Joshua 13:1-14:15 ~ Luke 18:1-17 ~ Psalm 85:1-13 ~ Proverbs 13:7-8
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Old Testament - Interesting - Joshua is an old man already here in chapter 13! Time is flying quite a bit faster in this book than our past readings about the life of Moses.... It's estimated that Joshua is between 90 and 100 years old in chapter 13 and Caleb is 85 years old. In chapter 14 verse 12 we read these words from Caleb to Joshua: "So give me the hill country that the Lord promised me." Below is a good image of the hill country of Judah that Caleb sought and received, courtesy of HolyLandPhotos.org:
In Joshua chapter 14 verses 1 & 2 today we read: "The remaining tribes of Israel inherited land in Canaan as allotted by Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the tribal leaders. These nine and a half tribes received their inheritance by means of sacred lots, in accordance with the LORD's command through Moses."
New Testament - The story of the persistent widow is fantastic! I love it... Verse 4 may be one of the most humorous verses in the Bible - "The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. `I fear neither God nor man,' he said to himself, `but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'" Great stuff! Jesus teaches that persistence pays off, which I think is very good to consider with our own faith journeys. Verse 1 is the moral of the story: "One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up." Do you pray constantly? Do you know that you must never give up?
The moral of the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in verse 14 is so important for each of us to remember in our faith journeys - "For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored." Anyone remember the old Jars of Clay song, "Faith Like a Child"? Great tune... That song and verses 15 - 17 in Luke chapter 18 today remind me that my faith does not have to be super-intellectual or super-mature or super-whatever. All that is needed is faith like a child - "One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch them and bless them, but the disciples told them not to bother him. Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn't have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.""
Bible.org's commentary on our Luke chapter 18 readings today titled "Piety, Persistence, Penitence, and Prayer" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 85 is awesome today! So many great verses.... I love verse 8 - "I listen carefully to what God the LORD is saying, for he speaks peace to his people, his faithful ones. But let them not return to their foolish ways." I like that thought - God speaks peace to his people. Are we listening carefully to what God is saying? Are we receiving his peace into our hearts? And so importantly - are we not returning to our foolish ways? Verse 6 reminds me of the Jeremy Camp tune "Revive Me", which is an amazing tune - "Won't you revive us again, so your people can rejoice in you?" Do you need God to revive you? Will you pray for revival?
Proverbs - Proverbs 13 verse 7 makes me wonder how we might be "pretending" in our lives today - "Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor." I wonder if really in some way all of us are pretending to be something we are not? I don't know if this will make sense - but I do know that sometimes I feel like an actor. A faker. A poser. And I know that the true path to being genuine and real is through a relationship with Jesus. True Sincerity comes from Christ alone. If we are confident in our faith in Jesus, we have absolutely no need to "pretend" or act like we are someone or something else.
Worship God: Today's readings in Luke 18:1 about never giving up on constant prayer reminded me of The City Harmonic's song "Manifesto:"
Are you singing along with this song? Click here and sing forever!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:16-17 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have faith like a child. Pray that you will enter the kingdom of God by coming to Jesus in faith.
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: Based on today's Proverb, are there any areas of your life where you are acting or pretending? Will you turn those pretensions over to Jesus and be confident in Jesus alone? Why do you think we pretend to be rich when we're not? Or pretend to be poor when we're not? Why do we pretend at all? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our One Year Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our One Year Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.