Scriptures: Joshua 10:12-15
In these verses we read about the battle for Gibeon. The Gibeonites were Israel's allies and five kings of the Amorites came to destroy them. The kings had come because the Gibeonites had made peace with Joshua and Israel. The Gibeonites asked Joshua for help and he came with the men of war. The Lord told Joshua: "fear them not...I have delivered them into your hands." So Joshua came unto them suddenly, because he was a man of faith and action.
Joshua saw that victory would require more than a normal period of time and he asked for God to have the sun stand still. Now we know that the sun always stands still and its the earth that rotates, but did that stop God from performing the miracle Joshua needed? No! God does not require human knowledge to do miracles! God gave Joshua more time, but even with the miracle Israel still had to fight the battle.
Joshua wanted more time to secure the victory, not for God to take over. God will miracles for us, but we must stay in the battle. God will even send hailstones upon our enemies, but we must fight on with the sword. Maybe your victory is going to take a little longer than normal, so did Israel and Joshua's. Ask God to help you with those areas that you can not control, and when God starts the miracles you must keep on fighting.
Scriptures: Hebrews 9:27-28, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Revelation 20:11-15
Our world today is fascinated by judgement. Judgement is something we will all endure. Man has two appointments he will make: death and judgement.
What will be involved in God's judgement?
1) A judge on the throne: Jesus
2) We will not judge ourselves
3) We will not be judged by loved ones
4) Enemies will not judge us
5) God will be the judge: He knows all and nothing is hidden from Him. With Him there are no alibis, overwhelming evidence, or second chances: just honesty.
But for those in Christ there is wonderful news: "Christ was offered to bear your sins...He is coming with salvation a second time for those looking for Him."
A believer's judgement is threefold:
1) Past judgement as a sinner- At the cross Jesus bore our judgement and God does not ignore our sins: "For he hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
2) Present judgement as a child of God- Judgement of daily, which is our daily duty. We are to judge ourselves.
3) Future judgement as a servant- at the rapture our ministry will be judged.
But the Bible speaks of one last judgement: the great white throne judgement. This is not for those taken in the rapture, this is the judgement of sinners, of separation, the final judgement.
We are blessed to know Jesus and have committed our lives to Him and for those of us who have not surrendered to Jesus: don't wait any longer. Its time to get ready!
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 21:1-14
Abraham Lincoln once said: "Behind every great man, is a great mother." The Bible speaks of a great mother, whose name was Rizpah. David was king and a famine had come to the land. The Lord revealed that the famine was caused by actions of king Saul. He had attacked the Gibeonites, who Israel had made a covenant with. Rizpah's two sons were chosen to be executed because of their father.
Rizpah could not save her sons and she became a childless widow. Rather than focus on herself, she guarded the remains of her sons. She wanted her sons to have an honourable burial, so she fought off vultures and beasts for five to six months in the scorching sun and in the cold nights. She was a devoted mother with a tragic story. Rizpah is an example of a loving and dedicated mother.
For Rizpah, her children were her top priority and her love for them exceeded her own needs. She had the courage to fight aganist those who wanted her sons. She was a mom who was there to: command, correct, counsel and comfort. She refused to give up!
God is our Father, but the church is our mother. We cannot save anyone, but our Father can! We must make His children our top priority and fight aganist the beasts of this world seeking their souls. We can never give up and a day will come when they will be honored.
Scriptures: Ezekiel 37:1-14
The devil is happiest when he sees someone in despair and becoming lost in hopelessness. Good news! In Christ there is hope for the hopeless. There is a three stage process that all great people of the Bible went through, such as David, Moses,Joseph:
1) The birth of a vision-a vision given of great potential
2) The death of the vision- human ability is completely expended
3) Fulfillment of the vision- the vision becomes reality and only God can receive the glory
In these verses from Ezekiel we read about a valley of dried bones, and the bones were a symbol of God's people. These people had great potential, but they lost their vision: "our bones are dried and our hope is lost." But God said to Ezekiel: "prophesy upon these bones."
"O ye dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord...behold, I will cause breath to enter into you and you shall live...I shall put my spirit in your and you shall live." The vision's fulfillment and hope was restored! Only God could receive the glory!
How do we defeat despair, discouragement and hopelessness? Through the encouragement of scripture: "let God's Word speak to your dry places." Through hope by endurance: turn your needs over to God and let Him sustain you. Make God your refuge: not your job, hobbies, reputation, savings account or past before Christ. "Find refuge in God's presence and comfort in His people...let God breath new hope into your dry bones."