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The story of Joshua is one we should all learn from. As a young man he watched and learned from Moses, whose story is equally amazing. Born with a golden spoon in his mouth, he blew it all in a fit of rage. Then he ran for his life only to be called into service by God to lead a rebellious, stubborn people to a land he would never enter himself because of … a fit of rage.

Enter Joshua. He’d stood with Moses through much of the wilderness wandering In the midst of seeing Moses’ failures, he saw a God of power, strength, provision, holiness, and most of all, grace!

Chapter one of the book that bears his name is, in a sense, God’s motivational speech in the locker room before the big game.

He reminded Joshua that he should be strong and courageous. Not because of Joshua’s strength but because he was chosen by God for this task. ““Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Joshua‬ ‭1:6

He was reminded Joshua that his power would come through his obedience to God’s directives, not because of any knowledge or wisdom he had within himself. Be strong and very courageous. Success in God’s kingdoms comes from obedience. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Joshua‬ ‭1:7

He reminded Joshua that no matter how bad it gets on the field, God is by his side reminding him of the game plan that would never fail. No matter how hopeless the situation, Joshua was God’s man and was never alone. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua‬ ‭1:9

God reassured Joshua that there would be those who would rise up against him. Whenever you are doing God’s work, there will be those who oppose you. The closer you grow to God, the more his power will be evident and the more his power is evident, the more people will try to pull you down. But don’t spend your time defending yourself. God’s got your back. Just do what you do. Anyone who rebels against your orders and does not obey your words and everything you command will be put to death. So be strong and courageous!”” Joshua‬ ‭1:18‬ ‭

Are you up against a struggle? Does the future hold lots of questions and possibilities? Are you being oppressed by fear?

Be Strong. Be Courageous. With God on your side, failure isn’t an option.


Uncertainty is a great crippler of change.

How much easier would it be to choose a new career if we knew it would bring us total fulfillment? How much more confident would we be in choosing a mate, raising a family and planning for retirement if God gave us a white sheet detailing every aspect of our future.

In our human finiteness we can’t possibly know what the future holds. It’s as though we walk through a wilderness with no path to follow, no landmarks to guarantee we aren’t simply walking in circles. It’s like pushing through the underbrush of the forest, being scratched and confused along the way.

Here’s the good news. When you put your faith in God and follow his lead, you can be assured of reaching the promised land. That doesn’t mean there won’t be times of doubt or times of confusion, but even in those times you can be assured he is walking through life with you.

He’s ready to do something new in your life. He’s blazed the trail. He’s provided rivers of provision. The question isn’t if his way is best, the question is, are you ready to make that first step. Books written begin by picking up the pen. Journey’s start with the first step. Seeing God work in mighty ways won’t happen until you step out of the boat.

Are you ready to follow his path out of the wilderness in faith?


Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel. 2 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)

Just two little words but they mean all the difference in the world. Two little words that can change how we push forward during those times of grief when a dearly loved person dies and leaves us with a huge hole in our lives, a hole that will never be completely filled.

Two little words that give us strength to endure a relationship that is far from fulfilling; that shatters our dreams; that saps our lives of the energy we need to use our gifts to reach the potential long buried under the sands of time.

Two little words that offer hope as we kneel by the bed of a sick child, or read a letter from a distant son or daughter. Two little words that help us see new light in the midst of old struggle.

Remember Jesus.

Remember the one who promised he would never ever leave you or forsake you. Remember the one who lifts you up, looks you in the eye and says gently, “Then neither do I condemn thee.” Remember the one who stops from his busy schedule to touch you so that you can see. Remember the one who cries with you, rejoices with you and encourages you on the way.

Sitting on the mantle in front of me as I write this is a US Flag folded into a triangle. It’s a special flag given to the families of veterans when they die. The flag is special. Not because of the nation it stands for, or the freedom that flag represents. It’s special because that flag was given when my dad died. Sitting beside that flag is a picture of dad. When I look at those two items there is almost always a memory of all he meant to me, and a reminder that someday we’ll be united again in glory.

Paul, in perhaps his final hours tells his young pastor friend to always remember Jesus. Always take him with you, remember that he is the basis for all we do. He is the motivation for our existence, indeed he is the very reason for our existence.

Take the banner of heaven with you today. Have a picture of Jesus placed firmly in your mind. Regardless of the hurdles you encounter on the journey, he will always be there with you. He’s the shoulder you can cry on; the friend you can vent to; the partner you can celebrate with. He loves you. Never ever forget that, and because of his great love for you, you are always on his mind.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have many challenges ahead of me today. Thank you for the promises you have given me of your constant companionship and unending love. Fill me with your Spirit and empower me to see your way on the journey. Help me remember you. Amen.


Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

In New Testament Palestine the Ox was the primary piece of equipment for the farmer. Attached to various loads by a yoke the ox would carry the burden of the farmer all day long.

When a young ox was in training it would be teamed up with an experienced ox with a double yoke. The straps on the experienced ox were bound tightly to the animal, while the straps for the younger ox were loose. In this way the bulk of the burden for the load was placed on the more experienced ox.

Jesus uses the picture of a yoke and oxen to teach us a lesson about his expectations of us and our assurance from him that he will walk beside us along the way.

There are times in our lives when we, either vocally or inside ourselves, voice the statement, “This is too much for me to bear. I can’t do this anymore.” Each of us carries a multitude of different burdens. Some of those burdens are ‘self-inflicted’ such as addictive behaviors, the affair we can’t leave, the pornography we can’t stay away from, the anger we can’t let go of, the person we refuse to forgive.

Other burdens we bear have been placed on us from other sources. The wounds of an abusive spouse or parent; the feelings of abandonment we harbor, even as an adult, because of parents who left us or were too busy with their career to tend to their families; the rules and regulations of religious dogma; the limitations due to health or age issues.

Whatever your burden is, whether self-inflicted or otherwise, Jesus’ promise is the same. He walks beside you. You may feel your burden is too great, but he is bearing the brunt of the load and feeling the majority of the pain.

As he walks the path with you remember that he is gentle, not demanding; understanding, not judgmental; grace-full, not critical. Jesus has no desire to make our lives burdensome and harsh. Because of his passionate love for us, Jesus comes alongside us to help us carry the burdens that weigh us down on the journey we call life.

What burden are you bearing today? Worry? Fear? Guilt? Shame? Disappointment? Physical burdens? Jesus wants to come alongside you to help ease your burden as you learn to walk with him and love him. He doesn’t promise to take the burden away, but he will never let you bear it alone. It’s good to have a friend like him to help along the way.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I have many friends and family that love me and encourage me. But none of them understand the weight of this burden I bear. Until now I’ve tried to carry it myself. I ask that you would walk beside me and help ease the load I carry. Amen.


Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

Why is it that we say ‘salvation is a free gift of God’ and then go on trying to earn it? Imagine if you gave someone you loved a gift, a very expensive gift that they could never repay. It wasn’t a birthday or Christmas or even a special occasion. You simply loved them and wanted to give them something.

From that point on, they continued to do all sorts of things for you. You would come home and your lawn was mowed. Every morning you were greeted at your car with a hot cup of your favorite coffee.

Would you feel your gift was cheapened? Would you tell your friend to stop trying to do so many things and just enjoy the gift? Of course you would.

Too many times in our lives as Christ-followers we become defeated and discouraged because we try as hard as we can to earn our forgiveness. When we fail we try harder and become even more discouraged. Sometimes we even give up the fight and say ‘what’s the use. I’ll never be a good Christ-follower.’

God didn’t give us the great gift of grace so we could be perfect. God gave us the gift of grace because he knew perfection would never happen in us. So even in times of failure we can live victoriously. Even when we rebel we know we can come back home. When we slip into sin we can always repent and come home to him. He doesn’t expect perfection. He isn’t surprised when you fail. He doesn’t hold a grudge. Your sin and weakness don’t cause him to turn his back on you. He will never, ever give up on you.

Stop trying to be the messiah. That job has been taken. Stop trying to be perfect. Only one person has ever done that and you won’t be the second one. Your past mistakes, no matter how terrible, can’t keep God’s power from working in you. His grace is all you need to live powerfully for him.

PRAYER: Father God, I’ve tried to live this Christian life in my own power for far too long. I can’t get it right. There are some issues I just can’t conquer on my own and I’m tired of trying. Forgive me of my attempts to go it alone. Empower me to rest on the fact that your grace is all I need to experience your power. In Jesus name, Amen.

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