Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 17, 2018

Learning From Others — We Have Met the Enemy!

Day 3008: Saturday and Sunday – a great two day combo!!! God2me has been taking Sunday off for quite awhile now!

Scripture: That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Numbers 14:1-3a

Thoughts/questions: it’s tough to get a large group to be unanimous about anything, but the Israelis were united in their whining and complaining and blaming God. When the realization came that the Canaanites were an impressive enemy to conquer, they met the real enemy – themselves!

I’ve found that I am more similar to them than I wish I were. The external obstacles are not as insurmountable as me! How about you? Self doubt, fear, lack of confidence, overcoming that personal thorn in your side; those negative thought patterns – all combine to make all of us have a potentially destructive enemy – ourselves.

So how do we defeat this foe? The old comic strip character Pogo stated, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” So we know our enemy, now what? My recommendation is these 3 steps. 1) in prayer, die to self; 2) commit to allowing Christ to live through you; and 3) have this verse memorized when self begins to take over – I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2:20a

These 3 steps may need to be repeated daily for awhile, but when it becomes our habit, the enemy of self WILL be defeated!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Jesus, may I die to self and let You live through me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 16, 2018

Personal Sharing — I Can Only Imagine!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 15, 2018

Learning From Others — Depends What Is Is!

Day 3006: Jesus loves me this I know!

Scripture:  Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”  But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  Numbers 13:30

Thoughts/questions: Small two letter words should be easily understood, but ex U.S. president Bill Clinton struggled with the definition of the word ‘is.’ In today’s comment from Caleb, there is another two letter word whose definition can make a big difference in the meaning of what Caleb said – WE!

It is like the well known Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and how it changes depending on the emphasis. Is it on the words I and me, or must the focus shift to ‘through Christ?’ Quite a difference! So what does Caleb’s use of the word ‘we’ mean?

Most of the spies believed the enemy too strong and said that ‘we’ can’t do it, but Caleb’s we was different! Many people name their child Caleb and part of the reason is because his ‘we’ included God! He knew the Israelis weren’t a match for the Canaanites, but with God ”we can certainly do it.”

Face life alone or face life with God having your back, front, and sides? The choice seems obvious, but sometimes we choose to go it alone. Hasn’t worked well for me. Today is a good day to re-commit to never going it alone, but every day partnering with God and facing the world as a ‘WE!!!’

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, may I walk beside You every day of my life . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 14, 2018

Learning From Others — Practical But . . .

Day 3005: Some rain coming to CA – thankful but cautious with possible flooding.

Scripture: When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” Numbers 13:17-20

Thoughts/questions: Moses was a great leader and gave comprehensive instructions to the spies. However, something was missing! When they returned, most of the spies responded to his requests, but two went one step further.

Maybe their lack of faith began with Moses. His instructions, though practical, forgot to include any indication to the spies that they should also be attempting to discern what God was saying to them regarding Canaan. It was all about the natural, even though God had been supernaturally working with the Israelis for some time.

Moses didn’t acknowledge what II Corinthians 3:5 tells us about our lives: Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. Do we do the same? Or do we live knowing our partnership with God is what makes it work. Without Him, . . .  anything could happen.

May we always recognize how vital God’s involvement is!

Suggested Prayer: Father God, without You, I am nothing . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 13, 2018

Learning From Others — A Great Example!

Day 3004: My wife reminded me and I agree with her that when I use examples I learn from others, I should credit the source! Yesterday’s post was inspired by my pastor, David Hutsko, during his sermon Sunday.

Scripture: Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.    (God speaking) “But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house.” Numbers 12:3 and 7

Thoughts/questions: How would God speak about you or me? First, if we’re humble, that’s a great start as God gives grace to the humble, but is opposed to the proud. Being faithful would also merit a positive comment or two.

Moses was extremely humble and very faithful. A great example to follow! So if we would like God to speak highly of us as he did to Miriam and Aaron who were speaking against Moses, then increasing our faithfulness and decreasing our pride should work!

How are you doing with theses qualities? Pride or an excessive concern of the well being of self taking over? Not always following through on your word – especially in small things? These two are important to God and should be important to us! Let’s all do better!

Be humble! Be faithful!

Suggested Prayer: Dear Lord, may these two attributes consistently characterize my life . . . 

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 12, 2018

Personal Sharing — Intentional or Automatic!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 10, 2018

Learning From Others — Bestow a Blessing!

Day 3002: Doing a Memorial service today. Would appreciate prayers!

Scripture:  May the Lord bless you and keep you;  may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Thoughts/questions: These verses contain what God told Moses in regards to blessing the Israeli people. Blessings were a common thing then – not so common now. However, what was once Greek to me is now a meaningful expression I can easily give to someone and you can too!

How about if you only have to add 2 words and change a name to a pronoun? That’s it! When you already praying for someone, to bless them you speak to them not pray about them, add ‘May the’ at the start, and then replace their name with the proper pronoun.

Here is a prayer (blessing) for Julie who is facing surgery. The blessing is in parenthesis! ‘(May the) Lord give Julie (you) healing during her (your) surgery, and (may the) Lord grant Julie (you) peace throughout her (your) recovery.’  Anyone you are currently praying for can be blessed by this simple change in wording!

Is it different than praying for them? Yes! Instead of requesting and not being in Julie’s presence, you are speaking God’s perspective into her life while looking at her and preferably touching her! That’s a blessing! You can do it – with your family or anyone you  might be praying for! Let’s bring giving a blessing back into our lives! It will unite you to the person you are blessing like few things can!

Try it! You’ll definitely like it!

Your blessing: May the Lord encourage you to bless others and may the Lord give you confidence that you can bestow a blessing . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 9, 2018

Learning From Others — From God!

Day 3001: Seek first the kingdom of God! Everything else is secondary . . .

Scripture:  (God giving the laws to Israel) ‘If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. Leviticus 25:39 – 41

Thoughts/questions: The book of Leviticus has few characters to learn from and is filled with laws, so I though we could learn a bit from at least one of the laws God instituted!

The poor! By definition they will always be with us as whatever economy you’re in, the list goes from rich to poor. What one country thinks is poor, another might think them to be fairly rich. but how do we treat those who are poor within our respective cultures?

Although the specifics might vary, God says treat them well; do not take advantage of them; and give them every opportunity to start over! Monthly, I speak at a local People’s Kitchen and get to interact with some less fortunate. Sure, some of them arrive drunk and are not appreciative, yet so many have just fallen on hard times and are seeking after God!

We can’t help everyone, but we should be helping someone! Ask Holy Spirit to guide you in this as you seek to treat the poor as God would treat them!

Suggested prayer: Father God, may my heart become like Your heart . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 8, 2018

Personal Sharing — Because of You!!!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | March 7, 2018

Personal Sharing — Lesson Learned!?

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