Reading the Bible in Three Years

Judges 14 (August 13)

                                                                   God’s Cubs

            “What is stronger than a lion?”

            The very famous movie The Lion King depicts graphically the enormous power of the African lions.  Every other animal is afraid or has a very healthy respect for the “king of beasts.”

            The Bible, likewise, acknowledges the superior strength of lions.  Jesus, our Lord, is called “The Lion of Judah.”  This phrase is highly indicative of Jesus’ divine power.  Even the devil, famous for being a “copy cat,” is compared to a “roaring lion” walking around us with evil intentions (I Pet. 5:8).

            In the movie, “Mufasa” (the good lion), dies as he falls from a cliff.  His premature death, was the fruit of “Scar’s” (the bad and ugly lion) diabolical plan of revenge.  Later on in the film we see how “Simba,” Mufasa’s son, prevails against the evil lions, and becomes the new king of the jungle.

            For me, this Disney animated movie (at least the few good parts) portrays symbolically (and most probably unknowingly) the believer’s new life in Christ.

            Jesus, the Lion of Judah, died on the cross; having been betrayed by Judas, an agent of the other “lion.”  Nevertheless Jesus resurrected three days later, defeating sin, hell and the devil forever. His complete triumph opened the door for all the children of God to have new and eternal life.

            The main difference from the movie is that we will reign with Christ, not in his place.  Why do we worry then about tomorrow, if we are God’s “cubs?” Jesus, the Lion of Judah, dwells in our hearts; therefore there is no room for anxiety, doubts, or fear!

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Judges 13 (August 12)

                                                                Amazing, Forgiving Grace

            “The Israelites again did what was evil...”

            God’s grace is like an ever-flowing river of life, love and forgiveness.  As the rivers are born in the high mountains and flow down into the seas; the grace of God flows from God’s heart and reaches into the deepest and darkest corners of our soul.

            What would be of us today, if it were not for God’s grace? We were saved by the unmerited and undeserved grace of our Lord.

            God’s grace is as constant as the sun which rises every morning.  Even on cloudy days, the overabundant grace of our Lord shines brighter than one million stars.  On our darkest hours, God’s amazing and forgiving grace becomes a most potent beacon of divine light; which guides us on our way back to God.

            God’s grace has been our ally when we have followed evil.  Just as the Israelites did in the old days, we too fall into sin from time to time.  Our forgiving Father extends his loving hands, in an effort to rescue us from the mud of sin.  His grace has saved the day once again!

            God’s grace was more than sufficient for Paul (2 Cor. 12:9), and it should be more than enough for us today.  If you have sinned, you can find a refuge in God’s overflowing grace.  As the river runs into the sea; so shall your sins disappear forever into the “sea of forgiveness” of our Lord.

            Do not abuse the grace of God, for it is not a license or permit to sin.  God’s grace has set us free, but not to be free from God. We have been delivered to live free from sin and to serve our Lord freely and abundantly.

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Judges 11 (August 10)

                                                  The Question God Never Asks His Children

            “Are you not the very one who rejected me...?”

            Jephthah was abhorred by his own brothers.  No, he did not do anything wrong, as he was a man of integrity and courage in Israel.  He was hated by his siblings because his mother was a harlot.

            Jephthah was rejected and expelled by his people as an outcast.  Later on, however, as they were invaded by the idolatrous and cruel Ammonites; Jephthah became popular and was “loved” by everyone.

            The people of Israel begged Jephthah to return and be their leader.  When he finally returned, he received a hero’s welcome.  This “hero” was the same Jephthah, who had been rejected not long before.

            Aren’t we guilty of the same sin sometimes?

            When our skies are blue, and our lives are as peaceful as a serene lake, some of us tend to forget (or even reject) our Lord.  When we feel strong and secure, we live as if God were a non-entity and we regain control over our hearts.

            Ah, but when our world is turned upside down, we run back to the Lord and call on Him to deliver us.  God listens to our desperate prayers and extends yet another opportunity to the beneficiaries of his grace.

            Aren’t you grateful that our God is not like Jephthah? Aren’t you thankful that he never asks Jephthah’s question?  Aren’t you grateful that Jesus will never reject us, even if we have been unfaithful? 

            I am.

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Judges 12 (August 11)

                                                                 Silent Screams

            “But when I called you, you did not deliver me...”

            In the heart of countless human beings, there is an indescribable pain and a silent cry.  These small creatures are unable to communicate their awful plight audibly, because they are trapped  in a prison of darkness and isolation; these children are prisoners in their mother’s womb.

            Yes, I am referring to the thousands, or millions of human beings aborted unmercifully each year.  Their voices cry to us from their tombs, or from the wombs of criminal “mothers.”

            I can hear their silent screams as they call for help. I can almost feel their terror when their own mothers abandon and kill them. Our Christian duty is to be advocates for the defenseless and a voice for those who cry in the silence.

            Let the world continue to call them “fetuses” (which incidentally means “small child” in Latin); we are certain that they are human beings, created in God’s image and that God loves them.

            Can you hear their silent screams? Can you afford to be indifferent to their cause?  We have been called by God to promote godliness and life on this Earth.  What better way to accomplish this objective, than to defend the right of the unborn babies and to put an end to their silent screams.

            Let your voice be heard! After all, we are ambassadors of the Most High and as such, we represent the kingdom of heaven on Earth.  Whatever you do for these little ones you are doing it for the Lord!

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Judges 10 (August 9)

                                                              One Step Forward

 

            “Who will begin the fight...?”

            The story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte, that he needed a courageous man to execute a very complex and delicate mission.  As we all know, his army was full with men of this caliber; but this mission required nothing but the best.

            As the soldiers were lined up, Napoleon asked with a commanding voice “Who will go to the mission? Step forward!”

            The great general turned around and saw to his dismay, that the line of soldiers was intact.  Napoleon, visibly angry, exclaimed,

            “So there is not one courageous soldier in my army!”

            His officers replied:

            “Do not think of us in this manner.  If you see our line in the same position, is just because all of us have stepped forward!”

            How gratifying it would be to our Lord, to contemplate all his children stepping forward in unison and marching together guided by the Holy Spirit. The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is not working together as one today. I do not support ecumenism and union with liberal churches, but I am appalled to see every true Christian denomination pulling on a different direction, while the homosexuals, the so-called Jehovah Witnesses and other false religions and cults, march in total unison.

            Perhaps God is calling you at this moment.  You have but two choices:

            Flee like Jonah, or...

            Step forward as Isaiah did.

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