Be Strong And Courageous!

“This is my command–be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

These words..always so powerful.

A little context … (Joshua 1) ..verses 3-9 below
After Moses died, God spoke to Joshua (Moses’ assistant) saying:

3I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you4from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Seaa in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

6Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Wow. These words. Such encouragement .. to know that the Lord has your back. That He is calling us to rise up… to be ourselves…to grow in HIm. To be more like Him! And even in all our imperfections, He will watch over us.

God gives us instructions.
God gave instructions to Joshua (and us likewise) saying … obey the words of Moses … Moses had been God’s spokesperson and appointed leader. He had walked obediently. Joshua was being told to be obedient to those words. In the same manner, we are to be obedient to God’s Word.

Later we read in Matthew 22, how Jesus was questioned about the most important thing for us to do. This is what happened.
36 
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (Amplified Version)

If we can do this, there is no question in my mind that God will stand behind us.

Be Strong and Courageous!!

My House Will. Will Yours?

But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15b (NLT)

Previous to this verse (verses 14 and 15a) :

So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone. 15But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.”

Wow. Choose today! Choose God! To Fear and Serve Him. Wholeheartedly. Serve the Lord alone.

But.. if you refuse  to .. then ? Who are you serving? What are you serving… ? Some other gods? What is YOUR god? Is it pride? Is it your will? Is it your friends or parents? Is it fear? Is it peer pressure?

Have you already chosen, and didn’t notice?

Take the reigns on your life! And I hope you choose God!

Choices are so important… and as with this one, they can direct or change the course of your life dramatically!!!

Faith In The Son of God

1 John 5
(NLT)

Faith in the Son of God

1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christa has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments.3Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

6And Jesus Christ was revealed as God’s Son by his baptism in water and by shedding his blood on the crossb—not by water only, but by water and blood. And the Spirit, who is truth, confirms it with his testimony.7So we have these three witnessesc8the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and all three agree. 9Since we believe human testimony, surely we can believe the greater testimony that comes from God. And God has testified about his Son. 10All who believe in the Son of God know in their hearts that this testimony is true. Those who don’t believe this are actually calling God a liar because they don’t believe what God has testified about his Son.

11And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

Conclusion

13I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

16If you see a Christian brother or sisterd sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.

18We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. 19We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.

20And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God.e And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

21Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.f

One day…

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4 (NIV)

I don’t know what you’ve been through to resonate with those words. Maybe something personal .. or maybe just seeing the pain in our world.. But if you need the words … there will be no more death .. no mourning….no crying .. no pain. then you have been through something painful enough for you to understand the need for that freedom…that peacefulness.

I cannot wait for the “old order” of things to pass away…as we still have such pain and death, and persecution in this world.

But hope remains.
One day…there will be no more need for tears of pain or sorrow.
Praise the Lord!

May the Lord comfort you.

Don't Look Back

When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!” 
Genesis 19:17 (NLT)

Recently I wrote a different blog post called Escape!  on this same verse. Interesting that today God told me to write about it again.

Lot, his wife, and two daughters are being told to flee Sodom by angels of the Lord. The angels say the city is about to be destroyed. The only reason they are warning him is because Abram made an agreement with God that He would save Lot (verse 29). God stands by His promise, and makes a way for Lot to escape. However, Lot hesitates. What? Seriously? You’re going to hesistate .. when you have just been told your city is going to be destroyed, and you with it?!! Hesitate. No!

Fortunately for Lot …”When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the LORD was merciful.” Wow. God is good. Lot? I dunno. And the rest of his family?  If you read on… his wife looked back (against orders not to look back) and her consequence was to be turned into a pillar of salt. His daughters … they decide there are no men around for them to marry since they escaped Sodom. So they take matters in their own hands and set up for each other … so that they can have children via their father. Oh My Gosh!

We have choices every day to be obedient.. to turn back……or to do what we want. Let us choose well! Be discerning. Pray.  And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. (Colossians 3:17)

Let Us Not Take For Granted..

For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him?
Hebrews 2:6

Just before this verse, the chapter is warning people to listen carefully to the truth so as to not drift away. Also, that escaping isn’t really what happens if we ignore the salvation offered to us by Jesus. Wow.

Such warnings!

But then.. the thought as in this above verse, that mankind is somehow so important to God. Somehow unique and so special to God.

Let us not take for granted the gift of eternal life offered to us .. and the authority that we have been given “over all things”. [Hebrews 2:8]

Respect God / The Fear of the Lord

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi 3:1 (NIV)

If you read the Chapter before this verse, and the one after, you will see warning, after warning from God. Even curses mentioned.

This verse speaks of Jesus … the Messiah .. the Son of God, coming… “suddenly the lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come.” See Commentaries here.

The warnings are about how “He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. [vs3] He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver.” Malachi 3:2b …And before this … “But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when he appears?”Malachi 3:2a (NIV). In the NLT version it says “For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes.”

Are we SERIOUS about God? The Son of God is a refiner … .a blazing fire that refines metal. Wow. If you aren’t acting right…and you know it .. don’t expect God to sit you down and give you a massage and say … “oh, I know  you had a hard day … what can I do for you..?” Lol. Get up. Sort yourself out. The race is before you. It’s not going anywhere….the question is…are YOU?! 😀

And I don’t mean just any … “I read my bible and prayed today” .. I mean really. Are you having deep meaningful fellowship with God, and is it changing your life? 

Because.. I’m reading these two chapters.. and I’m seeing a God who isn’t messing around. He gave this earth to us for our dominion, and for us to Look After it…to be good stewards.

As He says in verse 6I the Lord do not change.

The verses in Chapter 3 continue about tithing, and not robbing from God. They also speak of how there is such blessing if you bring the whole tithe in.

Chapter 2 started with God speaking to the Levites… the Priests. [Remember that we are now recognized as priests since accepting Christ. 1 Peter2:9] So God says: “…O Priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name,” Says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.” And it goes on ..”Because of you, I will rebuke your descendants; I will spread on your faces the offal from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it.” The Bible continues down this track .. Wow!

Again, as 1 Peter2:9 declares “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

The call that rests on us…. the consequences … the race before us.

So… let us pray!

He is Our Helper

The king replied, “If the Lord does not help you, where can I get help for you?”
2 Kings 6:27

The context for this situation is that a woman asked the king for help in the time of famine. Not only that, but then she agreed when another woman suggested they eat their children, hers first and then the other woman’s. But when it was the other woman’s turn, she hid her son.

I cannot imagine that kind of situation … horrific. A situation of such pain and such poverty, and such … what a choice.

This verse, however, is so true. The king saying that if God doesn’t help the woman, where is he going to get help for her? It reminds me that when we have problems or need solutions,  maybe with a business project or in a relationship, He is our Helper (Hebrews 13:6). There is no need to be afraid, or to worry, when we know God is with us. And there is hope in that! because who greater to help us! …and thus, as the king said… if God won’t help you…what can I do?

It is through a relationship with Him, and understanding and listening when He speaks, that we are able to walk forward and accomplish the things before us. To win with love, and run our race with grace and strength. All requires Him.

Thank You God, today for your grace, mercy and strength. for being my Helper in so many ways each day. Thank you for being with me and taking care of my family and surroundings. I need You, and welcome your assistance today and every day. Thank you for intervening in my life, Lord. 🙂