. Let’s take a moment to examine it.

9-11a Jephthah’s Acceptance – After confirming that their offer is valid, Jephthah consents to go with them and to lead them to victory. His treatment of them is vastly different from their treatment of him! Even though they had abused him and treated him like dirt, Jephthah is not bitter. He was able to get over the things they did to him. He was able to see past their mean-spirited actions and he caught a glimpse of the hand of God at work in his life.

One that will become clear as you read about Jephthah is that he was a man who honored the Lord in his life. He might have been an exile from Israel, but he was never an exile from God. Unlike his relatives, he proved his commitment to the Lord by his treatment of others!

Whether we will accept it or not, how we treat others is a direct reflection of the place God holds in our hearts. If we can spitefully mistreat and attack those who are made in God’s image and bought by the blood of His Son, it does not say much for our opinion of Him. When we love Him as we should, we will love others as we should, (Matt. 22:37-39; 1 John 3:14-16; 4:20).

11b Jephthah’s Advancement – The people honored their word and they elevated the reject and made him their ruler. He became their “head” and he became their “captain”.

11c Jephthah’s Acknowledgement – We are told that “Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.” The word “Mizpeh” means “watchtower”. In Gen. 31:33-55 the place is called “Mizpah”. It was there that Jacob and Laban made an agreement that they would not attack each other. They called upon the Lord to witness their covenant. By the way, their’s was not a friendly parting! They parted as enemies. The “Mizpah Coins” are supposed to express friendship. In reality, they represent perpetual enemies!

That is what Jephthah is doing here. He is calling on the Lord to look upon the promises made to him by his people. He is calling on the Lord to watch over him as he goes out to battle. He is acknowledging the Lord and looking to Him for the help he will need to win the victory. In verse 9, Jephthah knows that any victory they might enjoy will only come from the Lord.

It would do us well to remember that any victories we might enjoy in this life will be our only if the Lord delights in us. Victory does not come from us, our efforts or our abilities. Victory comes from the Lord and from a relationship that is centered in Him and in Him alone! (1 Cor. 15:57). It pays to acknowledge God in everything we do. It pays to call on Him, look to Him and trust Him for the victories we seek in life. Jephthah became a victor, but only because he was first a servant of God who looked to the Lord for the victory!

Conc: The reject became the ruler! Most of us will not become rulers in our lifetime, but there are some lessons we can take away from this message on Jephthah.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, but the Lord can use us and make something special out of our lives.

There may be a cycle of sin in our background, but it can be broken today!
God can use you in spite of your past, your family or your failures. A twenty dollar bill has the same value whether it is new, worn or torn. Its value never changes!
Your treatment of others reveals how you really feel about God.

You can and should serve God faithfully today and trust Him with all your tomorrows.
If He has touched you through the story of Jephthah, you should obey His voice and do exactly what He is calling you to do!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Exodus 15:2 - New International Version (NIV)
“2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”

TODAY’S HYMN!
“In My Life, Lord, Be Glorified” By: Bob Kilpatrick (1978)

In my life Lord
Be glorified, be glorified
In my life, Lord
Be glorified today.

In Your church, Lord
Be glorified, be glorified
In Your church, Lord
Be glorified today.


In my heart, Lord
Be glorified, be glorified
In my heart, Lord
Be glorified today.

In my praise, Lord
Be glorified, be glorified
In my praise, Lord
Be glorified today.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God of Wholeness! Help us to receive the wholeness You have for us. Free us from everything that keeps us from becoming all You created us to be. Thank You Father that we can find liberty in Your presence. Liberate us from anything in us and around us that is not Your will for our lives. Set us free from every evil work; quiet our minds; cleanse our hearts; heal every negative emotion; set us free of everything that is not of YOU. Deliver us until we are completely whole. Enable us to stand strong against every falling back, bondage, and error. This we ask and pray in the wonderful name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!

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ANHELIC 1/3/2013 9:50PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. I have stopped looking back at my faults, but am looking forward and learning to lean on God to take me through my trials. I am faithfully waiting and obeying when He tells me what to do. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/3/2013 1:43PM

    Amen! Deliver me Lord until I am completely whole!

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TONYVAND1 1/3/2013 10:37AM

  Serving faithfully and trusting Him for all my tomorrows

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SAINTBETH 1/3/2013 10:06AM

    amen!

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RSSSLHB 1/3/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon Vic emoticon

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FIRECOM 1/3/2013 6:58AM

    What a great way to start my day.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 1/2/2013

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Wed , 1/2/2013
Judges 11:1-11

THE REJECT WHO BECAME THE RULER, Lesson 14c

v. 4-8 AN ASTONISHING REQUEST

Jephthah is living his life in exile. He is something of a Robin Hood kind of figure. He is protecting the Israelites and making the best out of his situation when his own people are looking for him. They come to him with an astonishing request. Let’s take a moment to examine that request.

v. 4-5 The Cause Of The Request – The nation is under attack. The Ammonites are trying to take over the land. The children of Ammon were the descendants of Abraham’s nephew Lot through and incestuous relationship with one of his own daughters. The Ammonites were cousins to the Jews, but they were also their perpetual enemies. So, Israel is under attack and they do not have a strong leader to guide them to victory over their enemies.

v. 6 The Character Of The Request – The elders of his people come to him with the request that Jephthah come back and become their “captain”. This word means “commander, chief, or ruler”. At one point they asked him to leave; now they come to him asking him to lead! What a change of mind! What a change of direction.
This is just a reminder that the call to service or leadership might come without notice. We are to be ready and prepared to answer His call when it comes.

Our duty is to faithfully serve the Lord where we are. We should ever do His will where He has placed us. We must strive to learn all the lessons He wants to teach us. It is God’s responsibility to open the doors of ministry and opportunity. It is our responsibility to grow where we are planted, and to trust the Lord to use us when, where and how He sees fit. If we will make our hearts available to Him, He will give us plenty of opportunities for service in His kingdom’s work. When we serve Him faithfully today, He will look after our tomorrow’s!

v. 7-8 The Commitment Of The Request – In verse 7, Jephthah recounts their past attitude towards him. He reminds him that they were the ones who asked him to leave; now they want him to come back and be their ruler. In verse 8, they reissue their promise that Jephthah will be their “head” if he will only come back with them and deliver them from their enemies. The word “head” means “the top, the summit, the chief”. They want Jephthah to come back and take over! They want him to come back and be their boss. They are offering him control over their lives.

Their treatment of Jephthah in these verses is sad. They had no use for him when things were going well, but when the bottom fell out, they ran to him for the help they needed.

By the way, this is how many people treat the Lord. They refuse to be faithful. They refuse to serve Him. They refuse to honor His word, His will or His house. They treat Him like He is an unwanted intruder in their lives. They treat Him like He is the spare tire on the car of their life. He is to stay in the trunk and keep quiet, but He better be ready when they have a flat and pull him out!

What a shame! How much better it is to walk in the will of the Lord day by day. Then, when the bad days come, you have the confidence that you have walked with Him, and now He will walk with you. If you leave Him out of your life, He may just let you deal with your problem on your own when it comes! If He did, who could blame him?

TODAY’S VERSE!
Psalm 40:3
New International Version (NIV)

3 "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him".

TODAY’S HYMN!
“He Gave Me A Song” By: Alton H. Howard (1977)

1. He took my burdens all away, up to a brighter day
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
A wonderful song I now can sing, in my heart joy-bells ring
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)

Chorus:
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), to sing about (to sing about)
He lifted me (He lifted me) from sin and doubt (from sin and doubt)
O, praise His name (O praise His name), He is my King (He is my King)
A wonderful song (a wonderful song) He is to me (He is to me).

2. Brighter the way grows every day, walking the heavenly way, He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song), A wonderful song I now can sing, Praises to him my King, He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song).
Chorus

3. I am redeemed no more to die, never to say goodbye
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
And some of these days in that fair land, sing with the chorus grand
He gave me a song (He gave me a song), a wonderful song (a wonderful song)
Chorus


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Eternal Father, Eternal God! We ask You today for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in us. Enable us to know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge so we may be filled with all the fullness of Him. We do not ever want to take lightly the fact that You have sent Your Spirit to dwell in us, to guide us, and to help us live the life You have provided for us. Help us to hear the leading of Your Spirit telling us the way to walk. Grant us understanding, wisdom and insight about all You want us to do. We ask You to move powerfully through us, for we know that the Holy Spirit in us is how You touch us and the world around us. May we be led to receive and obey the promises of Holy Spirit in us. In Jesus’ glorious name we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 1/3/2013 1:47PM

    I agree. When we faithfully serve Him today, He will look after our tomorrows. Thank you! Have a Happy New Year!

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ANHELIC 1/2/2013 10:11PM

    I am walking with the Lord and through trials I know he will be there to guide me through. He will never forsake or leave me as long as I stay in His word.

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DETERMINEDBABE 1/2/2013 7:10PM

    The Holy Spirit is working in you....praise Jesus for this blog!

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/2/2013 6:17PM

    Send your Holy Spirit into our hearts today, I pray!

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TONYVAND1 1/2/2013 3:46PM

  Walking with the Lord and filled with His Spirit. Thanks Vic for sharing.

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RSSSLHB 1/2/2013 8:06AM

    emoticon Vic, keep on posting emoticon

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SANDRALEET 1/2/2013 7:45AM

    We do the same thing Many want to live in a pink cloud If there lives is Good they have little passion for others put who do they ask to fight there wars

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 1/1/2013

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, PLUS, Tue, 1/1/2013

A BLESSED NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Judges 11:1-11
THE REJECT WHO BECAME THE RULER, Lesson 14b

v. 1-3 AN APPALLING REJECTION

v. 1 Jephthah’s Character – The first revelation we have concerning Jephthah is that he is “a mighty man of valor”. The phrase “mighty man” means that Jephthah was marked by “great bravery”. The word “valor” refers to “strength, ability and efficiency”. This identified Jephthah as a very courageous and powerful man. He was the kind of man who did what needed to be done in every situation he faced in life. He was the kind of man who refused to back down. He was the kind of man you would like to have at your back in a battle. He was the kind of man others would look to for leadership. He was a strong, able and efficient man.

v. 1 Jephthah’s Challenge – The next truth we learn about this man is the fact that “he was the son of a harlot”. His father’s named was “Gilead”. Evidently, Gilead was a man who frequented prostitutes. One became pregnant and bore him a son named Jephthah. This was a major strike against Jephthah as it marked him as an illegitimate son of Gilead.

Like many today, Jephthah had marks in the plus column and marks in the minus column. He had areas of his life that were extraordinary while other areas were problematic. We are all in the same boat. Most of us do not trumpet our abilities, yet we go to great lengths to conceal our problems. This just reminds us that we are human, and as long as we live in this world, we are going to remain less than perfect. No matter how far up the ladder of holiness we climb, we will still be sinners, and we will still desperately need a Savior.

v. 2 Jephthah’s Conflict – Jephthah’s father also had children with his wife. When these legitimate children reached maturity, they all turned on Jephthah and forced him out of the family home. Apparently, their father is dead and they refused to share their inheritance with Jephthah. Most likely they were motivated by greed. With Jephthah out of the way, there was more money to go around. Besides, Jephthah’s presence in the family was a constant reminder of their father’s infidelity.

They had probably hated Jephthah all their lives. They may have even envied him since he was a strong, able and efficient man. He was probably everything they were not and they turned on him. They hated him because he represented everything they would never be.

Jephthah paid a price for the sins of his father. His father was a philanderer who brought an illegitimate child into the world. That child lived with the stigma of his father’s sins his whole life. His life was scarred by the actions of his father and his half-brothers, but he did not stoop to the same level of evil he saw in them. Jephthah broke the cycle of sin in his family and became a better man than the others in his family.

We need to stop here and learn a valuable lesson. (Exodus 34:7) says, “Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” This does not mean that God will punish you for what your parents did. It does mean that what your parents did will often bear fruit in your life.

Children often develop attitudes that are similar to their parents. They develop ways of living that are like their parents. They have prejudices, likes and dislikes that were built into them by their parents.

The fact is, a lot of what we do is generational. We may not like it, but we carry the influence of our family with us all the days we live. If your mother was hateful, there is a good chance that you might have the tendency too. If your father was a drunk, you could be prone to problems in that area. If you grew up hearing criticism and negativity, you have a good chance of becoming a negative of person too. If you grew up in an abusive home, you might have that kind of mindset as well.

However, someone has to break the cycle! Just because your parents did certain things to you or around you it does not mean that those things have to be a part of your life today. You have the opportunity to change. There is power, grace and help in the Person of the Holy Spirit and in the Word of God. As we yield to God and allow Him to work in our lives, we can rest assured that He will work to change us into His image. That is His goal, (Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 1:4; 4:13-15).

I don’t know if that speaks to any of your hearts today, but let’s break the cycle of sin in our families and set our children free. There is help, hope and power in the Word and will of God.

Others have suffered this kind of familiar rejection. David experienced it. When Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint one of his sons as king of Israel, they did not even think enough of David to call him to appear before the prophet. Jesus Christ experienced it. His half-brothers mocked His claims to be the Messiah. They doubts His identity and none of them believed on Him until after His death and resurrection, (John 7:2-5). At one point all His family and friends thought He was crazy, (Mark 3:21).

Your earthly family may turn against you, but if you are saved, you are a member of a new family. Your Heavenly Father will never turn you away! Your true brothers and sisters will never fail to love you, forgive you and stand by you. That is the nature of our new family! Like the song writer said. “I’m so glad that I’m a part of the family of God!”
v. 3 Jephthah’s Companions – When Jephthah left the family home, he went to a place called “Tob”. Tob was located east of the Jordan River in the country of Syria.

We are told “vain men” gathered themselves to Jephthah. The phrase “vain men” refers to those who are “unemployed, bankrupt and empty.” These were idle men looking for something to fill their time. We do not know why they flocked to Jephthah, but it may that in him, they saw a leader. Maybe they saw someone who could help them find a purpose in life.

Whatever their reason for coming to Jephthah, the Bible tells us that they “went out with him.” This does not mean that they dated. Jephthah was not that kind of man! What it means is that Jephthah became the ragtag leader of this band of misfits and outcasts. It is speculated that they acted like David and his men did during the time they were running from King Saul. They probably served as an informal police force that protected the Hebrews from the attacks of their enemies. It seems that Jephthah was able to mold these misfits into an effective fighting force. Jephthah was showing himself to be a leader of men.

There are a couple of lessons from Jephthah’s actions that I want to mention.
Jephthah took a negative and turned it into a positive. He could have taken his rejection by his brothers as an indication that his life was over and that he would never amount to anything. Instead, he rose above the challenges of his life and made something of himself.

Sometimes it looks like life is against us, but if you believe in divine sovereignty; you know that ever the worst of circumstances are part of His plan to make us more like Him, (Psa. 37:23). Whether you see it or not, whether you believe it or not, all the days of your life have been structured by God to make you into the person He wants you to be!

God delights in using the unusable. He specializes in taking those who seem to be the least of the least and making them vessels of honor for His glory, (1 Cor. 1:26-31)!
Birds of a feather tend to flock together. People like Jephthah came to Jephthah. The principle is this: people tend to gravitate toward those who reflect what is in their own hearts. Look at the people you talk to. They are often people just like you. We usually seek out others who are just like us. Look at the people you spend your time with. They reveal the sort of person you are!

If someone is discontented, they will gravitate toward other discontents. If someone is given over to a specific sin, they will gravitate toward others who do the same thing. Conversely, is someone has a true heart for the things of god; they will gravitate toward others who are seeking God too. Today would be a good time to consider the kind of people you spend time with!

Rejection is hurtful, but beneficial. God uses the animosity and attacks of others to build our character and refine our lives!

TODAY’S VERSE!
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”. Matt 6:33.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Seek Ye First” By: Karen Lafferty (1972)

Seek Ye first the kingdom of God, And His righteousness, And all these things, shall be added onto you, Alleu, Alleuia

Man shall not live by bread alone, But by every word, That proceeds from the mouth of God, Alleu, Alleuia

Ask and it shall be given unto you, Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened onto you. Alleu, Alleuia

Seek ye first the kingdom of God And His righteousness And all these things, shall be added onto you. Alleu, Alleuia


THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Merciful Father, Lord God! Help us to know You more. Enable us to fully understand our relationship with You through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us Jesus to comprehend all You accomplished for us on the cross. Thank You for Your suffering and death, which has saved us from the consequences of our own wrong thoughts and actions. We are eternally grateful that after You were crucified, You rose from the dead to prove that You are who You say You are, and that Your words and promises are without fail. We declare that You are Lord over every aspect of our life. Thank You for forgiving us of all our sins, for giving us a new beginning, and for the promise of eternity with You. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 1/1/2013 9:04PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. I have seen myself how a negative can be turned into a positive and I know it is God's doing. I am making this year a promise to spend more time in God's word and continue learning more. After reading your lessons, I walk way with a positive attitude and feel blessed. Wishing you a Happy and Blessed New Year. Thank you for the goodie and note.

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/1/2013 9:58AM

    Thank you for your wonderful lessons Vic! I enjoy learning more about these characters of the OT and hearing your applications for my life. I look forward to 2013 and growing in Christ with you!

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RSSSLHB 1/1/2013 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon to 2013

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TONYVAND1 1/1/2013 8:24AM

  I have enjoyed readings our blogs Vic They build me up and I feel that we are attuned to each other. My goal this year is to spend more time with The Lord and with His servants

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 12/31/2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

JUDGES, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 12/31/2012

A BLESSED NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

Judges 11:1-11
THE REJECT WHO BECAME THE RULER, Lesson 14a

For me, studying the book of Judges can be very depressing. This book chronicles the years in Israel between the death of Joshua and the appointment of Saul as their first king. What we see in this book is a scene of lawlessness.

Israel would abandon the Lord for false gods. God would punish them for their sins by allowing their enemies to defeat them and enslave them. After a time of enemy oppression, Israel would repent and God would raise up a judge to deliver them. They would be set free from their enemies, and then the cycle would repeat itself all over again.

The spiritual climate in Israel during those days is summed up by the last verse in the book. Judges 21:25 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” And, what is so discouraging about this book is that there is ample evidence that we humans do not learn our lessons well. Left to ourselves, we can do little but get ourselves in trouble time and again.

Of course, the positive side of this book is the fact that God never completely forsook His people. They failed Him and He chastised them, but He always took them back they returned to Him in genuine repentance. That lets me know that He will never forsake us. You see, the people of Israel had been purchased with the blood of a lamb, (Ex. 12:1-13; 15:16). The church has been purchased with the blood of His Darling Son, (Rev. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). Thus, He will ever stand by us, (Heb. 13:5).

While the times of the Judges were dark and dismal days for Israel, a few lives stand out as bright lights against the darkness. One of those lights is the man before us in our text today. In this passage we are introduced to a man named Jephthah. What the word of God teaches us about this man should serve as an encouragement to every person today.

Jephthah walked through some hard places in his life, yet he overcame all the obstacles in his life and he accomplished great things for the Lord. He was a man rejected by his family, outcast by society and written off by everyone who should have cared about him. Yet, in the end Jephthah became the leader of his people.

Jephthah is not an altogether good example. As we will see, he was chosen to lead the people by the people and not by God. Israel would repeat the same mistake years later when they would choose Saul to be their king, rejecting God as their sole ruler.
Jephthah was a mixture of the spiritual and the fleshly. His life is confusing at best. While he was not the Lord’s choice as Judge in Israel, the Lord allowed Jephthah to lead the people to victory for His Own purposes. God had a plan in using Jephthah; we just do not know all the details of that plan!

Let’s get to know Jephthah and learn the lessons his life reveals. I want to Teach about “The Reject Who Became The Ruler”.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I’ll Never Forsake My Lord” By: Mrs. Damon Canter Snoddy (1935)

1.Though my cross may be hard to bear, Thou my life be filled with care; Tho misfortune be mine to share, I’ll never forsake my Lord.
Refrain:
I’ll never forsake the Savior, He has never forsaken me! “Neath His sheltering arm I am safe from all harm, I’ll never forsake my Lord.

2. Tho the tempter in efforts bold, Or in subtlety as of old; Should essay to allure my soul, I’ll never forsake my Lord.
Refrain:
3. Tho so helpless I cannot see, What the future may hold for me; Jesus knows and my guide will be, I’ll never forsake my Lord.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
“Our Father, who art in heaven, Holy is Thy name. Help us to find love and encouragement from our Christian brothers and sisters everywhere; help us to share that love and care with everyone, but especially with those in need. May the Body of Christ, the Church, be built up by what is said, heard, and seen in every soul of His believers. Enable us to devote ourselves to the teachings of Christ, the fellowship of breaking bread and the unity of the Spirit, to singing songs of praise, and to offering prayers to Your glory and honor in 2013. This we pray in Jesus’ wondrous name. Amen!

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



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 1/1/2013 5:06PM

    Thank you, Vic!

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ANHELIC 1/1/2013 1:48AM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. The more I learn, the more I realize that God has placed me where I am and I am doing my little part for His glory. God bless you for your teachings and Have a Blessed New Year with your family.

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SHIRLEYJL 12/31/2012 2:15PM

    I was very blessed by your blog. I did a "precepts" study of Judges a few years ago. Thanks for refreshing me.

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SAINTBETH 12/31/2012 10:40AM

    amen

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TONYVAND1 12/31/2012 9:34AM

  Thanks Vic for the love and encouragement you have given to me in 2012 I have found a true Christian brother in The Lord. Looking forward to more in 2013

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RSSSLHB 12/31/2012 8:10AM

    Vic emoticon for praying God bless emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 12/31/2012 7:55AM

    Helping others is just what the Lord ask for!
good lesson today, Vic!

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JSTETSER 12/31/2012 6:56AM

    Praise the Lord, Vic.
Read my blog about New Years Tradition!
http://www.sparkpeopl
e.com/mypage_public_journal_sum
mary.asp?id=JSTETSER

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AZMOMXTWO 12/31/2012 6:55AM

  thank you

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