May 4

Judges 7:13-14 (NIV) 13Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. "I had a dream," he was saying. "A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed." 14His friend responded, "This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands."

Gideon was still uncertain about taking this vast army with just 300 men. The Lord had appeared to him, consumed his offering, made the fleece dry and the ground wet, the ground dry and the fleece wet, but still he needed more reassurance. Remember this is the guy that the Angel of the LORD called a mighty warrior. Finally, God told him to go down and listen to the conversations in the tents. He snuck into the Midianite camp and heard the above story. Some people call that a coincidence. I call it a "Godincidence". If God is the God of all, the things I hear and the situations I run across are from His hand, then I need to recognize them as such.

Finally Gideon had the confidence that God was in this. Don't be discouraged if you need extra assurance that God is in something. He is more than able to show you He is. Just be sure you are open to "Godincidences" revealing His will. Once you know it, don't make excuses, act.

The LORD went ahead of Gideon and prepared the way for the victory God was about to bring. He goes ahead of you, too, when you are walking in His will and following His leading. Trust and do not fear.

Consider: God is in the details of your life to encourage and guide you.

May 4

Luke 7:45-47 (NIV) 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

A Pharisee named Simon invited Jesus to dinner. Since the Pharisees were at odds with Jesus, Simon was really sticking his neck out to do this. Dinner was a time of conversation with friends, but Simon still held back many of the customary greetings for true friends. He did not wash the feet of his guest, give a kiss of greeting, or provide oil for his face.

A woman of ill repute, who had realized the forgiveness that Christ offered, came into the house uninvited. She washed Jesus' feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. She kissed His feet and poured perfume on them. Simon began to think that he had made a mistake in inviting Jesus. What holy person would let a woman of her reputation touch them?

Jesus shared a parable about men who were forgiven, one for a small debt and the other for a large debt. Jesus asked Simon who would be most grateful. He realized the one with the larger debt would, of course, be more grateful. Jesus had shown Simon that he was misinterpreting both the woman's heart and Jesus' receptivity to her. Then Jesus pointed out that she had done the things he refused to do. Simon would not love Jesus as much as she did, for he did not realize the depth of his sin debt as she did. Do you?

The one who is forgiven much, loves much. As you open yourself to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, you see the real ugliness of the old nature. The greater your understanding of your depravity, the more you will love Jesus for the forgiveness that only He could bring. Even Christians, because of the pain, often avoid the light of conviction. It should be welcome to those who desire to love Him more.

Consider: Have I been welcoming the light of conviction?