"The LORD said to Gideon, 'You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained. But the LORD said to Gideon, 'There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go; but if I say, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.'” Judges 7:2-4
“For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.” Psalm 25:11
My namesake is the apostle Paul. There are others with that name in my family line, but my mother made sure when I was very young that I would know exactly whom I was named after. No doubt, there are also many others named after this well-known Christian leader.
“When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, ‘Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’ Peter answered: ‘May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!’” Acts 8:18-20
It is said that money talks. If it truly did, it would have to say, “Don’t count on me!”
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” I John 3:16
It’s not suicide. It is not the taking of our life. It is the willingness to lay down our life to enable someone else to live. It is an act of love.
Most Americans give little thought to the possibility. Those who wear the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces must.
“Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” Mark 6:4-6
He was the hometown boy who did good. He left to make a name for himself and now he was back with his family and the people he had grown up with.
He was Jesus, son of Joseph and Mary, the boy who had learned carpentry from his dad, who now had returned as a rabbi to preach in the synagogue he had worshipped in as a youth. It started well.
Who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts.
It’s painless to do the right thing when it doesn’t cost us anything. It’s easy to keep our word when there are no negative consequences. It’s different when doing the right thing makes us pay a price. If it is going to hurt, we are tempted to look for an easy way out.