ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 27

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 14:8b … The Heart of The Matter

Joshua 3

Joshua 14:8b, Numbers 14:8, 24 – The Heart of The Matter

Caleb is described and commended as one who had a different spirit because he followed the Lord, his God, wholly, with all of his heart.

Of course, God knew Caleb had a different spirit all along but nobody else did. So nobody else would have understood why he was going against the crowd, swimming upstream and sticking out like a sore thumb “clearly” trying to put everyone else in danger by insisting they go and get slaughtered by the giants in the land and so it seemed appropriate to try to kill him.

However, it was this very life threatening situation that showed to all else around that Caleb was different on the inside and when God commended him, everyone knew why but that’s not where it ended; all the people who tried to kill Caleb died off and the rest of the community watched as Caleb, and Joshua, kept growing older and older. Some probably expected them to die “any day now” but they didn’t.

By the way, doing what seems godly on the outside, without being godly on the inside, only leads to sorrow in the end. And it wasn’t just because Caleb was standing against the crowd that made him special either. Lots of people decide to be the odd one out today just to be non-conformists. That is not what Caleb did.

As seen in the story, when the rest of the people realized that they had offended God by doubting Him at the edge of the promised land and God had decreed that they would return into the desert to be wasted, they banded up and decided to do “the right thing” or “the will of God” by going up into the land to take it. There was no spirit connection to get that done anymore because God had already turned back toward the desert and when they went to do what God had asked of them in the first place, they were destroyed. Their mistake was that they thought it was Caleb’s outward actions that won him the commendation.

We have many today who are doing the godly thing or the right thing but the results are death and destruction. Maybe, they are not doing it with all their hearts.

Jesus did say, by their fruits you shall know them. That means, the fruits that identify us are the ones we bear or give birth to, not the ones we pluck off other trees and tie on to our branches; the fruit must be ours.

I’m sure you’ve heard someone, perhaps yourself, say, “I’ve prayed, I’ve sown seed, I’ve tithed, I’ve gone for evangelism, I’ve fasted, I joined several service units in church, but still …”

Check your heart. Perhaps you have not connected to God on a heart to heart level, perhaps you don’t really believe all this “God said to do this and that” stuff.

Point? You are not following God wholly until your spirit, or heart, is involved. The outward manifestations must be born out of a spirit connection.

 

Check your heart.

2 Chronicles 25:1-2, Ephesians 6:5-7.

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ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 26

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 3

Joshua 14:6, 9, 12, 14 – Spoken Word

It is critical to bear in mind the words that God has spoken concerning us because when the time comes for the delivery, what has been spoken is all that will matter because that is what will come to pass.

Open a journal; write down the things you believe God has told you about your life. Leave enough space for notes of confirmation from the mouth of two or three God-sent witnesses. Review this book from time to time to keep the encounter fresh and encourage yourself by it. That way, when you say you have a future that’s better than your today, it would not be mere talk, it would be a declaration of what God has already told you.

Luke 1:45  And blessed [is] she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

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.