New Weekday Devotional Series
Did you know that Judges could be one of the most shocking books in the Bible? If Judges were a magazine, here is what some of the stories might be titled as:
Family Feud Ends with 69 Dead.
Government Leader Caught in Love Nest
Gang Rape Leads to Death
Girls at Party Kidnapped and Forced to Marry Kidnappers
Not only is it shocking, it's also full of people with struggles and insecurities just like you and me that we can totally relate to and principles that relate to us today. And my very favorite thing about Judges is how God shows His heart and character!
Each weekday I am going to be writing a short (hopefully) devotional about one principle from Judges. I was thinking to do a chapter a day (which would work out to be 21 days) but when I started reading today and didn't get past verse 3... well, I am not quite sure how long it will take me.
I had challenged you to read a chapter a day and share your insights from that chapter each day in the comments. But, I think I might move at a bit slower pace.
So instead of a chapter a day,
my challenge for you is to read until a verse jumps out at you and then answer these questions in a personal journal (or on your blog):
1. What about it strikes you? Why?
2. Ask God why He brought this to your mind. Write down your thoughts.
3. If you were in this scene, how would you respond? What would you be thinking or feeling?
4. What principle can be derived?
5. How does that principle relate to your every day life?
6. How can you respond to what God has shown you with action-oriented faith?
Most importantly, don't forget to start by submitting yourself to Christ, asking Him to lead your thinking and show you what He wants. If you haven't watched the Spirit-filled Life video I made, I highly recommend it (since it applies so directly to spending time with the Lord).
Then come on over and share your insights via comment.
Groups studying Judges
Last year, I led a group of leadership girls through Judges. It was a different kind of study than I have ever done before. I guess the best way to describe it was that we actually studied it right then, together and then shared our insights. So about 1/2 the study was spend silent as we each pursued studying a verse that stood out to us. It was really incredible because at the end when each girl shared what God had shown her and how it applied to her life it always seemed like there was a relating theme between most people. It is such a joy to see God sharing His heart and getting to hear them talk about it. It was also pretty great because a lot of the girls got so much out of it that they started using the worksheet for their daily quiet times as a way to read the history books in the OT.
Below is the worksheet we used each week. I would love for you to have it for free. Just go ahead and print it off. I hope to write a Bible study on the book of Judges after I finish 2nd Samuel (sequel to Beholding Him, Becoming Missional).
Delighting in God as the Know-er of All Things
" Now it came about after the death of Joshua that the sons of Israel inquired of the LORD, saying, "Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?" The LORD said, "Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand." Then Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me into the territory allotted me, that we may fight against the Canaanites ; and I in turn will go with you into the territory allotted you." So Simeon went with him" Judges 1:1-3
The boundary lines had already been drawn up for each of the tribes to take the land. They just hadn't done it yet. So I love that even though their leader had died, they didn't give up on the mission. And more importantly, they didn't give up on turning to the Lord.
I find it interesting that they asked who should go up and fight. Because before this time, they all had worked together under one leader. Having worked together to fight, it's interesting that they assumed only one of the tribes should go. (Perhaps it's related to how they were in the mindset of portioning the land?)
Anyway, my point is that God had appointed Moses. Just one guy. And then God told Moses to appoint Joshua. Again, just one guy. But the Lord never told Joshua to appoint a successor. And what a gift because it allows us to see that God also uses ordinary people who arn't appointed to be the head honcho.
So the Lord sends the tribe of Judah and they asked the Simeonites to go with them. Things brings a lot of questions to mind:
* Would I be willing to be the tribe not chosen for this great task?
* How would I react? Would I complain, criticize or be jealous? Or take the route of self-pity?
* If in the tribe of Simeon, would I be willing to be an accompanist and take joy in helping the chosen tribe?
* Would I root whole-heartedly from the sidelines, knowing I still had a part to play?
The Lord is the One who knows who is best fit for each task. When I am not chosen or picked, Lord, remind me that You had a hand in it. That You have not overlooked or disregarded me, it's just that You have different plans. Lord, how does this relate to my daily life?
Have you been overlooked recently? Not Appreciated or disregarded? Has someone else gotten the thing you were hoping for or got asked to do something you were hoping to be asked to do?
I've been there. Just know that the Lord has not overlooked you. He has not disregarded you. He knows exactly what He is doing. So often we have to remind ourselves what's true. Things like if the Lord is for me, who can be against me? He radically loves you and He is for you!
It helps to be proactive and give thanks in all things because it actually changes our attitude. But having an attitude of thankfulness (like thanking God for the other person getting _____ etc) is only something that comes by the strength, perspective and ability of His Spirit. Love (unselfishly choosing for anothers highest good), Joy, Peace, Patience... they are not something we can conjure up. They are fruit that is born in our heart as we remain connected to the Lord as a branch does to a vine. As we submit and yield to Him, we give Him freedom to allow His heart and perspective to be lived through us.
Lord, we are desperately dependent on You. We want to be able to have a heart that pleases you and not be selfish, but apart from You we can do nothing. Please produce in us a heart that is able to be grateful for not being chosen right now. A heart that is willing to do whatever you ask. A heart surrendered to You and willing to be aligned to Yours. Lord, You are pretty incredible, knowing everything and being patient even when we get tired of being overlooked. Your knowledge and patience are so comforting Lord. Thank You for opening our eyes and showing us that about You!
Will you join me in bragging on God?
Each Friday, I love to give others and opportunity to tell about how incredible God is. If you'd like to "proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness" click the link below and follow the prompts to link up your post.
Please let your readers know by including a link in your post or put my button code (found on the side bar) so they can find these other great people bragging about the greatness of God.
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