Encouragement

Can You Say Boring?

This is the inheritance of the tribe of Judah, clan by clan… Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan… - Joshua 15:21, 22-23

Encouraging? Are you kidding me? No. I am not kidding. Right now I am reading through the OT book of Joshua in my yearly reading through the Bible. Joshua is great book that tells the story of the walls of Jericho falling down and the Israelites fighting to take the Promised Land. It truly is exciting but midway through the book the modern reader hits a lull. There about half way through, you start encountering long lists of lands that the each of the tribes of Israel inherited. Can you say boring? As I was reading this week I made an effort to read the names slowly and as carefully as I could. Not easy. Yet I said to myself I need to do it because this is God’s Word, all of it, and God’s Word is never boring. If it’s boring I got the problem, not God. I gained several blessings for doing this. First, I stood at attention to God’s Word. Always a good thing. Second, I was reminded how important genealogies and deeds are to the people they belong to. A genealogy may strike you as boring but not your own! Have you ever noticed how important tracking down the family tree and the stories that go with them becomes to the people who research their family history? Remember that the next time you encounter Israel’s genealogical history! Why? Because if you are in Christ then you are a part of Abraham’s family, even if you’re a Gentile. It’s your history. Finally, these listings crescendo to something very important and when you get to the climax of what they crescendo to it hits you like a ton of bricks. Next week I will write a word of encouragement based upon the crescendo, but for now be encouraged to take the Word of God seriously, all of it, even the genealogies and land deeds. It’s there for a reason.        

 

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Go Deep!

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” – Luke 5:4

One day Jesus got into the boat with one of his disciples and began to teach the crowds on the shoreline. After he finished he told Simon to cast his net into deep water and then he would get a catch. Simon had not caught anything the night before and so he reluctantly listened to his Savior. Lo and behold Jesus was right, Simon got such a big catch he couldn’t haul it in without help! There are two words of encouragement that we can take from this text. First, you never know what might happen if you try one more time. What if Simon had said to Jesus, “Lord, I’m tired, I’ve been fishing all night and I caught nothing. What makes you think I am going to catch anything in deep water? No thanks, I’m done.” Don’t give up! One more try might get you the biggest catch you ever got. The second principle I take from this text is that if we want to be drawn close to the Savior then we must go deep with God. Fish in deep water and you will you will get a huge catch. Snippets of the faith here and there are not enough to sustain you or grow you close to God. Do you want to know God? Then you must go deep into the Word, worship, and prayer, both individually and corporately. Be encouraged my friend, go deep, and put quality time in your relationship with God. You will get a big catch.

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