Many Kings and Territories - Powered by 4

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Today's reading: Joshua 12:1-13:33

We're taking in some big chunks of historical Scripture this week, and this type of reading (lists of facts and information) can be a little difficult to stick with and process. But since God included all this detail as part of His Word to us, it must be important to Him and important for us to know. So stay with me as we finish out Joshua. Let's look for things we can learn from these fact and detail heavy historical passages.

What did these chapters that recorded the defeat of many kings and the inheritance of lands reveal to you about God? What did they show you about Moses, Joshua and the Israelites? Tami

Powerful Trustworthy God - Powered by 4

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Today's reading: Joshua 10:16-11:23

We've been, and will continue to read for a few days, some heavy historical passages dealing with war in a very different era than what we live in today. And even though I know and understand this was a different time in history, I still find these accounts difficult to read and, honestly, I don't fully understand them. But I know that God is sovereign and in control and that I can trust Him always. So as I read through chapters 10 and 11, what stood out to me was the relationship and communication between God and Joshua (and the Israelites), and how God was true to His word and stood firm with the Israelites as they kept their focus on Him and proceeded into the promised land.

How does consistently being in God's Word impact your relationship with God? What's the influence on your day-to-day life when you are fully focused on God and His Word? Tami

Easter Recap - Powered by 4

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Today's reading: Matthew 26:1-28:20; Mark 14:1-16:20; Luke 22:1-24:53; John 18:1-20:30

Before we turn back to Joshua, let's take a day to reflect on the significance of what Easter weekend means for us as followers of Christ.

What moved me as I read these passages was Jesus' submission to God the Father paired with His demeanor and limited words through it all. There was no defending himself, no explaining, no anger. The message of God's will front and center came across powerfully. I came away from these passages with a fresh understanding of how I need to submit to God and follow His will and plan--period.

What there a particular verse, passage or message from the accounts of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection that moved your heart, and why? Tami

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Today's reading: Matthew 26:1-28:20; Mark 14:1-16:20; Luke 22:1-24:53; John 18:1-20:30

If you haven't read completely through the account(s) of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection, today is the perfect day to do that. And, if you read the account(s) yesterday, ask God to show you a portion to read again today before you head out to church or after you return from hearing an Easter message.

Have a joy-filled Easter knowing Christ is risen!! And if you have a minute, tell us what God impressed on your heart this special Sunday. Tami

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Today's reading: Matthew 26:1-28:20; Mark 14:1-16:20; Luke 22:1-24:53; John 18:1-20:30

This weekend, I have committed to reading the full account of Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, burial and resurrection in all the Gospels and am asking you to do the same with me. As we begin let's ask God to reveal to us new things we haven't noticed before as well as lessons and messages that He has for us.

So, no specific questions from me this weekend. But please do leave a comment or two about what God impressed on your heart as you read one or all of the accounts. Tami

Gethsemane Prayers - Powered by 4

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Today's reading: Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; Mark 14:32-42

As we begin this Easter weekend, we're putting our reading in Joshua on hold and spending the next few days looking at passages from the Gospel accounts taking in and learning about Jesus' arrest, crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

The final hours before His arrest, Jesus goes to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. What a heavy time this is for Him. Jesus is fully aware of why He has come to earth and what is about to happen in the next few hours. He knows he is going to be arrested, beaten and mocked, and ultimately brutally crucified. And He struggles as the time for His crucifixion draws near. Mark's Gospel tells us that Jesus "began to be greatly distressed and troubled" (Mark 22:33), and Jesus says to Peter, James and John "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death" (Mark 22:34). And the account in Luke tells us that Jesus was in agony and was praying earnestly and that "his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44).

What moved my heart was the fact that even though Jesus' heart was heavy (and that doesn't even adequately describe it), He remains fully submitted to God the Father and to fulfilling His purpose.

"Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will" (Mark 14:36).

What did you see or learn from Jesus' example in these passages? What do these accounts reveal about God's love for us and His plan of salvation? Tami

Active God - Powered by 4

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Today's reading: Joshua 10:1-15

God's care for us and His involvement in our lives and circumstances stood out to me from the first fifteen verses of Joshua 10. This passage caused me to think about how when life gets busy and circumstances seem overwhelming, we can lose sight of the fact that God knows and sees it all and He is right there walking with us. I could see this clearly in verses 8-14. The Israelites are certainly engaged and fighting with the Amorites, but it's God who is in charge, actively guiding, participating in and controlling the battle. In verse 8 God tells Joshua not to be afraid because He has given the Amorites into the Israelite's hands. But then we see this in verse 10: "And the LORD threw them [the Amorites] into a panic before Israel," and this in verse 11: "the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword." And then God answers Joshua's call for the sun to stand still. What an amazing picture of a caring, active and involved God.

How often do you recognize God's control and involvement in your life and circumstances? What did you see from this passage about following and trusting God? What about His provision and protection? Tami

Today's reading: Joshua 10:1-15

Because of computer issues, Tami wasn't able to write a blog post for today. While we wait for her return, read the next section of Joshua and tune in again tomorrow, when all computer problems will be solved and Powered by 4 will resume as usual.

Thanks for your patience!
Jory Kauffman, P4 blog facilitator

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Today's reading: Joshua 9:1-27

As I was reading Joshua 9 the words in verse 14 below (in bold) seemed to jump off the page at me. Immediately I began thinking of times when I, in my own confidence and strength, moved on something without consulting God. Now sometimes the results were alright, but there have a number of decisions where my failing to slow down and seek God about something that "seemed so good" led me to making a mistake, and some of them BIG mistakes just like Israelites with the Gibeonites. Thankfully God can and does still use our poor choices to accomplish His purposes and to teach us through the difficult circumstance, but how much better all around, if we simply sought God first? I'd like to tell you that I no longer leap before asking God about most everything, but I am still "learning," and thankful that God walks with me even through it all.

"So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them" (vs. 14-15).

Is it your practice to ask God what He would have you do as you are faced with decisions? Are you more apt to seek God with big decisions than small daily ones? What helps you seek God's first? Tami

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Today's reading: Joshua 8:30-35

There's something about hearing God's Word that impacts me differently than when I simply read Scripture. I believe part of that is that I'm able to take in pauses, emphasis, inflections and the emotions of the scene and the writer. Those are all things I can miss when I'm just reading the words on the page for myself. That's why I enjoy it when my pastor (or a teacher) reads passages as part of his message, and why I also read Scripture out loud to myself fairly regularly. Both of these things provide me with a richer experience, helping me process better and learn more from the passage. So I resonated with how Joshua gathers the people and speaks every single word of God's commandments to them--young to old, Israelites to those who had joined them along their journey.

Do you read Scripture out loud at your church, in your Bible study group, or in your one-on-one time with God? How does hearing God's Word impact and help you? Tami

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