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The Other Side of the Jordan

Words of Faith Final

The Other Side of the Jordan

Words of Faith 8-13-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Joshua 1

    [10] So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: [11] "Go through the camp and tell the people, 'Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.' "

    [12] But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, [13] "Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: 'The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.' [14] Your wives, your children and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers [15] until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise."

    [16] Then they answered Joshua, "Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. [17] Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. [18] Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!"

 

      The Lord had spoken to Joshua, and now he was to speak to the people.  His command had a ring of certainty. This was the new leader, and had he had taken charge with confidence.

      The situation Joshua and the people faced was not an easy one. It was very similar to the situation Moses and the Israelites encountered at the Red Sea.  A huge obstacle occurred at the beginning of both the leaders’ ministries. Both obstacles were impossible to overcome by natural means. Both demanded absolute trust in and dependence on God’s miracle-working power.

      Two concerns needed attention. Provisions had to be gathered.  The daily manna had not yet ceased, but still, the people needed to gather some of the fruit and grain from Moab's plains for themselves and their cattle. This command to “prepare” was given by Joshua to his officers who relayed the message to the people. In three days, the actual conquest would begin.

      But there was another item of business.  Three of the tribes--   Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh--   were to receive their inheritance east of the Jordan River.  They were already home!  There was no real need for them to move on.  They could start settling the land.  The battle ahead did not really concern them.

      But Joshua reminded these tribes that though they had received their inheritance east of the Jordan, they were committed to fighting with their brothers and assisting in conquering Jordan's land west. The key word here is “remember.”  Don’t forget the bigger picture!  Their response shows they had not forgotten.  They were ready to stand by their promise. They were ready to serve as shock troops in leading the attack on Canaan.

       It is significant and powerful that the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh headed into a battle that did not directly benefit them.  They could have just stayed east of the Jordan and begun to settle the land there.  Yet the call of God convinced them that the larger nation's needs were more significant than their own needs.  They were willing to sacrifice for the others.  It was possible that some of these would die in the process of the conquest of Canaan. This is a powerful lesson.

        Today we see similar sacrifice when brave men and women go to another part of the world to defend the larger cause of freedom.  They could easily stay at home and be unconcerned with the big picture.  Yet they have heard the call and responded with courage and strength.

        The same is true in the church.  We are often called to give and sacrifice for a need that does not directly concern us.  We could simply focus on our local needs, but there are missions worldwide that have needs we do not directly touch or see.  There are disasters that need relief and aid, even though we have been untouched. 

       The heart of God calls us to be part of the bigger picture.  God's heart calls us to give beyond our immediate area and the needs that we can see.  Even in the local church, one ministry or group will often be called to sacrifice and serve another ministry or group, even though they are not directly affected. This is the Body of Christ.

        There is an interesting phenomenon in church culture these days.  At times, people seem more insulated and “me” oriented than ever, even though there has been a great resurgence of faith in our society.  I sometimes encounter people who are much more concerned with what they will get out of church-- the services the church can provide to them-- than they are with what they can give to the church. 

        There is a tendency to want to stay on the safe side of the Jordan and receive as much blessing as possible rather than dedicate ourselves to serve and meet needs in the larger Body of Christ.  The vision and heart of God clearly call us out of such an insulated place.

        The question of the day?  Have you found your place to serve?  How are you responding to the larger Body of Christ these days?  There are ministries in our churches that do not directly benefit us, but we are called to pitch in and extend the energy of the Body. There are terrific needs that we are called to on the other side of the Jordan.

        In the big picture, church planters are laboring in difficult situations.  Missionaries are praying for help and relief.  There are segments of our own communities that need help to find the destiny God has planned for them.  The Lord calls us to continue to labor, share, and serve for these situations.

 

         Father God, help me to be a big picture believer!  Help me to see the needs on the other side of the Jordan.  Help me to have the strength and courage to respond to concerns that do not directly affect me.  Help me to find my place to share and to serve.  In Jesus’ name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)       

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.