1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?17 If anyone does hurt to God’s temple or corrupts it [with false doctrines] or destroys it, God will do hurt to him and bring him to the corruption of death and destroy him. For the temple of God is holy (sacred to Him) and that [temple] you [the believing church and its individual believers] are.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand that they were a unified assembly. They were not to see themselves as a collection of competing interests or independent individuals. Paul was emphasizing the intent of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21-23 that believers be unified in God. What actions can you take this week to strengthen your ties to fellow Christians in the church of Jesus Christ?
21 That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.22 I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:23 I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that is within it, for this is the day that You have made so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Lord to know and to read and to hear that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit is so impactful and powerful in my life. To know that when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, that You send the Holy Spirit to indwell me that the Spirit could interceded even when I don’t know what to say. To know how important I have become to You that You are my fortress and strong tower, You are my strength and help in times of need, You are my protector and guide. Lord to realize the importance and the reason why You have brought others into my life so that that we may come together and be one as You and Jesus are one and that we may be one with You Lord. As I look forward Lord, I know the rest of the story, however, between now and then I will need Your help. Your strength to make it through each day, Your wisdom to make it through each situation of each day, Your discernment for every decision of each day so that I may not be swayed but stand firm on the rock of Jesus Christ on which I am building my life, my house, my hopes, and my dreams. Lord, as I look forward, help me I pray to complete all that You have planned. As I look forward, guide my commitments and my focus to the things that You would have me do. Lord, provide me with the right words at the right times to be able to be a supporter, an encourager, a servant and one who blesses those in authority over me that they may know that You are with me and that You may receive all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Verse of the Day
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
1 John 4:12-13
- Judges 6
- When we forget we go astray, Do you have anything that helps you remember? Once you have forgotten, how long will it take you to remember what you need to do?
- 1 BUT THE Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years
- 6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites, and the Israelites cried to the Lord.7 And when they cried to the Lord because of Midian,
- Do you need to hear from a prophet to get back on track? Have you gone anywhere that would allow you to hear what God is saying to you? (Church, radio, TV) Will you turn back to God?
- 8 The Lord sent a prophet to the Israelites, who said to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt and brought you forth out of the house of bondage.9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of all who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land.10 And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you have not obeyed My voice.
- If we humble ourselves and pray, turn from our wicked ways and cry out to God, He will forgive our sins and He will heal our land.
- What if God picks you to be the one to help rescue the people. Will you test the Lord or will you say “Here I am Lord”? Will you walk in obedience to your calling and trust in God for the rest?
- 11 Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak (terebinth) at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites.12 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage.13 And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian.14 The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?15 Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.16 The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.17 Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talks with me.18 Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return.19 Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them to Him under the oak and presented them.20 And the Angel of God said to him, Take the meat and unleavened cakes and lay them on this rock and pour the broth over them. And he did so.21 Then the Angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and there flared up fire from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of the Lord vanished from his sight.22 And when Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face!23 The Lord said to him, Peace be to you, do not fear; you shall not die.
- Will you prepare your heart and mind to be used by God? Will you offer yourself up to God for His purpose?
- 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord is Peace. To this day it still stands in Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites.
- As you draw nearer to God he will draw nearer to you. Listen and hear what he is asking of You as he did when He was speaking to Gideon.
- 25 That night the Lord said to Gideon, Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] that is beside it;26 And build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold with stones laid in proper order. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down.27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him, but because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the Asherah was cut down that was beside it, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built.29 And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And when they searched and asked, they were told, Gideon son of Joash has done this thing.30 Then the men of the city commanded Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it.31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? He who will contend for Baal, let him be put to death while it is still morning. If Baal is a god, let him contend for himself because one has pulled down his altar.32 Therefore on that day he called Gideon Jerubbaal, meaning, Let Baal contend against him, because he had pulled down his altar.33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came together and, crossing the Jordan, encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.34 But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of] Abiezer was gathered to him.35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and the Manassites were called to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, to Zebulun, and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them.
- Do you need confirmation before you take a big leap of faith? Do you need a sign to let you know that you are doing the right thing? What do you need to know before you will go and do what God is asking you to do?
- 36 And Gideon said to God, If You will deliver Israel by my hand as You have said,37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You have said.38 And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the dew out of the fleece, he wrung from it a bowlful of water.39 And Gideon said to God, Let not your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once. Let me make trial only this once with the fleece, I pray you; let it now be dry only upon the fleece and upon all the ground let there be dew.40 And God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.
- Judges 7
- How many people do you need to get it all done? Can it be done with what you have or is it possible to do it with less? Are there too many and so if you win the victory you may take credit rather than giving it where it is due – to the Lord? Let’s think about that and hear what happened to Gideon.
- 1 THEN JERUBBAAL, that is, Gideon, and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod; and the camp of Midian was north of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.2 The Lord said to Gideon, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast about themselves against Me, saying, My own hand has delivered me.3 So now proclaim in the ears of the men, saying, Whoever is fearful and trembling, let him turn back and depart from Mount Gilead. And 22,000 of the men returned, but 10,000 remained.4 And the Lord said to Gideon, The men are still too many; bring them down to the water, and I will test them for you there. And he of whom I say to you, This man shall go with you, shall go with you; and he of whom I say to you, This man shall not go with you, shall not go.5 So he brought the men down to the water, and the Lord said to Gideon, Everyone who laps up the water with his tongue as a dog laps it, you shall set by himself, likewise everyone who bows down on his knees to drink.6 And the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men, but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.7 And the Lord said to Gideon, With the 300 men who lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand. Let all the others return every man to his home.8 So the people took provisions and their trumpets in their hands, and he sent all the rest of Israel every man to his home and retained those 300 men. And the host of Midian was below him in the valley.
- Now you have a small core of people chosen by God. Now will you do what He calls you to go and do? That is right not just go, but also do. Or do you still need a bit more encouragement from God?
- 9 That same night the Lord said to Gideon, Arise, go down against their camp, for I have given it into your hand.10 But if you fear to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp11 And you shall hear what they say, and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp. Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outposts of the camp of the armed men.12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east lay along the valley like locusts for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand on the seashore for multitude.13 When Gideon arrived, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.14 And his comrade replied, This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon son of Joash, a man of Israel. Into his hand God has given Midian and all the host.15 When Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped and returned to the camp of Israel and said, Arise, for the Lord has given into your hand the host of Midian.
- What can God do with such a small group of people? He can deliver an entire nation from the edge of a cliff and restore it back into peace, God’s peace that goes beyond understanding.
- 16 And he divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets and empty pitchers, with torches inside the pitchers.17 And he said to them, Look at me, then do likewise. When I come to the edge of their camp, do as I do.18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you blow the trumpets also on every side of all the camp and shout, For the Lord and for Gideon!19 So Gideon and the 100 men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, when the guards had just been changed, and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands.20 And the three companies blew the trumpets and shattered the pitchers, holding the torches in their left hands, and in their right hands the trumpets to blow [leaving no chance to use swords], and they cried, The sword for the Lord and Gideon!21 They stood every man in his place round about the camp, and all the [Midianite] army ran–they cried out and fled.22 When [Gideon’s men] blew the 300 trumpets, the Lord set every [Midianite’s] sword against his comrade and against all the army, and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah by Tabbath.23 And the men of Israel were called together out of Naphtali and Asher and all Manasseh, and they pursued Midian.24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites and take all the intervening fords as far as Beth-barah and also the Jordan. So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together and took all the fords as far as Beth-barah and also the Jordan.25 And [the men of Ephraim] took the two princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they slew Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian; and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan.
- Judges 8
- Ever found people get upset because you didn’t ask them?
- 1 AND THE men of Ephraim said to Gideon, Why have you treated us like this, not calling us when you went to fight with Midian? And they quarreled with him furiously.2 And he said to them, What have I done now in comparison with you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of [your big tribe of] Ephraim better than the vintage of [my little clan of] Abiezer?3 God has given into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and what was I able to do in comparison with you? Then their anger toward him was abated when he had said that.
- How will you respond when they want you to be their ruler? Will you tell them that they need to be following the Lord?
- 22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Rule over us–you and your son and your son’s son also–for you have delivered us from the hand of Midian.23 And Gideon said to them, I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.
- Be careful what you do with the spoils. It could become a snare to you or those after you.
- 24 And Gideon said to them, Let me make a request of you–every man of you give me the earrings of his spoil. For [the Midianites] had gold earrings because they were Ishmaelites [general term for all descendants of Keturah].25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and every man cast on it the earrings of his spoil.26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 1,700 shekels of gold, besides the crescents and pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian, and the chains that were about their camels’ necks.27 And Gideon made an ephod [a sacred, high priest’s garment] of it, and put it in his city of Ophrah, and all Israel paid homage to it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.
- How long will people remember the great and mighty works of God? How long will that peace last?
- 28 Thus was Midian subdued before the Israelites so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the land had peace and rest for forty years in the days of Gideon.29 Jerubbaal (Gideon) son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.30 Now Gideon had seventy sons born to him, for he had many wives.31 And his concubine, who was in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelech.32 Gideon son of Joash died at a good old age and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.33 As soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites turned again and played the harlot after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god.34 And the Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, Who had delivered them out of the hand of all their enemies on every side;35 Neither did they show kindness to the family of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, in return for all the good which he had done for Israel.