Do you ponder and wonder and ask how to share God’s omnipotent power with others? The psalmist used word pictures:  “the mountains skipped like rams, the sea fled, the Jordan turned back and the earth trembled.”

God used “radical” means to remove the barriers that kept the Israelites in bondage. When He delivered them from the Egyptian slavery the earth rejoiced!

As the psalmist pondered these “radical” events he began to ask: “why” does the sea flee, “why” did the Jordan turn back, “why” did the mountains skip like rams? Perhaps it was much like the stilling of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. When the disciples saw the “radical” power of Jesus, they asked: “who is this that “even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Know for certain that whether a storm, a sea before us, a river to be crossed, mountains too large to be climbed God can and will use His “radical” power to accomplish His will. God’s creation moves according to His commands…just as we should.

God is sovereign 

therefore stop and glorify Him for what He hath done and is able to do.

Are you skipping like rams or asking “who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?”  Stop wondering but rejoice for all that He has done and will do for you.

Beloved, our “Radical God” began a good work in you and He will complete it just as He did with the removal of the barriers of slavery for the Israelites.

Skip like the rams but tremble when you consider His awesome deeds.

Nothing is impossible for OUR RADICAL GOD

 

 

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!  

https://goo.gl/KGKunS 

Are you ready to learn all God has for us in the book of Joshua?

We start tonight…it will be 8 pm CST, 9 pm EST; check your time zone. Watch for the zoom introduction we will head out into Joshua…

Remember to Click on this link to join: https://zoom.us/j/775194997 on date and time of the study. Bookmark this link as it will be the same each week.

NOTE: the zoom link will be active at the appointed time in your time zone.

They say there are morning people and night people. Morning people begin work long before the sun comes up. Joshua must have been a morning person because Joshua 3:1 begins “Bright and early the next morning Joshua and the contingent of Israelites left Shittim, the place or valley in the land of Moab, and came to the Jordan”

Joshua is a man who doesn’t waste daylight! Joshua is a man after my own heart!

Early morning is my time to sit with God and read, meditate and enjoy my first cup of coffee. It is quiet, the neighborhood is without traffic and emails are few and far between.

Joshua must have been much like me! 

After Joshua led them for three days there probably there were many wondering what next but Joshua is also a man with a God-directed agenda. First, his commanders gave the people their walking orders. Follow the Ark but stay behind because you don’t know what is ahead. How often are we prone to step out ahead and then lose sight of the real prize God has for us!  Forty years ago the Israelites also had their walking orders but when they reached the Red Sea they balked, cried, whined and begged Moses. Joshua now has a contingent of descendants who obeyed faithfully! Leaving Egypt the cloud and pillar of fire protected them from the enemy who were behind them. Now the Ark, the very presence of the Shekinah glory, would be their guide and protector and their enemies were before them unseen and unknown!  This is a step of faith for them and God will bless their steps.

Once again, God, the Ruler of the earth, would reveal His power and majesty through the movement of the waters. At creation, God divided the water from the land and so it would be now again through a miracle. Job noted: “he made the force of the wind and measured the waters with a gauge.” 

As in Egypt, now the Israelites consecrated or sanctified themselves. Joshua gave them the reason: Tomorrow the Lord will perform miraculous deeds among you. Consecration means setting self aside for God’s work. It is vital for victory to occur. As we consecrate ourselves we are saying we are ready to be used for God’s purposes. It prepares us to be a fit vessel for His use and prepares us to defeat the enemy.

If you knew that God would do something miraculous tomorrow would you consecrate yourself?

What are you waiting for?

Expect God to act and He will!  

 

They say if walls could talk they would teach us lessons we should learn.  One of those lessons comes right out of scripture in Joshua chapter 1. Joshua needed the assurance that the Israelites would move forward as a cohesive unit to victory.  Joshua confronted the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh about their commitment. They had sought permission from Moses to live on the eastern side of the Jordan because, like Lot, they saw with their eyes the well-watered land and wanted to live there not in the land God had chosen.

Faithfully they did live out Eccl 5: “when you make a vow to God do not delay in paying it” by building homes, fences before they left their families behind for 7 yrs. However, upon their return, they built an altar which was misconstrued and nearly caused a war. By choosing the fertile land on the east they divided the nation. They may have fought with their brothers but lost the blessings of Canaan land. A further distance from the Tabernacle made it easier to excuse not attending the services. They lost the protection of their brethren and in the end, the Assyrians attacked them and took them captive.

Like many today they became half and half Christians with one foot in the world and one foot in the church. Sometimes we are like Lot and these three tribes. We want what we see, we ask God for it rather than waiting for the best He has chosen for us. God may allow it but it comes with a high price.

Jesus said he who has ears should listen.

 

You have been called by God to disciple another or to your church’s ministry pool, but you feel like you are just treading water. The time constraints on your personal life,  sundry problems and never-ending questions to which you have no answers. You feel like you are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Can you relate?  

Perhaps you, like Joshua, need to learn the ropes of servanthood before God is ready to use you as a leader of others.

Have you acquired patience, wisdom, the power of prayer, the ability to listen to the voice of God and leadership skills?

You know that Just as God trained Joshua for over 40 years to step into the shoes of the man Moses so He is training you. Joshua never became a bricklayer all at once but one brick at a time. Sometimes he had straw to work with and other times he had to find his own. Joshua learned it one brick at a time and you have to do the same; one disciple at a time. Joshua never learned to be a leader all at once but was tested sitting alone in the tent of meeting while Moses went off doing the glory work.

Consider these bits of trivia about Joshua. He served Moses faithfully for over 40 years without complaint or grumbling. How about you?  Because of that, he would be given the privilege of leading God’s people from a wilderness wandering to His promised land.  One of the gifts God gave Joshua was to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Num 27:18) and filled with the spirit of wisdom. (Deut 34:9). Do you have those gifts too? You do if you are born again into a new relationship with God.

Joshua was a man who followed the Lord faithfully. (Num 32:12) His life is a picture of singleness of purpose, directness, and decision.  Given a vision, he set his site as an archer sets his bow for the target and let the arrow fly. He did not ignore any of the commands the Lord had given Moses. Just as God raised up Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, God raised up Joshua and trained him for 40 + years to lead the people into the Promised Land.

Where is God training you and are you faithful like Joshua? Paul gave the Corinthians the same motto Joshua had: “Be ye steadfast, immovable, always abound in the work of the Lord.”

In Paul’s words:  “Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life.”

Of all the couples of the Bible, not one has more positive words written about them than Aquila and Priscilla. Their lives teach us lessons that we should take to heart. We know little about their life before they met Paul other than Aquila was from the town of Pontus. Pontus Jews were in Jerusalem at Pentecost and Aquila might have been of that contingent. Later, Peter encouraged the many dispersed Jews in Pontus suffering for their faith. Aquila, on the other hand, was in Rome and where our story picks up.

“Two-gether” they teach us to “be ready whether it is convenient or not.” [2Tim 4:2] Aquila and Priscilla were busy in their business until Emperor Claudius had a change of heart regarding Jewish citizens and expelled them. Providentially they traveled eastward while God moved heaven and earth so that they might intersect with Paul in Corinth. It was there that their lives were changed forever.

“Two-gether” they lived out Matt 5:6 as they “hungered and thirsted for righteousness” at the feet of Paul. From Rome to Corinth to Ephesus, to Rome and back again to Ephesus they were “gypsies for Jesus,” leaving their footprint of hospitality. They chose to suffer for Paul but the details are left to God about how or when or why.

“Two-gether” they discipled Apollos; an excellent orator but deficient in his understanding of Christ. Their lives stand as a testimony of what it means to be submissive to God’s will, love unconditionally and to live out the word hospitality.

Learn from Aquila and Priscilla. Impact the lives of others.

 

Right in the middle of Romans 16, we meet Paul’s “dear friend” Epenetus. His distinction is that he was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. He is only mentioned here in the whole of the NT. We don’t know anything about him as to his position, his family; his vocation. We don’t know how he came to Christ.  What we do know is that he has made the life changing decision to follow Christ and with it came this shocking revelation: there were no churches, no Bibles for him to read, perhaps no other believer to walk alongside him on his “road to Emmaus.” Only Jesus.

If this were you, would it be enough?

You may have encountered an Epenetus. They have found Christ and although they lived a morally upstanding life it was not a Christ-like life. Would you be willing to walk along the “Emmaus” road with them? Are you willing to pray with them and begin to disciple them one step at a time? Would you be willing to be a listener as they seek answers to their questions? Would you be willing to encourage them to love others who still are like they were?

Beloved, remember this; they may have to relearn what you already know such as how to think, how to read and understand the Bible. They may have had to take a stand that runs counter to the belief system they have left behind. It has left scars of their former existence that you have not had. They know the high price of freedom from sin. To them, their new life is exciting beyond anything they could imagine.

Are you willing to place yourself in their shoes and then choose to walk the road with them?  

If you can say yes to both of those questions then you are ready to take the next step of commitment to them. It may be a one time encounter or it may mean months of interacting with them for just one day or one day a week at a time. It may mean you offer your financial, emotional, spiritual blessings. Jesus reminded us that we must “count the cost.”

Are you ready to take this next step? 

If you are, then join the Pathway to KnowingGod. Find and disciple another to grow God’s kingdom here on earth.

The Apostle Professor, Paul, is specifically speaking to the first-century believers and it is now passed on to us: “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.”[Rom 14] …And we could add to that list. We destroy the work of God for the sake of things that have no eternal value. It could be what one wears, tattoos, and foods they eat and the list goes on and on and on. It all happens when we choose to place our standards of righteousness ahead of God’s.

Paul continues by saying: it is wrong to cause anyone to stumble by what you eat.  It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble. When we set up and use “our” standards rather than God’s we destroy His work. And what is that work but to bring others to Christ that they may not pass into a Christ-less eternity.

Instead of “judging” others for things which may cause a fellow believer to stumble or even walk away, we are to be merciful and forgiving, sharing the lovingkindness that God has poured out upon us.

Today as we enter our prayer closet, let’s stop and ask God to reveal to us where we need a heart change and where we may be causing another to stumble in their walk with Jesus. Ask: Does this really matter in light of eternity?

Salvation is not complicated. The gospel message is as easy as A-B-C. Admit you are a sinner and in need of God’s saving grace. Believe that Jesus died for your sins and therefore ended and abolished the sacrificial system established to cover sins. His blood did it once and for all. Confess to God of your desire to be saved from this abominable sin and be freed, because the gospel is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes.

Yet many with their misguided zeal miss what is truly right under their noses. Salvation is a free gift from God just because He loves us. He has chosen you before the foundation of the world; he foreknew you and set you apart by the Holy Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Once you have done the A-B-C’s you are changed from the inside out. The old man is dead; the new man lives for you are a new creation in Christ! Yet those still abiding in their old man are not happy with you and will exert great peer pressure on you to return. So, Peter says turn the tables on them. Be self-controlled, be sober-minded, and love one another fervently. Show hospitality, and serve graciously.

Yes, salvation is right under our noses. We miss it because we want to do it our way which is idolatry. Step off your throne and let God sit there to change you from the inside out. It really is that simple.

 

The state of Texas is under the gun with “Nightmare Harvey” as the weathermen are calling it. But does how does the loss of a home equate to the loss of a loved one to death without hope? How about the loss of a nation or a people group as we are seeing happen in the Middle East?

 Grief is a very real and present emotion.

We are even now watching as a part of Texas is inundated by flood waters which they say will go on for days. But, Paul is speaking in the first century and his heart grieves for the loss of his people as they continue to deny Christ and salvation. “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” [Romans 9]

Is this our grief too?

Temporal losses of a job are tough but there is always hope to find another. You can lose a home and its contents but you can build a new one. But you cannot bring back a loved one or restore a nation to wholeness. Grief takes its toll and some never recover. But, the deepest grief is when those you love die and enter a Christless eternity. Paul is grieving and we too should also grieve when this occurs.

It is because of that we must earnestly contend for the faith. We must “go and make disciples.” We must pray for our loved ones who do not know Christ.  Paul was willing, just as Moses, to forgo his eternal salvation so that the lost might be saved.

How deep is our grief for the lost?