|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!|
Archive for the ‘Lives Impacted’ Category
May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………
Today’s Bible Reference: Matthew 27:50-53
Today’s Bible Text: 50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people.
The Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
My Take Away: ‘Good Friday’ is generally a sad day on the Christian Calendar as we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. However, I want us to concentrate on a few of the positives of that day:
- Obedience – Jesus said to the Father that He would prefer that the cup of suffering be taken away from him, but never-the-less He wanted the will of the Father to be achieved. After reading about all of the miracles performed by Jesus, I’m sure that this would be been an easy feat to escape the crucifixion with just one miraculous word from the Father. Jesus wanted nothing more than to be obedient to His Father, even if it lead to His death in humility before the world. Perhaps we also should use this as a guide as we study other parts of the Bible in regards to ‘Obedience’. It’s not only intended for those times that it is convenient for us to be obedient;
- Lives were impacted – The eyes of some of the very soldiers responsible for crucifying Jesus were opened to who Jesus truly was, and the awesomeness of what took place that day at Golgotha. No doubt, this was a turning point in their lives. Graves were opened and the dead arose! In a few days they went on to witness in the city. Do you suppose they got everyone’s attention? Do you suppose the people were now more open to listening to the witnesses of Jesus Christ by these individuals? What type of disaster or miracle would it take today for some to stop and listen to the truth of God’s Word and the love of their Creator? It is so sad to hear the stories of some who are intelligent, yet they have chosen to listen to the lies and deception of the Evil One, over the Savior who gave it all for their eternal benefit.
- The power of God – Let’s be careful not to be stifled into a feeling of defeat because of the cross. That very day we saw the temple impacted when the curtain was torn in two; stones split open and tombs opened. Because of our post-resurrection time that we live in, we know that the power of God also brings Jesus back to life to complete His mission. But may I also remind you that this same power is available to those who are struggling in life right now, also? Perhaps a marriage is hurting; or someone’s health is challenged; or financial issues; or unemployment. Friends, no matter what you are facing today, is it anything more challenging than what God faced on that first Good Friday?
I believe it is obvious that God was powerful enough to handle the events surrounding the crucifixion of His very own Son, so He could definitely identify with your pain and your challenges if only, like Jesus, you surrender your will to His and allow Him to be God. This could always be remembered as a ‘Good’ Friday in your personal calendar for the rest of your life!
Prayer: Father, You impacted our lives in all aspects of Your Son, even the day He spent in torment on the cross of Calvary. Your will was accomplished, all for our benefit. Thank You heavenly Father for Your love. Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice and Your obedience. With the same power that turned this world upside down with the events of that first Good Friday, we surrender our will to Yours and pray that our lives might be so aligned with Yours that the world will see Jesus and desire to know Him personally. Touch Your people once again today Lord – ‘as we seek Your face, may we know Your heart’. I ask these things in greatest humility and within the confines of Your perfect will, 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 contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org 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!