Tuesday, July 03, 2012

What are you?

"The Call of Gideon" by Gerard Jollain
Engraving, about 1670.

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Judges 6:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!'" Judges 6:12

The description the Angel of the Lord gave Gideon — "mighty man of valor" — doesn't seem unusual until we read on and discover Gideon was anything but that. He himself argued against it when he said to the angel: "Oh my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh and I am the least in my father's house" - Judges 6:15.

Later, just beyond the end of today's reading, he did what the angel told him to do but at night, "...because he feared his father's household and the men of the city too much to do it by day..." Judges 6:27.

He reminds me of Peter. Remember the cowardly Peter, so intimidated by events that he couldn't even bring himself to admit knowing Jesus? Then, only weeks later, he was the one who stood up and explained the Holy Spirit coming on the Day of Pentecost, turned the healing of the lame man into an altar call, and just wouldn't stop talking about Jesus even when commanded and threatened (Acts 4:18-20).

What made the difference?

In Peter's case the priests themselves figured it out: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus" - Acts 4:13.

Gideon would also turn out to become what the angel said—a man of valour. When we read his whole story (Judges 6-8) we see that as he spent time with God, heard His instructions and did them he truly came to impersonate what the angel said he was (though at the end of his life, there was slippage - Judges 8:27).

What does God say about you and me? Here is a sampling:

  • We are the salt of the earth - Matthew 5:13.*
  • We are the light of the world - Matthew 5:14.
  • We are saints - Ephesians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2.
  • We are God's living stones, being built up as a spiritual house - 1 Peter 2:9-10.
  • We are children of God and will resemble Christ when He returns - 1 John 3;1-2.

Do these things seem true about us? Or would we like Gideon argue otherwise? We can make it so as we spend time with Jesus, letting Him change us.

PRAYER: Dear God, I would love it if people puzzled over the grace and power evident in my life — and concluded that the only reason for it was because I had been with Jesus. Amen.

MORE: Five more things we are:

  • We are God's workmanship (handiwork) created (born anew) in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that we should do - Ephesians 2:10.
  • We are righteous and holy - Ephesians 2:24.
  • We are citizens of heaven and seated in heaven right now - Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 2:6.
  • We are sons/daughters of light not of darkness - 1 Thessalonians 5:5.
  • We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession to proclaim His excellencies - 1 Peter 2:9-10.

*Taken from "Who Am I?" p. 8 of Resolving Personal Conflicts workbook, Dr. Neil T. Anderson, 1990, Freedom in Christ Ministries.

(From the archives)

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