April 16

Joshua 1:7-8 (NIV) 7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

The Law was to guide the new nation in the ways of God. Joshua, as their commander, was told to be careful to obey it all. If leaders do not follow after God, they lead the people astray. But if they follow hard after God through obedience to His word, many will be challenged to do the same. Joshua was encouraged to meditate on the words of the Law. He was supposed to talk about it all the time. Most of all, he was told to be careful to live it. We can talk about it and study it, but if that does not translate into living it then our words are misunderstood by the message we preach with our actions.

If he would do these things, he was twice promised that he would be successful, and even prosperous. I don't think the principle has changed. If we will do the same thing, we will have the same results.

Meditation upon the word is a holy habit that is not much employed today. Most mature Christians will spend time reading the word, speaking of the word, and applying it to their lives, but few meditate upon the passages they read. This often involves memorization. Take time to let the word you read speak to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to make it come alive and apply it to your daily situations. The quantity of Scripture read is not as important as seeing the application to your life. Look for God's eternal truth.

Meditate on the Scripture for today. What is God saying to you?

April 16

Mark 9:22-24 (NIV) 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us." 23"'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." 24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Jesus came upon His disciples and found them arguing. The issue at hand was a young boy who was possessed by a spirit. The father explained that he had brought the boy to Jesus' disciples but they could not cast it out. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy onto the ground causing him to roll around and foam at the mouth. We would diagnose this as an epileptic seizure. There is one clue that something more is taking place. The father told Jesus that the spirit often cast the boy into fire or water to kill him. Who does that kind of work? The Destroyer! The thief has come to kill, steal, and destroy. People often blame tragedy upon God when it is the work of the evil one. Those signs, destruction, theft, and death, are his calling cards.

The man asked Jesus to heal the boy if He could. Jesus picked up on his wording, "If you can". Jesus believes completely in the Father. The man realized what Jesus was saying but acknowledged his human weakness. "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" We can surely relate to that expression. We believe by the grace of God, but there remains in our flesh some unbelief. We desire the help of God to overcome that unbelief. We acknowledge that without the Spirit's help we will never overcome it. This honest assessment brought the miracle the man desired. The son was delivered from the evil spirit.

When you are faced with the need for a miracle, when the enemy comes in like a flood, be honest with your Savior. Tell Him about your struggle with unbelief, and ask for His help to overcome it. Do you think the miracle helped the man overcome his unbelief? It most assuredly did! When God meets your honesty with a miraculous resolution, allow that to help you overcome unbelief.

Remember: With God, all things are possible!