Trek through Joshua
Scripture reading for August 5th: Matthew 28
Key Scriptures: Matthew 28:10-15 “Then Jesus said to them(the women), “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.”
Jesus personally appeared first to the women who had gone to the tomb in hopes of anointing His body. They were surprised by an earthquake and an angelic messenger who rolled back the stone revealing the empty tomb. The guards were immobilized temporarily. The angel encouraged them with the good news that Jesus was not there, but had risen! They were not to be afraid but to convey the news to Jesus’ disciples. The guards recovered and went and reported that Jesus’ body was missing. I am not sure how they explained the earthquake and angelic visitor and their supernatural immobilization. The elders and chief priests cooked up a plan involving ‘hush money’ for the soldiers and a way to explain this to other authorities. The world uses money to solve many problems because people love it. The blame was to be put on the disciples for stealing Jesus’ body. All agreed and the plan was circulated and became well-accepted among the Jews and authorities. However, Jesus was alive and began appearing to His followers! He had a plan that they would soon enact that would reach the world!
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for overcoming death, hell and the grave and proving Your resurrection by appearing to the women and Your disciples. I believe You are God’s Son, crucified and raised from death on the third day. I offer myself to You to fulfil Your great plan of reaching the whole world with Good News. Hallelujah! I am never alone and You meet all my needs!
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Joshua 1:5) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)
Scripture reading for June 2nd: Philippians 2
Key Scriptures: Philippians 2:12-16 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God Who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the Word of life. . .”
Paul encouraged the believers, calling them “my beloved” and asking them to continue to obey the Lord no matter what situation or trial they were experiencing. Paul was himself in jail and awaiting his sentence, which could mean death. He knew that his salvation was secure in Jesus but must be worked out and walked out by faith. God by His Holy Spirit was working inside each believer to strengthen them and reveal God’s will and image. Believers are to cheerfully cooperate in obedience and faith, living a holy and blameless life, not grumbling and complaining. In doing so, they would shine with the light of Jesus Christ and draw others to lay hold of God’s promises through the Gospel of eternal life.
Philippians 2:17 “Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, my delight is to live for You and please You. Forgive me for grumbling and fear and help me as I work out my salvation in holy fear and respect of Your great grace and powerful promises. Help me to walk by faith, cheerfully rejoicing and giving thanks to You, shining as a light in this world of grumbling and fear.
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success,”
Scripture reading for January 29th: Mark 10
Key Scriptures: Mark 10:41-44 “And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to Him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.””
James and John had approached Jesus about positions of honor when Jesus came into His kingdom. They wanted to sit at His right hand and His left and asked shamelessly for this honor. Jesus never rebuked them for asking, but told them that they did not know what they were asking for. But Jesus did ask them if they could drink the cup He would drink and be baptized with the baptism He was soon to undergo. They responded affirmatively, “We are able.” Jesus affirmed that they would indeed drink of His cup and be baptized with His baptism. But the positions of honor belonged to those the Father would choose as worthy. This aggravated the other disciples and Jesus called them all together for instruction. Greatness and honor in Christ’s kingdom would come from service, not seeking position or honor. Jesus set the example by serving us all through giving His life blood as sin’s ransom payment.
Psalm 49:7-9 “Truly no man can ransom another, or give to God the price of his life, for the ransom of their life is costly and can never suffice, that he should live on forever and never see the pit.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Your life as a ransom for my life, serving me and all mankind. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Reward and alone receives honor.
Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Scripture reading for January 7th: 1st Timothy 4
Key Scriptures: 1st Timothy 4:7-12 “Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness: for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for this present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.”
Leadership in Christ’s Church requires discipline, focused living and preaching. First, there are the things to avoid: false teachers and false doctrine summed up by Paul as “silly myths”. Our heart is Christ’s home and there is constant vigilance needed to maintain purity of thinking, Then Paul lists things to cultivate: training and discipline in applying God’s Word to our own lives and families. This is made visible by how we live and act and speak in faith and love and purity. It has been said, we are the only “Bible” many people will read. A primary focus of public ministry is the public reading and declaration of Scripture. We use it to teach and exhort others to godly living and fruitfulness in Christ’s kingdom, hopefully while living it out in the Holy Spirit’s grace.
Psalm 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, help me today by the Holy Spirit to first apply Your Word to my life and guide my feet in Your ways. I choose to serve the Lord and obey His Word. I will publicly declare the Word of God by reading Scripture, teaching it and living as a godly example.
Joshua 24:15 “And if it is evil in your sight to serve the Lord, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Scripture reading for April 6th: Joshua 22-24, Psalm 116, Luke 19
Key Scriptures: Luke 19:41-44 “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side, and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”
Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem. He was ready to enter it to cleanse the temple to begin the last week of His life before dying as our Passover sacrifice. But the people of Jerusalem were unreceptive of the truth of Jesus Christ and God’s amazing plan revealed by Jesus, Himself. The would reject Him and have Him crucified. This would bring about the destruction of the city and the people and their children. When Jesus returns at the end of the age, those rejecting Him will miss the time of their visitation.
Psalm 116:1-2 “I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I ask you for mercy for those who do not yet know you. I weep for the lost and those who harden their hearts concerning Your visitation bringing salvation.
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.”
Scripture reading for April 3rd: Joshua 18-21, Psalm 15, Luke 18
Key Scriptures: Luke 18:6-8 “And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”
Jesus told a parable to His disciples to reinforce His teaching that men ought “always to pray and not faint.” He told of a widow that came repeatedly to an unjust judge asking for “justice against her adversary.” She came so often that the judge finally agreed to help her to get her off his case. Jesus used the reluctant judge to contrast with God’s speedy answers to His own people when they called in faith. The question is, would Jesus find people asking for justice and honestly seeking God’s help when He returned for them?
Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent? Who shall dwell on Your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; . . .”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I desire to dwell with You eternally. Help me to walk in faith today and obey Your holy Word trusting in all Your good promises. You, alone, will bring justice to the earth!
Joshua 21:45 “Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.”
Scripture reading for April 2nd: Joshua 14-17, Luke 17
Key Scriptures: Luke 17:3-6 “”Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.””
Jesus was teaching His disciples about the need to keep their hearts free from offense. It would require attention to their own hearts when brothers or sisters sinned against them. These offenses must be dealt with in a timely manner in the day they happen (Ephesians 4:26). To this teaching, the disciples cried, “Increase our faith!” Jesus said that the faith needed was available in seed form. It may appear small, like a mustard seed, but when they spoke to the problem, the problem would be removed. Much like Caleb of old, ‘give me this hill country’ came from the seed of faith in God’s promises.
Joshua 14:10-12 “. . .And now behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, . .”
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord, increase my faith daily that I may attentively guard my heart against offenses and unbelief! Give me my full inheritance and renewed strength in old age to take possession of it!
Scripture reading for April 1st: Joshua 9-13, Luke 16
Key Scriptures: Luke 16:10-13 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Money is also a necessity of life to buy what we need. It is not evil in itself. Jesus taught His disciples that the “very little”, money, was a test for all men of their faithfulness. Their honesty in dealing with money, their own and others, showed where their heart really was. When money was the center and people spent all their time serving money and controlling it, they would not be right with God and could not serve Him. He did not say it was hard to serve God and money, but it was impossible! Choosing to put God at the center is possessing the ground of our heart.
Faith Confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for trying at times to serve You and money. In my old age, there is still much for me to possess of Your truth in my own soul. Jesus Christ is Lord of all! Money is “very little” but God is everything!
Joshua 13:1 “Now Joshua was old and advanced in years, and the Lord said to him, “You are old and advanced in years, and there remains yet very much land to possess.”
Scripture reading for March 31st: Joshua 5-8, Psalm 14, Luke 15
Key Scriptures: Joshua 6:23-25 “So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.”
Joshua entered the promised land and faced Jericho. God gave him a plan to take the city. But the spies had been hidden by Rahab and she had tied the scarlet cord on her window and gathered her family inside. Joshua give instructions to the spies to go and bring her and her family out before destroying the city. God delights in saving the lost who come to Him by faith!
Psalm 14:7 “Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the Lord restores the fortunes of His people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, thank You for Your great compassion for the lost sinner and for making provision through faith. Help me to bring many out of strongholds of sin into the safety of Your covenant through the Gospel!
Luke 15:6-7 “. . ., rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Scripture reading for March 30th: Joshua 1-4, Psalm 143, Luke 14
Key Scriptures: Luke 14:25-30 “Now great crowds accompanied Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.'”
Joshua 1:8-9 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Jesus taught that there were priorities that must be decided upon if a person chose to become His disciple. Family could not be first. Our own life in soul and body must be placed lower than following Jesus. There was a cross for each disciple that they must chose to bear. Successful discipleship would come by full surrender and obedience to God’s Word and Christ’s teaching.
Faith confession and prayer: Lord, I have set You and Your Word as my priority in my life. Help me to keep Your Word in my heart and on my lips as I walk with You to the promised land.
Psalm 143:10 “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God! Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground!”