Peacemakers: Joshua 10:1-17:18

 Joshua 10:1-13:32

Absence of fear, is peace. (10:8)

God fights our battles. (10:14)

Joshua’s life was not at peace.IMG_20190708_074442

Wholeheartedly following God, brings you peace. (14:9)

What did they do with all the bodies they killed during Joshua’s campaign? 

Why couldn’t the tribe of Judah drive out there Jebusites? (15:63)

Why didn’t the descendants of Manasseh kill the Canaanites? (17:12-13)

Peacemakers: 6 Joshua 5:13-9:27

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Joshua 5:13-9:27

I wonder how many men marched around Jericho? How long did it take? 6:8-11

Keeping your promise, is an act of peace. 6:22

Sparing lives, is an act of peace. 6:25

Stealing from God, and disobeying him, is not a peaceful act. 7:1,11

Still don’t understand how one man can talk to thousands without the message being altered. 8:34-35.

So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. – Joshua 9:14-15 (The beginning of Israel’s demise.)

 

Peacemakers: Joshua 3:5 – 5:12

Joshua 3:5 – 5:12

Memorials help us remember what God has done for us. Also so others can see what God has done for us.

So Joshua circumcised their sons—those who had grown up to take their fathers’ places—for they had not been circumcised on the way to the Promised Land. After all the males had been circumcised, they rested in the camp until they were healed. – Joshua 5:7-8 (How long did that take???)

The very next day they began to eat unleavened bread and roasted grain harvested from the land. No manna appeared on the day they first ate from the crops of the land, and it was never seen again. So from that time on the Israelites ate from the crops of Canaan. – Joshua 5:11-12 ( Looks like it took long enough to plant and harvest.)

 

Never Traveled This Way Before

… giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” – Joshua 3:3-4 

It caught my attention when they were heading into the land God was giving them, Joshua told Israel the Ark will be their guide, since they’ve never traveled this way before.  Made me think about how they moaned and groaned about wandering the wilderness. They probably didn’t need a guide while they were there since they had been wandering for 40 years. They probably knew it forward and back. It made me think about how God might be trying to teach us lessons when we find ourselves in the same predicament time after time, and we complain about it just the same. 

We need a guide to lead us where we’ve never traveled before, too. When we start following God, we are led into his promises.

Boldness: A Look at Genesis to Revelations

Back in September of last year I started a new Bible study on what it looks like to be bold. Fearing I am never good enough because I am always anxious about whether I am doing anything right prompted me to learn how to be bold. What I learned has amazed me. So many assumptions I had, have been wrong. I am so grateful for the opportunity for God to lead me on this journey, and I can’t wait to see how it manifests in me.

In the beginning I learned every decision we make is bold. Being a jerk, is bold. Being nice, is bold. Even not making a decision is bold because there are still consequences with not making a decision. Standing by and letting someone be a jerk to someone, is bold. Everything comes with risks. Everything comes with consequences.

Originally, I thought boldness had to do with a lack of fear. However, I learned pretty quickly the boldness that comes from Christ, really has nothing to do with fear. It is possible to act boldly but still be fearful.

And in fact, the boldness that doesn’t come from Christ, probably has everything to do with fear. I’m afraid someone is going to take advantage of me if I don’t show him who is boss. I’m afraid if I don’t jump at this opportunity I may not be successful in life. I’m afraid if I don’t take control everything will fall to pieces.

The fear is about me. Not about Christ. I can feel fear. It’s not the sin. The sin is letting it control me. When I allow my fear to control me, I am taking back my life from Christ. I am no longer letting him be my Lord.

Once I hit the New testament I realized the boldness I wanted to inherit comes from God. Without Jesus or without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to please him. Again this boldness has nothing to do with fear. Boldness, like courage, is feeling fear and doing it anyway. It looks foolish to the world. It looks like weakness. It looks like defeat.

I found faith as a better way to describe boldness. Boldness allows you to do something, because it’s the right thing to do, not because you weren’t afraid. Your faith in God, makes you bold. Without faith, it is impossible to be bold for Christ.

I’m not sure if boldness is the same as faith, but I definitely believe it is a result of it. Boldness is your demonstration of your faith. Faith is a verb, and it looks like boldness. The stronger your faith, the bolder you become.

I want to live a life that displays more than my salvation. I want to spend my days living a life worthy of my Father. One that points to who my Father is. One that honors him. I don’t just want Christ to save my life. I want him to use my life. I could not do this without inheriting the boldness his Spirit gives.

With his boldness, I am able to live in this world without being a part of it. I am able to look forward to eternal and heavenly consequences, rather than earthly consequence that may be immediate but will one day disappear.

Once His Spirit enters me, my will to live is gone and the desire to do His will is birthed. I am transformed. I am no longer the same person. I am a new creation. I have access to a boldness I never had before. It starts small, but with practice and devotion, it grows. The less there is of me, the more of him there is.

The Bible is full of instruction on how to mature your boldness. The Holy Spirit enables you to be bold, but it won’t magically make you bold. It will require your commitment, your dedication, your faith.

Like the Israelites who spent 40 years in the desert being sanctified, learning how to be God’s Holy people; I have my time on earth to do the same thing. With the boldness the Lord gives me, I am learning what it means to stop being a product of this world and start being a product of a heavenly one. I’m grateful he has given me more than 40 years, but now I feel the urgency to make up for lost time. Cuz honestly, I’ve only recently started this whole sanctification process.

I live for the Day of Judgment when my salvation has been made evident, and I am rewarded for my boldness. And reward enough for me is to hear my Father’s words, “Good and faithful.”

Giving It All Away

Giving everything you have to the Kingdom of Heaven, is bold.

You are trusting God to fulfill all his promises; that he loves you, is watching out for you, he’s going to provide everything you need, so that your resources he gave you in the first place, can go to help others know him as their father as well. He didn’t give us all this stuff so that we could live a comfy life. All this stuff is suppose to empower us to do his work; to show his love, to be his hands and feet. We were never supposed to horde what we have. We were never supposed to collect riches, things, or prestige. He puts us in position to help, and watches to see if we are investing it into others.

There are people out there who work twice as hard, five times as hard, as I do and yet, their income does not reflect mine. No one deserves what they receive. Wealth is not based on the amount of your effort, like you are somehow more special, more deserving, more gifted. It’s all a gift. A gift that was meant for others. It’s a privilege.

Oh, but I understand how great the temptation is to hold onto everything. To be selfish and then justify it by saying I deserve it. I don’t. We don’t. We don’t deserve any of it.

Now the flip side to this is there are those who refuse the gifts of God. They don’t take up their righteous place in his kingdom. They don’t want to listen to the instructions he provides, so they never find themselves in a position to help others, to do his work, to show his love, to be his hands and feet. They are victims to their circumstances. They blame others, instead of themselves. So his resources are never offered. Actually, they are offered, but they’re not accepted. Maybe they don’t know another way, maybe they’re too proud to follow any other way.

But there’s hope. He always leaves his door open to anyone who wants to come in and take up their inherited position he has set aside for them.

So he trusts us, those of us who have already inherited the Kingdom of God to lead those who don’t know him, and they in turn, use their inheritance to lead others too. It’s a beautiful cycle of love he gifts us; those of us who participate. The joy he gives out does any comfort we can horde here on Earth.

He commands nothing, but he asks for it all. He’s the kind of God I want to serve. He doesn’t need me, but he wants me anyway.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” – Mark 12:43-44

This is All I Know

If even Peter was weak and let Jesus down, how can I possibly not??? He lived with him, spoke to him. Saw his miracles. Heard him teaching. Walked on freakin’ water with him! And yet, he still denied him. THREE TIMES! IN THE SAME NIGHT!!! I am so screwed. We are all, so so screwed.

Maybe I need to accept that I fail at following Jesus, miserably. Even when I do good, I’m still screwing it all up. My ways are not his ways, and my thoughts are not his thoughts. I have trouble understanding people here on earth. So no, I don’t know exactly what God expects from me. But I know in my heart I want to spend the rest of my life figuring it out. Even if I’m doing it all wrong. I still want to pursue him, because he gives me hope.

He tells me I am loved even when I’m unlovable. He gives me peace knowing he is watching over me, guiding me, giving me a way out of the traps I keep setting for myself. He makes me new. He erases all the false messages I’ve heard about myself from others and gives me truth. Truth that I am a screw-up and he loves me anyway. He made me this way, and I am honoring him, by accepting who I am. A child of God.

I know my place; I know I’m not worthy. And only because Jesus says I am, I am. I am saved by his grace. Not by my works.

If I know anything, this is what I know…

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16