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.  

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.

Grace. Wow. Amazing.

Grace. What come to mind when you hear that word?

I have an Aunt Grace.

When I was younger, I was not graceful in my athletics.

Ice skaters are full of grace.

God’s grace is greater than our sin.

Grace…

For more context, click here for last week’s post.

We see how Jesus makes an exchange for us.

He takes the sin and gives back to us, life.

In a word, that is grace.

Today, we will explore this biblical idea of grace a little more in depth.


I have chosen Ephesians 2 as a starting point. Here are verses 1-10:

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh a and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” NIV

Grace is used three times here. I think we can, from this passage, identify some aspects of grace.

  1. Grace can save. We cannot earn salvation. God has given His grace so that we could be saved.
  2. Grace can survive. The text says the phrase, “incomparable riches of his grace…” Despite what this world brings, his grace will outlast it.
  3. Grace can supply. Verse 9 says that we are saved by grace. The next verse tells us we are God’s handiwork. I think that God’s grace helps us to do the good works for which we were created.
  4. Grace can suffice. Although not specifically stated here, it is implied that God’s grace is enough for our life.

And to that end, I want to leave you with one more verse. It also comes from the apostle Paul but it is not in Ephesians. II Corinthians 12:9 says it all,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

These are words of Jesus directly to Paul. Click here to read the whole chapter.

God's Grace is More than Just Forgiveness

God’s grace is his favor and favorable inclination towards us. God is extending Himself, reaching forward because He is disposed to bless us.

We do not deserve God’s grace. But we can have this gift anyway.

Can you see that His grace is truly amazing?

Amazing Grace: The Story Behind the Song - YouTube

Grace has a cousin named Mercy. Next week will feature mercy, another one of God’s amazing characteristics.

Gold!!!

Guy walks into a jewelry store and proceeds to steal a gold watch. As he is running away, the store owners yells at him. “AU, that’s not your watch!”

gold watch

If you didn’t get that joke, go back to the periodic table of elements. Find number 79. It should make itself clear at that point. =-)


My last post, Trials and Chocolate, ended with the promise to blog about Gold bars.

According to www.usmint.gov, here are some fun facts about gold:

  • Amount of present gold holdings: 147.3 million ounces.
  • The only gold removed has been very small quantities used to test the purity of gold during regularly scheduled audits. Except for these samples, no gold has been transferred to or from the Depository for many years.
  • The gold is held as an asset of the United States at book value of $42.22 per ounce.
  • Highest gold holdings this century: 649.6 million ounces (December 31, 1941).
  • Size of a standard gold bar: 7 inches x 3 and 5/8 inches x 1 and 3/4 inches.
  • Weight of a standard gold bar: approximately 400 ounces or 27.5 pounds.

Now for the spiritual side of gold.

We are in I Peter, and, if I say so myself, not moving very fast. No problem. It is good to meditate on God’s word. Here is verse 7 of the first chapter:

“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

If I read that correctly, my faith has greater value than gold.

Why do we go through trials and tribulations?

So that our faith can be proven.

Gold is put through fire. It needs the fire to be purified.

By itself, the gold cannot remove any impurities.

This process of refining gold is complicated and multi-faceted. I don’t understand it either. But the basics are worth catching.

Gold can be found on all seven continents. Regardless of where it was mined, the gold coming out of the earth is not yet pure. It has a long way to go before it gets to your fiance’s finger.

Hence, the refining process. The fire of God.

gold refining

For us, that comes in the form of hard times, temptations, or struggles.

God is desiring that the impurities are removed.

When Jesus comes back, our lives will reflect His glory. Or they won’t reflect His glory.

We can choose to rely on God through the trial or we can try to stick it out ourselves. 

Think about that last sentence.

Who are we to say that we know better than the Almighty God?

Who am I to ignore His grace just for a moment of pleasure?

As much as it hurts or is uncomfortable, let the refining process happen.

I know that I am trying.

I want to be super shiny when Christ returns. I will reflect His character, praise, honor, and glory so much more that way!


At some point soon, you will probably see gold. It might be your wedding band. Perhaps a gold crayon. Maybe the sky will provide golden hues.

Let that color remind you of these two things:

  1. God is letting you go through the refining process to become pure.
  2. God will also never let you go through it alone.

gold bullion