But when they cried out to the Lord, He raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them.” Judges 3:9
Have you ever heard of a man named Othniel? Probably not. He was Caleb’s nephew. When the people of Israel went into the Promised Land, they were victorious through the courageous efforts of Joshua and Caleb. As this generation grew older, a new generation began to emerge. Israel again fell into sin by worshiping idols and once more they were enslaved by their enemies. However, the people again cried out to the Lord and God heard them.
Whenever God’s people cry out to the Lord, He hears them. When they are truly repentant, He responds. He responds by rising up those whom He has prepared for such a time. Every soldier looks forward to the day he can use the training he has received. God had been preparing a nephew for such a time as this. He had the same Spirit as his uncle, Caleb.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him.
Has God been preparing you for a time when you will be called upon to deliver God’s people? Many are enslaved to sin. Has He placed you here to be a deliverer? Pray that you will have the same Spirit as Joshua, Caleb, and Othniel.
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Be the one God created you to be! Be YOU! Don’t hand over your “you” to anyone! We all need you!! We aren’t supposed to be the same, but we can live in unity and purpose with our differences and glorify God
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4: 5-6
Imagine you are getting out the ingredients to bake a batch of cookies, but you have unknowingly mixed up the salt and the sugar. You end up putting in a dash of sugar and a cup of salt.
Now, picture a little child taking a big bite of one of those cookies. How long will it take the child to realize something is wrong? Do you think he or she will ask for another cookie? Of course not!
The art of seasoning is a matter of balance. Just enough salt to notice, but not too much salt to overwhelm. Salt creates a thirst, a desire for more. As Christians, we sprinkle the salt of God’s grace and gospel into our daily conversations. We don’t saturate every conversations in a way that drives others away. The artful seasoning of God’s loving grace into our conversations will create a thirst and a desire in the lives of others. They will long to know more of Jesus. This is how you “make the most of every opportunity.”
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me.
Ever said something in the heat of the moment and then instantly regretted it? Yeah, me too. You know exactly what I’m talking about. That crazy moment when you’ve lost all good senses and out it comes. And there it sits….looking just as ugly as it felt coming out. We’ve all done it.
Or, have you ever said something carelessly and had no idea the impact your words had?
Words are important to God. God spoke all of creation into existence. God spoke. That’s all. And whatever He said, it happened.
God is serious about our words and how we use them, and we should be too. Our words have the power to influence and shape the world around us – physically and virtually- in a good and bad ways.
James talks about how our tongue is used for evil:
“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is a fire. A world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed or have been tamed by man. But no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men , who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth, come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:5-12 NIV) “
But in Proverbs, we get to see how our words can bring light and a future!
The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. (Proverbs 10:11 NIV)
The lips of the righteous nourish many, but the fools die for lack of judgement. (Proverbs 10:21 NIV)
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. (Proverbs 12:25 NIV)
Pleasant words are a honeycomb: sweet to the taste and health to the body. (Proverbs 16:24 HCSB)
Before you speak – think:
Is it uplifting? Is it beneficial? Will it strengthen and encourage? Will it bring glory and honor to God? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it’s not something that should be voiced.
Let’s taste our words before we spit them out, shall we? Me and you. Deal? Deal.
There are SO many more verses on our words and how we can use them. I would encourage you to look them up! It’s so rewarding.
I just can’t believe the people that GOD has blessed me with. Incredible. I had so much fun writing this with our dear, sweet Morgan. I’ve had a peek at a few ideas she has. You guys, I can’t even. You will be blessed. Can’t wait for you to see what’s coming.
Our writing team is growing. There’s room for you. Contact me with what you have and let’s talk.
Leaders remember: you’ve got to live it to lead it
Just a short post today as I ponder leadership.
There is a difference between a boss and a leader…
Anyone can be bossy, but not everyone can be a leader
Leaders lead~~Bossy people are just bossy.
Leaders inspire, build up, and encourage~~Bossy people blame and tear down.
Leaders want others to succeed~~Bossy people walk in fear and jealousy.
Leaders see clearly that there is no “I” in team~~Bossy people see no “I” in team.
Leaders thrive on giving~~Bossy people snatch, take false credit, and think everyone is out to get them.
Leaders speak well of your accomplishments to others~~Bossy people belittle you and gossip.
Leaders make much of Jesus~~Bossy people need to be upfront and center with the spotlight on them.
When a leader sees someone younger in the faith making a mistake, they come alongside, teach in love, and keep it between them ~~~Bossy people see someone make a mistake, call it out and tell others about it. (whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats a matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9)
Leaders do this:
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13 NIV)
Go. Inspire someone today. Encourage. Equip. Empower others to the attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ
Leaders: Remember, you’ve got to live it to lead it. A boss says “Go!” A leader says “Let’s Go!”
Seems that the theme message GOD is giving His people today is to be fearless. Serve Him fearlessly. Don’t let fear stop you, let it motivate you. Sometimes the thing you fear is the very thing GOD is calling you to do.
God does not give us the spirit of fear:
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you……..For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6, 7 NLT).
Fear is irrational. Fear steals your power. You do not think clearly when operating out of fear.
It is said that those who fear the darkness have no idea what light can do
I love this insert and action point by Adrian Rodgers:
What Are You Afraid Of?
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
In Matthew 25, we read the parable of the talents. When the master who had distributed the talents came to see the stewardship of those talents, one man had taken his talent and hidden it in the ground.
You may have a buried talent, but you’ve been covered up by the sinister minister of fear, who keeps you from achieving your dreams. You say, “But what if I fail?” You can be so afraid of making a mistake that your entire life will be a mistake. The fear of failure keeps so many from competing that they never even get in the race. They just lose by default!
Sir Walter Scott was called a “dunce” by his teachers. Napoleon Bonaparte was next to last in his military class. Walt Disney was fired as a cartoonist because the newspaper said he couldn’t draw! It’s not bad to fail. We all will fail. But may God deliver you from the spirit of failure, which is a spirit of fear.
The thing GOD has called you to do is His. It’s His glory. His workings. His Kingdom. His. Not ours. He will equip you.
Feeling unqualified for what you know for sure He’s calling you to do? Great! His power works great in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). You are fearing failure because you’re working like it depends on you. Now, how about working like it depends on God? Remember GOD doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
Listen, He will not call you to watch you fail because that would tell the world that He….the very God you’re working for…. is a failure. He’s not. And, neither are you. Have you messed up? We all have when we don’t walk in His wisdom. Ask His forgiveness, learn from it, and move on.
Everyone is dealing with something. It’s what they do with it that makes the difference in people
Feeling paralyzed by fear? Do it anyway. Do it afraid if you have to, just do it. There are so many leaders who have failed at something and been told lies about how worthless they are. Instead of letting that stop them, they allowed it to motivate them. You will regret it if you don’t. Regret causes bitterness, and we all know how ugly bitterness is.
Walk in His power. It’s all available and waiting for you. Fan those flames! Remember, the very thing you fear is often the very thing GOD is calling you to do.
Yesterday we talked about being fearless. Immediately God took me to His Word and to a place in my heart asking Who is this God that you would serve Him fearlessly in this crazy life and in seemingly impossible circumstances? And, why??
Immediately He took me to Matthew 6:9; The Lord’s prayer. Specifically the first line: Our Father in heaven.
Who is your Daddy?
Because of Jesus, we come to God as our Father. A child, sitting on our Daddy’s knee chatting….and listening to His wisdom. Trusting in His care over us. We come to Him not as a fearful people to a tyrant lording over us. No, He’s kind. He’s gentle, yet sure and just. He’s your Daddy!
Some of you may have never had that feeling of being a Daddy’s girl. Never sat on your Daddy’s knee and felt that love, care, protection, strength, provision and wisdom. I’m sorry. I truly and deeply am. I know you have an idea or dream of who you wanted your Daddy to be, wished your Daddy to be.
I have some notes on Daddy. Notes on who He’s been to me, will always be to me, and most certainly wants to be for you. This list never ends, and is added to regularly. I’ll never be able to stop describing Him as He meets my every need, my every longing as I go through this life. Some of this list is from teaching notes, and all of it is true.
You are secure and taken care of because of Who you belong to. This is your Daddy. Follow Him fearlessly. Allow me to introduce you:
Your Daddy is…
the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End
Keeper of creation and Creator of all
Architect of the universe, Manager of all time
He always was, always is, always will be unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone
He was bruised, but brought healing
He was pierced, but eased pain
He was persecuted but brought freedom
He was dead and brings life
He has risen to bring power and was raised to bring peace.
The world can’t understand Him, armies can’t defeat Him, schools can’t explain Him, and leaders can’t ignore Him.
Herod couldn’t kill Him, Nero couldn’t crush Him
He is Life, He is Love, He is Longevity, and He is the Lord
He is goodness and kindness and faithfulness and He is God
He is holy and righteous and powerful and pure
His ways are right, His Word eternal, His will unchanging, and His mind is consumed with US
He’s our Savior, our God, our peace, our comfort, our Lord, and He rules our lives
His bond is love, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, and His goal for us is abundant life
He’s the wisdom of the wise, the power of the powerful, the Ancient of Days, Ruler of rulers, the Leader of all leaders
His goal is a relationship with you and He will never leave you, never forsake you, never mislead you, never forget you, never overlook you, and never cancel your appointment in His appointment book
When you fall, He will life you up
When you fail, He will forgive you
When you’re weak, He is strong
When you’re lost, He is your way
When you’re afraid, He is your courage
When you stumble, He will steady you
When you’re hurt, He’s going to heal you
When you’re broken, He will mend you
When you’re blind, He will lead you
When you’re hungry, He will feed you
When you face trials, He’s with you
When you face persecution, He shields you
When you face problems, He will comfort you
When you face loss, He will provide for you
When you face death, He will carry you Home to meet Him
He is everything for everybody everywhere every time and in every way.
He is your God, and THAT is Who you belong to
You see, with a Daddy like this, we can face anything, anytime fearlessly because we can trust Him. We. Can. Trust. Him. You are His creation. He’s invested and consumed with you. He can’t stop thinking of you, and doesn’t want to. He is the Supreme Ruler. Nothing can defeat Him. He’s your Protector. He never fails. He is madly in love with you. Madly. Crazy. Head over heals. Stalker type love….only not creepy. He is unstoppable and never gives up on you. Never. He is your Provider. When He calls you to a thing, He will carry you through it. He will equip you. He is powerful and majestic.
He’s your Daddy
You can do all things through Him who is your strength. In His strength, you are fearless.
“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God
Today’s reading from Colossians speaks about a great desire I have and something I seek daily. I too pray continuously for spiritual wisdom and understanding.
To have great spiritual wisdom and understanding is worth far more than any earthly riches! Because with this comes full and complete knowledge of God’s will, and who doesn’t want to know God’s will?
Then, because we know HIS will and do it, the way we live will always honor and please the Lord, and our lives will produce every kind of good fruit. I deeply desire to bring a smile to Daddy’s face!
All the while we will be growing as we learn to know God better and better……oh, what sweet words!
“To know God better and better”
Doesn’t that sound just heavenly? To get closer and closer to HIM. To get cheek to cheek with HIM. Beautiful.
So, if we take our cue from Paul (and we definitely should) here’s what we need to pray for ourselves and each other:
I’m praying this right now