Reading the Bible in Three Years

Joshua 13 (July 19)

                                                                  Forget The Past

            “...much of the land still remains to be possessed.”

            I heard the following story from Dr. Saul Aldunate:

            A very famous doctor received the highest honors in his profession.  One day in the pinnacle of his illustrious career, he was honored in a special banquet attended by the most prominent figures in the field of medicine. It was indeed a most festive and unforgettable occasion.

            At the end of the ceremony a reporter asked him:

            “How do you feel after this great triumph?  Do you think that you have reached the top?”

            The doctor thought for a moment, and then he replied matter-of-factly: 

            “No, I have not reached the top, and the day that I stop learning, will be the day that I become an ignorant!”

            This same attitude should be emulated by every child of God.  There is always something new to learn about God and each day is an invaluable opportunity to grow in Christ, serve others as ambassadors of his love and bring glory to Christ.  Even the apostle Paul, with his great resume, thought he had not reached his goal, as he continued to serve Jesus until his death.

            Perhaps your walk with Christ has been wonderful and you have been faithful to the Lord.  But your past is behind you and there are still mountains to be climbed, and land to possess in your life.  Forget your past and keep walking with your God today and always!

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Joshua 12 (July 18)

                                                                Distribution

            “...according to their allotments,”

            The word “allotment,” refers more or less to the portion of land that was distributed among the tribes of Israel.  To distribute is to divide, share, dispense, etc.  This is a business term that is used to describe the allocation and movement of goods or services from one place to the other. This is also used in real estate sales, as people buy “lots” in which to build their houses.

            The twelve tribes of Israel were distributed across the Land of Canaan.  Some of the tribes were assigned a mountainous region, while others received their inheritance along the coast, or in a valley or even close to the desert.

             In the same manner, God has placed or “distributed” his children all over the earth.  There are Christians in every social class, race and culture of the world.  Some are wealthy, while others live in less favorable conditions.  Some believers enjoy total freedom and prosperity and others prosper in the midst of intense poverty and persecution.

            In our affluent society we have at our disposal countless versions of the Bible, beautiful sanctuaries and Christian radio and television stations... the rest of the world cries for a copy of the New Testament.

            The most precious possession a follower of Christ has is his relationship with God.  Wherever God has placed you, and whatever material possessions he has distributed to you, have but one ultimate purpose:  For us to bring glory to God wherever we are.

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Joshua 10 (July 16)

                                                                     In Victory

            “...and put their feet on their necks.”

            Great was Joshua’s victory in the longest day ever recorded in history!  The sun stopped…or was it the Earth that stopped rotating around the sun? The fact is that there was daylight for a long time and the Israelites defeated strong armies; conquered fortified cities; and captured five enemy kings, all in a day’s work.

            But the battle had finished before it began.  God gave their enemies into their hands, so the Israelites under Joshua’s command, fought from a position of victory, not to obtain the victory.

            Christians also go to battle in power and victory.  This triumph was consummated two thousand years ago, when Jesus defeated the devil, sin and death through his sacrificial death on the cross.  His complete victory was sealed three days later, when he arose from the dead.

            The devil, our adversary, knows that he is already defeated, and that “his time is short!”  (Revelation 12:12).  He uses the schemes of deceit, fear, intimidation and temptation against us.  He does all this and much, much more to drag as many people as he can, to hell.

            Do not fear the devil my brethren.  He is nothing but a toothless lion and a snake without venom.  Jesus crushed his head, broke his teeth and took away most of his power against believers on the cross.  The only way in which he can hurt us, is if we “make room for the devil.”  (Ephesians 4:27), or if we defeat ourselves by listening to his lies, following his schemes or retreating in fear.

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Joshua 11 (July 17)

                                                            In Everything

            “For it was the Lord’s doing...”

            Everything that happens to a Christian comes from, or at least it is allowed by God. When God allows anything to happen in our lives, it doesn’t mean that God is not in control, or that He doesn’t have any other option but to grant our wishes. God’s allowance means that He is the one that gives permission to everything that comes our way.  When we say everything, we are including not only his manifold blessings, but tests and problems as well.

            Furthermore, we are certain that everything works for our good, if we love God.  (Romans 8:28).  God works through our circumstances to mold us according to his eternal purpose.  His purpose is to shape us in the image of his Son Jesus, and to make our faith grow.

            Finally, we can affirm that God uses all these events in our lives, to bring glory to his most holy name.  One day, in eternity, God will display each one of us before his angels.  The entire universe will be amazed when they contemplate God’s finished masterpiece.  Everyone will give God the honor and glory, for it was him the one who transformed us.

            When adversity knocks on your door, you have two alternatives.  You can wail in desperation and ask God why; or you can pray and ask God what’s his purpose through this test.  The correct attitude is to remember that God is in control; that he is working for our good; that He wants to use us and that in everything that happens to us He has a lesson that we must learn.   

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Joshua 9 (July 15)

                                                                 Rambling Ramboes

            “...and did not ask direction from the Lord.”

            In some cultures the concept of “macho man” is widespread.  Many of these men are very inconsiderate with their wives and on top of that, they are very jealous.  Some of them are very “manly” and strong, and they prove their manliness by physically abusing their spouses.

            A macho man is very easy to spot.  Apart from the aforementioned characteristics, they have unique traits such as independence from family responsibility; use of profane language; and a total lack of interest for anybody, except themselves of course.

            If a macho or “Rambo” man wants to drink, go out with his friends, or commit adultery, he just proceeds ahead without consulting anyone’s opinion.  But his wife needs to ask his permission for anything, because he is the “Master.”

            There are far too many “Ramboes” among believers today.  We want to do whatever we please with our lives, or as someone have said:  “We are the masters of our own destiny.”  Accountability is not in our vocabulary and we don’t allow God or anyone else to even suggest the slightest modification to our behavior.          

            If we are ill, we go to the doctor without consulting or praying to God first.  If we plan trips, we do not include God; and when we are tempted, we do not cry to God for deliverance.  As Christians, however, we must ask God for direction and guidance for every decision.

            Rambo may have been a popular movie back in the day, but having a Rambo attitude or behavior should never be popular among Christians.

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