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December 13, 2018

Read Judges 7

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+7&version=NLT

 

Scripture- ​​​​​​​Judges 7:2-3- The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.

 

Observations- Perhaps Gideon wasn’t feeling quite so bad about taking on the enemies of Israel with 32,000 warriors assembled to fight against them, but God had other plans. Only 10,000 were left after Gideon followed God’s directions by inviting all who really didn’t want to be there to head on home, but the Lord felt like that was still too many soldiers. 300 was just the right number. Why? God wanted the Israelites to be clear who had given them the victory. Self-sufficiency always threatened to get in the way of relying on God. The sufficiency of God to meet their needs was an ongoing lesson to be learned by the people of God.

 

Application- Sometimes our own strengths can get in the way of our ability to trust God, because we begin to rely too much on our own ability, cunning, and resources. We forget that any strength or resource we have is simply a gift from God to be honored and used for His glory. We get self-sufficient, begin to feel entitled to success, and we can forget to turn to God for the help we need or we fail to give God credit for His help. We need to 

guard against the temptation to trust in our own power. If we only have goals, as individuals and as a church, that are achievable without the supernatural intervention of God, then our goals aren’t nearly big enough. We need eyes to see the Glory Sightings He sends our way!

 

Prayer- Thank You, Lord, for Glory Sightings that would go unseen if I trusted in my own strength. I thank You for times when I feel hopeless and helpless, because it means I turn to You with nowhere else to turn. Your have done and promise to do more then I can ask or imagine, which makes me grateful. Please don’t ever let me or New Hope settle for self-sufficiency! We need Your strength and Your power! Inspire us and lead us forward in ways that keep surprising and delighting us. Amen.

 

“God’s grace is sufficient. Our weakness is made perfect in God’s power,” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

Pastor Jamie

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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December 12, 2018

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Read Judges 6

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=judges+6&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJudges 6:12-16- The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” “Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”

 

Observations- Gideon felt nothing like a “mighty hero,” especially as the angel found him hiding away trying to thresh wheat without being discovered. But God had spoken and so Gideon had a new identity. How brash he was to ask God why He had let the Israelites down, even though God was not the One who had moved in the relationship. God didn’t bother to address Gideon’s question other than to say, “I am doing something new in the face of my people's pain- I’m sending you.” Gideon didn’t see how he could possibly make a difference, but God assured him of His presence to lead the people forward through their deep and longstanding problems.

 

Application- The lesson of Gideon is that we are free to wonder about what God is up to in allowing suffering and disobedience, but our first look should be in the mirror. Gideon didn’t want to see how the actions of the people of Israel, which meant him as well, led them down the wrong path and into the same pattern of sin. We must remember God has poured out His Spirit upon us to stay in the solution. Whether we like it or not God declares we are called to be God’s answer to many problems all around us. What does God want you to be His hands, feet, and voice to change?

 

Prayer- (The Full Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niehbur) God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.​​​​​​​

 

Pastor Jamie

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

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