Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day 124: Trading Comforts

Day 124
Judges 4-5; 1 Corinthians 8

Lately, we as people have felt the limitless boundaries of using our words and even our actions however we wish. We as people have actually felt the need to use our words and actions however we wish. I wish I could completely agree with all and say that you are free to say what you want, when you feel like it, even if you are a Christian. However, Paul lays out some thoughts here that may change your mind in saying and doing whatever you want with your freedom in Christ. We'll also see how well-respected Deborah was as a judge and how she carried herself in this manner.

The root of it here is arrogance. You can have all the knowledge you need to be a "good Christian" and know all of the rules and the words of Scripture, but Jesus laid it out for us. Love. Love. Love. Love God. Love your neighbor. Arrogance is not loving. In fact, Paul tells us that it can cause another believer to stumble, especially one who is still growing and learning, and is new to the faith. Paul says he is willing to sacrifice comforts for the sake of the kingdom expanding. Are you?

Deborah, a judge of Israel, who also happened to be a woman is an example to us that God can and will use you, no matter your status in this world. Obviously, women weren't very respected as leaders in that time, but Deborah and Jael shattered that illusion when they stepped up to win Israel back from it's oppressor. No arrogance. No boasting. Only faith and knowing God was on their side. They willingly did what it took to rescue Israel from its oppressor. Deborah tried to call on Barak to lead the army, but he insisted she come with him, and she did. Are you fearful of what God is calling you to? Who do you have in your life that can walk with you in that fear?

Think of the contrasting testimonies here. If you are arrogant in your freedoms and are busy judging new believers or those who aren't "to your standards", you may succeed in driving them away, which leaves dirt on your hands. But, if you lead by example, looking to Christ and working by His power, rather than your knowledge, the glory is His and in turn, others will see it. Deborah worshiped God after their victory. She knew her strength and victory came from God.

Do your best to wipe arrogance and boastfulness from your character. There is no love in those. Trade in your comforts and even your freedoms so that God's Kingdom will be exalted to all people, and so new believers can truly see what the bottom line is. Boasting and arrogance take away from that example and give Christianity a bad reputation. Do your best to live a life glorifying God and what He has done for you.

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