Not sure how often you pop in here...
but the other day, I mentioned this cycle that the Israelites go through.
They follow God,
get too comfortable,
lose fear of God,
blend into the culture,
are punished by God,
delivered to enemies.
Well... they're ba-aak!
But this time, God's reply is a bit surprising.
So the Lord said to the children of Israel,
“Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians
and from the Amorites
and from the people of Ammon and from the Philistines?
Also the Sidonians and Amalekites and Maonites oppressed you;
and you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hand.
Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods.
Therefore I will deliver you no more.
“Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen;
let them deliver you in your time of distress.”
Judges 10:11-14 NKJV
Now, I don't know if you're a parent...
but as one myself, I can say for certain,
I can relate!
When I've saved my child from something I know we talked about.
And yet they cry out, after falling into it, in some various form.
That place where you are so ready to say, stuff like...
Didn't I tell you this was going to happen?
Let's see if you can fix it yourself, this time?
You made your bed... now lie in it!
Or... can you call "everyone's" parents for help this time?
(since everyone was doing it?)
I think, to be honest, this is exactly why God allows us to be parents.
So that we get a teeny tiny taste of what it may be like
to be a Father to sooo many ungrateful children...
and that includes you and me.
I know this verse is all about the Israelites,
but that's exactly what I love about the Old Testament.
It shows us how much we need to appreciate the grace
of all that Jesus did for us in the New Testament.
For this same God shows us how He tried
again, and again, and again to rescue His people...
those He set apart and chose as a 'special possession' people.
And still, they could not follow all His commandments.
God proved that people could never be "good enough."
No matter how many chances He gave.
But sadly, that is still the basis of many religions today.
And it turns people off... because they, like the Israelites, can't win.
And they get sick and tired of being in the cycle.
And that's why RELIGION does not work.
That idea that if we DO enough GOOD,
it can out-weigh the BAD we do.
The idea that we can EARN ourselves a place in Heaven.
But that's not actually what the New Testament teaches.
It doesn't tell us that GOOD people go to heaven.
It proclaims that ALIVE people go to heaven.
Our problem is not that we are bad.
Our problem is that we are Spiritually dead.
And the only One who can bring us from death to life,
is the One who did so Himself.
Jesus didn't come to earth to die on the cross to make us GOOD.
Jesus came to give His life over to death,
and then rise again to life so that we can experience
and abundant life here on earth
and an eternal life with Him in heaven.
Jesus did not die to make us GOOD.
Jesus died to make us ALIVE.
Alive and living our life abundantly here,
until eternity in heaven begins.
...for He delivered us and saved us
and called us with a holy calling...
a calling that leads to a consecrated life...
a life set apart
a life of purpose,
not because of our works, or because of any personal merit...
we could do nothing to earn this,
but because of His own purpose and grace
His amazing, undeserved favor,
which was granted to us in Christ Jesus
before the world began...
1 Timothy 1:9 AMP
And amazingly, He knew this plan
long before the world even began.
The awesome Old Testament law of RELIGION
to the New Testament gift of GRACE.
Word of God...
train me, today...
to trust You in the plan for my life, set apart for a purpose,
to be ever grateful for Your grace, that I can never earn or deserve.
I am the child
that continually cries out,
making the same mistakes.
And I know Your favor
and grace are ever for me.
Thank You for always forgiving me.
I am undeserving
but ever thankful.
Let me honor You with my life,
the purpose You have given me.
from my heart...
I write as an overflow... an expression of my true love for God and with a deep desire to encourage others in their day to day lives. For we can only find peace, joy, and satisfaction when we yield to the One who yielded His life for us.