Reading the Bible in Three Years

Joshua 18 (July 24)

                                                                Diligent

            “How long will you be slack...”

            The church of Jesus Christ is divided.  No, I am not referring to the numerous denominations sprawling all across the world.  I am not even considering the multiple divisions that split churches and separate brothers and sisters in the Lord almost on a weekly basis.

            The divisions I’m writing about, is between those Christians who are servants and those who are negligent or disobedient.  It is estimated that only five to ten percent of church members are active in their congregations.

            In which group are you today?

            I want to be an obedient servant.  I want to hear from Christ, words of praise such as; “good and faithful servant.”  (Matthew 25:23). I want to be diligent and not negligent.  How many of us will say with Paul: “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”  (Timothy 4:7).

            To be negligent is remarkably easy.  The only thing you must do, is to remain inactive in church, while the pastor and faithful Christians serve the Lord.  If  you choose to follow this path, you will be inducted into the “bench warmers” hall of fame for your contributions to the cause of negligence and apathy.

            I pray that you are a faithful and diligent believer, and that your life is dedicated to God’s service.  If this is not the case, you can start today. God will bless, and richly reward you for your service, but the best reward is found in knowing that God is well pleased with you.

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Joshua 17 (July 23)

                                                                 True Leaders

 

            “The Lord commanded Moses...”

            If we would take the time today to make a detailed inspection of Moses’ life, we could find quite a few characteristics or traits of a godly leader. Let’s do so in the next few minutes and perhaps we can learn a thing or two about leadership. I pray that we can also apply this knowledge to our lives and use it for the glory of God and for the benefit of our followers.

            A godly leader leads an exemplary life.  The best way in which we can lead others, is by our example.  A true leader cares for his followers, is decisive and highly organized. This world needs genuine leaders that reflect Christ’s leadership in their own hearts; men of integrity and honor that glorify God with their lives.

            The main characteristic of a godly leader is for him to have a servant’s heart.  Every Christian is a leader in one way or another and we need to lead, not as rulers, but as servants of others.  It matters not the scope of your leadership; what’s important is that you lead according to God’s principles.

            Moses became a great leader, because he was a great servant of God and his people.  God had control of, and access to Moses’ heart; and Moses was obedient to the Lord.

            If you desire to be a godly leader today, be a good follower first.  Learn to obey God and to follow the instructions of his servants.  Then you will be able to lead others because you are an obedient and faithful servant who leads, not only with authoritative words, but with his life.

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Joshua 15 (July 21)

                                                                Total Cleaning

            “But the people of Judah could not drive out...”

            Caleb, an eighty five year old man, conquered the mountain of Hebron and defeated the three sons of Anak, a race of giants.  He accomplished all this marvelous feats in the name of the Lord. God rewarded his faithfulness with a divinely infused courage and strength, and with a complete victory.

            His brothers from the tribe of Judah could not do the same.  For example, the city of Jerusalem was not captured until the days of King David, or almost four hundred years later.  How is it possible that an elderly man could accomplish what young warriors could not?

            The answer lies in Caleb’s faithfulness.  He had faith in God, and a vision of victory.  Perhaps the younger warriors were afraid of the Philistines; or they fell in love with some pagan women; or maybe they just thought that it was not really necessary to conquer the cities that God had already given into their hands.

            Whatever the reason, the fact is that their conquest was incomplete.  The cities and towns that were left unconquered, would later come back to haunt them.  The failure to obey God today, always has a terrible price tomorrow!

            Are there sins in your life that you just can’t, or better yet, won’t drive out of your soul?  You can pray to Jesus today for Him to clean your mind and heart.  You can also ask him to give you courage to drive anything that obstructs your sweet communion with him.                          

            Do you want a clean heart?

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Joshua 16 (July 22)

                                                                  Even the Children

            “The allotment of the Josephites...”

            When I read about the sons of Joseph, I am reminded about my own three sons.  Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt:  A foreign country, with different culture and language. In a sense, they were foreigners because their mother was a gentile and their culture was Egyptian, not Hebrew.

            The Israelites and the foreigners that left Egypt behind received an inheritance in the Promised Land of Canaan.  Ephraim and Manasseh each received their allotment with the other tribes.

            What is the lesson to be learned from this story?

            In the first place, we learn about God’s unconditional and unprejudiced love.  Even though he chose the nation of Israel to be his holy people, he also loved the Gentiles.  God’s love was responsible for sending his only Son to die in our place on that terrible cross.

            Secondly, God is showing us that he chooses weak and insignificant people such as the Israelites and ourselves, to perform great wonders in His name.  His ways are mysterious, but God will accomplish his eternal purpose through his people and by his power.

            My sons speak very little Spanish, and the sons of Joseph probably didn’t know one word of Hebrew.  But that is not an obstacle for God.  He can use our children for his glory.  Let us then, live in such a way that we inspire them to love God and speak His language.

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Joshua 14 (July 20)

                                                                Caleb the Conqueror

            “So now give me this hill country...”

            Caleb was an extraordinary man.  In his younger days, he was faithful to his God, and as a result he was one of the twelve men chosen to spy “the land that flows with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8). His report in conjunction with Joshua was positive and according to God’s will.

            Caleb remained faithful to the Lord during the next forty five years of his life and God rewarded him.  He and Joshua were the only ones to enter the Promised Land of Canaan; the rest of the original members of the Exodus died in the wilderness. It is good to be faithful to God, for He is Faithful and True and will recompense all the labors we do in his name.

            One day Caleb asked for a mountain as his possession, and it was given to him.  His desire reflected our hopes and dreams to conquer our own mountains, but only a few of us ever reach to the top of at least one hill.

            The main difference between a dreamer and a conqueror is the price the latter is willing to pay.  While it is good to dream about spiritual and godly things, there comes a time when action is needed.  Caleb was always dreaming about his own mountain as he was conquering land for others.  When the battles ended around him, his battle against the giants on the mountain began.

            What is your dream (mountain) today?  Whatever it is, you must know that there will be obstacles on your way.  Do not fear, for God is by your side and he can turn dreamers into conquerors. 

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