October 6-12, 2014
Monday, October 6, 2014
“I took your father Abraham” (Joshua 24:3a).
A new day is about to begin, but before it does Joshua gathers the people and in a prophetic voice calls them to remember what God has done in their lives and in the lives of their ancestors. God’s actions were those of love and grace. God reached out and revealed himself to Abraham; God took Abraham out of his heathen surroundings and established a relationship between God and him.
As we begin this new day, let us pause to consider how God has moved in our lives and the lives of those around us. When we do, we are reminded of God’s steadfast love and overwhelming grace. These good memories enable us to face life courageously, faithfully and obediently.
O God of Grace and Glory, we stand in awe of how you have moved in our lives. Truly you are a God of love and grace. May we respond to what you have done in ways that please you. Amen.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
“And led him [Abraham] through all the land of Canaan” (Joshua 24:3b).
Have you ever played “Follow the Leader”? It is a game that requires at least two people; you can’t play it by yourself. You can’t be both the leader and the follower. To play the game there needs to be one leader and at least one follower. In a sense, “Follow the Leader” involves a partnership.
God graciously and lovingly reached out to Abraham. God then led him through all the land of Canaan. In order for God to lead, Abraham needed to be willing to follow. With God leading and Abraham following, great things were accomplished and God’s will was achieved.
No matter what our situation in life is, we are called to be followers. God invites us to follow God as God leads us into service, adventure and life in the kingdom of God.
O Divine Leader, forgive us when we try to lead you, or forget to follow you. Use us and lead us to serve others and to impact lives with the good news of your son, Jesus. Amen.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
“And Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau” (Joshua 24:4).
When God reached out and took Abraham, God promised Abraham land and descendants. In his speech before the Israelites, Joshua was reminding them that God was a God who kept his promises. Descendants were one of the promises that God made to Abraham. The Israelites could look around them and see that God had kept God’s promise. God also promised Abraham land, and the Israelites had just conquered the land that had been promised. As they set out on a new chapter of their lives—that of settling the land—it was good to remember how God kept God’s promises.
What does God promises us? Certainly God has not promised us land, descendants, or riches. God has promised to always be our God, though. God has also promised to love us with a steadfast love and to forgive us unconditionally. God has promised never to leave us, and to move through the blessings that God has given us so that they become blessings to others.
As we begin the new day, let’s remember God’s promises to us and allow those promises to encourage us, strengthen us and give us hope. Let us live in the promises of God.
O Faithful Lord, thank you for your promises. So move in us that we might watch in awe and humility as you keep your promises and work out your will through us. Amen.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
“Then I sent Moses and Aaron” (Joshua 20:5).
The Israelites waited for four hundred years in Egypt. During that time their lives were hard; slavery was brutal. All those years they cried out to God waiting and hoping that God would hear them and free them. Quite possibly they frequently wondered why God didn’t rescue them, and questioned if their prayers were anything more than empty words. God did hear their prayers, though, and God moved to answer them. At the right time, God sent Moses and Aaron to lead the Israelites out of slavery.
There are times when God seems so very silent in our lives. We cry out for God’s help but we wonder if they are just empty words. We hope God will rescue us, while we at the same time wonder if God will allow life to crush us.
We can take comfort in the story of the Israelites, and in the witness of others. They struggled just like we are struggling. God heard their prayers, moved in their lives and rescued them. God will do the same in our lives. God is our savior.
O Invisible yet Powerful God, we believe that you will save us just liked you did with the Israelites and your people throughout history. Help us with our unbelief and doubts. Amen.
Friday, October 10, 2014
“They [Amorites] fought with you and I handed them over to you” (Joshua 24:8).
The scene shifts. Joshua had been reminding the people of how God had moved through their ancestors. None of Joshua’s audience had met Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or even Joseph. The slavery in Egypt and the escape through the Red Sea was something their parents and grandparents had experienced, but not them. Now, Joshua was reminding the people of how God had moved in their lives. “Remember,” he says, “when you faced the Amorites? God gave them into your hand.”
No matter how new we are to being one of God’s people, God has always been at work in our lives. Today, as we face life’s challenges, it is encouraging and strengthening to recall how the Holy Spirit has moved in our lives. How has the Lord provided for us? In what ways has God protected us? Through whom has God comforted us? God has always been with us and God will continue to do so as we step into the future.
Faithful God, You call us to follow you on new paths and to trust you as we venture into new areas. While we remember what you have done, open our eyes so that we may see what you are doing. Amen.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
“I gave you a land on which you had not labored” (Joshua 24:13).
It is now the present tense. God has moved in the lives of their distant ancestors. God has carried their parents and grandparents on eagle’s wings. As they recently faced their enemies, God was there delivering their enemies into their hands. Now, today, God continues to move and is now providing them with a new land—The Promised Land.
The emphasis of God’s present day activity is not on the efforts of the Israelites. No, not at all! The focus is on God’s grace and the gifts God gives to God’s people. Sure they have worked hard, and yes some of them died in the battle with the Amorites. Still, God has richly blessed them. God has blessed them beyond their imaginations.
A new day lies before us. We look back and we can see God’s presence and evidence of God’s work. As we enter into the day, we can anticipate that God will be with us. God will move in ways that will surprise us. God will lead us on paths that will challenge us. God will give us opportunities for service that will humble us. Life in God’s kingdom is an adventure.
Living God, we step into this new day with anticipation. We are your people, use us. Amen.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
“Choose this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15).
How does one respond to a God who has moved and is moving so powerfully, lovingly and graciously in his or her life? We can ignore God and do our own thing—seeking to be our own gods and going through life with the false belief that God and everyone else lives to serve us. We could also turn our back on this gracious and loving God and go off to serve a host of inferior gods. They promise so much, but they deliver so little. Or we can choose this day to serve God, the Creator God, the God who has chosen us to be people of God and servants of God.
This day, and every day in our future, we can choose to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.
God of Love, today we choose to serve you. Empower us so that our words and actions honor you and to share your love and grace with others. Amen.