Daily Reading: July 1st


#DailyDevotion A Preview of the Last Day

July 1st
Read Josh 6:6–27
Jos 6:16-19 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city. (17) And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. (18) But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. (19) But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.”

These accounts, these terrible accounts from the Old Testament are there as warnings to us and to mankind. The Lord with the Israelites as his hand brought to utter destruction the city of Jericho and all of its inhabitants. Why did the Lord do this? Because the people in that city had completely gone astray and their sins filled up to the heavens. In fact the same was true for that whole region. God had enough. They had to go. There was no hope for them.

This total destruction of not only the people but their possessions as well serve as a reminder of the last judgment. Jesus is returning one day. He is coming with grace for all who trusted in him. He is also coming in wrath for all who spurned his grace and who followed after other gods. It will be a day of utter destruction. There will be great suffering building up to that day. Trials and tribulations calling people to repentance will occur but they will not repent just like the people of Jericho.

Only those who trusted in Jesus will enter into eternal life on that day though as passing through fire. We are like the silver and gold the vessels of bronze and iron that we brought into the Lord’s treasury. Purified by fire we enter into a new heavens and a new earth. We inherit the kingdom of God. Like Rahab and her family who trusted in the promise of the spies and the power of the Lord we are made one with the people of Israel who trusted in Jesus.

Note also that the things dedicated to destruction the people were not to keep. They would bring destruction upon Israel and those who kept them. In the same way, do not make attachments to the things of this world. Do not trust in them, in particular the wicked things of this world. They will mislead you away from trusting in Jesus for every good thing. But all these things the world puts it trust in will perish on the last day and will not be able to help anyone.

Almighty God and Father, we pray that you would give us your Holy Spirit, that we may be faithful to Jesus unto the end and be gathered into your heavenly kingdom at Christ’s return. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 30th


#DailyDevotion Are You Ready To Inherit The Earth

June 30

Josh 5:1—6:5

Jos 5:13-15  When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?”  (14)  And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?”  (15)  And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

 

In the beginning of the Chapter we read of the great patience of the Lord God. The Israelites who died in the wilderness did not circumcise their children as the Lord had commanded. You might remember the Lord almost killed Moses on the way to Egypt because his boys were not circumcised. But now they have entered into the Promised Land. Before the Lord would deliver the land to them, they must become his nation, a nation who is the promised seed of Abraham and who sign of God’s covenant with him was circumcision.

 

Now who appears before Joshua by Jericho but the commander of the army of the Lord. Joshua did not recognize him at first. With him beginning a military operation of taking over the land he wants to know whose side this fellow with the sword was on. It is then we learn who it is. Jacob falls to the ground for this is none other than the Angel of the Lord. Now the Angel of the Lord is equal to the Lord and receives divine worship. He is the same person who spoke to Moses from the burning bush. Now was Joshua is receiving the fulfillment of the Lord mission to Moses. As Moses had to remove his sandals, Joshua is commanded to do the same. The ground was holy because the Angel of the Lord was there. And so we see here two persons of the Godhead, the Lord and the Angel of the Lord and yet there are not two Lords but one Lord.

 

This Angel of the Lord is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. The Angel of the Lord is the Word of God. The one who leads his people into battle to conquer the inhabitants of Canaan in judgment against them is our Jesus. This same Jesus is the commander of the Lord’s Army. He came in mercy when he humbled himself to become one of us. But like in the account of Joshua, on the last day, he comes again with the army of the Lord to execute judgment upon the peoples of the earth. His angels shall gather up all the wicked, all those who rejected his offer of forgiveness and did not repent of their sins to slaughter them and then to cast them into the Lake of Fire. Then as Israelites received the land as an inheritance, we who circumcised our hearts and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ shall receive our inheritance, the new earth. On the day of Jesus’ judgment where will you reside, what will you inherit?

 

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son to lead your army to defeat the inhabitants of Canaan for the Israelites once to fulfill your promise to Abraham. You have also sent him into the flesh to conquer sin, death and the devil for us that we may inherit the earth. Grant us such faith in him that we circumcise our hearts that we may be prepared as your people to enter into that inheritance. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 29th


#DailyDevotion Jesus Is Our Joshua

June 29th
Read Josh 4:1–24
Jos 4:14-19 ESV On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. (15) And the LORD said to Joshua, (16) “Command the priests bearing the ark of the testimony to come up out of the Jordan.” (17) So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” (18) And when the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the LORD came up from the midst of the Jordan, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up on dry ground, the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks, as before. (19) The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and they encamped at Gilgal on the east border of Jericho.

It was the 10th day of the first month they Israelites entered into the promised land. It is notable that it was the 10th of the 1st. The 10th symbolizing that their journey was now complete. The time in the wilderness was over. The Lord had fulfilled his promise to the Israelites that at the time at which those who had grumbled against him had finally passed away. The first month symbolizes a new beginning for the Israelites. No longer will they be foreigners in a foreign land. They have a new home, a new land, a new country to call their own.

We too like the Israelites in the wilderness are looking forward to the day when we shall enter into the promised land promised to Abraham and those who have the faith of Abraham, a new heavens and a new earth. We do not know when we shall enter into it. We know when we do, we shall be ushered into it by another Joshua whose name in Greek is Jesus.

Jesus has gone ahead of us to prepare a place, a new home, where righteousness reigns. Where there is no more death or sorry, crying or tears, no more hunger or thirst he is preparing for all who put their trust in him. There everything comes out as a wash, and greater than a wash for he has promised he would pay back Israel double for their sins, how much more so than for his true Israel the Church, the flock of all believers in Christ.

Sure, now we may have misery, trials, tribulations, troubles, sicknesses and death. Then these will be no more. A land truly flowing with milk and honey, whose trees bear fruit every month whose leaves heal the nations. And we shall see God and the Lamb and know true love and true peace. We won’t have to defeat the Philistines, the Hittites, Jebusites or Nanites. Jesus has already conquered all our enemies for us on the cross.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us patience, faith and endurance until that time as you have us cross the Jordan of this world into the world prepared for us from the foundation of the world. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 28th


#DailyDevotion Are You Prepared To Follow Joshua Into The Holy Land?

June 28

Josh 3:1–17

Jos 3:5-7  Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”  (6)  And Joshua said to the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people.  (7)  The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

 

After three days the text said the Lord came to Joshua and said he would exalt him before the people that they would know the Lord was with him just as he was with Moses. And on the fourth day, the Israelites crossed the Jordan river on dry ground with the waters in a heap up the river. Just as the priest went into the water with the ark the river stopped. By this sign Joshua was exalted among the people. To tell you the truth, I think they listened to him better than they ever did Moses, though he had his problems with the Israelites as well. The Lord God was fulfilling his promise to bring them to the land he promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

 

Now there is another Joshua. We know him by the name of Jesus. After three days he was raised from the dead. On the fortieth day after his resurrection he was exalted to the right hand of God. He has ascended to prepare a place for us: new promised land. In this land righteousness will reign. There will be no more death and no more sorrow. Weeping will flee. Sin will be no more. There will be no more need of the sun or the moon because Jesus and his glory is our light.

 

This land he has promised to all who are repentant of their sins and trust Jesus has won salvation for them. He offers it as a free gift to all. But not all accept his gift. Many prefer to live their lives their own way. The wealth of this world has deceived them and the pleasures of this world keep them captive. Since they cannot see the new Promised Land they do not believe it exists or will be given to them freely by his grace. They do not believe the Lord fulfilled his promises to the Israelites so like the unbelieving Israelites they murmur and complain against their maker and look to his enemy for every good thing in this life that is transitory.

 

So what about you? Will you confess your sins; admit your faults to God? Will you desire and begin to turn away from your iniquity and your fleshly desires and trust the good news of the free gift of eternal life? The invitation has been sent. The place has been prepared. All that is left is for the living ark, our Lord Jesus Christ, to stand in the Jordan of our life to dry it up, so we may cross over to the other side. Are you crossing over in faith or are you going to stay in the wilderness of sin?

 

Heavenly Father, you have exalted Jesus, our Joshua to your right hand with all power, authority and dominion over all creation. Grant us faith to repent and believe that we may join him in the land he has prepared for us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 27th


#DailyDevotion On The Day Of Destruction, Do You Have A Scarlet Thread?

June 27th

Read Josh 2:1–24

Jos 2:9-13  and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you…(12)  Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign  (13)  that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death”… (18)  Behold, when we come into the land, you shall tie this scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and you shall gather into your house your father and mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household.

 

The news of the Lord’s dealing with the Israelites and those they encountered had reached the promise land.  Through it, the Lord was fulfilling his promise to deliver that land to the Israelites.  Here in Joshua we have the account of one pagan woman who heard the news of the Lord’s working and believed it.  Having encountered the Israelite men she puts her trust in the Lord and does what is right by the men.  She seeks a sign that they will keep their word that her household will be saved when the Israelites defeat Jericho. The give her a sign to place scarlet cord outside her window and those who stay in that house will be saved but any who depart from it will be killed.  This scarlet cord is much like the blood of the Passover lamb which was put on the door post and lintel of the door post which told the angel of death to pass over those houses.  This scarlet represents the blood of Christ.  It is only through his blood that we have life and salvation.  Interestingly enough, this woman and one of the spies would be the ancestor of Jesus, the Messiah.  Her faith saved her.

 

Now we too need the blood of the Lamb to deliver us from death.  The Lord Jesus Christ gave us two signs which are seals and pledges of what he promises us.  We have both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, both which convey to us the very blood of the Lamb, Jesus.  In baptism we are truly washed with the blood of the Lamb. Rev 7:14  I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Act 22:16  And… now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’  In the Lord’s Supper he gives us his very blood to drink– Mat 26:27-28  And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, (28)  for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. So we who are baptized and receive the blood of Christ in his supper, who remain in the House of the Lord i.e. Church need not fear the wrath of the Holy Angels when Christ returns.  Death, destruction, the wrath of God shall pass over us even as it did the Israelites in Egypt and Rahab’s house in Jericho.  Put your trust in the One whose blood delivers you and be well marked with it.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, through your ancestor Rahab you taught us to trust in your very blood for the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.  Grant us such faith in your blood that we partake of this seal and pledge frequently that we may be assured even as Rahab’s house was that you will deliver us.  Amen.

Daily Reading: June 26th


#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Fulfillment Of Joshua

June 26th
Read Josh 1:1–18
Jos 1:7-9 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. (8) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Lord had promise this land to Abraham and his descendents. The covenant of the Law made possession of the land dependent upon following the book of the Law. God would ultimately give the fulfillment of the “Promised Land,” a city whose foundations and walls would be built by God unconditionally as promised to Abraham to all who have the faith of Abraham.

But for now, in Joshua, the people of Israel have a command and a promise and from that they can head the words of the Lord and of Joshua. Be strong and very courageous! They could do that if they kept their eyes and their hearts on the book of the Law and trusted in the Lord. If they quit trusting the Lord and quit following the Law then they could have no basis upon being strong and courageous.

David knew this. This is why he could slay the lion and the bear and ultimately Goliath. He trusted in the Lord and in the Lord’s promise. It’s why he could wait for God’s plans for Saul in order to be king and could go successfully against the inhabitants of the land. The same was true of course for Joshua. He would meditate on the book of Law, instruct God’s people and do as it said because he trusted in the Lord’s promise. This book of the Law they were to meditate upon day and night. And so they could be bold trusting the promise the Lord God was with them wherever they went.

The Lord Joshua (Jesus) Christ at the end of Matthew gave similar instructions before his departure to the right hand of the Father. He said, Mat 28:20 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” So the apostles taught us everything Jesus had taught them which Jesus (Joshua) had been given of the Father. He calls us to meditate upon it day and night. He also gives us a promise that he is with us until the end of the age. Even as the Lord delivered the land into the hands of the Israelites, so too, Jesus will give us the inheritance of Abraham, the new heavens and new earth with the Father and Jesus as our temple teaching us face to face. So in this life, with this promise we can be strong and courageous. The Lord is with us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us your Spirit that we may meditate upon your teachings day and night, be strengthened by them and lead us to live in them by faith being encouraged by your continual presence always. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 25th


#DailyDevotion God Apparently Thinks Men Need More Instruction Choosing A Wife

June 25th
Read Prov 31:10–31
Pro 31:10-12 ESV An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. (11) The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. (12) She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Pro 31:17 ESV She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. Pro 31:25 ESV Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Pro 31:28-30 ESV Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: (29) “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” (30) Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Sometimes it seems unfair that most of the time when the bible focuses on husbands and wives that most of the focus tends to be on the wife. Then again, maybe men just need more instruction. But the descriptions of the husband in this section are priceless most importantly is verse 11. The heart of her husband trust in her. If wives are to be excellent and meet their full potential as wives the husband needs to trust them. Why would you marry someone you didn’t trust (I’ll excuse arranged marriages for the moment). It is from this trust that the fruits of her labor follow.

Now the character of the wife is there in the above verses. She seeks to do him good and not harm. How different is that than the relationships we often see on tv commercials and sitcoms where the wife constantly bashes her husband. If the wife praises her husband will he not rise to the occasion?

Her inner strength is her dress. A strong woman cannot be hid by shabby looking clothes or meek clothes. Her bearing carries her. Strength and dignity are her clothing. She can be spotted in a crowd of thousands. She does not fear the future but laughs at it. She can do this because she trust the Lord our God to take care of her and her family.

She is praised by her husband and children. The praise of her husband no doubt continues to strengthen her to accomplish what she sets her mind to do. Her children’s blessings follow her.

So men if you don’t have a wife don’t be carried away by the charm and beauty of a woman when picking a wife. Look to her character for that is what you will live with for the rest of your life. Women you may want to do the same. Find a God fearing spouse.

But this also has to do with Christ and his Church. Jesus trusts the Church to do the work he has given her to do. The Church fears her Lord and Husband and goes about doing the good it was meant to do. We her children praise the Church for what Christ Jesus is doing through her. The Church is to fear the Lord in all her work trusting in Christ for the present and the future.

Lord Jesus Christ, help those who are yours to find God fearing spouses. May those who are already married conform themselves to your standards of husband and wife by the power of the Holy Spirit and may our marriages be reflection of your glory and the glory of your holy Church. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 24th


#DailyDevotion Humility Is The Place To Start When You Open The Scriptures

June 24th
Read Prov 30:1–9, 18–33
Pro 30:1-9 ESV The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle. The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. (2) Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. (3) I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One. (4) Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! (5) Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. (6) Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (7) Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: (8) Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, (9) lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Humility is a good place to start an investigation. If you’re going to investigate something you have to first admit you don’t know something, otherwise, why investigate. Agur here certainly begins with humility. “I’m stupid” “I have no understanding” “I have not wisdom” is a good place to start with the Almighty. Who among us would speak these words not in jest but in truth?

Yet when we approach God, the Lord, it might be a good idea to place fallen human reasoning aside for a while and just listen to what the Lord is telling us about himself and just trust it. It is in trusting what God says about himself that we will eventually gain some understanding of him.

Six questions he ask in verse four. These are dealing the ability of the Almighty and are reminiscent of God’s questions to Job. The most telling question though is “What is his son’s name?” Right smack there towards the end of the book of Proverbs we see Jesus. Indeed, the New Testament authors recognized this with the first question. Jesus is the answer to these questions. He has ascended to heaven and come down when he was incarnated. He commands the wind and the waves. He created the heavens and the earth and established their limits. God has a son who is One in essence and substance with Him, it is Jesus.

We then should take refuge in God’s Word and subject our reasoning to it. Every Word of God does indeed prove true. Therefore you should not add to it. That’s what Eve did and fell into ruin. It is enough for Jesus to provide us with daily bread. When we look to our necessities and not our desires we will gain understanding and know who is the Lord. It is Jesus.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may see and know you in the Holy Scriptures and may we submit ourselves to your Word and your Will and come to a true understanding of all things. Amen.

Daily Reading: June 23rd


#DailyDevotion You Got A Friend

June 23

Prov 27:1–24

Pro 27:6  Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy…9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.  (10)  Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away…17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

 

We pick up the theme of friendship today. Having friends is important, well having a friend. We do not need many friends nor will we really ever have many friends. We may have many people around who seem friendly towards us. We have some characteristics of friends.

 

For one, friends are not afraid to tell us the truth. They are not seeking benefits for themselves from us so they are honest with us even if it hurts us sometimes. However, our enemies may heap praises upon us to get us to take them into our confidence so they may use it against us. A friend, when they are honest and wound us with their words seeks only to make us better. When we know this person is our friend, their words, even though they wound become sweet because they are earnest counsel.

 

A person who is truly your friend you need to stick to. You shouldn’t forsake your friends for popularity sake. People who may seek your friendship (who are not your friends, but are popular) may want you to forsake your friend. Do not do it. If they want your friendship or your company then your friend should be a part of it. And do not forsake your father’s friend he tells us. If this person is truly your father’s friend then you are like a nephew or niece to him, maybe even his own child. He will be there for you even when others abandon you.

 

We need a friend for one man sharpens another. Now some men, they are not friends. They are acquaintances. They may sharpen you or not. But your friend will always make you a better person. Make sure the people around you are your friends. See if they want to make you better or if they are just using you for their purposes without seeking your good. If it is all give and no take, then you may want to move on. You will find out quick enough who is your friend when you see who is standing with you on the day of trouble.

 

We always have one friend. His name is Jesus. He promises to never leave or forsake you. He always wants what is best for you. He has already demonstrated his friendship you to by sacrificing himself for your sake and revealing everything his Father in heaven has told him. We find it in his Word, the Bible.

 

Heavenly Father, grant unto us a friend who is closer to us than a brother and may we be such a friend to another. We thank you for sending to us Jesus as a friend that we may have one person in our lives who will never leave or forsake us even if we don’t always perceive it. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.