Reading the Bible in Three Years

Judges 4 (August 3)

                                                               A Woman’s Hand

            “...for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.”

            If you are a woman and have been reading this devotional so far, I sincerely congratulate you.  I hope you understand that every time I employ the term “man” or “brother,” it is used in the generic sense of the word; therefore it applies to both men and women alike.

            Sometimes I have talked exclusively to men; and in other occasions (like today), I will address women.  Nevertheless, everything you read in this book is directed to all, regardless of sex.  As a matter of fact, this book was written for you...whoever you are.

            The hands of a woman have great value for God and for humanity.  Those hands are used to nurture little children.  Our mother’s hands fed us, dressed and caressed us and sometimes spanked us, all the way into adulthood and beyond.  Jesus, the Son of God, was deposited in the hands of a woman called Mary.  She took care of him for many years and Jesus submitted himself gladly to her maternal guidance.

            This illustrates how important are the hands of women.  When men have not responded to God’s call, there have always been women that have given their hands and hearts to the Lord.  Women have traditionally been very useful in the work of the Lord.  Some women, for example, supported Jesus ministry with their finances and prayers.

            If Christian men continue to forsake their call for leadership, godly women will take their place.  Therefore, Christian men and women should serve their Lord hand in hand.  Women must respect the man’s leadership; and men must value the power of a woman of God.

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Judges 3 (August 2)

                                                                The War

            “...generations of Israelites might know war,...”

            Every human being in this world is at war. This is a daily and continuous war and it matters not what your age, race, culture, profession, tongue, or nationality is; everyone is at war.

            Perhaps somebody will protest and say:  “I am not at war, never have and never will!”  My reply is simple and direct:  Even if you are the greatest pacifist alive and God’s love overflows in your heart; you are and for a long time will be, at war.

            Before I keep confusing the reader, allow me to explain what I’m trying to say.  Those who live without Christ, are at war with God; and those who have received Christ as their Savior, have declared the war against the devil, or vice versa.

            Now that you know that war is inevitable, you must prepare yourself by watching and praying every day.

            The Israelites of the Conquest, fought many wars and followed the Lord.  Their sons, however, did not know about the wars of the Lord; and were blind to all the dangers around them.  This is probably the reason why God allowed for Israel to be surrounded by formidable foes.  God was testing the new generation of Israelites, to see if they would be faithful and would fight the battles of the Lord.

            Perhaps you are wondering today, why God continues to allow for your enemies to remain around and to attack you relentlessly.  Remember that without a battle, there is no possibility of victory; and without God’s power and a strong faith, we would not be able to resist the devil and his numerous allies.

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Judges 1 (July 31)

                                                           Power and Power

            “When Israel grew strong,...”

            Paul said in one occasion:  “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13).  Please note that his strength and power to be successful and victorious in all things, did not originate or emanate from him; but it came from the Lord Jesus.

            The power of God is not something you can “feel.”  This power takes up residence in the heart of men and women filled with the Holy Spirit.  To receive or better yet, to experience this power, a person must have a humble heart and a docile spirit, submitted to God’s will.

            Was this Israel’s experience? No.  They grew strong in their own eyes and not in the Lord.  They were so confident in their own strength that they forgot to depend solely upon God. The Israelites disobeyed the Lord and did not conquer all the cities of the Canaanites; although they forced them to pay tributes.

            How foolish are those who think that they are so powerful or wise, that they are able to manage or even to control sin!  Jesus saved us from the penalty of sin; but sin is still around us.  This is not the time for overconfidence, but for total dependence in the power of the Lord.

            Do not trust in your limited power and human intelligence.  Trust in the Lord to conquer all the evil enemies of your soul.  He alone is Omnipotent and his power sustains us every single day.  Our power and strength is very limited indeed, but in Christ we can do all things! 

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Judges 2 (August 1)

                                                           The Best Alarm

            “See what you have done!”

            In recent years, automobile theft have risen dramatically in the United States.  To counter attack this crime wave, the government has approved the hiring of thousands of new police recruits.  Another anti-theft measure is the development of new and sophisticated car alarms.

            A few years ago, there was a “talking alarm” in some expensive cars.  When someone would get near the automobile, the alarm would “talk” (very politely) to the presumed thief, giving him a warning.  If this caution was ignored, a stern threat was issued; and if the aggressor didn’t move or touched the automobile, then the potent siren was set off and it could be heard for miles.

            The Holy Spirit is the best “alarm” ever.  When temptation draws dangerously near; we are warned immediately and the right thing to do is to distance ourselves from it.  If we persist in dabbling with temptation, or touch sin in any way, shape or form; then the Spirit will sound his alarm, to let us know that we have either sinned, or are very close to succumb to its advances.

            Let us adjust our hearts to the highest degree of sensitivity to the Spirit’s voice. This can be achieved as we really get into the Word of God and immerse ourselves in prayer. A mature Christian will be able to detect the voice of Jesus warning us about sin and the presence of the thief of the hearts.

            If God speaks to you about a certain weakness in your heart, listen to Him and follow his voice as soon as you hear it. Don’t turn off the alarm. This only leads to sin.

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Joshua 24 (July 30)

                                                               Personal Decision

            “...but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

            To serve the Lord is not only a great privilege, but a vital necessity for every believer.  To become a servant of Jesus all is needed is a call from the Lord, a personal decision to follow Him, and an uncompromising determination to obey the Lord in everything.

            Joshua served the Lord for most of his life.  Now, he was old and tired, but his faith and desire to serve was as strong as ever.  Joshua invited the people to serve God.  He did not compel or force anyone, but gave them the choice to serve either the true God, or the Egyptian or Canaanite idols.

            We must also choose today whom we shall serve.  God expects our worship and heartfelt service; but the devil forces his agenda on everyone.  Who will you serve, an infernal tyrant, or a loving and understanding God?

            Joshua was indeed a wise man and he loved his God.  He grew from a humble and faithful assistant of Moses; to a fearless and godly leader.  He served God until the day of his death. I pray that God will grant us abundant grace and power to obey his Word and follow Him until our last breath.

            The key to Joshua’s success was his decision to continue to serve God, even if everyone else would turn their back to the Lord.  Let us imitate Joshua and others whose lifelong quest have been to serve God.  Do not worry about those who do not serve or follow Jesus.  Don’t look back at the other believers like Peter did (John 21:20, 21).

             You follow Him!

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