Pastor Stephen Dedman

The Lord Is With You

The Lord Is With You

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him (Gideon) and said to him, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valor.
‭‭Judges‬ ‭6:12

Mighty Man of What?

At first Gideon was not a man of valor (courage), he was weak and cowardly.  In fact, he was the smallest and youngest of his family and would be the least of many to be called a warrior.  What’s ironic about this passage of Scripture is the angel spoke these words to Gideon while he was underground hiding in fear of the Midianites robbing and killing him. But God had something special in store for Gideon.

God called upon Gideon to rise up when the Israelites finally cried out to the Lord for help after suffering seven years of punishment for worshipping Baal.  It wasn’t long after the Israelites were living comfortably in the Promise Land that they turned their back on God and broke the First Commandment.  Now it was time for Gideon to be the man God was going to use to save the Israelites from the Midianites.

Gideon led an army of 300 Israelites into victory by blowing trumpets, smashing clay pots, holding up torches and raising their voices (Judges 7:20).  The Midianites were defeated and Gideon never had to raise the first sword.

Gideon is a great example of God using the least of many to do great and wonderful things.  No matter your position or calling you are someone God wants to use.  He wants to use the ordinary to do extraordinary things to show His mightiness.  Never underestimate your usefulness because God wants to do amazing things through you.


Pray for God to use your life to show others what a mighty God you serve.

The Blessing of Forgiveness

‍The Blessing of Forgiveness

And he (prodigal son) arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20‬

The Prodigal Son’s Father

Isn’t the response of the prodigal son’s father truly amazing?  He had so much compassion for his son and was so happy when he finally returned home.  Although, this joyous occasion was not what the son had expected to receive.  According to jewish customs the son knew that he would never be accepted back as part of the family but could return as a hired servant. Boy was he surprised!

As Jesus spoke this parable to the religious leaders (the Pharisees and Scribes), an intriguing aspect would have to be considered for the fact that the father ran to meet his son.  A first-century Middle Eastern man would never run.  Running would have caused him to pull up his tunic (so he wouldn’t trip and fall) and expose his bare legs.  This would have been embarrassing and degrading to a mature man.  However, the Scripture says, he ran!

The motivation behind the father’s shameful demonstration reveals an important truth.  The father ran to meet his son before anyone else could reject or insult him for his disgraceful sins.  Also because the father ran, it would have caused a disturbing scene.  The people watching would have noticed the emotional reunion and accepted the son back as well.  Only the father could restore the son back into a right relationship with the family.

God, the Father, accepted the shame of our sins through His Son, Jesus.  As Jesus endured the cross, the wages of sin was satisfied through His death.  As a result, we are restored and reunited with God in an eternal relationship.  No matter what we do or how far we stray, God runs to embrace His children with loving arms.  We are forgiven!  Isn’t God’s forgiveness a blessing?


Pray and confess your sins so that you will experience the blessing of forgiveness just as the prodigal son did.