Reading the Bible in Three Years

Joshua 23 (July 29)

                                                                   Straight Road

            “...neither to the right nor to the left,”

            The spiritual journey of a follower of Christ is difficult, narrow and must always be straight.  The slightest deviation, detour or “shortcut” could be disastrous for any follower of Christ; for it will take us to another road...away from our sweet communion with Jesus. 

            Christians must be as focused as thoroughbred stallions in a horse race.  Both of their eyes are covered on the sides, so they are unable to look to the right or to the left during the race.  In this way the trainers and riders force the horses to look in only one direction:

            Straight ahead.

            Dog races on the other hand, do not rely on blind folds such as in horse racing.  The dogs are deceived with a mechanical rabbit that runs ahead of them at an incredible speed.  All the greyhounds chase this “Bunny Gonzalez” and although they never capture it, they always go after it, race after race.

            If horses look ahead, and dogs follow their “prey” without any variation whatsoever; I believe Christians can do the same and more. To whom shall we look, and follow? I hope your answer is Jesus, for he is our only Leader and our only Guide.

            Lord, I will follow the footprints that you have left on the sand.  I will not turn to the left or to the right, but I will walk straight in your way, with my eyes fixed on you. Amen. 

            Is this your prayer?

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Joshua 22 (July 28)

                                                            Future Generations

            “...the generations after us,...”

            Jesus loved, and will forever love all the children of the world.  He gladly dedicated his precious time to heal, speak, and listen to little children.  He never rejected a child, no matter how busy he was; and He received them regardless of the objection of many, including his disciples.

            If children are so important to our Lord Jesus, wouldn’t you agree that his followers should devote more time and effort to invest it in the future generations?  The sad reality is, that children and youth are many times forgotten or ignored in our congregations.

            Thankfully, the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh, had a better vision for the next generation than some of us.  They built an altar as a visible testimony for those who were coming after them.  These tribes desired to make sure that their children had all the opportunities to know, serve, and worship God.

            We have the same challenge and privilege today.  Our responsibility is to guide those who come behind us and to train them in the ways of the Lord.  It is a great and difficult challenge, because it will demand from us to live above reproach, and it will require time...lots of time.

            It is also a privilege, in the sense that we are called to be role models for our children.  Forget about the athletes, singers and movie stars.  It is our job (not theirs), to influence the next generation. 

             Who will answer the call?

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Joshua 20 (July 26)

                                                       Say No

            “...and given a place...”

            The heart of a Christian can be compared at times, to a city of refuge.  We feel “compassion” for sinful thoughts and we hide them there.  How is it possible for Jesus and sin, to dwell in our hearts at the same time?

            This is the outcome of giving room or place to those evil thoughts.  The devil knocks on our door and when we open, even if it is just to look, his wicked influence comes in and it becomes rather powerful and difficult to drive out. It is easier to deal with a "newborn" temptation, than with a full-blown sin in our hearts

            But it does not have to be this way.  The criminals in the cities of refuge were able to leave when the high priest died.  Likewise, all evil thoughts have permission to leave us immediately; because Jesus, our High Priest, died on the cross, where He also crucified all our sins.

            Nevertheless, Jesus was raised from the dead, and now dwells in our hearts forever.  He wants to reign as king and he is not willing to share his throne with anyone or anything, including “criminal thoughts.”

            What can we do then? When the devil knocks again on your door, do not open!  If temptation is luring you away from God, say NO, but say it with conviction.  If perhaps the devil keeps insisting, as he will, then you must exercise your option of calling on Jesus to answer the door.  This is what the Bible calls resisting the devil and not giving room to temptation.

            Remember... just say No.

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Joshua 21 (July 27)

                                                           Generosity

            “...with its pasture lands...”

            How wonderful is our Lord, who gives to us more than we ask, need or deserve!

When the Levites received their cities amid other tribes’ inheritances; God in his infinite wisdom and love provided something extra for them.  Each city came with pasture lands for their flocks.

            The pasture lands that were given to the Levites by the Lord are comparable to the proverbial icing on a delicious cake; or to hot fudge over vanilla ice cream.  These lands were a special blessing from God, to compensate those servants and ministers who had no earthly inheritance.

            The love and generosity of our God is never-ending.  He provides abundantly for his children, while we tarry on this strange planet, away from our heavenly home.  Our real inheritance is found in heaven, but God’s providence sustains us every day of our earthly life.

            When you  think that you deserve anything; or when you feel the need to demand God’s favor upon your life, remember that the only thing we really deserve is eternal “accommodations” in hell.

            Nevertheless, Jesus saved our souls, and has made us sons and daughters of the Almighty.  As such, we have absolute rights to eternal life in Christ, but God insists in giving more to us.  He is providing miraculously for us now; and will reward us when we arrive to our celestial abode.

            Thank you Father for giving us so much!

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Joshua 19 (July 25)

                                                                By The Book

            “By command of the Lord they gave him...”

            The secret of a victorious life is to live under the guidance and power of the Word of God.  Our thought process must be directed by God at all times; but before he can do this, all negative and carnal thoughts must be rejected and replaced with godly and biblical convictions and notions.

            If we “hide” God’s Word in our hearts, God will employ it  to completely transform our attitude, words and conduct.  His Word is a spiritual detergent, which cleans and purifies human beings.

            This Word of life must be read with great expectations and received by faith.  Afterwards, the Holy Spirit will start applying what we have learned, to every needy area of our being; until the Word becomes a fountain in our souls, from which springs everything we do, think or say.

            The Word in us, will stimulate the desire to serve God by faith and with love.  God’s Word will motivate those who read it to live more for God, and less for themselves.  In other words, the faithful reading of the Bible drives away our ego, and brings us closer to God.

            Joshua was successful as he followed God’s commands.  Decide today to live according to God’s Word. Let the Word be to you what it was to David, who declared that the Word is a “lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105). I encourage you to read, study, follow and obey God’s Word, but let me give you a fair warning:  It could change your life! 

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