God makes one strong and courageous
God requires all His children to be strong and courageous
(Jos. 1:9; 1Cor. 16:13). His ever-abiding presence is the basis for
and courage of His children (see Jos. 1:9; Deut. 31:6, 8; Matt. 14:27;
Acts 4:13; Acts 18:9-10). It is because He is ever present with His
children that they can be strong and courageous (Jos. 1:9; Acts 18:9-10).
there can be no strength and courage without His ever-abiding presence
(cf. Jos. 7:10-12). There can be no courage without or outside of Him
(see Jos. 7:10-12).
Christians need strength and courage to succeed in the Christian life
or race (see Jos. 1:6; Deut. 31:7; 1Cor. 16:13). Without these attributes
there would be no successful or victorious Christian living (see Jos.
1:6; Deut. 31:7). No Christian can accomplish anything without strength
and courage. Sin can cause someone to lose his strength and courage
(see Jos. 7:10-12). Anyone who truly desires strength and courage must
sin completely away from his life and cultivate the ever-abiding presence
of God (see Jos. 7:10-12).
PRAYER: Father, please make me strong and courageous.
Nothing will be able to stand up against us
God promised Joshua that no one will be able to stand
up against him all his days (Jos. 1:5). He fulfilled this promise
by enabling Joshua
to conquer all the nations in his way and take possession of their
lands (see Jos. 23:9-10). This promise does not belong to Joshua alone,
it belongs to all the obedient children of God (see Matt. 28:20).
is God’s responsibility to keep and deliver all His obedient children
from those who rise up against them. He alone can discharge this
responsibility (Ps. 127:1-2). The security of His obedient children is in His
(Ps. 127:1-2). With this promise, He has taken full responsibility
for the security of all His obedient children (Jos. 1:5).
This promise is part of His blessings for His obedient children (see
Deut. 28:7). And only His obedient children are entitled to it (see
Deut. 28:1-7). The disobedient are not entitled to it. With this
security of God’s obedient children is guaranteed. They need
not worry about their own security (Jos. 1:5; Deut. 28:7).
PRAYER: Father, please let no one or nothing stand
up against me all the days of my life as you promised.
God keeps his promise
God promised Joshua to give him every place he sets
his foot (Jos. 1:3). He fulfilled this promise by bringing the
to the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua (see Jos. 23:9-10,
14). Nothing was able to stand in the way of His promise (see Jos. 1:5),
for nothing indeed is impossible with Him (Num. 23:19). This promise belongs
to all God’s obedient children (Deut. 28:1-14; Ps. 1:1-3).
As He did for Joshua and the Israelites, He is ready to bring
all His obedient
children to His destinies for them (Lk. 1:37; Jos. 23:9-10).
His obedient children can count on Him to bring them to what
He ordained for them
(cf. Ps. 139:16). Nothing whatever can prevent Him from fulfilling
His destinies for His obedient children. Our duty is to obey
Him fully (Deut.
28:1-2; Jos. 23:11). It is His duty to fulfill the promises He
made to us. For all His obedient children, all His promises are
yes in Christ
Jesus (2 Cor.1:20). This promise does not belong to the disobedient
(see Jos. 23:12-13; Deut. 28:15-68).
PRAYER: Father, please give me every place I set my
foot as you did for Joshua and the Israelites.
God equips His children
It is God who equips His children for life and service
(Exod. 35:30-35; Eph. 4:11-13; 1 Kgs. 4:29-34). The responsibility
to equip is His
alone. He equipped Bezalel and Oholiab for the work of the tabernacle (Exod.
35:30-35) as well as Solomon for his work as King (1Kgs. 4:29-34).
He equips His children with various skills and abilities (see Rom. 12:6-8;
1Cor. 12:4-31; Eph. 4:7-13). All skills and abilities come from
Him (see Heb. 13:20: 20-21). No one else can equip except He (see
We must use the skills and abilities God has given us for His
purpose alone (see Rom. 12:6-8; 1Cor. 12:4-13; Eph. 4:11-13; 1Pet.
We are accountable to God for the skills and abilities He has given
us (see Matt. 25:14-30). Of all God’s gift, the greatest
to be desired is love (see 1 Cor. 13:1-13). Anyone who desires
God to equip him must
ask Him to do so (see Jam. 1:5-8).
PRAYER: Father, please equip me most
adequately for life and service.
The Lord restores those who return to Him
Moses told the Israelites, that if they returned to
God and obeyed Him with all their heart and soul after they have
forsaken Him, He
their fortunes, have compassion on them and bring them back to
their land (Deut. 30:1-5). They must return with all their heart
30:2). When they do so, the Lord will gather them from wherever
them (Deut. 30:3-4). This is an everlasting decree. The decree
is the same for us today as it was for them. Forsaking the Lord and
Him is the reason for the Lord’s displeasure and wrath (Deut. 11:28;
Deut. 28:15-68). Returning to Him with all of one’s heart
is the basis or condition for forgiveness and restoration (Duet.
28:1-14; Ps. 119:2; Acts 3:19-20). There is neither forgiveness
nor restoration for those who persist in forsaking and disobeying
the Lord (Deut. 11:28;
Deut. 28:15-68; Heb. 10:26-31).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to return to you
and obey you with all my heart
2. Father, please restore all my fortunes according to your promise.
2 Thess. 1:6-7
God’s pay back time for the persecuted
Believers often worry about when God will avenge their
persecutors and tormentors (see Rev. 6:9-11). Here, Paul indicates
the time when
God will do so for the Thessalonian believers (2 Thess. 1:6-7). According
to him, this pay back will take place at the second coming of Jesus
Christ (2 Thess. 1:6-7; cf. Acts 17:31). Does Paul mean that those
who persecute and afflict the Thessalonian believers will not receive
God’s pay back in any form until they receive it at Jesus’ return?
Paul’s focus is on the fullness of God’s pay back which
will take place when Jesus returns. Those who persecute the Thessalonian
believers are already objects of God’s wrath (cf. Rom. 1:18-19).
But the fullness of God’s pay back against them will take place
when Jesus returns. This is applicable to all believers who may be
persecuted and afflicted. God will pay back those who persecute and
afflict them fully when Jesus returns. Even if God does not pay them
back fully now, He will certainly do so when Jesus returns (see Acts
17:31; 2 Cor. 5:10). But as vengeance is His, so is its timing (see
Rom. 12:17-21). Suffering believers must leave not only vengeance
but its timing to God (Rom. 12:17-21; 1 Pet. 2:21-23).
PRAYER: 1. Father, please take care of all who persecute
and afflict me.
2. Father, please enable me to entrust all vengeance to you.
The Lord circumcises His children’s hearts
In his farewell address to the Israelites, Moses told
them that the Lord will circumcise their hearts and those of their
they return to Him and obey Him with all their heart and soul after
forsaking Him (Deut. 30:6). Their life depended on it (Deut. 30:6).
A circumcised heart is one that yields completely to God (see Deut.
6:5; cf. Deut. 10:16; Deut. 30:6). The purpose for circumcising their
hearts is to enable them to love the Lord with all their heart and
soul (Deut. 30:6). An uncircumcised heart cannot please God (see
Rom. 8:7-8). Only a circumcised heart can please Him (Deut. 30:6).
requires a circumcised heart (Deut. 10:16). Our life depends on it
(see Deut. 30:6). But no one can circumcise his own heart. Only the
Lord can circumcise it (Deut. 30:6). If anyone desires to have a
circumcised heart as the Lord requires (Deut. 10:16), he must return
to the Lord
and obey Him with all his heart and soul (Deut. 30:1-5). Once this
is done, the Lord will do the other. The Lord will not circumcise
the heart that is unwilling to return to Him and obey Him fully.
PRAYER: 1. Father, please enable me to return to you
and obey you with all my heart and soul.
2. Father, please circumcise my heart.