Joshua 23:7 No Association

Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. Joshua 23:7

Successful business leaders are very careful as to who they hang around with. They do not want to be around people who do not work or cannot bring them success to their business. All that occur in being around such people is bring them down or get them on the wrong track, harming their business and success.

Focus is on what is needed to be successful.

Joshua reminds the people to not associate with the nations around them. They are to not seek, serve, worship or talk about their false gods.

Many believers, in theory, seek to be friends with the world in order to be a witness to the world. However, in reality, many believers that become friends with the world end up becoming more like the world. The characteristics and beliefs of the world are allowed to rub off on the believer.

It is common for some believers to talk about the gods of the world so much that they end up serving those gods. Too many in the church look more like the world than they look like Jesus. And many do not care.

Every believer is called to be separate, different from the world. None are to believe in the gods of this world, gods of pride, alcohol, greed, wealth, jealousy, porn, illegitimate sex, gossip and any other sins.

Jesus was among the world, but He did not become like the world. Though the temptation was there, Jesus never bowed down to the false gods of this world. He called people out of their lives of sin and death unto an eternal life. Believers are to live in the same way.

Ask yourself who has the greatest influence on you in your life. This can be seen in who you choose to hang around with on a regular basis. Surround yourself with people who serve God so that you can be built up to be a witness of who Jesus is.

Go into the world to be a witness, but do not allow yourself to be like the world. Being like the world is not being a witness, but is walking away from God and disobeying God.

Who are you associating with on a regular basis?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be a true witness for Jesus to the world; that God will help you not be influenced by the fallen world; that God will give you strength to flee all sin; and that you will serve God alone.

John 4:8 Reaching The Unwanted

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) John 4:8

Most groups of people have other groups that they do not like to be around. Some are full ethnic groups that hate other ethnic groups. The majority are not against ethnicity, but against people who are undesirable or different.

Often the ones being shunned are the mentally disabled, handicapped, gang members, drug addicts, murderers, criminals and other such people. Sometimes they are people of a different social class or position.

Jesus began to talk to a Samaritan woman at a well. She asked Him why He was talking to her, because Jews had nothing to do with them.

Church members are often seen to do what the Samaritan woman expected, to not talk to or approach certain people. Some believe that there is no hope for them at all. Others do it because they want to remain pure and do not want to be contaminated by sin.

There is hope for everyone. No one is beyond redemption by Jesus. All they need is someone to reach out and tell them there is hope.

While it is true that one should not be contaminated by the sins of others, people still need to be reached with the gospel message. One can speak with a sinner and not pick up their sin, nor just condemn their sin, but needs to love them and point them to the need for Jesus and to turn from sin.

During the time of Jesus, the Israelites would have nothing to do with any Samaritan. They were considered an outcast in society. Along with that, men did not talk to women. Jesus did both these taboo things and the woman and many in her town were saved.

There are most likely some people that you know of that are of a very different social status than you. They live in sinful ways that you do not want to be a part of.

Instead of avoiding them, go to them and bring the gospel message to them. Love them enough to point them to their need for Jesus. Allow God to strengthen you to resist the temptation to participate in their sin, but just like Jesus, to be a witness.

Who needs you to talk to them today?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will go boldly to those who need to hear the gospel message; that you will love those Jesus loves; that you will boldly talk to the undesirable people about Jesus; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you.

1 Corinthians 5:11 Avoiding False Believers

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 1 Corinthians 5:11

The world is full of sinners who do not know the truth about what is right or wrong. They are unable to live a righteous, holy life in any way, because they have never been told what that is. They have no reason to live it.

Inside the church, it is a different story. Paul just got done talking about expelling a ‘believer’ who was doing things with his mother that are left only for in marriage. Now Paul tells the people to not even eat with people who claim to be a believer, but purposefully live in sin.

It is expected that those who do not follow Christ will live in sinful ways. However, those who have chosen to believe in and follow Christ, God expects something different. They are to leave their life of sin, be a new creation and live a righteous and holy life.

Many in the church claim to believe in Christ, but continue to purposefully sin in some way. Some are continued drunkards, sexually immoral, homosexual, greedy, gossipers, liars, swindlers, or more. Those who purposefully continue to live in these ways are not truly following Christ. They are only following in word, not heart and are false believers.

True believers, who strive to flee sin, must run away from all such people. False believers will bring down the church and give the name of Christ a bad name.

True believers may still sin, but they are striving to not sin. They will not purposefully continue to sin.

Start by taking a look at your life. Ask yourself if you are purposefully living in some sin. Repent of that sin and begin to flee it. Do not allow it to control you.

Then take a look at the believers you hang around with. Ask yourself if any are purposefully living in sin. Break off your relationship with those false believers who habitually live in sin, refusing to repent or change.

Do not allow yourself to be corrupted by false beliefs that a person can continue to sin and God will just overlook it. God loves everyone, but will not tolerate purposeful sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal unrepentant sin in your life; that God will strengthen you to flee all sin; and that God will reveal false believers among you.