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The Thread of Life – Part 12 (Relationship)
August 8, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 12 (Relationship)

August 8, 2021

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Catch up on our series HERE


The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

Part 12


Good morning & welcome to Jesus Church

In the middle of a series walking through the Bible

  • Our desire as a Church is 2 know God/Conform to image of His son
    • No better way to do that than by knowing the Bible
    • Reason I say “Know” is because we need to KNOW God
    • We need to KNOW his character… his heart… his intentions
  • That happens by KNOWING how he pursued us from the beginning
    • That from beginning to end God has never stopped loving us
      • Created marriage: To show the world relationship w/ Him
      • Created Israel: To show the world relationship w/ Him
      • Created Church: To show the world relationship w/ Him
    • He desires so much 4 us to see his love… and receive that gift
      • A gift in Jesus that is 4 you/kids/friends/enemies
      • But not everyone chooses to open gift that is given

Jn 3:16-17,21 (NIV)

For God so loved the world that He gave his only son that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. talks about how people chose darkness over light… retelling of story of Jesus) But whoever lives in the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

    • God shows us all this in Bible – Endless pursuit of love (why)
      • So we would receive this salvation in Jesus
      • And in carrying out truth – Move from darkness to light

This is the power of “KNOWING” the Bible

So we started in Genesis and the fall

  • Adam & Eve were tempted by Devil… who did 3 things
    • He questioned God’s Words
    • He questioned God’s Love
    • He questioned the very nature of good & evil
  • And the enemies goal is to get u to trust in yourself instead of God
    • To reject God’s plan for your best life
    • And just do what FEELS RIGHT to you
    • But that’s what we call sin… and sin leads to death

Next was Job – And the problem of Evil (Week 4)

  • Why do bad things happen to good people…
    • In the Lord’s Prayer we get some insight to this

Matt. 6:10

You kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Which means that while in heaven God’s will is always done
      • On Earth that is not always the case
      • It will be one day when Jesus returns
      • But right now we pray for God’s will

Then we went through Moses and the Exodus… Last 2 weeks on Joshua

  • Last week we saw God’s miracle in spite of Joshua’s mistake
    • Joshua prays impossible prayer…
    • Even though he doesn’t deserve it… God answers him
  • Never let the enemy say: You did this… so you can’t pray for help
    • Even if you messed up your marriage – Pray God will save it
    • Even if you messed up your finances – Pray God will redeem it
  • B/C u have never been worthy on ur own
    • But through Jesus you can come boldly to the throne of grace


This week we move ahead to the book of Judges

After Joshua dies… Israel is inhabiting the promised land

  • But they disobeyed God and allowed others to stay in the land
    • And more importantly… allowed their false gods to stay as well
    • So over and over God’s people are dawn to these false gods
    • Which leads to their destruction
  • But then they would cry out to God… And God would send a JUDGE
    • Judge was part leader/general/prophet
    • There were 12 judges throughout this time period
      • Interesting even 1 is a woman (Leader and God’s prophet)
  • But like all of us… these judges are all human, have flaws
    • Which just shows how real the Bible is… no one on a pedestal
    • Most well known of these judges was Samson
    • But the one that is written about the most is actually Gideon


Story: Monday I officially became father of a Jr Higher

Blows my mind… I remember when Joey was in diapers (Pic 1&2)

  • Miss those days… but remember the exhaustion of those days too
    • Many of you know how that feel right now
    • B/C babies don’t always like to sleep much… but love to cry
    • Which means we don’t sleep and we got to cry
  • And what you learn when these little creatures come into ur world
    • They are just 100% needy
    • Don’t give back much at all except dirty diapers (and cuteness)
    • So your world revolves around that little human
  • And after a little time… babies get more independent
    • They entertain themselves for 5 minutes – feels like eternity
    • And as they grow… learn to communicate outside of screaming
    • They learn to wave there hands… fake jump… make nice noises
      • It’s not crying – Just I’m done with my alone time
      • Your world needs to revolve around me again

When Joey did that… I don’t care what I was doing – Attention to Joey

  • I’m on the phone with you… sorry that’s over
    • And that’s what we sign up for – It’s a baby
    • World revolves around them… they set terms of relationship
  • Now I have a Jr. Higher… he no longer waves his arms for attention
    • If he was still acting like that – That would be a problem
    • Love him… Be there for him… but seriously go clean your room
  • And that’s not mean – It’s the loving thing to do
    • Because the transition from baby to teenager is healthy
    • And he needs to learn the world doesn’t revolve around him

In any relationship… world doesn’t revolve around any of us all the time

  • And if u have been around people who haven’t learned that lesson
    • They are very difficult to be around
    • And we all at times fall back into baby mentality
    • But that’s not somewhere we can stay
  • We have to mature out of the baby mindset to an adult mindset
    • Which is a two way street…
    • Sometimes I get what I want
    • But other times it’s the opposite way – I don’t get what I want
      • It’s called marriage… roommates… friends
      • The world doesn’t revolve around you OR them
      • And we have 2 get there…. Those are healthy relationships

What’s interesting: We get this w/ adult relationships

But there’s 1 relationship where we revert back to a baby mindset

  • That’s in our relationship with God
    • Many have the mindset that following God has one purpose
      • To make my life go better
      • I invite God into my life so he can do what I want him to do
      • So I can have success, happiness, money, it’s all about me
  • And those are basic terms of the relationship… it’s a baby mindset
    • So when I do this with my hands… and tell God what I want
    • Expect it 2 happen right here… right now… revolve around me

And when it happens… we say YAY GOD! You are so good (and he is)

  • But flip of the coin… how are we when things go unanswered
    • When things fall apart…
      • If my response it to get angry at God… feel betrayed
      • That shows that I believe Gods role in my life
        • Is to make my life go better
        • And if things don’t go better… it must be God’s fault
  • When life falls apart – It exposes our basic assumptions on God
    • And at times we revert back to a baby mindset with God
    • Sometimes God totally accommodates us
      • He answers our prayers/solves our problems
      • And we are supposed to ask for those things… absolutely
      • But it has to happen with the right mindset
  • Because when things don’t get better… prayers aren’t answered
    • Raises the question: Is God still good… is he still faithful

Is it possible when God doesn’t answer how we want

  • That he’s still the same God as when he does solve our problems
    • And in grace uses our situation to build a healthy relationship
    • To show us the point of the relationship isn’t just to do stuff
      • The point is to BE WITH US
  • There are times God will solve ur problems… other times he won’t
    • But He isn’t a Gennie in the Bottle
    • Only to be heard or seen when we need something
    • That is not what relationship with God is
      • It’s a hard lesson to learn… lesson Gideon learns


Turn to Judges 6 – Jump into story

So Israel has walked away from God – Worshiping their neighbors gods

  • And a group of enemies called Midianites keep attacking them
    • Says… B/C Israel did evil, God gave them over to the Midianites
    • And Israel was so scared that they hid in mountain caves
    • Every time they grew/built… Enemies came & destroy it

Jug 6:6

Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help. When the Israelites cried out to the Lord because of Midian, he sent them a prophet…

  • Now (trivia) this is the very first prophet that comes to the people
    • And prophets in the Bible aren’t fortune tellers
    • They’re sorta “covenant guardians”
    • They guard the covenant relationship b/w God and his people
  • They speak on behalf of God to the people
    • To remind them of who God is
    • Who they are supposed to be
    • And the relationship that bonds them together

Jug 6:9-10 (This is what God says in response to His people crying out)

I rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians. And I delivered you from the hand of all your oppressors; I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 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.

  • So that is the response God gives… and the story goes on
    • People cry out to God – God says I told and u didn’t listen
    • Which would be hard to swallow if that was end of the story
    • But its not… because that’s not our God

Jug 6:11

The angel of the Lord came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah (not Oprah) that belonged to Joash the Abizerite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites.

  • This is classic Biblical storytelling
    • You have the epic storyline of nations at war
      • Midian and Israel – Oppression and Desperation
      • And what happens next???
    • Well there’s the character called the Angel of the Lord
      • And he sits under a tree!
      • And its next to a guy who is farming wheat in a wine press
  • And we think… what does that have to do with anything
    • Author is telling us this random story of a tree & farming…
    • Is somehow tied together with the drama of the nations
    • And to figure it out… we have to keep reading
  • So Angel shows up next to no name guy named Giedon
    • Giedon is threshing wheat in a wine press… seems insignificant
    • But to someone reading back then… that would we weird/sad
      • Threshing wheat you pound the kernels and seeds pop out
      • It’s a huge mess – Wind would sweep away all but seeds
    • Having to do this is a wine press… it’s a hole in the ground
      • There would be no wind – So this would be awful
      • But he has to so they don’t see and kill him (constant fear)

Jug 6:12-13

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with u, mighty warrior.”  “Pardon me, my lord” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

So the hardship and suffering of Gideon and his family

  • Exposes his basic assumptions about how he relates to God
    • The angel says “The Lord is with you”
      • Gideon’s response – No he isn’t… not with us at all
      • If God was with us… my life wouldn’t be falling apart
      • If God was with us… I would be happy and in a better place
  • But is that true… is this situation evidence God isn’t there
    • Or could it be the opposite
      • God is with you… when things are good
      • He is just as much with you… when things fall apart
    • B/C the promise in the relationship… he will never leave you
      • Not that he will make every bad thing go away
  • But Gideon’s God right now is a gennie in the bottle
    • If God was with us… he should solve all our problems
    • I would pray to him and he would do whatever I want
    • If he doesn’t… he isn’t with us

So Gideon is taken on a journey where he has to grow up

Jud 6:1416

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you? “Pardon me, my lord”, Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” The Lord answered, “I WILL BE WITH YOU and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in ur eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 

  • And God gives him a sign
    • Gideon prepares this meat and bread and pours broth over it
    • Places it before the Angel of the Lord

Jug 6:21

Then the angel of the Lord touched the meat and the unleavened bread with the tip of the staff that was in his hand. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the Lord disappeared.

  • Gideon asks 4 a sign… and God says ok (you’d think that’s enough)
    • And it is for a moment
    • He goes into his father’s house… sees all these idols
    • Destroys them and makes an altar to The Lord
      • But that doesn’t last…

Jug 6:36-40

Gideon said to God, “IF you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised – look I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand as you said…

  • And we can sympathize with him on this
    • He has doubt in what God says he will do
    • So he says God… do another magic trick for me
    • What’s Gideon doing: Flapping arms saying: Revolve around me
      • But look at what God does

And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day, he squeezed the fleece and wrong out the dew, a bowlful of water.

  • God is like… I’ll pick you up/answer ur pray/give you another sign
    • This is God’s grace in Gideon’s life

Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew. That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.

And by the way… this isn’t a story of how we should relate to God

  • It’s actually a criticism of Gideon’s behavior
    • He has already had a clear promise of what God wants to do
    • And he is full of fear… doubt… confusion
  • And God’s response to all of this is – I’m meeting you where u are
    • I’ll jump through your hoops
    • I’ll do your signs and wonders
    • That’s God’s grace
  • And sometimes in journey God will relate 2 us in that mindset
    • Meets us in our weakness
    • And that is God’s grace… and it’s awesome

And the fact is: This is grace… But God isn’t obligated to do it that way

  • Because he never promised he would do it
    • What He promised was to be with us
    • So if the tables get turned… isn’t God just harder times

Tag: So lets keep reading…

Jug 7:1-2

Early in the morning, Gideon and all his men camped at the spring of Harod. The camp of Midian was north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, “My own strength has saved me”.

  • So God right here weeds out 22 thousand warriors… that’s not fun
    • But that’s not enough… God says still too many
    • God tells Gideon to get rid of another 9700 warriors
    • So Gideon starts with 32,000 soldiers… ends up with 300
      • Against Midianites… Amalikites… all other eastern people
  • What in the world is happening here…
    • Gideon was testing relationship (flapping arms… be my gennie)
      • God is meets him there in that moment. It’s His grace
    • But now God is growing that relationship
      • And Gideon is forced to grow up from the baby mindset
      • Because it wasn’t healthy for Gideon to stay where he was
      • This relationship can and should be more that this

Is it possible where Gideon finds himself… 300 against many armies

  • Is the most gracious thing that God ever did in Gideons life
    • Because it forces Gideon to see doesn’t have to be in control
    • What he wants isn’t the end all be all
    • And it shatters the illusion that the world revolves around him
  • And if the battle is gonna be won… it’s not by u crying like a baby
    • Saying: God if you don’t do this – I don’t believe in you anymore

And the story ends – With these 300 God gives Gideon victory

  • In fact the 300 never even have to draw a sword to win the battle
    • They do it with trumpets and clay pots with fire in them
  • But the point is in this story God forces Gideon to grow up
    • And that is an act of God’s grace
    • It’s not God being absent or mean or cruel
  • If we think God biggest priority should be doing everything I want
    • That’s a baby mindset

And that isn’t God biggest priority

  • God’s biggest priority is to shape us into mature followers of Christ
    • Who have deep roots of character/hope/virtue/grace/love
      • I think that’s Gods biggest priority
    • And that is why he promises to be with us
      • Not to be a gennie in the bottle
      • So God is in both the provision and the trial

This will hit us all differently – Based on season of life

Some of us… we are with Gideon watching our entire army go home

  • And we can’t believe this is happening
    • Because its hard… its scary… it even seems illogical
    • I had a sure thing – and now I have nothing
  • Some of us are in chapter 6 – God is just walking us through

And the point of all of it… wherever you are at – Recognize God’s grace

  • Recognize that in all of it – God will be with you (Relationship)
    • And look for how he is teaching you… shaping u more like Jesus
    • B/C in everything God does… He is pointing us to himself
  • Through Jesus who came not to solve all our problems
    • But to reconcile us back to himself
    • To be with us


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