Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Friday, December 6, 2013

If you don’t ask, you might receive!

Judges 10:15-16 The sons of Israel said to the Lord, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer.
Many times when an individual comes to their senses about their sin, they do not run to God for mercy…instead they become proud or refuse to believe that God would show mercy. So they receive what they prayed for…nothing; and are left to reap the consequences of their sin.

Israel has continued to return to their sin, and God has decided it is time for them to learn their lesson. So He states:

“Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.”

Sometimes, if God is not merciful, we must deal with the consequences of our actions. Dr. James Dobson shares a tremendous illustration of this:

There was a 10-year-old boy named Robert, who was a patient of Dr Dobson's good friend Dr. William Slonecker. Dr. Slonecker said his pediatric staff dreaded the days when Robert was scheduled for an office visit. He literally attacked the clinic, grabbing instruments and files and telephones. His passive mother could do little more than shake her head in bewilderment.

During one physical examination, Dr. Slonecker observed severe cavities in
Robert's teeth and knew the boy must be referred to a local dentist. But who would be given the honor? A referral like Robert could mean the end of a professional friendship. Dr. Slonecker eventually decided to send him to an older dentist who reportedly understood children. The confrontation that followed now stands as one of the classic moments in the history of human conflict.

Robert arrived in the dental office, prepared for battle. Get in the chair, young man, said the doctor. No chance! Replied the boy. Son, I told you to climb on to the chair, and that's what I intend for you to do, said the dentist.

Robert stared at his opponent for a moment and then replied, if you make me get in that chair, I will take off all my clothes. The dentist calmly said, Son, take `em off! The boy forthwith removed his shirt, undershirt, shoes and socks, and then looked up in defiance. All right, son, said the dentist. Now get on the chair. You didn't hear me, sputtered Robert. I said if you make me get on that chair, I will take off all my clothes. Son, take `em off, replied the man.
Robert proceeded to remove his pants and shorts, finally standing totally naked before the dentist and his assistant. Now, son, get in the chair, said the doctor.

Robert did as he was told and sat cooperatively through the entire procedure. When the cavities were drilled and filled, he was instructed to step down from the chair. Give me my clothes now, said the boy. I'm sorry, replied the dentist. Tell your mother that we're going to keep your clothes tonight. She can pick them up tomorrow.

Can you comprehend the shock Robert's mother received when the door to the waiting room opened, and there stood her pink son, as naked as the day he was born? The room was filled with patients, but Robert and his mom walked past them and into the hall. They went down a public elevator and into the parking lot ignoring the snickers of onlookers.
The next day, Robert's mother returned to retrieve his clothes, and asked to have a word with the dentist. However, she did not come to protest. These were her sentiments: You don't know how much I appreciate what happened here yesterday. You see, Robert has been blackmailing me about his clothes for years. Whenever we are in a public place, such as a grocery store, he makes unreasonable demands of me. If I don't immediately buy him what he wants, he threatens to take off all his clothes. You are the first person who has called his bluff, doctor, and the impact on Robert has been incredible!'"

The Dr. was not trying to hurt Robert, but to help him. This is exactly how God works. Still, there is a very important Truth we need to see from the verses that follow. What should we do if God in “tough love” leaves us to deal with our sin? The wrong action on our part is to suffer silently, become proud or presume we are stuck going through all the suffering. It is wrong to complain about reaping what we sowed, BUT it is foolish to not run to the throne of our Father and beg for His mercy!
This is what Israel did do, and we should glean the wisdom of this lesson. It is far wiser to be in an angry God's hand than to be at the mercy of sin! God will always do what is right and is far more gracious and merciful than we think or understand. Sin always leads to death; God provides life…even if it is accompanied with pain. 

You never know where God’s chastisement will end and His mercy will begin.  

The other Truth we learn from this passage is that repentance is a duel action. Repentance is an action word…not a good intention. Notice the two actions that took place: They “put away” and they “served.” When we repent those two aspects must be there, not just “wanting” to “want to” but to “want to” and do it!

Notice also the heart of our God:

"He could bear the misery of Israel no longer."

Don’t remain in pride or false guilt! Repent and run to God for mercy…He will always surprise you!

Meditation Questions: What do you do right after sin? What do you think God thinks of you? Why? How do we discern the difference between how we see ourselves after sin, versus how God sees us? If your sin has brought bad consequences, what should you do? What do you do? Is there a difference? Why?