Hearing this song had a great influence on me as a young person. I am so thankful for George Beverly Shea. Now he’s finding out he was even more right than he knew.
Everyone wants to be strong and courageous. Hence, many quote, Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” But the key to actually being courageous is found by reading Joshua 1:9 in context.
I am on an Old Testament blitz right now: trying to read through the OT as fast as possible. I am not reading the Old Testament books in order. Rather, I am keeping track in Evernote of what I have read. I only started about a week ago, but I have blitzed through Ezra and Nehemiah (incredible books!) and Hosea and Micah as well as many Psalms and Proverbs.
Today I started Joshua and arrived at the Lord’s admonition to Joshua to be strong and courageous. While reading I noticed the emphasis of the surrounding context. Read the surrounding verses for yourself.
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.
7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
One doesn’t have to be a Hebrew scholar to understand that time in the Bible and courage go hand in hand. Meditate on the Word of God day and night!
Are you living in fear? If so, why not join me on the Old Testament blitz. I am flying through Joshua right now. Why not do the same?
Joe Carter has a post summarizing 9 things that should be known about “female body issues.” Some of the points surprised me. I read them aloud to my wife; she was totally unsurprised, even when I told her women begin to be concerned about their “shape” at age 6.
Body image is the mental representation we create of what we think we look like; it may or may not bear a close relation to how others actually see us. Here are nine things you should know about female body image issues:
1. The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty hired a criminal sketch artist to draw women as they see themselves and as others see them. The social experiment revealed that women’s perceptions of themselves were very different than how others view them.
3. By age 6, girls start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life.
I called on one of our ladies today who has surgery later this week. Rather than pick out a Bible verse myself, I asked her. “When you face something like this Scripture, what is a Scripture you like to remember?”
She immediately replied, Psalm 121. She quoted, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2).”
She went on to tell me that once during a cataract surgery she was quoting the Psalm loud enough that the doctor and nurses had to ask her to be sure and hold still.
So I read Psalm 121 aloud to this lady and her husband. She knew almost every line before I read it. She’ll be ready to quote it again before her surgery on Thursday.
Sooner or later you will face a dark trial. You may be tempted to be afraid. If you are, quote Psalm 121 to yourself. Maybe quote it loud enough for the people around you to hear also.
121 A SONG OF ASCENTS.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Here’s a list of 10 Unbelievably Beautiful Places You’ve Probably Never Heard Of?
Jamie and I used to say the place we most wanted to visit was Switzerland. I think the Lauterbrunnen Valley will always be our favorite place. But some of of these locations are beautiful.
Which would you like to visit, if not in this history, then on the other side (Revelation 21:3-5)?
Have you visited any of them?
Do you believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation?
Do you believe it is necessary to profess faith in Christ to be saved?
Based on your answer to those questions, you can decide if you are a pluralist, inclusivist, or exclusivist.
Jesus Christ is the Only Savior
|Believes “no one can be saved unless he or she knows the information about Jesus’ person and work contained in the Gospel and unless he or she exercises explicit faith in Jesus Christ (25).”*|
“A pluralist is a person who thinks humans may be saved through a number of different religious traditions and saviors (p. 23).”
“Inclusivists agree with exclusivists and differ from pluralists in affirming that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. No man or woman can possibly be saved apart from the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, inclusivists say, and this is so whether the person is raised under a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, or Hindu System.
But inclusivists also part company with exclusivists, a point that at first may seem confusing. How can a position that insists on the deity of Jesus Christ and the indispensability of his redemptive work for salvation be a source of concern to theologically conservative Christians . . .
So inclusivists believe that salvation is impossible apart from Jesus and that he is the only Savior. But this does not mean that people have to know about Jesus or actually believe in him to receive that salvation . . . Inclusivists dismiss exclusivists as cold, uncaring people who are unwilling to explore other ways to expand the scope of God’s love (p. 23).”
“Christian exclusivism can be defined as the belief that (1) Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and (2) explicit faith in Jesus Christ is necessary for salvation (p. 11).”
* Nash, Ronald H. Is Jesus the Only Savior? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
David Briggs: The Final Four, Travel Teams and Empty Pews: Who Is Winning the Competition Between Sports and Religion?
David Briggs considers the growing tension between church and sports:
The Rev. Stephen Fichter understood just how dominant a role sports has assumed in the culture when a family told him they would be out of town Good Friday to Easter Sunday to attend their child’s volleyball tournament.
“It’s truly sports that has become like the religion” for many people, said Fichter, a researcher and the pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Haworth, N.J.
From youth travel teams to big-time national festivals such as the Final Four, sports have been making increasing inroads in the busy lives of many Americans. Some scholars even trace the evolution of sports from pastime to a form of civil religion to now having become almost a folk religion.
And it is having an impact on religious groups, which report increasing difficulty convincing families that are willing to spend half a day traveling to a 9-year-old’s softball or soccer game to make time for worship services.
Read the rest here.
HT: David Murray