Judges 2:10

"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel."

Even those with limited Bible knowledge have heard of the book of Judges. Such picturesque stories as victories won through Ehud, Samson, and the likes of Deborah are all vivid accounts of the cyclical history of the book. Israel truly did exemplify the very last verse of the book, "In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes." The cycle would begin with sin, then move to the judgment of God, then the cry of Israel for deliverance, then the grace of our God to provide victory through a judge.

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For most people, there is an awe and respect for the sacrifice and service of a soldier. In God's Word, there are several references to God Himself in military terms as well as the saint of God as a soldier for Christ. Particularly, 2 Timothy chapter 2 speaks of enduring hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. If we focus on the beginning and conclusion of this segment, we see the instruction to endure as a good soldier and then the results from it.

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We live in a culture that is endeavoring to abolish distinctions that God has established. This is obvious on many fronts: the definition of life, the definition of marriage, gender classifications, and many other moral inconsistencies. As we endeavor to shine as lights in a dark world, it has become increasingly clear that we have become a moral minority, fringing upon irrelevance, from the world's perspective, to our own national culture. What's more, in a culture like what ours is becoming, fear can begin to paralyze us into silent gospel proclamation. Our thinking, our philosophy, our theology have become obtuse to the people we live next door to, work with, or shop with. If we allow it, this contrast can freeze our witness and deaden our desire to proclaim Christ.

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The Problem

The Bible records the first miracle that Jesus Christ ever performed in the gospel of John, chapter 2. Jesus and His disciples were invited to a wedding where Christ's mother, Mary, was attending. Mary came to her Son with a big problem ... THE WINE WAS ALL GONE! This was much different than when we run out of tea and lemonade at a church activity today. In Jesus' time, hospitality and service of guests was not only an honor, but a great responsibility to be kept at all costs. If the wine truly was out and none could be found, then this newlywed couple and their families would carry this embarrassment with them for the rest of their lives. The problem was a simple one. The consequences, however, were extremely heavy.

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Philippians 2:25-30; 4:18

The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had a habit of highlighting the ministry of believers unknown to us except for his reference. Whole chapters of some of his epistles are given to listing the faithful co-laborers with him in the gospel. Many of them were paid the highest compliments by a grateful messenger of Jesus Christ. I am convinced that the Lord wanted us to know that God was faithful to remember the ministry of those who would otherwise have been forgotten.

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