Possess the land!


Are you set to move forward for God? Are you set to take what God has given you? Are you prepared to step out in faith and become the person God desires and created you to be? Do you realize what Possess the and means? It is not a submissive thing, it requires action. It isn’t something you take for granted, you need to purpose and cause for it to happen. So let’s be bold and courageous and take what God has set in front of us to possess!

This past week has been incredible where God has opened a few doors of opportunity. In one case I was talking with a friend who is also the president of an incredible organization that focuses on ministering to foster kids. In our conversation we both got to share where we are at and our thoughts. He shared his vision and opportunities. I shared what my thoughts were. I have prayerfully considered the opportunities with my wife and I am going to step out and step forward into taking a director’s role within the organization in the area of teens. I have served for many years with him doing Royal Family Kids Camp and to be able to move forward and become the person he needs me to be requires I step up and step out to possess the land and learn about other areas of the organization. So I will be bold and courageous, not because of who I am, but because of how faithful God is and has been whenever He has called me into a leadership role in the past and I will trust Him and step in to everything that He has planned for me in this area.

The week didn’t end there…God’s plans are greater, God’s plans are better than anything we could ever ask or imagine. I later found myself in a position where I was asked to be on another board for troubled youth. As I was considering this and praying about it, I got a phone call. It was a call from my pastor who spoke to me about a board position at the church that had opened up, and that my name had come up as the person they thought would be able to fill it. Although, I completed the story for the first request, all three of the requests came to a front this week as I turned to God to make sure that whatever I decided I would be doing His will, not mine. It was all about Him and His plans for my life rather than about me. So I turned to Him, and that morning as He always does, my morning reading spoke right to my questions and opportunities. He provided me a checklist that allowed me to make the decision that I needed to make in regards to the three doors of opportunity. He has been able to make my daily reading from my chosen reading plan line up right to the very question(s) I have for Him. I don’t know how, but I know He is able to exceedingly, abundantly, more than we could ever ask or imagine! He is not limited to our ways He is so much great that I am always thankful and amazed!

So as I consider the two board positions, I have let my pastor know that I will accept that role on the board. I have let my other friend know that I won’t be able to join the board, but would be happy to use my technical background/experience to be able to be an advisor to their board. Now the hard part will begin! POSSESSING THE LAND!


Today, my morning reading is made up of the readings from Joshua that I left for today as my reading plan doesn’t have Sunday readings. Today’s readings come from Joshua 15-24.

Notes:

  • The territory is assigned
  • Possess the land, Be bold and courageous
  • If you don’t take everything that God gives to you to possess, you will be facing the nagging feeling from what you didn’t and have battles you never were meant or needed to deal with
  • Consider the land you are to possess! Take it all!
  • We see how the reading today that some were left even though God’s plan was to possess all of it!
  • History shows the impact of that action or inaction…disobedience to all God called them to do
  • Unknown areas need to be mapped out!
  • Go and figure out the unknown… what we don’t know that we don’t know
  • Make sure there is an area of rest and refuge, a safe place
  • God is faithful to His Word!
  • Israel Takes Possession of the Land

43So the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he had solemnly promised their ancestors he would give them. When they had taken possession of it, they settled down there. 44The Lord gave them peace throughout the land, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of all their enemies had been able to stand against them, because the Lord gave the Israelites the victory over all their enemies. 45The Lord kept every one of the promises that he had made to the people of Israel.
~from Joshua 21 (GNT)
  • Finish the work God has called you to do
  • God is for you and not against you
  • Obey and do everything that God has asked
  • Do not neglect any part of it
  • Be faithful to God
  • Do not forget all that He
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Ever arrived somewhere and gotten a response you weren’t expecting?


That happened was that you were confronted? Just got there, hadn’t started anything, but here they come right after you. Are you able to understand their intention? Do you know what they are really asking or wanting from you? What if it is…

What's the intent?

What if it is because they need your help and don’t even realize it?

Today’s reading starts with Jesus being confronted in an interesting way…

Jesus Heals a Man with Evil Spirits

(Matthew 8.28-34; Luke 8.26-39)
1Jesus and his disciples arrived on the other side of Lake Galilee, in the territory of Gerasa. 2As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, he was met by a man who came out of the burial caves there. This man had an evil spirit in him 3and lived among the tombs. Nobody could keep him tied with chains any more; 4many times his feet and his hands had been tied, but every time he broke the chains and smashed the irons on his feet. He was too strong for anyone to control him. 5Day and night he wandered among the tombs and through the hills, screaming and cutting himself with stones.
6He was some distance away when he saw Jesus; so he ran, fell on his knees before him, 7and screamed in a loud voice, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God! What do you want with me? For God’s sake, I beg you, don’t punish me!” ( 8He said this because Jesus was saying, “Evil spirit, come out of this man!”)
9So Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
The man answered, “My name is ‘Mob’—there are so many of us!” 10And he kept begging Jesus not to send the evil spirits out of that region.
11There was a large herd of pigs near by, feeding on a hillside. 12So the spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs, and let us go into them.” 13He let them go, and the evil spirits went out of the man and entered the pigs. The whole herd—about two thousand pigs in all—rushed down the side of the cliff into the lake and was drowned.
14The men who had been taking care of the pigs ran away and spread the news in the town and among the farms. People went out to see what had happened, 15and when they came to Jesus, they saw the man who used to have the mob of demons in him. He was sitting there, clothed and in his right mind; and they were all afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the man with the demons, and about the pigs.
17So they asked Jesus to leave their territory.
18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had had the demons begged him, “Let me go with you!”
19But Jesus would not let him. Instead, he told him, “Go back home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how kind he has been to you.”
20So the man left and went all through the Ten Towns, telling what Jesus had done for him. And all who heard it were amazed.
~from Mark 5 (GNT)

What if God wants to use you to help someone who isn’t even aware they need help? What if you are the one God has chosen to make a difference in the life of someone else? How will you respond? Will you ask God for wisdom? When you get direction, will you be obedient?

So do you know what to do? Do you know how to act? Do you know your rights and duties?

Rights and Duties of an Apostle

1Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? And aren’t you the result of my work for the Lord? 2Even if others do not accept me as an apostle, surely you do! Because of your life in union with the Lord you yourselves are proof of the fact that I am an apostle.
3When people criticize me, this is how I defend myself: 4Don’t I have the right to be given food and drink for my work? 5Don’t I have the right to follow the example of the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Peter, by taking a Christian wife with me on my trips? 6Or are Barnabas and I the only ones who have to work for our living? 7What soldiers ever have to pay their own expenses in the army? What farmers do not eat the grapes from their own vineyard? What shepherds do not use the milk from their own sheep?
8I don’t have to limit myself to these everyday examples, because the Law says the same thing. 9We read in the Law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox when you are using it to thresh grain.” Now, is God concerned about oxen? 10Didn’t he really mean us when he said that? Of course that was written for us. Anyone who plows and anyone who reaps should do their work in the hope of getting a share of the crop. 11We have sown spiritual seed among you. Is it too much if we reap material benefits from you? 12If others have the right to expect this from you, don’t we have an even greater right?
But we haven’t made use of this right. Instead, we have endured everything in order not to put any obstacle in the way of the Good News about Christ. 13Surely you know that the men who work in the Temple get their food from the Temple and that those who offer the sacrifices on the altar get a share of the sacrifices. 14In the same way, the Lord has ordered that those who preach the gospel should get their living from it.
15But I haven’t made use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this now in order to claim such rights for myself. I would rather die first! Nobody is going to turn my rightful boast into empty words! 16I have no right to boast just because I preach the gospel. After all, I am under orders to do so. And how terrible it would be for me if I did not preach the gospel! 17If I did my work as a matter of free choice, then I could expect to be paid; but I do it as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted me with this task. 18What pay do I get, then? It is the privilege of preaching the Good News without charging for it, without claiming my rights in my work for the gospel.
19I am a free man, nobody’s slave; but I make myself everybody’s slave in order to win as many people as possible. 20While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them; and even though I myself am not subject to the Law of Moses, I live as though I were when working with those who are, in order to win them. 21In the same way, when working with Gentiles, I live like a Gentile, outside the Jewish Law, in order to win Gentiles. This does not mean that I don’t obey God’s law; I am really under Christ’s law. 22Among the weak in faith I become weak like one of them, in order to win them. So I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible.
23All this I do for the gospel’s sake, in order to share in its blessings. 24Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. 25Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. 26That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. 27I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.
~from 1 Corinthians 9 (GNT)

So when we are called, let’s answer! When we are asked, let’s go! When we arrive, let’s rejoice!

God the Supreme Ruler

HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by Asaph.
1God presides in the heavenly council;
in the assembly of the gods he gives his decision:
2“You must stop judging unjustly;
you must no longer be partial to the wicked!
3Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans;
be fair to the needy and the helpless.
4Rescue them from the power of evil people.
5“How ignorant you are! How stupid!
You are completely corrupt,
and justice has disappeared from the world.
6‘You are gods,’ I said;
‘all of you are children of the Most High.’
7But you will die like mortals;
your life will end like that of any prince.”
8Come, O God, and rule the world;
all the nations are yours.
~from Psalm 82

We will all have to make decisions! Let’s make the right one based on wisdom from God! Let’s use His Word as our measure! Let’s allow Him to lead us and guide us! Let’s not lean on our own understanding, but put our trust in God! Complete the work that God has called you! Don’t leave it undone!

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Shine!


Shine in love! Shine with purpose! Shine on purpose! Shine hope! Shine opportunity! Shine leadership! Shine wisdom! Shine like the Moon so bright because it is reflecting the light of the Sun. In life shine so bright because you are reflecting the light of the Son!

This morning’s reading starts with the message of light or shining…

A Lamp under a Bowl

(Luke 8.16-18)
21Jesus continued, “Does anyone ever bring in a lamp and put it under a bowl or under the bed? Isn’t it put on the lampstand? 22Whatever is hidden away will be brought out into the open, and whatever is covered up will be uncovered. 23Listen, then, if you have ears!”
24He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear! The same rules you use to judge others will be used by God to judge you—but with even greater severity. 25Those who have something will be given more, and those who have nothing will have taken away from them even the little they have.”
~from Mark 4 (GNT)

So today, let’s bring things into the light! Today, let’s help uncover the truth! Let’s be good stewards with what God provides us! Let’s take our gifts and talents and invest them for His glory! Let’s allow time as we plant seeds, as we water seeds, as God makes it grow!

The Parable of the Growing Seed

26Jesus went on to say, “The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. 27He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. 28The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain. 29When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.
~from Mark 4 (GNT)

We don’t need to know how, we just need to know who! We don’t need a lot of faith for God to be able to work in us, because even if our faith is the size of a tiny mustard seed, He can use it to make great impact in our lives. Let’s put our hope and trust in God! That little seed planted will grow and develop and become huge in how it can lift others up, shade others, strengthen and encourage others.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

(Matthew 13.31, 32, 34; Luke 13.18, 19)
30“What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like?” asked Jesus. “What parable shall we use to explain it? 31It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. 32After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade.”
33Jesus preached his message to the people, using many other parables like these; he told them as much as they could understand. 34He would not speak to them without using parables, but when he was alone with his disciples, he would explain everything to them.
~from Mark 4 (GNT)

There are storms in life, but we need to keep our eyes and our focus on Jesus. When we do we realize that the storm doesn’t define us, but that He will comfort us providing a peace that goes beyond all understanding! He has authority over the storm, so whether he calms the storm or calms the storm in us, we just need to allow our hope and trust in Him to rule over every situation!

Jesus Calms a Storm

(Matthew 8.23-27; Luke 8.22-25)
35On the evening of that same day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” 36So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too. 37Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. 38Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to die?”
39Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. 40Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?”
41But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
~from Mark 4 (GNT)

That’s right, He has full authority! So when we put our hope and trust in Him, we are being setup for success! We are being setup to accomplish great and mighty things through the one who created us on purpose for a purpose!

Don’t allow pride to puff you up, but rather allow love to build others up! Don’t walk around being a know it all, because you aren’t! Because not everyone knows the truth, that there is but one God, because in how you live because you don’t want to cause people to be lead astray or fall away from what is real and what is true!

The Question about Food Offered to Idols

1Now, concerning what you wrote about food offered to idols.
It is true, of course, that “all of us have knowledge,” as they say. Such knowledge, however, puffs a person up with pride; but love builds up. 2Those who think they know something really don’t know as they ought to know. 3But the person who loves God is known by him.
4So then, about eating the food offered to idols: we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God. 5Even if there are so-called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, and even though there are many of these “gods” and “lords,” 6yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.
7But not everyone knows this truth. Some people have been so used to idols that to this day when they eat such food they still think of it as food that belongs to an idol; their conscience is weak, and they feel they are defiled by the food. 8Food, however, will not improve our relation with God; we shall not lose anything if we do not eat, nor shall we gain anything if we do eat.
9Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in the faith fall into sin. 10Suppose a person whose conscience is weak in this matter sees you, who have so-called “knowledge,” eating in the temple of an idol; will not this encourage him to eat food offered to idols? 11And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge”! 12And in this way you will be sinning against Christ by sinning against other Christians and wounding their weak conscience. 13So then, if food makes a believer sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make a believer fall into sin.
~from 1 Corinthians 8 (GNT)

All things might be possible, but not all things are beneficial! Just because we have freedom, doesn’t mean we should exhort it to the point of someone else’s demise. We need to be considerate and wise about the things we allow, so that in and through it all, God receives the praise, the honor, and the glory. We don’t want our actions to lead others off the rails, because they see us doing it and then are lead to believe something totally different! There is a difference between being knowledgeable and being wise…you can be book smart, but if you don’t know how to apply it you aren’t showing wisdom!

So as we start today, let’s shout for joy because of God! For all He has and is doing in and thru our lives!

A Song for a Festival

HEBREW TITLE: By Asaph.
1Shout for joy to God our defender;
sing praise to the God of Jacob!
2Start the music and beat the tambourines;
play pleasant music on the harps and the lyres.
3Blow the trumpet for the festival,
when the moon is new and when the moon is full.
4This is the law in Israel,
an order from the God of Jacob.
5He gave it to the people of Israel
when he attacked the land of Egypt.
I hear an unknown voice saying,
6“I took the burdens off your backs;
I let you put down your loads of bricks.
7When you were in trouble, you called to me, and I saved you.
From my hiding place in the storm, I answered you.
I put you to the test at the springs of Meribah.
8Listen, my people, to my warning;
Israel, how I wish you would listen to me!
9You must never worship another god.
10I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt.
Open your mouth, and I will feed you.
11“But my people would not listen to me;
Israel would not obey me.
12So I let them go their stubborn ways
and do whatever they wanted.
13How I wish my people would listen to me;
how I wish they would obey me!
14I would quickly defeat their enemies
and conquer all their foes.
15Those who hate me would bow in fear before me;
their punishment would last forever.
16But I would feed you with the finest wheat
and satisfy you with wild honey.”
~from Psalm 81 (GNT)
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