Monthly Archives: February 2022

Romans – Mon – 22-02-28



Have you ever seen a mother beaming at the achievement of her child? Most mothers love to see their children receive recognition and awards. They attend school assemblies, sports awards banquets, or other activities of their children. And they smile and take pictures and videos. While all of these occasions are great, there is still another thing mothers love. That is to receive a compliment on the behavior of her child. In fact, she hears it as praise for her work as a mother.

In a similar way, we can bring praise to God. People can see us and turn in praise to him. What is it that others will see in us that will cause this praise? If you’re thinking it is some great act of self-sacrifice, you may be surprised. I know, a safe answer would be love, right? When people see our love, they will praise God. I’m sure that’s true, but Romans 15:7 talks about something else. Here’s what it says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (NIV)

How did Christ accept us? He accepted us in our imperfect, broken state. He takes us where we are and changes our lives. So, we too need to accept broken people. That doesn’t mean we claim what’s broken is good or moral. But, we don’t avoid or attack others either. Accept others and you will bring praise to God.


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Romans – Sun – 22-02-27



What do you picture in your mind when you hear the word unity? What do you see when people are united? Think about their hands. Do you see handshakes or people holding hands? How about a team on the sideline before the game stacking their hands together and shouting in unison “Let’s go”? I have a memory from my youth, probably from Scouts, of everybody putting their left hand into a circle and grabbing the thumb of the next person. As a teen at summer camp, we would stand in a circle and hold hands for an evening prayer. However, each of us would cross our arms in front of us before clasping hands.

It is one thing to see unity. But what do you hear when unity exists? Well, you don’t hear arguments, that’s for sure! If you’re talking about followers of Jesus who have unity, you will hear all praising God. Listen to Romans 15:5, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)

Did you note where the unity comes from? According to this verse, God gives a spirit of unity to those who follow Jesus. In this divided and bickering world, be sure to follow the spirit of unity God has given!


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Judges – Sat – 22-02-26



This week, we have looked at several of the stories in the book of Judges. We’ve talked about Ehud, Deborah, Gideon and Samson. There are several other stories as well. But they are not so happy. In fact, the entire book can be summed up by the last verse in the book, Judges 21:25 “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (KJV)

People did what they wanted, rather than following God. That set up a pattern. People walked away from God, so God allowed their enemies to oppress them. Then the Israelites turned to God and asked for deliverance. God used a judge to deliver them. But after a while, people again walked away from God and the cycle repeated – over and over again.

Is life today at all like the book of Judges? Do we see people today doing what is right in their own eyes? Are any today redefining right and wrong? Are any oppressing others? Do we see the abandonment of God? I think so. We can find all the same debauchery the characters in Judges displayed around us today. In fact, when we look around at all the brokenness of our world, we might get discouraged. But we shouldn’t. Just as in the days of Judges, if we turn to God, he will forgive and heal. If you’ve been walking away from God, turn back to him today!


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Judges – Fri – 22-02-25



Samson, one of the most famous judges of ancient Israel, was born and raised as a Nazirite. A Nazirite took a special vow of separation to the Lord. The Nazirite could not eat or drink anything derived from grapes, cut his or her hair or go near a dead body. At the end of the vow, their hair was cut and offered to God.

One day, Samson was going to make arrangements to marry a woman. Judges 14:5-6 says, “Samson went down to Timnah together with his father and mother. As they approached the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion came roaring toward him. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done.” (NIV)

But that is not the end of the story. Sometime later, Samson returned and found honey in the lion’s carcass. He scooped it out and ate it, even though touching carcass of the lion probably violated his Nazirite vow. It isn’t the only thing Samson did wrong in God’s eyes. He broke many commandments. He also broke his vow when he told Delilah to cut his hair. Yet despite all his sins, God used Samson to deliver his people.

Samson reminds us, that no matter how imperfect we are, God can still use us for his purpose.


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Judges – Thu – 22-02-24



The Covid-19 pandemic have been an interesting display of human nature. We’ve seen numerous government officials, in different countries, impose severe restrictions on people. Those measures included vaccine and mask mandates, as well as lock downs. In some countries, people were locked in their own homes for weeks, without the chance to buy food. In others, some people were confined in camps to isolate them. All people like to have power, and some love to use the power they have!

That’s why the story of Gideon is somewhat surprising. Yesterday we described how God delivered Israel from a vast army with just 300 men led by Gideon. Today, we’ll look at what happened after the battle. Judges 8:22-23 tells us, “The Israelites said to Gideon, ‘Rule over us–you, your son and your grandson–because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.’
But Gideon told them, ‘I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you.’” (NIV)

This story also displays human nature! We like to believe in super heroes. The Israelites thought they were delivered by Gideon’s power – that he was the hero. They wanted him to be king. But Gideon knew that the power came from God. He was the hero.

Today, don’t think you are the hero with all the power. Also, don’t place your trust in some other leader or politician as the hero. Place your trust in God and follow him!


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Judges – Wed – 22-02-23



I love the story of Gideon. Yesterday we learned he thought himself a nobody. But God sent him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. So, Gideon called together all the men for war. He had 32,000 men to face the vast army of Midian. We’re not sure how large the Midianite army was. They’re described as so numerous, you couldn’t even count their camels.

The story picks up in Judges 7:2-4, “The LORD said 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 has saved her, announce now to the people, “Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.”’ So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.
But the LORD said to Gideon, ‘There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, “This one shall go with you,” he shall go; but if I say, “This one shall not go with you,” he shall not go.’” (NIV)

After God sifts them, Gideon is left with 300 men to face a vast army. Impossible odds, but they are victorious through God’s power! You really should read the story!

But more than that, remember that anytime you are doing the work God has commanded you to do, the odds don’t matter. Because the power comes from him!


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Judges – Tue – 22-02-22



“I’m a nobody.” Have you ever thought that? Have you thought that you were not special, had no power or abilities? That you were a nobody?

Gideon thought that about himself. Enemies of Israel had invaded. Gideon and others were hiding in the caves and hills. Gideon had managed to harvest some grain and was stealthily threshing it. That’s when the angel of the Lord showed up and said to Gideon, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” (Judges 6:12 NIV) Not only that, the Lord commanded him to fight the enemy. Listen to Judges 6:14-16, “The LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’
‘But Lord,’ Gideon asked, ‘how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’” (NIV)

Did you hear it? Gideon told God he was a nobody – the weakest guy in the weakest family! Verse 16 records God’s answer, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.” (NIV)

The next time you are tempted to think you’re a nobody, remember Gideon. God saw what Gideon could be through his power. God called him a mighty warrior. If you think you’re a nobody, that’s because you’re not seeing what God can do through you. Don’t look at your strength, look at God’s and trust him!


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Judges – Mon – 22-02-21



Deborah was a leader of ancient Israel. She was a judge and prophetess. The Israelites had been oppressed for twenty years by a general named Sisera, who served a Caananite king. But God used Deborah to deliver Israel. Judges 4:6-7 says, “She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, ‘The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you: “Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to Mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.”’” (NIV)

Deborah and Barak assemble their forces at Mount Tabor and the enemy army arrives. The story continues in Judges 4:14, “Then Deborah said to Barak, ‘Go! This is the day the LORD has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone ahead of you?’” (NIV) So, Barak leads the charge and the enemy is defeated.

What encouragement do we find in this ancient battle? Well, as in Deborah’s time, God commands us to go on a mission. According to Matthew 28:19, that mission is making disciples for Jesus. But unlike Deborah’s time, God does not go ahead of us. No, Jesus goes with us. The very last words of the command are “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NIV) If we’re by Jesus’ side, who can stop us?!


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Judges – Sun – 22-02-20



The board game Trivial Pursuit became popular decades ago. Then team trivia events, or trivia nights, became popular as well. So, how are your trivia skills. Here’s a question for you. In the bible, name the left-handed judge.

Do you know the answer? Ehud was the left-handed judge. Unlike judges in our government, the ancient Israelite judge didn’t just settle disputes. They were military leaders as well. Ehud delivered his country from oppression by a fat king, by killing him with a sword. Since he was left-handed, he hid it on his person in a place the guards didn’t expect.

After killing the king, Ehud stepped out and told the guards the king was relieving himself. Judges 3:26-28 picks up the story, “While they [i.e. the guards] waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the idols and escaped to Seirah. When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
‘Follow me,’ he ordered, ‘for the LORD has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.’” (NIV)

I imagine it was easy to follow Ehud into battle, since he had already killed the enemy’s king.

In the same way, we can have great confidence following Jesus. Because he has already defeated the enemy of death. As 1 Corinthians 15:57 says, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (NIV)


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Ruth – Sat – 22-02-19



The book of Ruth is a story of love and dedication. When Ruth is widowed, she pledges to remain with her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi, even though it means a life of poverty. Ruth is hard working and provides for them by gleaning during the barley harvest in the fields of Boaz. As the story develops, Boaz marries Ruth, which provides for her and Naomi. But there is more to the story!

Ruth 4:13 says, “So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. Then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.” (NIV) Everyone celebrated that birth! The neighbors said that Ruth was better than seven sons, which was very high praise! The baby was named Obed.

But the story does not end there. Obed became the father of Jesse and the grandfather of David. That’s right, David, the man who killed Goliath.  David, the king of Israel. But more importantly, David, the ancestor of Jesus. Dedicated, hard-working Ruth, a foreign woman, was an ancestor of Jesus.

But Ruth had no clue about this fact. She simply loved people and followed God. Likewise, we have no clue what God will do in the future because we have followed him. Like Ruth, we just need to love people and trust God!


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