From: Rich Carlson
Date: October 7, 2020
Subject: It's October 7; Good Morning Union



Enjoy your day off today!!

“Again Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.”  Judges 6:1

OK, I don’t want to be negative on your positively wonderful day off, but this is where I am currently journeying in God’s word and this is what I’m dealing with on that journey. I’ll summarize the bad and focus on the good!

SEVEN times in the beginning of the book of Judges, my “verse for today” is repeated! SEVEN TIMES!! There were seven cycles the demonstrate three things to me:

  1. That God let’s me make my own choices
  2. That there are blessings and consequences to those choices
  3. That EVERY TIME they cried out, and every time I cry out God is willing to deliver me.

Sometimes the “delivery” took years because reaching the point of willingness to “cry out” took years. They were no different than me (or maybe I’m no different than them because they came first!) IF I want to choose against God He will let me. IF I choose to go against God there are natural consequences. I have the freedom to choose but I don’t get the freedom to determine the outcome of those choices. Sin separates from God and that’s NOT a good place to be.

And here’s the best part! EVERY TIME, in all 7 cycles in this first part of Judges; EVERY TIME when they cried out, God sent a leader to deliver them—EVERY TIME. Seven times they chose poorly; seven times they suffered the consequences of choosing poorly; and seven times when they cried out God heard them and delivered them!! ALL SEVEN TIMES!

That’s how faithful God is. Jesus, in the New Testament, when confronted with this number 7 as it relates to sin said, “not seven times but seventy times seven!” God IS faithful, but He’s not controlling. Imagine how much better their lives in Judges would have been if they hadn’t chosen poorly, suffer the consequences of those choices, and had to cry out for deliverance? And then I imagine the same thing for me today. Imagine how much more efficient and effective my time would be if I instead chose wisely and got to spend my time “crying out” in celebration, adoration, and worship of God instead of having to cry out for deliverance from my poor choices? That seems like a much better use of my spiritual resources!!

 

Have a great day choosing wisely (and a great mini day of vacation!),

Pastor Rich

 

Quote for the day:     No calm river ever made a boat captain an expert.”

PS        We have service opportunity requests coming in to our office regularly. If you are looking for things to do for volunteer service hours contact Lydia Svoboda.