PUT THAT ROCK DOWN!

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7  also read John 7:53-8:11

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I have heard my dad preach on this passage many times.  It made an impact on my way of looking at folks.  The way my dad preached it showed me that I need to take a deeper look into what is going on.  Ask the “Why?” question as to what causes folks to do what they do…what made them into what they are?

Last night, I was looking at one of My Daily Bread booklets.  This story was in there.  Randy Kilgore, the writer of this particular piece, put it this way, and I quote: “As a group of religious leaders herded an adulterous woman toward Jesus, they couldn’t know they were carrying her within a stone’s throw of grace.  WOW!  what an awesome picture!

My dad used to say, “When Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground…was He perhaps writing the names of her accusers…reminding them that they had visited her in the middle of the night, and committed acts of adultery with her under the cover of darkness?”  Or did they only “think it in their heart”?  But Jesus said if you look at a woman and lust after her, you are guilty of adultery, for you have committed the deed in your heart and mind already!  Was that His way of letting them know that if they continued to accuse her…He would reveal their sins as well?  This question for me comes to mind as I read this:  “When the leaders continued to question Him, He invited any of them who had never sinned to throw the first stone, and then He started writing on the ground AGAIN.”  WHAT WAS HE WRITING?  The next time He looked up, they were gone.

Let’s put that into a more personal perspective.  How many times have you accused or judged someone for the sin they were in only to hear God speak your name and remind you that you too had been there once, and were guilty of the same thing?  I know I’ve heard God speak my name on many occasions when I had the audacity to judge someone for their sin!

Let’s sweep our own doorstep first…ask Jesus to clean up our own sin, before we try to clean someone else up.  When you’re praying about and for the sins of others…pray about and for your own sin first!  Remember the saying…“But for the grace of God, there go I!”  I don’t know about you…but I have no business throwing stones at anyone!

Anita

Rebellion and Restoration: sermon Notes by Pastor Daniel Leavitt

A Letter To The Gathering

1 Corinthians 10The Message (MSG)

10 1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

 

14 So, my very dear friends, when you see people reducing God to something they can use or control, get out of their company as fast as you can.

15-18 I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. That’s basically what happened even in old Israel—those who ate the sacrifices offered on God’s altar entered into God’s action at the altar.

19-22 Do you see the difference? Sacrifices offered to idols are offered to nothing, for what’s the idol but a nothing? Or worse than nothing, a minus, a demon! I don’t want you to become part of something that reduces you to less than yourself. And you can’t have it both ways, banqueting with the Master one day and slumming with demons the next. Besides, the Master won’t put up with it. He wants us—all or nothing. Do you think you can get off with anything less?

23-24 Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.

25-28 With that as a base to work from, common sense can take you the rest of the way. Eat anything sold at the butcher shop, for instance; you don’t have to run an “idolatry test” on every item. “The earth,” after all, “is God’s, and everything in it.” That “everything” certainly includes the leg of lamb in the butcher shop. If a nonbeliever invites you to dinner and you feel like going, go ahead and enjoy yourself; eat everything placed before you. It would be both bad manners and bad spirituality to cross-examine your host on the ethical purity of each course as it is served. On the other hand, if he goes out of his way to tell you that this or that was sacrificed to god or goddess so-and-so, you should pass. Even though you may be indifferent as to where it came from, he isn’t, and you don’t want to send mixed messages to him about who you are worshiping.

 

29-30 But, except for these special cases, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells worrying about what small-minded people might say; I’m going to stride free and easy, knowing what our large-minded Master has already said. If I eat what is served to me, grateful to God for what is on the table, how can I worry about what someone will say? I thanked God for it and he blessed it!

31-33 So eat your meals heartily, not worrying about what others say about you—you’re eating to God’s glory, after all, not to please them. As a matter of fact, do everything that way, heartily and freely to God’s glory. At the same time, don’t be callous in your exercise of freedom, thoughtlessly stepping on the toes of those who aren’t as free as you are. I try my best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings in all these matters; I hope you will be, too.

 

Let’s Go Back

Judges (Shoftim)

ISREAL’S REBELLION

After Joshua

The Death of Joshua

6 After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them. 7 And the Israelites served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the Lord had done for Israel.

8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. 9 They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at Timnath-serah[b] in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

Israel Disobeys the Lord

10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

11 The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. 12 They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord. 13 They abandoned the Lord to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth. 14 This made the Lord burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them. 15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress.

 

Judges 2:18-19The Message (MSG)

When God was setting up judges for them, he would be right there with the judge: He would save them from their enemies’ oppression as long as the judge was alive, for God was moved to compassion when he heard their groaning because of those who afflicted and beat them. But when the judge died, the people went right back to their old ways—but even worse than their parents!—running after other gods, serving and worshiping them. Stubborn as mules, they didn’t drop a single evil practice.

 

Judges 3:7

Othniel

Judges 3:7

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

False Gods in Judges

Ashtoreth

Also called Astarte, or Ashtoroth (plural), this goddess of the Canaanites was connected with fertility and maternity.

Worship of Ashtoreth was strong at Sidon.  She was sometimes called a consort or companion of Baal.  King Solomon, influenced by his foreign wives, fell into Ashtoreth worship, which led to his downfall.

Baal

The Canaanites worshiped Baal as the sun god and as the storm god—he is usually depicted holding a lightning bolt—who defeated enemies and produced crops. They also worshiped him as a fertility god who provided children. Baal worship was rooted in sensuality and involved ritualistic prostitution in the temples. At times, appeasing Baal required human sacrifice, usually the firstborn of the one making the sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). The priests of Baal appealed to their god in rites of wild abandon which included loud, ecstatic cries and self-inflicted injury (1 Kings 18:28).

Dagon

This god of the Philistines had the body of a fish and a human head and hands in its statues.  Dagon was a god of water and grain.  Samson, the Hebrew judge, met his death at the temple of Dagon.

In 1 Samuel 5:1-5, after the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant, they placed it in their temple next to Dagon.  The next day Dagon’s statue was toppled to the floor.  They set it upright, and the next morning it was again on the floor, with the head and hands broken off.  Later, the Philistines put King Saul‘s armor in their temple and hung his severed head in the temple of Dagon.

Put Off Old Practices

Colossians 3:9 New International Version

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

The Ammonites Oppress Israel

6 Again the Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight. They served the images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. They abandoned the Lord and no longer served him at all. 7 So the Lord burned with anger against Israel, and he turned them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites, 8 who began to oppress them that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites east of the Jordan River in the land of the Amorites (that is, in Gilead). 9 The Ammonites also crossed to the west side of the Jordan and attacked Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim.

The Israelites were in great distress. 10 Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”

11 The Lord replied, “Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, 12 the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me for help, and I rescued you. 13 Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!”

15 But the Israelites pleaded with the Lord and said, “We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies.” 16 Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the Lord. And he was grieved by their misery.

 

The 12 Judges

Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson

Hebrews 11:32-38The Message (MSG)

32-38 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.

 

SAMSON the “NAZIRITE”

Mark 14:22-25New International Version (NIV)

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

 

PAUL the “Nazirite”

Acts 18:18Contemporary English Version (CEV)

18 After Paul had stayed for a while with the Lord’s followers in Corinth, he told them good-by and sailed on to Syria with Aquila and Priscilla. But before he left, he had his head shaved at Cenchreae because he had made a promise to God.

 

 

GOOD GRIEF

2 Corinthians 7:9-10New Living Translation (NLT)

9 Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 10 For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

 

DO YOUR OWN THING

Judges 21:25: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.”

 

Isaiah 53:6    New Living Translation

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

 

FULFILLING LOVE:

The following is a selection from one of my books called, “The Greatest of these is Love.”  It was given to me by one of my good friends that has since gone on to be with the Lord.  She was my boss to begin with, and we had a pretty rocky start…we were both very out-spoken and had no problem expressing ourselves to each other.  This did not make for a good beginning…but God showed both of us that love and forgiveness was what He wanted.  We ended up being the best of friends.  She gave me this book shortly before she passed on to Glory.-anita

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For Others:  Luke 4:18

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”

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Once in a while someone lives a beautiful and totally unselfish life–“Just for Others”.  As if their only prayers were “Lord, let me live for others.  Let me knock on every door and mend every troubled heart”.

To them every individual in their life, regardless of relationship or compatibility, is a friend from God.  They feel, if they fail to love and serve them, they hurt the GIVER first.

Our Savior gave HIS ALL upon a rugged cross tor OTHERS!

 

By:  The Bible/ Hazel Hoffman/ and Audrey McDaniel

YOU ARE WITH ME…

Today, when I woke up, my heart was heavy.  I have been praying about, and for many things from God.  I’ve seen a ‘move’ but nothing significant…nothing is resolved as yet.  Some of these things are for me, some for friends, some for folks I don’t even know; but my spirit was tired…low.  Then, I drew the following promise from my box.  This really put things into perspective for me…hope it does the same for you!

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”  WHY?  “For YOU (oh Lord) are with me!” Psalm 23

Here is a little poem that was attached:

“When the woes of life o’er take me,

Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,

Never shall the cross forsake me;

Lo!  It glows with peace and joy.” -Unknown

TRUST JESUS…HE’S GOT YOUR BACK!

Anita

GLIMPSES OF GOD’S MYSTERIES…

Yesterday, after reading my blog post, one of my friends sent me an email saying:  “What an incredible experience to be a part of!”    I’m sure he was speaking of the part where I told about hearing wings, and knowing the angels had come to take my grandfather away to Heaven. That statement of his, jarred my memory;  I began to remember many ‘mysteries’ that God has let me see a glimpse of and take part in.  In I Corinthians 15:51-53, we see that God imparted a glimpse…a mystery to the apostle Paul.  It was concerning us, the saved, being changed in the moment, in the twinkling of an eye; it was God showing him that death would be swallowed up in victory  through Christ Jesus!

I remember one time in particular.  Let me preface the following by saying, I was brought up in a Baptist home.  My dad was a Baptist preacher for over 40 years.  So I learned a lot about the Bible, its doctrines, etc.  Baptists acknowledge the Holy Spirit, and even accredit Him to being able to “seal us unto the day of redemption.”  However, many of them believe that the out-pouring, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit has ceased in this present time.

My husband and I began to attend a Pentecostal church in our early years of marriage.  There, my eyes were opened to the Holy Spirit, and I was convinced on many occasions, that He was still at work here…NOW.  I want to relate one experience I had that convinced me of this early on.

Shortly after we begin attending this Pentecostal church, I was driving down the street one day right there by the college–Denver University.  There was a car in front of me with bumper stickers plastered all over the back stating things about “The Goddess”.  I felt so sad in my spirit for this person who undoubtedly knew nothing of Jesus and His salvation, so I began to pray for the person driving the car.  It was Summer time, so my window was down.  We were at a stop-light, so I put my hand out the window, and began to pray.  I prayed that the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself to this person and bring her out of darkness.  All of a sudden, she stuck her head out the window and screamed at me, “Stop it!  YOU!  Stop praying for me!”  WOW!  That made me a believer!  There was no way she could have heard me praying for her.  It WAS the Holy Spirit dealing with her.  I was so excited, when the light turned green, I stayed on her tail for a few blocks and kept praying for her.  I remember I said out loud: “Sic her Lord!”

Is the Holy Spirit done here?  I don’t think so.  Every time we see a soul come to Jesus…that is His (the Holy Spirit) convicting power at work.

Thank you Lord for letting me be a part of one of your many mysteries!

By:  Anita Mondragon 2016

FOR GRANDPA KOEHN…

The following poem is my very first attempt at writing poetry.  I wrote it whenwell-done I was about 20 years old.  My parents and I were on the mission field in Mexico, and had to return because my grandfather’s health had turned for the worse.

I recall the day he passed into Glory…it was bittersweet.  He was in a hospital room in a small town in Kansas.  My mom and I were the only two in the room when the angels came to take him away.  He had been in a coma, no expression on his face whatsoever.  My mom was praying, asking God to ease his suffering; I was watching him…looking for signs of improvement.  All of a sudden, my mom stopped praying…she heard the same thing I did, a deafening sound of wings in the room.  My grandfather opened his eyes, and there was a huge smile on his face.  He raised his arms towards Heaven, and sat up.  He was staring at the ceiling.  He wasn’t even aware that my mom and I were there.  He was looking at something ‘unseen’ to us.  Then he closed his eyes, and with peace on his face, fell back on the pillow.  He was gone…

At that very instant, a baby boy down the hall was born.  I remembered what my grandmother used to say…”One dies…one is born.”

I wrote this poem, and it was read at his funeral, at the Lone Tree church in Kansas.-anita

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Outside a window, a robin sings in the sunshine of a new morn.

There’s happiness in the hearts of some, for a man-child is being born.

But in a cold, dark hospital room, my grandpa lies…he’s dying.

So short his breath, you scarce can hear;  The angels must be very near.

We cry and weep, but we should see…he’s better off than you and me!

For he’s gone  to Heaven to be with his Lord;  He’s seen His side, where the blood outpoured.

He’s seen His nail-scarred hands, and feet;  He’s seen His blessed face, so sweet.

He’s heard Him say, “Well done, my son.  Your life is over, your race is run.”

He’s seen the beautiful streets of gold;  The things that were mysteries, have now been told.

No suffering, sighing…not a care!  Only peace and joy and comfort and love;

These are the things that are up above.

Where our blessed Lord is preparing a place for those who have finished and won their race.

He’s happy up there with his Savior near;  He’s heard all the things that we long to hear.

He’s seen all the things that we long to see;  Yes!  I know that he’s better off, than you and me!

By:  Anita Mondragon 1972

 

NAUGHT CAN ALARM

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”  James 4:17 KJV

I can’t tell you how many times I heard this verse growing up!  It was the, “go to” verse when my brother and I did something we KNEW we weren’t supposed to do…but did it anyway, and then had to pay the consequence.

The other thing I remember about ALL the, “Therefore…” verses in the Bible, was my dad’s constant advice.  He always said, “If a verse starts out with the word therefore… you need to go back to the verse/verses before it and see what it’s there for!  So let’s go back a verse or two, and see what it says…

James 4The Message (MSG)

Get Serious

1-2 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill to get it. You want what isn’t yours and will risk violence to get your hands on it.

2-3 You wouldn’t think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you’d be asking for what you have no right to. You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.

4-6 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”

7-10 So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

11-12 Don’t bad-mouth each other, friends. It’s God’s Word, his Message, his Royal Rule, that takes a beating in that kind of talk. You’re supposed to be honoring the Message, not writing graffiti all over it. God is in charge of deciding human destiny. Who do you think you are to meddle in the destiny of others?

Nothing but a Wisp of Fog

13-15 And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”

16-17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil.

The Message (MSG)Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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Verse 17, is the verse I drew from my Promise Box this morning.  When you read the WHOLE chapter above, it puts the last verse into perspective.  The first two verses pretty much tell us why the world is in its current state:

 Where do you think all these appalling wars and quarrels come from? Do you think they just happen? Think again. They come about because you want your own way, and fight for it deep inside yourselves. You lust for what you don’t have and are willing to kill  to get it…”

Today…and every day we get up, we need to ask God to keep the things that are right before us, and not stray from doing them.  Like Bob Jones Sr. said, “Let us do what is right…even if the stars fall from Heaven…do what is right!”

Anita

HERE’S A QUIZ…

The following excerpt comes from a book by Max Lucado, entitled, Mocha with Max.  It is SO good…I must share it with you!  As you read this…think about Jesus.  He was so concerned about you and me…He died to set us free!-anita

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Max says, and I quote:

“Now I see why powerful people often wear sunglasses–the spotlight blinds them to reality.  They suffer from a delusion that power means something (it doesn’t).  They are under the impression that earthly authority will make a heavenly difference (it won’t).

Can I prove my point?  Take this quiz.

Name the ten wealthiest men in the world.

Name the last then Heisman trophy winners.

Name the last ten winners of the Miss America contest.

Name eight people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

How about the last ten Academy Award winners for best picture or the last decade’s worth of World Series winners?

How did you do?  I didn’t do well either.  Suprising how quickly we forget, isn’t it?  And these are the best in their fields.  But the applause dies.  Awards tarnish.  Achievements are forgotten.

 

Here’s another quiz.  See how you do on this one.

Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.

Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile.

Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time.

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

Easier?  It was for me, too.  The lesson?  The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the ones with the concern. –And the Angels were silent

By:  Max Lucado

Joshua: Faith Revealed

God’s History Book

 

Joshua and Caleb

 

So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt

Numbers 14  (NIV)

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness!

 

Numbers 14:7-12The Message (MSG)

6-9 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, members of the scouting party, ripped their clothes and addressed the assembled People of Israel: “The land we walked through and scouted out is a very good land—very good indeed. If God is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land that flows, as they say, with milk and honey. And he’ll give it to us. Just don’t rebel against God! And don’t be afraid of those people. Why, we’ll have them for lunch! They have no protection and God is on our side. Don’t be afraid of them!”

 

 

 

Joshua 2 Joshua’s Faithfulness (Rahab)

Joshua 2:14 (NLT)

“We offer our own lives as a guarantee for your safety,” the men agreed. “If you don’t betray us, we will keep our promise and be kind to you when the Lord gives us the land.”

 

Joshua 4   Trumpets

 

Joshua 4:24 (NRSV)

24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, and so that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

 

 

Joshua 24  (MSG)

24 1-2 Joshua called together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He called in the elders, chiefs, judges, and officers. They presented themselves before God. Then Joshua addressed all the people:

2-6 “This is what God, the God of Israel, says: A long time ago your ancestors, Terah and his sons Abraham and Nahor, lived to the east of the River Euphrates. They worshiped other gods. I took your ancestor Abraham from the far side of The River. I led him all over the land of Canaan and multiplied his descendants. I gave him Isaac. Then I gave Isaac Jacob and Esau. I let Esau have the mountains of Seir as home, but Jacob and his sons ended up in Egypt. I sent Moses and Aaron. I hit Egypt hard with plagues and then led you out of there. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt. You came to the sea, the Egyptians in hot pursuit with chariots and cavalry, to the very edge of the Red Sea!

7-10 “Then they cried out for help to God. He put a cloud between you and the Egyptians and then let the sea loose on them. It drowned them.

“You watched the whole thing with your own eyes, what I did to Egypt. And then you lived in the wilderness for a long time. I brought you to the country of the Amorites, who lived east of the Jordan, and they fought you. But I fought for you and you took their land. I destroyed them for you. Then Balak son of Zippor made his appearance. He was the king of Moab. He got ready to fight Israel by sending for Balaam son of Beor to come and curse you. But I wouldn’t listen to Balaam—he ended up blessing you over and over! I saved you from him.

11 “You then crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The Jericho leaders ganged up on you as well as the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, but I turned them over to you.

12 “I sent the Hornet ahead of you. It drove out the two Amorite kings—did your work for you. You didn’t have to do a thing, not so much as raise a finger.

13 “I handed you a land for which you did not work, towns you did not build. And here you are now living in them and eating from vineyards and olive groves you did not plant.

14 “So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.

15 “If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today, (worship money, . Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God.”

16 The people answered, “We’d never forsake God! Never! We’d never leave God to worship other gods.

17-18 “God is our God! He brought up our ancestors from Egypt and from slave conditions. He did all those great signs while we watched. He has kept his eye on us all along the roads we’ve traveled and among the nations we’ve passed through. Just for us he drove out all the nations, Amorites and all, who lived in the land.

“Count us in: We too are going to worship God. He’s our God.”

19-20 Then Joshua told the people: “You can’t do it; you’re not able to worship God. He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He won’t put up with your fooling around and sinning. When you leave God and take up the worship of foreign gods, he’ll turn right around and come down on you hard. He’ll put an end to you—and after all the good he has done for you!”

21 But the people told Joshua: “No! No! We worship God!”

22 And so Joshua addressed the people: “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen God for yourselves—to worship him.”

And they said, “We are witnesses.”

23 Joshua said, “Now get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you. Say an unqualified Yes to God, the God of Israel.”

24 The people answered Joshua, “We will worship God. What he says, we’ll do.”

  1. Rest

 

Hebrews 4:8 MSG

Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. 9 So there is a special rest[f] still waiting for the people of God. 10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

 

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

 

God is faithful to His promises

Hebrews 4:8 MSG

Now if Joshua had succeeded in giving them this rest, God would not have spoken about another day of rest still to come. 9 So there is a special rest[f] still waiting for the people of God. 10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.

 

12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DON’T JUST SAY IT…LIVE IT!

A lot of folks call themselves a Christian, but being a Christian actually means, “To be Christ-like.”  Are you… Christ-like, I mean?  Sadly, I must admit that most times, I am not like Christ at all!

Jesus was a simple man.  He didn’t wear clothes that would make him stand out in a crowd.  He didn’t adorn Himself with jewels, although He made every precious stone there is.  He didn’t demand those around Him to address Him as, Sir…or Your Highness; no, He was simply “Jesus.”

All kinds of folks invited Him over to eat; the very rich, and even the lowest of the low-the tax collectors.  In fact, one tax collector named, Zacchaeus, didn’t invite HIM…Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house!  He allowed a common harlot to wash His feet with her tears of repentance.  He cooked fish on an open fire for His friends.  When people spoke to Him…He listened to them like He had all the time in the world.  By the way, He still listens to you like that when you pray!  He’s the kind of friend you’d always invite back!

He didn’t have a job that paid Him $100,000.00 a year…He was a carpenter.  He wasn’t angry or upset when Mary mistook Him for the gardener.  He washed His disciples feet.  He had no permanent home to go to.  He said regarding His homeless state, and I paraphrase…”Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man (Jesuphil-23s) has no where to lay His head.”

Every morning, He brings us a beautiful sunrise.  Every Sunday He invites us to sit at His table and be fed by His Word.  His ear is always open to hear our requests.  And the most amazing thing of all…He dwells in the hearts of those that call on His name and ask for salvation!

Jesus honors ALL mankind.  Afterall, He made us in His own image and He died to save us.  We are His priority.

We need to honor others and make them our priority as well.  That is being “Christ-like.”  That means…don’t “Hog” the spotlight…share the applause.  Be willing to come out of your comfort zone and care for those in need.  If you are wealthy, or in a high position, take time to talk to those who are not.  Look the homeless person in the eye…talk to them with dignity…listen to their response.

Regard others more than yourself!  Jesus does…so does love!

Anita Mondragon