So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3
When a person is given a gift, he is expected to accept it and open it. Once it is opened, it is now in his possession. It no longer belongs to anyone else.
If the person does not accept and take the gift, it is not in his possession. He can lay no claim to the gift, even though it could be his.
God had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites. All they had to do was go in and take possession. Five of the tribes of Israel took possession immediately, while the other seven chose not take possession. Joshua asked the question of how long it would be before they would choose to take possession of the land God is giving them.
Although believers, today, do not usually receive a gift of land from God, they are given some other things to possess. God offers peace, love, provision, joy, forgiveness, patience and more.
The world believes that all they need to make it in this world is physical things. The more things that they have, the more successful they are. According to the world, the non-physical things are just secondary and not really necessary.
Although physical things, such as food, housing, transportation and clothing, are important, they are not the most important things in this life. Those things help to live in this life, but do no good in eternity. The things God provides are important to eternity.
It is common for believers to not take possession of the things of God that are most important. They are grabbing for the temporary things of this world.
God is handing you some spiritual land in your life. You have the choice to accept it or not. The joy and peace that you may be searching for have already been given to you. All you need to do is take possession of them.
Having the things of God will make this life much better and prepare you for eternity. Do not despise what God is handing you. Take time each day to grab a hold of the things of God that really matter. Don’t wait any longer.
As Joshua asked, how long will you wait to take possession of what God is giving you?
I pray today that you will know the gifts God is giving you; that you will know the value of God’s gifts; that God will reveal to you the best way; that you will possess the things of God; and that your life will like that of Jesus.
One of the busiest seasons is upon us–Christmas season. Although it has two different holidays where most people get it off or at least partially off, they are busier than normal.
It seems as if there is always a million things to do each day and not enough time in the day to get everything done. With Christmas there is the time of trying to figure out who I need to get gifts for. Then decide what gifts should I get, along with what can I really afford to get. Along with the gifts, there are Christmas concerts, recitals, plays, and services going on almost daily somewhere. There are friends and family putting on events that you must attend.
As if that is not enough to make a person crazy, one must also decide which family member to go visit for Christmas, how long you will stay, how will you get there, and where you will stay during the visit.
At the home, you must also set up the Christmas tree and hang up or set up all the decorations. Decisions must be made on how the outside of the house and yard will be decorated. Then time must be taken to get all the supplies, change out all the burnt out lightbulbs and set it all up.
Inside the house, decisions on what deserts must be made. Baking all the Christmas cookies, cakes and candies are being done at a rapid pace.
As all this is occurring, most people are still working a regular job, taking kids to practices or school, cooking meals, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and the list goes on.
With all of these things occurring, many people often regret Christmas or lose sight of what the meaning of Christmas is all about. On Christmas morning, some families pull out a Bible and read the story of the birth of Jesus. It is often the only time that they really thought about the meaning of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle of life and getting ready for Christmas.
As you are getting ready for Christmas think of this verse:
Look at the scene in this picture. See the trees, water and snow are sitting perfectly still. All of creation is sitting still knowing God is God and He is in control of it all. Nature does not show any hustle and bustle about anything.
Relax and get back to the real reason why you celebrate Christmas. It is about God loving this world so much that He gave His one and only Son to save you. It is not about all the giving and getting, lights and decorations, or even visiting family, it is completely about Jesus.
If you do not get all the decorations up, if you do not get everyone the perfect present, if you do not get some baked goods completed, it will be ok. Life in this world will still go on. Jesus will still save you from your sins.
Take a moment at least once a day, preferably many more times each day, to stop and thank God for the season. Give thanks to God for His great love in sending His Son to save you. Thank God for the greatest gift ever given–life.
Take a moment to realize the meaning of this great holiday. It is to remember what God has done for you.
Do not allow yourself to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this season so much that you miss out on what Jesus is doing in your life. Be still and know that He is God.
This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. Isaiah 66:1
There are times that it is difficult to purchase a person a birthday gift. They seem to have everything that they could possibly want. Looking at wealthy people, this even seems more so. Getting a gift for someone who has all they desire can be quite a challenge. A lot of it will depend upon the heart of the person. What does a person get the person who has everything that they want?
Most people do not have the problem of having so much that there is nothing left to possibly want. Nearly every person can think of several things that they desire. Most of those things will most likely be physical things, while some will also be non-physical things, such as peace, joy, happiness, or health.
One thing that many people will like, but not necessarily ask for is something hand-made or time with that person. This shows something that was made and given from the heart.
God is the one who has made the heavens and the earth. Since He has made everything that exists, He also owns it. Now God is looking for something. He is looking for a place to rest. This shows His heart’s real desire.
As a human being, you may wonder what can you give God, since He owns it all already. God created you to have fellowship with you. He wants to sit down and rest with you. Even though God made everything there is, He wants a place to rest and be still.
The place He desires is in you. It is in your heart and life. God wants to spend time with you. Of all the things that you can give God, this is the only one that God does not already have. God made your heart, but gave it to you. Now it is your turn to give it back to Him.
Allow God to make your heart His temple. This will be the best house and gift God can ever have.
Will you build a house for God today?
I pray today that you will dedicate your heart to God; that God will find a place to rest in your life; that your heart will be a welcome spot for God to live; and that you will know God’s presence in your life.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
People of the world try to hold onto everything they have and do not really want to share it, unless it is for their own benefit. Occasionally you will see someone in the world sharing something, but usually there is a hidden agenda or benefit behind that sharing. Believers are not to be like that at all.
Peter tells you that whatever gift you have from God, use it to serve others. Remember, Jesus came to serve, not be served; try to be like Him. This gift can either be material things, or it can be abilities. Throughout the Bible you will see many times it stated over and over to give to those who have a need when you can. Most of the time this giving is in giving material items.
Many people like to hoard things. They often feel they need to keep it just in case they need that item again. They will also hold onto things for that rainy day. Jesus told us to give it away and trust God for your personal provision. If every believer is giving to someone in need, everyone will have their needs met in a great big circle of giving.
The giving of abilities can be found in helping others out with a work that you can do. If you know something about carpentry, help a person do some remodeling. If your specialty is in automotive repair, help repair someone’s vehicle for no cost. Whatever you can do, use it to serve someone else.
Giving of your time and materials with no expectation of return will allow God to receive the glory and allow Him to reward you in His way. Doing all of this is being a wise steward with what God has blessed you with. Remember that everything that is said and done is to be done for God’s glory and to build His kingdom. Seek His kingdom first.
All of this is a sign of a faithful steward. When Jesus returns, He will be able to say to you “well done, good and faithful servant”. Are you being faithful to Him today? Are you being that good and faithful steward? Are you managing what He has blessed you with correctly for His glory? Or are you being selfish and hoarding?
I pray that today God will guide you in using what He has blessed you with; that God will open doors to share with others; that God will give you peace of mind that He will provide for all of your needs; and that God will bless all that you give of both material and immaterial things.