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by Margaret D. Mitchell
Week of July 17, 2016

“. . . choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”   -Joshua 24:15

            Joshua understood well the personal choices involved in serving God faithfully to the end. He had seen much death come to his forefathers as a result of their ungodly choices. He reminded the leaders of Israel, with great assurance, to serve God with a clean heart. He knew that God desired to continue to bless Israel but that they would not be positioned to receive God’s blessings unless they surrendered their whole heart, even in the little things.

            The bar is high for leaders. And Joshua warned them to not fall into the sins of their past. Oh how the enemy enjoys enticing and ensnaring us by using familiar behavior patterns and people from our past to bring destruction into our present and future, to prevent God’s promises, plans and purposes from coming to fruition.

            Is there a god that you need to lay down? A god that will prevent you from living out your God-given potential and destiny? Are there any idols that lurk in your heart?

            We will see God's faithfulness when we are faithful to Him and His ways. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

            Is God truly our first love?

            If our answer is “yes,” then we exchange our ways for His, which are much higher and which include rewards far greater than we can earn on our own. The question then becomes, “Do we truly trust God to deliver?”

            If the answer is again “yes,” then we will embark on an adventure of loving and serving Him on a whole new level that will result in fresh assignments, fresh revelation, fresh opportunities for trusting Him in new areas, fresh opportunities to overcome obstacles and greater measures of blessings to receive, pressed down, shaken together and running over (Luke 6:38). Is this not life worth living? This is indeed God’s finest for us, and it is anything but boring!

            Faithfulness requires discipline in the journey, and it requires a cleansing of the heart. Anything less will harbor a contamination that will ultimately lead us to stumble and fall and possibly to not even finish the race God has set before us. At the very least, the journey will be rocky. Faithfulness is obedience that builds trust in relationships. "Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped . . . and serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:14).

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

1 John 4:16
Margaret D. Mitchell

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