J​oy in Obedience

As I’ve been reading again through the book of Joshua, one declaration made by the author struck me. It’s found in chapter 12 right after Joshua solidified the tribal allotments of the land. It simply reads, “Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.”

What God said He would do, He did.

He made good on His word. 

He didn’t forget or forsake one single promise.

The reading of this verse brings great hope and comfort, but the realities that took place in Israel’s history after this verse leave questions. From this point on, throughout the periods of the Judges, the promised land changed hands several times. Israel experienced loss and defeat at the hands of their enemies. To this day, they don’t possess all of the land that God promised. So, did God keep His promise of not?

The short answer is yes, of course, He did. There was a specific moment in time when God delivered to the children of Israel all the land that He promised if they would inhabit it. The problem? While God kept His end of the bargain, the people neglected theirs. God delivered to them the land of promise, but the people failed to keep their promise to drive out every enemy from the land, which brought forth trouble in future days. There were also seasons of disobedience that brought forth necessary judgment from God as well as certain natural consequences. The point is short and straightforward.

Israel’s problems were not a result of neglect on God’s part, but disobedience on theirs.

I think there are some valuable principles here we can glean from today. In 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that every promise of God in Christ is, “Yes and Amen.” in Christ, God has confirmed every promise of the New Covenant. God has been and will be faithful to deliver those promises in full. While every promise is ours in Christ, I believe that our enjoyment and experience of those promises is often dependent on our obedience to walk entirely in them by faith.

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Oh the Wonder

There are some things that happen which cause us to gaze in amazement. As the snow fell this morning, I was refreshed and strangely mesmerized by its beauty and calm. My son was up early, and upon seeing the white out the window, insisted on running out in his pajamas. Call us bad parents, but we let him. It was joy for us to see him so enraptured and excited.

It’s how I felt at church yesterday. I watched people worship Jesus with passion, engage in the Word of God, and respond to the gospel. As we prayed for 5 new believers who came forward, a holy awe filled the room. We were weeping with tears of joy and amazement at the life changing power of Christ.

I think it brought God joy. Not only to see the lost saved, but to see his people so happy in His presence.

I pray you have a wondrous week.

Isaiah 29:14 – Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.”

Week in 4 Words

What a week and weekend it was! I’ll try to recap it in four words.

Inspiring – we finished 1 Corinthians 15 at our Wednesday night service. In short, Paul finishes his defense of the resurrection with an inspiring conclusion. Everything we do for Jesus this life is worth it because He rose from the dead, and one day we too will rise in Him to eternal bliss! Quite a motivation to live now for Christ, knowing that our labor is not in vain.

Heartbreaking – my uncle RC passed away this week. We weren’t extremely close, but he was an incredible man who loved Jesus deeply. I have some wonderful memories growing up… especially of his incredible tenor voice singing, “Down the road a little bit farther, we will all understand…” Today He understands more completely than all of us, but he will be missed. Please pray for his family.

Memorable – our Crossroads marriage retreat happened this weekend and everything lined up for a powerful and meaningful time away. It lasted just two days, but they were full of building new friendships, investing in intimacy, and gleaning helpful tools for our marriages. My friend Pastor Rob Salvato and his wife Denise shared a special set of teachings. We appreciated their transparency and vulnerability as the shared their life and lessons with us. And of course, two days alone with my wife was much welcomed!

Encouraging – the weekend concluded with Pastor Rob giving a powerful message at North Campus on how Jesus handles bread… and people (you need to hear this sermon). Pastor Jason shared his heart and vision for South Campus, and I had the blessing of guest teaching for a church in Roseville. I passed several churches on my way down the hill and was grateful that the Word of God was going out in so many places and impacting so many lives.

God is at work, in the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the joy and the pain. May your week be empowered and guided by Him! Love you all.

Pastor Josh

Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Grace is Better

Gifts are good.

Success is good.

Life is good.

Grace is better.

Enjoy grace and everything else will fall into place. Grace doesn’t demand that you be THE best, it enables you to be YOUR best. Along with it comes contentment in who God created you to be, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Whatever is driving you today, just put the grace of God ahead of it.

-Pastor Josh

2 Timothy 2:1 – You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.