Monday, January 13, 2014

"An inheritance from the Lord ..."

Day #17:  Daily Bible Reading - January 14th

Scripture Reading:  Joshua 11 - 15 ...

As we read further into Joshua's historical recounting of the taking of the promised land he makes it clear that everything was done "as the LORD had commanded."  The LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain" (Joshua 11:6).  Once again, it is vital to understand the spiritual state of those living in the land God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  ALL mankind exists in utter rebellion against God.  Some rebellion is more obvious, but God says that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.  Who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9).

Having already destroyed all of mankind in the flood except for Noah and his family, the entire human race owes its every breath to God, their Creator.  If God were to withdraw His presence today people would simply cease to exist.  God owes no one life.  It is only His grace that enables anyone to continue living and if it is His will that life ends, who can judge their Creator (Romans 9:19-21)?  This sounds harsh, yet it is the clear teaching of God's Word.  In His compassion and mercy God today offers forgiveness and life through Jesus Christ, yet those who reject the Gospel or who do not hear the Gospel will face God's just judgment.

The "other side of the coin" is the inheritance that those who are chosen by God receive.  Joshua describes the division of the land in these and the following chapters.  The land is given to the descendants of the sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.  These were (and are) God's chosen people.  We know that it is up to the person who owns the inheritance to give it to whomever they choose, and that is what God does.  Everything is His and He can give it to whomever He pleases.  Therefore, when God promised to give this land to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, He made a covenant, a testament, a WILL ... and God keeps His promise.

Understanding this should help believers to look at this world through God's eyes.  The nations of the world and all those who are separated from God by sin have no hope of an inheritance.  Only those who are "in Christ Jesus" will live with God forever in the new heavens and the new earth.  Will YOU be one of them?  God calls out through His Word today and sends His Spirit with His Word to open blind eyes, to unstop deaf ears, to renew dead minds and to change hard hearts.  Have you heard His call?

Do not be one of those who judge God.  Thank God for His grace and obey His command to go into all the world proclaiming the Gospel so that you may be an instrument in His hands, an ambassador of His kingdom, to save some from the judgment they (and we) deserve!

"Father, Your justice is right and Your way is true.  Thank You for sending Your Son to pay the penalty for MY sin, and for all who believe in You through the work of Your Spirit within us.  How amazing is Your grace, O God!!  As I anticipate the inheritance that awaits, help me to be faithful to You as I live in this world.  In Jesus' name, Amen"

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