Strong and Courageous

Our Lord Will Not Fail
Joshua 1:5-6 NASB

“No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life… I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous…”

Let’s face it. We all have enemies. Our number one enemy is Satan, and he truly is the one behind all of our human enemies, as well. So, our real battle is not with the flesh of man, but with Satan and his demons. So, we must fight this battle with spiritual weapons of warfare, not with the weapons this world has to offer us, for they are useless against Satan and all his hordes.

We must also come to grips with the reality that, as long as we live on this earth and in flesh bodies, we will experience trials, troubles, hardships, sorrows and persecutions, whether we are Christians or not. This is the curse of sin on this world of ours. And, yet, as followers of Christ, we will also be hated and persecuted, rejected and abandoned, because we choose to stand on the Word of Truth and to not compromise with the world of sin.

But, whatever we go through, our God is with us. He will not leave us or forsake us. He may not deliver us from every trial, and he may not keep us from going through hardships and persecutions, but he will strengthen and help us. He will give us his aid. And, he will empower us to stand tall against our enemy when we daily put on the armor of God, which he has provided for us, in order for us to fight off Satan’s evil attacks against us. And, through it all, he will accomplish his will and purposes in and through our lives.

Be Careful to Do
Joshua 1:7-8 NASB

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

As Christians, we are not bound by all the law of Moses, as were the people of God under the Old Covenant. We are now under the New Covenant, by the grace of God, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. Yet, all scripture is given by inspiration of God (or is God-breathed) and is “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

So, we can learn much from the Old Testament regarding how to live the Christian life, as well as from the New Testament. We just have to read in the context of the New Covenant, which repeats much of the same message as the old. So, I find that, whether I am reading in the Old or the New Testament, there is one central message that has not changed, and that is that we must, as followers of God, turn away from our lives of sin and turn to our Lord, to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways.

God’s grace to us is not freedom from repentance or obedience to Christ. In fact, it teaches us that we must say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return. Our Lord said that if we love him that we will obey him, and that if we don’t obey him that we don’t love him or know him. If we live according to our flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, we will live with Christ for eternity.

Do Not Be Dismayed
Joshua 1:9 NASB

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

It does take courage to stand against the tides of time, against the forces of evil, and against all the influences in this world and within the church, which try as hard as they may to get us to believe that, now that we are under grace, that God no longer requires repentance or obedience for forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. But, they would be wrong, for God’s word clearly says that we must forsake our lives of sin and we must turn to walk in obedience to our Lord or we don’t have the hope of eternal life with God.

Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Coming to faith in Jesus Christ means we put off our “old man” and that we are renewed in our minds, and that we put on our new selves, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. When we are “born again” of the Spirit of God, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life. Jesus died not just to forgive us our sin, but to eradicate sin from our lives.

Our strength and our courage, though, to stand on the truth of God’s Word, and to follow our Lord in surrender and obedience, does not come from within ourselves, from our own flesh. Our Lord will give us all the courage we need to follow him and to do what he says even in the face of opposition, persecutions and persuasion, which tries to convince us that our sin doesn’t matter to God anymore, and so how we live doesn’t really matter, either. But, know this! If we walk in sin, we will die in sin.

So, be strong and courageous, and follow your Lord in obedience, because your life depends on it! What we sow, we will also reap. If we sow to the flesh, from the flesh we will reap corruption. But, if we sow to the Spirit, we will reap eternal life.

When I Am Afraid / An Original Work
October 17, 2016 / Based off Psalms 56-57

When I am afraid, Lord, I will trust in You.
Your Word, Lord, I praise. I yield my life to You.
Enemies pursue me, slandering Your Name.
Lord, have mercy. I trust in You. Hear my cry today.

Lord, I love Your Word. It comforts me today,
As I look to you, and bow my head and pray.
You are Christ, my Lord. You saved me from my sin,
That I may walk, Lord before You, purified within.

Steadfast is my heart, O God, I sing of You.
I will praise You, Lord. To You, I will be true.
Oh, how great Your love. Your faithfulness endue.
Be exalted, God of heaven. Glory be to You.

Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10:44 p.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. May we take it to heart.

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