A Few of My Favorites!

Over the next few weeks, I am going to re-post some of my favorite posts.

I am spending my mental energy on a bigger project right now.

So for today, enjoy A Winepress and a Warrior!


A Winepress and a Warrior

POSTED ON  BY TIM SORBO

This post is a continuation of some Old Testament people. Click on Abraham or Joseph to read the other two Old Testament posts.

Gideon. As with most of these people, their stories are filled with crazy, supernatural stuff. Angels visiting, people testing God, battles begin fought. It all seems unreal to me. But yet it is real. And that is what strikes me. These people, especially Gideon, are normal people. And by normal, I mean normal-every-day-average-unremarkable people. 

Just like me.

But before we get to the angel visit, the testing, or the fighting, we find Gideon hiding. 

He was hiding from the enemy. Why? So they would not take his wheat. The enemy of Israel was oppressing Gideon and all of Israel. For seven years this was happening. The first 11 verses of Judges 6 give us the account. It was all the Israelites could do to stay alive. They hid in caves. Their crops and livestock were under constant attack. It was bad. 

But that is what happens when, “Again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord,”. God let the enemy invade and oppress.

Is the enemy of your soul invading and oppressing you? Are you doing evil in the eyes of the Lord? Just a thought.

Back to Gideon. He was in a winepress threshing some wheat. This picture shows an ancient winepress. The next one shows a threshing floor.

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threshing_floor

Note the difference. The threshing floor is an open area where the wind can blow easier (perhaps like the Holy Spirit?) . Gideon was in a winepress. He was trying to thresh the wheat in a secret place. Only fearful people do such things. Wheat was meant to be tossed into the air out in the open. This way, the wind could separate the wheat from the chaff. It is much more difficult if you are hiding in an enclosed space.

But that is what happens when doing evil in the eyes of the Lord. We are meant for one thing but we are doing another. Our actions are secret or hidden instead of being lived out. But if you are discouraged about that, the story is not over. 

Verse 12 shows how God feels about Gideon. Here is the verse, “When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

Boom! Gideon was not a warrior, he was in a winepress! However, God feels differently.


Your surroundings should not dictate your status. Your circumstances do not negate your christianity. Your foes can’t take away your faith.

Gideon needed a supernatural reminder of his position. I think that you and I could use reminders now and again, don’t you?

Well consider this your reminder. God created you. You are a mighty warrior! Get out of your winepress and get to the business of God.  

One of 2 things…

Plans change. Sounds like life, doesn’t it?

If you read my post form last Tuesday, you would not be expecting any new content today.

Plans change.

Here is a link for last week so you can catch up. Summer break!

My original plan was to not post anything new until September. I wanted to focus more on a novel I am trying to write.

Plans change.

A thought came to mind while I was reading a book. I try to do this on a regular basis.

The book is entitled 33 A.D. It is the second of two in a series.

Ted Dekker, the author, blends the life of Jesus into a fictional story. I am almost done with the second book. They are really engaging and thought-provoking.

There are no spoilers here just some praise for a good read.

There is one section that describes the scene at the Garden of Gethsemane. The night before the crucifixion, Jesus and his disciples go to the garden after the last supper.

Two things take place.

  1. Jesus wept. (Luke 22)

Jesus went to God with his pain, concern, anxiety, and troubles. He knew that he was destined to be killed.

But his flesh did not want it to happen. After all, he was fully human as well as fully God.

2. Peter slept. (Luke 22)

He was tired. Maybe he was trying to stay awake but he failed. We know that later that night, he denied Jesus.

His flesh was also pulling on his mind. And he yielded to it.


When we choose to be like Jesus, we become adept at getting through trials.

If we behave like Peter, we stay inept while being tempted.

Isn’t it nice how those four words rhyme?

Jesus wept and in doing so, became adept at overcoming temptation.

Peter slept and in doing so, was inept to fighting the temptation.


We all have Gethsemane moments in our lives. Sometimes daily.

One of 2 things is happening: sleeping or weeping.

Which one are you doing?

The Ultimate Vaccine

Grace and mercy are fun attributes to study. Saying that God is graceful just feels good.

His mercies are new every morning. Good thoughts but even better theology.

We love to think about the positive characteristics of God.

He loves us.

Grace and mercy are right along side that love.

What about His faithfulness or kindness?

What about holiness? Surely this trait is no less important that any of the others?

I Peter 1:16 “For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” ” NIV

Peter is quoting Leviticus 11:44-45.

Here are those verses:

44I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground. 45I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” NIV

So why does Peter quote these verses? They speak to the dietary restrictions God has originally placed on the Israelites. Does that apply to me? Today?

God is different than we are. I really didn’t even need to type that sentence. Of course He is!

And that is the point. God is holy.

The Holiness of God | God Speaks I Listen

In a word, holy means seperate.

God is separate from us. The impurity of sin does not come in contact with God because He is separate, or holy.

He is the ultimate vaccine!


Because God is holy, He and sin cannot abide in the same space at the same time.

When you turn on the light switch, the darkness goes away. The light is holy, separated from the dark.

Now, add in grace and mercy. Because God also has these traits, He desires a relationship with us.

His love compels Him to restore relationship with us.

His holiness (and our sin) prevents Him to be with us.

His grace provides a solution to sin.

His mercy envelops us back to Him.

They all work together.

We can holy like God (as Peter was encouraging us to do).

All because God is who He is!

30 Bible verses about God, Holiness Of

Accepting Jesus into our lives is the key.

Our very life depends on it.

Take all of these traits of God and let them roll around in your mind for a while.

God might just be calling you.

God bless you.

Rich in Mercy

Awful.

Conceited.

Mean.

Boastful.

Ugly.

Jealous.

Depraved.

Proud.

Terrible.

__________ (insert a negative description here)

In a word, Sinful.

Who am I describing? That would be us. You and I.

We are messed up.

There is nothing in us that would attract God to us.

We don’t deserve anything good. Not even the air we breath.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,…”

Rich in mercy. It flows from Him.

We get what we don’t deserve because God loves us.

Because of His love, we can have a restored relationship with Him.

He made the step toward us.

When you are at your worst point, His love reaches.

When the only pillow you have is found at rock bottom, His love reaches.

When you’ve just committed that same sin again, His love reaches.

When you have wounded those who are close to you, His love reaches.

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,…”

God's Far-reaching Mercy

So, if God’s grace and mercy are cousins, how is His holiness related?

Find out next week.

But for now, soak up the mercy He has for you.

Cloaks made for Jesus, not Jedi Knights.

Happy Star Wars Day! I am a nerd. Wore my Star Wars socks today. Fun times!

And, since I can’t think of a good segue into my post, here we go!


A long time ago, in Galilee, far far away…

There lived a man. His name was Jesus. And he came to save the world. He was the only person that could even bring the possibility of passing the sin test.

You and I could not even have any chance at passing this test. It was completely out of our reach. And there was nothing we could do about it.

Recalling back to last week, I spoke on the subject of tests, specifically the COVID test and the sin test.

Here is the last line of that post:

“Over the next two or three weeks, I will explore this idea of ‘testing negative for sin”.

Ideas like righteousness, salvation, grace, and hope.”

Click here to read the whole post.


Remember taking tests in school? Did you have a favorite type?

Multiple choice or fill-in-the blank?

True/False or Essay?

Short answer or Matching?

How about the bubble tests?

The sin test is different than all of those. It is a pass or fail test. You don’t fill in blanks or circles or write an essay. There is no matching word banks or T/F questions.

You either have it in you to pass…or you don’t.

What is it, referring to that last sentence? In a word, righteousness.

There are multiple verses in both the New and Old Testament scriptures that explain the righteousness of God and how we obtain it.

I am only going to share 2 today.

In the Old Testament, Isaiah 53:6 and from the New Testament, II Corinthians 5:21

Is 53:6, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.” NIV

II Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

If we look at these verses, there is a similarity. Isaiah says that our iniquity was “laid on him”. Its as if our sin, guilt, and punishment of sin were a great cloak. It was heavy and cumbersome so we shrugged it off and turned away from God. So, God being loving and holy, picked up the discarded cloak and laid it on His son, Jesus, while he was on that cross.

Now compare that to the N.T passage.

Jesus became sin so we could become righteous. We emerged or transitioned out of a sinful state into something that now, God would approve of. Again, we sloughed off that old, sinful cloak for a new, righteous one. Jesus took the old one to the cross with him.

In both examples, we see an exchange.

We start with the sin and end with righteousness.

Jesus is the opposite. He starts pure and free from sin but ends up taking our sin.

God is holy and just. He cannot abide sin. He hates it. He can’t even look at it.

But He also loves us!

So making Jesus take our sin was the only way he could be holy and just and loving at the same time!

So, in light of the sin test, do you see how we would fail 100% of the time?

But Jesus makes it all possible for us to pass!

For our part, we need to accept his gift and live for him.

Our salvation motivates us to love others and do good works.

We love because He first loved us.

See you next week for a post about grace.

And yes, it is amazing!