Hebrews 12:1-3 says to lay aside the things that distract us from God, and run the race marked out for us in faith, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author of our faith, so that we don’t grow weary and lose hope. How do we fix our eyes on Jesus? What sort of things take away our sense of hope? The boys in the story of the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 found themselves up against a rock and a fireplace. They chose to follow God, no matter the cost … “even if”. Can you say that in your life? Even if God doesn’t save me from this situation, I will still trust him.
We are in a series on the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11, and the author of Hebrews names the prophets as heroes of faith. We wanted to cover what the prophetic books were about in relation to today’s culture. If you were asked to speak for God as a prophet to your culture, what would you say? Would you have a message of love for today’s generation of people? How can you help people grow in their faith with God, today? What message would you give?
Samuel the young boy, is beckoned by the LORD, to hear his voice. The priest, Eli, tells young Samuel to say to the LORD, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Can you say that in your own life? Do you listen when the LORD speaks to you? How do you show character and faith in God when God wants to say something to you? God is loving, gracious and kind. He wants to speak with you and wants you to listen. Are you listening?
King David had reigned over Israel for some 20 years now, and in his complacency, became a little bored. He neglected his kingly duties, didn’t go out to war, roamed his palace at night, and took advantage of his power. Greek Military General, Pittacus, said, “The measure of a person is what they do with their power.” How do you use your power and influence over others? Are you abusive, #metoo, or are you empowering? Do you walk blindly in your sin, or when others hold you accountable, do you repent of your sin and confess your wrong to God? God is waiting to give you another chance, so we need to walk toward God, repent of our sin, and come freely to victory over darkness.
David vs. Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Old Testament of the Bible. Some know it as the little shepherd boy who defeats the 9 foot giant. Some know it as the giant who fell to the power of God. Some know it as people of Israel getting lucky that brave David fought for them. You may have grown up knowing this story as the underdog of a lifetime defeating the enemies of God. What we learn is that our metaphorical “giants” have been barking the same defiant demoralizing words at us our entire lives. It’s time we challenge our giants to a fight, where we use the power of God to sling a stone, and cut off the head, thus silencing the voice of our giants.
You may have something in your life that terrifies you, that reminds you daily that you’re not good enough for God. It’s time you stand up, believe the words of God, pick up your weapons and march down to the battle. Stop standing on the side lines and listening to the lies of the enemy. Besides, his words are a boring representation of non-creative assault. Aren’t you sick and tired of satan trying to defeat you with his mocking voice? Say something, and do something that will let the power of God work through your life. Defeat your giants, with the word of God, with the love of neighbor and with the accountability of faith friends in your life. I’m sick of satan winning all the battles. Aren’t you sick of it, yet?
Jephthah was given the power of the Holy Spirit by God, to win a battle against the Ammonites. After receiving the power of God, he turns and makes a deal with God, that whatever comes out the door when he returns from battle, he will give to God as a burnt offering. This is the worst kind of deal to make with God. Who should come out of his front door, but his daughter. God isn’t looking for you to make deals, God is looking for your faithful obedience. God wants you to remain faithful to Him, He doesn’t want to bargain for our stuff.
Samson was a wild man, who was given the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish various tasks for the Lord over the people of Israel, but he certainly wasn’t a man to emulate your life after. He struggled with issues many of us struggle with today; ego, lust, power, and difficulty with intimate relationships, among other things. We look at the life of Samson so that we can understand where our strength resides. I wonder if you are self aware enough to know what could bring you down? What are the issues in your life that draw you away from God, rather than draw you towards God? Can you determine the strength of God in your life, or do you succumb to weaknesses all the time? Find out with us, where your strength can reside, with God.