God has a plan for you! God has a purpose for you! He has you right there, right now on purpose for a purpose! So…what are you going to do about it? What will you do with what God is calling you to do? Those around you need you to step up and step in! Those around you need you to speak up and speak out! Those around you need to see light and the spice of life! Those around you need hope and love and truth! What role will you play in the lives of God has brought into your life? Are you “too busy” and not reaching out? Are you “too busy” and not sharing God’s love? Are you “too busy” and missing out on many opportunities that are all around you? Do you realize how much you are needed?
Let’s start today’s reading and hear what God has to say in and through His Word…
1Then Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang on that day saying: 2“When leaders take the lead in Israel, when people freely offer themselves, bless Adonai! 3Listen, O kings! Give ear, O rulers! I, to Adonai I will sing, I will sing praise to Adonai, the God of Israel. 4Adonai, when You came out from Seir, when You marched from Edom’s field, the earth trembled, the heavens also dropped, yes, the clouds dropped water. 5The mountains quaked before Adonai, this Sinai at the presence of Adonai, the God of Israel! 6In the days of Shamgar son of Anath, in the days of Yael, the highways were deserted, travelers walked by crooked paths. 7 Villages were deserted in Israel, deserted, until I, Deborah, arose, a mother in Israel arose. 8They chose new gods— then war was in the gates. No shield or spear was seen among 40,000 in Israel! 9My heart is with Israel’s rulers, who offer themselves freely among the people. Bless Adonai! 10Riders on white donkeys, sitting on saddle blankets, traveling on the road, sing! 11Louder than the sound of archers, at the watering places! There let them rehearse the righteous acts of Adonai, the righteous deeds for His villages in Israel. Then the people of Adonai went down to the gates. 12Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, utter a song! Arise, Barak, lead away your captives, O son of Abinoam! 13Then a remnant of nobles came down. Adonai’s people came down to me with the mighty ones. 14Those with root in Amalek are from Ephraim, following you, Benjamin, with your peoples. From Machir came down rulers, and from Zebulun wielding the marshal’s staff. 15Issachar’s chiefs were with Deborah. Issachar was with Barak. Into the valley they rushed at his heels. Among the divisions of Reuben there were great resolves of heart. 16Why did you stay in the sheepfolds— to hear the piping for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben there was much searching of heart. 17Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan, and Dan, why did he stay by the ships? Asher sat at the seacoast, dwelling by its docks. 18Zebulun is a people who jeopardized their lives to death, and Naphtali also, on the heights of the battlefield. 19The kings came, they fought, then the kings of Canaan fought, at Taanach, by the waters of Megiddo, but they took no spoil of silver. 20From heaven, the stars fought, in their courses they fought Sisera. 21The Kishon torrent swept them away— that ancient torrent, the torrent Kishon! O my soul, march on with strength! 22Then the horses’ hooves beat from the dashing, the dashing of his mighty steeds. 23‘Curse Meroz!’ said the angel of Adonai, ‘Utterly curse its inhabitants, for they came not to the aid of Adonai, to the aid of Adonai among the mighty.’ 24Blessed above women is Yael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, above women in the tent is she blessed. 25 Water he asked, milk she gave him. In a lordly bowl she brought him butter. 26Her hand reached for the tent pin, her right hand to the workmen’s hammer, and with the hammer she struck Sisera, she smashed his head— yes, she crushed and pierced his temple. 27At her feet he collapsed, he fell, he lay. Between her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell dead. 28Through the window, Sisera’s mother looked out, through the lattice. and lamented shrilly: ‘Why does his chariot delay in coming? Why do the wheels of his chariots tarry?’ 29The wisest of her princesses answer her, yes, she repeats the words to herself: 30‘Are they not finding, dividing the spoil? A maiden, maidens for every warrior! To Sisera a spoil of dyed garments— a spoil of dyed garments of embroidery, double-dyed garments of embroidery for the necks of every spoiler!’ 31So let all Your enemies perish, Adonai! But may those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.” Then the land had peace for 40 years.
–from Judges 5
Will you remember what God has done or will you forget and walk or slip away? Will you go about life His way or try to define your own version of truth? Will you risk the benefits and the blessings to lose it all and feel the pain that comes from walking away from God? Do you realize how much you are needed? Do you realize how important you are to God? Do you realize how important God is to your life? What will you do? Will you ride the rollercoaster of life on your own or will you go through it with God? Will you be in daily relationship with God or will you only turn to Him in times of trouble and need? What will it take for you to step up and step out to lead? I’ve heard it put this way that God doesn’t call the qualified but rather He qualifies the called! This reminds me of when God called me to step up to be president of a HOA and I kept coming up with reasons why I couldn’t, I shouldn’t, I wouldn’t. It came down to that final ultimatum and I didn’t want to end up being nothing. And it’s not about you, it’s about God working in and through you! It’s about giving Him all the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name.
1Then Bnei-Yisrael did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, so Adonai gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. 2Midian maintained an upper hand over Israel, and because of Midian Bnei-Yisrael made themselves hideouts in the mountains—caves and strongholds. 3Whenever Israel had done their sowing, the Midianites, Amalekites and people from the east would come up and raid them. 4They would set up camp by them, destroy the produce of the land as far as Gaza, and leave nothing in Israel to live on—not a sheep, ox or donkey. 5For they would come up with their cattle and their tents, invade like a multitude of locusts. Both they and their camels were innumerable, and they would come to the land to ruin it. 6So Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai. 7Now it came about when Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai because of Midian, 8that Adonai sent a prophet to Bnei-Yisrael, and he said to them, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel, ‘It was I who brought you up from Egypt, and brought you out of the house of bondage. 9Then I delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of all your oppressors, and drove them out from before you and gave you their land. 10Then I said to you, “I am Adonai your God. You are not to fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are dwelling. But you have not obeyed My voice.’”
Calling of Gideon
11Then the angel of Adonai came and sat under the terebinth that was at Ophrah, that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, while his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the winepress—in order to hide it from the Midianites. 12Then the angel of Adonai appeared to him and said to him, “Adonai is with you, O mighty man of valor.” 13But Gideon said to him, “O my lord, if Adonai is with us, then why has all this befallen us? So where are all His wonders that our fathers told us about saying ‘Didn’t Adonai bring us up from Egypt?’ But now Adonai has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” 14Then Adonai turned toward him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have not I sent you?” 15Then he said to him, “Me, my Lord? With what would I deliver Israel? Look, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” 16But Adonai said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you will strike down Midian as if it were one man.” 17Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your eyes, then please, show me a sign that it is really You talking with me. 18Please, don’t leave from here, until I come to You and bring out my offering and lay it before You.” So He said, “I will stay until you come back.” 19Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and matzot from an ephah of flour. He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them out to Him under the terebinth and presented them. 20Then the angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and the matzah and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth.” So he did so. 21Then the angel of Adonai put out the end of the staff that was in His hand and touched the meat and the matzah . Fire sprang up from the rock and consumed the meat and the matzah . Then the angel of Adonai vanished from his sight. 22When Gideon realized that He was the angel of Adonai, Gideon said, “Alas, my Lord Adonai! For I have seen the angel of Adonai face to face!” 23But Adonai said to him, “Shalom to you. Fear not, you will not die.” 24So Gideon built an altar there to Adonai and called it “Adonai-shalom.” To this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 25Now it came to pass the same night that Adonai said to him, “Take the young bull that belongs to your father and a second bull of seven years old, pull down the altar of Baal that belongs to your father, cut down the Asherah that is beside it, 26build an altar to Adonai your God on the top of this stronghold in an orderly manner, and take the second bull and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Asherah pole that you will cut down.” 27So Gideon took ten of his male servants and did as Adonai had spoken to him. But since he was too afraid of his father’s household and the townspeople to do it by day, he did it at night. 28Now when the townspeople arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, the Asherah pole that was beside it was cut down, and the second bull was offered up on the altar that was built. 29So they said one to another, “Who did this thing?” And when they inquired and asked around, they said: “Gideon son of Joash did this thing.” 30Then the townspeople said to Joash, “Bring out your son, that he may die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and even cut down the Asherah pole that was beside it.” 31But Joash said to all who stood against him, “So you’re going to defend Baal? You’re going to rescue him? Whoever defends him will be put to death in the morning! If he is a god, let him defend himself—since someone has broken down his altar.” 32So on that day he was called Jerubbaal saying, “Let Baal contend with him, since he broke down his altar.” 33Now all the Midianites, the Amalekites and the people of the east gathered together, crossed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel. 34But the Ruach Adonai clothed Gideon, and he blew the shofar, and Abiezer rallied behind him. 35Then he sent messengers throughout Manasseh, and they also rallied behind him.Then he sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up to join them.
Signs of the Fleece
36Then Gideon said to God, “If You are going to deliver Israel by my hand, as You have spoken, 37see, I am putting a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor. If there is dew only on the fleece, and all the ground is dry, then I will know that You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You have spoken.” 38And it was so. When he rose up early next day, he squeezed the fleece and wrung dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water. 39Then Gideon said to God, “Let not Your anger burn against me if I speak once more. Let me please test once more with the fleece—let it now be dry only on the fleece, but let there be dew over all the ground.” 40God did so that night, since it was dry only on the fleece, and there was dew over all the ground.
–from Judges 6
Trust God! Believe Him! Go about it His way! Don’t worry and don’t be afraid! God has a plan and His plan is good! God has a purpose and it is so much bigger than anything we can do on our own! Don’t lose hope! Have faith, trusting in Him, believing that He is good to His Word and faithful! So let’s walk in faith believing! So let’s walk in obedience to His plans! And let’s watch the blessings that will come from it!
How will it bless others? How will reveal God’s glory? How will it point people to the source of truth? People are watching you! They are looking to see how and what you will do in that very situation you are in! Will you be different from the others before you? Will you put first things first? Will you make a difference in the lives around you? Will you show and tell others how important they are? What will you do? How will you do it?
1Masters, give your slaves what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
Devote Yourselves to Prayer
2Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. 3At the same time, keep praying for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the message, to proclaim the mystery of Messiah—for which I am in prison. 4Pray that I may make the mystery clear, as I ought to speak. 5Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, to know how you ought to answer everyone.
Further Instructions and Greetings
7Tychicus—a dearly loved brother and trustworthy servant and fellow slave to the Lord—will tell you all the news about me. 8I sent him to you for this very purpose, so you may know about us and he may encourage your hearts. 9With him I sent Onesimus—a faithful and dear brother, who is one of your own. They will tell you about everything here. 10My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You received instructions about him—if he comes your way, welcome him.) 11Yeshua who is called Justus also sends his greetings. These are the only fellow workers for the kingdom of God that are from among the circumcision—they have been a comfort to me. 12Epaphras, who is one of your own, a slave of Messiah Yeshua, greets you. He is always laboring in prayer on your behalf, so you may stand complete and fully assured about everything that is God’s will. 13For I testify that he has gone to much trouble for you and for those in Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14Luke, the dearly loved physician, sends you greetings, and so does Demas. 15Greet the brothers and sisters in Laodicea, as well as Nympha and the community that meets in her house. 16When this letter has been read among you, make sure that it is also read in Messiah’s community of Laodicea. In turn, you should read my letter coming from Laodicea. 17Tell Archippus, “See to it that you complete the service you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” 18This greeting is in my own hand—Paul’s. Remember my chains! Grace be with you.
–from Colossians 4