May 3

Judges 7:2 (NIV) 2The 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,

When Gideon sent out the word that he would lead a battle against the Midianites, there was a good response. 32,000 volunteers showed up. God was more concerned about Israel's spiritual health than freeing them from oppression. Though the odds were still greatly against Israel, God said there were too many men. They may take credit for what God did, and then they would be back at square one, in need of an oppressor to cause them to call out to God.

Sometimes we have too much talent, too many good ideas, too much ability for the LORD to work. He may let us have our numerical strength, but if it is of man, it will eventually come to naught. For Israel and for us today, God needs insane odds against Him before He really pours out His power. He had Gideon get down to the ridiculous number of 300 men to show it was all God.

We see some amazing works of man today. After gathering a pool of talent there has been great numerical success. Surely the Lord will work even through that, but a generation will tell if the fruit will remain or if we will be back at square one. When people have called out to God, and unlikely instruments like Luther or Moody were called, the fruit remains.

Never think you are too lacking in talent or ability or numbers. The Apostle Paul rejoiced in his weaknesses that the glory of God might rest upon him to accomplish God's purposes.

Remember: God is more concerned about your spiritual health than changing your circumstances.

May 3

Luke 6:35-36 (NIV) 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Jesus tells us that we must be like God. In Matthew, it is recorded that we are to be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect. Luke is telling us that Jesus also said to be merciful, just as our Father is merciful. Jesus reason presented to us is that our reward will be great. That is here on the earth and especially in heaven. How can you treat others with the generosity that God treats us? That is only possible when you see that God's resources are at your disposal.

Our natural tendency is to withhold, especially from the ungrateful and those who would take from us. Jesus says that we are to be like God is to us. How often we are ungrateful! How often we receive good from Him when we do not deserve it. If God were to use our justifications, we would have absolutely nothing. Once we realize that the source of all things is God, and that He has commanded us to be as generous as He is, then we can loosen our grip on our possessions and emotions and give like He gives. It is only in reflecting His goodness that people can see the goodness of God and His glory in the earth.

Are you making excuses for withholding love, forgiveness, finances, and assistance to those in need? Then you are falling short of the glory of God and that is sin. You are not passing on the generosity that God is pouring out upon you. So, loosen up your grip. Look at the Father and His generosity, not the sinner and their ingratitude. Be like the Father is toward you and people will see the glory of God. They may take advantage of it, but that is not your concern. Yes, use wisdom, but don't justify refusing to do good. Sons are to resemble their Father.

Consider: God wants you to be like Him in your realm of influence today.