*Please note: This is the devotional for May 3. Our apologies, we had a technical issue with our uploads. Please read today's message from Ian Trigg:
There is something very tender and beautiful about the “final words” from a loved one before they die. We pay attention to final words. We look for clues or affirmations that they are ready for the next chapter. We anticipate words of blessing and gratitude. I’ve always loved the final thoughts of a beloved theology professor who cried out to his gathered family, “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” and then went to heaven! I’m more fearful that I’ll say something silly like: “I told you I was sick” as my final message to my family.
Joshua has been a much-loved leader of Israel in a critical time in their history. He took the mantle from Moses and brilliantly led them into the promised land. Joshua 23 and 24 contain some of his final words to his leaders, and they are both gracious and challenging. He acknowledges it was the Lord who gave them victory (23:3). He encouraged them to be both “very strong” and “very careful” (23:6-11) as they both followed and loved the Lord first in their lives. He warned them if they followed other gods, those gods would become, “snares and traps and whips and thorns” (v13).
Chapter 24 is filled with words that remind us God is at work in and through our lives. Listen to the language: “I took – I gave – I sent – I brought – I delivered.” He is at work! How do we respond? We are to both “fear him and serve him with all faithfulness.” (24:14) He is at work, accomplishing his good and perfect will in every dimension of lives, and all he wants from us is our trust and surrender.
Joshua 23:14 reminds us why we ought to surrender and trust. Joshua is about to die and says: “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.” What amazing final words! Not one of God’s promises has ever failed! Oh that this would be our story and our experience. His final admonition to his people: “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (24:18)
What a legacy. What a gift. What a challenge. May we all commit ourselves to faithfully and dependently living a life centred on Jesus. John said it best in John 3:30: “He must increase and I must decrease.” It’s more than a great diet pledge! It’s a fantastic way to live our lives!
Not one of his promises will fail us. Let us live accordingly.
Lead pastor and lead follower of Jesus