Don’t strike rash bargains with God

“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering’” Judges 11:30-31.

The Bible never glosses over the bad points of God’s people seeking to serve Him. Jephthah was rough around the edges to be sure. He also had a lot of worthless fellows that attached themselves to him. But, unlike Abimelech, he seemed to legitimately want to serve God. This should encourage us as we see God using someone imperfect in His service.

But, unlike Jephthah, we should trust in God and His salvation, never-ending love, and constant concern for us rather than seeking to strike rash bargains with God that we often don’t intend to keep. Even if we were to keep a vow, the fact that we felt we had to make it in the first place indicates that God is into making deals rather than operating out of love. This cheapens God to the status of a pagan god.

We won’t ever know if Jephthah actually sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering.

But we should not vow but instead trust God to love us.

Douglas Kashorek

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#vows #douglaskashorek #trust #devotional

The Father seeks us

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him” John 4:23.

We seek things we value. I had a contractor make a trip to my house this morning to ask if we had found a particular water bottle. On the other hand, I’ve messaged a different contractor twice about a rusty, cracked shovel he left last fall that is still here. He doesn’t value it enough to stop by.

We know what God values because we’re told He is seeking true worshipers—those who “will worship the Father in spirit and truth.” And, from Jesus’ parables in Luke 15 about the lost coin, lost sheep, and lost son, we know with what intensity and ferocity of love God seeks that which He values.

Often, we see the rusty and cracked condition we’re in and, because we don’t value ourselves, we can’t imagine that God could possibly value us enough to seek us. Or, we see how ordinary we are, such as a water bottle, and can’t see how we could be special enough for God to seek us. But, if we will be true worshipers, worshiping Him in spirit and truth, then the Father seeks us.

Are you a true worshiper that God seeks?

Douglas Kashorek

elder, evangelist, editor

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#devotional #douglaskashorek #value #worship

Who do we trust to save?

“Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade ….’” Judges 9:14-15.

God’s people under Gideon were trees, but Gideon was dead and the son of his servant, Abimelech, was all thorns. Looking for relief for their bondage in the midst of the Judges cycle of sin, they turned to a man who first killed his seventy brothers before treating them cruelly rather than turning to God. Abimelech’s story is a cautionary tale to us in many ways. First, just because God is using us, doesn’t mean that He is pleased with us. We should compare words and actions against His Word. More importantly is the bigger lesson of whom we put our trust to save us. Just because our money says ‘In God We Trust’ doesn’t make it so—no more than wearing a WWJD bracelet makes us a Christian. Today, we might put our trust in the economy or politicians, good health or friends. But God and His Word is the only One in which we can trust for salvation. If we look to brambles to reign over us, we will get scratched in their shade.

In what or whom are you trusting?

Douglas Kashorek

sermonlines.com

#devotional #douglaskashorek #trust