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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 9/17/2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

RAHAB, Following In The Footsteps of faith, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 9/17/2012

Joshua 2:8-21
THE SCARLET THREAD, Lesson 6a

In our last study, we examined the life of Rahab the harlot and her encounter with the two spies from the camp of Israel. The Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land. The first obstacle they had to overcome was the walled city of Jericho. We will study the dramatic fall of that city when we reach Joshua chapter 6.

As we looked at those wonderful verses we learned that God had touched the heart of a wicked, pagan woman. We saw how the Lord allowed the news of Israel’s God to reach Rahab. We saw the grace of God in action as He touched her heart, caused her to hear about the God of Israel and drew her to Himself. We examined the clear evidence given in this chapter that proves Rahab was redeemed by the grace of God. She hid the spies. Her life was changed. She spoke of her faith in God. She put herself at risk for the glory of God. She even turned her back on her city because she had set her face toward Heaven.

This passage proves that God can, and will, save anyone who will come to Him by faith.
Rahab had nothing going for her. She had nothing to commend her to the Lord. She was a Gentile. She was an idol worshipper. She was a harlot. She was a wicked woman who was headed to Hell, and who deserved to go there.

But, she was saved by the grace of God, brought into the family of Israel, made a partaker of all the covenants and promises of God, and she became the mother of Boaz, the Great-great grandmother of King David, and an ancestress of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure that we will meet her one day in Heaven.

That is the power of God’s saving grace. Don’t think for a minute that He can’t do the same thing for you, If you will come to Him, you too will be saved, changed and made ready for Heaven! Praise the Lord! That is the primary lesson from this passage.

Today, I want to consider more closely something we only touched on in our last study. I want to focus our attention today on The Scarlet Thread mentioned in verses 15, 18, and 21. For me, that scarlet thread is filled with meaning and we do not want to miss the blessings that are here. Let’s take some time today to study The Scarlet Thread and take note of the amazing characteristics of The Scarlet Thread.

I. WHAT THE THREAD DEPICTED

In verses 8-11, Rahab proclaimed her faith in the God of Israel. She told the spies what she knew about Him, and she expressed her conviction that their God was a powerful God, v. 10, and that He was the only God, v. 11. In verse 12, her words declare her faith in the promises of God as well.

She asks the spies to save her and her family, vv. 12-13. The spies promise Rahab that when Israel attacks the city of Jericho, all those who are in her house at the time will be saved, v. 14. Rahab then helped the spies to flee the city by lowering them down the wall from her window, using a cord, v. 15. In verse 18, the spies tell Rahab to bind that cord in her window when Israel approaches Jericho, and all those in her house will be saved. However, those who leave the house during the invasion will receive the same fate as the rest of the people of Jericho.

That scarlet thread that hung down the walls of Jericho from Rahab’s has much to say. That scarlet cord was probably just a common length of flax rope that Rahab had made and dyed right on her roof top, v. 6. All it was a piece of rope, but it pictures so much more than that.

First, let’s notice the thoughts that are plain to see. The word “cord” in verse 15 refers to a “rope.” The word itself can also be used to speak about “a company, or group of people.” Thus, it refers to a “braided rope” and not just a single thread.

This cord was more than just a length of thread. It had to be strong enough to hold the weight of a man, v. 15, and it had to be long enough to reach to the bottom of the wall.
Besides the obvious thoughts the scarlet thread presents, it teaches some spiritual lessons that might not be as obvious.

That scarlet thread represented Rahab and her lifestyle. We have all heard of “the red light district.” That is where Rahab lived because she was a harlot. That scarlet thread represented her wicked past.

Down through the ages scarlet has been a color associated with evil. Scarlet is a strong, vivid red. As a noun, it refers to a color, but as an adjective, it speaks of immorality and of wickedness.

Perhaps you have read The Scarlet Letter by Nathanael Hawthorne. In that book a woman named Hester Prynne who becomes pregnant while she is away from her husband. She is arrested and sent to prison for the crime. When she is released, she is forced to wear a scarlet letter upon the breast of her garment. It is the letter A, and it stands for adultery. That scarlet letter pictured her sin and her secrecy in refusing to reveal the name of the baby’s father. Throughout the book, the scarlet “A” is a picture of Hester’s sin.

That scarlet rope that hung from Rahab’s window spoke volumes about Rahab. It reminded everyone that she was a sinner. It would have been easy to see as it hung against that wall. The color was easy to associate with her lifestyle. That scarlet thread depicted Rahab in her sins.

Of course, this is a just a reminder of our condition as well. We are all sinners, separated from God by our sins, until we repent and are saved, (Isa. 59:2; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 3:10-23). Isaiah said it this way, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” (Isa. 1:18).

That scarlet thread represents something else as well. Scarlet, or crimson, is the color of blood. The scarlet thread that hung from Rahab’s window was the color of blood. It is interesting to note that the means of her salvation took the same form as her sin. Her lifestyle could be represented by the color scarlet. The color scarlet was also the color of the very thing that promised to save her from certain death.

That scarlet thread that hung from Rahab’s window represents the blood. It represents the scarlet thread of blood that runs throughout the Bible. It enters the picture in Gen. 3:21 when God slew an innocent animal to provide a covering for the naked bodies of Adam and Eve. The scarlet thread makes itself visible in the contrast between the offering of Cain and the offering of Abel. The scarlet thread shows up in the sacrifices of Abraham. It shows up at the Tabernacle, in the Temple and in the Law of God. It shows up every time a sacrifice is given and an offering is made in the Bible. It shows up on the Day of Atonement when the High Priest would sacrifice a goat to atone for the sins of the people.

The scarlet thread of redemption weaves itself into the very fabric of the Bible, so that the book would unravel if the scarlet thread were removed. I see it in the sacrifices in Genesis. I see it in the demands of the Law. I see it in the daily life of the people of Israel. I see it in the preaching of the prophets. I see it as it weaves itself in and out of the characters, the places and the events of the Old Testament. I see it as it weaves its way from Genesis to Malachi, and on into the Gospels. Then, I see it as it reaches its culmination at a place called Calvary, where the very Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, took upon Himself the sins of the world and died in the place of sinners, (2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2).

That scarlet thread was a picture of redemption. It was a picture of salvation that comes to the sinner through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, the Bible is a bloody book. All the way from Genesis to Revelation, there is a river of blood that flows from page to page. That mighty river of blood teaches us the only way of salvation.

Salvation does not come through the works of our hands. It does not come through dead religion. It does not come from professions and promises. Salvation always comes through the shedding of the blood,( Heb. 9:22). When Jesus Christ died on the cross of Calvary, His was the ultimate and final sacrifice for sins forever,( Heb. 9:12-14; 24-28; 10:11-14).

According to the Bible, we are all sinners. As sinners, we are under the wrath of God, (John 3:18, 36). We need to be saved and we cannot save ourselves, (Eph. 2:8). The only thing that would ever satisfy God is the death of an innocent substitute in the place of guilty sinners. This is just what God accomplished through His Son the Lord Jesus. Jesus came to this world for the sole purpose of dying on the cross at Calvary to pay for sin, (Phil. 2:5-8).

Just as it was in Rahab’s case, our salvation took the form of our sin. Jesus came into this world as a man. He loved as a man. He died on the cross as a man. In His death, he took the place of the guilty and was judged in our place. That is the picture we see in the scarlet thread. That is the image that weaves its way through the books, chapter, verses and words of the Bible. The Bible is a book of blood! It is a book of redemption!

The theme of the Bible is the blood. The teaching of the Bible is that no one is saved apart from the blood, but all those who place their faith in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. Thank God for the blood!

ITODAY’S HYMN!

“What Can Wash Away My Sin” By Robert Lowry (1876)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Refrain:
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Refrain:

Nothing can my sin erase
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Naught of works, 'tis all of grace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Refrain:

This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Refrain:



THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Awesome God! Our only hope for deliverance and restoration in our life is found in You. You have saved us for eternity and for Your glory. Nothing is impossible with You. Please do not give up on us until we are completely set free and restored to a holy wholeness in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Help our righteousness in Him shine like the dawn and the morning sun, and our salvation like a blazing torch. Thank You Father! Thank You Jesus! Thank You Holy Spirit! These things we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 9/17/2012 9:24PM

    Inspiring lesson
emoticon Vic

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MARYJOANNA 9/17/2012 5:13PM

  How wonderful is the detail in the Bible with all its meanings. The hymn is another one of my favorites.

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JLLOVETT 9/17/2012 11:11AM

    This makes me want to jump up and shout!!!!!

Thank you Jesus for your redeeming grace!!!!!

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SANDRALEET 9/17/2012 9:32AM

    Yes God now our heart and now who to call So many times he calls and we follow His work and will be done now as it was in the beginning

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LOSTLIME 9/17/2012 9:26AM

    Thank you once again for an inspiring lesson. I know that we can be saved if we come
to the Lord.

Thank you for my spark goodie!

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ANHELIC 9/17/2012 8:03AM

    Thank you Vic for an awesome lesson. Yes, by the Grace of God we will be saved. Your lesson was packed with so much information, but all stemming to being saved by the grace of God. If Rahab was saved, we can receive the same. Thank you for the goodie. May you continue teaching us your wonderful lessons and showing us how to walk with God. God bless you Vic.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/17/2012 7:19AM

    I love todays Hymn! thank you Vic! You always have just the right message for us!

linda

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EDITOR 9/17/2012 7:17AM

    The entire lesson was so good, Vic. By the grace of God, go I.

Thanks for your goodie yesterday, and may you reach more than you can even comprehand.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/16/2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

RAHAB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/16/2012

Joshua 2:1-24
SHE'S NOT THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE, Lesson 5c

V. 12-22 RAHAB THE COMPLETED GIRL

After Rahab came to faith in the true and living God, her life was forever changed! What God did with her is a miracle of His love and grace. By the way, He has no respect of persons, therefore, what He did for Rahab, He can do for you. He used her in a mighty fashion. He can use you as well!

V. 12-22 The Proof Of Her Completion

V. 1-7 She Labored For The Lord - One of the surest proofs that Rahab was genuinely converted is the fact that she involved herself with the work of the Lord. She hid the spies and covered up for them. We cannot condone her lie, but must see it as a case of "the lesser evil for the greater good." It may even be that Rahab had stopped being a harlot. Verse 6 tells us that she hid the spies under some flax that was upon the roof. Flax was used in the production of linen. It is evident that she had trusted the Lord before the spies arrived. It may be that her life had been radically changed by the power of God before they arrived as well. Even James uses her as an example of the believer who proves their salvation by the works of their life, (James 2:25).

My friends, we can like it or not, but the truth of our profession is proven by the work of our life,( James 2:18)! You see, we can say anything we like, but what we really are is proven by what we do! A life that belongs to the Lord Jesus will be a life that wants to be involved in the things of God! The fruit of your life proves the root of your life - (Matt. 7:20)! After all, when Jesus saves our souls, He tells us that we have been created unto good works, (Eph. 2:10). Works don't save, but they can sure point out those who are!

V. 12-13 She Loved The Lost - Notice that Rahab is concerned about others in her family who are in danger as well. She now knows that God will take care of her. She wants the same assurance for her family. Her heart is moved to reach out for help for them. Imagine what risk she placed herself at in telling her family of her plan.

In this aspect of her life, Rahab is a picture of the person who comes to faith in Christ. One of the first things that happens when a person gets saved is that they want to bring others to the Savior. Read John 1:35-42 and Mark 5:18-20. One of the surest signs of salvation is a desire to tell others about the Savior. Rahab proved she was saved. Can the same be said for us?

The Payoff Of Her Completion - Because she placed her faith in the Lord God of Israel, she obtained some precious possessions. Notice how God took this former harlot and blessed her new life with the richest of His blessings

Josh. 6:20-25 She Found A New Freedom - Because of her faith she was spared from the destruction that overtook her city. By the way, all those in her house were spared as well! When the walls of Jericho fell down flat, there was apparently one section that remained standing. It was the section that held the house of Rahab. It was a place that was marked by a scarlet rope that hung from her window, (v. 18).

What a picture is given here. When a new believer places his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is immediately delivered from the penalty of his sins, which is Hell, (Rom. 5:9)! He finds a new freedom in Jesus that allows him to live while others all around him perish. And, just as Rahab's home was marked by a scarlet rope, (v. 18) so our life is recognized by God because of the blood of Jesus that has been applied to our souls by faith. That rope told Israel that Rahab believed God and was to live. The blood of Jesus tells the Father that we have trusted His Son and that we, too, are to be spared! Folks, it is the blood that makes the difference! (I Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5).

It was the blood of a lamb that spared the firstborn in Egypt when the death angel passed through the land. It is the blood of Jesus that makes the difference between Heaven and Hell for each of us today!

Josh. 6:25; Matt. 1:5; Ruth 4:21 She Found A New Family - When all these verses are taken together, we have the rest of the story concerning Rahab. She married into the people of Israel and became part of all the covenant blessings of the Lord. She went from being part of judged nation to being part of a holy nation!

So it is for the lost person who trusts Jesus for salvation. Instantly, they are transformed from sinner to saint. They are no longer under the curse of God, but they become the children of God. As a result, they become the partakers of everything the Lord has for His children down here, (1 Cor. 2:9), and they become part of what He has for His children up there, (John 14:1-3). The point is, while the rest of Rahab's neighbors died in the war, Rahab live and went to a wedding! Guess what, child of God, one of these days, you and I, who deserve nothing but judgment and death are going to be the honored guests at a wedding in the sky, (Rev. 19:7-9). When we got saved, we became part of a new family - (1 John 3:2).

Matt. 1:5 She Found A New Fame - Rahab was taken from the house of shame and wound up in the hall of fame. This woman became and ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, she was David's great-great grandmother and she was the mother-in-law of Ruth. God took her from the very gutter and made her eternally famous. He gave this trusting sinner a place in His eternal, divine plan.

What the Lord did for Rahab, He can and will do for you! You might think that God wouldn't have you because you have been so wicked. The truth of the matter is that the Lord loves you just as you are and that He will take you, save you and make your life one of blessing and honor for His glory. You see, God specializes in taking old, lost sinners, saving them by His grace and then using them to touch the world by His power, (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

Here is the bottom line. God can take your life today, change it by His power and use you for His glory. He won't make you an ancestor of Christ like He did Rahab, but you can be assured that you will become the ancestor of new believers as you allow the Lord to use your life. You may not become famous down here, but they will know who you are in Heaven! Imagine arriving in Heaven and being greeted by some you led to Jesus!

Conc: Well, it's plain to see that Rahab isn't the girl she used to be! What about you my friend? Are you really saved today? If you were to die right now and stand before the Lord and He looked down at you and you looked up at Him and He said, "Why should I let you into my Heaven?" What would you say? Could you say, "Father, I should be allowed into Heaven because as a sinner, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ, and in His shed blood and His resurrection from the dead. I have nothing else to claim but faith in Christ."

My friend. If your answer would have to be anything else, then you need to come today and trust Jesus as your Savior. You need to be saved, and let me assure you that there is grace in Christ to save your soul!

Christian friends, many of you have been less than what God saved you to be. Do you need to come and make some things right with God today? This altar is open for those who need it.

God took an old harlot by the name of Rahab and saved her by grace and used her for His glory. He wants to do the same for you. Will you come and do what He is asking you to do today?

TODAY’ HYMN!
“Come To Jesus Today” By E. R. Latta (1878)

Come to Jesus, He will save you,
Though your sins as crimson glow,
If you give your heart to Jesus,
He will make it white as snow.
Refrain

Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
Come to Jesus! come today!
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
Come to Jesus! come, come today!

Come to Jesus do not tarry,
Enter in at mercy’s gate,
O delay not till the morrow,
Lest Thy coming be too late.

Refrain

Come to Jesus, dying sinner,
Other Savior there is none,
He will share with you His glory,
When your pilgrimage is done.

Refrain



THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Heavenly and Holy Father, Almighty and Sovereign God! You are the Creator of every good and perfect gift; blessed be Your Great name. Smells are powerful, because they can trigger good memories, warn us of dangers, and make us aware of life. Help us to give off the fragrance of Jesus Christ wherever we go. Help us to live for Him, letting others know of the One You sent by the scent that we leave as we walk on this earth. Enable us to be like Jesus, as a fragrance offering unto You. This we pray and ask in His beloved name. Amen!



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERGSGIRL2 9/18/2012 12:10PM

    Thank God for the changes He truly makes in us!

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ANHELIC 9/16/2012 10:15PM

    Thank you Vic for an awesome lesson again. I am glad I have saved by grace and am living for jesus. Without Him in my life, I am not sure where I would be today. I feel the presence of Jesus in my home and I am not afraid being here alone. God bless you for your teaching.

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LOSTLIME 9/16/2012 8:12PM

    I pray everyday that I am living for Our Lord. Very good lesson.

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POETLKNG2LOSE 9/16/2012 3:15PM

    Thanks Vic for this powerful lesson. We should all be living for him who died for us.

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NADINEL 9/16/2012 11:27AM

    None of us are the people we used to be, once we accept Jesus as our Lord. Praise God! Enjoy your week! emoticon

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EDITOR 9/16/2012 7:02AM

    Still relating to Rehab! Thanks for the lesson, hymn and prayer. But for the grace of God go I. Thanks for yesterday's goodie. Have compassion today on all that will come.

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LEANJEAN6 9/16/2012 7:01AM

    A lovely Bible lesson! emoticon

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MARYJOANNA 9/16/2012 6:56AM

  The old saying is true--Actions speak louder than words.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 9/15/2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

RAHAB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 9/15/2012

Joshua 2:1-24
SHE'S NOT THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE, Lesson 5b, Part 2

MOVING ON!
V. 2-11 RAHAB THE CONVERTED GIRL

V. 10-11 She Heard The Word - Rahab heard about the God of Israel. It was a message of judgment that she heard, but it introduced her to the true and living God. The message that came was to her a message of life!

My friends, there is still a message of life that is bring proclaimed around the world. This is the only message that can take the vilest sinner and make him a new creation. That message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This message tells us about a God who loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins on a cross. This Son suffered in terrible agony and shed His blood that our sin debt might be paid. Then, 3 days later, this same man who died for us on that cross arose from the dead to bring eternal life to everyone who will call on His Name, 1 Cor. 15:3-4. It is this message that you need to hear today. It is the only message that will bring eternal life to a person dead in sin!

V. 9-11 She Heeded The Word - Not only did Rahab hear the message, but she heeded it as well. This message produced a response of faith in the heart of Rahab. The fact that she believed the message is proven by what she says about God. In verse 9, she calls Him "the LORD", using His covenant Name Jehovah. In verse 11, she expresses her faith in Him as THE God of Heaven and of earth. I verse 12, she again expresses her faith in Him as she calls God to witness the pact she is about to make with the spies. Even Heb. 11, the great Hall of the Faithful, in verse 31 tells us of the faith of Rahab. She heard the message and she acted on it in belief.

My friends, this is exactly what must happen in the life of the lost person to bring them to Jesus. They must hear the message and then they must act on that message by accepting Jesus as their Savior by faith. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:17 that "faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." As the message of salvation is heard and believed in the heart, salvation becomes a reality in the life of the believer.

Please let me remind you today that salvation can not be yours as long as your faith is in anything else but Jesus. If you are rusting the sinner's prayer to save you, you are lost. If you are trusting church membership, or anything else in this world, other than just Jesus and Him alone, then you are lost and need to be born again. I challenge you to look into your heart right now, and determine just what it is that you are trusting to take you to Heaven. If it is Jesus then rejoice for you are His. If it is anything else, then repent, for you are headed to Hell!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Am Resolved” By Palmer Hart sough (1896)

1. I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world's delight;
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.

Chorus:
I will hasten to Him,
Hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, Greatest, Highest,
I will come to Thee.


2. I am resolved to go to the Saviour,
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One,
He hath the words of life.
Chorus:

3. I am resolved to follow the Saviour,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living way.
Chorus:

4. I am resolved to enter the Kingdom,
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.
Chorus:


THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Gracious Father, Redeeming God! This we ask of You: allow us to seek and find how we may dwell in Your House all the days of our life, so we may gaze upon the beauty of our Lord. Take all the distracting vales from Your face that we may see Your glory. Let what fills our eyes, shape our lives that we may be transformed into Your likeness. We praise You O Lord, and we praise Your Holy name. In Jesus’ wonderful name we pray. Amen!.


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 9/16/2012 8:09PM

    Thank you for the lesson yesterday. I was gone most of the day. My husband was in the Er. We found out that he had a kidney infection. Then yesterday we also had to drive 2 to 3 hours to go to my daughter's baby shower. By the time we came home it was 11pm. We were tired so we went to bed.

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ANHELIC 9/15/2012 1:22PM

    Thank you Vic for your awesome lesson again. Let us continue to hear God's voice and follow His footsteps. Being born again was the most wonderful day in my life and reading God's word is most important in my life. Thank you again for your continuing lessons. Thank you for the goodie yesterday. God bless you Vic.

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PINKVAPOR1965 9/15/2012 7:52AM

    I like this... do you know what my name means in Hebrew it means She heard http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meani
ng/0/Simone ive found this interesting.. i study this from time to time.. my Fathers studies.. thanks for the reminder.. God Bless You emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/15/2012 7:17AM

    Amen Vic! emoticon

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EDITOR 9/15/2012 7:13AM

    Are we hearing the Word of the God of Israel as Rahab did? Read the Word! Thanks for your continuing lessons and prayer and for the goodie yesterday.
Let us not just hear NT but OT also which instructs us.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/14/2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

RAHAB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/14/2012

Joshua 2:1-24
SHE'S NOT THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE, Lesson 5a, Part 2

A REVIEW!
There once was a rather rough, uncultured man who for some reason fell in love with a beautiful vase in a shop window. Eventually he bought the vase and put it on the mantelpiece in his room. There it became a kind of judgment on its surroundings. He had to clean up the room to make it worthy of the vase. The curtains looked dingy beside it. The old chair with the stuffing coming out of the seat would not do. The wallpaper and the paint needed redoing. Gradually the whole room was transformed. When you put Christ on the mantel of your heart, your whole life is transformed.

It is this kind of transformation we witness here in the second chapter of the book of Joshua. As the Israelites were about to enter Canaan and claim their promised land, the first city they would have to face was the great walled city of Jericho. If they could take this city, they could easily split the country in two and then move from there to conquer the north and the south.

Before they go about the business of defeating Jericho, Joshua sends spies to the city to gage the mood of the people and to see whether or not they were ready for war. When these spies entered Jericho, they went to the home of a harlot. Why? Well, the sight of men entering a harlot's home would not attract too much attention. What they found when they entered the home of Rahab must have come as quiet a shock to these two men. They found a woman who had been changed by the power of God. They met Rahab, but found out that she wasn't the girl she used to be!

For us, Rahab is a picture of the power of the Lord Jesus to transform any life that comes to Him by faith. What we will see today is how the Lord takes sinners who will place their faith in Him and changes them by His power and grace. As I teach this message today, if you are saved, then rejoice in the great change Jesus has made in your life. If you are not a child of God, then allow the Lord to speak to your heart and be saved today.

Let's take a look at these verses this morning as we think about the thought, She's Not The Girl She Used To Be!

V. 1 RAHAB THE CALL GIRL

Her Spiritual Condition - Rahab was a harlot. She was engaged in a wicked lifestyle whereby she sold her body to men for money. Her life was a depraved and wicked life.

She is a picture of every person who is lost in sin this morning. You see, you may not be a harlot, but if you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you are lost in sin and need to be born again! It is sad but true, all are sinners - (Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22). If you are outside Christ today, your's is a helpless and hopeless situation - (Eph. 2:1-3; Eph. 2:12).

Her Spiritual Condemnation - She lived in a city that was slated for destruction! God had already determined that Jericho would fall! I ma sure the people felt pretty confident and reasonably safe behind the walls of their city, but God had already passed sentence upon them and they were doomed to destruction! The people of Jericho may not have felt that they were in great danger, but they were doomed nonetheless!

So it is with the sinner this morning! The lost person may feel secure today and may not believe that he is in any danger. However, the Bible tells us that the lost are condemned already, John 3:18. It tells us that they abide under the wrath of God, (John 3:36). It tells us that their ultimate destiny is eternity in Hell to be forever separated from the presence of God, (Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9). My friend, if you are lost, that is your future we are talking about!

God's Spiritual Compassion - Notice verse 10. Rahab tells the spies that they heard of what happened in Egypt and of the kings thy have defeated along the way. Well, it had been 40 years since they left Egypt. God had spared the city for that amount of time, and still they had several more days before judgment came to them. Rahab had experienced the grace and patience of God in giving her time to come to faith in Him.

Friend, how many years has the Lord given you? How many times has He knocked on your heart's door? How many times has He called you to faith? You that are saved, how many times did the Lord call before you responded in faith? What a gracious God we serve!

However, the lost should be very careful about presuming upon the grace of God. The Bible makes it crystal clear that there is a limit to patience in calling the lost to come to Him for salvation - (Gen. 6:3; John 6:44; Isa. 55:6; Pro. 27:1; Pro. 29:1). It is a dangerous thing to delay coming to the Lord! If you have been holding off and waiting for something, wait no more! Come to Jesus while He is calling you!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Have You Been To Jesus?” By E. A. Hoffman (1878)

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Refrain:
Are you washed in the blood
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you walking daily by the Savior�s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Refrain:


When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Refrain:

Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb
There�s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean
O be washed in the blood of the Lamb!
Refrain:



THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Loving Father, Gracious Lord. May we become the sweet scent of Christ, as we go from one life blossom to another , pollinating the world of the salvation in Christ. Help us to breath in Your Spirit and live a life that spreads abroad the fragrance of Your Love and Saving Grace. Show us how to cross over from death to life, from bad smells to the sweet smell of Jesus, from the sweet Christian life now to the sweet eternal life to come, for nothing is more sweet than Living and Serving Jesus Christ, our Lord. This we ask in His precious name. Amen!



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 9/14/2012 7:55PM

    Amen! & emoticon for a emoticon lesson

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ANHELIC 9/14/2012 8:31AM

    Thank you for another awesome lesson Vic. If we could change the world, it would be greater. However, we can do it one person at a time. God saved me and I can share Jesus with one person. Rahab was a sinner and God changed her heart and I know he can do it for us, if we just listen to His call and come to Him.
Thank you again. God bless you. Have a blessed weekend. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOSTLIME 9/14/2012 8:31AM

    Praying for all the turmoil in the Middle East. Hoping that people around the world will find peace through the Lord.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/14/2012 7:10AM

    praying the whole world can be cleansed of it hate twards one another and live in harmony! Gods world is surely big enough for all! thanks Vic!

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GARDENCHRIS 9/14/2012 7:02AM

    amen! emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/13/2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

RAHAB, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/13/2012

Joshua 2:1-15
RAHAB IN REHAB, Lesson 4b

v. 14-24 RAHAB AND HER CONVERSION

Proven By Her New Labors – (1:2-24) - Rahab proved that she was a new creature by hiding the spies and by helping them to escape. By doing these things, she was working for the Lord and not against Him! The saved person demonstrates a saved life by the works they do, (Eph. 2:10; James 2:18). The difference between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit, (Gal. 5:19-24.) Which best describes the life you live?

Proven By Her New Love – (1:12-13; 6:22-25) - When Rahab came to know the Lord, she wanted everyone else to know Him too. She became active in trying to bring others under the same umbrella of protection she so enjoyed. When you know Him, you will want to see others come to know Him too! You will pray for them; tell them; love them; and warn them. You won't be satisfied to see them live and die without Jesus. Andrew was an example – (John 1:40-42) ( Gaderene Demoniac man was another example– (Mark 5:1-20).

Proven By Her New Life – When Rahab came under the umbrella of the nation of Israel, everything in her life was transformed. The same day the walls of Jericho fell down, she received a brand new life. Rahab is once again a picture of the person who has come to Jesus by faith.

When a person is saved by the grace of God, everything changes for them forever, (2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3; John 10:10) Some of the changes are– Descriptions; Desires; Devotions; Delights; Destinations!


New Realities - (6:20-25) – She was spared from judgment and death. v. 18 – The Scarlet cord made the difference. It is the blood of Jesus that sets the sinner free today from the sentence imposed by the wrath of God, (Rom. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5). The blood of the Lamb in Egypt, (Ex. 12). The blood alone makes the difference!

New Relatives - (6:25; Ruth 4:21; Matt. 1:5) – Rahab had new family connections. When a sinner is saved, they are removed from Adam's family and adopted into God's family, (Rom. 8:15; 1 John 3:1-2). They become His heirs, (Rom. 8:17). And, just like Rahab, they are headed to a wedding, (Rev. 19:7-9).

New Reputation - (Matt. 1:5) - Rahab was taken from a house of shame and wound up in the hall of fame (Hen 11:31)! Rahab had a new future! This is what every one who comes to Jesus receives! He will save you, change you and make something new and special out of your life.

Conc: Has your life ever been rehabbed like Rahab's? If so, thank Jesus and live for Him. If not, come to Him now and call on Him for salvation. If you were to die right now and stand before the Lord and He looked down at you and you looked up at Him and He said, “Why should I let you into my Heaven?” What would you say? Could you say, “Father, I should be allowed into Heaven because as a sinner, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ, and in His shed blood and His resurrection from the dead. I have nothing else to claim but faith in Christ.

My friend, if your answer would have to be anything else, then you need to come this morning and trust Jesus as your Savior. You need to be saved, and let me assure you that there is grace in Christ today to save your soul! Please do not delay!

Maybe your life has been less than God intended. Do you need to come and make some things right with God today? This altar is open for those who need it.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Heaven Came Down” By John W. Peterson (1961)

O what a wonderful, wonderful day - day I will never forget;
After I'd wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Saviour I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend - He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Born of the Spirit with life from above into God's fam'ly divine,
Justified fully thru Calvary's love, O what a standing is mine!
And the transaction so quickly was made when as a sinner I came,
Took of the offer of grace He did proffer - He saved me, O praise His dear name!

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Now I've a hope that will surely endure after the passing of time;
I have a future in heaven for sure, there in those mansions sublime.
And it's because of that wonderful day when at the cross I believed;
Riches eternal and blessings supernal from His precious hand I received.

Chorus:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul,
When at the cross the Saviour made me whole;
My sins were washed away -
And my night was turned to day -
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul!



THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Holy Father, Sovereign God! You have blessed us with family and friends. They are there to help us in times of need. Help us to carry each other’s burdens; help us to be devoted to each other; help us to honor one another; help us to love one another sincerely. Father, thank You for the love You show us each and every day. We are not deserving of that love, yet You continue to showers us with Your grace. Help us to show the same love and care to others. Enable us to grow in that love, to grow closer to one another as we draw closer to You. Strengthen us that are in the kingdom as we work daily to edify the church of our Lord. It is in His name that we pray and ask these things. Amen!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADINEL 9/16/2012 11:31AM

    One of my most favorite hymns. Thanks, Vic.

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CAVEPRINCESS65 9/13/2012 11:35PM

    emoticon lesson Vic! emoticon

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ANHELIC 9/13/2012 12:05PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson. Yes, I live for Jesus and share His love with friends. He is my strength when I go through the valleys and I praise and thank Him for everything He has done for me. I love Jesus more each day, especially when I see the blessings he bestows on me. Thank you again Vic and thank you for the goodie. Sending you God's richest blessings.


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LOOKINGUP2012 9/13/2012 8:51AM

    Beautiful morning lesson! emoticon

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SUNSET09 9/13/2012 7:55AM

  Yes and amen! Descriptions; Desires; Devotions; Delights; Destinations! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/13/2012 7:20AM

    Some of the changes are– Descriptions; Desires; Devotions; Delights; Destinations! I want Jesus to grant me all of these changes! I grow in the Lord and become strong and vigorous in the truth! thank you Vic! Have a blessed day!
l,
linda

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LOSTLIME 9/13/2012 7:16AM

    Amen. Thank you,Vic for this morning's lesson.

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EDITOR 9/13/2012 7:16AM

    Proof unshakable. I have it! Thank you Vic for displaying it is truth! God bless and thanks for the goodie.

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MNABOY 9/13/2012 6:49AM

    Amen

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