ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 25

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 13:14, 33 – Sacrificial Living.

 Joshua 3

Everybody was getting their pieces of the action and their share of the national cake. It could have looked like some sort of “name it and claim it” season and everyone was doing it. But it was to be different for the family of priests. Not because they were not militant enough but because God said it would be different for these people.

As my wife shared with me recently, “our lives are run by what is written, not by what is happening”. Even if what is happening is good, such as was the case at this point in the history of Israel, it doesn’t mean it is meant for everyone.

Does this mean that God doesn’t want His people to get the good stuff? Certainly not! He gives everything that’s needed for life and godliness. In verse 14, he gave them what they needed for life and in verse 33, he gave them what they needed for godliness. God is faithful.

In view of the preceding thoughts, I find it interesting that the Levites still joined the rest of Israel to conquer the land. They weren’t to inherit any particular portion as a tribe so they had nothing at stake, so to speak, and no direct benefit from putting their lives in danger on the battle field. Yet, there is no record that the Levites laid down their arms and watched the rest of the tribes go to war.

Many of us in similar situation might have done differently; we are mostly reluctant to endanger ourselves purely for the benefit of someone else. We either kick down the entire project or disengage from it and watch passively.

Examples?

The last time you felt you were due for a promotion and someone else got picked, how did you respond to the job thereafter, especially when instructions came from that person who took your spot? Did you share your ideas as readily as you used to or did you just “leave them to do their thing”?

That time, in the choir, when you had prepared to lead the song and you got passed by, did you put in your best effort in singing from the background with the rest of the team or did you sulk throughout the rehearsals and all the way to the service?

How about when you were asked to contribute financially to get someone on the team a birthday gift whereas no one remembered yours the last time?

So you see, it takes a priestly attitude to stand for someone with no benefit for yourself. Since you and I have been called to be priests, I think we have no other choice of life style and mind set. Think about our elder brother, the first born of the family, Jesus the Christ, in whose image and likeness we have been designed and to whose image we are predestined to be conformed.

We have no other calling than to sacrifice.

The way up is down.

 

Philippians 2: 1-11, John 15:13.

The Alphabet

Lovely post I came across. I don’t know the original source but I love it and thinknyou would as well.
*The Holy Alphabet… This is Beautiful…*
Whoever came up with this one must have been filled with the Holy Spirit!
*A* lthough things are not perfect,

*B* ecause of trial or pain,

*C* ontinue in thanksgiving

*D* on’t even think of whom to blame .
*E* ven when the times are hard,

*F* ierce winds are bound to blow,

*G* od is forever able

*H* old on to Jesus .
*I* magine life without His love,

*J* oy would cease to be,

*K* eep thanking Him for all the things

*L* ove imparts you to see.
*M* ove out of Complaining, 

*N* o weapon that is known

*O* n earth can overcome the power

*P* raise can do alone.
*Q* uit worrying about the future,

*R* edeem the time at hand,

*S* tart every day with prayer

*T* o ‘thank’ is God’s command.
*U* ntil we see Him coming,

*V* ictorious in the sky,

*W* e’ll run the race with gratitude,

*X* alting the Most High God.

*Y* es, there’ll be good times and yes some will be bad, but…

*Z* ion awaits in glory…where no one is ever sad!
The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything..
Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.
PLS: GOD LOVES YOU…PASS THE WORD ON TO MORE FRIENDS TO TELL OTHERS THAT GOD LOVES THEM TOO AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY TO SALVATION.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 24

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 13:1, 6 – Mission Impossible

Joshua 3 

Put these two verses together and basically you get this, “The task I gave you is far from complete and you have run out of time. Never mind, I will continue the work I started. You just do the most you can before your time is up”.

God said,“I will drive out the occupants.”

Is it not interesting to realize that all the while, it was not Joshua that was driving out the people in their land? All the battles they engaged in were merely God’s excuse to get involved in the fight. They were so successful in their campaigns that a death count of merely thirty-six was a big deal to them, and that was because of the sin in their camp.

It must have been a concern to Joshua at some point that it seemed he would not be able to complete the task of settling his people in their lands just as his master, Moses, could not see the mission through to the end. He might have thought the mission would fail with his passing but God set the records straight, “I was the one working when Moses was around; I have been the one working when you took over, and after you are gone, I will not stop until my mission is accomplished”. Sounds just like, “I will build my church”, doesn’t it?

God could have done this without us but he chose to work with us; it’s a major privilege.

This scene in Joshua’s life also lends a vote to a thought: God’s vision cannot be completed in one man’s lifetime; it’s always bigger ahead than behind. Everything accomplished so far always sets the stage for something much bigger. It makes sense to forget the things that are behind and press towards the mark for the prize of a calling that is higher and loftier than all we have ever accomplished so far.

God’s plan for your life is bigger than you because God is bigger than you, that is why you have to trust Him and let Him run it for you. Sounds pretty basic and easy and totally fundamental to Christianity, doesn’t it? Yet I find that when it comes to application, we would rather take things into our own hands. For example, many young folks find it difficult to trust God for His will in the choice of a husband or wife. Many parents would freak out if they found out that their child is veering off the path they have carved out for him to have a successful career in the name of pursuing his dream probably in a less lucrative field of endeavour. The list of examples is endless.

I challenge you to press into God till you start seeing an image of yourself that is too much for you to handle, and you can’t fulfill it without God’s help; that should make it easier for you to just let God have His way.

Another lesson to learn from this story is that none of us, no matter how critically placed we seem to be in the kingdom, can hold up God’s plan by ourselves.

​Father’s Day: The Father Won’t Let Go.

Father’s Day: The Father Won’t Let Go


Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house.  In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out of the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.  He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.
His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.  Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his father.
It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. An incredible tug-of-war between the two began. The alligator was much stronger than the father but the father was much too passionate to let go, and dug his nails into the little boy’s arms.
A farmer driving by heard the screams of the child, and after retrieving a rifle from his truck, raced to the water’s edge and shot the alligator. Remarkably, after weeks in the hospital, the little boy recovered.
The local newspaper reporter interviewing the boy after the trauma asked if he would show him his scars.  The little boy lifted his pant legs and said, “These are the scars from where the alligator tried to pull me under the water.”  Then, he rolled up his shirt sleeves and said, “Now look at my arms.  These are the scars where my father wouldn’t let me go.”
Each of us is marked.  Yes, there are scars we bear in our lives because of poor choices we have made.  But if we look closely, there are other marks we have incurred, where a loving sovereign God has refused to let us go.  At the time, His grip of grace may seem painful, but it is all for our protection, so that we may be preserved to live, and testify of His tender mercies that He reveals to us with each new day.

John 10:28  “. . . neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I came across this story and decided to share it because it blessed me.

#randomstories

Fathers in Heaven and on Earth

I went to visit a friend, Foluke Ajanaku Udeh, very many years ago when school was out. I saw a small framed statement in the living room and it stayed with me since then, 

“A father is someone you can look up to, no matter how tall you grow.”

My Dad fulfilled these words till he left to be with our heavenly father. I remember him fondly and with deep respect.

Happy father’s day to all fathers past, present and future and to the women who love them.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 23

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 12 – Curriculum Vitae

The account in Joshua chapter 12 shows that Moses conquered two kings after crossing the Red Sea while Joshua conquered thirty one kings.

A few lessons to be learnt.

  1. Moses went through some challenges convincing his people to work with him and believe in their hearts that, though Pharaoh made their burdens heavier because they were attempting freedom, things will end up as God had said.

Joshua also went through some challenges getting the people to believe in their hearts that the giants in the land were dwarfed by the promise of the God who had been faithful all the while and things will work out just as God had said.

Moses crossed the Red Sea and Joshua crossed the mud brown River Jordan.

Moses conquered two kings and Joshua conquered thirty one kings.

Moses’ difficulties finally led to the conquest of two kings. This was not all he accomplished obviously but in the eyes of the world at large at that time it could have been thought that their God went through all that just to give them the lands of two kings. And coupled with the fact that the manna and the quails stopped coming and Israel crossed a relatively small River Jordan under Joshua, it could have seemed Joshua would only be able to claim a fraction of one King’s territory as it seemed the power of his God was waning.

If one was to calculate the seeming pattern, it would have seemed so sensible to not expect much from the Joshua administration in terms of settlements. One could have thought, ‘In the “good old days” of President Moses, we only conquered two nations but now, when it’s obvious that the spectacularly supernatural free food has run out, the pillar of cloud and fire has disappeared and God is not doing so many jaw dropping things anymore for our nation, we shouldn’t expect much victory and conquest under President Joshua. As things stand right now, we should count ourselves lucky if we are able to win one border dispute.’

And then, God leads Joshua to victory after victory till they sacked thirty one Kings!

The lesson is that our analysis does not equal or determine what God can do and will do. (Ephesians 3:20.) One person fights a lot and earns little and another is favoured with much reward for seemingly very little effort.

God always has something better for later.

  1. The two kings accounted as Moses’ conquests were actually overcome in battle by the army led by Joshua. Moses was never their military leader, Joshua was. But Joshua’s leadership gained credibility while he was still serving his master, credibility he would later need to lead the nation on a military campaign to claim the land promised them.

The lesson here is that it is important to empower up-coming leaders around us; we can’t tell who amongst them would eventually fulfill the vision we have.

The flip side is this, when your boss is sending you on critical assignments, it might seem he’s using you so much for very little pay, but it might also be the preparation for the leadership role he sees you fulfilling in the future. Funny enough, he may not even see it at all, but God does.

  1. Joshua served under Moses for at least forty years. Moses was a “diplomatic” leader and when it came to the battle field, Joshua was Moses’ weapon of war. Joshua could have judged Moses as being unfair by always putting his life at risk while he, Moses, finds himself a comfortable seat having his arms held by two men at a safe distance from the fight all in the name of providing spiritual cover. Could Moses not have simply waved the rod and make that Angel of God who was following them through the desert wipe out all the enemy soldiers at once? I mean, the man wrecked the kingdom of Egypt not long ago. Why does he not use the same plagues now?

If Joshua had done that, he would not have done as well as he did when it came his time to lead the nation. As it turned out, God had determined that the second administration was to be a military campaign; the people had to conquer and claim or be destroyed like any other thieving horde. Thankfully, they had a military president who had plenty of practice in the previous administration. Joshua had become a veteran of faith and of battle. He had put his life on the line for his boss, now his people were confident to put their lives on the line for him.

If, while you are serving under someone, you do not give your very best, you only rob yourself of the opportunity to have the seed of greatness sown in you by God to be watered and tended by your current boss. Always apply yourself to the task at hand under your boss; it is your opportunity to take a shot at exploits with the safety net of someone watching out for you in case you slip.

​Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength

Our Weakness Can Be Our Strength

 

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.   “Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

 

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.  Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

 

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

 

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

 

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: He dropped his guard.  Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

 

On the way home, the boy and the sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.  “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

 

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.

 

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10  “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I encountered this story and I thought it was worth sharing.