I'm so glad you are here! I hope during your visit you get a glimpse of God's heart for we become what we are gazing at. I pray that God refreshes you and gives you readiness to persevere in what He has for you today.
My desire is to be a blessing to you in helping you know God more and make Him known so I've made these Resources available to you and have the Missional Living blog tab for practical ideas of how to live on mission right where you are. And currently I am writing my way through Judges sharing glimpses of God's heart and character for a weekday devotional. To check out the entire series so far head on over the the Judges Devotional.
"The men of Ephraim called out their forces, crossed over to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, 'Why did you go to fight the Ammonites without calling us to go with you? We're going to burn down your house over your head.' Jephthah answered, 'I and my people were engaged in a great struggle with the Ammonites, and although I called, you didn't save me out of their hands. When I saw that you wouldn't help, I took my life in my hands and crossed over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave me the victory over them. Now why have you come up today to fight me?" Judges 12:1-3
This attitude is nothing new for the leaders of the tribe of Ephraim. They said almost exactly the same thing to Gideon a few chapters earlier, "Now the Ephraimites asked Gideon, 'Why have you treated us like this? Why didn't you call us when you went to fight Midian?' And they criticized him sharply." (8:1) But Gideon and Jephthah handle it two different ways. Gideon pacified the Ephraimites with flattery, "But he answered them, 'What have I accomplished compared to you? Aren't the gleanings of Ephraim's grapes better than the full grape harvest of Abiezer? God gave Oreb and Zeeb, the Midianite leaders, into your hands. What was I able to do compared to you?' At this, their resentment against him subsided." (8:2-3) and each had two different outcomes. Gideon's flattery outcome resulted in resentment subsiding. Jephthah's outcome resulted in war.
Sometimes speaking truth causes conflict.
There was a time when Austin was facebook friends with the President of the campus atheist club. In real life this guy was super nice but online he was vicious. He would post incredibly offensive things on Austin's wall trying to rile him up. Austin would engage with him using it as an opportunity to share the gospel. Many times there would be 80 comments and everyone knew "Joel" as a result. Austin was always very respectful yet said it how it was. He didn't flatter Joel. It finally got to a point where Joel was calling me names and Austin de-friended him. Speaking truth caused conflict but many people got to see Austin's grace in contrast to a hating heart spewing slander at him. Many people got to read the gospel because of this conflict. God used it.
We can choose to go through life speaking only 1/2 truths in hopes that everyone will always like us. Or we can speak the truth in love which just might hurt a little bit but please to the Lord. For if we are trying to please men, we can not be a servant of God. (Gal. 1:10)
Jephthah didn't really say anything that mean. He just told it how he saw it. But "when people are wrong and refuse to accept logical reasoning and confess their faults, they often turn to violence in order to protect heir reputation. This is the cause of most family disagreements, church fights, and international conflicts." (Wiersbe Bible Commentary)
But just like with Jephthah, when we step out to speak truth even though it may hurt, God will come through somehow. And even if things don't turn out the way we hope or expected, obeying God is always the best option.
Speaking truth in love is a learned thing. I guess worth a whole other post at a different time.
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