Posted in Devotions

Joshua 4 Part 2–The True Changing of the Guard

God never does things half way. When it came time to cross the Jordan and start the new campaign, God did it in a big way. He stacked up the waters so that Israel could cross on dry land.  He exalted Joshua as leader before the people.  Then He prepared them for the first of many battles that were to come. 

Verse 14 stood out.  “That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of Israel; they stood in awe of him all the days of his life–Just as they stood in awe of Moses.” 

Joshua had big sandals to fill–God knew that, and so God made sure there was no doubt that Joshua was the leader–with the full confidence and Spirit of God resting upon him.  Remember, this was a stiff-necked people.  They needed a strong leader that would operate like a gentle shepherd. Joshua was uniquely trained to fill that role.  As time would pass, Joshua would be given the opportunity to show what a lifetime of faith and obedience could produce.  That picture should have inspired Israel for generations.  That picture should inspire us for all the days of our lives.  

These people, led by this man of God, had the single most direct illustration of the preparation, protection and provision that God could offer. Now, as they sought to claim their inheritance, the world would get a glimpse of God’s direction and care for those He loves.  One can never forget, Joshua was not leading a warrior nation–He was leading a nation of priests called to share God’s love with all men.  Joshua, the great General was now also the amazing shepherd to lead God’s people to fulfil their destiny and their role as that nation of priests.

God Bless You


Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched.12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them.13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14 That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him all the days of his life, just as they had stood in awe of Moses.

15 Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16 “Command the priests carrying the ark of the covenant law to come up out of the Jordan.”

17 So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18 And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea[b] when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, Devotions, Holiness, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

Psalm 37–Delight Yourself in the Lord

It is so easy to lose perspective.  When everything around us leads us to believe that only the godless and the selfish prosper; one can become discouraged quickly.  David struggled with that.  He was anointed by Samuel to be king.  He had defeated Goliath, he and his men had changed the world’s perspective about Israel from being a joke, to being a warrior nation. He sought God and trusted God–yet, there he sat, hiding out and on the run from Saul and his army.  In the midst of that angst, David pinned one of the great songs of promise in the Bible.

In short, David says don’t fret over the appearance of the bad guys winning–trust God, delight in him and watch him go to work.  He will keep you safe, he will give you the desires of your heart, he will show the world you have done well, and make sure they know what you said about God was absolutely true!

We will never be able to explain God’s plan–in human terms; for the godless to understand. He will have to simply do what he does, and at the right time; it will be obvious that God is the one that makes all things amazing.  In the interim, we have to focus upon him, delight in him, and mostly–simply trust him.  Then, he will execute his plan and blow our minds.  God is amazing! We simply need to trust him and delight ourselves in him.

God Bless You

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

 

Posted in A Father's Love, Devotions, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

Teaching and Living the Christian Life–Titus 2 Part 1

Paul knew that the community of believers were hungry for direction on how to Live the Christian Life.  He also knew the message for each person and life stage had to be tailored to where they were living.  So Paul gives specific direction for people in different points of the journey.  For us old guys, Paul tells Titus–teach them to act with self-control, live a life worthy of respect and be wise…It is certainly easy, as we get older, to let things go and be less self-aware.  But, if we are disciplined and wise, we can have a life changing affect on others. 

The same holds true with ladies that are well along the path.  They set the tone for their families, and they can train younger women to be grateful for their husbands and family, even when both are imperfect. To do that, these amazing women have to live and walk in a way that shows themselves worthy of respect and honor. No loose tongues that spread gossip or spit out angry and vile rhetoric–such talk lessens and even negates any long term impact they may have.

As for the younger set–women must love and care for your husbands and families–make them your ministry and be the guardian of your household.  Young husbands are the protectors and providers–but, let’s face it, without young wives and moms–homes and families would be a complete disaster.

Finally, young men need to practice humility and submission to God. The world would tell you “No Holds Barred” but, as young men make choices in their youth, those choices could and do affect the rest of their lives and the lives of their families–It is therefore critical that young men make wise choices and life affirming decisions. They need to adopt mentors that are godly and wise and listen and learn. Otherwise, before we know it, Godly influence will disappear and anarchy will reign supreme.

Hard to teach, hard to do–but, when we follow and honor God–He blesses us; and allows us to bless those in our lives. We are not disqualified by age or gender–We all are called to a critical mission.

God Bless You

As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching. Teach the older men to exercise self-control, to be worthy of respect, and to live wisely. They must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience.

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching

Posted in Devotions

Best laid Plans-2 Samuel 18 part 1

Absalom was clearly in control, his father was on the run, the people of Israel beginning to accept the change of Kings—but, then God had a different plan.  Absalom became trapped by his own vanity and exposed to death because of his own carelessness.  As he hung by his hair from a tree, I am sure he thought this cannot be happening to me—my hair…really?

Our best plans often fail to account for either God’s direction or unforeseen circumstance. When we are hit with the unexpected, like Absalom we are left hanging in awe and disgust exposed to the enemy unprotected and helpless.  That is why we must seek the Lord’s plan and follow his lead.  We will often wonder why God’s plan is what it is, but, when we follow him he protects and provides for us in a manner we would never believe.  David was defeated and on the run—then at a moment’s notice the battle was over and he was restored. Psalms 23 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death—I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Thanks for being with me Lord.

God Bless You

Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.

10 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.”

11 Joab said to the man who had told him this, “What! You saw him? Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels[b] of silver and a warrior’s belt.”

12 But the man replied, “Even if a thousand shekels[c] were weighed out into my hands, I would not lay a hand on the king’s son. In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.[d]13 And if I had put my life in jeopardy[e]—and nothing is hidden from the king—you would have kept your distance from me.”

14 Joab said, “I’m not going to wait like this for you.” So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in