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South Fellowship Church

Stretch

Blindness | Colossians 1:24-29

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Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. – Colossians 1:24-29

 

C.S. Lewis noted the difference between a dog and a cat. A dog says, “You pet me, feed me, shelter me, love me. You must be god.” A cat says, “You pet me, feed me, shelter me, love me. I must be god.” This analogy could be made of Christians, too. One disciple says, “Jesus left heaven for me, he died for me, intercedes for me, he’s going to build a mansion in heaven for me, and come back for me. God lives for me.” Another disciple says, “Jesus left heaven to glorify his Father, Jesus suffered and died on the cross to give glory to his Father, Jesus is building mansions in heaven to glorify his Father, Jesus intercedes for his Father’s glory, and he is coming again for his Father’s glory. I am created to live and bring God glory.”

In this cat/dog example we see the essence of spiritual blindness.  Selfishness, self-centeredness, and pride can limit vision, and for the believer it’s our vision of the world God’s created and our part in it.. When we seek pleasure and give into our materialistic culture, we perpetuate this ego centricity.  If we live for ourselves, we can’t fulfill God’s ultimate purpose. The church doesn’t exist for itself either, but to bring glory to God. God is at work always, in all ways, all around us and has for all of time. Living for God is being aware of his plan and purpose and joining him in his works.

On Sunday, Pastor Ryan gave an example of looking through his first Bible from his teenage years.  As he looked through his notes, he was glad God didn’t leave him in that place, but he has grown tremendously since then. Look back over your life, perhaps in some Bible study notes or journals you’ve written, can you “see” how God has grown you, and revealed more and more of himself and his ways to you?  What steps of obedience did you take that resulted in greated insight and spiritual blindness being removed?  Praise God for all he has shown you of himself.

 

Now to him who is able to strengthen you
according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages
but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings
has been made known to all nations,
according to the command of the eternal God,

to bring about the obedience of faith.
-Romans 15:25-26

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By Donna Burns  

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Blindness | Colossians 1:24-292017-06-02T05:00:54-06:00

Cultural | Deuteronomy 7:2-5

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2 and when the LORD your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction.   3 You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4 for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. 5 But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

Culture surrounds everyone everywhere on Earth.  It influences our reactions, the foods we enjoy, how we greet others, and how timely we arrive to parties, just to name a few. The events we see on television and hear on the radio are filtered by our culture, and can even differ from one area of a city to another. When born into a culture, we don’t know anything different. We don’t realize our practices could be outside the norm until seen by other cultures.  When we visit other areas of the globe, cultural differences can sometimes readily apparent.

For example, when we made our first trip to the Czech Republic, we noticed some differences right away. Most people wouldn’t look us, as strangers, in the eye, but this carries all sorts of negative connotations to most Americans. We also noticed when Czech’s pass each other on the sidewalk, they blink both eyes at their Czech friends. Later, we discovered that the Soviet era prevented trust between strangers, the cause of Czech’s not looking us in the eyes. The blinking of both eyes is a greeting between friends, simply indicating “I see you. Hello!”

The same was true with the Israelites we study in the Old Testament. The world was comprised of a tribal culture, with the tribal leadership sometimes confiscating or stealing the neighboring gods depending on crop yields and battle victories. When God entered relationship with the Israelites, he met them right where they were. Far from the ideal, God wished for the people, it was their starting point.  By the time we get to Paul and his writings in Galatians 3:28, we find how exactly God views us as the Church. While the one tribe of followers of Jesus are from all regions and cultures of the world, we are all one tribe!  Keep in mind the beautiful mosaic of humanity in our One Tribe as you watch this series of videos from around the world, all worshiping God!

There is neither Jew nor Greek,
there is neither slave nor free,
there is no male and female,
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
-Galatians 3:28

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By Rich Obrecht 

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Cultural | Deuteronomy 7:2-52017-05-30T05:00:08-06:00

Tension | Hebrews 12:3-11

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Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,

nor be weary when reproved by him.

For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:3-11)

Shortly after joining the leadership team at a mission agency, I began to see conflicting goals throughout the organization. Some wanted to change things faster while others sought stability and consistency. I quickly became frustrated there were no resolutions on the horizon. During one of our leadership meetings, my boss led an exercise where we identified various organizational issues we should never resolve. I had no idea this was an option. Could it be that some challenges should never be solved? Could it be more harmful to allow one side of an issue to win the day?

This principle is not only true in organizational leadership, it’s true in almost every sphere of life. Is God merciful or is he just? The answer is yes, he is. And, aren’t we glad he’s both? If God were only just, we’d all be the recipients of justice because we all have some evil in us. If God were only merciful, terrible crimes like abuse, murder, rape, and genocide would go un-dealt with. This is one of the most beautiful expressions of God’s wisdom in the gospel. God has found a way to be both “just and the justifier” (Romans 3:26). The value of tension is deposited in our reality. We submit our muscles to tension and even pain in order to help them grow stronger. Just like a muscle cannot grow without strain, our character cannot grow without pain.

 The scripture above used to be a text I didn’t like very much but it’s grown to be one of the greatest comforts to me. I used to read the word “discipline” like it meant punishment. I pictured God giving me a cosmic spanking when I failed. When I studied the text more closely, I learned the word “discipline” carries more similarities to a coach training an athlete then it does to an angry parents spanking. Not all pain in life is bad. In fact, Paul says “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character” (Rom 5:3-4). Identify the pains or frustrations in your life that God might be using to build your character and thank him for that tension today. For example, there may be an ongoing argument you have with our spouse where both of you are right and you should strive for balance not resolution. It can be so helpful to identify and submit to the character building tensions of life.

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By Aaron Bjorklund 

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Tension | Hebrews 12:3-112017-05-29T17:17:12-06:00

Mission to Fulfill | Acts 1:8

[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_separator height=”10px” size=”custom”][us_image image=”31338″ size=”tnail-1×1″][ultimate_heading main_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ sub_heading_color=”#5fc8d7″ alignment=”left” main_heading_font_family=”font_family:Allerta|font_call:Allerta” main_heading_style=”font-style:italic;” main_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” sub_heading_style=”font-style:italic;,font-weight:bold;” sub_heading_font_size=”desktop:16px;” main_heading_line_height=”desktop:15px;” sub_heading_line_height=”desktop:22px;”][/ultimate_heading][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]If you’ve ever sent a loved one off to war, you know the feeling of saying ‘good bye.’ The weight of those words are heightened by the knowledge that some people don’t come back from the battlefield. It’s never easy to send a family member off to fight, but it is easier when you believe in the mission. We saw this reality come to the surface during our nation’s outrage over the Vietnam War. The country was in upheaval because they didn’t know what young people were fighting and dying for. The mission was ambiguous and the war seemed unnecessary to some. The nation raged and the people rioted. However, when mothers and fathers sent their kids to fight in World War II, the mood was much different. People knew what they were fighting for and the battle was worth it – human dignity was at stake. When it comes to investment, the mission’s purpose is of the utmost importance.

Jonathan knew what he was fighting for. His enemy was in front of him and his mission was clear. The Philistines had to be defeated. The early church had the same semblance of clarity. They knew they existed because God was on mission. In fact, before the church had a Bible (the New Testament), it had a mission. Before the church had a building, it had a mission. The church doesn’t have a mission, the mission has a church. God was on mission redeeming and restoring his world before the church came into existence. The church is simply his tool to bring the renewal he longs to bring because of the unwavering love he has for his good creation. The early church understood and embraced God’s mission. Their marching orders were clear, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

People who follow Jesus today get the same opportunity to participate with God in his mission. We join in as we love, disciple, and pray for “his kingdom to come and will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus is inviting you and I to join in. He’s inviting us to take our gifts and talents and time to be a part of the kingdom wave he is creating. Our enemies are the forces of evil. Our leader is Jesus. Our weapon is love. Our mission is restoration. Today, take some time and write out a prayer for vision. Ask Jesus to help you see you part in his grand mission. Ask him to reveal to you where he is calling you to step in and how he is asking you to love. Ask him to show you how you are a part of his kingdom wave.

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By Ryan Paulson

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Mission to Fulfill | Acts 1:82017-05-28T16:09:36-06:00

Good to Uphold | Acts 2:42-47

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42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. – Acts 2:42-47

 

The stories we read in the book of Acts give us some of the best pictures we have of Christian movement. Oh sure, there are many movements throughout history as well, but this movement is the bedrock for all subsequent movements in Christian history. This wildfire advancement of the good news is the foundation of even this devotional thought today. Why did this flurry of growth take place and more importantly, why would we want to be a part of a similar movement?

The beauty of Christian movement is that it echoes the compassion of Jesus. When people begin to follow the teachings of Jesus, by the power of the Spirit, they begin to see the world as Jesus did. If you read about Jesus’ ministry, you see his compassion on broken, hurting, poor, and downtrodden people of the world. When such a beautiful picture is painted, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid dealing with people’s needs. In Acts, we see a group of people gathering to hear the teachings of Jesus. As they listen, they learn compassion. They notice the needs among them and react in practical ways – by selling their possessions and taking care of each other.

Compassion and goodness is the content of Jesus’ teachings, and therefore the content of Christian movement. If that’s not wonderful enough, notice how compassion fuels the movement. When onlookers see the amazing things happening among this group of Christ followers, they want in. It says, “the Lord added to their number day by day.”

We can join the same movement when we see the needs around us and step in to fill those needs with the compassion of Jesus. What needs or injustices break your heart? That nagging sense of, ‘this is not right’ is a deposit of God’s heart in you. Let holy discontentedness well up in your soul and then do something about it. Uphold what is good for those around you and you might just spark a wildfire of good Christian movement today.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Aaron Bjorklund 

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Good to Uphold | Acts 2:42-472017-05-25T05:00:36-06:00

Leader to Follow | Acts 17:22-31

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22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for  “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said,” ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ 29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

 

Paul passionately opposed Jesus until the Lord confronted him on the road to Damascus. The zeal from his 180 degree turn around energized other followers to take the gospel to all corners of the known world. Israel was first surrounded by Baal worshippers, and Syrian statues but when Jesus came the Greeks and the Romans added their manmade gods to the mix.  Paul addressed eager listeners about them on the Areopagus. Acts 17 mentions many who followed Jesus, including Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris. These new followers were not just joining a church, they were following the teacher and becoming his disciples.

From the Old Testaments series in 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan followed God into battle.  Jonathan didn’t just believe in the one true God of heaven, he made a commitment and chose to live for him. He embraced a way of life contrary to the idol worshipping peoples and nations around him. Jonathan took the risk, followed the leading of his God in his heart and made a difference in the lives of his countrymen.  He even risked following God instead of the King, his father.  Many more examples of dedication and determination of Christ’s followers could be cited – even in spite of danger and risk. Nothing could stop Jesus’ committed followers from boldly proclaiming the good news.

How are you at becoming a disciple?  It doesn’t mean just signing a dotted line or coming to a building once a week.  It doesn’t mean just believing in God and becoming a convert.  It means accepting the forgiveness he offers for dying for your sins, leaving your guilt and shame, and becoming a new creature with a new heart to follow him.  It means living a life imitating the teacher, committing yourself to his teaching, and following him wherever he leads.  Many followers, groups, and churches have written prayers, statements of faith, songs and pledges boldly proclaiming their devotion to God.  Today write your own personal pledge of following Jesus in faith, love and obedience.

 

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord, strong and mighty,
    the Lord, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! 
-Psalm 24:7-10    

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By Donna Burns  

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Leader to Follow | Acts 17:22-312017-05-24T05:00:54-06:00

Courage to Ignite | Ephesians 6:13-17

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 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God  – Ephesians 6:13-17

 

The story in 1 Samuel 14 doesn’t tell us exactly how long Saul and his men were in hiding before Jonathan stood up to lead the charge, but we know it was at least one whole week. Imagine yourself sitting in a tomb or in an empty cistern while the battle continued to loom – day after day, remaining in hiding, convinced by Saul to remain fearful and inactive. What would be swirling in your heart: a growing fear of the enemy’s attacks? an intensifying rage directed toward the passivity of your leadership? a swelling impatience because there’s more to be done? or a solidifying conviction that there’s more to become?

When Jonathan steps out, one small drop of faith ignites a tidal-wave of courage within the camp. Sure, there was fear in his heart, but there was also a confidence in his God. Sure, he was guilty of sitting in hiding with the rest of them and perhaps wanting someone else to make the first move, but he didn’t let those days define him. Sure, he was just one person with one sword, but he used what he had and engaged the battle once again. Jonathan’s act of courage became the spark to re-light the forest-fire around him.

Whether we recognize it or not, there’s a spiritual battle looming in our lives too and many of us are still cowering in our own caves afraid to engage the battle and join the fight. But, like Jonathan, being late to the battle is no excuse for not showing up. Jonathan recognized what he had – one friend, one sword, and one dose of courage. Then he re-engaged – not just for himself but for the sake of the whole camp. We can be like Jonathan when we recognize the armor we do have in Ephesians 6, and we can stand – not to fight the battle alone but to strike a match of courage in other people’s lives, too. Let’s ignite courage in one another today by calling out the potential we see in those around us. Use Ephesian 6:13-17 to identify what armor you and your friends already possess. Then send a note of encouragement to a friend reminding them what they have to re-engage their spiritual battle today.

 

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By Yvonne Biel 

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Courage to Ignite | Ephesians 6:13-172017-05-23T05:00:41-06:00

Battle to Fight | Ephesians 6:10-20

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10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. – Ephesians 6:10-20

If you have toddlers or teenagers in your house you’ve received this advice, “pick your battles.” And if you don’t have kids, it can also apply to your spouse, or housemates, or coworkers. The cultural battle for the hearts and minds of people rages ruthlessly. The truth is we’re all in a battle, all the time, and for all time. Ephesians 6 outlines the ultimate battle we experience in the spiritual “heavenly places.”

The battle we find Jonathan and his armor bearer fighting in 1 Samuel 14 is not just for a piece of land. In this story, Jonathan choses the hill he’s going to die on, it’s a battle for the one, true, living God whom he loves and serves. It’s a battle in the name of God’s people Israel against idol worshippers. Jonathan’s best friend, David, chose his hill to die on when he faced Goliath and shouted to him, “I come to you in the name of the living God, who delivered me from the paw of the bear, and the paw of the lion and he will deliver me from you!” And, Jesus climbed the Hill of all hills, Mount Calvary, to die once and for all as the final sacrifice for man’s sin. His death on that hill gives us forgiveness and eternal life.

We didn’t chose the spiritual battle, but we need to acknowledge it in order to be very intentional in fighting it. The armor Paul describes is not some wearables to wave at windmills like a Don Quixote. These pieces strategically equip us for the intensity of battle between life and death in the spiritual realm. In our everyday battle, we look to Jesus for his strength, suit up with the armor he’s already given us, let him disarm the enemy, and fight with the unconditional love and grace he demonstrated for us. Jesus’ example spurs us on to charge up the hill, take it for God, for his glory, for the growing of his church and for the spread of the Gospel. Allow yourself to reflect on the real spiritual battle as you watch this Letter from the People of the Cross.

 

Let us all join the battle cry of Revelation 12:10-11.
“And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
‘Now the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
And they have conquered him by the blood
of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,
for they loved not their lives even unto death.’”

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By Donna Burns  

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Battle to Fight | Ephesians 6:10-202017-05-22T05:00:29-06:00

Ignite a Movement | 1 Samuel 14:1-23

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So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven. – 1 Samuel 14:23

In a generation of global philanthropic causes and entrepreneurial start-up businesses, we celebrate those who bring creative ideas to the table and we honor those ideas which influence our world for good. Now, many of us chase the dream of being that guy or that girl who goes down in the history books for leading a movement. We want the secret recipe for changing the world, so we read books on how to start an uprising, how to win friends, influence people, and how to inspire others to take action.

However, when we look back, we’ll notice how oftentimes the person who sparks a movement never sets out with such grand intention. People such as Dalai Lama, Rosa Parks, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs all took part in their own kind of movement without knowing what would result. I doubt Jonathan, in 1 Samuel 14, anticipated what would take place because of his actions either. Certainly, each person mentioned had hopes of what could be but all they ever did was set out to complete the work set before them. They used their moments to do the right thing, to take the risk, or to remain faithful to the task at hand.

The same is true for us. Whether we’re young or old, male or female, brilliant or mad, every one of us has been given moments of decision, tasks to remain faithful to, and opportunities to be influential. We all have a unique sphere of influence. What we do with our moments both good or bad are important. Even when we’re not the person to instigate or take the first move, we lead by standing together with a cause greater than ourselves. Imagine what might result when believers stand together in obedience to God’s word and risk their reputations for the sake of Christ. Watch this short TEDTalk about starting a movement and pray for what action you might take to join the movement Jesus began many years ago.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Yvonne Biel  

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Ignite a Movement | 1 Samuel 14:1-232017-05-18T05:00:53-06:00

Israel Rallies | 1 Samuel 14:1-23

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16 And the watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, and behold, the multitude was dispersing here and there.17 Then Saul said to the people who were with him, “Count and see who has gone from us.” And when they had counted, behold, Jonathan and his armor-bearer were not there.18 So Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God here.” For the ark of God went at that time with the people of Israel.19 Now while Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the camp of the Philistines increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”20 Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and went into the battle. And behold, every Philistine’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.21 Now the Hebrews who had been with the Philistines before that time and who had gone up with them into the camp, even they also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan.22 Likewise, when all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they too followed hard after them in the battle.23 So the Lord saved Israel that day. And the battle passed beyond Beth-aven. – 1 Samuel 14:16-23

Denver remembers when the Broncos won Superbowl 50 and the parade celebrating the victory. Estimates of fans range up to a million. But, I’ll venture a guess that at least some of them weren’t very enthusiastic earlier in the year – there were some hard games and Denver wasn’t always on top of their game. On that day though, Broncos fans came out in force, from those calling themselves ‘die-hard’ to those labeled ‘fair-weather’ fans.  There’s a hint of this breadth of involvement in 1 Samuel 14.

The story of Israel defeating the Philistines began when Jonathan and his armor bearer take action and God incites pandemonium shaking through in the Philistine’s camp (1 Samuel 14:15). The furor in the enemies’ camp caught the attention of Saul’s watchmen, ultimately stirring Saul and the 600 men with him to action.  But, that wasn’t the end of it. The Hebrews who joined the Philistines in their camp turned into the fray against the Philistines. Soon, those who fled to the hills and holes to ‘ride out’ whatever was going to happen, heard what was going on, and joined the battle, pursuing the Philistines as they fled the melee.  Israel was experiencing first-hand the result of a small act which rallied them all – both ‘die-hard’ and ‘fair-weather’ fans. The small act of faith by a couple men who wanted God’s victory, reengaged Israel.

We’ve witnessed this happening in our lifetime, too, when a few of God’s people stand up, in God’s strength, and begin to push back against an injustice, or misdeed.  Before too long, a tsunami of believers engage the issue.  Those never figuring themselves capable of being involved are surprised at what’s accomplished.  Nevertheless, the only way Israel was able to be victorious was through the power of God. That hasn’t changed.  The song “Open Up Our Eyes” speaks of God’s love for us and his ability to fight for us.  As you listen to the song, consider the victory Israel experienced through God and those victories you’ve experienced only through this same power.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Rich Obrecht 

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Israel Rallies | 1 Samuel 14:1-232017-05-18T05:00:13-06:00
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