Today devotional with Bob Gass…
”… Shamgar… killed six hundred… Philistines with an ox goad… ” – Judges 3:31 NKJV
Shamgar lived in dangerous times. Philistine gangs roamed the countryside, robbing people: ‘In the days of Shamgar… people avoided the main roads; and travellers stayed on… pathroads’ (Judges 5:6 NLT). Shamgar’s only weapon was an ox goad, a long wooden staff with a steel tip used to prod oxen. But it wasn’t until he came under attack that he discovered its full potential. Understand this: God has given you an ‘ox goad’, something you can use to win in the situation you’re facing. If you seek Him, He’ll show you what it is. Like the boy with the five loaves and two fishes, God will take something small, bless it, then multiply it to bless others. The Bible says we are to ‘… be instant in season, out of season… ‘ (2 Timothy 4:2KJV). The Greek words for ‘be instant’ could be translated ‘be prepared’. The Greek word for ‘season’ means ‘opportunity’. You need to be preparing yourself now, when it looks like nothing is happening, because your season will change and the opportunity to act will suddenly present itself. When it does, you must be ready. In life, opportunities are either coming towards you, or passing you by. In college, a professor told Dr Martin Luther King Jr that if he kept using such lofty words, he would never be a very effective public speaker. You have to wonder what that professor thought as he listened to Dr King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, and watched him go on to champion civil rights. What’s your ox goad? Use it, and God will bless it
THIS IS SUCH A GOOD ENCOURAGING WORD,ENJOY.
READ: Hosea 14
I will heal their backsliding. —Hosea 14:4
The people of Israel had backslidden, and God wanted Hosea to show them how much that hurt Him. So, in the first few chapters of Hosea, we read a bizarre story: God commanded the prophet to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Put on display as the faithful husband of an unfaithful spouse, Hosea experienced a pain similar to what God felt when Israel was spiritually unfaithful.
As Hosea wrote the ending of his book, he made it clear that despite the pain the people of Israel caused the living God, He still promised healing, forgiveness, and fruitfulness if they would return to Him: “I will heal their backsliding,” He said. “I will love them freely . . . . Those who dwell under his shadow shall return” (Hos. 14:4-7).
Life for the person who turns his back on God is often characterized by guilt and dissatisfaction. The truly born-again believer who has fallen into a lifestyle of sin knows deep down that spiritual unfaithfulness to God takes a toll.
But just as the God of grace offered Israel forgiveness and fruitfulness, even so today He offers restoration to the truly repentant (1 John 1:9). Have you made poor choices that have caused you to slip away? Come back. Repent and seek restored fellowship with the Lord today. —Dennis Fisher
If you’ve rebelled and turned away
From what you know is true,
Turn back to God—He will forgive,
His pardon waits for you. —Sper
It’s not too late to make a fresh start with God.
Word For Today devotional with Bob Gass…
“… Shamgar… killed six hundred… Philistines with an ox goad… ” - Judges 3:31NKJV
The Bible says, ‘… Shamgar… killed six hundred… Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.’(Judges 3:31 NKJV) Shamgar was just a farmer who owned a field, but he was willing to fight for it. His odds weren’t good: 600 to 1. But he beat the odds, saved his field, and delivered Israel. So you can start out small and end up blessing others greatly. The Bible says, ‘Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin… ‘ (Zechariah 4:10 NLT). Every oak tree started as an acorn. Tom Monaghan started Domino’s Pizza in 1960 with one little shop. He struggled for eight years. When his shop burned to the ground, the insurance company paid him only one cent on the dollar to cover his losses. All he knew was pizza, so he started another shop. He worked 100 hours a week. Up to this point he had only taken one week-longholiday – for his honeymoon. By 1971 he was $1.5million in debt. But he stayed in his field, which was the pizza business, and tried something new. He limited his menu to pizza only, and decided to deliver it hot and fresh to customers at no extra charge. It worked. By 2007, Domino’s Pizza had grown to 6,100 stores across the United States and other countries. Today he’s one of the richest men in the nation, and he gives most of his profits to charity. What was his secret? He started where he was. He fought for what he believed to be his God-given purpose. And when he got knocked down he got back up.
If a sermon is worth listening to, make it a habit to write down the important points. Writing etches wisdom deeper into your heart and mind, which is where you build a foundation of biblical theology.
Christians cannot afford to let a message wash over their ears and drift away: believers who aren’t listeners may panic upon walking into a spiritual valley. Since they’ve retained very little teaching, their understanding of the Lord will be limited. People with a shaky theological foundation don’t realize: 1) God is upholding them through their difficulty (Isa. 41:10); 2) it has purpose (Rom. 8:28-29); and 3) they must surrender to His work in their life or be set aside—still a believer but useless to the kingdom (Rom. 12:1-2). Consequently, a believer without a solid biblical foundation may seek out counsel from worldly “problem solvers” who offer only temporary release from pain and fear.
David, the psalm’s author, said that he did not fear evil (Ps. 23:4). He knew God. What did he have to be scared of when the One who controls everything was on his side? How could he be stifled by anxiety while in the Spirit’s comforting presence? The writer held God to His promises and God delivered (Ps. 23). But the psalmist had to know those pledges in order to believe that the Lord would keep them.
A spiritual relationship heavy on emotion but light on facts falters in a valley. Believers must know how Scripture applies to life. Unless you have a belief system that can withstand pressure, pain, and criticism, you are at risk. Start building your biblical foundation so it will help you in times of need.
Our Daily Devotional:
Luke 12:38 NIV: It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.
Time ticks on. The end is nearer. We mark our days by usual occurrences, and frequently give little thought to the fact that today could be our last day on this earth. So focused are we on the events of today, that the certainty of our Lord´s return often escapes our attention. And while we must continue each day to work and live and continue on; we must also keep watch, for we do not know when the Master will return. His return is imminent. His return is certain. We must make no mistake. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray so that they would not fall into temptation. This is the charge to us as well–to watch and pray so that we do not fall to temptation–so that we will be watching steadfastly for the Masters return.
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written by Randy Chambers
Where there are mountains, there must also be valleys—it’s a simple fact of the created world. The same is true in our spiritual life. To reach the place where God is leading us, we must sometimes traverse “the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps. 23:4).
Spiritual mountaintops are wonderful spots to rest awhile. At such times, we feel close to God and sure of His love. But we get to those high places by toiling through the valley, where we discover His character, the truth of His promises, and our own weakness. There are aspects of the Lord that we see only as we journey though shadow.
God is a jealous shepherd—He wants His followers relying entirely upon Him. He draws us through valleys in order to remove every habit, thought pattern, or external crutch that we use instead of trusting Him. In the low places, those suddenly seem inadequate. We discover whether our faith, courage, and wisdom are self-created or from the Lord.
While walking in valleys is an inevitable part of life, believers aren’t left comfortless. Verse 5 is about having needs met, including the desire to be soothed. Here is the image of a tender shepherd rubbing oil onto an animal’s scraped skin. God promises assurance, healing, and safety, even in hardship.
Believers can shout, “I trust God,” from the mountain because they have learned to live by faith in the valley. Walking in the shadow of evil is difficult and frightening work. But when we surrender to whatever the Lord has to teach us in this dark place, our spirit is quieted and our faith is strengthened.
1 PETER 1:6-7
On two separate occasions, the Bible records that Satan petitioned the Lord to test a believer (Job 1:6-12; Luke 22:31-34). In both cases, God agreed. The Devil did his best to break the faith of first Job and later Peter, but he failed both times.
Do you suppose that Christ and Satan have ever discussed you? I think most people are too humble to assume such a conversation has happened. So let me ask the question a different way: Is your life making an impact worth talking about? I had to ask this of myself—am I serving God sufficiently to make Satan feel threatened?
Preachers and missionaries aren’t the only people who make the Enemy nervous. Any believer who is determined to obey the Lord is a threat to the Devil, particularly when sharing the gospel. God calls on you to witness to certain people because you have just the right knowledge, story, or temperament to reach them. Fearing that the unbeliever might choose salvation because of your testimony, Satan gives you plenty of opportunities to fail. He hopes you’ll be too discouraged to continue serving the Lord. The Enemy would like nothing better than to thwart God’s plan for believers’ lives by undermining their faith. That being the case, we might all be surprised how often our names pass between Jesus and Satan!
Although you may think you aren’t important, God knows your true value. Friend, as a Spirit-filled believer, you have amazing potential to serve the kingdom. Satan sees that, and he will try to make you stumble.
If you fall, lean on the Lord as you get to your feet and carry on.
Image by hops_76 via Flickr
LUKE 22:31-34, 54-62
All of us make tracks through the valley of failure. The question is, How are you going to respond? Plenty of people give up and exchange a vibrant kingdom-serving life for a defeated existence. But failure need not be an end. It’s a chance for a new beginning living in Christ’s strength.
Peter had a life-altering failure. Jesus warned that Satan had asked permission to “sift” the disciple like wheat (Luke 22:31)—vigorous shaking is required to separate wheat kernels from debris. The Enemy wanted to shake Peter’s faith hard in hopes that he’d fall away from Jesus like chaff.
Peter fervently believed the promise he’d made to Jesus: “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not” (Mark 14:29). But Satan knows a few things about the power of fear. What’s more, he realized that the disciple would be wounded by his own disloyalty. A man with tattered pride can’t help but question his usefulness.
When Satan sifts believers, his goal is to damage our faith so much that we’re useless to God. He wants us shelved far from the action of the Lord’s kingdom. Therefore, he goes for our strengths—the areas where we believe ourselves to be invincible, or at least very well protected. And when the Devil succeeds, we are disappointed and demoralized. But we don’t have to stay that way.
If we are willing, God can use failure to do spiritual housecleaning. Peter laid down his pride and instead put on the Holy Spirit‘s courage. Thereafter, he risked humiliation, persecution, and death to proclaim the gospel. Failure was the catalyst that brought forth greater faith and true servanthood.
DR. CHARLES STANLEY VERY ENCOURAGING WORDS FOR SURE,ENJOY.
The Word for Today
with Bob Gass
We have believed the love that God has for us
1 John 4:16 NKJV
A gem dealer was strolling through the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show when he noticed a blue-violet stone the size of a potato. Surprised, he said to the seller, ‘You want fifteen dollars for this?’ The seller, thinking the rock wasn’t as pretty as others in the bin, sold it to him for ten dollars. That ugly stone was later certified as a 1,905-carat natural star sapphire, appraised at 2.8 million dollars. It took a lover of stones to recognise its worth. And it took the lover of souls to recognise your worth. Do you realise how much God loves you? If not, look at the cross. Perhaps you’re disappointed because you’ve asked God for something and He didn’t do what you thought He should have done. Before you feel unloved, take a moment and look back. Hasn’t He blessed you and held you steady through rough places? It’s been a long ride, but He’s still holding you, right? Don’t act as if your heavenly Father doesn’t love you because He doesn’t always cater to you.
Our society has spent so much time criticising differences that it fails to see God in diversity. Because you’re different, doesn’t mean you’re ‘less than’ – just different! If God hadn’t made you as He did, you wouldn’t have been able to persevere as you have. You’re uniquely equipped to be a blessing to those around you. Remember, people are blessed because you’re sincere and available – not perfect. So next time you feel worthless, stop and remind yourself, ‘God loves and values me!
Here is today’s The Word For Today devotional with Bob Gass…
“Live joyfully with the wife whom you love… ” – Ecclesiastes 9:9 NKJV
When your mate loses their job and you find yourself suddenly going through a season of financial uncertainty, here are three things you need to keep in mind. First, remember it’s just a season. The important thing is to guard your attitude while you’re waiting for things to turn around. Unless he’s lazy or an outright freeloader, your husband already feels bad because he can’t provide. He knows the children need shoes, the bills are piling up and that you’re tired of eating noodles or beans on toast, so don’t keep reminding him! Second, now is the time to get behind him and strengthen his ego, not deflate it. ‘How?’ you ask. By asking yourself, ‘Am I always complaining? Do I highlight the things we don’t have? Do I covet stuff that’s beyond our budget right now? Am I doing my part to cut back and make ends meet, or am I splurging on non-essentials, going shopping every day and wanting to eat out every night?’ Finally, remember ‘this too shall pass’. Now is not a good time to remind your husband (or your wife if she’s the breadwinner) about the new car your brother bought or the great house your friend just exchanged on. Now is the time to practise saying with Paul, ‘… I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have and with everything that happens… I have learned the secret of being happy… ‘ (Philippians 4:11-12 NCV). Has God ever failed you? No, and He won’t now, so make up your mind to trust Him. How you handle this season may well determine whether your relationship emerges weaker or stronger.