Reading the Bible in Three Years

Judges 19 (August 18)

                                                                 In His Care

           “I will care for all your wants;...”

            When a sinner comes to Christ, he or she passes from death to life. At that instant a wonderful metamorphosis takes place----- the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, that is, the sinner is transformed into a saint.

            From this moment on, God becomes his Father and Jesus, His best Friend. The Holy Spirit comes and indwells the brand new believer, giving to his new life a touch of divine peace and a sense of hope and direction.

            The proponents of the “prosperity gospel” would argue at this juncture, that in Christ, we will be wealthy, healthy and problem free. The Bible record does not support such pretentious “doctrines,” for Jesus never promised an earthly panacea to any of his followers.

            What Jesus promised was eternal life in heaven (John 6:47) to those who believe in Him and to take care of our needs while we tarry on this Earth. Our heavenly Father  knows our needs and we have His personal guarantee, that He will meet each one of them.

            Sometimes anger or doubt clouds our spiritual vision. We expected more blessings or possessions, or at least fewer difficulties than we now have.  In these “crises” we must reflect upon God’s mercies and count our manifold blessings in Christ. As we do this, we shall be able to see clearly that God has kept all his promises and that He has taken care of us.    

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Judges 18 (August 17)

                                                                    Break the Vow!

            “Keep quiet! Put your hand over your mouth...”

            People of Hispanic descent are usually very talkative and friendly.  The only problem is that sometimes it becomes impossible to achieve an effective conversation; especially when everyone wants to talk at the same time.

            Some of our family reunions can easily turn into a miniature version of the New York Stock Exchange, where everyone screams for attention.  The desire to speak is so great among some of us, that we do not take time to listen---all we want to do is to get our point across.

            Nevertheless, in the spiritual realm, it seems as if many believers have taken a “vow of silence.”  Believers from every race prefer to talk about the weather, sports, movies, fashion, politics, and perhaps a little (well-intentioned, of course) gossip, than to speak openly about their faith in Christ.

            The apostle Paul instructed the gift-seeking Corinthians to “prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:5).  He was referring to the urgent need of preaching God’s Word and sharing our faith.  If we keep silent, we might as well join the ranks of the army of false prophets.  This is what the young Levite did when he kept quiet and did not denounce evil.  He was more interested in fame and financial security, than in speaking the truth. 

            Open your mouth Christian!  Break the vow of silence and speak boldly about your Savior! Do not allow fear, or the devil, to render you as ineffective as a disconnected loud speaker.  Learn to say with Peter, “for we cannot keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  (Acts 4:20).

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Judges 16 (August 15)

                                                                Open Hearts

            “So he told her his whole secret,...”

            Have you ever been completely “transparent” or frank with someone?

            Being transparent, signifies that everyone can see your heart.  Being transparent, indicates the highest degree of sincerity in a person or in other words; we are the same inside and out.

            Is it a good practice to uncover our hearts, and reveal our most intimate thoughts to just anyone?

            I believe you know the answer to that question, but perhaps Samson was not as wise as you are.  He did not take the time to choose his confidants and paid a high price for his foolishness. He told Delilah all of his most intimate secrets and she betrayed him and didn’t keep his confidence.

            The moral of this story is that even transparency has its limits.  The secrets of our soul must be reserved for God (who already knows them anyway), and for those who are worthy of our trust.

            We cannot overemphasize, the importance of a transparent and daily communication with Jesus.  God is totally interested in our problems, secrets and dreams.  He invites us to bring our burdens to him and rest (Matt.11:28).

            Prudent and blessed is the Christian that can be transparent with a selected group of family and friends.  Prudent, because the possibility of betrayal is minimized; blessed, because he can be “himself” and share his life--- including his dreams, hurts, failures and hopes; with those who are in no way related to the Delilah’s or Judases of this world.

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Judges 17 (August 16)

                                                                             Save the Children

                “...the people did what was right in their own eyes.”

            Today I met a boy named Frankie; a boy that represents by his behavior, the attitude of an entire generation.  With my own eyes I observed how little Frankie was hitting his helpless mother and making fun of his passive father.  This future “delinquent” was doing whatever he pleased and no one in his family was brave enough to stop him or even to scold him.

            Our modern society is characterized by the same anarchy that ran wild during the time of the judges.  Almost everyone today has their very own set of values or beliefs, regardless if they come from God’s Word or not.

            Only faithful Christians follow the Bible and believe that truth is absolute.  The rest live in a fantasy world of relativism, selfishness and lies.  This world needs God more than ever!

            We should not be surprised when we witness the rapid spread of gangs, violence, delinquency and all kinds of evil acts.  The reason is found, in the great distance our society has put between themselves and Jesus Christ.

            When God’s Word is not honored, the result is the birth of chaos and destruction.  Now good is deemed evil and evil is paraded on our streets.

            There is still hope for many in this world.  There are still people who want to be rescued from a chaotic and meaningless life.  Today, you and I can decide to make a difference for Christ; today we can begin to rescue as many “Frankies” as possible.  Tomorrow, may be too late.

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Judges 15 (August 14)

                                                                Jawbone

            “With the jawbone of a donkey,...”

            Yesterday we read about one of the strongest animals ever created. The lion is considered to be the king of the jungle and most animals fear it. Today, I don’t want to talk animals (except perhaps for a part of the donkey), but we shall study the life of the strongest man of all times.

            When someone reads Samson’s story, they may ask themselves, is all this true? Is  it possible for a man to kill one thousand enemies in battle, with just a donkey’s jawbone?

            My answer is simple, if  Bruce Lee and Jet Li can do it (in the movies) with bare hands; how much more could Samson accomplish with such a “potent” weapon.  Seriously though, I believe Samson’s story, because it is part of the Bible.  As a Bible believing Christian, I know that all the miracles and events described in the Word of God, are true---including Samson’s exploits.

            A miracle, is a powerful and supernatural manifestation of God’s power.  Our resources may be limited and our talents inadequate at best; yet a jawbone, or whatever we have in our hands, can become a mighty weapon or instrument, with just a touch from the Lord.

            It is extremely vital and imperative, that our hearts overflow with faith and trust in the Lord.  Likewise, it is essential to present our hands to God and dedicate them to His service.  What God did with Samson and the donkey’s jawbone, He can do through you today ---just bring the “jawbone” to Him.

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