November 29, 2018
Read Joshua 17
To read this text go to: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+17&version=NLT
Scripture- Joshua 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),
- 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.
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