Just as driving by a church sign can give your faith a booster shot by leading you to prayer or a conversation with those around you, we hope that this page will be a spot for a quick, uplifting devotional or an inspiring message.
March 31, 2020"Have Courage and Be Kind" (Part 1)
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
In our family, we try to work as many movie and TV quotes as possible into conversations. One quote that I have been thinking about lately is from the 2015 movie, Cinderella. "Have courage and be kind," is the lesson from Cinderella's mother. While the quote is not Biblical, the lesson can be. Courage is mentioned in the Bible many times, and Joshua 1:9 is one of my favorites.
Today, there are many things that are unknown. It is easy to be fearful, but having courage means than we are able to act and to get through life even while being afraid. We can be courageous because we know that the Lord is with us wherever we go, just as He was with Joshua when they crossed into the promised land. When we put our faith in God, His presence and power are the strongest basis for courage that we can ever have. When we believe that God is with us and for us, we can be courageous.
When fear starts to win, I urge you to pray something like this: "Mighty God, I am not courageous. Thank You for always being with me and for me. Help me to be strong and not fearful. Let Your presence and power be the source for my courage for I cannot do this alone. In Christ's name, Amen."
March 26, 2020
"So Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. Then Moses commanded them: "At the end of every seven years, in the year for canceling debts, during the Festival of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose, you shall read this law before them in their hearing. Assemble the people - men, women and children, and the foreigners residing in your towns - so they can listen and learn to fear the Lord your God and follow carefully all the words of this law." Deuteronomy 31:9-12
After Moses charged the Israelites and Joshua to be strong and courageous, he wrote down the law and gave it to the leaders; the priests and the elders of Israel. Then, he instructed them to gather together every seven years at the festival of Tabernacles for a reading of the words of God's law. He wanted everyone there: men, women, children, and foreigners living in the land. He said the purpose of this was that the people could listen to these words again, learn to fear the Lord their God, and follow carefully all the words of His law.
At various times in redemptive history God has called his people to a fresh hearing of his words. There were times like this where things were going well and they were preparing to go into a new land, promised by God. There were times, like those of king Josiah, where the law had been lost and the people had simply forgotten God's words. There were times their blatant disregard of God's words led them to exile and suffer in foreign lands and rediscover His words through the prophets. There were times where God rescued them and brought them home to hear his words again from people like Ezra and Nehemiah. The common theme of all these times is that the reading of Scripture always helps us see the Lord is God over all and shows us how to live life fully as His people. These discoveries always bring new life to weary souls.
Moses had learned through all the years of his life that the words of God revealed His holy & perfect nature and His incredible care for His people. In other words, he'd seen the trustworthiness of God's words to His people and desperately wanted them to live by them. This led him in Deuteronomy 32 verses 1 to 4 to declare in song the greatness of our God, the perfection of all His works, and His faithfulness to His people. The bottom line is that the source of strength and courage for God's people at any stage of life is His great presence and also His life-giving words. I invite you to take a few moments today in Deuteronomy 31 and 32 to rediscover God's lifegiving words to you.
March 24, 2020
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:6-8
The people of Israel are preparing to enter the promised land. Moses gives one of his final pep talks to the people as they prepare to face the Canaanites. In verse 6 he says, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." God asks them to be strong by believing in the strength of their God, even in the midst of the opposition they'll face in the Promised Land. This is what courage is all about. It is the resolve to go forward in trying circumstances because of God's strength rather than our fear. Remember this was a crucial time for the Israelites. They had been here before and had turned back in fear at this very moment in the book of Numbers. They were afraid of the giants of the land and couldn't see a way to defeat them. The question for them and for us is what will we do right now before the giant circumstances of our lives? The Lord says do not be afraid or dismayed by what stands before you because of who stands with you.
This courage is based on 2 things about God we can hold onto today. First, God goes with you. We're not alone. God goes with us into the tough places where all we can do is rely upon him. When we feel weak or fearful the Lord is right there with us. We can find Him there. Second, he will never leave or forsake you. God doesn't leave us to fend for ourselves. He won't abandon you but will bring you through these times. God will even use trying times to accomplish what he wants to do in our lives. Moses' charge is to be a people strong and courageous because of their God, who always goes with them in his perfect strength. The Lord's desire is that we wouldn't be afraid or dismayed because we've seen his goodness for ourselves. The giant things that stand before us are never a match for the God that goes with us.