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Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Victory Takes Time


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 9-11; 1 Corinthians 6

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 11:16-23

Today we read Joshua chapters 9, 10, and 11.  For the last couple of weeks, it seems that all of our readings have been leading up to these three chapters.  In these chapters, Joshua outlines all the rest of the battles that the Israelites won to take over the Promised Land.  We knew this was coming.  Moses talked about it.  Joshua talked about it.  While we read Deuteronomy, we knew that the entire time the Israelites were perched right on the edge of the Promised Land.  Then we got into Joshua, and in the last couple of days, we have seen key victories in Jericho and Ai.  Now, in these three chapters, the pace really picks up.  In a single reading, we get to see the Israelites take over the rest of Canaan.  Our key passage today provides us with a nice summary of the battles, and throughout the reading we are constantly reminded of one important point – every victory that the Israelites experienced was because God was on their side.  In addition, there is another important point that is not really spelled out in the text.  While it seems like the battles were won quickly and that the Israelites conquered the entire land over the course of a couple of days, a little research reveals that this is not the case.  Even though it only takes a couple of pages for Joshua to tell us about all of the victories the Israelites were given in the Promised Land, these victories that seem to come so quickly actually took about seven years or so.  You see, sometimes victory takes time.

Do you ever feel like you are not progressing in Christ fast enough?  Do you ever wonder why you are not further along?  Do you ever wonder why you still struggle with certain things?  When we first give our lives to Christ, sometimes we think “the change” will happen for us instantaneously.  We wrongly believe that we will wake up the next day and we will never sin again.  We think that we will never have another evil thought or desire.  Then when we stumble – when we do have an evil thought or desire or when we do sin – we feel discouraged.  We wonder why we are not past all of this.  We want a complete victory over sin.  We want a complete victory over temptation.  We want to find ourselves living in the spirit 100% of the time and never slipping back into living in the flesh.  Basically, we want the quick fix.  We want the immediate victory.  We must realize, however, that victory is a process, and it takes time.  Never underestimate the changes God has made in you, and never discount those changes just because you are not perfect.  Sometimes we think of our walk with Christ as a journey with a finish line.  We believe that at some point, we will finally “get there” and we will no longer have to struggle with anything.  The fact is, though, there is no finish line – at least not here on earth.  While we are living here in our temporary home, we will constantly be evolving.  God will continually make changes in us and make us better.  Do not rush God and do not allow yourself to get discouraged.  Instead, praise God for the victories He has given you, pray expectantly for the victories He will hand you in the future, and always remember that complete victory takes time.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Defeated Enemy


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 3-6; 1 Corinthians 4

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 6:2-21

After 40 years of wandering around the desert, the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan and made it to the Promised Land.  They knew, however, that this was not the end of the story.  They knew that they were going to have to battle against the Amorites and the Canaanites (the two major groups living in Canaan at the time) to take over the land that God promised them.  The first city they would attack would be Jericho.  At the time, Jericho was to the Canaanites what Washington D.C. is for Americans today.  It represented all of the military power and strength of the Canaanites, and was heavily fortified.  At this point, you may be wondering why they would choose to fight the first battle against such a heavily fortified city, but the answer is really pretty simple.  The Israelites did not choose this battle – God did.  God chose to send the Israelites up against Jericho right off the bat and the Israelites merely followed His leading.  God knew that conquering the city of Jericho would instill fear in all of the other Canaanites, so He chose to show His power there first.

Joshua was preparing for the battle in Jericho.  He saw how fortified the city was, and he knew how powerful the army was, but Joshua was not afraid.  He knew that God – the almighty powerful God who created all of the heavens and the earth – was with him.  In Joshua 6:2 we read, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.'”  Please notice here that God did not say, “I will deliver”.  He said, “I have delivered”.  The battle had not even begun, but God was already telling Joshua that he had won.  Joshua was going into battle knowing that God had already defeated his enemy!

Imagine what it would be like to know that the enemy you were about to battle was already defeated.  Imagine knowing that no matter what you did or what your enemy did, your enemy was still going to lose.  Imagine knowing that in the end, you were going to be victorious no matter what.  How would that make you feel?  What kind of confidence would you have going into that battle?  You would feel invincible, right?  You can stop imagining now because I have some good news for you.  The reality is, you do not have to imagine what it feels like to know that your enemy has already been defeated because your enemy HAS already been defeated.  Your enemy and mine was defeated the day Jesus Christ died on the cross.  See, when that event took place, something amazing happened.  God demonstrated His power over death, and He demonstrated His power over Satan.  On that day, Satan’s destruction became a foregone conclusion.  On that day, God stopped saying “I will” and started saying “I have”.

No matter what you might be facing today, you can rest in the knowledge that your enemy has already been defeated.  Sometimes things can look pretty bleak.  We look around this world and we see so much evil.  We see evil people prospering and we see good people being persecuted, and it can be easy to have a negative outlook and disposition.  But the fact is, though evil might reign in the world for a time, that time will come to an end.  The ultimate battle of good versus evil has already been decided, and if you are a follower of Christ, you are on the winning side.  No matter what you do or what your enemy does, you cannot lose.  Your eternal salvation is secure by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  The next time you are going to battle against evil, do not be afraid.  The next time the temptation to sin is so strong you think you cannot hold out, stand firm.  Feel secure in the confidence that comes from knowing that you are battling a defeated enemy.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Victory Takes Time


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 9-11; 1 Corinthians 6

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 11:16-23

Today we read Joshua chapters 9, 10, and 11.  For the last couple of weeks, it seems that all of our readings have been leading up to these three chapters.  In these chapters, Joshua outlines all the rest of the battles that the Israelites won to take over the Promised Land.  We knew this was coming.  Moses talked about it.  Joshua talked about it.  While we read Deuteronomy, we knew that the entire time the Israelites were perched right on the edge of the Promised Land.  Then we got into Joshua, and in the last couple of days, we have seen key victories in Jericho and Ai.  Now, in these three chapters, the pace really picks up.  In a single reading, we get to see the Israelites take over the rest of Canaan.  Our key passage today provides us with a nice summary of the battles, and throughout the reading we are constantly reminded of one important point – every victory that the Israelites experienced was because God was on their side.  In addition, there is another important point that is not really spelled out in the text.  While it seems like the battles were won quickly and that the Israelites conquered the entire land over the course of a couple of days, a little research reveals that this is not the case.  Even though it only takes a couple of pages for Joshua to tell us about all of the victories the Israelites were given in the Promised Land, these victories that seem to come so quickly actually took about seven years or so.  You see, sometimes victory takes time.

Do you ever feel like you are not progressing in Christ fast enough?  Do you ever wonder why you are not further along?  Do you ever wonder why you still struggle with certain things?  When we first give our lives to Christ, sometimes we think “the change” will happen for us instantaneously.  We wrongly believe that we will wake up the next day and we will never sin again.  We think that we will never have another evil thought or desire.  Then when we stumble – when we do have an evil thought or desire or when we do sin – we feel discouraged.  We wonder why we are not past all of this.  We want a complete victory over sin.  We want a complete victory over temptation.  We want to find ourselves living in the spirit 100% of the time and never slipping back into living in the flesh.  Basically, we want the quick fix.  We want the immediate victory.  We must realize, however, that victory is a process, and it takes time.  Never underestimate the changes God has made in you, and never discount those changes just because you are not perfect.  Sometimes we think of our walk with Christ as a journey with a finish line.  We believe that at some point, we will finally “get there” and we will no longer have to struggle with anything.  The fact is, though, there is no finish line – at least not here on earth.  While we are living here in our temporary home, we will constantly be evolving.  God will continually make changes in us and make us better.  Do not rush God and do not allow yourself to get discouraged.  Instead, praise God for the victories He has given you, pray expectantly for the victories He will hand you in the future, and always remember that complete victory takes time.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

The Defeated Enemy


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 3-6; 1 Corinthians 4

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 6:2-21

After 40 years of wandering around the desert, the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan and made it to the Promised Land.  They knew, however, that this was not the end of the story.  They knew that they were going to have to battle against the Amorites and the Canaanites (the two major groups living in Canaan at the time) to take over the land that God promised them.  The first city they would attack would be Jericho.  At the time, Jericho was to the Canaanites what Washington D.C. is for Americans today.  It represented all of the military power and strength of the Canaanites, and was heavily fortified.  At this point, you may be wondering why they would choose to fight the first battle against such a heavily fortified city, but the answer is really pretty simple.  The Israelites did not choose this battle – God did.  God chose to send the Israelites up against Jericho right off the bat and the Israelites merely followed His leading.  God knew that conquering the city of Jericho would instill fear in all of the other Canaanites, so He chose to show His power there first.

Joshua was preparing for the battle in Jericho.  He saw how fortified the city was, and he knew how powerful the army was, but Joshua was not afraid.  He knew that God – the almighty powerful God who created all of the heavens and the earth – was with him.  In Joshua 6:2 we read, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.'”  Please notice here that God did not say, “I will deliver”.  He said, “I have delivered”.  The battle had not even begun, but God was already telling Joshua that he had won.  Joshua was going into battle knowing that God had already defeated his enemy!

Imagine what it would be like to know that the enemy you were about to battle was already defeated.  Imagine knowing that no matter what you did or what your enemy did, your enemy was still going to lose.  Imagine knowing that in the end, you were going to be victorious no matter what.  How would that make you feel?  What kind of confidence would you have going into that battle?  You would feel invincible, right?  You can stop imagining now because I have some good news for you.  The reality is, you do not have to imagine what it feels like to know that your enemy has already been defeated because your enemy HAS already been defeated.  Your enemy and mine was defeated the day Jesus Christ died on the cross.  See, when that event took place, something amazing happened.  God demonstrated His power over death, and He demonstrated His power over Satan.  On that day, Satan’s destruction became a foregone conclusion.  On that day, God stopped saying “I will” and started saying “I have”.

No matter what you might be facing today, you can rest in the knowledge that your enemy has already been defeated.  Sometimes things can look pretty bleak.  We look around this world and we see so much evil.  We see evil people prospering and we see good people being persecuted, and it can be easy to have a negative outlook and disposition.  But the fact is, though evil might reign in the world for a time, that time will come to an end.  The ultimate battle of good versus evil has already been decided, and if you are a follower of Christ, you are on the winning side.  No matter what you do or what your enemy does, you cannot lose.  Your eternal salvation is secure by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  The next time you are going to battle against evil, do not be afraid.  The next time the temptation to sin is so strong you think you cannot hold out, stand firm.  Feel secure in the confidence that comes from knowing that you are battling a defeated enemy.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

To become a fan of The Daily Bible Plan’s Facebook Page, CLICK HERE.

To follow me on Twitter for inspirational tweets, click the follow button –

If you like this post, please SHARE it with others to spread the Word of God.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

Victory Takes Time


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 9-11; 1 Corinthians 6

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 11:16-23

Today we read Joshua chapters 9, 10, and 11.  For the last couple of weeks, it seems that all of our readings have been leading up to these three chapters.  In these chapters, Joshua outlines all the rest of the battles that the Israelites won to take over the Promised Land.  We knew this was coming.  Moses talked about it.  Joshua talked about it.  While we read Deuteronomy, we knew that the entire time the Israelites were perched right on the edge of the Promised Land.  Then we got into Joshua, and in the last couple of days, we have seen key victories in Jericho and Ai.  Now, in these three chapters, the pace really picks up.  In a single reading, we get to see the Israelites take over the rest of Canaan.  Our key passage today provides us with a nice summary of the battles, and throughout the reading we are constantly reminded of one important point – every victory that the Israelites experienced was because God was on their side.  In addition, there is another important point that is not really spelled out in the text.  While it seems like the battles were won quickly and that the Israelites conquered the entire land over the course of a couple of days, a little research reveals that this is not the case.  Even though it only takes a couple of pages for Joshua to tell us about all of the victories the Israelites were given in the Promised Land, these victories that seem to come so quickly actually took about seven years or so.  You see, sometimes victory takes time.

Do you ever feel like you are not progressing in Christ fast enough?  Do you ever wonder why you are not further along?  Do you ever wonder why you still struggle with certain things?  When we first give our lives to Christ, sometimes we think “the change” will happen for us instantaneously.  We wrongly believe that we will wake up the next day and we will never sin again.  We think that we will never have another evil thought or desire.  Then when we stumble – when we do have an evil thought or desire or when we do sin – we feel discouraged.  We wonder why we are not past all of this.  We want a complete victory over sin.  We want a complete victory over temptation.  We want to find ourselves living in the spirit 100% of the time and never slipping back into living in the flesh.  Basically, we want the quick fix.  We want the immediate victory.  We must realize, however, that victory is a process, and it takes time.  Never underestimate the changes God has made in you, and never discount those changes just because you are not perfect.  Sometimes we think of our walk with Christ as a journey with a finish line.  We believe that at some point, we will finally “get there” and we will no longer have to struggle with anything.  The fact is, though, there is no finish line – at least not here on earth.  While we are living here in our temporary home, we will constantly be evolving.  God will continually make changes in us and make us better.  Do not rush God and do not allow yourself to get discouraged.  Instead, praise God for the victories He has given you, pray expectantly for the victories He will hand you in the future, and always remember that complete victory takes time.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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The Defeated Enemy


Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 3-6; 1 Corinthians 4

Today’s Key Passage – Joshua 6:2-21

After 40 years of wandering around the desert, the Israelites finally crossed the Jordan and made it to the Promised Land.  They knew, however, that this was not the end of the story.  They knew that they were going to have to battle against the Amorites and the Canaanites (the two major groups living in Canaan at the time) to take over the land that God promised them.  The first city they would attack would be Jericho.  At the time, Jericho was to the Canaanites what Washington D.C. is for Americans today.  It represented all of the military power and strength of the Canaanites, and was heavily fortified.  At this point, you may be wondering why they would choose to fight the first battle against such a heavily fortified city, but the answer is really pretty simple.  The Israelites did not choose this battle – God did.  God chose to send the Israelites up against Jericho right off the bat and the Israelites merely followed His leading.  God knew that conquering the city of Jericho would instill fear in all of the other Canaanites, so He chose to show His power there first.

Joshua was preparing for the battle in Jericho.  He saw how fortified the city was, and he knew how powerful the army was, but Joshua was not afraid.  He knew that God – the almighty powerful God who created all of the heavens and the earth – was with him.  In Joshua 6:2 we read, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.'”  Please notice here that God did not say, “I will deliver”.  He said, “I have delivered”.  The battle had not even begun, but God was already telling Joshua that he had won.  Joshua was going into battle knowing that God had already defeated his enemy!

Imagine what it would be like to know that the enemy you were about to battle was already defeated.  Imagine knowing that no matter what you did or what your enemy did, your enemy was still going to lose.  Imagine knowing that in the end, you were going to be victorious no matter what.  How would that make you feel?  What kind of confidence would you have going into that battle?  You would feel invincible, right?  You can stop imagining now because I have some good news for you.  The reality is, you do not have to imagine what it feels like to know that your enemy has already been defeated because your enemy HAS already been defeated.  Your enemy and mine was defeated the day Jesus Christ died on the cross.  See, when that event took place, something amazing happened.  God demonstrated His power over death, and He demonstrated His power over Satan.  On that day, Satan’s destruction became a foregone conclusion.  On that day, God stopped saying “I will” and started saying “I have”.

No matter what you might be facing today, you can rest in the knowledge that your enemy has already been defeated.  Sometimes things can look pretty bleak.  We look around this world and we see so much evil.  We see evil people prospering and we see good people being persecuted, and it can be easy to have a negative outlook and disposition.  But the fact is, though evil might reign in the world for a time, that time will come to an end.  The ultimate battle of good versus evil has already been decided, and if you are a follower of Christ, you are on the winning side.  No matter what you do or what your enemy does, you cannot lose.  Your eternal salvation is secure by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  The next time you are going to battle against evil, do not be afraid.  The next time the temptation to sin is so strong you think you cannot hold out, stand firm.  Feel secure in the confidence that comes from knowing that you are battling a defeated enemy.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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Crying Out to God


Daily Bible Reading – Judges 4,5; Psalms 39,41; 1 Corinthians 13

Today’s Key Passage – Judges 4:1-16

Right before Joshua died around 1390 B.C., the Israelites promised him that they would never turn away from God.  It took less than fifteen years for the Israelites to break that promise.  At the time of our key passage today, the Israelites were living in Canaan, but they had turned away from God.  Because they had sinned against God and turned from Him, “the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin, a king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor.” (Judges 4:2)  The commander of Jabin’s army was a man named Sisera, who had a large army with 900 iron chariots.  (Iron chariots were the most feared weapons of the day.)  For twenty years, Sisera ruled over the Israelites with an iron fist and “cruelly oppressed” them.  Finally, after twenty years, the Israelites “cried to the Lord for help” (4:3)  At that time, Deborah was leading the Israelites and she coordinated an attack on Sisera.  The Lord was with Deborah, so the Israelites prevailed against Sisera and he was killed.  Sounds like a happy ending for the Israelites, right?  Well, as we will find out in later chapters, their story of despair is really just beginning, but that is a story for another day.  For today, I would like to focus on one aspect of this story – why did it take the Israelites twenty years to cry out to God?

Notice that in our key passage, when the Israelites “did evil in the eyes of the Lord” (4:1), he allowed Jabin to rule them, but as soon as they cried out to Him, He immediately rectified the situation and brought them peace.  Of course, the easiest remedy would have been to never turn from God in the first place, but knowing that they did you have to wonder what would have happened if they would have cried out to God sooner.  Would God have saved them immediately if they had cried out to Him after only one year of Sisera’s rule?  I have to believe that He would have, but sadly, the Israelites did not take their problems to God right away.  They tried to solve their problems without God’s help, and only cried out to Him when things got really bad.

It is easy for us to look back and wonder why it took so long for them to cry out to God, but the truth is that many times we can all fall into the same trap as the Israelites.  How often do we try to handle our own problems and wait until things get really bad before we cry out to God?  We waste so much time and energy trying to deal with things ourselves, when God really wants us to bring everything to Him first.  He does not want us to wait until things go sour to get Him involved; He wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives.  God wants to be consulted on everything we do, and He wants to be a part of our decision making process in all things.  In reality, we should be crying out to God every single day, not just when things are bad.  Every single day we should surrender ourselves to His will.  We should let Him lead us, as we simply follow His guidance.  When we cry out to Him in prayer when times are good and press into Him daily, we are less likely to create our own desperate situations.  Please do not misunderstand what I am saying – I am not suggesting that when we cry out to God He will immediately solve all of our earthly problems and fix all of our mistakes.  Crying out to God is not some magic wand we can wave to get our will.  However, when we cry out to God, we can be assured of one thing – He will bring us peace.  He will bring us the peace that comes in knowing that regardless what our present circumstances are here in this temporary home, our eternal circumstances in our permanent home are secure.  When we cling to Him daily, we will never lose perspective on what is truly important.  Our troubles here in this world are just a moment in time, but our eternal life with God lasts forever.  In today’s reading, we also read Psalm 39.  In it, we read in verse 5, “You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.”  Cry out to God today and focus on the eternal.  Focus on what really matters, and let God take care of the rest.

During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you?  Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.

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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.

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