Doing Our Part

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Today's reading: Joshua 17:7-18; Ephesians 2:10 (MSG)

God wants and expects us to do our part as we live out our lives following Him. Ephesians 2:10 conveys this well: "He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing" (MSG). And we see God's desire for us to work with Him throughout the book of Joshua. God tells the Israelites that He has given them the Promised Land, but He doesn't usher them into a land that is conquered and prepared for their every need. Instead, God requires them to arise and go take the land.

Joseph's descendants were unhappy about only receiving one allotment of land as their inheritance, so they confront Joshua and complain to him about this perceived unfairness (vs. 14). Joshua acknowledges their size and strength before then directing them to clear out the forest and hill country to give them adequate space (instructing them to "do their part").

"And Joshua said to them, 'If you are a numerous people, go up by yourselves to the forest, and there clear ground for yourselves in the land of the Perizzites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you'" (vs. 15).

The people of Joseph balk at this directive, but Joshua stands his ground. He restates the command to clear the land and then reassures them about their great numbers and might and how they will possess the land to its farthest borders.

Do you think of yourself as a worker for and with God? Why is this important? How do we benefit when we "do our part" with God? What does God sharing the workload with us convey about how God feels about us as His children? Tami

His

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Today's reading: Psalm 100:3-5

Psalm 100:3 is one of my favorite verses in the psalms because of the message it conveys. And having grown up in a rural farming community (and living in the country now), I'm drawn to the visual this verse provides as well—especially the last few words that reference God's "pasture."

Right down the road from my current home are several pastures full of cattle I walk by frequently. I always take note of the pasture because it is so rich and lush with food and water. And I typically stop for a few minutes to watch the animals, who are satisfied and content. So when I read passages like Psalm 100:3 that tell us we are the "sheep of his pasture," it is comforting and pleasant to me.

"Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture" (vs. 3).

What does Psalm 100 convey about God's character? What does verse 3 reveal about God's love and care for you? Tami

Your Serve

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Today's reading: Psalm 100:1-2

At the beginning of Psalm 100, we're issued the call to "serve the LORD with gladness" with examples of making a joyful noise and singing (vs. 1). If you take a look at the word gladness in a thesaurus, you'll see descriptions like joy, delight, contentment, and cheerfulness. So while this psalm specifically mentions joyful noise and singing, serving with gladness can be demonstrated in other ways as well. A few things that come to my mind are having a grateful heart, demonstrating a loving attitude, helping others, and speaking encouraging words. But I'm certain there are many more ways to serve well with gladness.

On a typical day, what does serving the Lord with gladness look like for you? In other words, how would you describe the way you serve? What's one thing you can and will do this week to step up your gladness serving? Tami

Today's reading: Joshua 17:1-6

After allotting land to the people of Ephraim (Joshua 16), Joshua turns to the people of Manasseh. As he is assigning and distributing portions, the daughters of Zelophehad come forward to assert a claim for their deceased father's portion of the land, which Moses had promised to them years earlier. Joshua acknowledges and accepts the petition and gives a portion of land to Zelophehad's daughters.

One of the things I like about this passage is how it demonstrates God's love, concern, care, and provision for women. In this time and culture, women didn't have many rights, and yet God took note of these women's circumstances and gave Moses special instructions to ensure for their care.

I also like the example of how the daughters approached an awkward and difficult situation. For whatever reason, they hadn't received the allotment God had promised them through Moses. So they come forward, united as a group, to respectfully remind Joshua of what had been promised to them and, in so doing, assert their claim for land.

How have you experienced God's love, concern, care, and provision (as a man or as a woman)? When you don't receive something you've been promised, how do you tend to respond? Why is keeping calm and being respectful so important when we find ourselves in a situation that calls for confrontation or where there is ongoing conflict? Tami

Today's reading: Joshua 16:1–17:18

Chapters 16 and 17 of Joshua deal with the allotment of land to the line of Joseph through the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. Like we've seen in earlier passages, certain tribes fail to drive out the inhabitants, who are enemies to the Israelites, and completely take over the land.

"However, [the Ephraimites] did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer" (Joshua 16:10).

"Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out" (Joshua 17:12-13).

Despite God's clear instructions to drive out all the inhabitants of the land He had given to Israel, it didn't happen. Instead, some of the groups responded in partial or incomplete obedience. Although it may have seemed like an easier solution and an insignificant deviation from God's instruction, this choice would result in far-reaching consequences for the nation of Israel for years to come.

Why is partial or incomplete obedience so tempting? How is it harmful to us spiritually? How does or has regularly taking in God's Word helped you make good choices when it comes to obeying God and living fully for Him? Tami

About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

About My Blog

I'm passionate about engaging God's Word! And my blog is about just that--giving you opportunities to receive, reflect on and respond to Scripture. Each day you'll find a short passage as well as thoughts, challenges and application questions for you to think about and respond to. I look forward to interacting with you and learning together, so post comments as often as you'd like. You can even sign up to get the blogs delivered to your inbox each day!

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