Reading the Bible in Three Years

Judges 9 (August 8)

                                                                 The Web of Laziness

            “Abimelech hired worthless and reckless fellows,...”

            Idleness is a very good friend of sin.  Every day millions or perhaps billions of idle human beings receive a personal visit from their wicked “friend.”  As they open the door, sin captures and enslaves them. This sad cycle is repeated far too often, as people go from idleness to sin and this sin leads them back into more idleness.

            Wherever an idle, lazy, or unoccupied person is found; sin is also there, knocking at the door.  King David fell into sin and disgrace as a direct result of his idleness.  He remained in Jerusalem, while his army went to the war.  So much spare time can only lead us to trouble, as it did for David.

            Our streets are filled every night with idle and sinful people.  Groups and gangs waste their time in vain conversations and deplorable (and sometimes delinquent) activities.

            Idleness must be taboo for Christians, since the Bible exhorts us to make the “most of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15).  It is necessary to be active in the service of the Lord for two reasons----Our time belongs to the Lord; and by being active, we have a better chance to escape the web of sin and corruption being weaved by the spider of idleness.

            Rest in the Lord my brethren, but never allow laziness or idleness to rule over you.  An idle Christian is as useful as a car without tires…it’s going nowhere. God needs faithful workers in his vineyard today and if you enlist in his mighty army, you will kill idleness... and live for God.

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Judges 8 (August 7)

                                                                 New Strength                                                                                    

            “…crossed over…exhausted and famished…”

            A faithful Christian arrived home late one night after a hard day at work. It was Monday, the day of visitation and evangelistic outreach in the church and our brother was preparing himself to serve the Lord.

            As he took a shower, however, an invisible being whispered the following words in his ears:

           “Man, am I tired tonight!”

           These were his first thoughts influenced by the devil. “I shouldn’t go visiting. After all, I never miss an activity, and few people want to listen to me anyway.”

            Guided by evil influence, the faithful Christian went to bed, but the Holy Spirit did not allow him to fall asleep. With love and wisdom, the Spirit convicted our brother of his errors and convinced him to go and preach the Word.

            It is not a sin to be tired; as a matter of fact, I am exhausted at this moment, but I must keep on writing. What’s wrong is to let ourselves be dominated by our weariness and forsake our service to the Lord.

            Gideon and his soldiers were a great example of perseverance, even amid adversity and exhaustion. They forgot their pain and fatigue and pressed on until the battle was won.

             We must keep on marching forward and fighting our spiritual battles in the power of the Lord. He will renew our strength when we are tired or depressed and will lead us into victory.

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Judges 6 (August 5)

                                                                   Full Cycle

            “…The Israelites did what was evil…”

            A cycle is something that repeats itself over and over. We know for example, that the water cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the Earth. This water becomes vapor as it goes through the phase known as condensation. Finally, all that water vapor becomes rain or precipitation, returning again to Earth.

            The sons and daughters of Israel began the cycle by sinning or doing evil in the sight of the Lord. These were not “everyday” sins (which are also wrong and despicable), but open acts of rebellion against God, and idolatrous practices.

            “…and the Lord, gave them into the hand of …”

            Here comes the divine punishment, or the second phase of this cycle. God used pagan nations to bring Israel to repentance. So great were their sin and rebellion that many years of suffering would pass before they chose to repent.

            “…the Israelites cried out to the Lord…”

            When the burden of their sin was the heaviest and the punishment reached its climax, the sons of Abraham had a way of escape: God. He was their only hope and is our only hope. He can rescue our souls from the abyss of suffering, just as he sent many different “judges” or heroes like Gideon to lead his people to victory.

            We have been part of this cycle as well. Sin ruled in our lives, and God gave us up to “degrading passions” (Rom.1:26) and lusts. Nevertheless, we repented and believed in the Lord, and he sent Jesus our eternal Savior. One day, as we enter our celestial home, the cycle will be completed.

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Judges 7 (August 6)

                                     Another Warrior        

            “With the three hundred…”

            God does not need a great number of soldiers to achieve victory. His power is so tremendous that he can accomplish extraordinary feats with just a few dedicated men and women. The Bible is filled with stories of great victories achieved by either one man (or woman), or by a small group of people.

            The Lord needed only 300 men from Israel and a godly leader (Gideon) to defeat the thousands of Midianites. Only those who drank water from their hands were chosen. This simple action indicated their alertness and readiness for combat. Are you alert and ready to fight for the Lord?

            When Dwight L Moody, the world famous evangelist heard someone challenging a group of people about what God can do with a totally dedicated man, Moody answered, “I will be that man.”

            God is calling you today to dedicate the rest of your life to him. Some of us might be overwhelmed by such an awesome thought, but there is no need to panic. The work is great and the challenge is greater, but just as an elephant can be eaten one bite at a time, so can we live for God…one day at a time.

            You will be amazed three years from now to see what God has done in and through you. But this is possible only if you make the decision to honor the Lord in all your ways and to be faithful in prayer and Bible study. You will be part of “Gideon’s army”; you will be the 301st warrior.

            Will you be another warrior in the army of the Lord?

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Judges 5 (August 4)

                                                                 Parrots

            "there they repeat the triumphs of the Lord…"

            It is a proven scientific fact that parrots do not speak; they simply repeat sounds. The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are like spiritual parrots. Our message is always the same:

            The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

            The main difference between true Christians and cult followers is twofold. First, the cultists preach another gospel, which is anathema or cursed (Gal. 1:8, 9). These religious sects and cults invent their own doctrines based on new and “fresh” revelations. As is the case with all the false prophets, these groups have predicted the day of Jesus’ return…several times.

            The second difference is the Christian’s inability to proclaim their own agenda. As followers of Jesus, we have no message or words of our own. Our personal opinions and beliefs may be important to us, but they are of no consequence to those who need to hear the message of the gospel.

            This Gospel message never changes. We may change the methods, but never the substance. Our duty is to repeat the saving words like parrots, not to entertain or amuse anyone, but to tell that there is eternal life in Jesus Christ.

            Are you a spiritual parrot? Are you repeating the triumphs of the Lord? The Gospel is the story of God’s ultimate triumph. At the cross, Jesus was triumphant over sin and in his resurrection; he was victorious over death forever.

            This is our triumphant message.

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