Message summary: Today we will consider changes, challenges and choices. Listen to this message on your audio player.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are Which of course elicits a number of responses. Bunny then says,
“Today is the day God has given me the opportunity to tell you that Jesus loves you!”Yesterday he went along with us for our chaplain visits, especially looking for opportunities to minister to truck drivers. Our first company yesterday receives many containers from a port and Bunny is seeking ways to share God’s love with these drivers.At this company we have the opportunity to share a brief devotional message early each Tuesday morning so yesterday I asked Bunny to share. He shared that we all have changes, challenges and choices in life which prompted today’s study.Some 3,400 years ago Joshua gave his final challenge to the children of Israel. He had lived his life in steadfast commitment to God. He’s first mentioned in Scripture as the trusted commander of Moses’ army shortly after they crossed the Red Sea during the Exodus. He, along with Caleb, was one of only two spies to bring back a faith-filled report that essentially said, “With God’s help we can do it!”Joshua had faithfully served under Moses during the 40-year period in the wilderness and had led God’s people in the conquest for some 25 years. He’s now 110 years old and musters enough strength for a final challenge to faith and commitment that rings through the ages.The people were experiencing three C’s that people all though the ages have dealt with.
1) Changes – The Israelites had entered the promised land under Joshua’s leadership but now were about to experience a change. Things weren’t going to stay the same; there would soon be new leadership. We go through many changes throughout the course of our lives; some major, even life-transforming, others smaller. Most of us really don’t know what change we will encounter today, but great assurance can fill our hearts when we remember that God said “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6). He is a steady presence in our life, the anchor for our faith when all other ground is sinking sand. Thomas Chisolm reminds us that we can rely on our unchanging God in the hymn classic, Great Is Thy Faithfulness: “Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not. As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.”
2) Challenges – Changes often bring on challenges. Although the people had entered the promised land many challenges lay ahead for them. Just keep reading and you’ll see one challenge after the other! In our lives changes usually bring challenges as well and just like the Israelites we will receive blessing when we obey God.
Choices – Usually there are choices we must make as a result of changes and challenges, and that makes life hard. Today we will all make many, many choices. Life is just full of choices and decision-making, from tiny daily choices such as what brand of soap to purchase or what to eat for dinner to major, life altering decisions such as our choice for a mate or career. Many choices do not have moral consequences but many others are a choice between right and wrong. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). However there is one fundamental choice we all share, based upon today’s portion of Scripture in the Old Testament. Joshua set the fundamental choice clearly before the people with these words, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”. In the context of Joshua’s challenge their fundamental choice was between serving the one true God and “the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.”In a broader sense the choice now and for every generation is whether we serve the one true God or “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Even those who practice the faith of atheism are essentially serving the god of this world. People then and now have this fundamental choice, for the one true God does not force people to love and serve Him.Joshua sets a great example for the people of his time and through all subsequent ages, including our own. Let us proclaim this day, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
Be encouraged today,
Daily prayer: Father, You have drawn us with an everlasting love; You show us Your loving kindness day after day. Your bountiful provision gives to us material, physical and spiritual blessings that only a caring heavenly Father can give. But even though our cup overflows with Your goodness we face changes and challenges amidst our blessing. As we deal with the inevitable changes and the subsequent challenges that follow help us to make the life defining choice, like Joshua, and declare to all who will hear,
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:22 --- https://youtu.be/M_Q6ZSzV8iQ --- the3rdonlive.wordpress.com/post/the3rdonlive.wordpress.com/2200
“If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety." Source: The Independent
The expectation to have everything she has stated is prominent in our society and unfortunately has made its way into the church. I speak as someone who idolised the thought of having a career and measured my worth by it for many years. Christians have asked me if I rent or buy, if I am having anymore children, and seem to be very interested to find out what I do for a living when they meet me. I know single friends have experienced similar, probing questions about their relationship status. This is all heightened by social media comparisons of family pictures, holidays, possessions, image and more. Sometimes it is hard to see how we are living any differently than those around us. Am I being uptight? I hope not.
Nothing is wrong with being single or married, renting or buying, having a career or a different path entirely. However, when any one of those things becomes something we think we should be or have, and are expected and/or entitled to have, we have forgotten that, as Christians, knowing Jesus and being in a relationship with Him is where our true identity and purpose is found. This is the most important thing. He is the one who meets our deepest needs and longings any and every single time.
Christians should live with an eternal perspective in mind. The temporary things of this earth will pass away, but God's words will never pass away (Luke 21:33). I would love to see more Christians encourage one another to know Jesus more and to practically love others with this same grace that Jesus has lavished on us. Maybe that will help in addressing some of the stress and anxiety found elsewhere in our lives and the lives of those around us.
Christians have good news to share and should be living transformed lives made possible by the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We should be known for our love for God and others. It's worth remembering that Jesus was single and a carpenter by trade before starting His ministry at 30. He met with the poorest, sick and those on the margins of society. He sent His disciples out into the world with no possessions and made it clear that they would have to deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). He warned them that they would have trouble in the world, but to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Whether we have ticked the box of home, husband/wife, children, career or whatever else we are trying to accomplish in life, the only box that needs to be marked is 'follow Jesus'. And that is marked by His cross. It is His work that brings us a full, abundant life. There is nothing we can do. He loves us immeasurably more than we can imagine. We need to fix our eyes on Him.
We do not have to jump through endless hoops in life to be a success or to win God's favour. There is absolutely nothing we can do, but it is all because of Jesus who has made a way for all people to come to Him through the cross. We can have an abundant life in Him which satisfies the deepest longing and searching of our heart. It is a longing, a hunger, a thirst in ourselves that can only be met through Jesus. Come to Him today and He will fill you with His peace if you turn to Him.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what
is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians
- Emma Watson
this could be, should be, so it is now. by David Buckle
be secure in life, know there is more than meets the eye
TRUST GOD ALWAYS
% God Does Not Want You To Try Harder, He Wants You To Trust Him %
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hold on for a minute, cool?
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