This has been a busy week. My mom has been visiting from out-of-state. We’ve had a nice visit, but it’s kept me from my blog. Here’s Saturday’s devotional for April 10th. The scriptures for the day are: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Joshua 1-2:20; Luke 13:22-14:6; Psalm 79:1-12; Proverbs 12:26.
It’s sad that Moses was allowed to see the Promised Land, but he was never allowed to step foot on its soil. God gives us grace and his gift of salvation is free, but that doesn’t mean that we get to escape all consequences of our own sin. Moses, who knew God face to face, lost out on God’s great provision for his people because he sinned against the Lord. And, we too must face the music when we choose to sin.
Joshua was selected to fill Moses’ shoes. Those were some mighty big shoes to fill, but Joshua was God’s chosen leader and he was the perfect fit. He spent several years serving under Moses’ leadership, and God had prepared him for this time. The Lord tells Joshua, “You can depend on me. I’ll be with you as I was with Moses, and I will not abandon you.” Then he encourages Joshua with the words, “Be strong and courageous.” He gives him a promise that if he follows God’s directions, he will be successful in everything he does.
Good things come through obedience to God’s word. When we live by his principles, we can find success. I’m not talking about worldly riches and being financially prosperous, although God does choose to bless some people in this way. But success comes in all different forms. Consider the following: raising children who love and serve the Lord, leading the lost to salvation, being used of God. All of these are examples of success that can come from being obedient to the Lord. In order to be obedient to God’s word, we have to learn his word. The scripture says to “Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it” (Joshua 1:8). This is a challenge to all of us; to read God’s word, study God’s word, and obey God’s word.
This revelation along with the message in Luke 13, should be a wake up call to all of us. Jesus says that many who try to enter God’s kingdom will fail. He also tells of those who think they did all the right things to get into heaven, but are left on the outside because God does not know them. I once heard a wise man say that we might be surprised by who is in heaven with us, and we may be even more surprised by those who are not there.
Many miss the mark. They are striving to reach heaven through their good works. Our good works are important and we are called to do them, but the real key is knowing God. Without relationship, we are strangers left on the outside. How do we develop relationship with God? We develop it through prayer, reading and studying scripture, worship, and fellowship with others. Just as we develop relationship with those around us, we can develop a relationship with Jesus, and be assured that when the master of the house shuts and locks the door, we will be on the inside.