Journal Entries
Every weekday you will find a journal entry here from someone different in our church family. 
 
Click the scripture title and scroll down to see a comments section where you can ask questions, share insights and post your own SOUL Journal entry for the day!
 

Judges 7

Scripture

Judges 7:2

“The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength.”
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The Israelites were doing evil in God’s eyes. So God handed them over to the Midianites for seven years. The Midianites treated the Israelites very cruel and harsh. The Israelites were on the verge of starvation, when God heard his people’s cries, and anointed Gideon to rescue them from the hands of the Midianites. 

One problem though…God thought Gideon had too many warriors with him and instructed Gideon to “thin the heard” a bit. You see, God knew if he let Gideon and the Israelites go into battle against the Midianites with that many people, the Israelites would boast and take credit for the victory because they would have thought it was from their own might and not God’s might that brought them the victory.

Understanding-What does it mean?

“Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”-Luke‬ ‭18:27‬ ‭NIV

Gideon was already doubting himself when God called on him to deliver the Israelites from the bondage of the Midianites. Gideon already felt that his clan was the weakest in the whole tribe, and that he was the least in his entire family. Now God calls on him to rescue the people of Israel, and to do it not with the 32,000 men he originally had in his army, but with only 300 men! I believe God wanted to ensure that his people were to remain humble and totally rely on His strength and might, rather than their own. If His people had already forgotten what He did for their ancestors, God was surely going to remind them of His awesome power through Gideon and the 300 men.

“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”-Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NLT

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christʼs power may rest on me.”-2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life Application

Against all odds, there is no one that I would rather have in my corner than Jesus.

Thank you Jesus for always having my back. Although I may turn away from you sometimes, you never turn away from me. Jesus, you are almighty, all powerful, all knowing, loving, merciful, and gracious to name a few. But above all, you are the Lord and Savior of my life. Open up my heart to your ways and your will. Help me Jesus to be obedient and faithful to you. In your name I pray these things, Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi
 


Judges 6

Scripture

Judges 6:11-12
…Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress, in order to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor!”

Observation
The Israelites continue their vicious cycle of doing evil in the eyes of the Lord soon after God sends them a judge to deliver them from His latest punishment. Here, as a result of their return to sin and idolatry, God delivers Israel into the hands of the Midianites to be oppressed for seven years. The Midianites, whom the Bible says are as numerous as locusts, descend upon Israel to steal any harvest, grain or livestock that the Israelites would reap, leaving Israel without sustenance. As always, when the suffering becomes too much to bear, Israel cries out to the Lord. God sends a prophet to confront Israel with her sin and raises up Gideon to deliver Israel from her oppression.

God is gracious and patient enough to entertain both Gideon’s accusations and doubts; confirming the calling and promised victory by accepting an offering from Gideon. When the awe and fear that result from this encounter threatens to overwhelm Gideon, the Lord proclaims peace to Gideon; prompting Gideon to erect an altar and name it Jehovah Shalom, The Lord is Peace.

As the first order of business, God instructs Gideon to destroy the altar to Baal that his father had erected and to cut down the Astoreth pole that is beside it so that a proper altar may be built for offerings to the Lord God of Israel. When the men of the city discovered who had destroyed the altars, they implore Gideon’s father, Joash, to surrender up his son to be killed for his deed. Joash puts the onus on the god whose altar was destroyed to defend himself against the affront, causing them to now call Gideon, Jerubbaal, which literally means, Let Baal Plead.

When the Midianites (and the Amalakites) once again gather to pounce on Israel, the Spirit of the Lord comes upon him and he blows the trumpet to gather Israel together for war. Twice again, God strengthens Gideon by condescending to provide a sign, via the fleeces, that He will indeed be with Gideon and deliver Israel by His hand.

Understanding
Romans 4:17
God…calls the things that are not as though they are.

Gideon sees himself as a coward from the least of the families of Israel; hiding in a hole hoping to be unseen long enough to put together enough wheat to make a loaf of bread for his family. But God sees him for what he will be when he moves in the strength of the Lord – a man of valor, a mighty warrior. All the tales of Gideon’s courage and victory that follow his encounter with God stem from a renewed sense of identity. At the point that Gideon believes that he is who God says he is – God is able to do great things in and through him.

Life Application
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.

 The greatest endeavor that I can undertake to partner with God in His redemptive work in my life is to continually and passionately strive to live in light of all that His word says I am by virtue of being “in Christ”. I am free from trying to earn and be what and who God says I already am! Just as children will live up to their parents expectations and become who they say they are – good or bad – so I will only become, in action or attitude, who God wants me to be when I believe that I already am all that He says I am. So often I get the cart before the horse and work to frustration trying to become holy in his sight. His word says that I am already holy in His sight by virtue of being hidden in Christ and clothed in His righteousness. All that I do should not be the result of trying to be holy, it should all stem from the realization that this is what I should do because I am holy. When I truly believe that truth, all that I do will naturally and effortlessly follow from that sense of Identity. Maybe that is why we are called human beings and not human doings.

To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Judges 5

*Join us this Sunday, October 23, for our WORSHIP ENCOUNTER @6pm!

Scripture

Judges 5:31

“So may all your enemies perish, Lord!
    But may all who love you be like the sun

    when it rises in its strength.”

Then the land had peace forty years.

Observation

Labeled “The Song of Deborah,” Chapter 5 is an example of early Hebrew poetry.  It’s a song of triumph that follows the victory outlined in Chapter 4.  Chapter 4 begins…

Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead. So the Lord sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. Sisera, the commander of his army, was based in Harosheth Haggoyim. 

And they remained oppressed by Jabin for twenty years, until they were delivered by Deborah.  The song was intended to preserve the victory and bring praise to God for generations to come.

Understanding

Ch 3-16 represent the cycles of oppression and deliverance experienced by the Israelites.  The cycle included abandonment of their beliefs, followed by a period of oppression (in this case 20 years, but the cycles for each period varied from 3-40 years), repentance, then [finally] restoration and peace.

Does this cycle sound familiar to anyone else? 

I find myself getting sidetracked by things – sometimes event really good things…and, no I do not abandon my beliefs completely; but I do find myself allowing other things to take priority at times.  The beautiful part of these crazy cycles that Judges takes us through – SEVEN of them! – is that

God is always faithful to restore us and, with that restoration, comes peace. 

Then the land had peace for forty years.”
 
BUT, did you catch the most important part?  The contingency factor is repentance.  It’s when we choose to repent – which literally means “to turn.”  It’s when we turn away from what we are doing and towards God that seems to “unlock” that healing restoration and peace.   

Life Application

God, you are so good!  Thank you so much for extending such grace with your children.  You are faithful to restore, faithful to provide, faithful to forgive, faithful to love us from the inside out.  Show me where I need to lay things down, where I need to turn away, where I need to turn more towards you.  And use me to bring others to you as well. 

Amen.

*PS Another thing that struck me in “digging in” on this Chapter, was a note in Matthew Henry’s commentary – “That one of these judges was female (Deborah) is striking confirmation of God’s sovereignty in raising up leaders that He chooses in any era.”  At a time when women were considered property – spoils of war to be divided among the men (v. 29-30) – Deborah was called out by God to be one of the judges to deliver His people from oppression.  Thank you God that you are all powerful to call us, to gift us, to use us to accomplish Your will.  

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

 

– Rei



Judges 4

Scripture

Judges 4:8-9

Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

“Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh.

Observation – What does it say?

Because of their sin, God gave Israel over to Jabin, king of Canaan. But after some time the Lord planned to deliver them. He spoke through the judge and leader of Israel at the time, Deborah, and commanded Barak to lead the Israelite army to fight Jabin’s army. Rather than simply trusting God’s word and obeying, Barak puts a condition on his obedience: He will only lead Israel’s army if Deborah accompanies him.

It appears that Barak had more trust in Deborah than in God to bring about victory. And because of it, the victory and honor would pass from Barak to someone else.

Understanding – What does it mean?

Putting conditions on obeying God causes us to miss out on the victory and honor God intends to give us.

God had given Barak the opportunity to be used by him to bring complete deliverance for Israel and to be honored in the sight of all God’s people. But Barak missed out because of his unwillingness to obey without reservation or condition.

I was reading in our Catalyst book this week, “When Heaven Invades Earth,” where Bill Johnson writes about Christians making the excuse that they will obey God’s command to make disciples after they become more mature/stop sinning/learn more/etc. It sounds honorable to want to grow in character before we obey the command to disciple others, heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons. But God never gave us that option. When Jesus gave the following commands, it was to imperfect disciples with no reference to prerequisite character or maturity requirements.

Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 10:7-8 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.’
 
Maturity and growth in godly character comes as we obey, not before we obey.

Life Application

Obey fully, without condition or hesitation.

God, forgive me for the times I try to justify my lack of obedience. Help us to be a people that obeys you fully and experiences the fullness of victory and honor you desire to bestow on us. Thank you that it’s not about our ability, but our availability and willingness to surrender to you. Our trust is in you! Amen.

– Levi Thompson

To check out the discussion or join in click here.

 



Judges 3

Scripture
 
“But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who saved them, Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
“Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
“After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.”
‭‭Judges‬ ‭3:31‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The Lord was angry with Israel for their disobedience. As a result, they suffered the consequences by being given over in slavery and bondage to Cushan-Rishathaim and Eglon, King of Moab.  The Israelites cried out to the Lord for help and the Lord raised up 3 people, Othniel, Enud, and Shamgar to deliver them, as a response to their cries. 
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
He is a holy and just God who punishes for disobedience, but at the same time is merciful when His children cry out to Him for help.The Lord’s character consists of both judgment and mercy. One cannot exist without the other.
 
The Israelites continued to do evil in the eyes of the Lord by serving other gods. However, when they were suffering as a result of the consequences of their actions, they cried out to the Lord for help. Instead of turning Israel away and giving them what they deserved, the Lord was merciful and sent 3 saviors to deliver them from their bondage and slavery.
 
“For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭120:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Life Application

 
The answer to our cries for help is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has saved us from the bondage of our sins! 
 
He did not turn us away when we were helpless and dead to our sins. He did not turn us away when we continued to reject Him. Instead He sent His only Son to take the beating for our own wretchedness and past, present and future sins. Let us thank Him by worshipping Him.
 
In Higher Learning yesterday, Pastor Parker said the highest form of worship is obedience. Let us worship Him for our salvation by being obedient to what and where He calls us. Let us live in the freedom of His Spirit instead of in the chains of sin and bondage that we once knew, for He already took the weight of our sins upon Himself and paid our debt in full.
 
Thank You Lord for sending Your Son as our deliverer. Thank You for not giving us what we deserved, but instead showing us mercy and grace. We desire to worship You and show our gratitude through our obedience. Lead us Holy Spirit in your ways and in Your truth. Help us to walk in step with You so that we can experience true freedom. Amen. 
 
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi
 


Judges 2

Scripture

Judges 2:10

“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.”

Observation-What does it say?

The angel of the LORD had just finished scolding the Israelites for their disobedience of God’s command. God kept His covenant with their ancestors, delivered them from Egypt, and gave them the land that was promised to them. All they were asked to do is to tear down all the idols and alters of the people who were inhabitants of the land, and drive them all out. Instead they let these inhabitants live alongside them, and tolerated their customs and beliefs. This infuriated God.

Now Joshua and the people of his generation have now died, leaving a new generation to take their place. This generation did not acknowledge the LORD, or even remember the mighty things He has done for them.

Understanding-What does it mean?

 It is important for us to remember where we came from, where we are, and where we are going.

We as Christ Followers should remember where we came from. We too were once slaves to sin, on a path towards an eternity separated from God. But God sent Jesus to free us from our sins. God gave us an opportunity to have eternal life, and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. All we have to do is put all our trust and faith in His Son Jesus Christ. 

 As I reflect on this generation, I see similarities to the generation we are reading about in this chapter. It seems that this nation in particular is pushing God out more and more. We are letting the world dictate our beliefs. This nation is keeping God out of schools, workplaces, and we are being more tolerant, even catering to other people’s outside religious belief systems. Are we doomed to suffer the same fate as these same Israelites in today’s reading?

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” Psalms‬ ‭103:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Life Application

 “But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”-Joshua 24:15

As the spiritual leader of my household, my first priority is to minister to my family. I want to ensure that they know the LORD, love the LORD, and serve the LORD wholeheartedly. I can do this by setting the example. I want my kids seeing me not only spending time with God, but enjoying my time with Him. I want to share with them all the great things God has done for our family. I want them seeing someone who turns to God when things get rough, instead of someone who “flies off the loose end”. I want them to see a man who cares for others, as well as their spiritual well being. Ultimately, I want to demonstrate to them the characteristics that Jesus displays to me.

Father God thank you for all you have done for me and my family. I pray that we can live lives that are pleasing to you. May the praise and glory we give you not only be heard within our household, but may it be heard no matter where we go in life. May you be glorified and remembered because of it from generations to come. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Moses Gaddi

  



Judges 1

Scripture

Judges 1:27
But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land.

Observation

After the death of Joshua, God chooses the tribe of Judah to be the first of the tribes to continue the conquest of the Promised Land. Simeon joins forces with Judah to drive out the Canaanites. The Israelites enjoy initial victories, including the taking of Jerusalem and a rather ironic punishment exacted upon Adoni-Bezek. The incident where Caleb’s nephew Othniel wins the hand of Caleb’s daughter in reward for his success in taking the city of Kiriath-Sepher is recounted here from Joshua 15. Despite victory in the hill country, Israel could not dislodge the Canaanites from the plains because they had chariots fitted with iron. With the aid of information provided by a captured inhabitant, the tribe of Joseph attacks and takes the city of Bethel. Sadly, from this point on, the chapter is an inventory of the failure of several other tribes of Israel to drive out the inhabitants of the land.

Understanding

Anything less than total victory ensures eventual defeat

The history of Israel from here on out is a repeating cycle of idolatry, harlotry and apostasy followed by judgement, repentance and God’s gracious deliverance. Israel’s compromise in not obeying the Lord’s command to utterly destroy the evil, pagan nations occupying the Promised Land would haunt her for the rest of her troubled history and lead her into the vilest sin and abominations before the Lord – culminating in conquest by multiple empires; the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple; and the exile of its people. Any return, rebuilding or revival would be short lived and half-hearted, and Israel would end its biblical history as a conquered, occupied people.

Life Application

Compromise with the enemy is not an option

Such is the case whenever I tolerate or seek any kind of compromise in dealing with the evil influences of the World. God wants me to totally destroy and erase from my life anything of this World that causes me to sin. Like the Israelites, I ensure my own spiritual destruction when I think I can cohabitate with the sinful things of this world or flirt with them and think I can keep it under my control. I must be willing to fight for as long as it takes, no matter what the cost, in order to absolutely eradicate any area of temptation or influence in my life that would lead me into modern day idolatry and bondage.

Holy Spirit, lead me in a searing, searching moral and spiritual inventory to discover any area of my life where I am not walking in total victory over sin and where I have invited the enemy to take up residence in my heart, my head and my home; then lead me (in your strength) in driving out the enemy from my midst. Lord, I remember your word that encourages me not to fear those who trust in horses and chariots; but to expect and enjoy absolute victory over my enemy because I trust in the Lord my God! (Psalm 20:7)
 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here
-Gary Parker


Joshua 24

Scripture

Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Observation

As Joshua comes upon the end of his life and reign, he wants to ensure he leaves the people of Israel in a good state – in the most important aspect of their lives, their spirituality.  So, he has called an assembly of the leadership to 1) recount all the things God has done for them, 2) challenges them to serve God and, perhaps the most important, 3) to dutifully choose for themselves how they will proceed – to serve God or the gods of their ancestors.

Understanding

I love how this chapter shows Joshua’s heart for the people of Israel…which I believe is a reflection of God’s heart for His people.  Joshua truly desires to see the people of Israel love, follow and serve God.  BUT he doesn’t seek to accomplish that with force…He truly desires for them to CHOOSE God.  He appeals to their intelligence, their emotion (surrounding what God has done for them in the past) and their freewill.  And, while he shares His choice, it’s clear he does not want them to follow his footsteps…but to make a decision that they can and will stand firm in long after Joshua is gone.

 God is the same…he desires relationship with us, but as I always say “God is a gentleman.” He’ll never force His way into our hearts.  He created us with freewill with a desire for us to choose Him wholeheartedly.  He doesn’t want us to be “lukewarm” in our faith. 

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Matthew 12:30

So, just like Joshua asks the Israelites, we are asked…who will we serve?  Will we stand with God or against Him?  Will we choose Him wholeheartedly, or wander through our faith in a lukewarm fashion?  The choice is ours.

Life Application

Father God, thank you for the gift of freewill.  May we CHOOSE you, LOVE you and FOLLOW you with all of our hearts.  May we seek to know you and make you known.  May our hearts be so grounded in you that it draws others to your peace, your love, your grace. 

Amen.

To check out the discussion or to join in click here.

– Rei



Joshua 23

Scripture

Joshua 23:14

14 “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”

Observation – What does it say?

As Joshua neared his death he assembled all the leaders of Israel to give them final instructions. In this, he reminds them of God’s faithfulness and challenges them to be faithful as well.

Understanding – What does it mean?

God is faithful.

Every action of God is not just a stand-alone act, but a revelation of his character. The fact that God was faithful to fulfill every single promise he made to Israel is a revelation of his character. In these acts of faithfulness, God was communicating to Israel that inherent in his character is faithfulness. He wanted his people to know that he is always faithful to fulfill his promises.

Because God is immutable (constant and incapable of change), we can count on him being faithful to us. Whatever promise in scripture we read, whether one of the following or one of countless others, be filled with faith today that God will be faithful to fulfill it:

  • “Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8
  • “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
  • “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:8
  • “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6

Life Application

Stand on God’s word, with faith that he will honor it.

God, I choose to come near to you because I’m confident you will come near to me. I choose to seek you and hunger for you because I’m confident you will reveal yourself and fill me. Thank you for always being faithful! Thank you for never giving me reason to worry or be anxious! When doubt or discouragement creep in, may I be reminded that you are absolutely faithful, all the time. Amen.
 
To check out the discussion or to join in click here.
 
– Levi Thompson


Joshua 22

Scripture
 
Joshua‬ ‭22:30-31‬ ‭
 
When Phinehas the priest and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh spoke, it was good in their eyes. And Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest said to the people of Reuben and the people of Gad and the people of Manasseh, “Today we know that the Lord is in our midst, because you have not committed this breach of faith against the Lord. Now you have delivered the people of Israel from the hand of the Lord.””
 
Observation-What does it say?
 
The Reubenites, Gadites and half tribe of Manasseh were just released by Joshua to return to their homes, because their mission was completed and they were faithful in it. Joshua blessed them and told them to keep God #1 by obeying, serving and loving Him with their whole heart and soul (vs. 5). On the way home, the two and a half tribes ended up building an altar by the Jordan. When the Israelites got word of the altar, they thought it was an idolatrous altar built to worship other gods.  As a result, they  planned to make war with them because it was built on the side that belonged to the people of Israel. (vss. 11-12) .
 
Understanding-What does it mean?
 
The Israelites were in protection mode and were willing to do whatever was needed to protect their country and keep it protected from impure influences.
 
Back in Joshua ch. 7, the Israelites had just dealt with the consequences of the sin of one man, Acahan, who had taken some of the Lord’s devoted things. If they (the two and a half tribes on the other side of the Jordan), were rebelling against the Lord, the Lord would become angry with the whole community of Israel. (Ch. 22, vs. 16) They were not willing to deal with that again.
 
They sent a priest and ten chief men to question Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh and found out their motives for building that altar was pure. Their heart’s motive for building it was not to worship other gods, but the One true God. Their exchange ended in peace. 
 
Life Application
 
When we have a misunderstanding with a brother or sister in Christ, we must communicate about it and be slow to speak and quick to listen. We cannot make assumptions.
 
Imagine if the Israelites and the 2 and a half tribes were both prideful in their assumptions. What if the Israelites chose not to listen to the other side of the story? What if the two and a half tribes got angry for being accused by the Israelites for idolatrous worship (which was a wrongful accusation)? Then the exchange would have resulted in a war and not peace. 
 

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:1-3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Dear Lord, I pray that we would strive for humility and peace with our brothers and sisters in You. I pray that we wouldn’t make any wrongful assumptions without listening to and understanding their side of the story. Please forgive me when I am not slow to speak and instead quick to respond in anger without hearing the other side of the story, especially with those closest to me. Your Spirit desires unity and peace for all believers. I pray that it would begin with me in my marriage, church family and family relationships. May I also teach humility and peace to my children when they argue and allow pride to get in the way of their relationship with each other.  Thank You in advance for Your Spirit’s help and guidance in this struggle. Amen.

 
To check out the discussion or to join in, click here.
 
-Michelle Gaddi
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