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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Thirty-nine years earlier (after spending a year at Mount Sinai receiving God’s law), the Israelites had an opportunity to enter the Promised Land, but they failed to trust God to give them victory. As a result, God did not allow them to enter the land, but made them wander in the wilderness until the disobedient generation had all died.
During their wilderness wanderings, the Israelites obeyed God’s laws. They also taught the new generation to obey God’s laws so that they might enter the Promised Land (also called Canaan). As the children grew, they were often reminded that faith and obedience to God brought victory, while unbelief and disobedience brought tragedy. When the last of the older generation had died and the new generation had become adults, the Israelites prepared to make their long-awaited claim on the Promised Land.
Joshua’s new job consisted of leading more than two million people into a strange new land and conquering it. What a challenge—even for a man of Joshua’s caliber! Every new job is a challenge. Without God it can be frightening. With God it can be a great adventure. Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our new challenges. We may not conquer nations, but every day we face tough situations, difficult people, and temptations. However, God promises that he will never abandon us or fail to help us. By asking God to direct us we can conquer many of life’s challenges.
Joshua 1:1-9 – After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, “Now that my servant Moses is dead, you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Everywhere you go, you will be on land I have given you—from the Negev Desert in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River on the east to the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and all the land of the Hittites.’ No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
“Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. I command you—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
You shall meditate on [the book of the law] day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. –Joshua 1:8 (NRSV)
Walt Garrett (Arkansas) titled his story “DO SOMETHING;” here is Walt’s story:
“William and I were hospital chaplains. One day we shared our favorite scripture verses. His was Joshua 1:8. As we talked, he asked, ‘You know why? It’s the first scripture that made me do something. It made me want to memorize more scripture. It made me want to think and study God’s word because I wanted to know more about God’s definition of prosperity and success.’
“Initially I thought he was being selfish: prosperity and success in today’s world often equate to having material possessions. But as I got to know William, I learned his life in Christ was rooted in scripture. He was reading the Bible almost every time I saw him and had hundreds of verses memorized. For William, Joshua 1:8 was not about finding worldly prosperity and success. William found God’s prosperity and success in discipleship and devotion to scripture.
“The same words from God that inspired my colleague inspired Joshua to lead God’s people across the Jordan to the Promised Land. Memorizing scripture so that we can rely on it day and night helps us to seek God’s prosperity and success through discipleship. God’s words inspire discipleship; they empower us do something.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – How will I be a disciple today?
Prayer: O God, awaken us to the joy of discipleship. Empower us through your word to do your work in the world. Amen.
Prayer Focus: HOSPITAL CHAPLAINS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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