Joshua

Seeds & Gates

This week’s readings:

Day #:

Week #:

Bible Reading:

Date:

169

25

John 11:38-14:14

Nov 16

170

John 14:15-18:18

Nov 17

171

John 18:19-21:25

Nov 18

172

1 John 1:1-5:21

Nov 19

173

2 John & 3 John & Jonah

Nov 20

174

Joshua 1:1-4:24

Nov 21

175

Sabbath

Nov 22

 

Click here to download this week’s message about Seeds & Gates. It is in a Power Point presentation so to best view it I recommend opening it in Power Point so that you can read my presentation notes as well. However if that’s not possible, you can click here for the PDF version of the slides. 😀 Enjoy!!!

 

Next Week’s Readings:

Day #:

Week #:

Bible Reading:

Date:

176

26

Joshua 5:1-8:17

Nov 23

177

Joshua 8:18-10:43

Nov 24

178

Joshua 11:1-15:8

Nov 25

179

Joshua 15:9-19:16

Nov 26

180

Joshua 19:17-22:29

Nov 27

181

Joshua 22:30-24:33 & Jude

Nov 28

182

Sabbath

Nov 29

Categories: 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, 365 Life, John, Jonah, Joshua, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Not One


Joshua 22:30-24:33 & Jude

“Thus the LORD gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. And the LORD gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the LORD had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:43-45

I don’t know if you’ve ever received a promise from the LORD, but I have and I can tell you that God’s promises aren’t small. He’s not a small God with small dreams for us. He’s not a God that thinks small things towards us, He has BIG dreams, BIG thoughts and BIG hopes for us… which makes them all the harder for us to believe Him for them because to us they’re impossible. They are totally and completely unattainable on our own, which is exactly why God dreams them for us, because He wants us to accomplish them WITH Him.

I have always loved dogs. When I was in elementary school my best friend had a little chestnut Dachshund. She was the spunkiest, cutest little thing I had ever seen and I wanted one desperately. I grew up, got married and immediately started hounding my husband to get a dog… we got a cat. Fast forward another 11 years and two cats later (the first one died) and I was still begging my husband for a dog. One day we were in Tractor Supply Company looking for something for my dear hubby and it just happened to be one of their pet days, where they host animals from a local shelter and you can adopt them. There was this beautiful pit bull named Rumpke. They named him that because he was found next to a Rumpke dumpster. He and his foster person were just walking through the store and he walked right up to us. The look in his eyes absolutely broke my heart, he wanted a home, and I wanted to give it to him. As Rumpke and his person left, the kids and I immediately turned on my husband with our own puppy dog eyes and pleaded to take Rumpke home with us. He was a rock, “No”. I gotta give him credit, he never budged and that had to be really really hard for him because he’s a great dad and husband and loves to spoil us. I will be completely honest and tell you that I went home and prayed and sobbed over that dog for weeks. Literally, for weeks! I prayed and prayed and prayed for Rumpke. I even went so far as to pray that he would run away from the foster home and come find us… if it be God’s will for us to have him of course. But day after day, there was no Rumpke on my front porch. The other thing I prayed during that time was for my Isaac dog. Sarah’s son Isaac was the child of promise, I wanted my dog of promise; the PERFECT dog for our family. And I thought I knew what that was, except I’m not God. So as I prayed and prayed for Rumpke, each time I would end with, “but LORD, if he’s not my Isaac dog, then I don’t want him.” And I really did mean it.

About a year later I caught the dog fever again, but it was different this time. I can’t explain how it was different; all I can say is that it was just different. I started surfing PetFinder.com, but not for just any dog I was looking for my Dachshund. I spent hours over months looking for just the right dog, at just the right price from just the right place. Maybe that’s how it was different this time, I could just feel God’s Spirit leading me. If you’re not used to that feeling, then there’s no way that you can understand what I mean when I say that, but there’s just this feeling in your gut when you just know something is right. Some say it is women’s intuition, but I’ve learned it’s the Holy Spirit moving within me, leading me in the way that I should go. Anyway, the day came when I searched PetFinder and saw this precious miniature Dachshund named Luigi. It was his name that caught my attention first because at the time my son was playing Mario Kart ALL the time! The second thing that caught my attention with Luigi was his picture, he was licking his nose! It was such a silly pose that it made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it and I loved him instantly. Although he was a little farther away than I wanted to drive, it was only an hour. I made some phone calls and a LOT of prayer and we ended up bringing him home. He was so malnourished that all the fur had fallen off his ears and he was beginning to even lose the fur on his tail! L He needed love and food, fast! I’ll never forget the day I brought him home. He had just had his surgery when I picked him up from the vet, he was still shaky and sleepy so I had to hold him in my lap all the way home (oh darn). I brought him into our house and he tried to stand up and walk, but still couldn’t. His legs were so wobbly he almost fell down several times! The kids were due to get off the bus in about thirty minutes, the dog and I had both had a huge day, so I scooped him up, lay down on the couch and he curled up on my chest. His poor little skinny naked body shivered from cold and probably a little anxiety from all the drastic changes he had just undergone, but I think part of him knew that I loved him because he snuggled his little black and brown head up under mine. For half an hour I just lay there petting him trying to get him to stop shivering.

Before we brought him home we discussed his name. We all liked Luigi, quite a bit in fact, except we were giving him a new home and a new life so didn’t that warrant a new name as well? We thought so. Oh the names that we came up with, but the one we liked the best, the one that fit the best, was the name that my husband chose; Skippy. You see we have a story in our family that my great grandma Tyra had a dog named Skippy… a very spoiled dog. We’ll just say he was quite “plump”. And one day my great grandpa came into the kitchen and started giving grandma a hard time about always spoiling the dog and giving him food he shouldn’t have. The next thing you know grandpa turns around and says “Here Skippy, have some bacon”. Yeah, GRANDMA is the one spoiling the dog… sure grandpa! To this day whenever someone in our family is making bacon the Skippy story usually gets told.

So here we are adopting this dog that is literally skin and bones and barely anything else and what he needs more than anything is love and some bacon. What better name than Skippy? A name that means “spoiled”. He came from a home where they couldn’t feed and provide for him the way that he needed, he was so socially inept that it has taken many hours of training to get him able to function in a town full of other dogs. And yet I doubt that he remembers much of those five years in his life because all day every day he is reminded, by his name and full food bowl, that he is no longer in that place anymore.

In our reading today I was overwhelmed by how many times the word pastureland was used. I couldn’t help but think of the twenty-third Psalm while I was reading it.

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

This week’s reading has been so wonderful in that it is all about entering into a new place. Entering into a new land, the land that God had promised them generations earlier. The reading this week has been about promises being fulfilled and God showing His people, not just His provision and protection but also His amazing grace and faithfulness. These Israelites that were fighting these battles throughout the promised land had never tasted the food of Egypt, they had never felt the taskmaster’s whip flicking their skin and tearing through it, they had only ever known the provision of God in the wilderness. They had only ever heard of what a life of slavery was like, never having experienced it themselves. Neither had they experienced the amazing abundance and goodness of the Promised Land and everything that it held within its bosom. Then one fateful day, they up and move out of the wilderness and across the Jordan. When they get to the other side, like Skippy, they undergo a bit of surgery; they shed some blood in preparation of entering their new forever home. And then the battles start, and one by one by one each and EVERY enemy is defeated; they all go home and REST from the war. It has been won. And as they each settle into their lounge chairs at the end of the day they sigh at the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living because not ONE word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed. Not… one.

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Jude, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Land of Promise


Joshua 19:17-22:29

“How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?” Joshua 18:3

So much of the reading for this week has been the defining of the boundaries for the people of Israel and the battles they had to fight in order to gain that territory given to them by the LORD. This message resonates with me so fiercely right now as I feel like I have been fighting for my territory for ages now… and yet what is my word for the week? “How long will you put off going in to take possession of the land, which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you?” You see the LORD has given us each a territory, a land of promise that is ours for the taking… but we have to stand up and fight for it. Just like the daughters of Manasseh had to stand up and voice their desire for what had been promised to them. And while it may not be easy, God has promised that land to us. He has promised that He will fight with us for that property and we know that if God is with us then WHO can be against us?

For months now I have been faking it. I’ve been saying that I am believing God for the things that He has promised me for my life and yet I haven’t been acting in faith on those promises. There are areas of victory in my life that I have yet to achieve a full victory in them simply because I have allowed the fear of failure to hinder me from even trying to stand up and take action in that area. For months now God has been nudging me to act like the teacher I know that I am, yet have I even once stood up before a group and taught? Well, yes… once. But only once. God has blessed me with a land, a stage, have a taken it? Barely. I’ve dipped my toes into the edges of the water, but I’m not even knee-deep in it yet. And if the purpose is to part the waters, well I have yet to get that far. But I will! Because I know that God is with me, and I know that He will fight for me I need only to be still and know that HE is God. I need only to move in the direction He tells me to move and the waters will part before me and I will walk across on dry ground! I will stand on the stone in the center of the Jordan and I will remember this day.

Last week I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with a dear friend of mine where she sat across from me and sternly reprimanded me for failing to stand up for my “flock”. While I had always thought of my little women’s group as my flock, I had never referred to it that way and I had certainly never accepted the true responsibility that came with that position of shepherd and teacher. I failed them. I failed me. I failed God.

But just because I fell, doesn’t mean I have to stay there!!!

In Joshua 19:47 we read, “When the territory of the people of Dan was lost to them, the people of Dan went up and fought against Leshem, and after capturing it and striking it with the sword they took possession of it and settled in it, calling Leshem, Dan, after the name of their ancestor.” Sure they had lost the territory that God had given them, but did they let that stop them from taking it back? Did they just run away and say, “Well, apparently God didn’t really want us to live in this land after all….” NO! They stood up, grabbed their swords and their shields and they went after that ground that the enemy had stolen from them!

We can’t just sit around on our thumbs and sigh, “Oh well, maybe it just wasn’t meant to be…”, “I guess I wasn’t supposed to get a job that nice” or “I must not be worth God’s time to listen to my cries for help and deliverance from this pit I’m in…” Nope, God has excellence planned for us! “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:11-14

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Re-Runs


Joshua 15:9-19:16

OK. So here’s the deal. I’ve been going round and round in my head for the last week or so trying to figure out how I was going to manage the kids being home over Thanksgiving AND making sure to write and send out the blog every day. I’ve also been battling with how to find time to work on the new book that God commissioned me with at the convention. So, here’s what God has finally convinced me to do.

Re-runs!

Well, they’ll be re-runs for some of you long time viewers, but they’ll be new for all you newcomers! 😀 You see, we have just now reached the point in the 365 Life Season 1 plan where I was beginning to lose my steam. I had been trying to write through the Bible in a Year and had managed to get about half-way through it in about a year and a half. Not so great. It was at this point that I was re-gaining my passion and purpose for the program and the blog, and I had picked back up, not where I had left off writing, but where I was in the reading. So. Anyway, long story short, I have this Bible study I wrote during that time, “Waiting”. And it covers the readings that we’re covering right now. So. In order to give me family time AND time to prepare for our next segment of readings so that we can get further this time than I did last time, I will be sharing the writings from “Waiting” with you. They even include videos AND video outlines. Ooooooo! J

And to whet your appetites a bit for what’s coming next, the “new book” is on identity in Christ and being the YOU God created you to be.

So, without any further ado, today I give you: The Introduction Video for the week,

The Video Guide PDF,

And the reading that goes with today’s Word of the Day:

“the daughters of Manasseh received an inheritance along with his sons.” Joshua 17:6

The daughters of Manasseh were bold, bold enough to go up and request ownership of what had been promised to them; land. Every Hebrew name in the Bible has tremendous meaning behind it, so when we find them we can dig deeper and find a hidden second meaning in a story or verse if we look up the meanings of the names. In this particular verse the Holy Spirit tugged at my heart strings for the name Manasseh. In this verse the daughters could have been referred to as the daughters of Zelophehad, because that is whose daughters they were. Instead, they were referred to as the daughters of Manasseh. So I flipped back to Genesis 41 to the story of Joseph and then skimmed until I found the names of his two sons in verse 51. “Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. ‘For,’ he said, ‘God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.'”

For thirteen years Joseph went through some really low spots in life, his brothers threw him in a pit and planned on killing him. Only to then decided to profit from him instead and sell him into slavery. Then he served in Potiphar’s house as his faithful slave for many years until Potiphar’s wife wrongfully accused him of molesting her and he was thrown into prison for doing the right thing and running away from her! He was in prison several years, met some gentlemen, interpreted their dreams for them and asked them to remember him when they got out… well the one that lived anyway. But the cupbearer forgot about Joseph when he got out of prison and Joseph sat there for a few more years, just waiting for his chance. Waiting for God to set him free; free to fulfill the purpose he had been created for. And then that day came. And Pharaoh called for Joseph, bringing him out of jail and into the second highest position in the entire kingdom. Joseph was given a wife, who bore him children, the first of which Joseph named Manasseh. Why? Because his life had turned around so completely that he had to commemorate it with his son’s name. He didn’t ever want to forget this moment where God had come through is such a brilliant way that it made all the years of suffering and hardship make perfect sense. Suddenly Joseph could see clearly the fruit of all those years of waiting. They had made him strong and prepared him for what he was made to do; the saving of many lives.

These daughter’s of Manasseh, they are the daughters of that moment, the children of that time in Joseph’s life where everything was so good that he couldn’t remember the hard stuff that lead up to it. These daughters received the inheritance that was promised to them along with all the other sons of Manasseh because those daughters were just as important in the eyes of God as the sons were.

Times may be tough right now, but they won’t always be. Times of refreshing will come, not may come, they WILL come. But don’t live in those moments if they’re not here yet. Live in the moment you are currently standing in. It’s the only one you’ve been given and it’s a gift, that’s why they call it the present. Is this moment painful? Live in it. Live in this pain, KNOWING with certainty that it will not last forever. Live in this moment right now knowing that this pain has purpose and meaning. And while you may not know what that purpose or meaning is right now, know that there will come a time when you will have a moment named Manasseh where everything from the past will come into focus and it will all make sense and it will all be so good that you will be able to thank God for those hurts of the past. Because you will be able to see how those hurts caused you to grow in the direction He was pointing you.

Think about the cross. That moment was the absolute lowest point of many of those Disciples lives, and it was certainly the lowest point of Mary’s life. Her completely innocent baby boy was hanging on a cross! But now we, and Mary, can look back at that moment as the BEST, most high moment in all of history! On that day, in that moment, none of those people knew what was really happening. But today, in this moment, we do. While there is no way for us to fully understand what all happened in that moment of the cross, we certainly understand so much more than they did.

We each have a cross to bear; but we don’t carry it alone. Jesus carries it with us, because He is always with us and will never forsake us.

He loves you.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

One Step at a time


Joshua 11:1-15:8

A few days ago I was watching a Christian TV Network during lunch and found myself watching this lady who was talking about dreaming big dreams and writing them down in order to consistently pray for them and speak truth over them. I had never thought of going that far with things before. She even goes to the point of putting pictures in her journal to give her a vision of what her dream is. (Because, without a vision the people will perish.) By the end of the show I was hooked on this idea! I loved it! So I immediately went over to my desk and pulled out my notebook and started writing down my dreams big and small for the coming year and beyond.

But then at the very end of the show she said something that really struck a spiritual chord inside my gut. You know how sometimes someone can say something and you can actually feel the words hit your spirit. This was one of those times. She said that the purpose of the journal was so that when Satan starts to attack whatever dream God has placed into your heart you can point to that journal and say, “It is written”.

Could you feel that? “It is written”. Those words have POWER! Now think of that power being directed with a fine-point straight towards the goals and dreams that God has placed on your heart. Oh yeah, that’s good stuff right there isn’t it!?!

So today, as I’ve gone through a semi-stressful day, I’ve been reaching out to God for the answers I need to just get through this week. I had read today’s Word of the Day, but I didn’t really read it with much gusto, I’ll admit. Battles, battles, battles, blah, blah, blah. I muddled through it and crossed it off my list, done. But then I hit that moment where I was too stressed about my situation to move any father forward in my day and I was done trying. And it hit me. What is it that this blog is all about anyway? The big point is to realize that no matter what we’re reading in the Bible there is at least one word in that passage that WILL speak to my personal need in my daily personal moment of breakdown. (It will either prevent it, or mend it, one or the other.) So with new resolve I snatched up my Bible determinedly and said out loud, “I KNOW there is something in here that applies to me today and I’m going to find it!” And I didn’t have to look hard either. I had already underlined it. LOL.

“And these are the kings of the land whom Joshua and the people of Israel defeated on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, that rises toward Seir (and Joshua gave their land to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their allotments, in the hill country, in the lowland, in the Arabah, in the slopes, in the wilderness, and in the Negeb, the land of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites); the king of Jericho, one; the king of Ai, which is beside Bethel, one; the king of Jerusalem, one; the king of Hebron, one; the king of Jarmuth, one; the king of Lachish, one; the king of Eglon, one; the king of Geser, one; the king of Debir, one; the king of Geder, one; the king of Hormah, one; the king of Arad, one; the king of Libnah, one; the king of Adullam, one; the king of Makkedah, one; the king of Bethel, one; the king of Tappuah, one; the king of Hepher, one; the king of Aphek, one; the king of Lasharon, one; the king of Madon, one; the king of Hazor, one; the king of Shimron-meron, one; the king of Schshaph, one; the king of Taanach,one; the king of Megiddo, one; the king of Kedesh, one; the king of Jokneam in Carmel,one; the king of Dor in Naphath-dor, one; the king of Goiim in Galilee, one; the king of Tirzah, one; in all, thirty-one kings.”

Now, when I first underlined all that, I did so because we’ve been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy lately and this made me immediately think of the battle scene when Legolas and his dwarf friend Gimli are counting their kills. It made me smile.

So when I went back to my Bible searching for my personal word of the day, that’s immediately where my eyes fell. And the Holy Spirit spoke straight to my heart, “ONE”.

In order to gain the land God had promised to them, Joshua and his men didn’t fight all those kings at one time. They fought them one, by one, by one. The last verse says it all:

“in all, thirty-ONE kings.”

And just like those kings, we can’t take more than ONE step at a time. We can’t fight more than one battle at a time; we can’t complete more than one item on our “To Do” lists. And I think that’s what Satan tries to get us to do. I think he tries to make us THINK that we have to get everything done all at once. We don’t.

God doesn’t give us a whole day at a time; we only get one second at a time. Probably because the whole day in one second would kill us most of the time!

One of my tried and true verses is Psalm 16:9

“Although man plans the way, the LORD guides his steps.”

It’s good for us to plan things out. It’s good to have a general idea of where we’re going. BUT GOD guides our steps.

God knows the grand picture and we don’t. And especially when we’re surrendered to Him, but I’ve found that even when we’re not, God still guides our steps. We may have things planned out ten years in advance, but ultimately it’s GOD who guides our steps.

According to Job 14:16 & 31:37, our steps are numbered. That means that God knows how many steps we will take and where they will fall and where they will lead us (good or bad). He knows, because He cares. And He cares because He took the time to carefully knit us together in our mother’s womb, fearfully and wonderfully in His image. Now I don’t know about you but it isn’t often that I take 9-10 months knitting something together in my womb just to cast it out and forget all about it.

Think, for a minute, about your child’s first step. There was a LOT of falling involved was there not? And yet, slowly but surely their steps became more confident and secure. God knew about those steps. As precious as they were to us and as carefully as we watched them, God watched them all the more carefully and they were all the more precious to Him. But as their steps became more secure we began to look away from their feet. Their individual steps didn’t matter so much anymore… to us. But God has kept on watching.

All throughout our lives, from the first step to the last, God has watched each and every SINGLE step of your life. From baby booties, to those wedding heels walking down the aisle and beyond, He has kept a close eye on your steps and where each and every one of them has fallen. Because He cares that much about YOU.

My friends, it is written.

God has written a dream on your heart, follow it. Allow yourself the freedom to follow your feet and find yourself venturing down a yellow brick road filled with lions, tigers and bears, and friends, and fortune and favor. God is the one who holds the keys to your future; allow Him to open those doors for you that no one can shut. And ask Him to close the doors you shouldn’t be going through.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Take Possession of His Love for YOU


Joshua 8:18-10:43

His love for you qualifies you to do things you couldn’t do without Him. His love for you edifies you and makes you into who you need to be to complete the task given to you. His love for you emboldens you to step out of the boat mid stormy seas and raging winds. His love for you steadies you and helps you balance on the unsteady waters of life. His love for you guides you in the way you should go, it KEEPS you from going astray. His love for you compels you to good works and loving your neighbor and even praying for your enemy. His love for you is more powerful than you could ever imagine and comes in a never-ending supply – all for YOU! Today God wants me to tell you that He thinks you’re worthy of His love if only you would take possession of it.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Ye of Little Faith


Joshua 5:1-8:17

Last night while I was making dinner God hit me with this whopper:

Jesus was walking on the water and called out to Peter, “Come”, so Peter, “came”. But then when Peter looked at what he was doing he sank and Jesus said, “Ye of little faith.”

Why?

Peter obviously had enough faith in Jesus to step OUT OF THE BOAT during a storm. So who was it that he didn’t have faith in?

Himself.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. The reason I so often don’t see the results I want is because of my lack of faith in… me. Now, I don’t care who you are, that’s profound right there.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Be Strong & Courageous


Joshua 1:1-4:24

We start the book of Joshua with a death, the death of Moses. At this verse God tells me that “there will always be a death preceding the victory. There is something that has to die in order for you to move forward, further into the Promised Land. And the death won’t be just any death; it will be the death of something big and quite possibly good. It’s something (or someone) that has faithfully led you for YEARS through the wilderness experience that you’ve been going through. But in order for you to move on into The Promised Land your “Moses” has to die because it’s not isn’t allowed in. This is where the two of you have to part and go your separate ways.

The second part of this verse includes a command from God to Joshua to “arise” and “go”. Joshua isn’t allowed a time to mourn the death of Moses, at least not in this part of the narrative. And so while we may be oh so tempted to linger and moan at the wall for our “lost leader”, we can’t because by golly we’ve got a Promised Land to take control of!

Now here’s the part that I love. Here’s Joshua, he has lived his entire life in the shadow of THE Moses. And now all the sudden Moses is gone and it’s Joshua’s job to lead these people into victory. I can see how that would be incredibly intimidating for anyone. And God understands that all too well. So His one command to Joshua (in 1:6, 1:7, 1:9 and 1:8) is to “Be strong and courageous”. And He doesn’t just say it once, He says it over and over and over to make SURE that Joshua gets it.

In 1:6 we read, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Joshua needs to be strong and courageous because it is strength and courage that will cause the people to inherit the land.

No pressure. (*whispered aside*: That was sarcasm, if it didn’t read in well enough.)

But then in 1:7 we read:

“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses My servant commanded you.”

This one is slightly more helpful because it’s explaining HOW Joshua can be strong and courageous, through following the law that Moses gave. Except… what if they don’t? What if they miss something? What if they can’t? What if they run out of sacrifices on the battlefield, or they mess something up. Then what? It’s all on Joshua’s head again, no pressure.

Then the third time in 1:9 God says to him, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Ahhhhh! Here we go. This is the key, the whole key necessary to conquering the Promised Land. We can be strong and we can be courageous because, why?

For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go!

How is this important for us today? Well, in verse thirteen God explains it to us, “The LORD your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land.” The Promised Land is a place of REST. It’s a place where we can put down everything we’re carrying, sit down in the recliner and put our feet up knowing that God’s got it all under control. He’s got our back and we have nothing to fear. Period. Like a child sleeping through the wildest storms, in peace, because they are completely secure in their parents’ ability and willingness to care for them and keep them safe at all times in all ways. That’s rest. Wouldn’t it be great to abide there?

Well according to Joshua chapter 1, in order to gain control over your Promised Land you have to be:

  1. Strong and Courageous and
  2. Willing to stand up for it and FIGHT!

But here’s the thing, you want to know what Moses told these people at the Red Sea before it opened up and Pharaoh’s army was charging toward them ready to attack? He said, “The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14:14) And what is it that God said in Joshua 1:9? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

He is ALWAYS with you and will NEVER forsake you, no not EVER. That’s a promise you can take to the bank, and you should! His presence in your life is POWERFUL. And all too often we allow Satan to help us forget that. If you are saved, then God is WITH you, everywhere that you go. And that’s a really big deal my friend. Whether it’s to the bars or at church, He’s with you.

After God is finished giving Joshua his pep talk, Joshua then goes and talks to the troops. And what is it that he reminds the tribes whose part of the Promised Land is the land they’re already in? He tells them to remember that they are to help their brothers fight for their part of the Promised Land.

We’re in this together my friends. We are not individuals in the sense that we have to fight this battle for our Promise alone. We’re all on the same team, and we need to remember to act like that. I can tell you right now that there are people out there that I absolutely could NOT do this ministry without them. And the vast majority of them aren’t that hands-on involved in the ministry… but they’re praying. There is so much more power in prayer than most of us could ever hope or imagine. If you do nothing else for your fellow man’s piece of the Promised Land, PRAY for them!!! We’re all in this together.

In 1:15 we read, “Then you shall return to the land of your possession and shall posses it, the land that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.”

This was one of the big lessons I learned at the conference this weekend. Possession. It’s 9/10ths of the law you know. LOL. But seriously, think of it this way. Jesus died on the cross and paid for the gift of Grace for every human being that had or would ever live. So picture that Grace wrapped up in a nice little box. And there’s one box for each of us. OK. Has the gift been paid for? Yup. Is it for us? Yup. Ahhhh! But when does it become OURS? Not until we RECEIVE it.

I can have a closet full of toys for my kids, but they don’t belong to my kids until they receive them. Mmmmm… but even then, what good are toys once they have been received if they are not used? What was the point of me spending all my husband’s hard earned money on toys for my kids if they NEVER play with them?

Then how is it, do you think, that Jesus feels when He’s literally poured blood, sweat and tears into the most priceless gift anyone could ever receive and then they don’t receive that gift and USE it? In order to take possession of our Promised Land, we have to open up that gift of Grace, take it out of the box and USE it. We have to read the instruction manual that came with it (the Bible in case you were wondering), and we have to learn about all the nifty things that this thing “Grace” includes. And boy, if you think you’re new smart phone has a lot of apps, you should see Grace!!! Woo!

You see it’s not enough to just know about the Promised Land, or even to stand there and stare at it from across the river; you were BORN to posses it; to take complete and total control over it. His PEACE is yours. It belongs to YOU His Beloved Bride.

Tell me, in the face of pure evil and darkness, can you be strong? Is it possible?

Bear in mind the simple truth that we were created human with an innate weakness that would REQUIRE a strength that is not our own in order to survive.

No, we were not created to be strong under our own power, BUT rather strong through HIS power.

And how about courage? Knowing there isn’t enough strength in our own bones to carry us through doesn’t really instill courage does it? But what is it that Joshua 1:9 says? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is WITH you wherever you go.”

How is it that we can stand and fight the face of evil for our Promised Rest? We remember that it’s not OUR strength or courage we rely on, it’s HIS. We remember that through Christ we can do all things. We remember that all things are possible for those who believe in His strength and His might, but most importantly, His love for YOU.

Categories: 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Joshua, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

Week 2 Video Guide

Handprints of God

Pictures of God’s faithfulness:

-The Good Shepherd

-He called them to b______.

-“I have shown you many g______ w______ from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone Me?” John 10:32

-“If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, b______ the w______.” John 10:37-38

-Noah

-“I have set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be a s______ of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13

-God has given us something p______ that we can look to and we can touch and see them and k______ and r______ that God has made a promise.

-He is faithful and good and just and He w___ do what He says He will do.

-God gave Noah a picture of His promise, the r______.

-Abram

-God gave Abram a picture of His promise, the s____.

-John 10:17-18 “I lay down My life that I may take it up again. N__ o__ takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have a______ to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”

-The two identical ingredients in the four gospel “casseroles” are:

1) Cried out loudly

Matthew:     Krazo – Raven’s piercing cry. Cry out loudly with i______ sounds that express deep emotion.

2) Gave up His Spirit

Mark:     Ekpneo – To G______ up the G______.

Ek – Out from and to. Out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object. A separation from something with which there has been close connection.

John:     Paradidomi – from para & didomi, properly means to give (turn over); hand over from, as in to deliver over with a sense of close personal involvement.

Para – an emphatic “from”, means “from close beside“. It stresses nearness. Para implies an intimate participation.

-God is with us, no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, no matter what is going on in life, God is w______ u__. He gave us His Holy Spirit to remind us of the promise of H___ l______ for us.

-He is so f______!

-Isaiah 41:8-13

-We need to imagine b___!

After the Video:

-Jesus called His Disciples to believe and He calls us to the same thing. What is He calling you to believe Him in/for right now? (There’s always something.)

-“Tell us plainly” – how many times do you wish that God would just speak plainly to you??? Does God ever answer your questions… but not the way that you want Him to?

-Compare the definition of the Greek word Krazo with Romans 8:26, what do you think? Cool right?

-If we need to be imagining big, what is the biggest thing that you could imagine?

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Jude, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Running

Joshua 23:1Jude

Word of the Day: “Be very strong… &… cling to the LORD your God” 23:6 & 8

I’m going to be honest; I’m on the verge of losing it right now. There are some things in life that God calls us to that just aren’t easy and all you want to do is run as far away from them as you can… the story of Jonah comes to mind. Running away didn’t work so well for him so I’m going to guess it won’t for me either. God has whales in all kinds of shapes and sizes and He knows how to use them to effectively bring His runaways back around to where He wants them to be.

The saddest part of it all is that the very thing I want to run from is most likely the very thing that God is planning to use to deliver me to the place He wants me to be. It’s one of those things that I can feel in my gut that it’s right… but it’s hard to tell because at the same time the butterflies in my stomach are flapping their little wings ragged right now!

And then here is today’s reading, always perfectly timed, and all about clinging to God and reminding us of His faithfulness in the past. Because after all, He is “the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever.” Jude 25

And we “have seen all that the LORD [our] God has done to all these nations for [our] sake, for it is the LORD [our] God who has fought for [us].” Joshua 23:3 So we’ve got to be strong and do it! We’ve got to do those hard things that God calls us to do. We’ve got to stand up and fight for Him, with Him, through Him! Why? Because, “as for [us], no man has been able to stand before [us] to this day. One man of [us] puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD [our] God who fights for [us], just as He promised you.” Joshua 23:9-10 God has promised to fight for us, did you catch that? He has promised to fight for you, in whatever way you need fought for, He fights for you.

We can’t forget that “not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” (Joshua 23:14) Not one.

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Jude, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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