Monday, November 26, 2012

Our Joshua Goes Ahead of Us

Joshua also will cross over ahead of you.

I hunted for the scripture that exhorts us to choose life. Deuteronomy 30 and 31 gave me many fresh exhortations as I thought of approaching retirement, but verse three of chapter 31 flashed at me. The rest faded. Joshua will cross over before me!

Before his death, Moses was passing on God's instructions. God's people were to cross into the Land of Promise with the Lord himself and Joshua in the lead.

Joshua, whose name means The Lord Saves, is the Hebrew equivalent of Jesus in the Greek. It's not a long jump to see the parallels.

As we choose life and follow God's instructions, we start seeing the fruit of God's promises. Along the journey, our trust and love of God grows and flourishes. Each moment of trust leads to God sightings.

Theirs was a time of transition and new challenges. Joshua would go ahead of the people. Great challenges would test their faith and fortitude, but God had given them a brave leader, chosen and equipped by God's grace. 

Getting ready to cross over into the unknown land of retirement, I meditated, chewed on the Word, and left the Table satisfied.


He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out... He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (John 10:3-4, NIV).

Meditate on Deuteronomy 31:1-8 or John 10:1-5.

What transition do you face? Could you use a brave and experienced leader?

How well do you know and trust Joshua?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Best Broken

We give Jesus our best and He breaks it.

Like 5 loaves and 2 fishes, our best may be just enough to meet our needs, but Jesus has bigger plans than we initially know.

He accepts our small offering, blesses, then tears our bread and fish.

It's not like He doesn't practice what He preaches. When He tore the bread at Passover, He said it was His body that would give life. The Master sets the course for the disciple.

You'd think the torn and broken would need to be tossed.

No. Jesus wastes nothing. In fact, He multiplies the broken, like a buried grain of wheat that breaks open to birth new grain.  He takes delight when we open-handedly release our resources, regardless of what shape they are in. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. As we give Him our all and wait willingly, we encounter His surprises. When we trust Him, He may break and use our treasure. But in ways only our powerful Savior can, He multiplies those resources.

We observe God's work more clearly as we look back, and His work inspires awe. Just as Jesus was broken for many, so He breaks us to multiply God's presence through us.

Then we become fishes and loaves in His hands--broken to feed much more than one hungry belly. The Bread of Life makes us like Jesus Christ and we can spread God's love.

We're best broken.


Luke 9:10-17 - Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

In retrospect, can you recognize an excruciating experience that God used to reveal more of Himself in you? What did you learn from the breaking? the blessing? the multiplying?