Be courageous!

Facing something big? Facing something tough? Facing something challenging? Facing the unknown? Facing something new? Don’t lose hope! Don’t fear! Turn to God to whom there are no surprises, and be courageous!

Turn that feeling in your stomach from worry and fear to excitement! They all create the same feeling, so wire it in your brain to be excited! Let God go before and prepare in advance the good work He has for you to do! Put all your hope and trust in Him! Do what He asks of you and allow Him to take care of the rest! He will make a way when there doesn’t seem to be a way! He will complete the work He has started! Fear Not, Just Believe! Don’t worry! God will never leave you nor abandon you! Don’t fear nor be discouraged! Let’s remember what God has done! Let’s remember what God has commanded! Let’s put all of our hope and trust in Him! Without Him, it’s not worth going!

Don’t allow yourself to become so comfortable that you won’t do what God asks of you! Don’t allow yourself to be so comfortable that you start to disobey and walk away from God! Don’t allow yourself to become so self-confident that you start to go it alone!

Today’s reading starts with Moses telling the people as they are preparing to enter int the promised land…

Chazak! Be Courageous!

1Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2He said to them, “I am 120 years old today. I am no longer able to go out and come in. Adonai has said to me, ‘You are not to cross over this Jordan.’ 3Adonai your God—He will cross over before you. He will destroy these nations from before you, and you will dispossess them. Joshua will cross over before you, just as Adonai has promised. 4“Adonai will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them. 5Adonai will give them over to you, and you are to do to them according to all the mitzvot that I commanded you. 6Chazak! Be courageous! Do not be afraid or tremble before them. For Adonai your God—He is the One who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” 7Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be courageous! For you are to go with this people into the land Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you are to enable them to inherit it. 8Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”

Public Torah Readings

9Moses wrote down this Torah and gave it to the kohanim, the sons of Levi who carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, and to all the elders of Israel. 10Then Moses commanded them saying, “At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of cancelling debts, during the feast of Sukkot, 11when all Israel comes to appear before Adonai your God in the place He chooses, you are to read this Torah before them in their hearing. 12Gather the people—the men and women and little ones, and the outsider within your town gates—so they may hear and so they may learn, and they will fear Adonai your God and take care to do all the words of this Torah. 13So their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear Adonai your God—all the days you live on the land you are about to cross over the Jordan to possess.” 14Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, your time to die is near. Call Joshua, and present yourselves at the Tent of Meeting, and I will commission him.” Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the Tent of Meeting. 15Adonai appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood over the opening of the Tent. 16Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise up and prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will abandon Me and break My covenant that I cut with them. 17Then My anger will flare against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them. So they will be devoured, and many evils and troubles will come on them. They will say on that day, ‘Isn’t it because our God is not among us that these evils have come on us?’ 18I will surely hide My face on that day because of all the evil they have done, for they have turned to other gods.

Moses Introduces His Song

19“Now, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to Bnei-Yisrael—put it in their mouth, so that this song may be a witness for Me against Bnei-Yisrael. 20“For when I bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I swore to their fathers, and they eat and are satisfied and grow fat—then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and they will spurn Me and break My covenant. 21Now when many evils and troubles have come on them, this song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants. For I know the intention they are devising this day, even before I bring them into the land that I swore.” 22That day Moses wrote this song and taught it to Bnei-Yisrael. 23Then he commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Chazak! Be courageous! For you will bring Bnei-Yisrael into the land I swore to them—and I will be with you.” 24Now when Moses had finished writing the words of this Torah on a scroll, right to the end … 25Moses commanded the Levites, carriers of the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai saying, 26“Take this scroll of the Torah, and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 27for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Indeed, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against Adonai—how much more then after my death? 28Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officials, so that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29For I know that after my death you will certainly act corruptly and turn aside from the way I have commanded you. So evil will fall upon you in the latter days, because you will do what is evil in the sight of Adonai, provoking Him to anger by the work of your hands.” 30Moses spoke in the hearing of the whole community of Israel the words of this song, right to the end:

–from Deuteronomy 31

When we have God, then we can see how 1 can put 1,000 to flight and when we partner with another put 10,000 to flight. So work together to finish the work God has planned! Don’t try to go it along! Find a way to delegate the effort to the team. It’s not about fair, for the battle belongs to the Lord! Don’t worry about payback for vengeance and payback are God’s.What will you do? Will you go it God’s way or deal with the consequences of your disobedience?

The Song of Moses

1“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak! Let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2May my teaching trickle like rain, my speech distill like dew— like gentle rain on new grass, like showers on tender plants. 3For I will proclaim Adonai’s Name, ascribe greatness to our God! 4The Rock—blameless is His work. Indeed, all His ways are just. God of faithfulness without iniquity, righteous and upright is He. 5Did it corrupt Him? No! The blemish is His children’s— a generation crooked and twisted. 6Is this how you pay back Adonai, O foolish, unwise people? Isn’t He your Father who ransomed you? He made you and established you. 7“Remember the days of antiquity, understand the years across generations. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders and they will say to you. 8When Elyon gave nations their heritage, when He separated the sons of man, He set boundaries for the people by the number of Bnei-Yisrael. 9But Adonai’s portion is His people— Jacob is the share of His inheritance. 10He found him in the wilderness land, in the void of a howling waste. He surrounded him, cared for him, guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, He spreads His wings, catches him, lifts him up on His pinions. 12Adonai alone guided him— there was no foreign god with him. 13He made him mount the heights of the land. so he ate the produce of the field. He suckled him with honey from a rock, with oil from a flinty boulder. 14Butter of cattle and milk of a flock, with fat of lambs, rams of the Bashan and he-goats, with fat of the kidneys of wheat, and blood of grapes you drank. 15But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked— you got fat, you grew thick, you gorged! He forsook God who made him. He mocked the Rock of his salvation. 16They made him jealous with strangers, with abominations they angered Him. 17They sacrificed to demons, a non-god, gods they had not known— to new ones who came in lately, ones your fathers had not dreaded. 18The Rock who birthed you, you ignored. You forgot God who brought you forth. 19“Adonai saw, and He spurned His sons and His daughters out of vexation. 20He said, “I will hide My face from them, I want to see their hereafter. For they are an upside down generation, children with no faithfulness in them. 21They made Me jealous with a non-god. They vexed Me with airy idols. So I will make them jealous with a non-people. With a foolish nation I will vex them. 22For fire has ignited in My nostrils— it will burn to Sheol beneath, devour the earth and her produce, and scorch the foundations of mountains. 23I will heap calamities upon them. With My arrows I will finish them. 24Wasted by famine, ravaged by plague and pestilence so bitter, fangs of beasts I’ll let loose on them, with venom of creepers in the dust. 25Outside the sword deals death, and inside terror— to both young men and young women, infants, with men of gray hair. 26I would have said, ‘I will hack them to pieces, make the memory of them cease from mankind,’ 27except I dread the taunt of the enemy, lest their foes might misconstrue— lest they say, ‘Our hand is held high, and Adonai has not done all this.’ 28For they are a nation lacking counsel, among them there is no understanding. 29“If they were wise, they would discern this, they would understand their hereafter. 30How can one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them and Adonai had handed them over? 31Surely their rock is not like our Rock, as even our enemies judge. 32For their vine is from the vine of Sodom and from the terraces of Gomorrah. Its grapes are grapes of poison— bitter clusters on it. 33Venom of serpents is their wine— poison of vipers so cruel. 34Is it not stored up with Me, sealed up in My treasuries? 35Vengeance is Mine, and payback, for the time when their foot staggers. Surely their day of disaster is near— what is prepared rushes on them. 36For Adonai will judge His people— for His servants, He will relent when He sees that strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. 37He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the “rock” they took refuge in? 38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libation? Let them rise up and help you and be a shelter over you! 39See now that I, I am He! There are no other gods beside Me. I bring death and give life, I have wounded but I will heal, and none can rescue from My hand.’ 40“Yes, I lift My hand up to heaven and say, ‘As I Myself live forever, 41when I sharpen My lightning sword and My hand seizes it in judgment, I will return vengeance on My foes, and those who hate Me I will pay back. 42I will make My arrows drunk from blood, and My sword will devour flesh— the blood of the slain and the captive, the head of the leaders of the enemy.’ 43Make His people rejoice, O nations, for He will avenge the blood of His servants. He will return vengeance on His foes, and atone for the land of His people.” 44Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people—he and Joshua son of Nun.

45When Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them, “Put in your hearts all the words that I call as witness against you today—that you may command your children to keep and do all the words of this Torah. 47For it is not an empty thing for you, because it is your life! By this word you will prolong your days on the land, which you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.” 48On that very day, Adonai spoke to Moses saying, 49“Go up this mountain of the Avarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab facing Jericho, and see the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael as a possession. 50On the mountain that you are ascending, there be gathered to your people—as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people— 51because you both broke faith with Me among Bnei-Yisrael at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of Bnei-Yisrael. 52For you will see the land from afar, but you will not enter there, into the land that I am giving to Bnei-Yisrael.”

–from Deuteronomy 32

What a great message yesterday to speak of the truth of the spiritual battle taking place and the importance of a godly mother. Since the battle isn’t against flesh and blood, we need to put on the right equipment for the situation. The belt of truth so that there is integrity, The breastplate of righteousness protecting all the vital parts, The shoes of the gospel to allow us to stand firm, The shield of faith to defend against the fiery darts of the enemy, The helmet of peace to protect our minds and The sword of the spirit which is God’s Word. Some may see them as defensive weapons, but they will allow you to stand firm and move forward for the glory of God. So press on and don’t give up! Don’t lose hope or faith! Stand firm!

So as we have found favor with God through Jesus Christ our Lord, let’s not be burdened by the yoke of slavery! Let’s stand firm! Let’s be lead by the Spirit! Let’s live out the fullness of God’s calling by loving others as ourselves! Let’s not be selfish! Let’s not be self-centered! Let’s step up to God’s higher calling! Let’s not be trying to instigate provoke others into envy.

Freedom Based on Favor

1For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again. 2Listen—I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Messiah will be of no benefit to you. 3Again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised, that he is obligated to keep the whole Torah. 4You who are trying to be justified by Torah have been cut off from Messiah; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Ruach, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Messiah Yeshua, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any meaning—but only trust and faithfulness expressing itself through love. 7You were running a great race! Who blocked you from following the truth? 8This detour doesn’t come from the One who calls you. 9A little hametz works its way through the whole batch of dough! 10I am confident in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But the one who is confusing you will pay the penalty, whoever he is. 11As for me, brothers and sisters, if I still proclaim circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case, the stumbling block of the cross has been eliminated. 12I only wish those who are agitating you would castrate themselves!

Walking by the Ruach

13Brothers and sisters, you were called to freedom—only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For the whole Torah can be summed up in a single saying: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not destroyed by one another. 16But I say, walk by the Ruach, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Ruach, but the Ruach sets its desire against the flesh—for these are in opposition to one another, so that you cannot do what you want. 18But if you are led by the Ruach, you are not under law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, 20idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, 21envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, just as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22But the fruit of the Ruach is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Messiah have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Ruach, let us also walk by the Ruach. 26Let us not become conceited—provoking one another, envying one another.

–from Galatians 5

Let’s be producing good fruit from the spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—against such things there is no law) rather than allowing the desires of the flesh to have their way (sexual immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, witchcraft, hostility, strife, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these) and lose out on everything God has for us!




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