Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 16 Apr 18:
1. Joshua 23:10 – “One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you.” Physical power is no match for spiritual power. The power of God makes all other power meaningless.
2. Joshua 23:11 – “Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God.” Your relationship with God is your strength and your purpose. Be very careful not to let sin get between you and God.
3. Joshua 23:14 — “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” Joshua’s dying wish was that none of his people would fall away from the Lord.
4. Joshua 24:13 — “I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.’” God owns it all and controls it all. He can give you whatever He wants to give you, and many people who are laboring against God don’t realize that they are really laboring for God. God works all things for His purposes.
5. Joshua 24:14 — “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.” A theme that is repeated over and over again in the Bible is that you cannot serve God half-heartedly. By definition, a casual response to God is really to deny Him as God. You cannot be partially committed to God and honor Him as God, and you cannot expect God to honor your partial obedience which is really just disobedience. Nor can you expect to wander from God and stay close to Him at the same time. Love of God results in obedience. Unity with God requires obedience. Only in God’s presence is there fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Today, Joshua tells the people to stop kidding themselves. Either serve God or stop pretending to. If we are using grace as an excuse to continue in sin, we are denying that we ever truly accepted grace in the first place – “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:26-29)
– Joshua 14:14 – Caleb…. wholly followed the Lord.
– 2 Kings 20:3 — “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.”
– 2 Chronicles 19:9 — And he charged them: “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart:
– 2 Chronicles 25:2 — And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with a whole heart.
– Psalm 119:2 — Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
– Luke 11:23 — Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
– Proverbs 25:26 — Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
– Revelation 3:16 — So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.
6. Joshua 24:15 — “Choose this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Everyone on earth chooses who they will serve, God or an idol. Some will verbally proclaim the Lordship of God and may even back their oaths up with religion, but in reality, their hearts are not with God. Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23).’” A person can do “many mighty works” in the name of God and still lack a saving faith. Even born again Christians can drift comfortably out of fellowship with God into a “’me’-ology” that plays by the religious “rules” and uses “good works” to legitimize to themselves and others what has been termed approbation lust – the desire to be recognized, to promote oneself. The desire for recognition or approval can become a powerful, all-encompassing motivator in life that can cause us to do our will for self-glorification while proclaiming the will of God. We can do “right” things for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. Only you and God know what motivation is behind your daily actions. Pray that God will continually incline your heart more and more toward him and less and less toward self. And be introspective. Whenever you hear yourself saying or thinking “I”, ask yourself if that “I” is not for “idol.”
– Isaiah 10:15 — Shall the axe boast over him who hews with it, or the saw magnify itself against him who wields it? As if a rod should wield him who lifts it, or as if a staff should lift him who is not wood!
– Luke 18:14 — I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
– Romans 15:18 — For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed,
– Galatians 6:14 — But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
– Jeremiah 9:23 — Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,
– Proverbs 27:2 — Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.
– 1 Corinthians 4:7 — For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
– 2 Corinthians 11:30 — If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
– Ephesians 2:8-9 — For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
– 1 Timothy 6:10 — For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
– Mark 8:35 — For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
7. Joshua 24:19 – “But Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.” Following God requires complete humility to see that you have no hope apart from the grace and power of God. God convicts the proud of their moral bankruptcy that they will turn to Him for mercy, grace, and power.
8. Joshua 24:31 – “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel.” Good leaders have a preserving effect on society by keeping people in compliance with God’s laws.
9. Proverbs 16:1, 2 – “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit.” Key to success in life is making sure your plans are God’s plans for you. Don’t expect God to bless what you want to do. Receive God’s blessings by doing what He wants you to do.
10. Proverbs 16:4 – “The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.” No matter what you choose to do, God will be glorified by your life and His truth will be revealed in your life. He will either use you to reveal His truth in a positive way or a negative way. Either way, God is glorified. Better to reveal to others the blessings of God rather than the curses. God says, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live….” (Deut 30:19)
11. Proverbs 16:7 – “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” God can control people in ways you can’t.
12. Proverbs 16:17 – “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil.” Those on the fast-track in life stay far from evil. Sin always drags you down and keeps you from getting to where you need to go.
13. Romans 4:11 – “He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.” We are not saved by our obedience; our obedience is evidence that we were actually saved, empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome our sinful nature and obey. We are not saved by obedience, but we are sanctified through obedience. Do not grieve the Spirit, quench the Spirit, or get out of step with the Spirit through disobedience.
14. Romans 4:16 – “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all….” The children of Abraham are children in faith, not children in blood.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 16 April: Today, renew your commitment to lead your family in wholehearted service to the Lord, and build a spiritual family that is united in the love of Jesus. (Joshua 24:15; Romans 4:16)