God's Faith-filled People - Blazing a Trail for Future Generations - Wednesday, August 30th

God's Faith-filled People - Blazing a Trail for Future Generations - Wednesday, August 30th

So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says …. The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.” So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground. Joshua 3:9, 13-17

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:9-12

Listen, O my people, to my instruction; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God. Psalm 78:1-8

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

The journey of our lives includes special junctures that we seek to reach and how often the last stretch for getting to those junctures requires the overcoming of a significant obstacle. This was the case for the Israelites. The significant obstacle looming before them that must be overcome before entering the promised land was getting an entire nation across the overflowing Jordan River. The Lord revealed the way He would provide for them to get across. When the feet of the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant would touch the water at the river’s edge the waters of the Jordan River would part for all of them to cross into the promised land. What happens next is where we see “living by faith” modeled for us. We are told the people left their camp (by faith) to cross the Jordan. We are also told that the priests were out in front of them and that they stepped into the water (by faith) and the waters were parted. The people crossed over (by faith) while passing by the priests who stood (by faith) in the middle of the riverbed on dry ground. Ultimately, the whole nation of Israel crossed the Jordan River onto the dry ground of the promised land. Truly the journey of getting to and entering the promised land was a wonderful exercise in “living by faith.”

Just as the generation that died in the wilderness was an example of unbelief to the new generation that Joshua led into the promised land over the Jordan River, so this new generation was an example of “living by faith” to their children, to subsequent generations, and even to us today. We see in the Scripture above that God calls us to be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Living by faith must permeate every aspect of our walk with God individually and collectively. When we look back at the relocation of our church a few years ago, we readily see that “living by faith” permeated the entire process. The vision of our church at that time saw our new facility as a means for positioning ourselves to reach and equip people with true faith in ever increasing numbers for generations to come. And now we see that we have been fulfilling this vision and we have been reaching people in increasing numbers. May it be that we remain positioned to do so for years to come. May we so “live by faith” in this regard that again and again in the words of the Scripture above, “children yet to be born will arise and tell to their children the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done – may they tell them to put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments and not be like some past generations who were stubborn and rebellious, did not prepare their hearts, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, help me to faithfully share your praises, your strength, and your wondrous works which you have done. May I be a faithful example of one who thoroughly puts my confidence in you and keeps your commandments fully. Thank you for the blessing of being a part of a church that is increasingly reaching people for Christ, is positioned to do so for generations to come, and consistently seeks to “live by faith” and stand on your promises together. Amen!

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