Won and Done

Attachmen

There is a constant message of hope throughout the Bible. Typically, if you’re looking for a message of encouragement, the book of Joshua is where you go. There is a constant emphasis, in fact, a command given to Joshua by God to be strong and courageous.

Joshua had some big shoes to fill. Moses was gone and now he was the leader of millions of people, chosen to lead them into the promised land. And if you read about these people, they don’t seem to have been the most cooperative group of people. So, yes, he probably needed some encouragement, and who better than God Almighty to encourage him?

For now, let’s focus on the promised land. It was a land God had picked for His people. God doesn’t break His promises AND He only desires what’s best for His children. So the Israelites were about to receive the promised land. The best place for them, chosen by God. A promise they had been holding on to for years and years was about to be fulfilled.

It was theirs. And of course, there are some more major details in this story, please read it! There are more commands to Joshua to be strong and courageous as well. But for now, I think the most recent take away I have from this wonderful story is the concept of “Won and Done.” And it’s not just the battles in this story, but battles of God’s people throughout history in the old testament.

I think it was this idea that He wanted His people to understand about His promises, and still wants us to understand. It’s the fact that His promise is a promise. Whether it will take a battle for it to come true or not, if God promised it, consider it won and done. Frankly, because it is.

Joshua 6:2, 20

But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.

When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.

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You Make Me Wanna Shout

ImageJoshua 6:5, 20

When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.

Shout – a loud cry expressing a strong emotion or calling attention.

Have you brought any attention to God lately? Let’s first acknowledge that it’s completely miraculous for a city’s walls to collapse from the shouts of the Israelites, certainly that should be pointed out.

But, let’s focus on the shout a bit more. It was more than noise. It was more than a battle cry. It was more than a disturbance or distraction of some sort. It was an acknowledgement. It was about God. It was about acknowledging what God was doing.

The Bible says they shouted as loud as they could. Friend, when God is doing something, you want to give all that you can. It may not necessarily be shouting, but it may be writing. It may be singing. It may be serving. It may be giving. The point is that when you want to make a big deal about God, whatever you can do the most of to the glory and honor of His name is what you want to do.

When you really focus on bringing attention to God, He’ll make you wanna shout. Ask the Israelites.

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Third Time’s the Charm

Why do we get upset with God for questioning us when He knows us better than we know ourselves? When He knows our past, present, and future, how do we find room to get testy with Him?

John 21:17

A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

I find it interesting that Peter was hurt that Jesus asked him the question three times. Coming from a guy that denied Jesus three times, you would think he would understand the need for the repetitive questioning. But, we do this too. We get impatient with God and quickly forget the eternal patience He has had with us. We get bothered when we have to receive the same lesson, but neglect to mention that we’ve refused to learn from it. Yet, when God asks us do we love Him, we have the nerve to get offended. As if the offenses we’ve committed against Him wouldn’t be reason to ask.

God sees our hearts. So it’s not like He doesn’t know if we truly love Him. I just think that God likes to reveal our hearts to us. So sometimes He has to ask. Sometimes you have to retest. Sometimes you have to repeat. As my friend says, you have to revisit and revise. And it’s what you find on the retest that reveals what you are. It’s in those moments that you get the answers to the questions God asked you.

Every now and then, the third time really is the charm. You just don’t know it yet.

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Stay Woke

Mark 14:37

Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?

I wonder how many times Jesus had his heart broken. I’m not talking about romantic love heart breaks. I’m talking about true devastation, utter discouragement, and disappointment.

I imagine the moment the disciples were sleep could have been one. He’s preparing for death, a violent one at that, and they’re sleeping…

Hours before they were so pumped up! Ready to die for Jesus! But now, they can’t even stay awake.

Sadly, that’s the point. We’re quick to say we’re ready to do what God hasn’t even asked of us. But we won’t do what He has asked. We’re ready to die. We’re ready to fight! Yet we won’t even stay awake to pray.

Truthfully, God doesn’t need me to vow to die for Him if I haven’t even committed to living for Him. What are you busy doing and promising to do, when all God asks of you is to stay awake? He doesn’t need any empty promises. He needs people to stay awake!

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Need to serve

I imagine there were a few moments in the life of Jesus that He said, “God, help me.” Let’s think about it. In some of the most serious moments of discussion and conversation His followers were debating their own importance.

Luke 22:20-24 (NLT)

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

“But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. For it has been determined that the Son of Man must die. But what sorrow awaits the one who betrays him.” The disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.

Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them.

OK, so Jesus just told His disciples He was going to die and one of them was the betrayer that would make it possible. And what’s the topic of discussion amongst the disciples, which of them is the greatest?

I imagine Jesus thinking, are you kidding me right now? I just set an example. I just washed your feet. I displayed the importance of service. I’m about to die! And you’re arguing over who might be the greatest? 

But, wait a minute. Don’t we? Whose church sings the best? Whose programs are the best? Who gave the most money? Who has the most members? Let’s compare.

Why?

We have a human nature to associate greatness with accomplishments. Greatness with followers. Greatness with stuff. And God is saying, whoa, whoa, whoa! Greatness is none of those things. Greatness is sacrifice. Greatness is service. Greatness is my example. So unless you walk in my example, you will never walk in true greatness.

The greatest amongst us don’t need to be told. They only have a need to serve.

 

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My God Can Relate

I don’t think we can overemphasize the love of God. He really loves us. I can’t fully explain it, but He does. He doesn’t have to. He could just make us be whatever He wants us to be and feel however He wants to about it. But in His infinite wisdom and love He created choice. He created the choice to love us and the choice for us to love Him in return.

Think about it. God is perfect. And that’s the best we can do to describe Him because He is so much more than just that. And He deals with us. He created us. He uses us to create things. And we’re not perfect.

We don’t acknowledge God very often. Some people never will. But He still loves us. He still chooses to use us. Isn’t that love?

AND, He sent His Son to die for us. He saw our sin and imperfection and how empty Heaven would be without us there and decided He didn’t want that. So He sent His Son to die for our sins, past, present, and future.

His sent His Son from Heaven to earth. Perfection to imperfection. Purity to impurity. And why?

Because through His Son He would be able to further relate to us. And to a God that is Love, it’s more important for Him to be able to relate than dictate.

 

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Is it CHRISTmas Yet?

Is it CHRISTmas time yet? I have to ask. If you know me, you know I love Christmastime. I listen to Christmas music year round. We have a small Christmas tree we haven’t taken down since we bought it.

Why do I love Christmastime? It’s a celebration! We celebrate Jesus birth, and whether people believe in Jesus or not doesn’t change the fact that that positive energy in the air comes from that celebration.

It’s a time of giving. And it’s probably the one time of the year that people want to give more than they receive. People look forward to giving something to someone and seeing their face light up.

Christmastime also makes me think happy thoughts and memories of loved ones who have passed. And it inspires me to invest in the loved ones that are present. Christmastime is family time. Christmastime is giving time. Christmastime is celebration of birth time. Christmastime is a happy time.

So I have to ask, is it Christmastime yet!?

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