Thursday, May 30, 2013

Redemption's Provider: Over and Over.

Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers. Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the LORD’s commands. Whenever the LORD raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the LORD took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering. But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, - Judges 2:16-23


If you begin reading in Judges chapter 1 you will quickly notice that the tribes are  not doing all they are told to do as they take the land. Many do not drive out the people. Some make them slaves others let them live with them and some tribes go live among the enemy. This all began to happen after Joshua died.

So God tells them because they have not keep their part of the covenant that He is not keeping His. The tribes begin to be defeated until one king comes along, Elgon. Joshua 3:13-14 tells us that "God gives King Eglon of Moab control over Israel because of their evil. Eglon enlisted the Ammonites and Amalekites as allies, and then he went out and defeated Israel, taking possession of Jericho, the city of palms. And the Israelites served Eglon of Moab for eighteen years." Back into captivity!

Now God had already given one judge to rescue Israel, and when that judge died they rebelled even worse than before, even still God had mercy and hurt over there self inflicted suffering. 

Sounds a lot like us sometimes doesn't it?


Like a revolving door we are faithful for awhile then go our own way, come back and cry out to God, He rescues out of His unmeasurable love for us and we are faithful..... the cycle. It is miserable for us, it is heart hurting for God; but there is more to this story.

So this king conquers Israel and makes them slaves. Israel cries out to God. As we do when trouble comes. God sends another judge, Ehud. God sends Ehud on a mission. All alone Ehud sneaks back to the king, tells him he has a secret message. When the kings court out of the room for privacy Ehud strikes on Gods behalf.  “I have a message from God for you!” Ehud says and kills the king in his own chambers. Ehud goes home and raises an army and they take control back.

God is always willing to provide a way of redemption through repentance. He is willing that all should come to salvation, it is His great desire that no one perish. Many will perish, some will be saved. No matter what stands between you and God let it go. Wait before our Lord until you feel real sorrow, real regret and give  real repentance. That is how you receive redemption again. 

There is a warning however many years later that is nothing more than a reminder of the seriousness of a covenant. "For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for  (our) sins, but judgement." Hebrews 10:26 If we keep going back to the same sin we know is wrong, after awhile we wont find our way back very easy. Our hearts become numb and unresponsive. 

Praise God that we can be empowered by redemption to be obedient and faithful through the work of Christ Jesus on Calvary! I challenge you to keep yourself prayed and studied up so you remain faithful.



Dance with me

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Redemption Stories From Arkansas Women


"It is impossible to Love ourselves much less others without first knowing and understanding deep in our hearts that we are LOVED. We then have a choice to first show ourselves grace and learn to Love ourselves, which has honestly been my biggest battle."
- Karen Barnard



Take a moment and enjoy Karen Barnards' story of redemption posted on the Arkansas Womens Ministry blog Redemption Stories by AR Women  




If you are an Arkansas woman in ministry and want to share your story of redemption to be considered for the blog email The Womens Ministry department at mcleghorn@araog.org.

Put REDEMPTION STORY in the subject line. 350 words or less. All stories subject to editing.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Remembrance Continues Redemption

So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord.Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath.
Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby. ---- Joshua 9:14-16

A little catch up:

The Israel army was taking cities with ease. Word spread rapidly that God was strong and was helping them. While all the other kings were coming together to join forces against Israel, one group of people decided to try and guarantee their safety through deception. The Gibeonites deceived Israel into thinking they were from a distant land by wearing worn cloths, using worn accessories and having moldy hard bread as food. That brings us to verse 14 of chapter 9. Instead of  consulting God, Joshua and the elders believed the story and entered a covenant with them. 

Although the Israel people complained, Joshua had to do what was right and not sin by breaking the oath covenant. The Gibeonites became their servants and servants of the temple.  

look at Joshua 7:1 
"But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord. A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the Lord was very angry with the Israelites."

One act of disobedience brought defeat for Israel. 
Achan, his family and all his possession ended up destroyed 
because of this one sin.


After riding Israel of the sin, Joshua built an altar and gave a peace offering to God, then read what he did in Joshua 8:35-36
"Joshua then read to them all the blessings and curses Moses had written in the Book of Instruction. Every word of every command that Moses had ever given was read to the entire assembly of Israel, including the women and children and the foreigners who lived among them."

After the sin was removed Israel defeated that city and was victorious once again. The deception by the Gibeonites was not long after this. Had Joshua and the elders took time to consult with God they would not have fallen prey to the trick. It would have done Joshua well to remind himself that morning of all Gods promises and curses, perhaps the remembrance would have caused him to pause and consult God "just to make sure" or "just in case". Although there was no negative results this time as it was with Achan, it could have been. God was forgiving and merciful.

Look at our lives. 

We too are faced with deception by an enemy who does not want to be defeated. It is that roaring lion, the devil who wants to see God saddened by our defeat. It will do us well to use remembrance to continue walking in Gods redemptive work. A few things are vital for us to remember:

1. Reality: There is an enemy eager to destroy us
2. Obedience: We need to resist sin and do what is right
3. Truth: We need Gods power to be victorious in 1 & 2

I challenge you to take time daily and remind yourself both how God has redeemed you and how the victory comes. All the blessings and curses of God need to be read regularly to keep us in remembrance. Remembrance continues Redemption.






Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Redemption: Promises Kept Plus More

Meanwhile, Joshua said to the two spies, “Keep your promise. Go to the prostitute’s house and bring her out, along with all her family.” The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. They moved her whole family to a safe place near the camp of Israel. Joshua 6:22,23




In case you are unfamiliar with the story of Rahab and the spies I will give a little background, although I do suggest you read it for yourself. Rahab was a woman, a prostitute who lived in Jericho. The spies from Israel came in and in their time of need she hid them in exchange for her and her families life. She told them she had heard of what their God could do and feared Him. Rahab saw them safely out of the city that night.


When the walls of Jericho fell Joshua told the spies to go and keep their promise. It was to save her and all her family in the house when they took the city. True to their word they took Rahab and her family to safety near Israels camp. 

1. Rahab was redeemed from destruction because she did what she was told out of fear of Gods power.


In order for the spies to keep their word Rahab had to hang a scarlet cord out the window and have her family in the house that would come in. She is a lot like us today. like us she had not experienced Gods hand for herself, she only heard word of His works and deads. That was enough for her just like reading and hearing the Word of God should be enough for us to fear God and obey Him.



2. Rahab received more than she expected or deserved.


Not only was Rahab and her family saved from death, not only was she accepted into the Israel community but she is part of the blood line of the Savior of the world, Jesus. I think this is significant to look at because we often feel as tough we are good enough for all God has for us. Truth be told none of us are good enough for any of God. But Jesus makes that possible. We get so much more than we deserve or expect from our loving Father, Savior and Counselor.


Redemption is alive and working in each of our lives every single day, if we allow it. God is wanting to make things new in your life. He wants to heal some things. God has promises to keep with you and so much more! He is eager to bless you and work in your life. Allow God to work Redemption in your life each day

Monday, May 20, 2013

Redemption Stories by Arkansas Women

"What does it mean to redeem? A few definitions are to repurchase, repair, or restore. I see it literally as making a glorious exchange with Christ. Because of His work on the cross we can give Him our grief and He gives us His joy, our... "
- Angelia Carpenter



Take a moment and enjoy Angelia Carpenters' story of redemption on the Arkansas Womens Ministry blog Redemption Stories by AR Women at the link below:



If you are an Arkansas woman in ministry and want to share your story of redemption to be considered for the blog email The Womens Ministry department at mcleghorn@araog.org.

Put REDEMPTION STORY in the subject line. 350 words or less. All stories subject to editing.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Redemption Stories by Arkansas Women


"We decided if we were going to do a makeover we were going to plan what we really wanted in a home and come up with a blueprint, then, go for it. Though the makeover was our idea, we had to have help with the blueprints..."
- Susan Paul



Take a moment and enjoy Susan Paul's story of redemption on the Arkansas Womens Ministry blog Redemption Stories by AR Women



If you are an Arkansas woman in ministry and want to share your story of redemption to be considered for the blog email The Womens Ministry department at mcleghorn@araog.org.

Put REDEMPTION STORY in the subject line. 350 words or less. All stories subject to editing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Story of Change - Kerry



Description: Personal stories of students whose lives have been changed by God through the ministry of Chi Alpha.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Every Morning is a Redemptive Miracle

I really enjoy the experience of the world waking up around me.

Jesus, coffee and my real life Bible. There is something to be said to reading from the Bible you actually hold with your hands, but that's another story of its own.

As I first rise all of nature is quiet. It is still and quiet most mornings even when i rise late by 4. Slowly cats awaken, a breeze may begin to run past me and light begins to come. Around 5 I begin to hear a car or two pass on the road a fourth of a mile up the driveway. As the hour runs towards 6 nature begins its song to the Creator. Birds and crickets, frogs and such. It is like a symphony of thanks for a new start, a miracle life... a redemptive miracle!

I have not read today's Chronological chapters yet as I felt prompted to wait. I know it is the beginning of Joshua... be strong and courageous. I have instead been considering my own night and morning in reflection of his. Moses had just died. Joshua was the new leader. He had seen how the people flip flopped in the trust and faithfulness to God. He was sure to have had talks with Moses and was now thinking on them... and his own short comings  Joshua possible had a night like mine of waking and sleeping. His time was upon him and the task was far beyond his strength. God had used Moses life to build, train and prepare Joshua.

I can almost see him on the mt as dawn rises.

Photo taken at Faith Assembly in Melbourne, Ar
After talking with God in prayer and listening to Gods reassuring voice to just keep the commands, be strong and courageous and all will go well. After working out all of his worry and fear that must be walked through by faith. Finally after a few moments of silence God speaks, "I will go with you. I will be with you Joshua". This of course is the most peace inducing sentence for a christian as well as for Joshua. He goes down the mountain and begins the work of entering and possessing the Promised Land.

Are we not the same way?

The new day another unknown promised land? All the what ifs and if onlys that bring worry and fear that cause God to remind us to be strong and courageous. We can rise and walk into each morning as a redemptive miracle. Like Joshua we are to keep the commands of God and move forward to what God has called us. We arise with a clean slate so to say and may choose to allow God to take yesterday and redeem it in us. His faithfulness in yesterday is used to rise trust and confidence, strength and boldness, in us to face another unknown day.

6 am now and the sun has run the stars around the earth.

Newness.
Renewal.
Rejuvenation.
Restart.
Redeemed.

We always have that choice, all day every day to let God use our situations and circumstances to push us toward Him or to let those things build a wall that blocks faith and trust. Choose this morning to let God use all things in your life as redemptive tools working in you to become a reflection of Christ.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Continual Plans for Redeemption

“Take to heart all the words of warning I have given you today. Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of these instructions.  These instructions are not empty words—they are your life!"
Duet. 32:46-47

The last chapters of Deuteronomy are a glimpse into the love of God, His faithfulness and His relentless eagerness to be with us. His continual offer of redemption after we fail, even after we first believed is not much different than the history of Israel. Moses coming death just before they enter the promised land, due to disobedience as a matter of fact, is a time of preperation of victory, rebellion, falling away, judgement and restoration.

In chapter 31 we see God setting Joshua as the leader before all the nation. The people receive him as Gods choice. God tells Moses they will abandon Him and follow idols and be cursed. Then God tells Moses to pen what is called the Song of Moses to serve both as a witness to Gods justified acts, Gods faithfulness and Gods willingness to redeem after repentance. 31:30 - 32:47 is an eye opening view into what it means to faithfully do right. God is faithfully going to do right every time. Deuteronomy 32:46-47 are an admonition to take heed.

Psalms 90, which is estimated to have been written near Moses death, is a reminder highlighting Gods anger. Who better knew this anger than Moses? Moses put out Gods anger through intercession several times. More warning and prompting for the nation of Israel to obey.

Next we see Moses giving Gods blessings to each tribe of Israel in chapter 33. I find this comforting. God looks forward and sees that they will turn away but because they are faithful right then He blesses them.

Last as we close this book of law, God takes Moses on a mountain once again and shows him the promised land. God had forgiven Moses for hitting the rock in anger but still Moses would not enter the land of milk and honey. God assured Moses the people would enter and Joshua would lead them in victory after victory. Moses had already told Joshua to be bold and courageous, to keep Gods commands and meditate on them.

God went to such great length to have Moses write down all the law and to write warnings and reminders. All to redeem us from our fallen state. He has done the same for each of us by providing not only the Old Testament, not only salvation through His son Jesus. but also the New testament instruction and warnings as well.

GOD MAKES OUR PATH. He covers it with promises, warnings and moments of redemption. Such an amazing redeeming God we serve. Choose the work of redemption in your life and through obedience watch God use all you have done to Glorify Himself. He will do it.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Redemptions Choice


 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 NLT



This is really cut and dry.
I can hear God being just so blunt and matter of fact....

"Look. it is really simple. Obey Me and you will be blessed. Turn form me and do not obey Me and you will curse you."

Redemption is always a choice. Let me say it this way, redemption's work is always a choice. The outcome of redemptive work is our choice. The benefits of the redeeming power of the blood and the work of the cross are our choice.



God desires with all He is to bless us and take the mess we have and turn it into great tools for His kingdom. What you may think was the worst thing to every happen can become the catalyst for a ministry to help others. What you may consider the biggest foul up of mankind could become the turning stone to help mold future Christians. It is all up to each one of us.



What do we have to choose?

1. Who you will serve.
2. To forgive and be forgiven.
3. Obedience.

Of course trust, faith and love all play important rolls along with prayer, bible study and fellowship but the starting place is obedience. Obedience to admit your a sinner, to ask forgiveness, to forgive other, and the list goes on. Even trust is an act of obedience because although we trust, it is sometimes  an active effort in the reality of fear. Self discipline in prayer and bible study takes obedience. Fellowship with other like minded Christians takes obedience.

Choose redemption today.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Redemption Stories by Arkansas Women


"I was awakened by sounds coming from his room. I went in to sit with him and noticed his breathing was much labored. As the Holy Spirit prompted me I began to ask my daddy if he knew the Lord as his personal savior."
- Karen Gilbert




Take a moment and enjoy Karen Gilberts' story of redemption on the Arkansas Womens Ministry blog Redemption Stories by AR Women

A Story of Redemption

If you are an Arkansas woman in ministry and want to share your story of redemption to be considered for the blog email The Womens Ministry department at mcleghorn@araog.org

Put REDEMPTION STORY in the subject line. 350 words or less. All stories subject to editing.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Faithful Redemption



Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands. Deuteronomy 7:9 NLT


God is faithful. 
He does what He says He will do. 



After reminding Is real of His commands, the need to follow them and the promised covenant that follows obedience He declares He is faithful to keep it. That covenant was redeemed time after time for the nation of Israel. They followed a circle of repeated rejection of God, judgement and repentance. God was always faithful to do two things.

   1. Discipline.
   2. Redemption.

 If God were not so in love with us His creation, He would not be faithful to discipline us when we stray. Discipline is intact our Lords initial drawing of us towards repentance, which allows Him to redeem us. Yes, allows. God will not force Himself on us and because He is always just, and always does right He will not pour on us the benefits of the covenant if we are not obeying His commands.

 Just as He was with the people of Israel, so He is with us today. We are grafted into that people, adopted as children through the work of the cross. It is Gods great desire and pleasure to have a real relationship with us and pour out blessings in our lives. Yes, He wants to do just that. We are the ones who limit His hand and then ask why. 

Ask our Lord God to open your spiritual eyes to see how you can better obey and serve Him. Receive His discipline with eager joy because it is the tool that draws us closer to Him.

    More of Jesus
    More of Jesus
    This is all I really need
    More ore Jesus and less of me.