Bible reading for July 16.
"And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed." (Joshua 23:14)
FINAL WORDS. This chapter and the next record the last two messages Joshua gives before he dies. He concludes with words that echo the first chapter: "Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day" (23:6-8; cf 1:5-9).
TAKEAWAY. The call for courage, obedience, and separation from worldliness applies to believers today as much as it did for Israel. "Worldliness is a spirit, an atmosphere, an influence permeating the whole of life and human society, and it needs to be guarded against constantly and strenuously." (W. H. Griffith Thomas) Our strength comes from taking God at his word, stepping out in bold obedience, and knowing that the Lord will fulfill all his promises to us.
"Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago." (Acts 3:19-21)
WALKING AND LEAPING. The first miracle of healing in the book of Acts is the restoration of a man lame from birth. Not only is his malady healed but his atrophied muscles are restored to strength. He had never walked before! In Jesus' name he is healed, not by the Apostles' own power or piety. This gate named "Beautiful" (on Mount Zion) recalls the words in Isaiah, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, 'Your God reigns.'" (52:7) It was a beautiful miracle, and his feet (now walking and leaping) are beautiful because he is praising the God of Good News who reigns in power. The public messages in these first chapters of Acts are not vague about how people are to respond -- they are to repent. This means to turn around, change their mind, do a U-turn in their whole approach to God and his Son, Jesus, who was crucified and raised. Repentance is the flip side of faith -- turning away from something (sin, unbelief, idols, the devil) and turning to Someone (1 Thess 1:9-10). So, have you made that U-turn yet?
Image credit: photo from iStock.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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