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October 28, 2003

Becoming Profitable

Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

I keep finding stuff related to the message this past weekend. In it I suggested that God's purpose for our lives is "good works" (Eph 2:10, 2 Tim 3:17, Mt. 5:16). Here Paul makes a point to remind Titus that good works is what marks a believer. In fact, God's "special people" wll be "zealous" about them (2:14). Titus is told to remind the church about this issue all the time. Paul even says earlier in the letter (1:16), that there are those who "profess to know God, but in works deny Him, being detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work."

What then are "good works?" This question deserves more study. But it is our good works that expose the ignorance of those who question man's need for God (1 Pet. 2:15).

Lord, I want to walk in the good works you have prepared for me. The actions of a man whose life has been transformed and whose character is being conformed to Yours. That I would focus not on the works, but like on being good first, and doing it as a result. (Acts 10:38)

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.

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