“Prayer & Fox Tails” April 25

 

fox tails

Are you persistent in prayer? Do you trust God and wait on His timing? Or are you tempted to doubt God’s faithfulness and give up?

What do fox tails have to do with your walk with God?

 

Today’s Readings:
Judges 15 & 16
Psalm 51.1-6
Proverbs 14.31-32
Luke 18.1-23

 

& :

Sampson & God’s ability to use imperfect people

Talk about using imperfect people! Remember God’s purpose in all of this was that Sampson would “begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (13.5). And even in Sampson’s death, God accomplished that purpose.

In the process, God blessed Manoah and his wife with the child they desired (see yesterday’s reading) and other children, as well (v. ). Although, it must have been a great grief to them to see this son with so much potential, to say nothing of the call of God on his life, waste his gifts and talents as he did. But it may have been a consequence of coddling and catering to him in his youth.

Even so, Sampson, like all of us, was responsible for his own personal choices. It seems to me that he was the one who found the least satisfaction in all of this. In the area of his personal relationships, he continually ran after whatever appealed to him. His motives were selfish and he sought to fulfill them in ungodly ways. Consequently, they never brought him any lasting joy, peace or satisfaction.

He even used the strength with which God had blessed him for his own selfish purposes. That, in combination with a sinful sexual relationship, eventually cost him his eyes and his freedom and turned him into a cheap carnival act. Such is the deceitfulness of sin. It never delivers what it promises! Continue reading

October 13 “Are you earnest in prayer?” & LINKUP

one old person is praying in silenceAre there things for which you continue earnestly and fervently in prayer? Or do you cave in when your prayers aren’t answered immediately?

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 11 & 12
Psalm 118.10-14
Proverbs 27.8
Colossians 4.1-18

 

Jeremiah 11 & 12:

Standing for the truth

These are challenging times to be a believer. There is a huge clash of world views. The truthfulness of God’s Word is attacked on many fronts. And while it is going to get more and more intense as this world of ours spins closer and closer to the 2nd coming of Christ, it’s not new.

There was a “clash” in Jeremiah’s day, too. Chapter 11.21-23:

21 “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts. ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’”

There were people who didn’t want to hear the truth and who threatened Jeremiah. In fact, they threatened to kill him if he continued to speak God’s truth. But God said, don’t worry about them, Jeremiah, I’ll deal with them in My time and in My way.

stop handThere will be people who are not going to like it when we speak the truth. They may be family members, co-workers, supervisors, friends or enemies. Don’t be surprised and don’t try to fight evil with evil. Remember Romans 12..21 tells us:

“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Love them. Pray for them. But don’t quit speaking the truth out of fear or intimidation.

Sometimes we fear they will withhold their love or acceptance from us. But Jesus said:

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 10.37-39).

If you’re undergoing persecution because of your relationship with God or for speaking the truth in a world which doesn’t want to believe there is any absolute truth, you’re in good company. Take some time and study out that whole passage in Matthew 10.16 and following.

While we’re not to be argumentative, neither should we deny the truth:

“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 10.32-33).

We don’t want to be like the religious leaders in Jesus’ time about whom it was said:

“Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (Jn. 12.42-43). Continue reading