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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 9/24/2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is my Prayer, Mon, 9/24/2012

Joshua 5:1-12
PREPARING TO ENTER YOUR CANAAN, Lesson 8b

V. 8 WE MUST TAKE THE STEP OF CONFIRMATION

Israel is camped in the very heart of enemy territory. After they have been circumcised, every male in the nation of Israel is temporarily disabled and is rendered unable to fight, (Gen. 34:24-25).

Their obedience to the Lord’s command for them to be circumcised was a supreme act of faith! They had to be willing to trust the Lord to protect them until they healed. While they waited, they were vulnerable to attack from their enemies. Their faith was the secret to their success and to their safety. These men had learned the valuable lesson that their battles would not be won by military might and by superior battlefield tactics. They knew that if they ever saw victory, it would be because God gave it to them. They placed their lives, their families, their futures, and their all in the capable hands of their God. This time of testing served to confirm that their faith in God was well placed.

As we move through this life, we often face times of testing just like these men did. When the times of testing come, we can rely on lots of things, (i.e. Family, friends, finances, the church, etc.) but there will never be real, lasting victory in our lives until we learn to rely solely on Him, (John 15:5).

The people of Israel had just come from a great victory and often, that is the time when pride will rise up in us and we will think that we are unstoppable. When those times come in your life and mine, you can be sure that the Lord will allow us to go through a time of testing. God wants us to learn the vital truth that nothing in this life is really about us; it is all about Him! It isn’t enough to be clean spiritually; we must also be walking in faith before the Lord. We need to remember that our God can and will take care of His children. ( Verse 1). The people of Israel didn’t realize it, but God had used the miracle at Jordan to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. The people of Israel were afraid of what the enemy might do to them, but God had the enemy well in hand!

God is more than able to sustain you through anything that He leads you into.

Look at Noah. God sustained him and his family through a worldwide flood - (Gen. 6-9).
Look at the firstborn of Israel. God protected every Israelite who was under the shelter of the blood of the lamb - (Ex12).
Look Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. God kept them alive in a fiery furnace - (Dan. 3).
Look at Daniel. God protected him while he was in a den of hungry lions - (Dan. 6).
Look at Elijah. God fed him with ravens by a brook, and with meal and oil at a widow’s house -( 1 Kings 17).
Look at Paul. He was attacked for Satan through his torn in the flesh, but God gave him sufficient grace for everything he faced - (2 Cor. 12).

What I am trying to tell you is that you can depend on the Lord. He is still the same God He has ever been!

Jer. 32:17, “Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.”
Jer. 32:27, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”

He is still able to do all that you need, (Eph. 3:20). His one requirement is that you trust Him

Can you honestly say that you are relying completely upon the Lord in every trial, through every battle and in every situation in your life? Are you walking by faith? That is the key to victory! When we face those times of confirmation in our lives, and we exercise, absolute faith in the power of God to handle the situation; it confirms our faith in His Person, His Power, His Purposes and in His Promises.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Faith Is The Victory” By John H. Yates (1891)

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

Refrain
Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.

His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God.
We tread the road the saints above
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind's breath,
Swept on o'er every field.
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
Refrain

On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array.
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation's helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble 'neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
Refrain

To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv'n.
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in Heav'n.
Then onward from the hill of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We'll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus' conqu'ring Name.
Refrain



THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Loving Father, Loving God! When we learn to love one another as You have loved us, then we are fulfilling Your Command and doing Your will. Thank You for Your people, who are a special part of our life. Thank You for the fellowship and the love we share as we draw closer to You through our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank You for our common purpose and common effort to teach, serve and make disciples. Help us to love and grow in our love and in our service. This we ask In His Precious name. Amen!

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PS: I’m having problems with my computer and may need to take it to the shop to have it fixed. I may be off the internet for a few days, Vic.












































  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 9/24/2012 7:39PM

    Thank you for the lesson!

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KIMPY225 9/24/2012 3:18PM

    Have a wonderful day! emoticon

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MNABOY 9/24/2012 10:37AM

    Amen

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SUNSETBREEZE05 9/24/2012 10:31AM

    Sorry about your computer. Thanks for another great lesson!

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ANHELIC 9/24/2012 8:18AM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson. Yes, there have been times when I had problems and felt I couldn't deal with them. I prayed and left them in God's hand and He walked me through them. We should stop trying to solve our problems and put them in God's hands. He is bigger than any problem we have. Thank you for the goodie, hymn and prayer. God bless you Vic for sharing God's message with us.

PS I too have a computer problem. Someone hacked into my email and I can't access it. I realized I could get your message through SparkPeople. Nothing is impossible with God. emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/24/2012 7:55AM

    thank you for yet another lesson in goodness!
hugs


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EDITOR 9/24/2012 7:03AM

    Thanks for the lesson and prayer, Vic, and the hymn which I was unfamilar with.
I once dared complain to God about my PC woes and expenses, and He said, "It could be worse. You could be missing connecting flights. Hope the computer is repaied quickly and you have a dealer that just doesn't take you though the wringer.

God does perform amazing miracles for us. May our love be alert and grateful for taking us in the footsteps of faith.

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WENDYSPARKS 9/24/2012 7:01AM

    emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 9/23/2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING I9N THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is my Prayer, Sun, 9/23/2012

Joshua 5:1-12
PREPARING TO ENTER YOUR CANAAN, Lesson 8a

This passage finds the children of Israel having just crossed the Jordan River to enter Canaan, (Joshua 3:9-17). Over the history of the Exodus, they had seen the Lord perform some very amazing miracles on their behalf. Here is just a small sampling.

• He delivered them from bondage in the land of Egypt through many miracles, signs and wonders.
• He led them through a harsh wilderness journey that saw Him move and bless in miraculous ways.
• He fed them Manna and gave them quail to eat.
• He provided them water from a rock.
• He protected them from their enemies.
• He provided shade by day and light by night.
• He even allowed their clothes to last the entire time they wandered in that wilderness.
• He gave them His Law to instruct them in the ways of the Lord and to govern their lives.

Israel was the people of the Lord; the people of the Law; and now they are about to become the people of the Land. The great promises God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are about to be realized by the people of Israel. They have finally arrived in the Promised Land.

Their days of wandering are over. The days of possessing the land have arrived. God intends for Israel to conquer the land of Canaan and to possess it. Before they are ready to do that, there are some preparations they must make. In this text, the people of Israel take some very clear steps that help them ready to enter into their Canaan. God used these steps to prepare His people to enter their Promised Land and claim it for His glory.

Just as God challenged Israel to prepare to move deeper into their Promised Land, there are some steps that He would have us take as well. If we want to go deeper with the Lord, if we really want to enjoy the victorious Christian life, if we really was all the Lord has for us, then we must make our preparations just as Israel did. This text reveals the steps we need to take if we intend to go deeper with God. I want to talk to you about “Preparing To Enter Your Canaan“. Notice with me the steps we must take, if we are going to enter the land of victory.

V. 1-7 WE MUST TAKE THE STEP OF CONSECRATION

The first command the Lord gives to Israel is that all the man are to be circumcised. Circumcision was first handed down to Abraham. It was a physical sign used to identify all the male descendants of Abraham, (Gen. 17:11-14). In circumcision, the foreskin of the male sex organ was removed when the child was eight days old.

All the men who had been born in Egypt had been circumcised according to the Abraham covenant. Yet, those men who were born during the 40 years of wilderness wandering had not been circumcised. The generation of males who were born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. Before this generation of men can claim their Canaan, enjoy the covenant promises of God, or expect God to fight their battles, they must be circumcised. They must renew the covenant with the Lord if they wanted His blessings on them and if they wanted to be guaranteed the victory.

Just as Israel was required to remove from their bodies a piece of flesh as a sign that they were a part of the covenant; we must remove from our lives anything that stands between total surrender and us to the Lord. The Bible is clear that there are times when you and I must engage in spiritual surgery in our lives.

Col. 3:1-8, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

2 Cor. 6:17-7:1, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

If it does not glorify God, edify the church, or help you grow in the Lord, then it needs to go!

1 Cor. 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

To the Jew, circumcision was a reminder that they were a “marked people.” They were to never forget that they were the servants of the living God and that they were under obligation to obey Him in all things. Circumcision was to be the outward reminder of an inward work of faith.

Deut. 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”

In our case, a similar truth is at work. According to Col. 2:11, we have been circumcised in the heart, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.”

This happened when we were joined to Jesus at the instant of our conversion.

Col. 2:13-14, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

Our old natures have been judged and condemned by God. Thus the believers must separate themselves from the sins of the flesh.

Rom. 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”

Rom. 6:11-12, “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

Rom 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”

The internal work of salvation will result in the outward work of sanctification!

If you are saved, then you are supposed to live like you are saved, (1 John 2:6)! Anything that is displeasing to the Lord needs to be removed from your live. It needs to be cut off and put away from you forever. There are some today who have failed to live out the covenant they made with the Lord when He saved you. You need to come today and renew that covenant. You need to get back in fellowship with the Father and serve Him like you know you should.

Remember the vows you made in the beginning? Remember the promises you made to Him? Don’t you think it is time that you lived like you are who you claim to be? Don’t you think it’s time you lived like that new creature that God said you were by His saving grace, (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph 4:22-24)? Isn’t it time to remove everything that smacks of worldliness and bear the marks of genuine devotion to Jesus? We need to be sure that our lives are as clean as they can be so that we are candidates for the power and glory of God!
He still allows U-turns, (1 John 1:9).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Restore My Soul” By Sylvia Rose (1985)

Restore my spirit, Lord, I need restored.
My heart is weary, please help me, dear Lord.
I stand in need of more strength from Your Word,
Renew my love, rebuild my faith,
O restore my soul.

Revive the fire, Lord, deep in my soul.
Stir my desire to work in Your fold.
Light in my heart, dear God, my zeal grown cold.
Renew my love, rebuild my faith,
O restore my soul.

Renew my courage, Lord, it needs restored.
My cup is empty, refill it, dear Lord.
Replace all doubt and fear with faith so bold.
Renew my love, rebuild my faith,
O restore my soul.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Most Holy Father, Loving God! Fill us with Your love, and help us to keep our heart from wandering away from You. Make our heart to be undivided and take away any hard-heartedness in us. Take charge of our heart and help us to give You complete control. Light a flame of desire in us just for You that will never go out. This we pray and ask in the blessed name of Jesus our Savior. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYSPARKS 9/23/2012 2:38PM

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LOSTLIME 9/23/2012 11:10AM

    Thank you for another thoughtful lesson.

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EDITOR 9/23/2012 7:36AM

    CONSECRATION! Isn't that a strange? I wonder how many can define it. Thanks for todays lesson and provoking us to deeper time with God.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 2/22/2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, TODAY’S HYMN, THIS IS MY PRAYER, Sat, 9/22/2012

Joshua 3:1-6; 14-17
GETTING PAST YOUR JORDAN, Lesson 7c

4:1-24 THERE IS A MEMORIAL TO CONSIDER

When all the people had passed over Jordan, Joshua commanded one man from each of the 12 tribes to get a rock from the midst of Jordan and build a memorial on the Canaan side. That memorial is worth taking a look at today!

v. 6-7; 21-24 The Purpose Of The Memorial – These verses tell us that the purpose of the memorial was to remind successive generations of the power and faithfulness of God on behalf of His people. That memorial would be an important landmark to those who would come after.

We need to erect some memorials in our lives as well. We must use caution, because we do no want to embalm the past and by doing so cripple the future. Many churches have done that and are suffering as a result. What we do want to do is remember the things the Lord has done for us so that we can tell others about them. We want to remember the great works of our God so that when we pass that way again, we will remember that the Lord was faithful in that day and that He will be faithful in this day as well. Never forget what the Lord has done for you in your yesterdays. It is those yesterday experiences that will tide you over when the trials of today and tomorrow arise in your life!

Psa. 84:5-6, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.”

As believers, we need to erect some visible memorials to the glory of God. When the Lord works in our lives, we should memorialize that event. We should talk about it, share it with others, write about, and spread the word about what God did. We should honor Him for His faithful work in our lives. Listen; there will be some others coming along behind us. There are children, young people and new believers who are following the paths we have already walked. As they journey and seek to grow in the Lord, they need to be able to see the memorials left by those who have gone before them!

We can have many of those monuments in our lives. Some are human, some are less tangible, but they are all very real reminders of the power of God. We are reminded every time we gather that God has worked among His people to carry them over their Jordan’s in the past. Those reminders tell all those who pass by them that God is faithful, powerful and able. We need to remember!

v. 9, 20 The Picture In The Memorial – It is interesting to notice that Joshua constructed two monuments. They built one on the bank and one in middle of the river. These two memorials served two distinct purposes. Notice what they were.

v. 20 A Picture Of The Faithfulness Of God - The one on the bank of Jordan stood as a testimony to the faithfulness of God as I have just mentioned. It was there to remind others of what the Lord had done and of what He could do. Again, we need to remember the faithfulness of God in the past. It will help us cross the Jordan we face today.

v. 9 A Picture Of The Faith Of The People – Now, what about the rock pile in the river? No one could see it but God! It stood as a monument to the faith of the people! You see, when you face a time of trial, others are often guilty of misjudging your motives and actions, but only God knows the truth about your heart. Even though Israel couldn’t see it, they knew the monument was there! They remembered that they had believed God then and it had worked. This was a monument in their hearts.

We need those same kinds of monuments as well. As I said, too often others misjudge us in our times of trial, but God alone knows you heart. When you have trusted Him and He has brought you through, never forget it! Build that monument in your heart, where only God can see it, and where you will never forget it. Then, when the tough times come again, and they will, look at that monument of His faithfulness and of your faith and know that what worked before will work again. God will bring you through your Jordan!

Remember when David killed Goliath? Before he went into that battle, King Saul tried to cloth David in his armor. David refused it because he had never fought in armor before, and because it was armor designed for a much larger man. Yet, when David killed the giant, he took the giant’s armor into his tent, (1 Sam. 17:54). Why did he do this? It was a memorial. It was a reminder that no matter how great the obstacle, it is nothing when it is placed alongside the God of Heaven!

Conc: Some of you are facing troubled waters today. I want you to know you can cross over. I invite you to come before the Lord today. Tell Him about the Jordan you are facing and allow Him to get you past it today. There is a place of victory where you can shout in spite of your troubles. The first step in getting there is dealing with what is keeping you out: your Jordan. It may sin, it may be some person, it may be some trial, but whatever it is, God is greater than it is. Come and let Him take care of it for you.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“How Great Thou Art” By Smart K. Hine (19490

Stanza 1:
O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
Consider all
The world Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout
The universe displayed;

Refrain:
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art!
How great Thou art!



Stanza 2:
When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I hear the birds
Sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down
From lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook
And feel the gentle breeze;

Refrain:



Stanza 3:
And when I think,
That God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross,
My burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died
To take away my sin.

Refrain:



Stanza 4:
When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
"My God, how great Thou art!"

Refrain:


THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Father Most Holy, God Almighty! We pray You will be with us in the most difficult and trying times of our lives. Help us in ways we may not even be able to comprehend. We know You will get us through for nothing is impossible for You. We know that even though there may be troubles ahead, when we walk with You according to Your Way and in Your will, You won’t even let us fall. Enable us as we go through these difficult situations not to complain for we know You will make a way and a means for us to escape it. Teach us to walk as Jesus walked. This we pray in His Precious name. Amen!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 9/23/2012 12:06AM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson. Let us remember what God has done for us and share with those who have not believed. God has performed miracles in the past and is still in the miracle business today. When we receive blessings from Him, let us,make a monument by sharing what blessings we have received from God. Ask Holy Spirit for the words to use when speaking with new Christians. God bless you Vic for sharing God's message.

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MRSJERRYBUSH 9/22/2012 10:03AM

    I loved today's lesson! Thank you so much!

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EDITOR 9/22/2012 7:34AM

    Rock of Ages, cleft for me! Let us remember al His benefits. Thanks Vic!
Let us not forget to tell others of the miracles God has wrought for us!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 9/21/2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, TODAY’S HYMN, THIS IS MY PRAYER, Fri, 9/21/2012

Joshua 3:1-6; 14-17
GETTING PAST YOUR JORDAN, Lesson 7b

3:14-17 THERE IS A MIRACLE TO CONSIDER

v. 15b There Was A Problem – As I mentioned in the introduction, the children of Israel were facing a big problem. The river was over 1 mile wide and there were 2 million people who had to cross, and yet the Lord wanted them to go over. They couldn’t build a bridge; there wasn’t enough time or materials. They couldn’t transport everyone over in boats, there were no boats and they would have been sitting ducks for their enemies. There was only one way around their problem and that was through it!

Have you ever sized up your Jordan and thought about how big it was? Maybe you looked at it and concluded, “There is no way around, through, over or past this problem.” I suppose we have all been like the 10 spies that returned from spying out the land of Canaan with Caleb and Joshua. We have sized up our problem and think that it is more than we can ever face, (Num. 13:31-33). Our problem is the same one we always have when we face a difficult situation: we forget about God! Where we see only problems, God sees only solutions. Where we look at things and say, “There’s no way!” God looks at the problem and says, “Follow me, I have a plan!”

v. 15 There Was A Plan – The plan was this, God said, “When the feet of the priests enter Jordan, I am going to part the waters and lead you through on the dry ground!” There was a catch in this plan and it was that the waters would not part until the priests who were carrying the Ark stepped into the water. In other words, it took a step of faith, whereby the people obediently followed the Lord for them to see the miracle come to pass.

What a lesson for you and me. Too often, we want the Lord just to fix everything in our lives for us. We don’t want to have to make any decisions nor do we want to have to exercise our faith in Him. We just want Him to do it and that will be the end of it.

However, most of the time, God will require us to take steps of faith in order that we might see our Jordan parted. God had a plan, but for this plan to work, it required faith on the part of His people! The same is true for you and me! As long as we are trying to solve our own problems we are not walking in faith. It is when we turn loose of the reigns of the problem, step away from it and let the Lord have it that we will see it taken care of for His glory. It never is about what we can do, it is always about what the Lord is able to do, (Eph. 3:20)!

v. 16-17 There Was A Performance – When the priests stepped into that raging river, it parted and God opened a path of dry ground through the waters for His people. By the way, verse 16 says that the waters backed up to the City of Adam. This is some 20 miles north of where the children of Israel were crossing. God made them a path through the water that was more than adequate for His people to get through.

We need to remember that faith honors God and God honors faith! When He moves in power and takes care of the problem, it won’t just be patched up and ready to fall apart again; it will be done right and it will be done forever. I want to encourage you today by reminding you that this God Who did this great thing for Israel is still the same God we are serving today! What He did them; He can do now.

Our God was ABLE all the way through the Bible, and He is still ABLE today! Regardless of the circumstances, He is still God and He still can! Notice the question that plagued the Jews in Psa. 78:19-20. They asked, “Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people?” God can! Just ask, Noah, Moses, Daniel, the 3 Hebrews, a widow down in Zarephath, the Disciples on a little ship, and Saul of Tarsus. Just look back over your own life. How many times has the Lord opened your Jordan already? He is all we need! He is still the same miracle working God that He always had been. Learn to expect miracles when you are dealing with God!

Our God specializes in cutting problems down to size. When little David walked out into that valley to face Goliath, he faced an opponent that he could never have defeated on his own. That giant was about 10 feet tall. He went into that valley with a sling, five smooth stones, and faith in a powerful God. When David cast his stone at Goliath, the giant fell to the earth. David ran to Goliath. He drew Goliath’s own sword and took off the giant’s head. Now, the question that arises is this: When David took off the giant’s head, was the giant still there? Of course he was! But, he is no longer 10 feet tall; he is now about 9 feet long! God had a way of taking the things we cannot get past and fixing it where we can get over them.

TODAY’S HYMN!

“He Is Able To Deliver Thee” By W. A. Ogden

’Tis the grandest theme through the ages rung;
’Tis the grandest theme for a mortal tongue;
’Tis the grandest theme that the world e’er sung,
“Our God is able to deliver thee.”

Refrain:
He is able to deliver thee,
He is able to deliver thee;
Though by sin oppressed, go to Him for rest;
“Our God is able to deliver thee.”

’Tis the grandest theme in the earth or main;
’Tis the grandest theme for a mortal strain;
’Tis the grandest theme, tell the world again,
“Our God is able to deliver thee.”
Refrain:

“Tis the grandest theme, let the tidings roll,
To the guilty heart, to the sinful soul;
Look to God in faith, He will make thee whole,
Our God is able to deliver thee.”
Refrain


“Our God is able to deliver thee.”



THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Heavenly Father, God of all Creation! We thank You that Your Word always accomplishes the purpose for which You sent it. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so is Your Word that goes forth from Your mouth. Enable us to secure the power and life that is in Your Word by having it planted firmly in our hearts. Help us to weave Your Word into our prayers so that it may guide us in everything we do, and it becomes a powerful weapon against the forces of evil. This we ask and pray in Jesus’ Mighty name. Amen!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 9/21/2012 6:36PM

    emoticon Vic - another one of my favorite emoticon hym
God never fails or forsakes us!
Very inspiring lessons Vic emoticon

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FEMISLIM 9/21/2012 4:30PM

    Thanks, this was a blessing!!!

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BEESPARKLE 9/21/2012 3:57PM

    He is with us. He never fails us but sometimes we fail him to not trust him.

It all comes down to Faith in him Vic.

He is the Lord and he loves us enought to have died for us. Amen.




Comment edited on: 9/21/2012 3:58:30 PM

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LOSTLIME 9/21/2012 1:16PM

    A very nice message for all of us! Thank you.

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AVANELL 9/21/2012 11:18AM

    Great blog, Vic! Faith always steps out where it can't see! The Jordan was at flood stage when God instructed the priests to step out in the water. Can you imagine the fear that would have come against them as they look into that rushing mighty river? But God was there with them. He will never leave us or forsake us to forge the river of life by ourselves!

Thank you, Vic, for an inspiring message!

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ANHELIC 9/21/2012 8:50AM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. Yes, God honors faith and faith honors God. We must look to God for help and not try to tackle problems our way. God bless you Vic for being a true man of God and carrying on his message. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDITOR 9/21/2012 7:47AM

    Jesus is our bridge over troubled water! Thanks Vic!

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NANAW12001 9/21/2012 7:37AM

  Thanks so much.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/21/2012 7:17AM

    loved your friday message to us, Vic!
hugs
always
linda emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 9/21/2012 7:06AM

    a lovely message this morning-Lynda emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 9/20/2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012


JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, TODAY’S HYMN, THIS IS MY PRAYER, Thu, 9/20/2012

Joshua 3:1-6; 14-17
GETTING PAST YOUR JORDAN, Lesson 7a

When the Lord brought the nation of Israel out of Egypt, He led them toward the Promised Land. It took them two years to make that trip. During that time, the Lord gave them His Law and taught them how to worship Him. When they arrived at Jordan, all they had to do was enter the land and lay claim to what they had been given.

Instead of going forward in faith, the people of Israel refused to claim their inheritance in Canaan. They wanted to turn around and go back to Egypt, back to the very people who had enslaved them. God punished them severely for their lack of faith. He condemned them to wander around in the wilderness between Canaan and Egypt until the whole generation of those who refused to enter the Promised Land died off, except for three. Because of their unbelief, Israel was sentenced to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

Those years of wrath and death have now expired and the children of Israel are poised to enter into Canaan. They are ready to claim their inheritance in the land of promise. Before they can enter Canaan, they must first get past one final, major obstacle: the Jordan River. Normally, this would not have presented much of a problem, since the Jordan was only about 100 feet wide at Gilgal where they crossed. God brought them to the Jordan River at the time of harvest, (4:15). Those who have been there during the harvest time relate that the Jordan River swells to an impassable width of over 1 mile! It was over 50 times wider than it normally would have been when Israel arrived. There was no way they could cross this river on their own! They needed supernatural help. It seems that God always does things in such a way that no man can boast of having done them on their own. This crossing would be no exception.

Every person here faces his or her own Jordan from time to time! We deal with obstacles that would hinder us from obtaining spiritual victory in our lives. We may feel that we will never be able to enter our Canaan of victory and enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promised His followers. While it is true that I do not know what kind of obstacles that you face in your life; I do know a God Who specializes in overcoming the overwhelming and in leading His children to victory.

Today, I would like for us to watch Israel as they move past their Jordan. As we do, I would like to offer you some hope. The strategies that worked for Israel over 3000 years ago will still work for us today. I want to speak to you from Joshua chapters 3 and 4 about “Getting Past Your Jordan“. There are some strategies that we must implement if we are going to move past the Jordan’s that stand between spiritual victory and us. Allow me to share those strategies with you today.

3:1-13 THERE IS A MESSAGE TO CONSIDER

v. 3-4 The Message Involved A Challenge – When it came time for the people to move forward to cross Jordan, God has a message that they needed to hear. In the words they heard, they were challenged to do three very important things. These things were designed to help them follow the Lord better. These are the same things that we need to hear today that will help up to follow the Lord better as well.

1. Watch God – Notice that the Ark of the Covenant is mentioned some 7 times in chapter 3. The Ark, you may remember, was that special piece of Tabernacle furniture that symbolized the presence and power of God. When the Ark was in the Holy of Holies, the glory of God rested upon it and it was the dwelling place of God. To Israel, it represented God’s presence in the midst of His people. In other words, when God moved, they were to move. When God stopped they were to do the same.

There is a valuable spiritual lesson in this passage for you and me. We would do well, when we face times of crisis, or when we need direction in life to learn to be sensitive to the movement of the Lord in and around us. It is a fact that God loves you and that He will show you what He is doing, (John 5:19-20). If you will watch Him, He will teach you how to live day by day.

2. Follow God – When they saw the Ark of the Covenant move, they were to “leave your place, and go after it” Not only were they to watch God, they were to move when He did. They were to pursue God!

Again, the lesson for the believer is that it isn’t enough to know what God is doing, there comes a time when you must “leave you place and go after Him.” This may require us to leave our comfort zone! Israel was about to follow the Ark through a river that was over 1 mile wide! That couldn’t have been easy, but it was still necessary and right! Folk, following God may not be the easiest thing you will ever do, but it will be the best thing you ever do. If you ever expect to get past your obstacles and enter your Canaan, you must learn to follow God.

3. Honor God – Notice that the Israelites are told to stay at least 3000 feet behind the Ark. This was so that they could easily see what was happening ahead of them. Another reason is that the Lord wanted no one but the Levites near the Ark. To get too close would have meant death.

There is a lesson here for us as well. We must never be guilty of treating God like is one of our buddies. There must always be a holy reverence and a fear of the Lord in our hearts. God help us that we never allow a spirit of familiarity cheapen our walk with the Lord. Regardless of what we go through with our holy, righteous God, we are still nothing but sinners saved by His marvelous grace.

Simply put, these three things are most easily accomplished by learning to walk in the Spirit. That is, learning to give control of your life to the Spirit of God and to follow God as He leads through His Word, through prayer and through life. It may not always be easy, but I can promise you that if you will follow, He will certainly lead!

v. 5 The Message Involved A Command – Next, the people were told to “sanctify yourselves.” This referred to being sure they were as clean and holy as possible. They were to put away anything that was displeasing to the Lord. They were to examine themselves and get ready for the Lord to do something great for them.

If you and I ever expect to get past the Jordan’s that arise in our lives, we are going to have to learn that one of the first things we must do is examine our lives to make sure they are as clean as possible. May the Lord help us to realize that many of the things that happen in our lives that prevent us from walking in Christian victory are the results of our sin and the Lord’s chastisement, (Gal. 6:9; Heb. 12:6-11). Christian, is everything in your life just as the Lord would have it to be? Remember, there is forgiveness in confessing our sins to the Lord - (I John 1:9).

v. 9-13 The Message Involved A Commitment – This message to the Israelites reminded them that getting across the Jordan did not rest on their shoulders, but on the Lord’s. It was His plan to get them over and it was His problem. In these verses, He makes them a promise and tells them that He will bring them through in a powerful fashion. God, here, commits Himself to bringing his people across their Jordan! All that was required of Israel was that they trust God!

May I remind you that God has not changed one bit? If God could be trusted in those days to keep His promises, then He can still be trusted today! Often, we are unable to get past the obstacles in our lives because we live a life that exhibits a deep lack of faith in the promises of God! How do I know? Because of the worry and doubt that marks the lives of the people of God.

1. We worry over tomorrow, yet the Lord has said – (Matt. 6:34).
2. We worry over material things, yet the Lord has promised – (Matt. 6:25-33; Phil. 4:19).
3. We worry about facing various things in life, yet the Lord has promised – (Heb. 13:5).
4. We worry over so many things, yet the Lord tells us that all of our worry is sin and that our duty is to trust Him –( Phil. 4:6-7).
5. The bottom line is this: Jesus is all-powerful, He is all-knowing and He is all-present.

He knows what you are going through. He knows everything there is to know about it. He even knows more about it than you do! Here is what He says to you: “The just shall life by faith,” (Rom. 1:17); “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” (Rom 14:23); “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith,” (Matt. 8:26).

All this reminds us that He is The Lord and that He is greater than any problem we have ever or will ever face in life. His desire is that we simply learn to take Him at His Word and trust Him. We need to remember that what the Lord has promised to do, He will do, (Rom. 4:21).

That is the message; let us take it to heart!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Know Who Holds Tomorrow” By Ira Stanpill (1950)


I don't know about tomorrow;
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to grey.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said.
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Refrain:
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

Every step is getting brighter
As the golden stairs I climb;
Every burden's getting lighter,
Every cloud is silver-lined.
There the sun is always shining,
There no tear will dim the eye;
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky.
Refrain:
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand.

I don't know about tomorrow;
It may bring me poverty.
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that is my portion
May be through the flame or flood;
But His presence goes before me
And I'm covered with His blood.
Refrain:
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand...


THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Holy Father, Savior and God! You have called us heavenward and encouraged us to press on toward the goal. You have promised that You returned to Heaven to prepare a place for us. Let us bless people all over the world with Your deep reflections in the scriptures. Let us raise and share the hope that is within us of living in heaven with You. Help us to wait patiently for that day when the trumpet sounds and Your voice calls us home. Fill our hearts and minds with Your Word and a positive attitude so others may see Christ living in us. This we pray in His name. Amen!


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAVEPRINCESS65 9/20/2012 11:45PM

    loved this hymn - always!
emoticon Vic!

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ANHELIC 9/20/2012 11:04PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson. It's like today's world where people don't want to hear about God or follow him. I am glad that we have true Christians that love God and obey his commands. We want to be in heaven when He calls and the Trumpet sounds so it's trust and obey. Thank you Vic for sharing God's awesome word. Thank you for the goodie as well. God bless you.

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SANDYTOES17 9/20/2012 8:13PM

    Kindof reminds you of the world today doesn't it... if only they could see it.

Thanks Vic! emoticon

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WANTSZU 9/20/2012 3:27PM

    emoticon emoticon



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COOP9002 9/20/2012 11:16AM

    Good word.

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SANDRALEET 9/20/2012 10:19AM

    Yes as true today as it was then To many want the easy bath and not the hard one No better then as now Oh we humans can be a fickle lot.We can chose and dismiss the parts we do not like.All the bible is Gods word

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FERGSGIRL2 9/20/2012 9:11AM

    great inspiration and truth. I've always loved this hymn, yes I do know who holds tomorrow! Praise God!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 9/20/2012 7:28AM

    emoticon such great words! Love the hmns you select too!

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LOSTLIME 9/20/2012 7:26AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DLDROST 9/20/2012 7:22AM

  emoticon

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EDITOR 9/20/2012 7:15AM

    Valuable lesson! Nothing further need be said. God said it and I believe it! There is no way we can cross over Jordon without knowing this background. Thank you, Vic, and praying others spend more than a glance in His Word.

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