Friday, April 3, 2020

Judges Bible Sketch

Seek Truth. Expose, fight, flee the mean, ugly, emotionally painful, physically harmful evil which stems from lies and temptations to sin.

Creation is impacted by the ugly effects of sin which surround us—corona virus pandemic, natural disaster, fear, broken relationships, doubt, guilt, sadness and more…
People have or may become sick, sadly, many will die even though we wash hands, honor six-feet, use masks, develop treatments and vaccines to battle the corona virus COVOD-19.

Spiritually, we prepare for our earthly death because in the long-term big-picture, our story is not over then. Safe are people who are cleansed in Christ who took our punishment. In quarantine, midst this pandemic nontraditional Holy Week, let’s self-reflect on our lowest state. May we receive an overwhelming awareness of our own individual failures, weaknesses, need for our Creator’s provision for us—daily repent, take refuge in our Savior; then, last but not least, give thanks to Him in all circumstances!

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21:5 ESV Bible sketch artistic rendition of sin.
“In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:5 ESV Bible verse sketch—an artistic rendition: portrait of the state of humanity since the original fall into sin.
“The Lord provides for the tribe of Levi, and with that, the author proclaims with praise that that the Lord has kept all of His promises. We are not to become attached to the things of this world as though they have lasting value. The Lord provided the Levites with earthy cities that anticipated a better city, a heavenly one (Heb 11:16). Likewise, He promises that as we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness through Christ, He will grant us what we need for this life (Mt 6:33). • Heavenly Father, release us from worries and undue attachment to earthly things, so we might find our true joy in You and the enduring city awaiting us through Christ. Amen.” Luther’s Study Bible, CPH (learn more)
Our spirit may be willing to put God and others first, yet in reality, we are too weak to make it happen. 
  • Sins may be
    • unrealized
    • known
    • subtle
    • obvious
    • physical
    • mental
    • emotional
    • spiritual
  • Sins are deeply damaging to
    • ourselves
    • those we love
    • people we don’t know
  • No one is immune to
    • sinning
    • sins committed against them
    • the effects of all sin
  • Sin is difficult to
    • own up to
    • confess
    • ask to be forgiven
    • turn from
    • expose
    • correct
    • prevent
    • forgive
    • forget

Arrogance and pride make us blind and deaf to
  • to have compassion for others’
    • weaknesses
    • needs
    • innocence
    • voice
    • emotions
  • our need to take responsibility for our faults, but rather
    • blame-shift
    • make excuses
  • our need to forgive people, preferring to
    • hold grudge
    • stop communicating
    • stop listening
    • isolate self
  • the seriousness of
    • our own flaws
    • our need for personal confession
  • the fact that
    • redemption in Christ is necessary
    • earning our own redemption isn’t possible
  • blessings available in
    • Bible study
    • mental health counsel
    • help for substance abuse
    • receiving forgiveness 

It is possible to blatantly reject God without sorrow.

We aren’t robots—we may resist God’s generous desire for all to be saved. Unbelief causes sin to fester into an infection which desensitizes conscienceturns the cold heart hard. Grace and hope abound until the Day of Judgment when those who are apart from Christ enter eternal separation from God (hell) because of their
  • defiance of God’s Law and Gospel
  • irresponsibility to change bad behavior
  • frigid tendency to lie
  • stony refusal to confess sin
  • rigid resistance of the Holy Spirit
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11 ESV

Thankfully, God provides The Way to live forever!

God’s Word in the Bible for us to read or hear reveals His purpose of Christ suffering at the cross unto death, His descent to hell and bodily resurrection by which He successfully washed away the sin of the world and defeated all evil. By grace, our Creator supplies victory—eternal life for all who receive the Holy Spirit’s gift of faith which trusts Truth.
“It all rests on Christ…The babe whose birth we celebrate came to give us grace. And He wants us to be completely certain of it, because it rests totally on Him.” — Pastor Harrison (read the post here)
Healthy living is nurtured by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration for us contained in The Bible. In our struggle against temptations, we can rely on Christ’s Word and Spirit to
  • discern truth from lies
  • maintain, build, strengthen, grow faith
  • identify our sin, confess it and do our best to stay clean (even though we cannot do this perfectly as Christ did)
  • receive grace to move forward, forgiven
  • constantly pray His Word
  • give confidence to share the faith
  • discover how to help each other
  • lead us to do God’s will
  • provide a way out of temptation so we can endure it
  • put praise for Him in our mouths
  • encourage brothers and sisters in Christ
  • be free from false guilt as parents to communicate His anger over children’s disobedience
  • encourage us to plant “seeds”and pray unbelievers will receive faith
  • work faith to bring us to Christ
“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.’” John 8: 42-47 ESV

Mercy and promises in Christ

  • the Light in whom all will be judged when He returns on the Last Day for those living in Truth and the believers who have gone before them
  • who sees each heart of repentant believers viewing all sin as repulsive, knowing their Savior bled and bore the horrible punishment they deserve
  • who protects, defends and delivers us from evil all who take refuge in Him
  • whose sacrifice is finished and made us right
  • who forgives—declares not guilty all who repent and trust Him
  • in whom believers are never separated
  • with whom believers will enjoy an eternal paradise
“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 ESV
Give God glory for GRACE—God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8–9 ESV
“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12 ESV
“It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” Luke 13:19 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father, refine and renew us. Help us let go of selfish grumbling, unhealthy controlling and manipulative manners. Forgive us for each and every sin Jesus took upon Himself in His suffering at the cross, paying the price to buy our salvation. Our faith trusts the certain hope that You will eventually destroy all evil and wipe away our tears. As the Holy Spirit trains us to live in Light and frees us to generously see others as You see them, having great value, fill us with your mighty power to care. Equip us with patience, kindness, and confidence to tell others about the relationship you want with everyone. Show us how we may serve You and others in Truth. Amen.

God is faithful to fulfill His promises. Don’t neglect the Holy Spirit’s nudging that would have you cling to Jesus. Peace ✝︎

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