Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 135
Passage of the Day: Judges 11: 29 [NLT] …
29 At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and led an army against the Ammonites.
Contextual Study for today’s passage: Judges, Chapter 11 [NLT] … Go to this link …
Reference Passage #1: Romans 8: 28 : [A tough past is likely God preparing His faithful for a tough future.] …[NLT] …
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them
My Journal for Today: Got any baggage that you’ve had to carry from your past in dealing with your present or future challenges? Perhaps you were abused growing up or you had parents who were into substance abuse. Maybe you had to overcome an addiction of your own, … perhaps, like me, it was an obsessive-compulsive weakness to sexual sin. Or maybe you regret having had an abortion or having to deal with the memories of being rejected by your family or your school peers.
Whatever it was, … carrying, or dealing with, past baggage as we go through life now – or into our future – is tough. And we may even be Christians who believe the truth Paul wrote about in Romans 8: 28. But, … it’s still tough dealing with past baggage; isn’t it?
However, today’s highlight Bible passage from Judges, Chapter 11, about Jephthah, whom God chose to lead Israel was a man who certainly had to deal with a lot of baggage from his up-bringing. He was fathered by his daddy’s affair with a prostitute and rejected and sent away by his half-brothers because of it. But Jephthah became a street hardened warrior; and later when Israel was under attack by the Ammonites, God chose Jephthah to lead His people to victory.
So, are we dealing with some tough issues from our past in trying to move ahead and be a warrior for God in today’s raunchy world? And are these baggage issues weighing us down; or have we been able to jettison them and see that God has used them to prepare us for the here and now … or for the future?
Perhaps you’ve read my testimony and how God used my 22 years of youthful disobedience and rebellion, deeply into habitual sexual sin, to break my spirit and allow me to see and receive my Lord’s saving grace. And then there was my recognition that God had taken me through that gauntlet of a sinful past to prepare me to lead a ministry – HIS MINISTRY – to reach out and help believers who desire to walk free from habitual sexual sinful patterns of behavior. And now He has brought me to a place where I’m an Elder in my church and co-founder of Battle Plan Ministry, where I’m given God’s opportunity to serve Him by helping others walk in the freedom and purity God desires for all His disciples.
I pray here that we all know and believe that ALL things, yes, … even a checkered and burdensome past … can work together for God – God’s good – as we march forward in the life God has purposed for us as His children.
My Prayer for Today … Lord, help us to carry the burdens of our past as tools to build our future for Your glory. … Amen