Friday, November 22, 2013

BLAMELESS By David Ritter

God always seems to get my attention at the most unorthodox time...during the middle of the night!  It’s a sad indictment against us when we get so consumed with our daily affairs that we don’t “tune-in” to listen to the voice of the Lord during our waking hours. And I’m guilty!  I will often awaken in the middle of the night with a phrase emblazoned on my mind; and even though it may not make sense at the time, I have found that when this happens, God is speaking His word to minister to me.   In Job 33:14, we are told that God speaks to men in the night, to cause them to change their minds, turning them from sin, and keeping them from pride and from falling into some trap.  I know that I need God to speak to me and to protect me from sin and myself.   

Just a few weeks ago, I was awakened at 3:00 a.m. with the phrase, “The answer is on page 248.”  I wrote it down and didn’t look at it until the next day.  When I saw the note that morning, I reached for the closest book near my bed, which was my “Praise and Worship Study Bible.” I immediately turned to page 248, and there in bold print were the words, “You must be blameless before the Lord,” Deuteronomy 18:13.  I knew exactly what the Lord was saying and it wasn’t just for me, but rather, for all of us.  We have all been given a trust from the Lord with our areas of ministry, and God expects us to be faithful...not only in attendance, but with our hearts and with worship that is in “Spirit and in Truth.”  And Spirit/Truth worship can only happen when we recognize our sinful nature, ask for God’s forgiveness, and walk humbly before Him. 

Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you what is good and what the Lord requires of act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” 

Acting justly means to walk in righteousness, being morally and spiritually be blameless!  Loving mercy is showing compassion, and walking humbly is simply recognizing we are nothing without God’s help, and that we daily need his forgiveness.   Since God gave us our gifts in the first place, we have nothing with which we can impress Him, except by acting just, loving mercy, and walking humbly... being blameless in God’s eyes.  

May our heart be to seek God’s attention for our lives, and may we all be found innocent and above reproach...blameless before the Lord!  

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Judges 6:1-12  Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites.  2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds.  3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.  4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys.  5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it.  6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the LORD for help. 7 When the Israelites cried to the LORD because of Midian,  8 he sent them a prophet, who said, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I brought you up out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  9 I snatched you from the power of Egypt and from the hand of all your oppressors. I drove them from before you and gave you their land.  10 I said to you, ‘I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you live.’ But you have not listened to me.”  11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.  12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”

The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night recently with the verses, Judges 6:1-12, emblazoned on my mind.  The premise of this section of the Old Testament is how the Lord reminded Israel how He brought them out of slavery and gave them a promised land, yet they still turned to other gods.  The 12th verse is especially poignant...the Lord appeared to Gideon saying, “The Lord is with you mighty warrior,” which Gideon found it difficult to accept.

            This message to Gideon is a clear statement of consecration for today’s Christians:
             1.  Remember from whence you've come! (He has brought us out of darkness.)  (Verse 8)
              2.  Remember all the things He’s done!  (He cleansed us by His blood.)  (Verse 9)
              3.  Remember the Lord your God is one!  (God is calling us to separate ourselves apart for Him.) (Verse 10)
The call is for consecration, to put aside the things that hold us back from lifestyle worship: endless pursuit of pleasures, along with unhealthy relationships, television, videos, music and books that do not glorify Jesus Christ. I believe God’s heart is that we separate ourselves from the gods of this world.  Until we make a concerted effort to remember these 3 things, we cannot know the fullness of His presence.  As it was with Gideon, may the Lord approach each of us as “Mighty Warriors” and declare, “The Lord is with you!” AMEN!