Luke 15 Part 2–The Prodigal

Of all the parables, few are better known than the parable of the prodigal son.  It is the story of men’s frailty and the love of our Heavenly father.  As the story unfolds, an impetuous and selfish young son took his inheritance and left home. He squandered the money and then fell into poverty and despair. In a moment of lucidity, the prodigal decides to go back to his Father and work for Him.  When the prodigal returned, he was met by a Father that loved him, and forgave his sin, restored his life, and celebrated the return. 

Next, we see the prodigal had a brother that was left behind to pick up the pieces.  the brother watched the Father endure pain and worry caused by the prodigal’s departure and absence. In addition, the brother assisted the Father in the work of rebuilding and maintaining their home and business and he remained faithful.

When the prodigal returned and all seemed forgotten, the brother was bitter and felt abandoned. Hadn’t he been faithful, hadn’t he done everything he was supposed to?  Why then was the celebration for the brother that failed? As the brother sat alone in the garden sad and bitter; the Father came and loved on the elder brother.  The Father recognized the brother’s faithfulness and promised to reward it.  But, for this day, the celebration of the return and life of His brother was the right thing for both Father and brother.

God reveals several great truths in this story. 

First, God the Father loves us. whether faithful or fallen, He never gives up or turns away from those that seek Him. He adores His faithful ones, and all He has is theirs.  He also has plenty for those who fall completely on their face, but then repent and return.  That is what makes our Heavenly Father so amazing. God wipes the slate clean and allows a fresh and full start.

Second, when we fall away and fall apart, if we will confess and return, the Father will accept us back with open arms of love and forgiveness. He is the God of another chance.  He wants our devotion, and He will love us through any trial or temptation.  It is critical, however that we return.  We must recognize where we have fallen and return to the Father on His terms.

Finally, God never forgets His faithful ones.  He will celebrate the ones that return, and rightly so.  Remember, however, He never forgets those that stay and follow faithfully.  The Lord reminds them that all He has is theirs.  He reminds them, they need not fear, they too can celebrate repentance and restoration.

As we face this chaotic world, we need to pray for revival, and, as God answers that prayer, we must welcome back all that return and celebrate the victory with our Heavenly Father.

God Bless You


Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Joshua 14–A Long Time In Coming

Joshua and Caleb sat across the table from each other.  As they looked into each other’s eyes, there was a sense of accomplishment.  These two men had initially scouted the Promised Land and they were the spies that begged Israel to move forward. Now, Caleb approached his old friend and simply asked to be granted the land that God personally promised him in the presence of Joshua.

For Joshua it was a joyful day.  He was thrilled to grant to his friend the land God promised.  What’s more, as Philistine lands, He knew Caleb and His folks would clear it.  Joshua had grown old from the journey, but, Caleb had not! He was as fit as he had been 45 years before–another kind gift from God.  It had to be a great moment in the leadership journey for Joshua, clearly one so significant, that God wanted it in His word. 

Remaining faithful is much harder than simply being faithful. Life takes its toll on us. Years of following, battling, and facing the world wears folks down. We begin to doubt whether God is going to come through in the end. This story in the life of Joshua reminds us that God always keeps His word.  He prepares us individually for the journey He has laid out. The Lord knows the journey’s ending as clearly as He knows its beginning. 

While it can be a long time in coming, we must wait on the Lord to complete His work and keep His promises. Isaiah said it best, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up with wings–like eagles! they will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Here’s to You Caleb! Go clear your mountain tops!!!

God Bless You


Now the people of Judah approached Joshua at Gilgal, and Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God at Kadesh Barnea about you and me. I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’[a]

10 “Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

13 Then Joshua blessed Caleb son of Jephunneh and gave him Hebron as his inheritance. 14 So Hebron has belonged to Caleb son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite ever since, because he followed the Lord, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly. 15 (Hebron used to be called Kiriath Arba after Arba, who was the greatest man among the Anakites.)

Then the land had rest from war.

Joshua 11 Part 1–He Will Do It

It is quite a contrast.  When you look at the trajectory of the Canaanite kings and compare it to the trajectory of Joshua and Israel.  Joshua sought God and His leadership.  The Canaanite kings sought alliances and means to gang up on and ambush Israel.  As is typically the case, the kings gathered in mass and showed their might. Meanwhile, Joshua listened to the Lord and did what God said and watched God do the heavy lifting.  

When one thinks about it, Israel did not have to act as infiltrators and oppressors, they simply had to show up and the enemy came to them.  God knew these peoples were evil and would at some point seek to destroy Israel.  So, God allowed the kings to show their true hearts.  When exposed, it was apparent that cohabitation in Israel would be impossible. 

So, Israel completely wiped them out.  They took the land without fear of a later uprising.  God’s power and protection was so apparent that no one would dare challenge Israel.  What is more, even if they did, God made sure that that nation was destroyed, and their fate known to any would be challenger.

Like Israel, we must be faithful, trusting, and willing to submit to God’s plan.  Like Joshua, Seeking God must be the first thing, never an afterthought. If we as His chosen will live that kind of life, then, we will also enjoy that kind of victory.  It must be clear that such a journey is not free of battle, hardship, or trial.  We are confident, however, that He who calls us is faithful and He will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24. I hope each of us will face the day with the wisdom and confidence of Joshua!

God Bless You


When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph, and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel.

The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.”

So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. Joshua did to them as the Lord had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.

10 At that time Joshua turned back and captured Hazor and put its king to the sword. (Hazor had been the head of all these kingdoms.) 11 Everyone in it they put to the sword. They totally destroyed[a] them, not sparing anyone that breathed, and he burned Hazor itself.

Joshua 3 Now Is the Time to Let God Shine

The time had come.  The wandering was over, the spies had returned, and now, God was preparing to make Canaan Israel’s land.  The entirety of Israel was made ready.  The priests would lead with the Ark, The people would follow according to the order they knew. Joshua would lead and Israel would cross the Jordan on dry ground…What?  That is correct.  Even though the river was running at flood stage, God parted the river and made the ground on which the people crossed dry.

It must have been quite a sight to see the water bunched up like a wall and the ground in the riverbed dry. As the people crossed, they knew that this would be God’s battle and not theirs. The priests, the soldiers, and the people would see that God was in control.

God does the same in our lives. If we are willing to follow, He will establish His presence for us and will lead us through the treacherous, and dangerous paths we cover.  We, like Joshua, need to listen and follow the Lord’s command.  If we will, God is faithful to do in our lives all that He has promised. In that, not only will we see His hand in our lives, but we will show others who may need to know the Lord His greatness and His faithfulness.

God Bless You


Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittimand went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits[a] between you and the ark; do not go near it.”

Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people.” So they took it up and went ahead of them.

And the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. 10 This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. 11 See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. 12 Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

Numbers 27–The Dawn of Women’s Rights

The people of Israel were coming to the end of their marching through the desert.  As Moses and the people sat across the Jordan, some daughters of the Israelites came before Moses and asked to receive the property of their father who died.  Up to that point, the inheritance went to the 1st born son and then to each of the sons.  So when the daughters approached Moses; there was no provision in place. 

So Moses took it to the Lord.  The Lord was clear. If a person died without sons, daughters would inherit. if no children then brothers. If no brothers, then closest family in the clan.  Thus, the beginning of estate law was passed from God to Israel.The greatest message here was that God held all people in high regard. He cared that people were treated properly no matter the age, race, gender or family.  He has, and always will act on our behalf, because God loves us unconditionally.

Then and now, God does not play favorites.  The Lord simply asks that we trust and follow Him.  God wants the best for all people.  God saw men’s greed, and knew that He would be somehow blamed for their desire to steal. So God set out a plan for all people to be treated fairly.  

It is critical  even today, that we remember that God is at the center of human rights.  He does not manipulate of politicize them–no, He simply reminds us that we are to live as He has and treat people with respect and dignity no matter their race, age, gender, nationality or financial status. If we would do that, the chaos which is our culture would be stable; and people would see life as God always intended us to live it.  

God Bless You

The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward and stood before Moses,Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meetingand said, “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord, and the Lord said to him, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”