The Israelites were holding debts over each other’s heads. People were being traded into slavery. The lenders were taking more than their fair share from the debtors. The situation was getting out of hand.
The Lord told the lenders to wipe the debt from the records and to restore the people.
He told them that if they didn’t they would suffer consequences.
The lenders gladly freed their brethren of their debts.
Isn’t that a picture of forgiveness?
The offender (debtor) has gotten into a mess and the offended (lender) capitalizes on the situation. They just keep oppressing them from a poor judgment choice once made.
But when they offended (lender) listens to what God has to say “forgive them or I won’t forgive you” the situation changes. The offender (debtor) is released of the torment of constantly being reminded of how they were wrong. The offended (lender) no longer has to keep a record, constantly reminding themselves of the wrongdoing.
God holds nothing against you when you come to Him. Let the burden of holding grudges go. Everyone will benefit from it.
Scripture taken from: Nehemiah 5:1-13
Originally posted March 12, 2014
Seventy men had been chosen to gather at the tabernacle to receive the Spirit from God so that they would be able to work for the Lord. Two of the seventy men didn’t make it to the tabernacle in time, the reason is unknown. But this didn’t exclude them from being part of the group. They received the Spirit where they were and then they too began prophesying for the Lord.
Guilt can overcome us if we know that we’ve made bad decisions and we aren’t where we know we should be in our walk with the Lord. Sadness can burden us down if we feel like we’ve missed an opportunity to draw closer to Christ. But here is the thing, immediately when you are ready to move forward God is able to use you right where you are. You don’t have to work your way back into God’s graces because you are already there.
God is able to redeem wasted time and wasted chances. You are in a new moment. Let him meet you where you are today.
Scripture taken from: Numbers 11:24-26
The Israelites decided to not fight for the land that God had given them. They decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Before a battle would even begin they determined that they would fail. This sounds so strange because God had promised them the victory.
How often do we surrender to fear, doubt, tribulation or failure because we rely on our thoughts and don’t put any stock into what God has promised us?
God has peace, confidence and success for us. We have to be willing to battle for it by putting our flesh aside, rising up in the strength of Christ and believing his promises.
Scripture taken from: Numbers 13:26-31
Standing in the wilderness between the Israelites and the Egyptians was a pillar of a cloud. This cloud was put in place to keep the two groups of people separate.
The same thing that acted as a barrier for the Egyptians was a protection to the Israelites.
May we always be found slow to speak, slow to wrath, gracious and loving because our view of the situation could be entirely different from the person that is seeing the same thing from a different position.
Scripture taken from: Exodus 14:19-20
Simon and Andrew were fisherman. It’s what they knew, liked and and were successful with. Jesus was able to take their profession and use it to His glory. With an analogy He opened the men’s eyes to service.
Jesus can go beyond using analogies. He can actually use peoples’ professions or hobbies as means to glorify Him:
A carpenter can use his skills to help repair a House of The Lord….
An musician can perform in worship service….
A baker can bake food for a homeless shelter….
If you’re struggling with finding some way to reach out to the world look at what God has already given you.
Take the talents He has already blessed you with to bring Him glory.
Originally posted March 20, 2014
Jonah had nothing to do with the making of the gourd. He enjoyed it’s benefits for only a day, but became very attached to it. When it died Jonah lost the will to live.
Because God created us, because He gave us his Son, because He has invested in us He wants to see us do well. God has a bond with us from the very beginning of our existence. This love is the reason He continues to love us, to call us, to offer us mercy, grace and forgiveness even after we have failed him and ignored him.
If Jonah felt so much for a gourd that he invested nothing in, how much more does God feel for us, the people he has given so much for?
Scripture taken from: Jonah 4:4-11
Habakkuk received a vision from the Lord. He was told that it would take a while for it to play out but to “…wait for it; because it will surely come…”
I want to encourage you as the Lord has me today. His promises are true. He is faithful. He is good. He can not lie.
Scripture taken from Habakkuk 2:3
Diligent. That word, or a variation of it, kept showing up in my Bible reading this morning.
Diligent means “attentive and persistent in doing something”.
Are you diligent in growing in the Lord? Are you diligent in serving him? In seeking him? Today and everyday let’s put forth effort and be intentional in our walk with Christ.
Scripture taken from: II Peter 3:14