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Showing posts from March 17, 2013

Reflection

Here is an important moment. Joshua at the end of his life assembles the leaders of Israel before him for one last time. He reviews the history of Israel from the time of Abraham, through the slavery in Egypt, the wandering in the wilderness and entrance into the Promise Land. This is a brief glimpse of the nation's life.
In the midst of this review he says the following, "Then you lived in the desert for a long time." (Joshua 24:7c) It is a terse statement of a long forty years where there was obedience and disobedience. We could all read this and pass on but let's review for a moment what the reason was for Israel's time in the wilderness. Two years of it was traveling to and staying at Mt. Sinai where the Law was given to them; where the army was numbered and initiated; where judges were set up to rule on people's complaints; and where worship was established. The last thirty-eight years was because of their lack of faith when the twelve tribal representati…

Having It All

We have been given so much as citizens of the U.S.A. It is interesting that some use the gifts that have been bestowed on them by previous generations to move forward and provide gifts for the next generation. Others do not use the gifts given to them and in a sense "veg out" on what they already have.
As Joshua concludes his book he makes the following statement, "Not one of all the Lord's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled." (Joshua 21:45) The people of Israel were abiding in the Promised Land. Each tribe had been divided a section of the land with cities to maintain and the continued challenge to take the land. As far as was concerned, God had brought them across the Jordan River into the land He had promised.
They had successfully beaten their enemies although there were hot spots not yet taken. What would keep Israel from eliminating any existing resistance? God had promised and God was with them now, there was nothing that…

Beauty

On the red carpet before the Academy Awards ceremony parade all the beautiful people of the movies. They have spent thousands of dollars for the right dress or suit and hundreds to have the right makeup and hairdo. A person can look at them and say, "Oh, to be like them in their beauty." That is making a big mistake.
Beauty of the body is continually fading and a beautiful person in appearance can be recognized as a wretched person when you know their real personality and selfishness.Solomon said it this way, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion." (Proverbs 11:22)
Discretion is the quality of being discrete, cautious or wise. To be comfortable in our own skin is better than being uncomfortable in our own mind. To wish for beauty only dependent on our outside appearance is to miss the development of beauty on the inside. We are looking at the wrapping rather than the present. The pig knows not that a valuable article han…

Being Wise

When you meet a wise person you know it by the way they talk and live. There is something valuable about them, they seem unique and distinct. They are able to be separated out from others easily. Proverbs states that "every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly." Knowledge is the foundation upon which every wise man is built. Webster defines wisdom as "the quality of being wise; good judgment, based on knowledge." A wise person is not "gifted" but continually involved in gathering knowledge. To be wise is to first be knowledgeable for wisdom is the application of knowledge at the right time and place.

If wisdom is founded in knowledge then it is important to never stop learning. If you desire to be wise you must fill your days with learning. How are you doing at appropriating knowledge? What is your process? A wise person will not just appear in the mirror, you have to work to become wise.

Decisions

As Joshua and the people of Israel began to conquer the Promise Land, the Gibeonites, a people in the land create and pull of a great deception against Israel.
Their deception involved tattered clothing, stale bread, worn out shoes and its purpose was to make the Israelites think they were a faraway kingdom coming to make a peace agreement (Joshua 9-10). It worked and a treaty was struck with Israel. The result of this deception was that the Gibeonites remained alive in Israel but only as servants carrying water and cutting wood. The problem was Joshua had not conversed with the Lord and this costs the people the Lord's warning. They end up fighting for the lives of the Gibeonites against five other powerful kings of the south.
With all of this said, here is how God was able to capitalize on the mistake that Joshua and the leaders made. All five kings of the southern region had assembled their forces to fight Israel together. They had marched out of their cities and therefore when t…

Liberty

Lady Liberty stands in the middle of the New York Harbor raising her light high and inviting the masses to come and find freedom in America. It is suggested by some that the freedoms of America are liberty without boundary; that it means you can do what you want, when you want, with regard to no one else. But we would suggest that this is not the true meaning of liberty.
Liberty has as one of its Webster definitions, "the limits within which a certain amount of freedom may be exercised." This is more in keeping with the truth of liberty as a believer. Paul stated it this way, "Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)
Here are some important emphases related to liberty:
*Liberty is not about license to do anything you want
*Liberty does not operate outside of the command to love your neighbor as yourself
*Libe…