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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

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!

“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.
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.

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.

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

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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