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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What would you give up for someone?

As we prepare our hearts for communion as many of us will be observing the first week in March, it is important to reflect not only on the actual death and resurrection, but the COST. It is said that the cost of discipleship is staggering, but of course this isn't usually referring to the financial investment into a student, so to speak, but rather the emotion, and effort, and heartache that accompany the discipleship process. No matter the difficulty of what youve experienced it paled in comparrison to Jesus. He poured into His disciples as much truth and teaching as He could get into a 24 hour period of time and all the while knowing that the Father would turn His back. God the Father, forsook God the Son, and this was almost unbearable for Jesus as we read in the gospels. Jesus was giving it all up and knew that He would be beaten and bruised, crucified and placed in a tomb. It was the darkest of times the world has ever known and yet one of the most celebrated in History. By celebrated, I mean remembered and reflecting as we are instructed to until the Lord returns. God loved you enough to give you His Son!, If someone loves you that much how can you question if they will give you anything else. Still not sure? Can I have your child? even if you know it is for destruction?
If you loved me that much to give me your own child then I doubt you would withhold thier toys, should I ask for them. At what cost are you willing to make the Son of God know.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My "Achan" breakin heart.

What a great time I have had pouring through these pages in Joshua, both personally and teaching it. As we wind down on the capture and destruction of Jericho we see a reminder of just how easy it is for us to do things on our own effort. As I see it we have three options as we proceed through life. 1 is to make a plan and hope for the best, 2 is to make plans to the best of our ability and ask God to bless our plans, and 3 is to seek God and then do what He tells us to. In chapter 7 it is revealed that Joshua sends a group of 3000 men to Ai, a small town of probably around 12,000 total population, and end up with 36 dead soldiers and a hasty retreat. The result of not seeking God but doing his own thing. Had Joshua sought God before going out to battle, he would have known that God had not given over the city of Ai because of dishonest and corrupt behavior on the part of Achan. Two quick points here. Never underestimate that your sin effects others and will have consequences. secondly whenever your faced with trusting God or man, in this case two spies, pick God. Seriously why would it even be a matter of choice when there is only one choice.
No "Joshin", you need to choose wisely whom you will follow. The final point I want to shine on is how quickly God forgives and blesses when WE have the proper attitude and deal with it instead of hiding it.
What is it you need to make right with God this week?
In your corner

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Living by Faith

This week we will be discussing chapter 6 of Joshua which is well known for the battle of Jericho, the walls coming down, Joshua's victory and most everything but what the main point is about. Truth is it is a completion to chapter two. Yes Joshua has victory and yes Rahab is safely brought out, but what about God and what about Rahab and Joshua's faith? Seems like we overlook it pretty quickly with the focus on the physical. Remember the preincarnate Christ with sword drawn in chapter 5, encouraging Joshua that He would win the battle for Israel not any tricky military strategy. And have you ever "wondered" why the red cord isn't mentioned when Joshua sends the spies to get Rahab out? (o.k., I'll give you this one early this one time. It was the only part of the wall that did not collapse. makes it pretty easy to figure out which house was hers huh?) Chapter 6 is full of faith, but did you realize that the word faith is only found four times in the O.T. and each time is a different Hebrew word, and none are found in Joshua, let alone chapter 6? This seems to defy the rules of Bible study. Normally you look for repeated words to get an idea of what is important and I would still encourage you to do just that, but in this case if that were all we did, we may miss the point altogether. This week read through Joshua 6 and come back again for the extra points for deeper study.
Till then keep in the Word!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Born to Lead

Joshua is an awesome testimony to God's faithfulness!! This weeks extra point is found in Joshua chapter 5 verse 14, where Joshua just has an encounter with the preincarnate Christ, one of four in the Old Testament. The Lord corrects Joshua's presumptuous attitude that this stranger was either for them or against them and says, "no, i come now as the captain of the Lords host". In other words, if you want to join me that's fine but you are actually on my team not vise verse. Joshua instantly drops in reverence. Have you ever asked why? Doesn't Joshua give up the battle pretty easily for some stranger that has his sword drawn and says he has his own team? The reason is fascinating. Look carefully at the words that are used. The Lord uses the word "Yeh-ho-vah" which is the Jewish national name for God. Joshua was introduced to the Lord in a way that would have sent shivers down his back. Even more interesting is the term that Joshua uses, Ad-o-noy. This is the big term only referencing God. Big G only, no little g's. Now this can be quite confusing because one translation, (I won't pick on anyone with specifics), actually translates the word Adon, which is a root of ad-o-noy. The root could mean either man or deity and is somewhat ambiguous. If you look at the context you see the Lord tell Joshua to get his air Jordan's off because he is on "holy ground". No angel would allow worship for themselves or accept it, unless on the enemies team, and we see an example of this in Revelation when John bows down to worship an angel and the angel says don't do that worship only God. If you wish to further study this you will find even more amazing truths such as the word servant Joshua uses would more accurately be translated as slave. Study out other areas that use the same words and the ways they are used and compare different translations. I would look at a parallel between NASB, KJV, NIV and NLT. ESV is a good one as well. Comparing these versions will demonstrate the reliability of the text in each translation and through this study you will see how much the Old Testament flows together. That my friends is a Moses moment. Till next time stay in the word and continue to praise the God that made you and sustains you.