And the Reubenites and the Gadites gave the altar this name: A Witness Between Us–that the LORD is God. Joshua 22:34
All over the world there are monuments erected to remind people of something. Often it is to remember a person who has died. They often want to remember the good things that the person had done.
Other monuments are made to remember some event that had occurred. Some of those events were good events, while others are not good memories, but do not want to be forgotten.
With the passing of time, it is easy to forget about a person or an event. It is even very common that people try to change what had actually occurred in the past.
When the tribes of Israel had crossed the Jordan River to take the land of Canaan, half of the tribes of Reuben and Gad wanted to stay on the other side of the Jordan. Moses had allowed this to happen. Once all the tribes were settled, those half tribes went back across the Jordan and began to live there.
They decided to build an altar as a witness that they still believed that the LORD is God, so that no one could say they were not a part of Israel.
This altar was a monument to let the world know who they really were. In the future, there would be no mistake that they were a part of Israel.
Although building physical monuments as a believer is no longer common, believers do need to have something in their lives that sets them apart. Something that shows others that Jesus is God.
Every believer is to live their lives separate from this world. Their love is their largest witness that Jesus is their God. That love is a love that loves friends, family and enemies, regardless of how the person acts. It is the altar that shows Jesus is God.
When people take a look at your life, how do they know that Jesus is your God? How can they tell that you are saved?
The best way for people to tell is by your words and actions. Do you tell people about Jesus? How do you treat others, with love or hate?
Take a moment today to examine your life and see if you are a monument in this world to let people know of Jesus. Allow there to be a witness today.
I pray today that Jesus will be your Savior and God; that you will live your life as Jesus lived His; that your life will be a witness of God; and that the world will know you follow Jesus.
Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, “I know that the LORD has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you.” Joshua 2:8-9
Joshua had sent some men into Jericho to spy out the city in order to take it over. They stayed with Rahab, a prostitute, who protects them. She tells them that everyone in the city has heard of the Israelites and that God is with them. Everyone was living in fear of the Israelites.
The people had reason to fear the Israelites. Word had been brought to them of the various battles that they had been in and won. Defeating Egypt and several other large nations and kings, they were a force to be reckoned with and feared.
In today’s society, Christians are also feared as the Israelites were. The world does not always understand or give the same reason, but they fear believers. It is very common for believers to be accused of hate crimes, because they are taking a stand against sinful acts that the world wants everyone to accept.
Judgments are brought against individual believers or churches, because they refuse to accept or participate in a sinful act.
These actions by the world, though seen as persecution (and it is), is also done out of fear. They fear that Christians will cause them to change their ways and beliefs, that they will no longer be able to live as they want to live. It is a threat against their lifestyle.
The world feared Jesus also, even though He never did anything harmful. Jesus just lived for God and did what God told Him to do.
When you are fully living for God, the world will begin to fear you. As they fear you, there will be some who fight back and bring on persecution. Others will try to bring judgments against you.
Do not be afraid of the world, but stand strong and true to God’s word. God is with you and will not leave you. God, who is in you, is stronger than the world. The world does have a reason to fear, God will change their lifestyle.
Be willing to be a witness of Jesus to this world. Be willing to change this world for God.
Does the world fear you? Or are you on their side?
I pray today that you will live your life for God; that you will be a witness to this world; that the world will see Jesus in you; and that God will remove fear of this world from you.
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Revelation 19:5
Praise is the giving an approval or admiration of to someone or something. It is something that people do all the time, though not always called praise. People praise others for their great work being done or success that they had. People praise an object that they really love and tell everyone about it. They praise their favorite restaurant or football team or college.
There is no one or anything that every person will praise at the same time. While one will praise a certain football team, another will despise it and praise another team. Praise is often given on the basis of one’s experience with the object or person. One person may have a great experience, while another may not have a good experience.
Believers in Jesus are told to praise God from the beginning of the Bible to the very end. In these final verses of the last book of the bible, every servant is called to praise God.
Every person that believes in Jesus has good reason to praise God, if for nothing else, than that they were saved from their sins. However, there are many reasons to praise God. Looking at the beauty in nature in this world is enough to praise God. He did a great job at designing this world and the skies.
The miracle of life and the design of the body is worthy of praise. The fact that God is in control of every situation is worthy of praise. And the list of why a person needs to praise God goes on.
There is also a great number of ways a person can praise God. Praising God does not have to be just inside a church building during a worship service. It can be a life of praise.
Praise is done when a person tells others about Jesus. Praise occurs when things are done for Him. Praise is done when you tell Him how great He is in your own words. You can praise Him by showing His love to others. You give Him praise when you turn from sin because of what Jesus has done for you.
When you think about how much God has done for you, you will not stop giving Him praise. Praise the Lord!
I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will know reasons to praise God; that you will continually praise God; that your whole life will be one of praise to God; and that you will praise God to other people.
It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 3 John 3
Loyalty and faithfulness are some characteristics that are desired in people, but are rarely seen in the world. Going back forty years ago, it was common to hear of a person staying on one job for twenty years or more. He was faithful and loyal to his employer and the employer was faithful to him.
Today employers hire and remove people rapidly, regardless of how long a person has been there. People change jobs constantly. If a person stays on one job for more than five to six years, it has been a long time. People are no longer faithful to their employer.
People treat faithfulness to God in the same way. They do not always remain faithful to Him. One day a person is serving God, being a witness, turning from sin, and showing His love to others, then the next day, he is refusing to be a witness, living in sin, denying God and cursing others. There is no faithfulness in the person.
Many people have walked away from God, when struggles or trials came. They did not remain faithful as God does.
While many have become unfaithful, there are also many who have remained faithful to God. Their lives are a shining light of Jesus in this dark world. They stand out as foreigners in this world. They refuse to partake in the sin of this world. Seeing believers like this can bring great joy to other believers.
When a person is being faithful to God, it will encourage others to be and remain faithful to God. It is showing the truth that God has revealed in his life.
People are watching you every day. They are trying to find out who you really are. While the majority of the world is unfaithful in every area of life, you must remain faithful. Faithful to God and to other people.
Be willing to show and live out the truth that Jesus has revealed.
It brings me great joy to see another believer who is striving to remain faithful to God. It brings even greater joy when others testify to the faithfulness of another believer.
As you live your life, are you being faithful to God and His word?
Or are you living like the world and changing loyalty all the time?
I pray today that you will be faithful to God; that you will know God’s faithfulness to you; that you will be a witness of who Jesus is to this world; and that the world will know you serve God.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5
All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.
When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.
The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?
Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.
Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.
Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.
The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.
Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.
Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?
Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.
I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom.
‘They will be taken to Babylon and there they will remain until the day I come for them,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place.’ Jeremiah 27:22
God had chosen to move all the people of Judah to the nation of Babylon. They were moved as prisoners, because of their sin against God. As God moved them there, He told them that they were to live and serve the king of Babylon. This would not be a permanent move, but only for a time. They had to serve there for a set amount of time, before God would come to them and move them back to Judah. There would be a time of waiting.
Since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, He still works in the same way with His people. There are times that God moves some of His people into an area that does not seem to be blessed by Him. It is not always the promised land.
This move is often just like with the Israelites, it is a move that is made because of disobedience or wrong choices. God has to get the attention placed back on Him, rather than on self.
During this time it can be very frustrating and fearful for a believer. Many feel that God has totally abandoned them and that He will never use them again. This is not true. God is there to build a person up and use them to for His kingdom. God is not out to destroy and kill.
You may be in this position right now. At some point you may have made some poor decisions and strayed off the path God has for you. God then moved you to another place. During this time you may feel abandoned. Jesus said that He would never leave you.
Focus your eyes and life on God. Find out what He wants you to do in the place you are in. While you are waiting in your Babylon, you can do the work of God. You can be a witness of who Jesus is and work at building His kingdom.
If God called you to do a work, that call is still there. He may have detoured you for a time, but He will move you into that call.
I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will obey God in everything He says; that you will trust God in your Babylon; and that you will be a witness wherever you are.