Thursday, September 4, 2014

no paper tiger

The Word for today:
Joshua 3, 4
God's promises become real when we take hold of them. Until we do, they're just paper promises. Today we conclude a two-part article on the theme verse of the book of Joshua.
Possession by faith is the theme of the book of Joshua, and here's the theme verse:
Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. (Joshua 1:3 / ESV)
Here's another rendition:
I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. (Joshua 1:3 / NIV)
The Promised Land was only a promise until they went in and took it. If they'd just sat there--on the other side of the Jordan River--looking at the land, it would have done them no real good.
That's because faith is substance:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith isn't just a belief, or a concept, or a figment. It's a substance, a something, a somebody! Jesus isn't just the Word of God; he's the Word of God made flesh, who dwelt among us (John 1:14). He's no paper tiger; he's the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Our sins weren't forgiven because God said so; they were forgiven when Jesus bled so.
Q. If it's mine, why do I have to go get it?
A. To answer that question, we've crafted a common example--a parable--of possession by faith:
Let's say you're hungry, you're famished. God comes up to you and says, "The local mega grocery store is yours. The title and the deed have been made out to you."
Are you still starving? Yes.
Even though it's yours, you've got to go open the door and enter in and take hold of what's yours. So you walk in like you own the place ('cause you do!) and you take hold of a bagel (why not--it's yours!) Now you're not starving anymore.
Thus, we can possess something that's good but it's not doing us one bit of good. We can be new creations in Christ and it's not enhancing our lives at all. We could own the grocery store and starve if we just sat out in the parking lot looking at it. We've got to enter in!
So we hope you'll "cross the Jordan;" we hope you'll seize the store.
Let's get out there and do the word of God. Let's go out there, like Jesus did, and become the word of God.

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