Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Preparations


1. Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove[a] to spy secretly, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. 2. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, "Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country."
Joshua 2:1-2, NKJV

Preparations!

As we read through the Old Testament, we see that though God is leading and guiding his people, he often uses ordinary means to accomplish His plans. In Joshua 2, the children of Israel are ready to advance into the Promised Land. First on their agenda is the city of Jericho.

Why did Joshua send spies into the land—particularly into the city of Jericho? Was not it enough for the Israelites, and particularly Joshua, to realize that God, who had brought them safely out of Egypt and through 40 years of wandering in the desert, would deliver them to the land that He had promised to them?

Even more surprising, why did the two spies find refuge with the harlot, Rahab? Again we are reminded that God does not view people with the same eyes or standards that we use. To us, Rahab was a "lesser" citizen. We would have chosen a more worthy person to receive honor and attention from God. God, who sees into the very hearts of people, chose Rahab and her family to find refuge in Him.

In the end, though Joshua spent the spies on a fact-finding mission, God had something else in mind. By His providence, Rahab, and her family would not suffer from the fate that awaited all of the others who lived in Jericho.

Are we aware of God doing the same thing in our lives? Do we ponder those people who come into our lives as being there by the sovereign purpose of God? Are we ready and willing to speak to them of Christ and His great sacrifice? Has God brought them to us so that they, like Rahab, may be grafted into His family?

God, in His great providence, is just as actively involved in all of the details of our lives as He was in Old Testament times. As God's children, we each have a God-ordained purpose for the years we live on this earth.

It is so easy for us to become sidetracked by the alluring temptations of this world. Rather than focusing on our service for God, we are often too busy focusing on obtaining all we can for ourselves. With all of the potential money, power, and success laid out before us, who has time to focus on a ministry for God?

Let us, this day, pray that God would turn our hearts and our lives back to Him. Let us spend the remaining days we have on this earth pointing people to Christ, for He, alone, is our strength, our hope and our joy!

God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Obedience to God

10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 "Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.'"

16 So they answered Joshua, saying, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."


Joshua 1:10-11 and 16-18, NKJV

Obedience to God
 
The time has come! Within three days, the people must be ready to cross the Jordan River. Moses is gone; Joshua is their new leader, and it is time to advance. Don't you love the response of the people to Joshua's command?  "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go."


Oh, that we had such a zealous response to the commandments of God. It is tempting to say that we would gladly respond in such a manner if God's commands were as explicit to us as they were to the children of Israel. Is that a valid point?


No! We have the completed Word of God. Most Christians throughout our world today can get a Bible written in their language. And, for those who are not able to read, organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators now produces audio tapes of the Bible or portions of the Bible. Why, then, do we see such apathy in the church of God?


As we continue in our study of Joshua, we will find that, though the people appeared zealous at the commandments of God, their obedience faltered continually. Even in their very first campaign against Jericho, sin overcame the call to obedience in the life of one Israelite, and the entire nation suffered.


In this, the 21st Century, perfect obedience to the Word of God is continually challenged. Oh how we love the idea of a God of love, but we are must less comfortable with a God of justice. We desire His loving understanding, but take issue when His actions appear unkind or unjustified to us.


In the Old Testament, and particularly in the book of Joshua, we are continually confronted with a just and holy God. The commandment, "Be ye holy; for I am holy." (1 Peter 1:16) applies to believers today just as much as it applied to God's people when commanded in the book of Leviticus. Let us not redefine God, for in doing so we will find ourselves worshiping a false god of our making and not the God of the Bible.


Let us this day, say to God, "All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we sill go." Perfect obedience is not possible on this side of heaven, but by the grace of God, may we find ourselves continually seeking God's help to live faithfully for Him.


God Bless You,
Linda


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Transition


1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying: 2 "Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:1-5 and 9, NKJV


Transition


It was a time of transition. For 40 years, Moses had led the children of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land. Through much difficulty, by the grace of God, Moses faithfully led a sometimes faithful, and sometimes rebellious people. Now, Moses was gone. Though God allowed him to view the land from Mount Pisgah, He did not allow Moses to touch even his feet upon the land. Instead, God chose Joshua to continue as the leader of this people, now more than a million in number.


In nine succinct verses, we are privy to the very words of God spoken to this new leader. After verifying to Joshua that He, the great Creator of all earth, was giving this very land to the children of Israel, He encouraged him with the promise of His help and presence. 


"No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. . . Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD you God is with you wherever you go."


Are these just good moral Biblical stories for us to tell our children, or is there more for us to glean from the book of Joshua? Were these promises of God for Joshua's ears alone? 


In this 21st century, we have so much more than Joshua had, for we have the completed Word of God. Though God may not speak personally to each of us, yet, through His Spirit, He leads and guides us today just as He did Joshua so many centuries before. These words, spoken so long ago to Joshua, are just as applicable to us today. While it is true that we have not been appointed to lead God's people into the Promised Land, yet we have each been appointed to serve Him faithfully.  Using the gifts, abilities, and circumstances, He has given to each of us, we have a job to do.


Even as it was true for Joshua, we can be assured that no man can stay the hand of God. By His grace let us continue to be strong and of good courage, and not allow fear to overcome us. The Lord, our God, is with us wherever we go. He guides, He keeps, He encourages, and He protects us every single day of our lives.


Where are we going? Like the children of Israel, we, too, are headed to the Promised Land, but our Promised Land is an eternal land. The Lord Jesus Christ, even now, is preparing a place for us, When we leave this earth, we will be with the Lord forever!


Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!


God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Introduction to Joshua


This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:8, NKJV

So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had said to Moses; and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. Then the land rested from war.
Joshua 11:23, NKJV

Introduction to Joshua

For the next several weeks and months, I am hoping to do an in-depth study on the book of Joshua. As we see how God worked miraculously for the nation of Israel, so we will see that this same God moves and works on behalf of His people today as well.

The name, Joshua, literally means, "salvation." It is the same name translated "Jesus" is the New Testament. So we see that Joshua is a type of Christ. His name symbolizes the fact that, though he may be the leader of the Israelites, it is the Lord God who is the Conqueror.

Joshua 1:8 is a call to Christians of all ages. Let us faithfully meditate upon the Word of God day and night so that we may understand what is required of us by God. By His grace, may we find ourselves being obedient to His Word in a time when that obedience is ignored by the culture in which we live. Truly that obedience will give us prosperity and success, not necessarily financially, but spiritually.

Though the way was traversed with many difficulties, yet Joshua obeyed God and led the children of Israel into a conquest of the Holy Land. As promised God gave that land as an inheritance to His children, for it truly was a success granted to them by God, and not due to their greatness or military strength.

And so it is in our lives today. To God, alone, goes all the glory for the prosperity and success that we experience in this life. And, if that prosperity and success seem to evade us on this earth, we know that we will certainly obtain it when we reach the courts of Heaven. Then, we will truly have an eternal rest from all war.

As we study this book together, may we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and may His name be glorified above all.

God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Praise God" Video Devotion

"Praise God" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 150, verses 1 through 6. Today we complete an in-depth series of devotions on the Psalms called, "First Love." It is fitting that the Psalms end with this glorious Psalm of praise, calling us to praise God in everything we do and say. We are to praise God when we are in His house of worship, praise Him as we behold His power in all of creation, praise Him for the mighty acts He has done on our behalf, and praise Him for His greatness. We are called to praise Him with musical instruments, with the timbrel and dance, and even on the loud cymbals. Then, not only mankind, but everything that has breath is called to praise the Lord!




God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, October 11, 2015

"Two-edged Sword" Video Devotion

"Two-edged Sword" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 149, verses 5 through 9. As we near the end of our series of devotions, First Love, we come upon a rather interesting section in Psalm 149. We are reminded by the psalmist that the Christian life is a two-fold life, or as the psalmist put it, a two-edged sword. On the one side we saints of the Lord are encouraged to be joyful--singing aloud upon our beds. And why not? Look at the abundant ways God has blessed us. Beginning with salvation itself, God has bought us, through the blood of His only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and God keeps us by His continual watch care over us all of the days of our lives upon this earth. But our Christian life does not end there, for there is another side to the sword.




God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Beautify the Meek" Video Devotion

"Beautify the Meek" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 149, verses 2 through 4. n Psalm 149, the psalmist said that the Lord takes pleasure in His people, and that He will beautify the meek with salvation. What an awesome phrase: beautify the meek with salvation. When you think of it, that is more that we can possibly comprehend. God of all gods, who is higher than the heavens, looks down upon this sinful and lowly generation and points to this person and that person--and beautifies them with salvation. None of us deserves God's hand of grace which plucks us from the fiery brands of sin and plants our feet upon His solid ground of righteousness. There is nothing in us which would make us worthy of God's love and grace, and yet He bestows such blessing upon His children.




God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, October 09, 2015

"New Song" Video Devotion

"New Song" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 149, verse 1. The Psalmist entreats us to praise the LORD and sing a new song. It is interesting to note that music often seems to be the lifeblood of a society. This is so much the case, that each new generation seems to come up with a new sound in music that they claim to be distinctly their own sound. The Psalmist, understanding the value of music even to the depths of our souls, commands us to sing a new song. After all, coming to Christ and living for the Lord demands that old things pass away--everything we do, think, and say, especially as new believers is new! Why not, then, encourage believers to sing a new song as well?




God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, October 08, 2015

"Out of this World" Video Devotion

"Out of this World" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 148, verses 7 through 14. As we finish Psalm 148, we note that the Psalmist continues his great Psalm of praise to the Lord God. Calling the sea creatures, fire, hail, snow, rain, and wind, as well as mountains, hills, trees, beasts, creeping things, and flying fowls, and ending with kings of the earth and all people to praise God, he says, "Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." Being creatures of this earth, we do not often think in God's realm, but His realm is literally out of this world!




God Bless You,
Linda

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

"Creation's Praise" Video Devotion

"Creation's Praise" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 148, verses 1 through 6. It is fitting, as we near the end of this series of devotions called, "First Love," that the Psalmist calls all of creation to praise God. We do not often think about creation's praise to God, but we are reminded that not only do the angels praise God, but so do the sun, moon, stars, heaven of heavens, and even the waters above the heavens. We think of praise as belonging to man, or maybe even men and angels, but we do not think of inanimate things, such as the trees, flowers, and mountains, praising God. Yet they do! Just by their very existence they bring praise to our great Creator who has given us such lavish and extraordinary beauty and abundance.




God Bless You,
Linda

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

"Showed His Word" Video Devotion

"Showed His Word" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 19 and 20. Tucked in these last few verses of Psalm 147 are some rather profound thoughts! The Psalmist tells us that God showed His Word unto Jacob, His statutes and judgments unto Israel. He then continued to state that God has not done so with any other nation. As a matter of fact, no other nation has known God's judgments. What of those of us who are not of Jewish descent? Since the time of the apostles, God has opened the door of salvation to all nations, for truly there is salvation in none other than in Christ the Lord. As God opens the hearts of people, and they see their need of salvation in Christ, He opens His arms to them. Just as God showed His Word to the ancient Israelites, so does He show His Word to those who become His children today.




God Bless You,
Linda

Monday, October 05, 2015

"Creation's Power" Video Devotion

"Creation's Power" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 15 through 18. Who is a God like unto our God, where creation's power is manifest again and again. What is man in the face of God, for man has no power over God's creation. Yet God just speaks and creation obeys His will! The Psalmist, in these verses from Psalm 147, marvels at God's amazing hand upon this world He has created. God sends forth His commandment upon the earth, and His the entire earth quickly responds. God sends the show, scatters the hoarfrost, and sends blasts of ice that none can withstand. Just as quickly, at His word the snow and ice melt, the wind blows, and the waters flow.




God Bless You,
Linda

Sunday, October 04, 2015

"Finest of Wheat" Video Devotion

"Finest of Wheat" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 12 through 14. As we draw near to the end of this series of devotions called "First Love," we are reminded again by the Psalmist that all of our blessings, all of the good things of this earth, even the finest of wheat are all blessings given to us by the Lord. As believers, we know that is true, but often we become so used to the good things of this earth, the peace within our borders, and the best this world has to offer that we tend to take them for granted. Even worse, we think we deserve the good things we have because of our own efforts, diligence, or goodness.




God Bless You,
Linda

Saturday, October 03, 2015

"He Delights" Video Devotion

"He Delights" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 10 and 11. It is obvious that we do not love or delight in the same things that God loves or delights in. We, as the Psalmist states, would delight in the strength of the horse (or in our day, the horsepower of our cars or trucks), as well as a handsome man or a beautiful woman. As a matter of fact, outward beauty almost takes precedence over all other things, with riches coming in as a very close second, when trying to determine the worth of a fellow human being. Obviously we have our priorities in the wrong place! Yet God is not like man. He delights or takes pleasure in those that fear Him--in those that hope in His mercy. Just take a moment and ponder that thought. If you are a believer, then God delights in you!




God Bless You,
Linda

Friday, October 02, 2015

"Sing unto the Lord" Video Devotion

"Sing unto the Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 7 through 9. Have you ever thought about what a great blessing it is to be able to sing? What an awesome way to express our emotions. Not only do we get to enjoy music, but we can add a whole new depth of meaning with the lyrics. The birds can sing, and many have truly stunningly beautiful songs, yet each is limited by its own God-given song. We, however, are not limited. As we lift our voices in praise, whether alone or in a large congregation, the result is truly awe inspiriting. Can you imagine the joy we will experience when we hear the angels sing? The heavenly chorus we will hear will be unlike anything ever heard or even imagined on this earth.




God Bless You,
Linda

Thursday, October 01, 2015

"The Lord" Video Devotion

"The Lord" is the title of this KJV video devotion from Psalm 147, verses 2 through 6. Who is this glorious and wondrous God we serve? The Psalmist pours out his praise reminding us of who God is and what He does for His people. Indeed, who is like unto our God? There is none other like Him; in Him we have perfect peace and trust for His strength and wisdom are infinite. We have every confidence that we may go to Him, for He never leaves nor forsakes His children.




God Bless You,
Linda