What I read today;

1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 23; Isaiah 23; Job 23; Joshua 23; Genesis 23

When I take the time to look back over my life, I can see the guiding hand of God.  Even in those moments when I made mistakes, God used them for good.  It’s hard to understand what God is doing while you are in the midst of the struggle.  It’s good to sit and reflect on how God has been to us over our lifetimes.

Joshua is nearing the end of his life.  He takes this moment as an opportunity to remind the people of Israel of what God has done for them and what he requires of them.

In Joshua 23, Joshua moves along as follows:

In vs. 1-4, Joshua reminds the people that God is the one who pushed out all the nations that have been removed so far.  The Israelites weren’t a nation when they left Egypt.  They were a ragtag group of misfits who God pulled out of slavery and made a nation.  They had no army or military training to speak of.  Yet they were able to push out mighty nations and kings throughout the middle east.  Only God could have accomplished this.

In vs. 5, Joshua reminds the people that God has promised to continue removing the remaining nations out.  His promise is never-ending and won’t change.

In vs.6-11, Joshua gives the people God’s requirement of them.  Remain steadfast and follow the law of God.  Follow God’s word, and things will work out.  The real requirement of all of this is found in vs. 11, “Be very careful, therefore, to love the Lord your God.”  Loving God, above all else, is the key to our very existence.  It is the cornerstone of our relationship with God.  It’s not the mighty things we do, or how well we follow God’s law, or how our devotional life is or our worship life.  These things in and of themselves are important, but the accurate measure of our lives when we take our final breath is, did we love God!  If we love God, all the rest will fall into place.

Finally, in vs. 12-16, Joshua reminds the people that they have free will to choose.  They can choose to follow God, or they can choose to follow society.  It’s up to them.  If they decide to follow God, he promises blessings of peace and joy and ultimately salvation in eternity.  If they choose not to follow God and turn away from him, then they can lose that salvation, and God will turn his back on them.

We have a choice.  We can love God, or we can love the world we live in.  It’s our choice, but choosing God is the only choice that brings with it God’s blessings and salvation.  Choose God today!

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