Lighthouse

John 8:12 says that Jesus spake, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (KJV)

lighthouse

Lighthouse

 

As I read Scripture recently, it occurred to me that God’s Word was like the brilliant guiding light that emanates from a Lighthouse. In this post I am going to look at that comparison and you can comment as to whether or not you agree with me. I am going to compare the beam of God’s Word illuminating power with the beam of a lighthouse because oftentimes we feel a detachment from the Scriptures in our everyday life. We are buffeted from one difficulty to another without taking advantage of the guidance offered to all who believe by the Holy Spirit whose primary purpose is to help us stay away from the rocks and wrecks all around us–some hidden just below the (surface) water line and others clearly visual.

A lighthouse is a very tall tower with a bright light on top that is usually located at a dangerous navigational spot at the entrance to a harbor. Picture a huge traffic sign warning of impending danger.  A harbor is a place for ships to dock safely.  Although the first lighthouse in America was the Boston Light, built in 1716 at Boston Harbor. The history of lighthouses goes much further back in history to ancient Egypt, Pharos of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and the most famous lighthouse in antiquity.

I want you to image with me ancient mariners before the days of sails and steam rowing in a desperate attempt to fight the strong winds and swelling water threatening at any moment to overturn the ship and drown its occupants.  The mariners are rowing for their lives and straining every muscles as they try to keep the sea from dragging them to the bottom. They know they are getting closer to the harbor and the rocks, but they must keep the ship on course or be pulled under. Suddenly a light is seen in the distance.  As they get closer and the beam gets stronger, the crew realizes how close they were to meeting the doom of the rocks that lay at the harbor entrance, but the beam from shore is now safely guiding and illuminating their entry into the harbor.

As we visualize the lighthouse issuing its beam of light to safely guide those threaten by the sea, we need to think of God’s Word as a Light spreading farther, wider, and stronger than any man-made beam. From the time of the Fall of man to the birth of Jesus, man wandered in the stormy darkness seeking and avoiding the Laws of God when they pleased.  In times of trouble–seeking the Lord’s help–praying and following His guidance until they got what they wanted. When the trouble had passed, they went back to the worship of the idols of the surrounding nations.  Forgetting the Lord’s Laws and mercy in their time of trouble.

Jesus’ birth introduced a new Light into the world as foretold in Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” and Paul says in Ephesians 5:14, “… Christ shall give thee light.” (KJV) Can you picture Jesus walking among the people emanating a guiding beam into the darkness of their lives. Healing and teaching them to follow the Light of God’s Word. This beam keeps those who believe from being dashed on the rocks of the dangers of life.

It was the religious leaders (the learned men) who were determined to keep the populace floundering in the rough seas outside the safety of the harbor being battered by every sin and continuing to live under the weight of the Law of Moses.

The Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day thought to put out this Light beaming so brightly in the darkness of the lives of the common people. The more they tried to discredit and eliminate the beam of Light, the stronger it got.

The betrayal of Judas Iscariot, really gave hope to the religious leaders of the day.  Finally a way to quench the beam that was getting brighter with each passing day and jeopardizing everything they believed in and the power they had acquired due to their positions as purveyors of the Law of Moses.  The ultimate crucifixion of Jesus Christ (God’s Light to the World) caused great celebration among the Pharisees and other religious leaders. The beam had been extinguished never to return or at least that is what they thought.

The religious leaders were unaware that every move had been orchestrated according to God’s will.  Jesus Christ had already told His disciples of the events that would occur and that it had all been pre-ordinated before He was born. He told them that He must go. “I have told you these things while I am still with you. But the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor–Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things.  And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.” (John 14:25-26 AMP)

After Jesus’ resurrection and return to the assembled disciples, He told them to stay together until the Comforter came. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:14, JKV)

The Holy Spirit’s beam of light still stands illuminating the path of truth and salvation guiding those who hear and believe through the turbulence of life.  The Word of God is just as true today and protecting those who heed the Light from wrecking themselves as they flounder seeking refuge from the rocks and wrecks that dot the harbor. The really wonderful thing is that even if you damage the bottom of your ship many times, the beam of the Holy Spirit is still there. And, if you heed it, the beam can still save you from sinking as long as you believe in the salvation available to you and have a desire in your heart you can be shown by the beam of the Holy Spirit the right path to gain the safety and security of the Word of God.

Update

It has been several months since I posted and I wanted to update “Life” with me and my family. It is astounding how long it has been. “Life” happens so fast that sometimes, it can completely get away from you.

My daughter had a beautiful little girl in March in the middle of a full blown search for a new house. The owner of the house that we had been renting from decided to sell and move to New York. It still amazes me that this was right after we gave him notice that we would be moving so that my daughter could be closer to her job. The search for a new home took much longer than we expected and was really frustrating. During this time of stress and anxiety, it occurred to me as I was discussing the difficulties we were having with my daughter that God was in charge. He would not let us select a home that was not part of His plan for the family. We just had to wait and keep looking until the correct house was available for us as prescribed by God.

While in the middle of this search, my granddaughter was born in March. A beautiful baby girl.

AminaBoo

Veronica at 2 months old

The answer to a prayer. Our plans were to be moved and settled before the baby was born, but God had other plans obviously. “Many plans are in a man’s mind, But it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand (be carried out)”. (Proverbs 19:21, AMP) Shortly after her birth my daughter was told about a house that had just become available. After a tour, we decided that the house was perfect for our needs. What is really unbelievable is that the house is very close to her job. One of the primary objectives in the decision to move.  Everything was fitting into place. We were able to move quickly without excessive cost into a really comfortable home. I was reminded that only God’s plans fit together perfectly and effortlessly and this experience is another example of His grace shown to our family. I truly thank God for his kindness by showering us with blessings some we are aware of and many others that are not known to us. The best example is the birth of my little granddaughter, Veronica.

Well now that things have settled down, at least, for a little while.  I can return my attention to Shaped by a Potter’s Hands, developing my natural skin care products and nonprofit for single mothers. The last two projects will be introduced soon.

Take Care and Bless the Lord!

Spiritual Fog

Jesus and His disciples came to Bethsaida, a blind man was brought to him and he begged Jesus to touch him and give him his sight. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had put his hands on him and wiped spit in his eyes. Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village.” (Mark 8:22-26, NIV)blindness

The Bible describes four occasions when Jesus healed the blind.  Only on one occasion did He touch a person twice to heal them completely.  I have read this passage many times but when I reading it recently it occurred to me how unusual this was.  Not only did Jesus touch the blind man twice, but he took him out of his surroundings and told him not to return to the village after he received his sight.

Jesus did nothing without purpose and that would not bring glory to the Father.  Every miracle He performed had a purpose other than the healing of the individual(s).  The people of the region did not acknowledge Jesus although they were aware of His many miracles.  They had no faith, and because of their unbelief, He did not perform many miracles in the region.  In Matthew 23:26, Jesus admonishes the Pharisees for their unbelief.  Jesus also used this as a lesson for His disciples.  They who were closest to Jesus believed in Him but did not have clear spiritual vision.  Their vision was clearer than the Pharisees who were spiritually blind, but the disciples could not see clearly.  Their vision did not become clear until after Jesus’ death and resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they understood clearly all that Jesus had said and done.

All Believers have what I call spiritual fogginess at one time or the other, and some never get passed the fog.  This is often because we are so used to being in a fog that we are unaware of its existence.  Jesus asked the blind man of Bethsaida whether he was able to see clearly and he acknowledged that he saw people who looked like trees moving.  We do have someone to tell us we are in a spiritual fog and need to seek another healing touch to clear our sight–The Holy Spirit.  We must pray and listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit within us for help in moving away from the fog.

Our Spiritual Enlightenment is a continuous process.  We cannot see God’s truth clearly until our faith, obedience and growth develop in Jesus, “… the author and finisher of our faith….”  (Hebrew 12:2, NKJV) who increases the clarity of our spiritual vision through the Power of the Holy Spirit.

True Friendship

Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 (AMP)

As we go through life, we meet many people–some good, some bad. Some we really develop a deep relationship with and others are only people we meet in the tides of life. We are acquainted with them for a season of time then they melt away when there is no longer a connection. Although the friendship may seem really deep in the beginning, it turns into just a passing association with no real depth to hold it together.  You never know just when it happens, but you just grow and go in different directions, and lose touch with each other.

As I think about friendships I have had in the past or at least I thought they were friends, I realize that most of them were just associates (people you are familiar with but do not actually know well).  They were there for a time and then simply faded away.  I am not saying it was their fault. Sometimes I know it has been my fault.  Some I regret and some I do not.  The door to friendship swings both ways.

It is hard to find a true friend these days.  Someone who shows signs of true friendship and honestly wants the best for you and you for them. These qualities are usually the result of time and testing.

Signs of true friendship:

  • Won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of friendship or anything else. (Ask you to take merchandise from the store you work for.)
  • Inspires and motivates you to live up to your full potential and not to. cave into your weaknesses.
  • Willing to tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not.
  • Look out for you when you won’t look out for yourself.  (won’t let you drive drunk)

Because friendship is a mutual aspiration connection, you also want the best for your friend as they want for you.  A true friend is hard to find. We as Believers must be careful to invest in friendships that will enhance us and not corrupt us.

I know that there have been times when I developed what I thought were friendships but actually resulted in the door of “so-called” friendship swinging only one way or they did enough to appear to be concerned but in reality were not (the door was only cracked). Because friendship can lead to putting down your guard, I have let myself be pulled into situations and done things I would not normally do for the sake of friendship.  Nothing illegal but just things that I now regret because I thought the person was a friend.

Now that I am older, I look to God’s Word to help me understand what true friendship should look like.  I found the friendship that existed between David and Jonathan (King Saul’s son).  Though they were both aware of Saul’s efforts to kill David. 1 Samuel 23:18 says, “And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood and Jonathan went to his house.” (KJV)  Friendship is an entire sameness and one soul.  A friend is another self.  Someone who has similar morals and beliefs as you will always tell you the truth. After reading about this true and lasting friendship that continued even after Jonathan’s death, I have to admit that I have only experienced anything like this type of true friendship1friendship outside of my family maybe once.  Unfortunately, my friend died several years ago.  Now I know a lot of people and have several people I consider close associates, but if I compare them to David’s and Jonathan’s friendship, I am still lacking.

If during the course of your life you find one person who will share a friendship like David and Jonathan had, hold on to it.  Such a relationship is to be prized and preserved as a valued treasure.

I want to ask you a question:  Do you have friends or do you have a lot of associates?

Integrity

Definition:  Quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, morally upright.

The integrity and moral courage of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. (Proverbs 11:3, AMP)

Do you try to do your very best at everything you set your hand to or do youintegrity just do enough to get by?  As a Believer you should be striving for excellence, using Jesus as a  model.  It is unlikely that any of us will totally be able to match His model, but we can keep reaching towards the goal knowing that as long as we are trying we will continue to move forward.  We live in a world where mediocrity and substandard are a norm. How do we stand out in a world that imbues average as normal?  Where it is good enough to get by is always the response when you seek better quality or performance.

I am constantly reminded by my grandson when I tell him he must excel in his education, work up to his full potential,  and get into the habit of doing more in order to prepare for the type of life he says he want that I am passing all my classes with average grades. Or if I tell him that he is not living up to his full potential,  I get a, “Everyone else is doing it”.  My response to him is that you are not like everyone else, you want to get all that has been destine for you. To get it, you must give nothing less than the best and accept nothing less than the best.  No one can or should measure him/herself by anyone else.  I remind him that excellence should not only be his goal, but it is mine also, and there are times when I fall short and must try harder. Old habits are hard to break it is better to form good habits when you are young.

How do we change this habit of mediocrity–one task at a time.  Goals must be set and habits developed by each Believer that exemplify instead of float along on a sea of mediocrity.  Our behavior and performance should reflect a belief that Jesus is watching us because he is. “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.…” (2 Chronicles 16:9, KJV) “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” (Hebrews 4:13, AMP)

Integrity is an individual choice of how we wish to life.  As a Believer, living a life based on integrity should be one of the characteristics that shows that although you are a part of the world you are not of the world.

Reaching Forward

Philippians 3:13, “… But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” (AMP)

You cannot see what God has for your future while hanging onto your past.  God is the future. As we await the dawning of a New Year, we reach forward towards the unknown–developing goals to propel us into the future and the better life we want for ourselves and our families.  Many of these goals reflect changes we want to make in our own behavior.  As this New Year’s Eve brings us closer to the beginning of a New Year, our determination gets stronger to carry out our goals.

After the newest of the New Year wears off, many of us will settle back into the same old habits and the new goals become nothing more than a fond and frustrating memory to be filed away.  We have all done it; reached for the future and the unknown but allowed Satan to pull us back into the familiar and limited.  Doubts about the future and our past failures all bloom on the horizon reminding us of our fears and futile efforts of the past.

To get to the next thing, God has for you, you must leave the old and familiar.  A perfect example of this can be found in Abraham (Genesis 12:1-9).  He left everything he was familiar with and traveled with his family to an unknown country.  Three years ago my family and I made a move from North Carolina to Florida.  We did not know where we would be spending the night, had no job awaiting us, and only knew one person who lived in Florida.  What we did know was that it was time to leave North Carolina.  Everything went smoothly during the over 800 mile drive, my daughter driving the moving truck and I drove the car.  We found a hotel upon arrival that accepted dogs (We have two small ones.) and soon we found a house to rent, my daughter found a job and we were settled within a month of our arrival.  Sometimes, I still look back at and am amazed at how God looked out for us and put things in place for my family.  Truly,  I believe and have experienced His love.  I feel as though I have been sheltered from the storm.

Staying with a situation or a person longer than you should instead of moving toward the new thing that God has for you keeps you from the destiny that God has designated for you.  Do you feel the Holy Spirit within you gently pushing you toward the unknown and God’s future for you?  Are you reaching, but holding back?  Let Go and Let God is an expression I heard many years ago, but it still rings true.  Abraham listened to the Lord when told to leave all he knew and ventured forth with courage and did not doubt.  silhouette-936721_640Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Additional Scripture to help you move forward.

Psalms 62:8 “Trust [confidently] in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us.” (KJV)

Isaiah 43:18, ““Do not remember the former things, Or ponder the things of the past.  (AMP)

1 Peter, “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (AMP)

I pray that Everyone’s New Year is Happy, Prosperous, and

you attain your goals for 2017.

Are you Listening?

This time of year children anticipate the arrival of Christmas, they are warned by their parents that they must be patient.  Their behavior magically improves because Santa only brings toys and gifts to the good boys and girls.

Christmas Eve is the only night they do not have to be coerced to go to bed.  They retire early, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa.  Parents have usually informed their little ones that Santa will only come if they go to bed and are quiet.  That is the only way they will be able to hear the hoofs of the reindeers when they arrival on the roof.  They, of course, fall to sleep in the quiet, dark room while impatiently awaiting the sounds of the hoofs on the roof.

As parents, we, of course, know the reality of the arrival of the gifts and toys, and feel blessed to be able to provide for our children.  There is nothing that can replace the look of surprise and wonder on the faces of our kids as they bound into the room in search of treasure.

We are God’s children he is happy to provide for us,  but it is our option whether we believe and accept the gift of his love and salvation.  He offers the gift not once a year, but if we accept it, He through the Holy Spirit, walks with us as we journey through life.  We, as believers, do not have to wait in a quiet, dark room for the still, quiet voice that guides.  We only have to listen and allow ourselves to be guided along the right path.  Yes, sometimes we stumble, but we are not forsaken, but are lifted up and set aright just as a small child is when they fall while trying to learn to walk.

Do you hear the still, quiet voice in your spirit gently guiding you.  Do you listen or ignore it entirely?  Some call it conscience some call it common sense.  I call it the Holy Spirit guiding me. I personally do not believe things happen in isolation nor do things happen by coincidence.  The more you let yourself be guided, the louder the voice will be as you are guided to a life that reflects the Spirit that is within you as a believer.

May we all strain and train our hearts and minds to follow the small, quiet voice and take the better path.

 

I ask again —  Are you Listening?

Passing the Baton

Comparing the Discipleship of Joshua and Timothypassing-the-baton

Moses was Joshua’s spiritual father and Paul was Timothy’s.  These great men passed on the baton to their spiritual children so that God’s mission to lead the children of Israel to the Promised Land and spread the Gospel of salvation to the world would continue to be carried out.  Moses passed on the baton to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:7 just before his death and Paul mentions his impending death as he gives instructions to Timothy in 1 Timothy 3:14-16.

As I read 2 Timothy this morning , Paul was instructing, reminding, and uplifting his spiritual son so that he would have the fortitude to continue the work of the ministry.  Paul tells his disciple to persevere as he does and stand [his] ground with patience and endure everything for the sake of the elect [God’s chosen] (2 Timothy 2:10). As I read this, I thought of a similar instance of a leader passing the baton to his disciple–Moses to Joshua not the same words were spoken but the same inference was made.

This was Paul’s second letter to Timothy reminding him of the work of the ministry in spreading the Gospel.  The ministry that Paul was now imprisoned for in Rome.  Paul’s letters were to help booster the spirit of his beloved pupil and to insure that the fires of enthusiasm were not quenched by hardship and struggle.

Moses’ was able to impart a spirit of wisdom to Joshua and God spoke to him after Moses’ death.  Telling him to be bold and courageous and to lead the people into the Promised Land.  Timothy received his ordinance from Paul and others.  At that time I feel he too received a boost of the spirit to strengthen him for the struggles ahead.

Both of these men followed great men of God taking the baton of leadership and moving forward in the face of opposition and struggles.  Carrying the Light of God into the darkness of unbelief.

Joshua

While Joshua was definitely mentored by Moses to become his disciple, Joshua was also a skilled general and leader.  In Hebrews Joshua means Yahweh is salvation. With the Lord’s guidance, he showed potential during the Exodus and worked behind the scenes.  He lead the successful battle against the Amalekites (Exodus 17) and was one of the two original spies (Numbers 13-14) who encouraged the people of Israel to follow the Word of God and cross over the Jordan to possess the land the first time, and as such was one of the few who lived to cross over into the Promised Land after the generation had died out.  Moses  progressively groomed Joshua for leadership.

Joshua was a servant, helper, aide and stayed close to Moses from his youth.  There was an ongoing relationship between Moses and Joshua.  When God moved to change command of Israel after Moses’ death, Joshua was ready whether he realized it or not God and Moses knew.  Joshua rose to the command of God to lead His people into the Promised Land to take possession as God had decreed.

Timothy

Timothy was half Greek and Jewish.  His name means honoring God or precious of God.  His faith emerged from his grandmother Lois and was passed to her daughter Timothy’s mother, Eunice. Paul’s first missionary travels opened the mind of Timothy, his mother, and grandmother to the truth of Jesus.  He was a good example and well-thought by the Christians in the area of Asia Minor.  Timothy eventually became the first Christian Bishop of Ephesus (Ephesians).

Although many centuries, kings judges and prophets pronouncing God’s word, ruled Israel and its people, Joshua and Timothy had several things in common:

  1. They were  both proteges of great men of God. (Joshua-Moses and Timothy-Paul).  Both Moses and Paul moved and carried God’s Word into new areas one for the Israelites and the other to the Gentiles.
  2. They worked from an early age to be shaped by their prophets.
  3. They were both gifted with great ability and a willingness to follow God’s word.
  4. They both worked behind the scenes as assistants and helpers for many years to prepare for the great tasks for which they were destined.

Each of these men had a burning need to learn and follow their prophets.  They sat at their feet and learned, participated in their trials and shaped their lives after their leadership examples.

Joshua had to be prophet (God’s spokesman) and military leader just as Moses.  Timothy was student and assistant following Paul bringing God’s word to the Gentile.  Paul described in 1 Timothy 1:2 Timothy as his spiritual son.  I believe that Moses looked upon Joshua just as endearingly because he was Moses closes assistant.

Both of these men although separated by centuries played essential roles in the introduction and growth of the Word of God among the people of the world.

Is this God’s destiny for you?    Are you ready to take the baton?

Birthday Goals

Recently, I  was blessed to experience another birthday.  It has been my habit to look back on my life on birthdays and reflect on God’s blessings and my activities during the past year.  For me this is a time to review and start making changes and setting new goals for the upcoming year.  One of my continuous goals is to strengthen my relationship with the Father and to become more aware of the promptings of the Holy Spirit.  My intent is to lessen the time it takes me to respond to a prompting and to reduce the times that I ignore it altogether.  No matter how I try sometimes I still follow my own mind in direct contradiction of what the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do.  Just as Paul said in Romans 7:14-15 , 21-25:

“… I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (ESV)

When I make the wrong decision despite what the Holy Spirit prompted me to do, I repent and ask forgiveness and try to do better.  But fortunately for me, I have a forgiving God who loves me, and continues to look after me in all my hard-headedness.  Despite of my stumbles, I know that I have made progress and continue to make a conscious effort to move forward.

My hard-headedness and stubborn disobedience reminds me of the exiles of Israel after God brought them out of Egypt  making Aaron create the golden calf during Moses’ absence on Mt. Sinai incurring God’s anger and resulting in a great loss of life and thstubborneir wandering in the desert for 40 years. After the Lord had brought them out of Egypt and Moses led them through the Red Sea and drown the Egyptians. Those who witnessed the miracles and examples of the Lord’s power, it should have been enough.  But time after time, they tried the Lord’s patience and suffered the results of taking the wrong path.  Isaiah 48:4, “Because I know that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew and your forehead brass,” (ESV)

One of the many benefits of being a child of God is that we can be wrong and hard headed, but still be able to repent, and go the Father for forgiveness because we have an intercessor who will constantly plead on our behalf.  Fortunately, for us Jesus has been assailed with the weaknesses, trials, and pitfalls of being human and conquered them.  He understands the pull of Satan and how to fight against and overcome temptation.

As I stride to improve and be a grateful recipient of God’s grace, I thank Jesus every day for being my intercessor and understanding the weaknesses of the flesh.

Have You Thanked Him Today?

Courage

lion-515028_640Courage – The quality of mind or spirit that enables one to deal with or face danger, fear, pain, etc; the confidence to act in accordance with one’s belief.

Joshua is one of my favorite prophets of the Old Testament.  He was the first prophet after Moses, the greatest of them all; hand-picked by God and a man who God talked with face-to-face.  Joshua as Moses’ second-in-command was brought up under the tutelage of Moses.  Moses was truly a tough act to follow.

After the death of Moses, Joshua had to step-up and lead the people into the Promised Land across the Jordan.  Can you imagine trying to step into the shoes of Moses.  I am sure that this heavy responsibility caused Joshua to doubt his abilities and result in some sleepless nights.  God and Moses knew of Joshua’s uncertainty that is why Moses “… laid his hands upon him [Joshua]; at an assembly of the people so the Israelites would listen to him and do as the Lord commanded.” (Deuteronomy 34:9, Amplified)   At the laying on of Moses’ hands, Joshua not only received confirmation of the handing over of  leadership to him but he also received the spirit of wisdom from Moses.  Without this confirmation the Israelites would more than likely not accepted Joshua after Moses without question for they were known for being a stiff-necked and difficult people.

Joshua was told by the Lord to  “Be strong and confident and courageous, for you will give this people as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers (ancestors) to give them.  Only be strong and very courageous … ” (Joshua 1:6-7, AMP)

I cannot count how many times I have read Joshua 1:6-9 during times of trials in my life.  Each time I read this Scripture it gave me the strength to continue.  When I was car-less and had to ride the bus and subway an hour and a-half to work each day and then return in the evening to begin my other job as a mom to my two kids, cooking dinner, helping with homework, cleaning up, etc. believe me I needed all the strength I could muster. Joshua 1:9 was just one of the scriptures that I wrote on a 3×5 card and read every day, but this one was one of my favorites. So many times as I got tired, depressed, and frustrated reading about what God said to Joshua encouraged me to keep on going and reminded me that my family depended on me to be courageous and keep going.  As I often told my kids,

Giving up is not an option!

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