Devotional Thought

Joshua 17:13-18 gives us a very interesting scenario.  The sons of Joseph come to Joshua with a complaint.  They are too numerous and needed more land.  Joshua gave them more land; the only problem was that on this land, in the hills, there are Rephaim (very large people), and in the valleys there are Canaanites who have iron chariots.  The sons of Joseph seem reluctant; Joshua seemed confident.  He tells them that they have a large number with them and that they were strong enough to drive the enemies out.

Throughout the Old Testament, we are told that God promised land to Israel but then they had to go fight for it.  They also had to be clean of idolatry; God promised then to help them and win their battles.  We can relate this to New Testament believers to yield everything to God.  As we do, we will see victory after victory in our lives spiritually even as the Israelites did when they yielded to their God.       -Pastor Joyce

April 27 sermon handout

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Legacy assignments for April 30

* Reminder:  There are no Family Night Activities on Wed., April 30.  These assignments will be discussed in the May 7 Engage groups.

 

Too Old to Retire (pg.215)

Driving Passions (pg. 225)

Too Old to Retire: Joshua 14

Caleb was close to 80 years old when the children of Israel entered the Promised Land. He could have easily said, “That’s enough,” and kicked back in retirement. Instead, he tackled an enormous challenge by choosing the land no one wanted, the land with the giants (see Numbers 13:26-33). Caleb had learned to embrace life’s changes and challenges, holding tightly to God’s promises (see Joshua 14:6-15).

I admire Caleb and strive to be like him in these ways:

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I pray that you learn these lessons from Caleb’s life:

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Related scripture:  Genesis 12:1-5; Psalm 71:5-18; Luke 2:25-38

 

Driving Passions:  Joshua 24

In defining moments and times of change, we need God’s strength. When Joshua took the place of Moses as Israel’s leader, he was directed by God to be strong and courageous and to follow God’s road map (see Joshua 1:5-9). At the end of his life, Joshua challenged the people to decide whom they believed in – the gods of this world or the true God. He affirmed, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (verse 15). Joshua made it very clear what he passionately valued and how he would live.

Some of my driving passions (and the reasons for them) are…

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In regard to your passions in life, I pray…

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Related Scriptures: 1 Kings 18:21; Job 13:13-19; Philippians 3:12-14; Revelation 3:15-16

Devotional thought

Joshua 7 and 8 give us several great lessons.  Today, we will look at the idea of going ahead of God.  As we know from the reading, Joshua took the advice of his soldiers on how to proceed in battle rather than taking God’s advice on the battle plan.  Jericho was so large of a city and was such a huge victory, Ai seemed insignificant.  Jericho had walls thick enough to ride chariots across as well as sustaining entire houses.  It was the largest stronghold in this area.  Ai was small in comparison.  Human reasoning said that if we were able to take this huge city so easily, Ai would be a cinch.  The soldiers deducted that they should only send in 3,000 soldiers.  It never records that Joshua sought the Lord.  Had he sought the Lord, God would have told him not to go up till sin was dealt with.  When Joshua’s plan failed miserably, he was depressed and blamed God.  Now here is the question for us.  Have we ever gone head long in our own plans and then when they fail become depressed and blame God?  Most of us have done this at one time or another.  The New Testament admonishes us to pray about everything and to pray in the Spirit on all occasions.  God always hears a humble heart.  So the lesson we can take away is to always stop, kneel and pray before decisions are made.  Once Israel sought God, He brought a glorious victory with an ingenious battle plan that has been copied by many military tacticians over the last two thousand years.

Prayer Focus

“Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” ” (Joshua 10:25).

Over and over, Joshua speaks these words to the people of God.  Similarly, in John, Jesus speaks essentially the same words to His disciples:

“All this I have spoken while still with you.  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:25-27).

Today, as you pray and fast, whatever it is that the Holy Spirit might call for you to pray about, Jesus reminds you, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

April 20 sermon recording

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April 20 sermon handout

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Legacy assignments for April 23

Monumental Remembrance (pg. 203)

Rahab (pg. 206)

Monumental Remembrance:  Joshua 3

The book of Joshua mentions a number of monuments—piles of stones—that reminded God’s people of His great deeds (Joshua 4). While piles created curiosity – “What do these stones mean?” the children would ask – they were built to remember God’s faithfulness.

Monuments for remembering what God has done do not have to be piles of stones. They can include buildings, picture albums, songs, poems, special places, even scars. I am reminded of God’s faithfulness every time I see the following:

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Related scripture:  Psalm 78:1-8; Mark 14:3-9; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

 

Rahab:  James 2:25

In what situations do you tend to be indecisive about obeying God’s instructions? What can you do to change this behavior?  

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Related Scriptures:  Joshua 2:1-24; 6:20-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31 and James 2:25

See article on Page 206 of the Legacy Bible.

Devotional thought

Deuteronomy 32:10c-11, “He guarded him as the apple of His eye.  Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them.  He carried them on pinions.”  This gives us a beautiful picture of the Father’s love.  We know God is not an eagle.  Here we see another example in the Word of God where He uses language we can understand and relate to.  We can never understand the depth of His love until we get to heaven, but we can take hold of the examples He has given us.  In this picture we see the eagle caring for her young.  When the eaglet is ready, the mother puts things in the nest to make them uncomfortable where they are.  The mother watches carefully as the eaglets jump out of the nest.  If anyone of them gets in trouble, she swoops down and carries them on her wings to safety.  She is not satisfied to have the eaglets stay warm and comfortable in the nest.  She must instinctively push them to become master flyers, strong and unafraid.  In comparison, God doesn’t let us stay in our state as a baby Christian.  He stirs up our nest over and over until we can fly and be all that we can be.  He is always there, never failing.  At times we may falter.  The temptation is to condemn ourselves.  The Father just scoops us up and waits until we recover.  Then He pushes us out again, but He is always ready, patiently waiting until we master that test.  A New Testament verse, I John 3:1a tells us, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God.”  He loves us as the eagle loves her eaglets.  He loves us as a Father.  Take heart if you are experiencing trials.  It is only to make us strong and unafraid so that we can be light and salt in this dark world.

Prayer Focus

So it’s Tuesday… my mind has been drawn to wonder what Jesus was doing on the Tuesday before the cross.  As you read, pray that you, too, would be obedient to God’s will.

“On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus taught them about faith” (Matthew 21:19-22).

At the Temple, the religious leaders aggressively challenged Jesus’ authority, attempting to ambush him and create an opportunity for his arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them: “Blind guides! … For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33).

Tuesday afternoon Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem, due east of the Temple. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He taught in parables using symbolic language about end times events, including his Second Coming and the final judgment.

Scripture indicates that Tuesday was the day Judas Iscariot negotiated with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus [Matthew 26:14-16].

After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples stayed the night in Bethany.

(Read Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38).