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April 29, Day #120 – Much Land Yet to Conquer

All three of our readings for today are especially applicable to us as Christians. Today in Joshua 13-14, we see in chapter 13 verses 1-7, a brief summary of the land that remained to be taken by the Israelites. The Lord charges Joshua – now in his old age - to complete the task. Notice - “The LORD said to Joshua, ‘You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over’” (verse 1). Spiritually, this is a good lesson for all of us. Although we may have known the Lord for a very long time in our lives – many of us are already “old” in the Christian life, but nevertheless, there is still much “land to take over” – still many lessons for us to learn. Regardless of how long – or how short – we have been believers, we still have much in the spiritual life yet to conquer. In the rest of today’s section, we observe the Lord’s certification of and blessing on Moses for his previous allotments of the land and its particular boundaries for the various tribes of Israel (cf., Deuteronomy 3:12-20). East of the Jordan River, portions of land are given to the half tribe of Manasseh, the Reubenites, and the Gadites. Chapter 14 presents the division of the land west of the Jordan River to “the nine-and-a-half tribes” (verse 3). We also see Caleb’s claim to receive God’s promise to him for “bringing back a good report” and for “following the LORD his God wholeheartedly” (verses 7-8). God blessed Caleb and fulfilled His promise to him for his faithful service to the Lord. This is also an important lesson for us to learn. Of both men - Joshua and Caleb - it could be said that they served the Lord “wholeheartedly” (cf., Numbers 14:34 and 32:12). May that be true of us and said of our testimony as well.

Psalm 52, of David, is a warning to self-sufficient men and women who boast about their evil ways. Such people are a “disgrace to God, Who will bring them down to everlasting ruin” (verse 5). However, by contrast, we want to follow verse 8, which says, “I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” We notice that it says God’s love is “unfailing.” That means His love is 100% certain and reliable, and it will never become ineffective. This truth should represent our starting point for all Christian endeavor. Referring to this passage in his devotionals, Nicky Gumbel says that, “Until God opens the door, we should praise Him in the hallway.” In addition, he prays, “Lord, help me to finish well. May I be able to say at the end of my life, ‘I have followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.’” I pray and trust that this might be true of you and me also.

In Luke 24:36-53, we see that Jesus is concerned about all our “troubles and doubts” (verse 38). I’m so thankful that our God understands and seeks to comfort us in our “troubles and doubts” – which, for me – are many. I’m thankful that, no matter how large they loom over us or how small they actually are to Him, He is still concerned about them. His desire is to reassure us and carry us even through our darkest moments. We have every reason to “worship Him with great joy” (verse 52). As he did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus also opens our minds to receive and understand the Word of God. Clearly, the Bible is His story - from Genesis to Revelation - and He enables us through His Holy Spirit to understand everything He teaches us. We need always to express our gratitude to God for giving us the precious gift of His Word. We have much to be thankful for, and much land yet to conquer.

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