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Deuteronomy 34:1-Joshua 2:24

Three times, count them three times (Joshua 1: 6,7,9) God gives the command to Joshua to “Be Strong and Courageous.” God doesn’t ask him how he feels, “Joshua do you feel strong and courageous?” God tells him to “Be …” We deal so much with our emotions and feelings. We operate by our five senses and then whatever our emotions and senses are telling us, that is what we tell ourselves must be truth. But here God is commanding a response based on His Word, not on feelings. In the same way we are commanded, as Christians, to love one another. It is a command not a feeling.

I believe that these responses God had commanded us, has commanded Joshua to “Be” are all acts of the will and not responses of the flesh and emotions, and my beliefs are not based on my feelings, because I certainly don’t feel strong, nor courageous nor do I feel love for all my fellow man, but I am commanded to do and to be. So these three things I’ve mentioned, plus others, must be verbs, actions words. I just not sure how to activate the action or is it as simple as being and doing despite what it feels like?

We know we have brains, at least I hope we know that, but when was the last time we felt them? Truth is not dependent on our feelings. Just because we feel or don’t feel a certain way or evoke a specific response as dictated by society doesn’t mean we are not dealing in “truth” or that we are insensitive to the needs, fears or experiences of others.

It is also interesting to note that after Joshua charges the two and one-half tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh they respond back to him with, “[Joshua] …be strong and courageous.”

Joshua’s foundation in carrying out the command is rooted in him not letting the Book of the Law depart from him, meditating on the Law and studying it as well. Since God is not a respecter of persons and is the same yesterday, today and forever, then my fears, my weaknesses are wiped away by doing the same thing, meditating, studying and not letting the “Law” of God, the commands of Jesus depart from me.

It is also fascinating to note that the effects of hanging on to the Book of the Law, which gave Joshua strength and courage translated out to the citizens of Jericho as fear. Joshua 2: 24"The LORD will certainly give us the whole land," they said, "for all the people in the land are terrified of us."
Luke 13:22-14:6

22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem.”

Jesus was not sidetracked by the needs of others, or the distractions of the towns he visited or passed through. His miracles, His Words were directed to a single purpose, the cross, and that could only take place in Jerusalem. When one knows his or her purpose they are not held in slavery to the agenda’s of others. His purpose was about doing His Father’s business and that business was acquiring our redemption.

Jesus’ discourse about the narrow gate lets me know that sitting up in church doesn’t get me into the Kingdom, doing “church” stuff also doesn’t get me in, it is doing the Will of God and finding the purpose God has created me for and “working it.” I know this because of the following statements in chapter thirteen, “Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, `Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, `I do not know you.' 26You will say, `But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27 And he will reply, `I tell you, I don't know you. Go away, all you who do evil.'”

When you following your God given assignment death, physical death, will also be given its proper perspective in the life of the believer. Jesus was not rankled by the threats of Harod because He know that life is more that the physical, and because His Father, my Father, your Father, our Father is the God of the resurrection of all dead things.

Psalm 79:1-13
9 Help us, O God of our salvation!
Help us for the honor of your name. Oh, save us and forgive our sins
for the sake of your name.

This verse reminds me that our righteousness, our deliverance and our salvation are not based on anything I’ve done but it is based on His Name’s sake, Jesus. I have no right to demand the benefits of Jesus’ work on Calvary, but it is only His love and mercy that has removed my sins from me and caused Him to bestow forgiveness on me. Thank you Jesus.

Proverbs 12:26

This Proverb has not only caused me to reflect on the kind of advice I’m giving my friends, Mike, but it also warns me that I need to question whether the people who give me advice are Godly. Yikes!

Grace and peace,

I have enjoyed reading this year and each year I get stronger in the Word and learn daily. God is good

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