Joshua is getting ready to leave the earth, and is passing on his wisdom to the next generation. He reminds them what God did for them, by getting them out of Egypt under Pharaoh’s rule, by parting the red sea and covering their enemies by the waters, and by driving out all of their enemies and giving them the land that the Lord promised Abraham. “So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant.” – Joshua 24:13
“‘Now then,’ said Joshua, ‘throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel’.” – Joshua 24:23
You cannot love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength if your love is divided. All does not mean that we give some of our lives to God. All means ALL. That means that God comes first in every decision that we face, every step we make, every breath take. Our loyalty is not divided between God and other gods. Other gods include the obvious things like money, success, Sunday football and other sports and hobbies. But it also includes putting any person above God to the point where they become an idol.
And while we are not to love others so much that we put them above God and make them idols, it is important to keep in mind that we are to love our neighbors as ourselves because the Spirit of God is in us! So when we love others, we don’t love them for their flesh or from a worldly standpoint. But we love others because they are God’s children, and we are one body. We are to do our best to live at peace with each other and to bring them to know the love of Jesus Christ, making disciples of all nations.
Invite others to church. Encourage them to read the Bible. Just catch, and let God do the cleaning. We don’t have to try to answer questions, even if we know the answers. It is often best to just point people in the direction of the Word of God and a good local church. Let people of God who have devoted their lives to Jesus do that. (In another discussion, we will look at the key characteristics of a good local church.) The best thing we can do is speak to what God has done for us. And it is important to let others know that we don’t have it all figured out. But God does have it all figured out, as a matter of fact, He wrote the book, not only the Bible, but the book of life!
Be encouraged. You don’t have to carry the entire load. God is always there for you, and He is always faithful! Whatever it is that God has called you to do, have confidence knowing that you can do it. You are a unique child of God created for a special purpose. And with God on your side, there is nothing that you cannot do. I call you blessed!
Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this Word today. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, that we might walk in your Presence and be a light unto Your path. Fill us with knowledge and wisdom in your Word, and with discernment of the body of Christ that we are sensitive to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ in their needs, joys, desires, struggles, pain and suffering, illness, addictions, or whatever they face. Help us to be a good steward for You Father. Let us point people to Jesus, and yield our hearts to you Lord. We know that we live in cities that we did not build. Give us a grateful heart, and let our actions match our thoughts and words. Peel away from our lives the things that cause us sin Lord, and help us to serve only You. We yield our hearts fully to You Lord. Our hearts are in your hands. We love You Lord, and surrender fully to You. We ask that you forgive our sins and fill us with all of your goodness, in Jesus mighty name, Amen.
Today’s full reading: Joshua 23,24; Psalm 44; 1 Corinthians 11
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” – (Romans 12:18)
- “So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” – (Romans 12:5)
- “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” – (Matthew 22:36-40)
- “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” – (1 Corinthians 1:9)
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – (Jeremiah 29:11)
- “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – (Philippians 4:13)
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