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December 2013

Garbage

Christianity

Gideon made a sacred ephod from the gold and put it in Ophrah, his home town. But soon all the Israelites prostituted themselves by worshipping it, and it became a trap for Gideon and his family.
Judges 8:27 NLT

I don’t get attached to things but I do spend too much time with them, especially when it’s technology. Things like computers and tablets and mobile phones are an aid to my life, and that’s the way they should remain. Unfortunately, I can let them keep me sitting in front of them all the time so that they get attached to me! They consume me and keep me from the things I should be doing. Even when I’m using them to read the Bible they can become the centre of focus as I go down the line of seeing how much I can do with the technology rather than how much I can do with the Word.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. (PHP 3:8 NLT)

That is something I really need to change! 

Nae Fear!

Christianity

That night the Lord said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.” So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp.
Judges 7:9-11 NLT

My faith is nowhere near as strong as it should be. This really shows through in difficult times. I go into a panic and the strength goes from my legs. I give up and I can’t think straight.

These are all the symptoms of being afraid. God knows that this can happen and he is willing to help. He provided a way for Gideon to stop being afraid. He does it for me too. I am told that there are 366 occurrences of the phrase ‘fear not’ or its equivalent in the Bible. That’s one for every day, even in a leap year! 

For Example

Christianity

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

What I say and do obviously has an effect on my life and on the lives of those around me, but that is just the direct impact – there is also an indirect effect. When others look at me, what do they see? Some people will not like or respect me in any case, but others do, so I really should be careful to let them see the right thing. Whether or not I set out to be an example to others, I always will be. If I do things as I should others will see it and may want to emulate me.  If I behave badly, some might think that it’s ok for them to do the same.

And this doesn’t just apply to believers.  For some reason over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking of the saying “Tell the Gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.”  I think the reason is for this. What does the way I live say to those around me who don’t know Christ? Does my love tell them anything special? Does my faith shine through? Is my life pure enough to let them see that I am different to non-believers? 

Don’t know my own strength

Christianity

“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!”
Judges 6:13-14 NLT

There was a pop song in the sixties which had the line ‘You don’t know know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ and it’s true. I have so much and I don’t know it. Gideon didn’t know that God was with him. He didn’t know that he had any power. Yet the angel said that he had the power to rescue Israel.

How much more could I do if I realised how much strength I have? How much more can I achieve if I can only remember the source of that strength? After all, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!

Help!

Christianity

‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the Lord . ‘Let them be utterly cursed, because they did not come to help the Lord — to help the Lord against the mighty warriors.’
Judges 5:23 NLT

Being a Christian isn’t a spectator sport – it’s an activity, a lifestyle. Work has to be done, work that helps the Lord. Yes, God can do all things but sometimes He wants me to help Him and I have to be ready and willing to help.

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