Godly Living.

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“When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident; I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:9-10.

As the Hebrews were wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, God gave them the Law and instructed Moses on how the Law was to be followed. The 613 laws that make up the Law cover every aspect of life, from cleanliness and sanitation codes to the proper methods of offering sacrifices. There was not a single area or aspect of daily life that the Law does not touch upon. One of the purposes of the Law was to make God’s people reflect upon Him throughout the day, in everything they did.

God gave the Israelites very clear instructions on how to treat one another, specifically about how they were to take care of each other. In this text, God is telling the Hebrews how to ensure the poor around them were provided for. When the Hebrews were harvesting their wheat or grapes, they were to leave an area unharvested and to leave whatever fell on the ground, so that those who had no land or means of farming could come and gather the leftover and fallen wheat or grapes to sustain themselves. God wanted to illustrate to the Hebrews that it was their duty to one another to take care of each other. It made no difference if they where rich or poor, they were all in the Promised Land together, and they were all equals.

This is a lesson that is hard for us to understand today. Our world is much more fast-paced and we look out only for ourselves because it is easier for us to focus only on our own lives. Taking care of those around us who are less fortunate is not always a concern of ours. In fact, we often blame the poor for being in the position they are in. When people to speak out about helping the less fortunate, they are branded as radicals and socialists. We must remember the moral guidelines of Law that God gave to the Hebrews, and employ those statutes in our daily lives. We must take care of each other, for in this world, our fellow believers are all we have. We are all in this together.

Memorial Day.

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Today in the United States, we celebrate Memorial Day. For many, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer, which involves vacationing, cooking-out, and other outdoor festivities. However, Memorial Day is a much more serious holiday than simply marking the start of summer.

On Memorial Day, we reflect on the sacrifices of many brave men and women who died in the service of our country. The freedoms that America gained after our independence from Britain has been preserved throughout countless conflicts because of the willingness of men and women to step up and fight to protect their homes, families, and neighbors, and to protect the rights that we in this country enjoy. Many brave men and women answered their nation’s call to service, and many gave their lives in that service. It is with a somber attitude that we remember those who died on this Memorial Day.

However, as followers of Christ, every day is Memorial Day. Once a year we reflect on the sacrifice that many people made to keep us free, but we should reflect daily on the sacrifice that Jesus made to make us free from sin. He died so that we may be made clean. He died to redeem us from the bondage and captivity we were in. He died to pay the price of our sins, so that we can live eternally. Being made free from sin, is much greater than any of the freedoms granted to us by our Constitution.

Not only did Christ die to make us free from sin, He came back from the grave to defeat death once and for all. We have nothing to fear in death, only the kingdom of Heaven to look forward to. Christ is alive today, and we must give Him the glory and respect He deserves. We must do this every day, not just on Sunday, or at Easter. We must daily remember the sacrifice that Christ made for us out of His infinite love for us. At the end of the day, our country of origin or national allegiance does not matter; that will not get us into Heaven. All of mankind is guilty of sin and separated from God. It is only through Christ’s death and resurrection that we are redeemed. His sacrifice–for ALL of mankind– is the one that should matter most to us, for His is the only one that saves us.

Before Abraham Was.

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“The Pharisees replied, “You aren’t even 50 years old, and You’ve seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.” At that, they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus walked right by them and left the temple.“ John 8:57-59.

A constant theme throughout the New Testament is Christ’s repeated confrontations with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were one of 4 distinct groups within Judaism during the first century. They were religious scholars who took a very literal and conservative view of scripture. These men were smart and well-read and had been studying the Scriptures since their youth. The Pharisees continually debated the Scriptures amongst themselves in an attempt to fully understand everything they could about God. The knowledge and understanding of Scripture that Jesus had, despite His lack of education, baffled the Pharisees, and they continually asked Him hard questions to test the limits of His knowledge and see if they could stump Him.

One particular day, the debate between Jesus and the Pharisees became quite heated. The Pharisees, once again unable to stump Jesus with questions, began to launch ad hominem attacks on Him and to question His Jewishness; they accused Jesus of being a Samaritan and of being possessed by a demon. Christ, not ruffled by such accusations, continued to talk to them and said, “Anyone that keeps My word shall not taste death ever!” This statement made the Pharisees even madder, and they replied to Christ something along the lines of, “Who do you think you are? All the Prophets kept God’s word and they died. Even Abraham died! Are you greater than Abraham?”

Now, to refresh our memories, Abraham is the father of the Hebrew people. He was called by God to leave his home in Ur and to go to the Land of Canaan, which was given to him by God. God made a covenant with Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and that all the Earth would be blessed through Him. Abraham had a son named Isaac, and Issac had a son named Jacob. Jacob’s name would later be changed to Israel, and he had 12 sons. The Jews could trace their lineage through any one of Israel’s sons directly back to Abraham. The Hebrews, especially the Pharisees, took great pride in being the chosen people of God, and they were quite proud of their connection to Abraham. For Christ to make a statement that He was greater than Abraham was a big thing to the Pharisees.

Christ went on to explain that everything He does is done to bring glory to God, His father. In the course of explaining this, Christ said “Abraham rejoiced to see my day.” This comment really confused the Pharisees because Abraham had been dead for hundreds of years by this point, and Christ was only about 30 years old, give or take. What Christ meant was that Abraham had the assurance that God would send the Messiah one day, and he rejoiced in that. But the Pharisees, many of whom did not think Christ was the Messiah, failed to see what Christ meant. Instead, they mocked Christ and scoffed, “You’re not even 50 years old, and You’ve seen Abraham?”

Then Christ made the boldest statement of His ministry, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”  When the Pharisees heard this, they were shocked, and then they tried to kill Him. What was it that Christ said that made them pick up stones to kill Christ?

“I AM,” is the name of God. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, Moses asked God, “Who should I tell Pharaoh sent me to free the Israelites?” God replied, “Tell them I AM sent you.” “I AM” is God’s first name; it is the name that He uses for Himself. When Christ told the Pharisees that “before Abraham was, I Am,” He was telling them that He is God. He was using God’s first name for Himself. This was one of few times that Christ publicly announced His divinity, and those around Him couldn’t comprehend it. To the Pharisees, who did not believe Jesus was the divine Son of God, this was blasphemy, and the punishment for blasphemy was death. But even as they rushed to pick up stones to kill Him with, Christ walked calmly through their midst and out of the temple.

As followers of Christ, we do believe that He is God. He and the Father are one. He existed before the foundation of the universe, He exists today, and He will exist forever.

Get Out of the Boat.

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“And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the strength of the wind and waves, he was afraid. And beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got in the boat, the wind ceased. Then those in the boat worshiped Him and said, “Truly You are the Son of God!” Matthew 14:29-33.

One day after Jesus had been preaching, He wished to be alone for a while. As the crowds went home, Jesus sent the disciples ahead on a boat to the other side of the sea of Galilee, and He went up into the mountains to pray.

The sea of Galilee isn’t really a sea, it is more of a lake, and it is located in northern Israel, in the region of Galilee. The sea was famous for being the focal point of the Galilean fishing industry, and the majority of men in Galilee–including many of the disciples–were fishermen. But there is something else that the sea of Galilee was famous for–storms.

Storms on the sea of Galilee were furious, and they could appear out of nowhere. The reason for these storms is largely due to the sea’s location and surrounding area. It is completely surrounded by mountains, and these mountains keep the warm, moist air from escaping the area of the lake. However, the air on the other side of the mountains is cold from the elevation and dry from the desert climate. When these two different air masses meet, the resulting storms can be extraordinary. To make matters worse, the sea itself is relatively shallow, and this means that storms can stir the sea up very easily. All the disciples in the boat knew the sea’s proclivity for storms, and they were trying to reach the other side as quickly as they could.

As night began to fall, the twelve disciples were still in the boat, and the were miles from either shore. A fierce storm came up and they were greatly afraid because their boat was being battered by the waves. Around three o’clock in the morning, they spotted something in the water, but it was something they had never seen before, and it was something they could not understand– they saw a man walking on the water. Their first instinct was to think it was a ghost, and this frightened them even more, but the man called out, “Do not be afraid, it is I.” The disciples then realized the man was Jesus, and they were greatly relieved.

Wanting to make sure it really was Jesus, Peter calls out to Him, “If it is You, Lord, let me walk to You on the water,” and Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water to Jesus; that experience must have been incredibly exciting. But, Peter’s focus shifted away from Christ; fairly quickly he was distracted and overwhelmed by the storm raging around him. As soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink down into the water, and he cried out to Jesus to save him. Instantly Jesus was there and caught Peter. As Christ was pulling Peter out of the water, He asked him this question, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Then Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the storm ceased, and the disciples celebrated and worshiped Jesus.

Our lives are filled with storms and conflicts. Quite often, we are unsure how to cope with whatever problems we are facing and we feel completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the storm all around us. Just like Peter, we challenge Jesus to perform a miracle to prove to us that He is really in control. We may even have enough faith to get out of the boat–to get out of our comfort zone and everything we know– when Christ commands us to come to Him. But just like Peter, we are too focused on the storm around us to appreciate the miracles Christ is performing all around us, and we let ourselves sink into doubt and fear and be swallowed up by our problems. Though we are constantly lacking in faith, Jesus will always be there to pull us out of the raging sea, and He will get us safely to the other shore.

We must learn to trust in Him and let our faith grow from these experiences. Do not be overwhelmed by whatever trials, problems, or obstacles you are facing right now. These storms are only temporary. Christ is there in the thick of the storm with you, calling you to come to Him. Have enough faith to get out of the boat and walk to Him. Do not let your doubts hold you back. Rest assured that, even if you falter and begin to sink, He will rescue you. Put your faith into action and get out of the boat.

Atonement.

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“For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. Rarely will someone die for a just person–though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” Romans 5:6-8.

Atonement- (noun) satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.

Atonement is a popular theme to be portrayed in movies or literature. Often, a vilified character will realize the error of their ways and will sacrifice themselves in order to help the story’s hero or heroine escape death. The idea is that the guilt and moral debt that the villain has accumulated through his immoral behavior is paid off by him willingly giving up his life to help someone else; supposedly this “ultimate sacrifice” is enough to erase all their misdeeds.

However heartwarming such a twist may be to a story, it is not a common occurrence in real life. Very seldom, as Paul pointed out, will anyone take the place of someone else facing death, even if the person facing death is innocent. But imagine how much more mind blowing it would be for an innocent person to take the place of a guilty person facing death. That very thought is almost more than we can imagine.

That is exactly what Christ did for us. We are all guilty of sin and sentenced to death because of it. On top of that, there is no amount of good we can do to atone for our own sins; we are completely helpless and lost to sin. But Christ, who was perfect and never sinned, died in place of us, so that we don’t have to die; He took our punishment upon Himself. By doing this, Christ paid the price for our sin; He made amends for us. This act of atonement allows us to forgo an eternity of separation from God, and allows us to enjoy eternal life with God instead. As mind-blowing as this may sound, it is true. Christ loves humanity so much that He died to atone all of mankind–the godly and the ungodly. His death opens to the world the gates to eternal life, and whoever hears His call will find it.

Christ has cleared our records of all our sins. He has given us clean slates and new life; He has atoned us all. Though we were guilty of all our sins, He died so that we never will. And He did this out of love.

The Greatest of These

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“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy; is not boastful; is not conceited; does not act improperly; is not selfish; is not provoked; does not keep a record of wrongs; finds no joy in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth; love bears all things, love believes all things, love hopes all things, love endures all things. Love never ends…Now these three things remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13.

This is by far one of the most well-known verses in the New Testament, and it is by far one of the hardest to understand and live by. These verses, eloquent and beautiful in their simplicity, convey to us a depth of love that we all desire; yet this depth of love is one which we often fail to exhibit in our lives.

In the Greek language, there are several different words for love, and each word conveys a specific type of love. For instance, the word “storge” describes the sense of love one has for members of their family. The word “philia” describes the love or sense of affection that friends may have for one another, sometimes referred to as “brotherly love.” Then there is the word “eros,” which describes the passionate love felt between lovers–this form of love is often explosive and uncontrollable.

Each of these words describes a certain type of love, yet none of them are quite strong enough to describe the love that the apostle Paul wrote of in 1 Corinthians. He spoke of a love that surpasses all of these other forms of love; the love he spoke of is not an emotion, it is a mandate.

The love Paul spoke of was “agape.” There is no adequate English translation for agape, the closest definition is “unconditional love.” To exhibit agape love means to love someone regardless of whether or not they love you back. This is a love that is impossible to practice without God.

We are humans and we are subject to our own whims and emotions. We can be petty, and at times we treat each other terribly. Agape love is a form of love that is completely foreign to our sinful natures. When we are in our sinful states, it is totally impossible for us to have a love that is patient, kind, or without envy. It is impossible for us to love others and not be selfish, quick to anger, or to overlook the mistakes of other people. Everything unconditional love represents is the total opposite of what our sinful nature inclines us to do.

How then are we to exhibit this love? From where do we learn to do it?

The answer is simple:from Christ.

Christ came to Earth and modeled for us the way to exhibit unconditional love, love that surpasses all other forms of love that we know. Christ came and died because He loved the world, in spite of the fact that many in the world will never love Him. Furthermore, Christ embodies everything that Paul described about agape love. Christ is patient and kind, and when we place our faith and trust in Him, He wipes out any trace of our wrongdoings. Christ gives us the strength to bear all things, to believe all things, to hope all things, and to endure all things. Christ never ends. Without Christ, we would never be able to understand the depth of unconditional love. This is the love that we, as Christ’s followers, are to have for one another. This is the love that we are to exhibit to the world, for this is the love that Christ shows for us.

When we examine our own lives and the various relationships that we have, we realize how far we fall short of this standard of love. Quite often, we find ourselves exhibiting qualities such as impatience, anger, selfishness, envy, and boasting. We realize how often we provoke others, or allow ourselves to be provoked; we see how we hold on to the wrongs and mistakes that other people have made and we see how we hold those things over them so as to be constant reminders of their shortcomings. We also see how quickly we give up hope and belief, and how quickly our endurance fails and we throw in the towel and give up.

We must daily go to Christ and allow Him to show us how to exhibit unconditional love. Without His help or guidance, we will not be able to understand, much less treat those around us, with this love that we are instructed to live with. Above all else, we must remember this–unconditional love is not an emotion, it is a duty. Emotions will come and go, but duty remains constant. We love unconditionally, not because we want to, but because it is our duty, to one another and to the world.

Narrow Way.

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“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.

Contrary to what many modern-day Christians think and believe, Christianity was never meant to be “mainstream,” and it was never meant to be accepted by society. Yes, we are to spread Christ’s teachings to all the world, but Christianity was never meant to be a state religion, or to be a bandwagon or fad for people to jump on or off of as they choose, and it certainly was not ever supposed to be a political force–we can look back to history and thank the Roman emperor Constantine for the state of Christianity as we know it today. Christ said quite the opposite about what it means to seek after God. The road to eternal life, which is the road to God, is one that few people will find. Only those called by God will find this road, and this refutes any idea or notion that there are multiple paths to God. Christ alone is the way to the narrow gate. This road is equally difficult to follow, and it requires much hard work and dedication. Following Christ is not easy, nor was it ever meant to be. Christ here warned all who were listening to Him that day that the road to eternal life is not an easy one to travel, but the toil and strife encountered on that road pale in comparison to the reward that awaits us at its end.

If the road to life is difficult to find, the road to destruction is impossible to miss. This is the road that we are all on while we are slaves to our sin. This is the way of the world, and it is a road that does not require any excess work to travel upon. It is the path of least resistance. The road to destruction is wide and smooth, and paved not only with sin and vice, but good intentions as well.

There is hope for those who are traveling on the road to destruction. At any time, they can hear Christ’s call on their life and follow Him on the road to life. His sacrifice on Calvary makes it possible for all of mankind to have access to that road. He can save even the most lost and boldest of sinners and redeem them from the sins of their past.

Christ also gives hope to those who are on the road to life. He told us it is a hard road to follow–it is full of bumps and may lead through dark valleys. But He is with us through it all. He is our constant companion on this journey, and He will be right by our side for as long as we travel. We have nothing to fear. He will see us through to the end.

Do not get caught up in the crowds that are heading down the road to destruction. Seek after Christ and listen for His voice. He will show you the way to the narrow gate, and He will walk with you as you travel the narrow road to life.

Satisfaction.

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“God, You are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.” Psalm 63:1.

Deserts, by their very definition, receive very little rain. Because of this, water is a precious commodity in areas with a desert climate. When trekking through the desert, one’s biggest concern isn’t the heat or the intense blaze of the sun, rather the most critical concern is dehydration. There are measures a person can take to deal with the sun and heat, but without water there is nothing anyone can do to avoid dehydration. A human will sweat and lose drastic amounts of vital fluids from the combination of sun and heat, and because there is such a lack of water to replace these fluids, dehydration sets in very quickly.  While in the desert, the desire for water is so great that it can drive a person crazy. In fact, many people who have survived severe desert experiences recount seeing mirages, or visual illusions that are the result of the severe heat and lack of water. In many of these accounts, the most common mirage people see is an oasis, or a random source of fresh drinking water in the middle of the desert. The desire for water will supersede any other bodily desire, and only water can satisfy that craving–nothing else will do.

This psalm compares our physical need for water in a desert to our spiritual need for God. This world is a spiritual desert, and our souls long for some crucial missing element. While we are in our sinful states, we do not realize that God is the element that we seek. Instead we try to seek satisfaction and fill the hole in our souls with any number of vices, drugs, alcohol, sex, or anything else imaginable. But these are nothing more than mirages, and these sinful illusions leave us feeling emptier and more spiritually dehydrated than we were before.

As David writes in this psalm, God is the only thing that will satisfy the thirst of our souls. He is the only thing that can fill the hole within us. He alone is our satisfaction. In Him, we have a deep spring of water that will keep our spirits nourished and satisfied, even in the driest of deserts. We must continually seek after Him and seek to stay nourished in Him.

Thorns.

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“Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given me so that I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness….” So because of Christ, I am pleased in weakness… for when I am weak, then I am strong.“ 2 Corinthians 12:7-11.

At some point in our lives or another, we deal with pain, suffering, temptation, or weakness. We wonder why we are afflicted with whatever ailments we deal with, and at times, the suffering we experience is enough to drive us mad. Why then, does God allow us to experience pain and suffering from the “thorns in our flesh?”

The apostle Paul wrestled with this same question. We are not told in the Scriptures what his thorn was, but it was something that plagued him throughout his life. He prayed numerous times for God to remove his thorn, yet God did not. In time, Paul began to realize that there are lessons to be learned from our suffering, and we must remember these lessons when we are dealing with our thorns.

1- Our thorns remind us that we are limited, imperfect creatures. Even though mankind is the pinnacle of God’s created world, we are very limited creatures. Suffering was brought into this world through man’s sin and disobedience. The thorns in our flesh serve to humble us, just as Paul mentioned, to remembering the simple fact that we are only human, and that we are completely weak and vulnerable without God.

2-Our thorns remind us that this world is temporary. All pain and suffering is temporary, even in bouts with chronic illness or disease there are brief moments of respite when the pain subsides. Just as we are limited and imperfect creatures, so is this world. The thorns in our flesh remind us that we are meant for another world, a world in which we will not be racked by pain or suffering. In a way, our suffering serves to give us hope.

3- Most importantly, our thorns serve to teach us to rely on God. The following point must be made absolutely clear: God does not place suffering upon us.  God did not create suffering or pain. Pain, suffering, temptation, heartache, anguish, grief, death, and all the like were brought into the world by sin. When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, a Pandora’s box of sorts was opened, unleashing upon the world all the terrible emotions, feelings, sensations, and experiences we deal with today. We must remember that, because we often blame God for giving us whatever things we suffer with. God does not give pain or suffering to anyone, man brought that upon himself. But, God does use our pain and suffering to show us how much we need Him. We see how limited we are, and we realize that we need to look outside of ourselves for help and hope. Through our thorns, we learn to be patient, we learn to be humble, we learn to depend on God. It is through our suffering that we learn to trust His grace. He works through our weakness to prove His strength, and in doing so, He makes us stronger as well. That is why, as Paul said, we can take joy in being weak, because it is then that we are truly strong. We are at our strongest when we are suffering, because it is then that we truly rely on God and put all of our trust and faith in Him.

Though we do not like it, suffering is unavoidable in this life. Whatever the thorn in our flesh is, we must bear it. We must remember that the thorns in our flesh are the result of man’s sinfulness, and we must not angrily question God in our moments of weakness. Instead, we must take comfort in the fact that God is with us in our suffering. He will build us up and make us stronger, but sometimes we must hit rock bottom before He does so. No matter what sort of thorn we are dealing with, we must keep our faith and trust in God. We must rely on Him, and we must remember that, though He may not take away our thorn, He will always give us the strength to deal with the thorn in our flesh. Above all else, we must praise Him for the fact that our suffering is temporary, and we must take hope in the fact that one day we will suffer no more.

Do Not Be Afraid.

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“The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8.

Shortly before his death, Moses spoke these words to his successor, Joshua. He was offering Joshua his last words of wisdom and encouragement. The time was nearing for Moses to step down and go to his death, but before he did so, Moses wanted to remind Joshua of one important fact: that God would always be with him.

Moses had by this time been leading the Israelites through the wilderness for 40 years. Before that, God had called him to lead them out of slavery in Egypt. Moses was completely convinced that he was not the right person for such a task, but God would not take no for an answer from Moses. God worked through Moses to accomplish great tasks and Moses finally understood that it was God who was leading the Israelites, not himself. He was merely the vessel that God used to accomplish His work. It was this humility that allowed Moses to be such a prolific and legendary leader.

As the Israelites wandered through the dessert, they faced a variety of challenges and setbacks, most of which were the result of their own lack of faith in God. Through all the ups and downs, the trials and obstacles, the moments of joy and the moments of sorrow that the Israelites faced during their dessert journey, Moses trusted in God to take care of them. Though it may have worn thin at times, Moses did not lose his faith in God. More importantly, Moses understood and realized that God would not forsake His people. God had made a covenant with the Hebrews, that He would be their God, and they would be His people. God also promised to give them a land of their own once He had freed them from slavery in Egypt. Though their lack of faith was delaying them, God was still keeping His promises. Moses knew that, as long as the people remained faithful to God, God would be faithful to them.

It was of the utmost importance that Joshua understood all these things. God had appointed Joshua to be Moses’ successor quite some time before this point in Deuteronomy, and Joshua knew quite well the task that lay before him. Just like Moses, Joshua had a strong faith in God; he knew that God’s will would be done no matter how much of a long shot it may seem to the people. When others around him doubted God, Joshua remained faithful–it was for this reason that he was chosen to be Moses’ successor. In order for the Israelites to enter the Promised Land, they needed to be strong and united in faith, and this would only be possible if the man leading them was strong in his faith. Moses had been, and Joshua would be too. Before he went “to rest with his fathers,” or to his death, Moses gave Joshua words of wisdom that only a person with strong faith who had lived a full life–120 years in Moses’ case– could give: Do not be afraid, God is with you. Always.  Though Moses was moving off the scene, God was not. God would continue to lead the Israelites just as He had done during Moses’ time. Though the cast of characters on the ground changes, God remains ever the same. Joshua had no reason to doubt himself or be overwhelmed by the task at hand, for God would be with him, leading the way.

We have that same confidence and reassurance in Christ today. He made the same promise to us as He ascended back into Heaven when He said, “I am with you always, even until the end of time.” Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. He will see us through the deepest, darkest nights and the times of utter chaos and uncertainty. When we have nothing else to hold on to, Christ will be with us. We have nothing to fear, for Christ is with us. Though our friends and family may forsake us, Christ never will. When we are at the end of our rope, Christ is there. He will be by our side through absolutely everything until we are reunited with Him in glory.

Do not lose hope, do not lose heart, do not be discouraged, for Christ is with us. He will never leave us. He will never desert us. He will never forget us. He is with us always, until the end of time.