27 I have not wronged you, but you are doing me wrong by waging war against me. Let the Lord, the Judge, decide the dispute this day between the Israelites and the Ammonites
Over the years, Israel had many judges to lead them. But Jephthah recognized the Lord as the people’s true Judge, the only One who could really lead them and help them conquer the invading enemies. This is still true today, the Lord is our only true judge and is our only leader and is the only One who can lead us and help us conquer our “enemies”.
16“ ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, 17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’18 things known from long ago.
Despite the compelling experiences of Peter, Barnabas and Paul. James turned to God’s Word as the ultimate test of truth. This should be how we evaluate events. We all have beliefs and experiences, and our tendency is to want to measure others by our yardstick. Ultimately, what matters is what God’s word says. The more we know God’s Word, the more we will be able to discern what is right and best.
2 One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early; the other basket had very bad figs, so bad they could not be eaten. 3 Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” “Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.” 4 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. 6 My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. 7I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. 8 “ ‘But like the bad figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials and the survivors from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt. 9 I will make them abhorrent and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword, a curse and an object of ridicule, wherever I banish them. 10 I will send the sword, famine and plague against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.’ ”
We may assume we are blessed when life goes well and cursed when it does not. But trouble is a blessing when it makes us stronger, and prosperity is a curse if it entices us away from God. If you are facing trouble, ask God to help you grow stronger for him. If things are going your way, ask God to help you use your prosperity for him.
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack“, he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
What does your money mean to you? Is money your servant or your master? Although Jesus wanted this man to sell everything and give it to the poor, this does not mean that all believers should sell all they have. Most of his followers did not sell everything, although they used their possessions to serve others. Instead, this story shows us that we must not let anything we have or desire to keep us from following Jesus. We must remove all barriers to serving him fully. If Jesus asked, could you give up your house, car, or level of income? How about your position on the promotion ladder? Your reaction may show your attitude toward money-whether it is your servant or your master.