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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 10/24/2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Prayer, This Is My Prayer, Wed, 10/24/2012

Joshua 8:1-35
VICTORY IS YOURS, IF YOU WANT IT, Lesson 15b

V. 3-26 VICTORY OVER AI IS PURSUED

V. 3-17- They Embraced God’s Plan - God told them in exact detail how they were to mount their attack against Ai. They were to lay an ambush for Ai and they would take the city and all its inhabitants. Israel learned at Jericho what happens when you do things the Lord’s way. They had also learned what happens when they refused to do it God’s way. They learned that failure awaits that person who goes against the will of the Lord.

We need to learn this lesson today! When you fight the battle God’s way, you cannot fail. When you do it your way, you are headed for trouble.

We are talking about fighting this flesh and its lusts. If you are going to pursue victory over your flesh, and if you ever expect to gain the victory, then you must go about it God’s way. No other plan will work! I will say more about God’s plan for dealing with the flesh in a moment, but for now, you need to know that if you will win the victory over your flesh, then you need constant contact with spiritual supports God has given us. We are strengthened spiritually when we are exposed to the spiritual blessings the Lord has given to us to help us walk in His will.

God’s spiritual support system must be made a huge part of our lives:
We need the Word of God – (1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Tim. 2:15).
We need prayer – ( Luke 18:1; 1 Thes. 5:17; James 4:2).
We need faithful church attendance – (Heb. 10:25).
We need the constant fellowship of the saints – (1 Cor. 12:27).

None of these things will give victory in and of themselves, but we need each of them to strengthen us and to help us grow in the Lord. When we begin to neglect even one of these essential areas, then we are headed toward spiritual trouble. When we feed the flesh and ignore our spiritual needs, it is a sign of impending problems in our spiritual lives!

V. 18-23- They Experienced God’s Power - Israel fought the battle, but God gave the victory! The first time Israel went to Ai, they went in their own power and they suffered terrible, humiliating defeat. This time they went to battle walking in the power of God and they were victorious.

There is a lesson here for those who struggle with their flesh.
The battle with your flesh will not be won by your ability to say “no” to sin, because you can’t say “no” all the time.
The battle will not be won because you are more powerful than the temptations you face, because you are not.

The fact is, if you try to fight the spiritual battles of life in your own power, you are headed for terrible defeat in your life. You might as well plan now for a string of sins and defeats in the flesh.
There is just one way for us to prevail in this battle, and that is for us to learn to appropriate the power of God in our lives. We are unable to fight the flesh, sin and the world in our own power. We need to realize that when we cannot win the battle, only He can!
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might,” ( Eph. 6:10).
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” ( Phil. 4:13).
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” (1 Cor. 10:13).
“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world,” ( 1 John 4:4).
The only way any of us will ever see victory over this flesh is through the power of God!
V. 24-26- They Enjoyed God’s Performance - These verses tell us that Israel trusted in the Lord and absolutely prevailed over their enemy. God did what He said He would do!
We are serving the very same God that gave Israel the victory. He hasn’t changed! He is still the same God today that He always has been and always will be. You can count on God to keep His Word, (Rom. 4:21; Psa. 119:89; Matt. 24:32).
When we are engaged in a battle with this flesh, we must be able to count on God, and we can! He is all powerful and He is able to help you as you fight the flesh and the battles of life. “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,”( Heb. 4:14-16).
TODAY’S HYMN!
“Victory In Jesus” By E. M. Bartlett (1939)

I heard an old, old story, how a Savior came from glory (how He gave His life)
How He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me
I heard about His groaning, (of His blood's atoning) of His precious blood's atoning
Then I repented (repented) of my sins (repented of my sins) and won the victory

Chorus:
Oh victory in Jesus (victory in Jesus), my Savior (my Savior) forever (forever)
He sought me and He bought me with His redeeming blood (bought me with His blood)
He loved me 'ere I knew Him and all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

I heard about His healing, of His cleansing power revealing
How He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see
And then I cried, "Dear Jesus, come and heal my broken spirit"
I then obeyed His blest command and gained the victory

Repeat Chorus

I heard about a mansion He has built for me in glory
And I heard about the street of gold beyond the crystal sea (beyond the crystal sea)
About the angels singing (the angels are singing) and the old redemption story
Oh and some sweet day I'll sing up there the song of victory

Repeat Chorus (x2)

He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood
He plunged me to victory beneath the cleansing flood

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Gracious Lord! It is with a humble spirit and a grateful heart that we come into Your presence by means of this prayer. Hear us when we petition You. Make us aware of the way Satan works that we may be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Vengeance is Yours and we willingly relinquish it to You. May our days be filled with Your Love and Peace. This we pray in Jesus’ blessed name. Amen!

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ANHELIC 10/24/2012 6:36PM

    Thank you for another great lesson, hymn, one that I really enjoy singing, and prayer. I start every day with God along side me and ask for His guidance and when I have trouble laying before me, I turn it over to God. He will walk me through it. I am so grateful to have God in my life for my difficult times and to be able to praise him for all the blessings He sends my way. Thank you again for sharing Vic. God bless you.

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FEMISLIM 10/24/2012 5:36PM

    Glory!!!

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SUNSETBREEZE05 10/24/2012 3:35PM

    Amen!

I love praying with you emoticon

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HAGIN2010 10/24/2012 12:43PM

    Since I am avery new Christian I just need to trust God and that he will be there when I need it and the Holy Spirit will be there for advice if I will stop and just listen to it.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/24/2012 7:49AM

    I start my day with the lord in my heart and no other!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 10/23/2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Prayer, This Is My Prayer, Tue, 10/23/2012

Joshua 8:1-35
VICTORY IS YOURS, IF YOU WANT IT, Lesson 15a

Our text speaks about the tiny city of Ai. From all indications, this city should have been a pushover for Israel as they marched through Canaan. However, in chapter 7, Israel experienced her only defeat when they attacked the little city of Ai. In that battle, thirty-six of their soldiers died and Israel was forced to flee from the soldiers of Ai.

Israel experienced this defeat for a couple of reasons. First, they failed to seek the Lord’s will before they went into battle. They were arrogant and proud after their victory at Jericho. They assumed they were beyond defeat. They learned differently.
Another reason they suffered this defeat was because there was sin among them. When Israel faced Jericho in chapter 6, they were commanded to destroy the city, but they were to take the wealth of the city and dedicate it to the Lord. A man named Achan took some of that wealth for himself and brought the wrath of God upon the whole nation. Because of these two failures, Israel suffered a tragic defeat at Ai.

The Lord used the defeat at Ai to teach Israel the importance of holiness and of seeking the Lord’s will in every situation. He used this defeat to teach them the danger of pride, (Pro. 16:18). One of the most valuable lessons Israel learned was the truth that they needed the Lord, His presence and His power, if they were going to defeat their enemies and walk in victory.

There is a sense in which we believers are a lot like Israel. If you are a child of God, then you know something about battles. You know that you have three very powerful enemies that must be overcome every day you live. The world, the flesh and the devil are all out to destroy the child of God, but each of these enemies can be defeated, if they are handled according to the will of God.

As we move into these verses, I want you to see that Ai is a picture of one of our enemies. Ai is a picture the flesh. The word “Ai” means “a heap of ruins.” That is a good way to describe our flesh, or our fallen, human natures. Paul reminds us about the wickedness of the flesh in (Rom. 7:18), “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing...” Our flesh is dead,( Eph. 2:1), and it is absolutely wicked and unredeemable, (Rom. 3:10-23).

Ai is first mentioned in the book of Genesis in connection with the life of Abraham, (Gen. 12:8; 13:3). The Bible tells us that Abraham pitched his tent “between Bethel and Hai.” Now, the name “Bethel” means, “The house of God.” Like Abraham, many of God’s people have pitched their tents somewhere between “the house of God” and “a heap of ruins.”

Do you see the connection? You can either live in a place of victory and blessing, or you can live in a place of defeat and misery. You can either have a Bethel kind of life or an Ai experience. The kind of life you live will be determined by where you pitch your tent!
Just like Israel, we often lose battles to our flesh, but by God’s help we can learn how to defeat our Ai and walk away with the victory in our lives.

I don’t know the battles that you are fighting with your flesh, but I do know that you are.
I don’t know the battles that you are fighting with your flesh, but I do know that you can experience victory over your Ai.

These verses have something to teach us about how that can become a reality in our lives. Notice with me the truths that present themselves in this passage. I want to teach on the thought: “Victory Is Yours, If You Want It”.

V. 1-2 VICTORY OVER AI IS PROMISED

V. 1 A Word About Winning - When the Lord speaks to Joshua, God tells him to go to Ai. God promises Joshua that things will be different this time. He assures Joshua and Israel of the victory.

It is interesting that the Lord called them to return to the place of their greatest defeat. God knew that they needed to overcome Ai before they could move on in the conquest of Canaan
.
The same is true for us.

How many times have we lost the battle to the flesh?
How many times have we been defeated by this old sinful nature’s lust for the forbidden?
How many times have we fallen and wondered if we would ever get back to where we were before.

If that has been your experience, the Lord has a word for you today!
He says to Joshua, “Fear not…I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king…”

To those who have fallen and have lost a battle to the flesh, God says, “Fear not! I am able to give you the victory!”
God has made some tremendous promises to His children. We do not have to live in defeat!

We are no longer slaves to sin, the flesh and the devil. “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace,” ( Rom. 6:14)!
We have been made “new creatures” in Jesus Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” (2 Cor. 5:17).

We have been given the “divine nature.” “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” (2 Pet. 2:4).

We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit, Who teaches us about the dangers of sin and about the blessings of holiness. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...”( John 16:13).

God has promised the victory to His children. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Cor. 15:57).

The Lord did not save you to leave you defeated, beaten, and enslaved by the flesh. He saved you to set you free, to enable you to walk in the victory that He gives to all those who walk according to His Word and His will.

V. 2 A Word About Waiting - Notice that the Lord tells them that they will do to Ai what they did to Jericho, except this time, they are allowed to take all the spoils for themselves! If Achan would have waited just a few more days, he could have had all the riches that he could have imagined. Instead, he ran ahead of God and grabbed for himself what God had forbidden, and as a result, Achan and Israel paid a terribly high price.

What a lesson for you and me today! If we could just learn to wait on God and let Him lead and bring into our lives the things that need to be there, we would be far better off. The flesh is impatient! Our flesh wants what it wants and it wants it now! It doesn’t want to wait for its gratification.

We are far better off to wait on the Lord to bring those things into our lives that He knows are best for us, than we are to run ahead of God. But, that’s what we do, isn’t it? We make our plans, do our thing, and never check with God about it. Then, when we make a mess, we expect Him to bail us out!

When we can learn to wait on the Lord, we are well on our way to victory in the Christian life.

“Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it,” ( Psa. 37:34).
“Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD,” (Psa. 27:14).

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Whispering Hope” By Alice Hawthorne (1868)

Soft as the voice of an angel
Breathing a lesson unheard
Hope with a gentle persuasion
Whispers her comforting word
Wait till the darkness is over
Wait till the tempest is done
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow
After the shower is gone.

Refrain:
Whispering hope
Oh, how welcome thy voice
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

If, in the dusk of the twilight
Dim be the region afar
Will not the deepening darkness
Brighten the glimmering star?
Then when the night is upon us
Why should the heart sink away?
When the dark midnight is over
Watch for the breaking of day.

Refrain:

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast
Rends the dark veil for the soul
Whither the Master has entered
Robbing the grave of its goal
Come then, O come, glad fruition
Come to my sad weary heart
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory
Never, O never depart.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Father of all creation, Almighty God! Help us to understand how fleeting life is. Remind us how very fragile life is. We thank You for our blessed assurance through Jesus Christ our Lord. Remind us the life is fragile, to handle it with prayer. Remind us that the Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want, and that His mercy never fails. This we pray in His Blessed name. Amen!

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ANHELIC 10/23/2012 10:08PM

    Thank you Vic for an awesome lesson, hymn which is one of my favorites, and prayer. It was a great reminder to wait on the Lord for guidance. Since I started doing this more in the recent past, I have found not as many problems facing me. I pray and ask Holy Spirit for help along the way and then wait. Thank you so much for sharing God's word with us. Thank you for the goodie. God bless you.

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IAM_HIS2 10/23/2012 6:52PM

    What a powerful teaching...your blogs have been leading me to look deeper with me. I am realizing wrong choices I have made and how I have hurt others. I have to ask for forgiveness and confess my sins. I am praying for obedience and a more loving heart. Isn;t it funny, what I have so disliked in others, I too am guilty of. Oh, in now way can I judge another.

I so need the Lord 24/7.

Comment edited on: 10/23/2012 6:53:21 PM

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DARE2LIVE2011 10/23/2012 4:13PM

    Thanks for the invitation to join the team and read your blog! When I read the hymn for today, I cried, Whispering Hope was my Gram's favorite song. We wait. With his strength, and with HOPE! Many blessings, Jeanne (Dare2Live2011)
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JLLOVETT 10/23/2012 2:53PM

    Thank you for the reminder!

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TONYVAND1 10/23/2012 2:36PM

  Vic

Thanks for the reminder to wait upon the Lord. He will win the victory.
Blessings my friend.

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SAINTBETH 10/23/2012 12:27PM

    Chazak! Be strong!

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WANTSZU 10/23/2012 11:39AM

    Awesome lesson today Vic. You explain everything so well. Thank you.

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FERGSGIRL2 10/23/2012 9:46AM

    Amen we do not have to live in fear and defeat, rely on God!

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HAGIN2010 10/23/2012 9:34AM

    Thanks for the lessons. I am so new to the Lord and this is so great. emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 10/23/2012 7:50AM

    emoticon God leads us to victory!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/23/2012 7:27AM

    emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/23/2012 7:25AM

    The lord leads me on! He is my light! amen
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WILSON1926 10/23/2012 6:52AM

    emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 10/22/2012

Monday, October 22, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 10/22/2012

Joshua 7:1-26
SOME THINGS CAN’T BE HIDDEN, Lesson 14c

v. 16-26 ISRAEL EXPERIENCED A TERRIBLE SENTENCE
v. 16-21 The Sinner Is Confronted – The process that God used to point out Achan. God knew who was guilty, why didn’t He just tell Joshua who they were looking for? In my opinion, He was giving Achan time to repent and to confess his sins. Achan squandered many opportunities to confess and repent. Be that as it may, the finger of God was getting closer and closer and finally landed on Achan.

This lesson needs to be heeded! God already knows your sins and His finger is getting closer and closer to your life. One day soon, He will point out those things in your life that need to be revealed! It is only a matter of time until the finger of God lands on your life and you are exposed in your sins! It will not and cannot be hidden forever! One day, your sin will find you out – ( Num. 32:23; Luke 12:3). You may try, but you cannot hide your sin, (Eccl. 12:14; Jer. 16:17; Heb. 4:13)!

v. 19-21 – Now that Achan’s sin has been revealed, it has to be dealt with. Notice the two aspects of this section.

v. 19 There Is Compassion – When Joshua speaks to Achan, he speaks with compassion in his heart. He knows that Achan is condemned, but Joshua still cares for this man who brought so much trouble to Israel.

In this passage, Joshua is a picture of the Lord. While God hates sin with His entire being, He still loves the sinner. Even though man is the enemy of God, God still commands men to repent and to come to Him for salvation and for forgiveness.
If you have sin in your life today, you need to remember that God is a loving and gracious God Who exhibits His greatness by cleansing sinners. You need to come to Him before it is too late!

v. 20-21 There Is Confession – In these two verses, Achan finally confesses his sin. Achan showed no signs of remorse or repentance. He only confessed his sins after he got caught in them. At this point, it would have been impossible to hide them any longer anyway.

Achan is like some others in the Bible who confessed their sins, but not in real repentance - Pharaoh, Balaam, and Judas.

Some confessed their sins and were forgiven. David – He was confronted with his sins, he confessed afterwards and he was forgiven,( 2 Sam. 12). So did Nineveh,( Jonah 3).
What’s the difference? David and Nineveh were sincere in their repentance. They were sorry for their sins. Achan was only sorry that he got caught!

This is not God’s method for handling sin! God’s way is for people to be open and honest about their sins and for them to confess those sins to the Lord,( Pro. 28:13). God’s way is for His people to throw the covers off their sins and tell Him the truth that He already knows. He can bless a person who handles sin the Biblical way.

However, the person who tries to hide his sins will never prosper, but will face God in judgment. You see, you will confess you sins one way or another. You can confess them where the confession will make a difference, or you will do it when you face the Lord in judgment. Either way, you will confess your sins – (Phil. 2:11).

Note the progression in Achan’s sin, v. 21. “I saw...I coveted...I took.” This is the same pattern that sin always follows. It was this way in the Garden of Eden, (Gen. 3:1-6). It was this way when David sinned with Bathsheba, (2 Sam. 11:1-4). It is and will be this way in nearly any instance of sin you can name.

Notice the progression that the Bible mentions – (James 1:13-15). You see it; it appeals to your flesh; you want it and you take it. Sin is always the same! Our reaction to sin should be just like that of Joseph, (Gen. 39:12). We are commanded to flee youthful lusts, ( 2 Tim. 2:22).

Another problem with Achan is found in v. 21. Achan calls the things he took “spoils”. This word refers to “the booty” that a conquering army can claim after a victory. These things were not spoils. God said in (Josh. 6:18-19) that these things belonged to Him. They were not to be gifts for Israel; they were to be placed in the treasury of the Lord’s house. God calls the items in Jericho “the accursed thing,” (Josh. 6:18-19). This phrase refers to that which is “devoted or dedicated.” In other words, all the items left in Jericho after the defeat of the city, were to be dedicated to the Lord. They were to be His and His alone. In essence, Achan was guilty of stealing from the Lord. The Lord claimed the “firstfruits” and Achan tried to steal it. Are you guilty of stealing from the Lord? (Mal. 3:8).

Achan had his stolen treasure buried in his tent but he could not use any of it! To use it would have exposed his sin to everyone. In other words, Achan sinned and died for nothing! The items he stole were no good to him at all!

Here’s the truly sad part of this story. Achan lost his life and condemned his family to death because he took things that were dedicated to the Lord for his own use. Imagine how he must have justified his choice to take those things. He might have said, “We did without so long in that desert. I deserve a little prosperity. No one will miss this little amount. After all, there is so much spoil. I’ll just take a few things to help my family.” Those few items cost Achan everything!

Had Achan been patient for just a few more days, he could have satisfied his needs and his greed, (Josh. 8:2).

This is where we all get into trouble. We want what we want, and we want it now. We never stop to think that God might have something far better for us if we would just patiently wait for His timing.

This just reminds us what sin really is. Sin is man seeking to fulfill a legitimate need in an illegitimate manner.

v. 22-26 The Sinner Is Condemned – These verses give us the sad conclusion to this tragic tale. Achan and all that he had were taken out and stoned to death by the people of Israel.

The tower of stones stood as a reminder to all who passed by that a criminal was buried there. It was common as late as the 1800‘s for passersby to throw stones on the graves of criminals, thus adding continually to the heap of stones over the grave!

It didn’t have to end this way! Yet, these verses demonstrate the horrible end that all sinners who refuse to repent will come to. It was a vivid reminder of the high cost of sin and of the terrible wrath of God.

The name of the valley was called “Achor”. This word means “trouble”. And that was what God said would happen to the person who took any of the “spoils” of Jericho. The word “trouble” means, “to stir up.” It speaks of “the troubling of waters.” If you are going to sin, you need to know that you are headed for trouble,( Pro. 13:15).

If you are God’s child, and you have sin in your life that has not been confessed, and that you have not repented of, you need to know that your life is a hindrance to your family and to the church. You also need to know that God will chasten you to bring you back in line with His will, (Rev. 3:19). He will do whatever He has to do to get your attention! My advice to you is: get right with God today! God knows what it will take to touch your heart, and He isn’t afraid to touch that heartstring if He knows it will bring you to repentance.

If you are lost today, you need to come to Jesus for salvation. If you die without Him you will wind up in Hell, lost forever and in the flames of torment. Is that what you want? Is that where you want to end up? If not, then come to Jesus.

You will notice that verses 24-25 tell us that Achan’s whole family suffered the same fate that he did. Why? They probably knew about his sin and they helped him hide his secret. They were just as guilty as he was. When Achan brought that sin into his tent, he brought suffering and affliction upon the people he loved the most in this world. At the end of the day, however, the reason Achan did this was because he loved himself even more than he loved his family.

I would just remind you again, that none of us sins in a vacuum. The things we do affects us and all those around us. Our children are shaped by the things they observe in our lives. That is the essence of Deut. 5:9, which says, “...I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

Conc: Years later, the prophet Hosea mentioned this same valley. Hosea 2:15, “And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.” The promise is that this place of trouble could become a door of hope for those who turn to the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The same is true concerning us. If we will come to the Lord in humble repentance, those sins, that have the potential to cause you so much trouble, can be taken care of today. This service can literally become a door of hope for you right now, if you will come to Jesus for the cleansing you need.

Some Things Can’t Be Hidden! If you have an Achan heart, God has the cure. If you have sin hidden in your life, the Lord can forgive you and restore you for His glory.
Come to Him while there is time. Come before judgment falls. Come so that renewal and revival can come to your family and to your church!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Lord, I’m Coming Home” By William J. Kirkpatrick (1892)

I’ve wandered far away from God,
Now I’m coming home;
The paths of sin too long I’ve trod,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:
Coming home, coming home,
Nevermore to roam;
Open wide Thine arms of love,
Lord, I’m coming home.

I’ve wasted many precious years,
Now I’m coming home;
I now repent with bitter tears,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:

I’m tired of sin and straying, Lord,
Now I’m coming home;
I’ll trust Thy love, believe Thy word,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:

My soul is sick, my heart is sore,
Now I’m coming home;
My strength renew, my home restore,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:

My only hope, my only plea,
Now I’m coming home;
That Jesus died, and died for me,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:

I need His cleansing blood I know,
Now I’m coming home;
Oh, wash me whiter than the snow,
Lord, I’m coming home.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Father in Heaven, God who loves our souls, we recognize how sinful and needy we are. We know we cannot save ourselves in any way, but You have saved us in every way. That’s why we humble ourselves before You. We confess our sins and praise You for extending Your forgiveness and mercy our way. Redeem us O Lord and restore us into a loving relationship with You. This we pray in Jesus’ Holy name. Amen!

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ANHELIC 10/22/2012 11:27PM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. As you said, if we don't confess our sins and repent, we may as well continue living in sin. I know it is impossible not to sin because of our human nature. I am so grateful that we have a compassionate God who loves us and forgives our sins. God bless you for your teaching Vic.

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DIANER2014 10/22/2012 3:18PM

    Thank you Vic! Have a great Monday! God Bless! emoticon

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KIMPY225 10/22/2012 1:58PM

    Happy Monday! emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/22/2012 1:21PM

    Thank You for this teaching dear Vic! We are greatful to you to help us walk with Jesus!

amen!

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IAM_HIS2 10/22/2012 10:52AM

    Oh how true...we need to confess our sins. Sin blocks us from so much. This is why I go to confession every 4 weeks, it is a beautiful sacrament.

Thank you for this blog Vic. God bless you and welcome back! emoticon Joy

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HAGIN2010 10/22/2012 10:30AM

    Thanks for the teaching's Vic emoticon

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SANDRALEET 10/22/2012 7:41AM

    Thank God or we all are lost.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun 10/21/2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We are glad to be back! We had a GREAT Vacation! Saw some of God’s most beautiful scenery and landscape, the Great Passion Play, numerous attractions, two horse-buggy rides, and covered over 2000 miles. We will rest and worship God today and get started again tomorrow. PRAISE GOD! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DORCAS9 10/22/2012 1:11AM

    Glad you had such a great vacation. Sounds wonderful. Welcome back! emoticon

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POETLKNG2LOSE 10/21/2012 9:14PM

    Glad you are back safe and sound.

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AVANELL 10/21/2012 8:44PM

    Thanks for the goodie, Vic! So glad to hear that you had an enjoyable vacation! Welcome back! We've missed you!

God Bless!

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ANHELIC 10/21/2012 8:24PM

    Welcome back and thank you for the goodie. Thank you God for bringing Vic and his wife back to us safely. emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/21/2012 5:07PM

    Anxious to hear your lesson tomorrow! sleep well dear Sparker!
linda emoticon

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SANDRALEET 10/21/2012 2:45PM

    Gods beauty is in all God creation we are truly blessed when we can see it.

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NADINEL 10/21/2012 1:27PM

    I am thankful you are both safe and had a wonderful time!

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DIANER2014 10/21/2012 9:15AM

    Glad to have you back! Your vacation sounds wonderful.God Bless!

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LOOKINGUP2012 10/21/2012 9:02AM

    Your vacation sounds wonderful. God has blessed this nation with much beauty to lift the spirit to Himself.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 10/13/2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 10/13/2012

Joshua 7:1-26
SOME THINGS CAN’T BE HIDDEN, Lesson 14b

v. 6-15 ISRAEL ENCOUNTERED A TERRIBLE SUMMONS

Israel didn’t know what was wrong. All they knew was that they had just suffered their first defeat. By the way, this would be their only defeat! God wants His people to have the victory, not the defeat. So, He takes the necessary steps to reveal to the nation of Israel just exactly where the problem lies.

v. 6-9 Joshua’s Amazement – After this tragedy occurs, Joshua finds himself before the Lord in prayer. His prayer is from a broken heart, ( v. 6). Still, there is also a hint of anger and accusation against the Lord. Joshua is going to learn that prayer is the correct recourse in a time of trouble. He will also learn that prayer will avail nothing until sin has been dealt with, ( Psa. 66:18; James 5:16b)!

Joshua wonders why Israel was powerless in the battle. The answer would not be found in blaming God, or in disputing His will. The answer would be found in their own hearts!

After we have made decisions that bring terrible consequences, it’s too late to play the blame game. It’s never the right time to accuse God of anything. This has been going on since the beginning – ( Gen. 3:9-13).

When there is a tragedy in our lives, we need to look within and see where the problem is. When there is a lack of power in my life, the problem is not with God, nor is it with other’s, the problem is always with me!

The same is true in the church. When there is powerlessness in the church and souls aren’t being saved; when the services are dull and lifeless, we need not blame the Lord! He is doing His part. The problem is always a problem within!

v. 10-15 God’s Announcement - While Joshua and Israel try to figure out what is happening, God in Heaven already knows and reveals it to Joshua. He tells him that there is sin in the camp of Israel! He tells Joshua that this sin is why He is withholding His power and allowing them to be defeated,( v. 12). He tells Joshua how to discover the guilty party.

In these words to Joshua, God gives us some insights into sin. We need to pay attention to what God has to say in these verses. Allow me to share with you a few observations concerning sin and its effects in our lives.

1. God Knows About Our Sins - v. 11 –( Pro. 15:3; Heb. 4:13) – We aren’t hiding anything from Him!

2. God hates our sins – v. 11 –(Pro. 6:16-19) – It offends Him and He will not simply look the other way!

3. God has a plan for our sins – v. 14-15 – (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9; Psa. 32:5) – He wants us to get honest about our condition. He expects confession and repentance.

4. God will punish our sins – v. 15 –( Gal. 6:7-8) – There is always a price to pay for rebellion and disobedience!

5. Sin always affects those around us – v. 11-12 – No one sins in a vacuum. Your sins and mine have the ability to drastically lower the spiritual temperature of the church. We are all one body and what affects you affects me and vice versa! ( Eccl. 9:18), “...one sinner destroyeth much good.”

6. Sin hinders God’s work both in our lives and in His church – v. 12 –( Matt. 13:58) – When we allow sin to rule in our hearts, God will not move among us in freedom and power.

7. Sin will be dealt with – v. 13 – Either you and I will deal with our sins, or God will deal with them. Either way, they will be handled! –( 1 Cor. 11:31).

It’s not the water on the outside of the boat that causes the problem; it’s the water on the inside of the boat that causes trouble! The same is true for the church. Often, the greatest problems faced by the church come from within and not from without. The world and the devil really can’t do a lot of damage to the church, but you let someone inside the church get out of line with God and there is a problem!

More often than not, when there are defeats, problems, and trouble down at the house of God, you can bet that there is someone in the church who is out of God’s will! When there is a lack of the manifest presence and power of God in the church, it can usually be traced to some sin in the body! There is an infection and it needs to be identified and treated before there will ever be a return of God’s power and glory!

If a business suffers too many losses, it closes its doors. If a company suffers too many losses, it lays off employees. When a church suffers too many losses, people go to Hell! We must have God’s power if we are going to see any spiritual successes! If we are going to have His power, we must be a clean people!

We should never underestimate the amount of damage one sinner can cause.
Abraham nearly lost his wife when he went to Egypt,( Gen. 12).

The boat Jonah was riding in nearly sunk when he ran away from God in disobedience,( Jonah 1).

Seventy thousand people died in Israel because David disobeyed God by numbering the people, (2 Sam. 24).

One sinner nearly destroyed the church at Corinth,( 1 Cor. 5).

You might think your sin is insignificant, but it can ruin your church and sap it of its power. It can devastate your family and leave totally ruin in its wake. It can destroy your life and leave you broken and defeated! ( Eccl. 9:18).

No Christian can sin without affecting other Christians or even lost sinners. You can't grow cold without lowering the temperature of those around you. The testimony of the church is reflected in the lives of every believer in the church.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Church’s One Foundation” By Samuel J. Stone (1886)

The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

2. Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

3. Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

4. Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.

5. Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Glorious God! From time to time we need to be reminded and restored. Help us to fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but what is not seen. Help us to fix our eyes and hearts and minds on Jesus. Remind us that our troubles here on earth are temporary. Enable us not to give up but to seek You and Your help. Help us not to become discouraged and disappointed with life. Show us how to deal with life by turning to You for guidance and instruction. Thank You for continuing to watch over us as we strive to live and bring You praise and glory. These things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!
PS: I’ll be back on Oct 22nd! See You Then! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 10/21/2012 9:22PM

    Thank you Vic for this lesson. I have been struggling to believe that He will come through for me. I know my problem is doubt at times when I don't see anything happening. Waiting is hard to do.

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IAM_HIS2 10/19/2012 8:21AM

    Thank you for this powerful blog...you certainly said what is so needed. I am thankful for your blog of truth and wisdom. Thank you for being willing to follow God's will. God bless you.

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ANHELIC 10/13/2012 10:20PM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson. We really need to stay close to God and walk his way. People around us can see Jesus in us rather than us just talking about it and living the opposit. The love of God will shine through us.
Thank you for sharing Vic and may you and your wife have a wonderful holiday and be save and in God's care. Come back to us. We will miss you. God bless you both. emoticon

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SAINTBETH 10/13/2012 11:37AM

    American needs to get back to God. We could start by not celebrating pagan holidays like Halloween. blessings, beth

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DIANER2014 10/13/2012 9:13AM

    Thanks Vic! emoticon

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JUDYAMK 10/13/2012 8:43AM

    I always tell Mom there is nothing left but prayer when we are struggling, giving thanks even in hard times,praising Him for all he has given us. & the most important is keeping in His Word. When we fail to not look in God's Word we start to stray to the ways of the world. My most beloved brother Bobby that has cancer is always telling us he is in God's hands & to stop worrying about him instead be praising God for all he has given us. I fall short of many things so thank you this morning as I go on my way to work for your Bible message
Judy

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BIGDOG18 10/13/2012 6:57AM

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