We see in Judges a familiar pattern. They people believe. They are free. They fall into temptation. They fall into slavery. They cry out to God. He sends a judge to free them. They believe. They are free . . . . lather, rise, repeat.
It's the same pattern over and over again. But, I think we can all identify with that. In our lives, we have moments of clarity, moments where are obeying and following God, moments where we are doing what He would have us to. And then, moments later, we choose our own desires, choose our own stuff, and we get into trouble.
We can't control the past, we can't control the future. Let us work today, in this moment, to be faithful, to be obedient, to live by God's love and grace, today. And, in doing that we will have that freedom and grace of God.
New Testament Lesson
I have always found it interesting the four places Jesus said that we would be His witnesses
1. Jerusalem. That's their home town. Where they lived; what they know. We to work for Jesus at home. In our church, in our community, in our home. We are to show Jesus' love there.
2. Judea. That's their region. We are to show Jesus' love in our region. For us in Ripley, that means NE MIssissippi, but also all of this region. We to work on a connectional level with others around us to show God's love.
3. Samaria. This is where Jesus moves from preaching to meddling. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews, and vice versa. But, Jesus said they were to show His love there as well. In other words, we are to show Jesus' love and mercy even to those that we don't like and may regard as our enemy.
4. The ends of the earth. That's everywhere. As Wesley said, "Do all the good you can, in all the places you can, as ever as long as you can."
The curtain in the Temple was torn, and the people had free, unfettered access to God. Today, in this moment, and in this place, you can turn to God. You can go to God right now. He will hear you. He will love you. He will give you His grace. Today. In this moment. He is there for you.