When I was a boy I went to the Texas State Fair in Dallas with my FFA class at school. Not long after I arrived I got on a ride that went around and around and around. Finally the thing slowed down and pulled to a stop. Then just as suddenly it started up going backward and very fast. The only thought that held me together was that I knew I had paid for this ride and sooner or later the operator would want some other fool to take my place. I was finally able to stagger off and find the nearest empty park bench and assume the posture of one who didn't have much money and even less sense.
In the first few chapters of the book of Judges the people of Israel are on a ride of their own. The only difference is they could stop it at any time. They however, chose to pay and ride and pay and ride.
They were doing exactly what God had said they would do. They were becoming rebellious. Moses had warned them. Joshua had warned them. But they always maintained that they would never become what they were indeed becoming.
They had been given houses they didn't build, vineyards they didn't plant and victories they didn't win. They were told to destroy the enemy or the enemy would destroy them. There was to be no truce, no compromise, no accord and no enemy left in the land.
At first they tolerated the enemy by living among them. Then they put the enemy to work by making them servants. Then they made marriages with the enemy. At last they were put to service for the enemy, worshiped the gods of the enemy and even plundered by the enemy. What a sad state of affairs.
When they had been made thoroughly sick of the ride they cried out to God and He would send a leader to bring them out of bondage and back to their rightful Master and Owner. The leaders were also called judges. They were to be the ones that pointed out the right and straight path.
The problem was that this series of events happened over and over and over again. When one generation was cried out to God for deliverance their children after them went back on the same ride. Every time God proved Himself to be faithful. He never abandoned them. He always lovingly and thoughtfully put them back on the right track time and time again.
But just look at how much time and effort was wasted. Look how many lives were lost. Look how many blessings were laid aside and never realized. Look how much shame and disgrace had to be endured. All because the people would not believe their God.
Does this remind you of someone you know? Maybe the person in the mirror? Are you the one on the hamster wheel? Do you want off? Or are you content like that?
Jesus said" Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your soul." That my friend, is what we need.
I hope you enjoyed our journey through the book of Joshua. It is a study of the Christians life of victory in Christ Jesus our Lord. Remember that these things were written for our instruction and encouragement and not just old stories of how things used to be done.
But now we begin the study of the book of Judges. After Joshua died, the people did not have a leader to stand and lead them into battle. There was still much fighting to be done. There was still much land to conquer.
Remember that God had promised the people that this was to be their land, their possession. But they would have to fight for it. They would be assured of victory if they would do only one thing. That one thing still stands in the way of us as we would walk in the victory purchased by Christ. It is that little word, obedience.
As soon as Joshua died the first tribe to go to battle was Judah. They set out to claim what God had given and even started very well in driving out the inhabitants of the mountains (this where Caleb wore out three giants). But in the valley they did not drive out the enemy because they had chariots of iron.
What was the matter? Were these people really too strong for the servants of the Living God? Absolutely not! What you do have are excuses for disobedience when things got tough. When the enemy did not run away but stood up and fought, God's people gave up and compromised. How sad when they had been promised the victory. If only they had obeyed.
Then we read that those that the Israelites did not drive out were made slaves. They thought they would get some use from the enemy instead of pushing them out of the land. They thought they could be enriched by letting them live.
Just remember that God had warned them. He told his people to drive out the inhabitants for good reason. He knew they would infect the Israelites with idolatry and that is exactly what happened.
My friend, Jesus Christ wants you to conquer your Canaan as well. He wants the sin driven out of your life that you might enjoy complete victory in Him. It is possible for you. The question is this, do you want it? Are you willing to obey in spite of circumstances and consequences? That is true faith.
If you are willing to engage the enemy, some battles will seem relatively easy but there is some territory that Satan is not willing to yield even one inch without an all out struggle. He knows he is a defeated foe but he does not want to concede what is rightfully yours.
God is ready and willing to enable and to encourage you for the struggle. He will be honored only with your complete obedience and will meet your every need. Now the ball is in your court. What are you going to do?
8 ounces bacon 1 container of fresh spinach 1 9" pie shell 1 cup grated colby jack cheese 6 eggs salt and pepper to taste 1/2 cup sour cream
Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, reserving a little bit of the drippings to brush onto the bottom of the pie shell for extra flavor. Crumble the bacon into the pie shell. Saute your spinach until wilted. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs and sour cream together in a large bowl. Pour the egg mixture over the bacon in the pie shell. Spread the spinach over the egg mixture. Spread the cheese over the spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top of the quiche is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Make up your mind
During WWII the Tenboom family lived in Haarlem Holland. They were watchmakers by trade and Christians by faith. Not only that but they were hiding the Jews from the Germans.One day a Jewish woman and her newborn infant were brought to the shop. They needed a place to hide but the Tenboom house was filled to capacity.
The pastor of a nearby church came in to get his watch repaired. During the conversation Corrie Tenboom ask the pastor if he would be willing to assist in hiding the baby and mother. The man said "Definitely not. We could lose our lives for that Jewish child."
Unseen by anyone, the elderly Tenboom appeared in the doorway. "Give the child to me" he said.
He held the baby close, his white beard brushing the baby's cheek. "You say we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family."
What a man. What courage. What a challenge.
As Joshua came to the close of his life he also issued a challenge to God's people in Joshua chapter 24. He knew these people very well. He had seen how at times they appeared to be faithful and how they had also failed to possess all God had given them. In essence, they failed to believe God.
In verse 15 he states the call plainly. The people could serve any god they wanted. Just choose which one. Then he says "But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord."
As we think about these two men please remember that this kind of faith was molded and shaped through many years of making the right decision over and over again. They did not just wake up one day with this kind of mental toughness. No it took time.
But although it took time it also took decisiveness. There had to be a point of decision. It was necessary to burn the bridges behind. There is no turning back to mediocrity for those who would soar in this life.
So what about you. If faced with the decision to do right and face death, what would you do? Do you know?
The time to decide is now, not when the matter is placed before you. For when it happens time will not stop and the opportunity will forever be gone. Joshua says" Choose you, this day..."
I went to a memorial today for a young man in our church, Chandler Jimmy Brazell. Jimmy was only 19, but his life was full to the brim in those few years. I regret to admit, I did not get to know him very well. He traveled quite extensively the last two years that we have been in church together and to tell you the truth, I did not think we would have much in common to talk about. Jimmy had lots to talk about, I am the poorer for not getting to know this amazing young man better. Today, I watched and heard grown men talk of how he communed with them about the things of God, young men how he challenged them to live pure lives, being the image bearer of Christ. How he brought others to a richer relationship with their saviour, how he meditated on scripture before bed each night that was written on the slats above his bunk:). I love what Mavis told me about him coming out to their fort at our church and telling all the kids a funny story about when he was a child. How when he was staying with his grandparents he looked into the bathroom drawer for his toothbrush and found a drawer of glass eye balls looking back at him! His grandfather had a glass eye evidently:). How he took time to speak to Henry and play around with him. We heard testimony from students in China that had the privilege of having Jimmy be their English teacher this year. A flight attendant on his China flight was touched by this young man and had a letter for his mom and dad that Jimmy had written on his flight back to the states, 8 pages! He felt Jimmy had given it to him to give to his parents one day just in case God called him home. Amazing that this flight attendant knew about the accident and was able to contact the Brazell's. So much more could be said about this young man but I know he would want all the glory to go to Christ, as it certainly should. Praise your name, Oh Holy Father for giving us this light in our path. Jimmy is now in your presence, we will see him again. his life verse: Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy, at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Many think that once you reach retirement age you're done. What you really need to do, they say, is to take it easy, travel, don't push so hard and live the good life. As we will see in our study today, the Bible never gives such advice or example. Those who really made a difference for good lived their lives flat out, never stopping and pushed all the way through the finish line.
In Joshua chapter 14 we come across a very interesting character. His name is Caleb. You might remember him as one of the original spies sent in by Moses in Numbers 13. When they came back only 2 of the spies had a favorable report. Caleb was one and Joshua was the other.
As a result Caleb was promised the tract of land he searched out. But he had to wait for 45 yrs before he could take possession. That is long time.
But when the time came he was ready. Verse 10 says that Caleb was 85 yrs old and that he was just as strong at that age as when he first saw the land. How could that happen? Well God preserved the promise and preserved the man for the promise. He did this because Caleb had wholly followed the Lord his God.
These are remarkable statements from an 85 yr old man. But if think that is something consider what he says next. "Now give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day; for you heard in that day how the Anakim (giants) were there and that the cities were great and fortified. It will that the Lord will be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall be able to drive them out as the Lord said."
Just think of that. Caleb, the 85 yr old giant killer and mountain climber. And all because he took God at his word. He wholly followed the Lord his God. Caleb believed God. He just simply said that God said it, and He always means what He says, and this time is no different.
Caleb and his children left that discussion with Joshua and took the land just as had been promised. Adrian Rogers said " Caleb went up that mountain with a sword in his hand and the tittle deed in his pocket." Verse 14 says 'Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel.'
So don't let anyone tell you that you're all washed up. If God is not through then neither are you. God always keeps his promises. Even to old mountain climbers like you and me.
Do you doubt your salvation? Do you wonder if you have truly been born again? Are you confused about the gospel? Do certain scriptures bother you? If so, then this website is for you! Your days of doubting can come to an end. http://knowimsaved.com/ We have known Richard Fulton for over 20 years. God has truly used this ministry to help many people come to full assurance of their salvation.
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