April 21, 2011

Today you should read: Joshua 10

The sun stands still…..let that sink in. God made the sun stand still so that Joshua could defeat
the Amorites. Not only did God make the sun stand still but he brought down hail stones that
killed more men then Israel struck down with a sword. This story sends my imagination into
frenzy. Why has no one made this into a movie?

So what lead up to this moment? Why would Joshua pray and ask God to make the sun stand
still? Better yet, why would Joshua believe that God would do this for him in the first place?
Let’s be honest, we pray for stuff all the time but we don’t always believe that God will make
the proverbial sun stand still in our lives. Honestly, most of us have seemingly impossible
situations we are dealing with and it seems hopeless. Whether it is a family member who is
hard toward the Gospel, a drug addiction in our lives or someone close to us, a failing marriage,
or whatever the case may be we all know what impossible looks like.

What made Joshua different? It was the promise from God.

Joshua 10:8 “ And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of

them shall stand before you.”

Joshua knew that God had already promised the Amorites into his hands. So, Joshua prays for
what seemed like the impossible but he also knew full well that God was capable. Joshua was
bold because he knew the heart of God and he had confidence in the power of God as well. The
Lord provided because He fought for Israel (v.14).

God is a God of promises and His promises He always keeps. In Matthew 28:19-20 God gives us
a command and a promise.

“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.”

Maybe the reason we have not seen God do miraculous things in our own lives is because we
have not believed in His promises. Although Joshua knew that God had given him victory he
still had to go out and take it. God told us to go and make disciples and He would be with us but
most of us have never gone. If we do not obey God then we will never fully realize the power of
His promises in our lives.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

April 20, 2011

Today you should read: Joshua 9

When God’s favor is on you, EVERYTHING changes.

In Joshua 9, the Israelites had the momentum they’d always dreamed of. Really, the only thing ever standing in their way was their own sinfulness and rebellion. Now that they had dealt with their sin (Achan in Joshua 7), renewed their covenant with God and celebrated victory at Ai (Joshua 8), everyone took notice. It was unmistakeable — there was something special about these people — God’s favor.

In the first few verses, we see that the kings in surrounding countries wanted to do something about it. They wanted to return Israel to its humble state, defeated and in captivity. They banded together with the desire to put an end to Israel’s victories.

The Gibeonites, however, wanted to milk the successes of Israel. You know the age-old phrase, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” The concocted a plan to trick the Israelites into being gracious with them. To be honest, it was a fantastic plan. Moldy bread, old wineskins, worn clothes to prove they came from afar? Ingenious. Israel fell for it. Though Joshua was mad, he couldn’t argue with their reasoning: “God’s favor is on you. We want His favor too.”

The application today is simple.

God’s favor IS on you. If you are a Christ-follower, the Holy Spirit lives in you. God could not get any closer to you than He already is — HE IS IN YOU!

But are you walking so closely with Him that it’s unmistakable to others that His favor rests upon you? One factor may be the spiritual opposition you face. Another may be that other Christians are drawn to you and desire to emulate you. Because you follow Christ, they desire to follow you (Paul & Timothy).

I pray that we would be the kind of church that the world would notice, not for our creativity or programs, but because we are distinctly marked with the favor of God.

Blessings CPC.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

April 19, 2011

Today you should read: Joshua 8

Some Questions to consider:

1) What do you think you should learn from God, Joshua, and Joshua’s army?

2) Really think through Joshua’s obedience to God’s Word – take a look at your Bible – ya you, that book
you’re looking at IT’S THE VERY BREATH OF GOD. How should Joshua’s obedience impact the way you live?

3) How does knowing what comes before the book of Joshua and after the book of Joshua impact the way you
read Scripture? I might mention that Joshua’s killing and ransacking an entire city is something you might see
from a Braveheart clip, but it is part of God’s sovereign plan of redeeming a people to Himself. How does this
challenge you as you approach your time with God and the reading of His Word?

This passage will get any manly man fired up! In chapter 1 Joshua takes the leadership role after Moses hits
the grave. God commands him three times in chapter 1 to “be strong and courageous and not to be afraid”…
and for good reason, Joshua took over hundreds of thousands of people and was supposed to lead them.

And what do we see from Joshua? We see a young man take the responsibility that God had given him and become a strong leader. In chapter 1 he takes the leadership role, chapter 6 he leads some of the most jacked-muscle bound warriors you’ve ever seen to a battle that consisted of walking and blowing trumpets, and now we are in chapter 8 and Joshua leads his men to completely overtake Ai.

As you can tell the battle strategy is a little foggy at first commentaries even suggest that it is a little confusing, but the only thing that mattered is that God was on Joshua’s side. Joshua leads his men to entice the inhabitants of Ai, draw them away from the city, then ambush them all the while ransacking Ai and burning it to the ground. You might say, “wow that’s a little harsh!” My response is, “well, yes it is… it is quite grotesque–like a scene in a Braveheart clip.” But know this; in the grand scheme of Scripture, when viewed as a whole,
this is another part of God’s sovereign plan to redeem His people to Himself.

Take a look verse 1 and 2. It is a clear command from God to Joshua that God has already given the people of
Ai into Joshua’s hands. What is important to take away is verse 3. What does Joshua do? Joshua does exactly
what God told him to do. And please take note of how many people Joshua was leading – 30,000. WOW! Not
only did Joshua do what God told him to do, but you see in verse 7 that Joshua was completely confident in
the Lord God. He had no doubts Who was on his side. He looked 30,000 warriors in the face and said, “this
day the Lord God WILL deliver Ai into our hands.” He was confident, not from his own strength, but from the
strength of the Lord. Joshua trusted God, not just inwardly, but to the point of action – doing what God told
Him to do.

We also read in verses 30-35 that Joshua still remained faithful to the teaching and commands of Moses’
leadership. This probably could teach us a great lesson about discipleship and the importance of life on life
training. One thing is for sure – Joshua did what God told him to do and taught the people everything Moses
had commanded. Remaining faithful to God and His teaching lead Joshua do to what he was commanded to do
which resulted in God paving the way for him and his people.

Worship God – Enjoy God – Be Useful to God’s Kingdom!

Posted by: Zach Monroe

April 18, 2011

Today you should read: Joshua 7

The beginning says it all… “But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the LORD” (v.1). We don’t break God’s laws – they break us!

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7

Oh, the laws of sowing and reaping… I don’t like them very well – but they are true. If you plant turnips – you don’t get squash!

God is serious about our sin – even if we aren’t. He never jokes about sin. It’s destructive to us, our families, and our church. Just as in the case of Joshua, He often uses tragedy to get our attention about it if His warnings are unheeded. Things like breakups, marriage struggles, health issues, and financial woes.

Every day, we should pray for God to test our hearts – and we should deal with our sin. Never let it build up or your heart will get calloused or deceived.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
Try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” Psalm 139:23-24

Then, we need to confess the sin that God brings to our attention – repent of it and forsake it (accountability really helps with this!).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:9-10

So… the facts are that we all sin – every day. So we can have it the easy way or the hard way… either we deal with our sin – recognize it and confess it or God must get our attention about it – and that hurts!
How about beginning a pattern of dealing with sin starting today? Your life will change forever!!

Posted by: Tim Parsons