Day #3: Daily Bible Reading Plan - Tuesday, December 31st
(We began on Sunday, so if you are still catching up, please read the previous three blogs.)
Scripture Reading: Joshua 1-5 …
What would it be like to KNOW that God's presence and power were with you wherever you go? Reading through the first few chapters of Joshua you can't help but be aware of God's presence as He speaks to Joshua and encourages him as he takes over leadership of Israel from Moses. God promises, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you" (1:5). He says, "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (1:9). Wouldn't it be wonderful to have God speak to YOU like that?
If you have drawn near to God through faith in Jesus Christ God HAS spoken to you like that! In the book of Hebrews (13:5-6), the writer says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" As God was with Joshua and Israel, so God IS with believers today. In fact, the very Spirit of God lives within us. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body" (I Corinthians 12:13). We are NEVER alone - EVER!!
God cleared the way for His people to enter the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob more than four hundred years earlier. The ark of the covenant was not a magic box, but rather a picture of God's presence and power and faithfulness, so the people would know that it was God who went before them. At the end of Chapter 5, the commander of the LORD's army says to Joshua, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy" (5:15). God had said the same to Moses on Mt. Sinai. He is not confined to one place. God is the God of the whole earth and as believers we need to rest in the assurance of His presence and power at work in us and in the world around us.
That's where our hope lies for the new year. Whether there are new ventures that lie before you or you need courage and strength to stand firm in times of trial, Jesus is "Immanuel," "God with us!" You will be given all you need to accomplish all God desires you to do for His glory, and there is not one moment when you will be alone. As He said to Joshua, so He says to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go" (1:9). Whether through the manna for forty years in the wilderness, or now the "milk and honey" of the promised land, God provided for Israel, and He will provide for you.
As the Israelites celebrated the Passover (5:10-11), so we celebrate the blood of Jesus being shed for us for our salvation, our deliverance from sin and death. If you want some additional reading today, read Psalm 27. This is the testimony of those who trust in the LORD!!
"Thank you, Father, for your continued presence with me as I walk through my days in this world. Empower me by Your Spirit that I may glorify you as I live by faith in your promises. In the name of Him who is Immanuel … Your Son, Jesus, my Savior and my Lord. Amen"