Statement of faith

2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (NIV)

"The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to make us like the Son of God. To become like Jesus, we must fill our lives with his Word.
- Warren

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quiet-Time Reflections

Week of: October 17, 2011                             
Sharing by: Pam Crawford

JOSHUA 3:14-16
When the people set out to cross the Jordan, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. Now it was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the river’s edge, the water began piling up at a town upstream called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then al the people crossed over near the city of Jericho.

Too often many of us fail to recall the Lord’s goodness when we’re knee deep in discouragement. Don’t fret; this is certainly nothing new for human beings. The Israelites of long ago give us a glimpse into a generation of people who forgot the blessings they had received. We can learn a lot from them and what they lost sight of. I would be a “fool” to pass judgment on them, as I have been one of them. This devotion is actually a reminder to me as I work through something that has the potential to cause me to forget the “goodness of God” if I let it. I have a feeling that someone else out there may be able to relate to this in their own life. Some of us have been pretty comfortable up to this point, and then without warning, things have changed.  It is so easy to become fearful when we forget the goodness of God. It is my prayer that we can learn a vital lesson from the example God has provided to us in the form of the Israelites journey.

Although God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt (a place of oppression) and took them safely through the divided Red Sea, they in essence missed the boat. You can read all about this miracle in Joshua 3. The Israelites had experienced God’s miracles first-hand. They received provision, encouragement and compassion along life’s journey. However, when things began to change for them, when it wasn’t so easy any longer, they quickly forgot the goodness and provision of the Lord.

In an article titled Remembering God’s Goodness by Dr. Charles Stanley, he explains that “the Lord knew that the people were about to enter Jericho, and that by His power, they would overcome the city. How compassionate to encourage them with a tangible illustration of His strength prior to such a battle.” I believe it would be very helpful if we truly understood this prior to our battles. I am so speaking to myself today. God knows what we’re up against long before we ever enter into it.  And, by His power, we can overcome it!

A good question at this point might be; “do we really believe we can overcome?” The only way we overcome is by activating and exercising faith. The key will be trusting in that of which we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). It is really important that you understand this word “faith.” It is the key to unlocking a spirit of hope and encouragement.

I’ve been reminding myself that God is not surprised when I forget His goodness. He understands that at times I drift into a place of self-reliance and need to be reminded of His faithfulness. He sees my need to repent, change and grow. As I write today I realize that it’s time to recall the Father’s plan to help His loved ones recall the miracle at the river. In Joshua 4:3 God asked them to create an altar of 12 stones, (a memorial) representing each tribe of Israel that had passed safely through the waters. This way, they would have a tangible reminder of His divine rescue. This might be something we could do.

In Dr. Stanley’s article that I mentioned earlier; he suggests the following for creating reminders of God’s faithfulness.  He writes: “When it comes to blessings, do you tend to be forgetful? If so, try to create reminders of God's faithfulness. Some people journal; others write key words on stones and leave them in noticeable places. Whatever you do, make sure you have a way to remember the Lord's involvement in your life.” I love these suggestions and below is my journal entry for today.

Lord, help me never forget that I have received your favor when I didn’t always deserve it. Help me remember your involvement in my life. Today I recall the many ways you have shown your faithfulness. I thank you for never giving up on me. I thank you for and I choose this day to remember:

·         Your Love
·         Forgiveness
·         Provision
·         Protection
·         Encouragement
·         Comfort
·         Guidance
·         Correction
·         Rescue
·         Restoration
·         Transformation
·         Power

Please consider taking time today to recall what God has done in your life. Think about your journey thus far and choose to see with fresh eyes God’s faithfulness. Whether you journal, or you chose another form of remembrance, I encourage you to do this exercise to remember God’s blessings. And, in the future no matter what you are up against, don’t let go of truth. If you don’t know truth yet, if you don’t know the character of this God I speak of today, if you doubt His faithfulness; I encourage you to open up a Bible and ask God to introduce Himself. Be blessed my friends. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). God is faithful (1 Corinth. 1:9) and He is the way (John 14:6).

Additional Scripture: Philippians 1:6, 2:1-30, 2 Peter 1:1-10
Suggested book & movie:  Courageous

In Christ by grace,

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