|Joshua 7:13 (TLB)|
|13 “Get up! Tell the people, ‘Each of you must undergo purification rites in preparation for tomorrow, for the Lord your God of Israel says that someone has stolen from him, and you cannot defeat your enemies until you deal with this sin.|
|When God sent Joshua and the Israelites to conquer Jericho, He gave specific instructions to them about what should be destroyed (pretty much everything), and what must be brought back for the temple of the living God (silver and gold). God knew that there were some who disobeyed Him and brought back valuables for themselves. They sinned against God. Because of this unconfessed sin, God chose to see the Israelites punished when they went to battle against the people of Ai.|
|In chapter 7 of Joshua, we could see where the sinful acts mentioned above was performed by one person, yet God allowed many of the Israelite army to be killed by the very small army of Ai. Joshua was crushed by this and he mourned and prayed before God. Of course, God knew who was guilty, but He found a way to show the Israelites that it all boiled down to one man who then confessed his sin before God and the people. This made me think of how this applies to us today. Friends, we often sit and ponder why certain things happen to us, our church, our town, our state and even our country. We are quick to judge that it must be our run-away child that’s bringing judgment on our home; or the pastors and leaders of our church who make bad judgment calls that, in turn, causes churches to close its doors; or perhaps the president of a country who is so awful that our country is going to Hell. Friends, I don’t believe that we have to look very far, for often there is sin right within our own lives, even though we try our best to portray perfection. One of the very sad truths that come from this story is that, the sins of one man destroyed his whole family, a fair number of his army, and wreaked havoc on his leader who was totally heartbroken about what was happening under his leadership. Often we think that our absence from church is unnoticeable and our sin is insignificant because it only impacts us personally, but isn’t it a good reminder that our lack of commitment and our willingness to do our own thing, could impact a whole family; a whole church; or a whole lot more? We must remember friends, that a Christian might influence those around him into accepting Jesus as Lord, or he might be so hardened and obstinate towards God that he causes God’s anger to flare against a whole church or community because of his selfish and sinful attitude. You do make a difference friend, so seek the face of Jesus to help you be all that you have committed to Him, and more. Allow God to make you a usable vessel in His vineyard and not a roadblock to others.|
|Lord Jesus, thank You for showing Your love towards us, even while we were still sinners without any hope. Representing You before our lost family and friends is such a great honor and privilege, but please help us to always be mindful that we could very easily become an ‘Achan’ as we take our eyes off You and allow sin to filter into our lives again. I don’t believe that anyone desires to be like ‘Achan’, so please help us Lord to stay closely in tuned with You so that our hearts will recognize when Satan tries to attack. We are Yours Lord, and we want to keep it that way until You call us home to glory, but we need You to guide us daily, and we need Your strength to help us make decisions that honor You. The glory belongs to You Lord! AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Blinded by Sin’ Category
THE HOLY BIBLE – John 9:39-41 The Voice (VOICE):
Jesus: 39 I have entered this world to announce a verdict that changes everything. Now those without sight may begin to see, and those who see may become blind.
Some Pharisees (who overheard Jesus): 40 Surely we are not blind, are we?
Jesus: 41 If you were blind, you would be without sin. But because you claim you can see, your sin is ever present.
THOUGHTS: Ever noticed how easy it is, and how prone we are, to assume that the preacher is talking to the guy behind us, or perhaps right beside us? You know, the message just seems to fit the other person so well! In fact, you couldn’t have said it any better yourself, right? This is so unfortunate, and really very scary, because if we are not careful we can walk away from a sermon, or read a devotional like this one, and never be personally impacted by the Word of God, because these lessons must have been intended for ‘the other person’. So having said this up front, may I encourage you to take a moment and speak to God? Ask Him to melt, and humble your heart, so that you might be open and attentive to His Word today, and apply it very squarely to your life. Let’s try to put this in perspective friends. I would imagine that if you met a group of friends at church and decided to go out and do some door-to-door evangelism, you would probably choose to visit those homes where no one attends your church. Why? Because we are caught into a trap like the Pharisees, where we assume that all church attendees are saved. Let me suggest another view on this. Let’s assume that an investigator approached you for help in finding a criminal who has been tormenting the neighborhood. How many church attendees would you suggest that the investigator visit and question? Friends, this scripture is a great eye-opener for us, because Jesus is saying to us that because we say we are saved, then anything that we do contrary to His teaching, is sin. In other words, the day we asked Jesus into our hearts, there was an awesome Helper assigned to us, because we were given a new ‘plumb line’ (standard) to live by – God’s Word and His teachings. When we deliberately reject the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit and live any which way we want to, then we become like those Pharisees that Jesus spoke to in these verses. We know the right way, or God’s way, yet we have chosen to disobey and do our own thing. This is blatant sin, friend! For non-Christians reading this today, please don’t think that you are off the hook, because your whole life has not been reconciled with God yet. Your responsibility lies with working out your own salvation. God Loves you so much that He gave His precious, and only, Son to die on a cruel cross so that you might have a means of seeking forgiveness of your sin. To my Christian friends, please be reminded that accepting Jesus as Lord was the first and primary step in knowing Him as Lord. If you were sincere in that decision, then your life will reflect that by the way you live. If you are His child, you will live like Him. Thinking that you are His child and reflecting no change in your lifestyle may be a case of you having repeated a few words suggested by a pastor or friend. A true commitment to Jesus, creates a relationship with Him. Success in any relationship comes through knowing more about the other person and doing everything possible to please them. Are you there yet in your relationship with Jesus?
PRAYER: Dear God, please forgive us for assuming that we have this thing called ‘life’ all worked out. So often we are induced into making decisions in order to please parents, spouses or friends, but without taking personal responsibility to live according to the commitment we made. Unfortunately our commitment to You is much like that, for we enjoy the security of Your love, Your protection and Your eternal security, but we go on to live our lives without the full impact of change that is necessary to be obedient to You and Your commands. This causes us to get caught in a trap of hardened sin in our lives, that makes it challenging for You to pierce our hearts and get our attention. Distancing ourselves from You makes it challenging for us to recognize sin in our lives. Please soften hardened hearts today oh Lord, beginning with me. May we be sensitive to the work of You Holy Spirit so that we may be more like You before a lost and dying world. We need You Heavenly Father, and I ask that You break down walls today so that we might recognize You and go on to be more obedient children, for this is my humble plea that I ask in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!