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March 2, 2011

All I Can Do

Mark 14:6-8 (NKJV)
6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. 7 For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. 8 She has done what she could.

OBSERVATION
This is the story of the woman with the alabaster flask of perfumed oil who anointed Jesus.

APPLICATION
"She has done a good work for Me...She has done what she could." Amidst all the call to social justice, Jesus is before us. There are "good works," "mitzvahs," that God even "prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10) that we should be doing. But there is a good work for me to do: to come and worship Jesus.

I was so convicted this morning reading what Jesus said about this woman: "She did what she could." The implication I get is that this woman considered every option, considered every offering, and determined her best to bring to the Lord. I don't what to be known as a man who gives what is convenient, or easy. Whether it is 5 loaves and 2 fish like the little boy, or the expensive perfume that made up this woman's net worth, I want to to give all that I can in worship to the Lord. The ultimate good work is to acknowledge God's worth. The only way to do that is to give all that I can to Him.

PRAYER
Lord, you are all. There is no gift, no action, no response that can ever measure, that would ever qualify. But that's not what you require. So I will give what I am able - not the minimum, but the maximum. All that I can I give to you.

March 3, 2011

Creating a Legacy

Numbers 13:6,8 (NIV)
6 from the tribe of Judah, Caleb son of Jephunneh;
8 from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun

OBSERVATION
In the list of the leaders who we chosen to spy out the promised land, their tribal linage is noted. I focused on the two who not only got to go in to possess the land, but lead the people into the promise.

Caleb is from the tribe of Judah. In Genesis 49:8-12 is the blessing that Jacob pronounced on his son Judah:
8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Now more than 400 years later, Caleb is a freed slave wondering in the dessert. But God's plan is at work. Caleb will become admired for courage, his legacy one of faith and tenacity. And as a "general" who leads God's people into the promise he sees his enemies defeated. To me, Caleb initiates the legacy of significance carried by the tribe of Judah as promised by the Lord (the tribal lineage of the Messiah)

Joshua is of the tribe of Ephraim. Ephraim is the second son of Joseph. The dream that God gave Joseph of his brothers (and eventually the world) bowing to him was not only fulfilled as the Lord raised Joseph us as a leader in Egypt, but all these centuries later as Joshua leads God's people into the land. Just as God used Joseph to preserve His people, so would He use Joshua to fulfill the promise given to the Patriarchs.

APPLICATION
On the day when they were nearly killed for giving their report, I doubt Joshua and Caleb we thinking about the word God had given to their forefathers centuries before. While wandering in the wilderness for an additional 40 years, it probably didn't feel like they were contributing to a God-ordained legacy. As they waged was to possess a land, I doubt they did so with the intent of making a name for themselves. What was at work was not only for their own benefit, but the fulfillment of God's promise generations before that would have an effect generations beyond thier own.

I think of Shealyn Hamilton, an itinerant Baptist pastor and my great-great grandfather. I think of my son, and his son one day. I must keep in mind that it is my responsibility to the generations before me and the ones that follow, to live my life in faith and obedience. God has given a promise to my "tribe" and through my family line that has an eternal impact.

PRAYER
Lord, let me be known as a man who has the same heart and faith as Joshua and Caleb.

March 10, 2011

Along the way to the promise

Numbers 21:31-35 (NKJV)
So Israel settled in the land of the Amorites.
32 After Moses had sent spies to Jazer, the Israelites captured its surrounding settlements and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up along the road toward Bashan, and Og king of Bashan and his whole army marched out to meet them in battle at Edrei.
34 The LORD said to Moses, “Do not be afraid of him, for I have delivered him into your hands, along with his whole army and his land. Do to him what you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.”
35 So they struck him down, together with his sons and his whole army, leaving them no survivors. And they took possession of his land.

OBSERVATION
The journey to the promised land was a long one, and one not without discouragement or confrontation. Beginning in Ch20, Moses first asked for passage through Edom and was "refused" (20:21). They were then attacked by Canaanites, whom God helped them to "destroy" (21:4). Bur since they had to go around Edom, it says that "the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way." But eventually they came to the land of the Amorites. After asking for permission to pass through as Moses did with the king of Edom, they again were denied. And like with the the Canaanites, the Amorites attacked. Not only did they win the battle, but established their first settlements as they took possession of the land. By the time they confronted the king of Bashan, they were no longer asking for permission to pass. Instead they went to the Lord for His instruction and promise and initiated a victory.

APPLICATION
Anytime we have to continually battle, it is wearisome. Whenever God's journey takes us the long way around it is discouraging. But it is during these seasons we are being prepared to possess. There are times we have to know the frustration with the change in plans, when things don't go as we think they should. There are times that circumstances are thrust upon us that require extra effort and focus, just to be able to survive. But God's promise is not just to "pass through." His desire is that we possess and occupy. Sometimes, you have to get a little hungry for a win. Diversions and confrontations can discourage and frustrate. Yet they can be something God uses to develop our dependence upon His promise and a determination in our souls.

PRAYER
Lord, there are so many things right now in my life that seem to take longer than they should, are harder than they should be, require more effort and focus...But if its what it takes for me to get hungry for a win, then lets go. Because I want the season of possessing to begin.

About March 2011

This page contains all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in March 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2011 is the previous archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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