Shining Grace

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This is at Yellow Stone National park.  I loved the reflection and peacefulness of it.

Proverbs 4:18 The Path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter until the full light of day.

Galatians 2:9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, when they recognized the grace given to me.  They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the Jews.

Note: In Galatians 2:9  When God’s grace is within you it shines through you and others can see it readily, just as James, Peter and John could see that God’s grace was within Paul and Barnabas.

Read Judges Chapter 7: This is the story of Gideon’s obedience to God, and God showing his grace to Israel by giving the Midianites over to them in battle.  God told Gideon that he needed to use only 300 men so that Israel would know that God did this for them, and that they didn’t do it themselves by their own hands.  Evidentially the Israelites must have recognized that God was with Gideon because there were 32 thousand Israelites at that time, and there were numberless Midianites so the Israelites were outnumbered with 32 thousand people, and yet they accepted that Gideon only need 300 people to take the Midianites with God’s plan.  This indicates their recognition of God being with Gideon.  So God’s grace shined through Gideon.

Just as in these two cases in the Bible of Paul and Gideon as a person’s walk with God grows closer and the Holy Spirit is more prevalent in their lives it is easier to recognize the same Holy Spirit in someone else that you meet.  It is also very thrilling to be in fellowship with that person even if they are in other ways a perfect stranger to you because you have just met.  The Holy Spirit’s presence just shines through them to you and from you to them.

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Looking for and Testing God’s Answer

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Rainbow over the Atlantic Ocean in the Caribbean

1John 4:1 Dear Friends, Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 

Read  1John 4  This chapter talks about the character of God, that people should be able to recognize when something or someone is Godly or unGodly.  The essence of God’s character is demonstrated in his love for us, his children.

Judges 6:36-40 Read the story of Gideon and the Fleece.  Gideon was given a task by God, and he wanted to make sure that he was listening to what God wanted him to do.  So he prayed for visible evidence.  He told God what kind of evidence he needed to see in order to know that God was talking to him.  This was okay with God, even though Gideon felt that he might make God mad by asking a second time he asked anyway to ensure the answer was not a fluke.  God understood that Gideon’s motive was to be obedient.  So with love, God, gave Gideon what he needed to comfort him with the knowledge that what Gideon was believing was God’s direction was truly God’s direction, and not something Gideon misinterpreted.  It is okay, to ask God for confirmation of your answer to your prayer.  This is not a lack of faith.  This is an acknowledgement that there are outside factors which may lead you astray in your quest to be obedient to God.

The other day, I had an occasion where I was trying to decide what God wanted me to do about a situation…it was a “do I just take action on my own because I don’t really have an answer, or do I just stay where I am and keep doing what I am doing because I don’t have an answer” type of question.  I had about decided that I was just going to go ahead with my original plan, but was really looking for God’s direction and let him know through my mental discussion with him as I worked.  God was listening as usual, and he went ahead and gave me the answer pretty quickly….I finished working and went to my car, turned on the radio just to hear a minister (Alistair Begg) proceed to announce:  “Do you ever have a hard time knowing what God wants you to do?”  I thought, “Well, that was quick, it appears my answer may be here!”  The minister went on to talk about taking action, and what action to take.  The statement was made that if you don’t know what action to take and you are not doing anything that goes against God’s character or being obedient to him in general that the best thing to do is to continue to stay where you are and continue to do what you are doing until you receive clear instructions from God to go or do something else.  I thought, “Well that is certainly in keeping with my knowledge of God..thanks for the quick answer, Lord!”  Sometimes God answers your questions pretty directly!  When he does you will just “know” from knowing God’s character and the sense of peace and satisfaction you get that it is your answer.  The doors that God opens are usually obvious and easy to go through whenever you are in keeping with his will for your life.  I was just getting impatient, so I will continue to wait, until I have a clear direction in which to proceed. It will all go much better that way.