Posts Tagged With: judges


Judges 20:19-21:25 & 1 Kings 1:1-1:27

Word of the Day: “The men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin because they trusted the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah.” Judges 20:36


I feel like such a lost little puppy right now, just wandering around searching for its mother. I feel strange today, like something inside has changed, though I don’t quite understand what yet.

… There’s no resistance….

I feel no battle raging within me, no conflict surrounding me fighting for supremacy, there is only peace.

Is inner peace so foreign to me that when it occurs I’m afraid that something is wrong???


Funny, just this morning I command Insecurity to leave me forever and then walk out of the room, into another and begin to wonder what on earth is going on around me and in me that is so different. LOL! Sometimes I wonder about myself Lord, the attention span of a goldfish: “Hey look there’s a castle!” swim around in a circle, “Hey look, there’s a castle!” Sigh…

Thank You Jesus that You specialize in the lost and broken because I am such a perfect candidate for You!!! “Hey look, there’s a castle!” While I stress over not getting all my writing done for the last few days and how I’m going to do double duty, You’re just waiting here for me to remember, “there’s a castle”, a stronghold inside me and His name is Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, a marvelous Light that transcends all understanding and all time. Jesus YOU are my castle, my stronghold when I am weak. You are my fortress of strength when I can no longer stand. You are my provision when there isn’t enough. You are my Grace when I am frustrated and weary. You are mine.

You are mine.

You are mine.

And in the most glorious of ways; You are my husband, my partner, my Beloved Savior, my Heavenly Father, my FRIEND.

You are mine.

You are mine when times are tough and “tumbly”, You are mine when times are fun and giddy, You are mine when I can’t go on and You are mine when I can’t stop.

You are mine.

You are my GOD.

You are MY God.

YOU are my God.

Oh, Jesus, thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me in my weaknesses or in my strengths.

You are everything to me, but even more importantly than that, I am everything to You. Because I’m Yours and You are mine.

Father I want to learn more about Your amazing love for me, because love conquers all.

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My God

Judges 17:1 – 20:18

Word of the Day: “Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the LORD.” Judges 18:6

You know how in the Old Testament they very often would refer to God as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”? Well during that time the people around them had walls filled with gods. Household gods that belonged to the entire house, one certain god of fertility that belonged to mom, another god of fertility that belonged to dad… you get the idea. Well, this God that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshiped, He couldn’t be found on any shelf on any walls anywhere… but He seemed to be a pretty effective God. So in order to speak to the God that can’t be seen, to be specific they would say “the God of Jacob”. While He is not a god that sits on a shelf and can be seen with the eye, He is a God that can be seen with the heart. He is a personal God that belongs to you. He is your God and you are His person, His treasured possession.

“You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Don’t be dismayed. Don’t be afraid. Although you may not be able to hold Jesus in your hand, you can hold Him in your heart and know for certain that He is always with you!

Categories: 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Flesh, One Spirit

Judges 13:1 – 16:31

Word of the Day:

“Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him,” Judges 14:6

In Genesis 4:1 it says, “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain”. Now, for the sake of propriety, so that I don’t have to keep tossing uncomfortable things into your lap, let’s come to an understanding. Jesus is the second Adam, we, His bride are the second Eve. Jesus wants to have an intimate relationship with us; He wants to “know” us like Adam knew Eve. (Whispered aside: You get what I’m meaning there right? He wants to have spiritual sex and spiritual babies with you.) But, being the gentleman that Jesus is, He will never force Himself on you. However, know this, He longs for you with a longing that is absolutely unparalleled with anything we can understand here on this planet at this time.

In Genesis we see God creating Eve from Adam, the symbol of what was happening and what was to come; Jesus and His Bride – you.

“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man He made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:21-25)

Oh there is so much here I want to point out to you!!! The first three chapters of Genesis are so rich they simply drip honey! Let’s take this a little nibble at a time and really savor it shall we?

The LORD caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man“, did Jesus fall into a “deep sleep”? You betcha He did! One that lasted three days in a tomb!!! Go ahead, take a breath and scream “Hallelujah!” for a few minutes before you move onto the next nibble, it’s Ok, I can wait. He is worthy of the praise, give it to Him.

And while he slept took one of His ribs” – for this nibble I take you to John 19:31-37,

“Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead [or in a “deep sleep”], they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth- that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled; ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on Him whom they have pierced’.”

My friend, where are the rib bones located? On the side of our bodies right? And here we have two prophecies of the Christ that detail his death referring to bones and His side that was pierced. Did God pierce Adam’s side to remove a rib bone while he was sleeping? You bethca! Oh mama this is getting good!

and closed up its place with flesh.” – Beloved, what are we made of? What was it that Adam exclaimed when he saw Eve for the first time? That she was “bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh“. That hole that was created in Adam, in Jesus, with the removal of the rib – it was closed up with flesh, you. You complete Him. A relationship with Him closes up the wound in His side.

There is another mention of a man whom God placed into a deep sleep; I’d like to take a side glace at him and his story for a moment if you will indulge me that pleasure. We’ll flip over a few pages to Genesis 15 where we find the story of God cutting a covenant with Abram. God promises Abram that he will be the father of many nations, that his very own son shall be his heir, and that the land they are standing in will someday belong to his children. Abram asks for something, some way to know that God will fulfill this huge promise to him. So God tells him to go get a bunch of sacrificial animals and cut them in half placing the halves on the ground with space between them enough to walk through. This is what is known as cutting a covenant, where the two parties walk through the trail of blood as a symbol or a guarantee that they will fulfill their promise and do what they said they would do. In verse 12 we find that, “As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram.” Then God says “Know for certain…” and then proclaims the prophecy of Abram’s children and their future. “When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram,” (15:17-18) Oh sweet Jesus help me convey this message and may it be received with clarity!

My friends know for certain that the God of Abram keeps His promises! He is a fire, a flaming torch in our souls to which sinners are drawn to like moths to a flame. In the parable of the ten virgins, some manuscripts translate their lamps, to be flaming torches!

This little light of mine, I’m going to hold it high!

Back to our nibbles of Truth, “She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Let’s recap quickly here, we the Church are the Bride, Eve, Woman; Jesus, our husband, is the second Adam, Man. You were knit together in your mother’s womb, fearfully and wonderfully made in HIS image. God formed flesh around Christ’s bone and presented you to Jesus as His bride.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” In 1 Corinthians 6:16&17 we read, “For, as it is written, ‘The two will become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the LORD becomes one spirit with him.” Flip to Romans 5 verse 5&6 and you’ll find, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Then take a look at 2 Corinthians 1:18-22, “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their yes in him. That is why it is through Him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee [or down payment].” Ephesians 1:13-14 reads, “In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.”

My Beloved friend, through Adam you were destined to a virgin death, but through Christ and the cross you have been redeemed and are offered Jesus as your husband from this moment on through all eternity! And His Holy Spirit seals the deal just like an engagement ring seals a betrothal. And while we must wait for the wedding day to know Him face to face and live in His house forever, we don’t have to wait a second longer to know His Spirit! His Spirit came down on the day of Pentecost in divided, or individual, tongues of fire that rested over each individual’s head, a visual sign for future generations of what was happening spiritually; a filling of the Holy Spirit. And when onlookers, attracted by the great sound that this made, came and asked what was going on Peter said to them, “Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” (Acts 2:36-39)

Mmmm… now while some may argue that the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues and prophecy was for that generation alone I hold up Peter’s statement. Who was the promise for? Yes, the people he was talking to, and their children (still in their bodies) but who else was it for? ALL who are far off, EVERYONE whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.

Are you a lost coin? Are you far off from the Lord? Are you questioning if you might be part of “everyone” whom the Lord calls to Himself? Are you reading this? Then you ARE part of everyone, you are part of the “all” who were far off. For over thirty years I walked this earth wishing that God still did miracles like the day of Pentecost. And in one day, a few short hours I learned the truth, He still does. For all those years I thought the Gift of Tongues through the Holy Spirit was just for the sacred few that were privileged to walk the streets with Jesus side by side. I didn’t know, I’d never been told. I’d never been taught that He really does make the impossible possible; not just then, but NOW! Here! In me! In the last few years my eyes have only barely been opened to the true power of the Holy Spirit and His workings. I’ve only barely dipped my toes into how He works and lives through us and in us, but I can tell you that even just barely dipping my toes in has changed my life forever! I will never be the same in Jesus’ name! His love through the gift of His Spirit has transformed me into a new creation. By inviting Jesus into my life I became saved from eternal condemnation and judgment for my sins for all time. But by digging deeper and inviting His Holy Spirit into, not only my life but my flesh I have become one flesh with Him! The two became one! And in that union of Spirit and flesh I have just begun to experience the truly abundant life that Jesus speaks of. And it’s so much less about an abundance of prosperity and material possessions, as it is about an abundance of His PRESENCE! Because of His Spirit indwelling within my flesh I can know for certain that I have everything that He has promised me. I can know for certain that His love is for me, individually, personally.

Categories: 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Judges 8:22 – 10:18

Word of the Day: “Who is the man who will begin to fight against the Ammonites?” Judges 10:18

Who will fight for us against our enemies?

2 Corinthians 5:4-5 says, “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened – not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” I want my mortality to be swallowed up like Jonah in the whale that brings us onto the shores of LIFE! In the garden of Eden Adam and Eve hid from the presence of God because of their nakedness. Jonah heard God calling to him in the night and ran from Him in fear that God would do what He always does, forgive. We run and hide from God, why? Because of His forgiveness, His love for us is so intense that we struggle to fathom it; we wrestle with His goodness and His impossible plans for us because we can’t do them! We can’t’ understand them. We can’t help but be scared of them. But there is nowhere where we can run that He can not follow. There is nowhere where we can hide that He can not find us. There is nothing that we can do that He can’t forgive and fix! He is so immaculate that we cover our eyes at the very sound of His coming! And yet He comes for us and finds us all the same.

On the day of the cross, when Jesus took all our sins upon Himself and took our punishment for us, He wore a crown of thorns upon His precious head. Those thorns were no ordinary thorns, well physically they were, but spiritually they were so much more than the mockery they were intended to be. Look at Genesis chapter 3 for a moment and you will find the curse that God pronounced upon all mankind.

The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (or seed, depending on which translation you read) and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (verses 14-19)

Did you see them? There were several things in that curse that called back to what we’ve been reading this week. Let’s start at the beginning. The offspring of the woman will bruise her enemy’s head. Judges chapter 4, the woman drove a tent spike through her enemy’s skull!!! Judges chapter 9 verse 53 another woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. These girls have got moxy!

The next one, well, I don’t know how much it applies to you, but I certainly know how it applies to me! In the parable of the Sower we learned that seed is a symbol of words. In this curse it mentions the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. The ESV uses the word offspring, but the original Hebrew word literally means the sowing of seed, as in offspring. I find it interesting that the sowing of seed is mentioned in the serpent’s curse, and then the bearing of children is mentioned in the woman’s curse. Perhaps, just perhaps, they are connected somehow. As a writer, I am constantly sowing seeds and praying that they fall on the fertile soil in your heart. But I can tell you from personal experience that the birthing of those seeds is painful in ways that you would never expect. I certainly never expected it when I agreed that I would do this! But God has promised that when we sow in tears we will reap in laughter, and I’m counting on that!!! The truths that I pour out to you through these pages have caused me great pain in the finding of them. Now, like any mother, I’m not complaining of the pain of this child birthing… but I will certainly not discount it either! Simply because my pain is for your benefit, and mine! My toiling to learn these truths is for His glory and pleasure as it builds a bridge that spans the gap between Him and us! And any pain is worth that. (I may regret having just said that…)

And now we come to the man’s part of the curse, it begins with an outward nod to the words that were cloaked in symbolic meaning through the first two curses, it is revealed fully here. “Because you have listened to the voice (or the words that voice spoke) of your wife.” While some may not agree with me, I believe this phrase to be much less about who spoke the words and more about the fact that it was not the voice of God that the man listened to, but someone else’s. The entire Bible is a testimony, a plea from God Almighty for us to believe His word to us. To trust in what He says instead of trusting the things our eyes see around us, the other voices hissing in our ears trying to get us to do anything BUT what God has said to do, or not do as the case may be. So while many would love to put the emphasis of this verse on the woman’s part of the whole ordeal, in my womanly opinion, it’s about where Adam’s belief ended up. He chose to follow someone other than God. And because of that the ground itself was cursed. The very dust that Adam came from was no longer going to bear much fruit, but rather it would bear thorns and thistles. By the sweat of his face he would eat bread until he returned from where he came… dust.

Oh my friends, we can’t look at this as a curse for us today! Why? Because today for us, it is a BLESSING! If we were still in the book of Adam we would look at this and mourn, but we are no longer a page in the book of Adam. In the moment we chose to follow Christ we were ripped from that book and placed within the covers of the Book of Life. Jesus did many prophetic things on the day He died; one of those things was to wear a crown of thorns. Those thorns represented that first curse pronounced onto mankind… and its reversal! Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. So that we who knew much sin, could become like Him. He was cursed for our transgressions, crushed for our sin; the punishment that was for us was upon HIM and by His wounds we are HEALED! He took THAT punishment for us! That first curse and every one of them after that He poured them out upon Himself for us! Hallelujah! And because of Jesus we can look at words like “He will crown our efforts with success” and realize that they are the truth!

That day on the cross Jesus took upon Himself the curse of thorns and it died with Him. Look at some verses that speak of this:

Isaiah 55:13 “Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

Isaiah 10:17 “the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; it will burn and devour His thorns and His briars in one day.”

OK, I have to admit, I am especially fond of that last verse, the image of the curse of thorns burning up in the bright flame of Jesus’ love for us on the cross is so breathtakingly beautiful isn’t it?!?

Categories: 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 2 Video Guide

Handprints of God

Pictures of God’s faithfulness:

-The Good Shepherd

-He called them to b______.

-“I have shown you many g______ w______ from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone Me?” John 10:32

-“If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, b______ the w______.” John 10:37-38


-“I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a s______ of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13

-God has given us something p______ that we can look to and we can touch and see them and k______ and r______ that God has made a promise.

-He is faithful and good and just and He w___ do what He says He will do.

-God gave Noah a picture of His promise, the r______.


-God gave Abram a picture of His promise, the s____.

-John 10:17-18 “I lay down My life that I may take it up again. N__ o__ takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have a______ to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”

-The two identical ingredients in the four gospel “casseroles” are:

1) Cried out loudly

Matthew:     Krazo – Raven’s piercing cry. Cry out loudly with i______ sounds that express deep emotion.

2) Gave up His Spirit

Mark:     Ekpneo – To G______ up the G______.

Ek – Out from and to. Out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object. A separation from something with which there has been close connection.

John:     Paradidomi – from para & didomi, properly means to give (turn over); hand over from, as in to deliver over with a sense of close personal involvement.

Para – an emphatic “from”, means “from close beside“. It stresses nearness. Para implies an intimate participation.

-God is with us, no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter what is going on in life, God is w______ u__. He gave us His Holy Spirit to remind us of the promise of H___ l______ for us.

-He is so f______!

-Isaiah 41:8-13

-We need to imagine b___!

After the Video:

-Jesus called His Disciples to believe and He calls us to the same thing. What is He calling you to believe Him in/for right now? (There’s always something.)

-“Tell us plainly” – how many times do you wish that God would just speak plainly to you??? Does God ever answer your questions… but not the way that you want Him to?

-Compare the definition of the Greek word Krazo with Romans 8:26, what do you think? Cool right?

-If we need to be imagining big, what is the biggest thing that you could imagine?

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Jude, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

March On

Judges 3:24 – 6:10

Word of the Day: “March on, my soul, with might!” Judges 5:21

If God’s sees us as Christ, shouldn’t we agree with Him and at the very least try to see ourselves and others in that Light? In Judges 6:34 it tells us that “the Spirit of the LORD clothed Gideon” in Colossians 3:3-4 it says “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Paul says to us in 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

What kind of love does that? What kind of love takes everything horrible about us and brings it upon Himself for punishment, saving us from the horror that we deserve in the process? What kind of love is that? Only the perfect love of God. That love, His love doesn’t rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices instead in the truth! And the truth is that His love has borne our sins, His love has taken everything wrong about us and erased it with the blood His love shed for us. His love believes in us, in YOU, so much that His love would rather die than live without you by His side for every moment of every day of your life and for all eternity. His love endured a kind of torture that we will never understand. His love for us, His amazing Grace that has forgiven us completely is our Hope and our reassurance that no matter what happens in this life, it is for our good. Because HE is good.

In those rough spots of life we have to just let go of the control we think we have and simply trust His love for us to see us through whatever it is that is happening. Life is hard, but it’s so much harder without Him.

Categories: 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Judges 1:1 – 3:23

Word of the Day: Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers, I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.” Joshua 2:3

Immediately as my eyes fell on the phrase “thorns in your sides”, my brain perked up. I’ve seen this phrase before, just yesterday in Joshua 23:11-13 “Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you.” So now the LORD my God has me curious, I know of a few other places in the Bible that I’ve seen this phrase, but where else could it be and what exactly is He trying to tell me through the thorns today?

So, I started with a simple word search through There were 53 instances of the word “thorn” in both the New and Old Testament, several of them looked familiar while others were new. Numbers 33:55 sounded mighty familiar, I wonder why… “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.” I was beginning to see the theme here! In each mention of the thorns, so far, God is talking about driving out the current inhabitants of the Promised Land. Hmmmm… I think it’s time to dig a bit deeper into this my friends.

In studying the Bible there is something each student must remember, the Bible defines itself. What I mean is, if something in the Bible reaches out and grabs your attention look at where else in the Bible it might be mentioned. By doing this the Bible will end up explaining itself. For example, the word thorn literally jumped off the page at me today, grabbed me by the neck and said “pay attention to ME!” And while I can glean quite a bit of information from that one mention of the word “thorn” in today’s reading. I will glean considerably more if I look at all the other stories where the word “thorn” is mentioned. Another example of this is in Jesus’ telling of the parable of the Sower and the Seed. In Mark chapter 4 we find Jesus teaching from a boat just off shore to a very large crowd. He shares with them the parable of a farmer, or sower, who goes out to his field to sow his seed. As he tosses the seed on the ground, some of the seed falls on the path where the birds come along and eat it. Some of the seed falls on rocky ground where it quickly grows but then whithers just as quickly because it has no root. Some of the seed falls among thorns and they grow up around the seed choking it and causing the seed to yield no grain. But then there is the seed that falls on the good fertile soil that produces grain and yields a huge harvest for the famer. After the crowd has left for the day and Jesus is left alone with his twelve closest disciples they ask Him about the parable and its meaning. His response to them is a huge key for us today! “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?” This is Jesus telling them that this particular parable is particularly important in translating many other parables, symbols and messages within the entire Bible.

– “The sower sows the word.” This tells us that anywhere in the Bible where the word “seed” is mentioned, it can also be assumed that it is a parable and the seed is referring to the Word or messages from God, spoken or written.

– “And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.” I personally had this happen to me when God spoke His first words of His radical Grace into my life, and I can vouch for the ferocity in which those words are snatched away from you, with talons that tear the flesh! There are times in life when our heavenly sower is sowing His word into our life and we can feel it hit the flesh of our hearts. As we are just barely beginning to wrap our brains around the concept, or hoping that maybe God really is that kind of good, when the Enemy comes along and snatches that hope right back replacing it with his Doubt, Fear and Ignorance. He snatches Words of Hope with his biting words of Hate and Greed before we ever really even know fully what we had in our hands to begin with. There’s a commercial out right now, I think it’s for satellite TV, where a woman is just stepping off her porch with her little dog to go for a walk on this nice bright sunny day when a huge bird of prey swoops down out of nowhere, snatches the dog away from her and flies away with it in its talons. That is precisely what the Enemy does. God’s word is a great gift of Light, and Love and Hope for His people. It is food for our souls, but the Enemy doesn’t want us to actually eat it because if we do, we will grow and bear fruit making it harder for him to stop us. So he snatches it away before it can ever take root in our hearts and become imbedded into our souls.

– “And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.” In this instance the seed, or personal message from God, is not immediately snatched away, but rather is allowed to grow briefly. I experienced this with the second instance that God sowed His words of radical Grace into my heart. This time, it sank in deeper than the first, and I entertained it briefly. I wondered if God could really love me that much, if He could forgive me that completely, I hoped that He could. And yet life would creep in and bring me into hot situations where Doubt would convince me that His goodness wasn’t really “that good”. And I would wither away again.

-“And the others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” Ahhhh… here we are, back to the thorns and on to the third time that God sowed His word of Radical Grace into my life. I’ll never forget the day; at least I pray that I don’t! It was my 32nd birthday. I was sitting in my red recliner in front of the TV watching a sermon on grace. The pastor shared his own personal testimony of how God’s radical Grace finally caught up with him. He was young and passionate about the Lord, desperate to please Him in any way that he could. I could TOTALLY relate to this! I was so on fire for God and yet having been steeped in legalism my entire life I was desperate to be perfect in order to please God. Little did I know, that’s not what pleases Him. In fact, my perfection is what kills Him. That day I sat and listened to the pastor’s story through tears, his story was my story. I was so desperate to please God and adamant about never sinning that I was constantly sinning. I was so focused on being good for Jesus that I had completely stopped looking at Jesus and was completely focused on myself and my sin. In trying to please Him, I left Him. I became so focused on what I was doing that I was totally missing what He was doing…and more importantly I had completely missed what He has done.

Some sects of Christianity are so focused on the Law, the Ten Commandments, and following them to the letter, that we have lost the whole point of the Gospel message, GRACE! Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law, He came to fulfill it! Do you know what that means? It means that the Law was a prophecy of the perfection of God that would literally put on flesh and walk among us. It means that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law in the most perfect way! Just like when a prophecy is fulfilled it is finished, so too is the Law finished in Christ! When the Law was given on Mount Sinai, it was given as a picture of what was to come and God told the Israelites to follow these commands. But then when Jesus came what was it that He told His chosen Disciples? “Follow Me”. Jesus is the total embodiment of the Law, only MORE perfect. If the Old Covenant had been completely perfect then there would have been no need to create a New Covenant now would there? But that is precisely what Jesus came to do! He came to give us a New Covenant with a New Command. “Love one another as I have loved You.” “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind. Likewise, Love your neighbor as yourself. In these two all the Law is summed up.” While the original Law consisted of thou shalt not’s, the new command is not a don’t, but a DO. Why? Because God knows how He created us! He knows how Satan works! If God tells us don’t eat from this tree, then the first thing Satan is going to do is tempt us with all his seductive ways to get us to eat from that tree. The Law alerts us to sin. If there is no command that tells us not to covet, then we are so much less likely to covet. Those without the law are a law unto themselves.

On the day that Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of stone 3,000 people died because of their sins. On the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit of Jesus came down and filled His people, enabling them to do what He had called them to do, 3,000 people were saved and brought into eternal Life. There is a reason they call those Ten Commandments the Law of death, it’s because it kills. But the Spirit of God brings Life! And with that Spirit, and focusing on the death of Jesus instead of ourselves and our own sinfulness, we are brought out of darkness into His marvelous Light!

Does that mean that we should go out and murder because we no longer follow the Law? NO!!! It means that we follow the Spirit of the Living God because we have been forgiven so completely that the slate that held our sins was wiped clean by the blood of Jesus before we were even born!

God showed me a picture once, He talks to me a lot in pictures, where there was a teen praying in his bedroom asking God to come into his heart and be his Lord and Savior. This teen was COVERED in little round stickers that had “SIN” written on them. Every sin that he had or ever would commit was literally covering him. And at the moment he opened his heart and began praying Jesus appeared behind him and silently started picking stickers off the youth. And one by one as He plucked them from his shirt Jesus said, “this is Mine…. this is Mine… this is Mine… this is Mine…”

Our sins are no longer ours when we give ourselves over to Christ. In that very moment they belong to Him. Our sins are part of who we are, and when we surrender our lives to Him, they belong to Him too; every single one of them, past, present and future. And in that moment we become like Him, sinless and pure in the eyes of God. We are forgiven COMPLETELY without spot or blemish. Now do we look like that to the world, no way! Do we see ourselves like that? Not usually. But should we?

Categories: 365 Life, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: