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Archive for the ‘faithfulness’ Category

weary

Then Gideon and the 300 men who were with him came to the Jordan and crossed over, weary yet pursuing (Judges 8:4).

The Midianites had oppressed Israel for seven years. In response to the cries and prayers of His people, God raised up Gideon as a judge and deliverer. After paring down Gideon’s army from 32,000 to a mere 300, God told him to pursue the Midianites and promised him victory.

That doesn’t mean it was easy, however. Gideon and his men, the Scripture says, were “weary yet pursuing” the Midianites. In the English Standard Version, weary is translated as “exhausted.”

We all get tired. We all become weary, even to the point of exhaustion. And the truth of the matter is that we can become weary, even if we’re doing precisely what God has commanded us to do – when we’re obedient to His will. Obedience doesn’t make us immune to weariness and exhaustion. That was true for Gideon and his men and it’s true for us. The weariness could be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual (or any combination), but it happens and it’s real.

Gideon and his 300 men were weary, but they kept going – they pressed on and pursued by the power of the Holy Spirit and ultimately gained the promised victory.

In Isaiah 40:28-31, we have God’s promise and a good dose of hope for the weary:

Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

When you’re weary, continue to pursue in the power of God’s Spirit. In the words of J.I. Packer, “Trust God and get going.”

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luke-10

I had the privilege this morning of hearing Dr. Jim Newheiser preach on Luke 10:38-42. The following is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Being served by Jesus is more important than serving Jesus.

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mylordandmygod

This morning I had the privilege of hearing Pastor Rick Elzinga preach on John 20:21-30. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: Continue to believe and trust Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and our God.

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therefore-we-ought-to-support-people-like-these-that-we-may-be-fellow-worke-esv14665

I had the privilege this morning of hearing Darren Carlson, founder of President of Teaching Leaders International, preach on 3 John 1-8. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: A faithful church receives and sends missionaries for the glory of God.

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One of your parents may have said to you, “How many times do I have to tell you this?” I know I heard it growing up, and many of you have said it to your own kids.

Why is repetition necessary? Because we forget. We don’t remember everything we’ve ever heard and we definitely don’t put it all into practice.

God tells us over four hundred times in His Word not be afraid. Isaiah 41:10 is one of those places: Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” 

He tells us four hundred times because we forget. Yes, we read and hear His promise. But shortly thereafter, when we face uncertainty or anything anxiety-inducing, we forget His precious promise and begin to fret.

The promise of God isn’t simply strength, help, and upholding, as wonderful as all of those are. God promises Himself to us! The presence He gives is Himself — the omnipresent One who is present with His people in a special and intimate way. The strength He gives is Himself — the One who is omnipotent. The help He gives is Himself — the God who is able. The upholding He gives is Himself — the God is faithful to His covenant promises.

What, or whom, do we have to fear if God gives us Himself? Let’s not forget that.

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talents1

I had the privilege this morning of hearing Pastor Keith Thomas of Bridge City Fellowship preach on Matthew 25:14-30. Here is a summary of his sermon in one sentence: God’s infinite generosity should motivate us to make the most of every talent, ability, and opportunity He gives us.

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Coming Home

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The story is told of a missionary couple returning home after fifty years on a foreign field. They had faithfully served the Lord, raised their children, and made disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, but now it was time to return from the field.

As they disembarked from the ocean liner after their journey across the ocean, they noticed thousands upon thousands of people waiting at the dock. It turned out that a well-known celebrity had made the trip with them, and was greeted by throngs of adoring fans.

The missionary husband saw the welcome the celebrity received and said to his wife, “It’d sure be nice if we got that kind of reception when we got home.” Aware of the disappointment in his voice, his wife said, “Honey, we’re not home yet.”

No, they weren’t home yet. Neither are we. They, like we as believers in Jesus Christ, will be home when we hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Jesus told His disciples, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).

Home is to be in the presence of the Triune God forever, and the reception will be out of this world!

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