Tag Archives: Judges

Judges 7-8; Luke 22

There are battles in life that I can not win, yet I gather all my resources and plan to soldier on and do the best I can. Enter God. The Lord says to Gideon,

“You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.'” Judges 7:2-3.

By the end of the day, Gideon’s fighting force is reduced from 32,000 to 300 fighting men. Their weapons are replaced by trumpets, torches and clay jars and the battle is won. It is clear who delivers Israel from her enemies.

What is it that God is asking me to put aside so I can watch Him win the battle? Money? Time? Physical and emotional safety? Expectations? What false hope am I relying on that keeps me seeing the reality of God’s hand at work?

Jesus, had access to all worldly and heavenly powers, yet in obedience refused to spare himself the agony of the death on a Cross. Through His resurrection, God defeated the ultimate enemy, death. In the end, I take nothing and no one with me, save for the righteousness of Christ, so why do I hang on to old crutches which will fail to safely deliver into the presence of the living God?

Lord, you are patient, gracious and long to save. You want to free from all that keeps me from knowing and loving you. Expose any false hopes within so that may I rest in your care and enjoy the beauty of your Presence. You alone are my deliverer. Amen.

Klueh

 

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Judges 1-3; Psalms 16; Luke 20

7The people of Israel served the Lord as long as Joshua was alive. They continued serving the Lord during the lifetimes of the elders who lived on after Joshua. These men had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel…
10After those people had died, their children grew up. They did not know the Lord or what he had done for Israel. 11So they did evil and worshiped the Baal idols. They did what the Lord said was wrong. Judges 2:7; 10-11 (ICB)
Over the years, both on and off of the mission field, I have come to understand the importance of sharing testimonies. It is easy to get discouraged by attacks from the enemy, fiery darts thrown by people I thought cared, being blindsided by life not happening the way I expected, and even frustrated at the difference between what my idea of good timing versus God’s timing.
Testimonies keep me going, strengthening my faith, helping me trust that God’s holding me in his hand and has a good plan. It is vital to hear how God has moved in the past and hear how He is moving today, not just in others’ lives, but also in my own. Those stories of God’s goodness, propel me into the future with an extra measure of hope and help me put my eyes on Him in the midst of the ups and downs of life’s roller coaster.
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day and not think about the ways God is moving on my behalf, the ways He is protecting me and providing for me. It is good when I am reminded with 20/20, razor-sharp hindsight, that He is always there for me, especially when I don’t fully understand in the moment.
As I am leading my children on this journey with Jesus, I want to be certain that they don’t forget what He has done for them either. I want them to remember the sacrifice of the cross. I want them to remember the glory of His resurrection. I want them to remember His promises. And, I want them to remember the “little” things that He does for them, meaningful whispers of His love.
5No, the Lord is all I need.
He takes care of me.
6My share in life has been pleasant.
My part has been beautiful.
7I praise the Lord because he guides me.
Even at night, I feel his leading.
8I keep the Lord before me always.
Because he is close by my side
I will not be hurt. Psalm 16:5-8 (ICB)
Yesappa, Thank You for always being there for me, for never leaving nor forsaking me. Help me to remember Your goodness always. Give me more and more personal testimonies of Your love, grace, and mercy that will ever serve as reminders to my children and future generations, so they will never forget who You are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Blessings,
Julie

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Judges 4-6; Luke 21

While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” Luke 21:1-4

I once heard a story about a young boy who thought he had nothing to put in the offering at a crusade. Though I can’t remember all of the details as it’s been years since I heard it, the gist of it is that a young boy was watching the offering baskets weave back and forth through the crowd, he was seeing all of the money given by the others, and he was getting sadder and sadder as they came closer to him. His pockets were empty; he had no money to give. He bowed his head in shame until he remembered he did have something that he could offer; and when the basket was handed to him, he laid it on the ground and stepped into it…”I give all of myself, Lord.”

I’ve never had a lot of money, as a matter of fact for most of my adult life I have lived below poverty level. It can be scary, literally some days not knowing where my next meal would come from, but the Lord has ALWAYS met my needs in some way – whether through the anticipated or {most of the time} through the completely mind-boggling unexpected.

In the beginning of my journey in faith, I felt guilty and full of shame because the small amount of money that I could afford to give for offerings never felt like enough. It felt meager and pitiful. As I continued, the Lord taught me truth through the story of the ‘widow’s mite’.

Giving isn’t about the dollar amount that is contributed. Sure, there are people in the world who are able to give thousands of dollars in one fell swoop, and that is amazing for the ministries and people who receive it; I can speak from personal experience that it means a lot when you’ve been given support in an area of need. However, the offering that God is hoping to receive is that of the best of what can be given with a heart of love, generosity, and willingness.

I may not be able to write a check for thousands, but I can give what I have – I can give my Bible to someone who, unbeknownst to me, had been praying for one the night before we met. I can serve someone in an area of need – cooking a meal, offering a ride, volunteering through a local ministry… I can give a hug, hold the door, help someone cross the street, and offer an ear to listen or a hand to hold.

As I listen…not to the voice of guilt that tries to make me feel inadequate because I don’t always have cash to give, but to the voice of Holy Spirit who shows me the ways that I can give my all to God. As I obey the promptings, some very easy and some that stretch my faith, I place myself in the proverbial offering basket.

Yesappa, Thank You for accepting the only offering I can give 100% of the time…myself. I pray that I am an incense pleasing to You. Show me how to give so that I can be a pipeline for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Blessings – Julie, Sholavandan, India (written in the U.S.A.)

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Judges 15, 16, 17; Luke 10:1-24

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Luke 10:2

Being on the mission field, this is a prayer that my husband and I pray a lot. “Oh Lord, send people who will walk with us, side by side in the work you have called us to. Send people who are willing to labor, willing to sacrifice; send people who have a like heart, who are loyal and faithful, who burn with a passion for You, a desire to serve You…”

A shortage of trustworthy, dedicated laborers is an ever present issue for many ministries. It is difficult to find people, native or foreign, who are willing to put in the work that it takes to conduct outreaches and other enrichment programs; it is tough to find people who are willing to give up personal comforts and potentially risk their well-being and safety to evangelize, to preach the Gospel to unreached people who may lash out in anger against messengers of the Living God.

Becoming a foreign missionary is challenging on many levels, and I fully understand why many aren’t ready to answer that call, preferring to stay in their own neighborhoods. But I often wonder if there is a greater obstacle that is a discouragement to people.

As I began to hear the call to India, I often questioned: Why would God choose me? I have nothing to offer, my spotty past makes me ineligible to serve the Lord!?

I couldn’t see past my failings; I didn’t understand how God could use me, when I had sinned so much in my life. I felt my past overshadowed my present, my future, my ability to serve.

As I read the Bible and the Lord’s voice grew stronger, I began to understand that God did not call me because of what I had to offer, because I had everything I needed for the commission, or because I was sinless. He called me because He has a plan to use me despite of my lack, my failings, regardless of my sin, to show His glory through me.

Then Samson called to the Lord and said, “O Lord God, please remember me and please strengthen me only this once, O God…” Judges 16:28a

Samson is a perfect example of a man used by God to accomplish His purposes, to act as a judge for Israel, in spite of the sin in his life. He was a man given to sins of lust, frequenting prostitutes and engaging in premarital sex. He was full of pride, anger, unforgiveness, and a craving for vengeance. He was a murderer. But, God chose him, gave him strength, and used him give Israel’s enemies a thrashing many times over.

Samson’s story shows me that God has called all of His children, that He has a specific purpose for everyone, even for me. Samson’s story reminds me that, though my past may be filled with shameful things, God is greater than my weaknesses. He takes away my shame and gives me the strength that I need. He equips me for my assignment to labor for the harvest.

 

Blessings – Julie (writing from Sholavandan)

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Judges 12-14; Luke 9:37-62

We all have stories that define us and tell of who we are. For the Israelites, it was a story of rebellion and falling into the hands of the enemy. For Manoah and his wife, it was a story of unfulfilled longing and empty arms after years of childlessness.  For the father of the child possessed by a demon, it was a story of desperation; watching helpless as his beloved son fell under the spell of a violent demon.

“And the Lord did an amazing thing while Manoah and his wife watched,” Judges 13:19

“But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. and they were all amazed at the greatness of God.”  Luke 9:42,43

These stories of ordinary people and recent events in my own life have made me a firm believer that it is by God’s intervention in ordinary lives that history is changed. Consider what the angel told Manoah and his wife about their son, “and he will begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.” Judges 13:5.

God’s Kingdom is established one story, one life at a time. Eternal things can grow from the soil of pain and sorrow if submitted to the Master Gardener’s hand.  What is your story? How has God amazed you in the past and where do you long for his healing to come? Never discount your story because it is in you that his Kingdom wants to take root and change the course of history, one life at a time for his glory.  

klueh

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