Author Archives: Pastor Mark

B90X- How Joshua points to the New Testament 2013.01.19

strong and courageousIn kind of a short look back at the week, a point struck me regarding the person of Joshua, some of the theological ideas in that story and how they point to a future Messiah and Kingdom of God.

We are so fortunate to live in history when we have the cannon.  We are able to read back and make connections that men like Joshua or the disciples only had bits and pieces of information in putting together their worldviews.  The way we can read Israel’s story and the thread of redemption woven through it, is grace to us.  How much more revelation do any of us need to comprehend and grasp the love Father has for us?

Here are a few things found in Joshua which point to events and ideas found when and after Jesus came:

  1. The Name of Joshua and Jesus.  The name of Joshua  means “the Lord is our salvation.”  Interestingly enough the English Jesus is a derivation of the Greek which is a derivation of the Hebrew.  So etymologically, their names mean the same thing and their roles and nature line up dramatically.
  2. The Promises Rest-  Josh was leading Israel into their inheritance, into their rest (Deut 3:20; 12:10; 25:19; Josh. 1:13, 15; 21:44; 22:4; 23:1).  But at best a temporary rest from enemies, for Israel would have many more foes in the centuries ahead.  From the vantage point of the NT, Joshua’s successes were only partial at best, and therefore they pointed beyond themselves to a time when Joshua’s greater namesake, Jesus, would bring God’s people into an inheritance that could not be taken away from them (1 Peter 1:3-5).  Jesus would provide the rest Joshua had not attained (Heb 3:11, 18; 4:1-11).
  3. Models of Faith- The people of Israel at the battle of Jericho and Rahab the prostitute are presented as models of faith, examples of those who were looking for a country (Heb 11:30-31; 11:14-16), but who did not attain what was promised (11:39_40), because God had planned something better.
  4. God’s Warrior- According to the NT, Jesus is not only Joshua’s greater namesake, but he is also the Divine Warrior, the captain of the Lord’s Army who fights in behalf of his people and achieves victory for them (Josh. 5:13-15; Rev. 19:11-16).  The inheritance he gives is not a stretch of rocky land in the eastern Mediterranean, but rather renewed heavens and earth and a heavenly city (Rev. 1-2).
  5. The Conquest- Many have made comparisons between Joshua and the book of Acts.  After redemption from Egypt in the Exodus, Israel began the conquest of her inheritance; after the redemptive work of Jesus at the cross, his people move forward to conquer the world in his name.  Israel enjoyed an earthly inheritance and an earthly kingdom but the kingdom of which the church is a part is spiritual and heavenly.

Sidenote- for some of you struggling to rearrange your daily schedule to get the hour or so reading done everyday, I ran across this article that gives a few pointers on how it  can be done.  Stay after it!!  Reading all of God’s words in this rapid fashion is so worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

B90X- End of Deutoronomy 2013.01.15

As the end of the Torah rolled around a bit of sadness overcame me.  The end of a forty year era was done.  The end of Moses ministry to the people was done.  The end of his event-filled 120 years was complete.  There has been, nor ever will be a man like Moses.  One can see now why is so revered in the Jewish Faith.  “Moses and the Prophets,” they say.  He embodied many attributes of Father.  He was patient with the people, though at times wondered why he had to lead this group of rebellious and stiff-necked people.  He interceded on their behalf for Father not to wipe them off the face of the earth.  Moses stayed faithful to the wandering Hebrews, he never quit or left them on the side of the road.  Yet in the end, even Father’s most favored man on the planet at the time had to deal with the result of his decisions and disobedience.  Moses was not allowed to enter the place he vowed to lead the people towards.  His forty years of education and training– lead to forty years of training with Father–  which lead to his forty years of service–  ending with looking at the place of promise.

Did any of you stop to ponder the choices for why which tribes were chosen to be on Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal during the recitation of the blessings and curses? The two tribes from which the two positive spies surfaced, the priests, “Praise,” the youngest son from whom the first king came, the favored one of Jacob, and the laboring servant were all on the Mt. of Blessing.  There are many reasons why the others on the Mt. of Curses side.  See if you can come up with more than what I have listed.

deut 28When you read through the blessings and cursed in chapter 28, was there any evidence of which category events of your life fell in? Did you see any evidence of your obedience or disobedience and the results of said decisions?

In the end, I think the most poignant words to date are found in Deut. 32:47, “They are not just idle words for you– they are your life.”  As we are reading all of these words and believe me, I know we have read a lot of words in the past two weeks, they are our life.

They are our sustenance,

they are our eternity,

they are our success,

they are our prosperity,

they are a key,

they are our nourishment,

they are our warfare,

they are a door to understanding Father,

they are victory,

they are a gift,

they are grace and mercy,

they are all we need for a life of faith and godliness.

Prayer for our Kids Day 18 – Perseverance

“Lord, teach my children perseverance in all they do, and help them persevereespecially to run their race with perseverance” (Hebrews 12:1).

I remember as a kid, my mom would talk to me about the importance of persevering through life’s challenges. At the time I had no idea the lessons she was trying to teach me.  It is always so much easier to just give up or quit when the going gets tough, but it’s a lot harder to grow when you don’t fight through those times.

It’s hard to see our kids struggle. It hurts to see them hurting. Ultimately we want them to grow though. Encouraging or sometimes even making them stick through a situation is what is needed for them to grow and be a stronger person. I don’t know of any parent who would say they don’t want their kids to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritual each and every day.

Learning how to persevere through tough situations at a young age is hugely beneficial. So many circumstances in life require us to stay strong and keep working at it. Imagine not having to focus on learning the skill of perseverance. Instead we learn to work on staying positive and maybe even enjoying those hard times. Let’s pray and allow Father to work in our kids and ourselves while we all fight the good fight together.

Guest post- Rachel Theobald

Prayer for our Kids Day 17 – JOY

joy

“May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

After having my daughter, I went through a short phase of very mild post-partum depression. It was a time of many transitions and I was learning to adjust to many new things. In that time I remember not feeling happy. Once I was able to realize that it was actually depression, I was able to start making the necessary changes to get in a better place. However, I remember reading something about how we all want to have joy but tend to expect it just happen– that one day we will wake up and have joy from there on out. It does not work that way though. Joy is something learned. I had never thought of it like that before so I started praying. I prayed that I would not just “feel happy” like I wanted but that I would experience joy every day. It has been a journey ever since then but Father has been answering my prayer.

Just like Father heard me that day and since then, he hears us now. When we pray over our kids, he hears us and will answer us. Mark 11:24 says, “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe you have received it, it will be yours.” I want my kids to be filled with joy and not happiness; therefore I am going to pray for them to have joy because I know my prayers will be heard. John 11:41a says, “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me.” What a beautiful confirmation from Jesus that our Father hears us. Since Father always hear us, then lets pray this verse from 1 Thessalonians with a steadfast heart and trust in our Father to work in our children.

Guest Post- Rachel Theobald

Prayer for our Kids Day 14 – Kindness

“Lord, may my children ‘always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else’” (Ephesians 4:32).

kindness

“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” –Romans 2:4

God’s kindness is so powerful that it turns our hearts to repentance. How powerful is Father’s kindness to be able to do that? Now, think about how powerful kindness can be in your life. Kindness on our part as parents can also help lead our kids to right behavior. If we follow Father’s example and show kindness to our kids, they are then learning correct behavior, a spiritual truth about Father, and then their cups will be full and will overflow. They will then start to show kindness without even knowing it. How beautiful of a sight to see our kids when they are kind to their brothers and sisters, to see them caring about their friends at church or in their schools!

Also, good behavior is contagious. When someone shows you kindness does it not want you to be kind too? Can you imagine the impact and the testimony they are going to have to their non-believing friends when they are showing kindness like Father shows us? Kindness leads to repentance. Our kid’s kindness can lead others to repentance and that ultimately is why we are here – to make disciples and bring others to a personal relationship with Father.

Let’s go show kindness to our kids. Let’s be examples so that they can mirror us as examples and then go out and be world changers!

Guest post- Rachel Theobald