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November 29, 2018

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Read Joshua 17

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+17&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJoshua 17:14-16- The descendants of Joseph came to Joshua and asked, "Why have you given us only one portion of land as our homeland when the Lord has blessed us with so many people?" Joshua replied, "If there are so many of you, and if the hill country of Ephraim is not large enough for you, clear out land for yourselves in the forest where the Perizzites and Rephaites live." The descendants of Joseph responded, "It's true that the hill country is not large enough for us. But all the Canaanites in the lowlands have iron chariots, both those in Beth-shan and its surrounding settlements and those in the valley of Jezreel. They are too strong for us."

 

Observations- The descendants of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, presented themselves in a very different way than Caleb. Caleb was a take charge, no whining allowed, "forget about whether the glass is half full or half empty, because I have a glass" kind of guy, who said we can take the land the Lord has promised to us. Ephraim and Manasseh saw only the barriers and their weakness. They focused far more on the strength of their enemies than on the greatness of their God. They didn't want to be challenged to travel a difficult path; rather they wanted to be given more land. Fear and anxiety, not hope and possibility, got the better part of their attention.

 

Application- I love that we have said often at New Hope that while things look difficult, even impossible in our own strength, that we would trust God to supply our needs. God's people have- most importantly- started numerous missions and ministries, retired extensive debt on our Sanctuary in only 5 years, merged with the Hispanic Church to become one church in two languages, adopted two dying congregations that are now thriving and making more and better followers of Jesus Christ, cared for one another deeply, and said an overwhelming "Yes!" to not only purchasing and renovating the former Boys and Girls Club, but also building a new Social Hall. None of this is merely a dream, because you've made an abiding commitment to fund it all, too! God never promises that "taking territory" for His glory will be easy. In fact, God promises it will be challenging and difficult, but the great news is that He has also promised to be with us every step of the way! What new territory is God calling you to take for His glory?

 

Prayer- God, give us the courage to face difficult circumstances in the knowledge of Your care and a deep understanding of Your power. Help us see the joy of simply having a glass! We will always face situations in our life together at New Hope that will require You to show up in big ways, since we can't solve them in my own ability and and strength. It is good news that we need You, and we lay claim to that abiding and deep need. Give us Caleb's attitude, faith, and strength, in Jesus' name. Amen.

 

"If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" (Romans 8:31),

 

Pastor Jamie

 

  1. S. - Family Promise Cookie Sale & Military Mailing. No time to do holiday baking?  No problem! Family Promise is selling Christmas cookies on Dec. 1 & 2 in S4 to raise money for their amazing organization! Come prepared to buy cookies for your family OR purchase cookies and donate them to our military mailing, which will be in room S1 on that same day.

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

Posted by Jamie Westlake with
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November 28, 2018

Check out this brief video from the Bible Project, which tells the entire story of the

Book of Joshua really well: https://thebibleproject.com/explore/joshua/

 

Read Joshua 16

 

To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+16&version=NLT

 

ScriptureJoshua 16:10- They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day.

 

Observations- One of the important phrases that shows up a number of times in the Book of Joshua is “they did not drive out” a particular enemy. Various groups of people that the Lord gave very clear instructions to drive out of the Promised Land were permitted, for one reason or another, to stay. Whenever there is such disobedience in God’s Word, we can count on seeing consequences in later generations. 

 

Application- None of us likes to face the music. There’s nothing fun about experiencing consequences for our disobedience, but God does allow us to go through the crucible of consequences to learn how to stay closely connected to our Good Shepherd. Most sheep know that they need to stay with the flock and the shepherd for protection, but a few sheep will always be prone to wander. The shepherd will do whatever it takes to help the wandering sheep learn not to get into dangerous situations, even if the consequences for wandering off are painful in the short run. Count on this- God cares far more about the development of my character than my personal comfort.  What have you learned about yourself and God through consequences?

 

Prayer- Dear God, thank You for the reminders in Your Word to stay closely connected to You. Help me always stay with the flock and close to You as my Good Shepherd, for I know consequences will be in my future when I choose to stray by nibbling myself lost.

Help me work hard with You to reveal the results of the salvation You have given me as a gift by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Philippians 2:13),

 

Pastor Jamie

 

​​​​​​​To contact me: reply to this email...it only comes to me.

 

To connect with the New Hope website: www.findnewhope.com

Posted by Jamie Westlake with

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