Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Monday, 11 July 2022:
Joshua 3:7 — “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”
God validates His leaders by working miraculously through their lives. Worthy leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) If a leader is not following Christ, the leader can only lead others astray ultimately.
Joshua 3:15, 16 — “…and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away.”
God expects you to step out in faith, then He will respond miraculously to your faith. God will use your fiery-furnace, lion’s-den, Red-sea, Jordan-river experiences to reveal Himself to you and to others in a way that leaves no reasonable doubt that it was Him at work. When God works miraculously in your life in ways beyond your control to see you through seemingly impossible circumstances, or when God produces miraculous changes in your life, freeing you from what has always previously imprisoned you, the invisible reality of God is made visible as the evidence of our faith and testimony. Unbelievers will always try to find ‘natural’ explanations for God’s supernatural acts. For example, countless theories have been promulgated on how the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, how Manna was produced to feed millions in the desert, how power came from the Ark of the Covenant, how Jesus rose from the dead, etc. However, the truth of God has always been self-evident. How has it been revealed in your life? Reflect on all that God has done in your life and have confidence knowing that the same God who worked miraculously throughout the Bible and throughout history will continue to work miraculously in your life when you surrender it to Him.
Colossians 3:3 – For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
“The Spirit of God testifies to and confirms the simple, but almighty, security of the life that ‘is hidden with Christ in God.’ Paul continually brought this out in his New Testament letters. We talk as if living a sanctified life were the most uncertain and insecure thing we could do. Yet it is the most secure thing possible, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most dangerous and unsure thing is to try to live without God. For one who is born again, it is easier to live in a right-standing relationship with God than it is to go wrong, provided we heed God’s warnings and ‘walk in the light’ (1 John 1:7).
When we think of being delivered from sin, being ‘filled with the Spirit’ (Ephesians 5:18), and ‘walk[ing] in the light,’ we picture the peak of a great mountain. We see it as very high and wonderful, but we say, ‘Oh, I could never live up there!’ However, when we do get there through God’s grace, we find it is not a mountain peak at all, but a plateau with plenty of room to live and to grow. ‘You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip’ (Psalm 18:36).
When you really see Jesus, I defy you to doubt Him. If you see Him when He says, ‘Let not your heart be troubled…’ (John 14:27), I defy you to worry. It is virtually impossible to doubt when He is there. Every time you are in personal contact with Jesus, His words are real to you. ‘My peace I give to you…’ (John 14:27)— a peace which brings an unconstrained confidence and covers you completely, from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. ‘…your life is hidden with Christ in God,’ and the peace of Jesus Christ that cannot be disturbed has been imparted to you.” (Oswald Chambers)
Colossians 3:15 — And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3 lists many negative attributes Christians should “put to death” or “put away” and many positive attributes Christians should “put on,” having been raised to new life in Christ. As the above verse points out, what rules in your heart will determine your behavior. The secret to a life of peace and purity is knowing Jesus and letting Him rule your heart, trusting Him enough to “put away” the sins which you have been clinging on to, and putting on the new life in Christ.
- Ephesians 1:17-18 — …that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints….
- 2 Peter 3:18 — But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
As we grow in the knowledge of Christ and more fully appreciate the immeasurable riches of His grace, the more peacefulness and thankfulness will fill our hearts, and the natural result will be greater compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, and forgiveness poured out to others (Colossians 3:12-13). When we are truly secure in Christ, we will not be defensive or resentful towards others because we trust God for our defense and provision. (Colossians 3:24-25; see also John 19:11)
- Colossians 3:16 — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
To grow in the knowledge of Christ, we must remain in God’s word and remain in fellowship with other believers. We must also practice an ‘attitude of gratitude,’ praising God and worshiping Him with songs and hymns.
- Colossians 3:17 — And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
When you truly see yourself as Christ’s ambassador in every encounter with others, and when you publicly vocalize your faith in Him before others, you will naturally avoid “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk (Colossians 3:8),” as being clearly out of place, hypocritical, and disrespectful to the Lord. Proclaiming Jesus not only brings glory to God, it also helps you to hold yourself accountable. Try it and see.
Colossians 3:23 — Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men….
“There is an important difference between doing something for people and doing something for God. God always deserves our best effort. People will disappoint us, betray us, neglect us, and mistreat us. Some will constantly ask for what we can give while offering nothing in return. From our human perspective, these people deserve our minimal effort at best. What then should motivate us to serve people, except our love for God? God deserves our love, and He demands that we love others in the same way He does. We are to love our spouses, not as they deserve, but as God commands (Eph. 5:22-33). We are to treat our friends, not as they treat us, but as Christ loves us (John 13:14). We are to labor at our jobs, not in proportion to the way our employer treats us, but according to the way God treats us. God is the One we serve (Eph. 6:5).
Mediocrity and laziness have no place in the Christian’s life. Christians must maintain integrity at home and in the workplace. Working for God, as opposed to working for other people, changes our perspective as we view our endeavors in light of what He has done for us. Our toil then becomes an offering to God. We not only worship God at church on Sunday, but our labor throughout the week is an offering of worship and thanksgiving to the One who has given us everything we have. When people do not measure up to our expectations and we feel our efforts are being wasted, we must keep in mind that we are toiling for holy God. He is worthy of our best effort.” (Henry T. Blackaby)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 11 July 22: Grow in the love of Christ today by growing in your knowledge of Christ today, through prayerful Bible study, fellowship, ministry, worship, and evangelism.