“[The Israelites] set out…to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before [them].” — Joshua 3:14
As the Israelites had to cross over the River Jordan, they had to engage in a test of faith. Exercising their faith allowed them to see that God was with them. He was still directing Joshua, and He will help them settle in Canaan (v.7,10,17).

If you are facing a test of faith, you can move forward based on God’s character and His unfailing promises. Relying on Him will help you move from where you are to where He wants you to be.

Fear fades when we trust our Father.

Isaiah explained that we are all like sheep (Isa53:6). We tend to go our own way, yet we desperately need the sure direction of a shepherd. Psalms 23 describes the trustworthiness of our Good Shepherd. He cares for us (v.1); He provides for our physical needs (v.2); He shows us how to live holy lives (v.3); He restores us, comforts us, heals us and bountifully blesses us (v.3-5); and He will not abandon us (v.6).
What a comfort to know that God gently but firmly leads us! He does so through the urging of the Holy Spirit, the reading of His Word and through prayer. God is the reliable leader we need.
The Lamb who died to save us, is the Shepherd who lives to guide us.

It was natural for Martha and Mary to send for Jesus when Lazarus became seriously ill (John 11:1-3). Perhaps they looked anxiously along the road for signs of His arrival, but Jesus didn’t come. The funeral service had been over for four (4) days when Jesus finally walked into town (v.17). Martha was blunt: ”if you had been here” she said ”my brother would not have died” (v.21). Then her faith flickered into certainty, ”even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (v.22).
Lazarus was dead, and she was wary about opening the tomb. And yet at a word from Jesus, Lazarus’ spirit returned to his decaying body (v.41-44). Jesus had bypassed simply healing His sick friend, in order to perform the far greater miracle of bringing him back to life. Waiting for God’s timing may also give us a greater miracle than we had hoped for.
Time spent waiting on God is never wasted.

Jesus, the Lord of the Universe and the Creator of all things – chose to dwell among us. As John says “he beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father” (John1:14).
Jesus chose to become intimately involved with all who will come to Him. And, even more significant, for those of us who have received His redeeming love, the Holy Spirit has now set up residence in our hearts to comfort, counsel, convict, lead and teach us.
Lord, I’m amazed that You, the greatest One of all, would take up residence within us! Help us to treasure the gift of Your presence as our ultimate joy. Draw us to Yourself to enjoy intimacy with You.

“[Jesus] made himself of no reputation…coming in the likeness of men” — Phil2:7

Being like us, Jesus is no stranger to our struggles. He experienced deep loneliness and betrayal of a dear friend. He was publicly shamed, misunderstood and falsely accused. In short, He feels our pain. As a result, the writer of Hebrews tells us that we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb4:16).

Thank you Lord for wrapping Yourself in our likeness! Remind us that You understand our struggles and that we can confidently take advantage of the mercy and grace You offer to make us victorious.

Jesus taught us to pray in His name. The night before He was crucified, He gave a promise to His disciples: “until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John16:24). But the promise of asking in Jesus’ name is not a blank cheque that we might get anything to fulfill our personal whims.
Jesus taught that He answers requests made in His name so that He will bring glory to the Father (John14:13). Jesus Himself later prayed “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matt26:39). As we pray, we ought to yield to God’s wisdom, love and sovereignty.
Nothing lies beyond the reach of prayer except that which lies outside the will of God.

As a young man, the apostle Paul opposed Jesus and His followers with a vengeful spirit. He “made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison” (Acts8:3). But one day, he encountered the risen Christ and His life became a different story (9:1-16).
In a letter to Timothy, his son in the faith, Paul described that life changing event by saying, even though he was “a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man…the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus”.
Jesus was born into our world and gave His life so that we can be forgiven and transformed through faith in Him. This is the heart of Christmas.
A change in behaviour begins with Jesus changing our heart.

Jonathan and David illustrate the sweetness of a true friendship. The Bible records an intimate and immediate bond between them (1Samuel18:1). They kept their friendship alive by demonstrating their loyalty to each other (18:3; 20:16, 42; 23:18) as well as nurturing it by expressions of concern.
In a world where most relationships are about what we can get, let us be the type of friends who focus on what we can give. Jesus, our perfect friend, demonstrated for us that “greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John15:13).
May we be willing to love, give and serve

As believers in Christ, we should never be satisfied to think we have reached some self-proclaimed pinnacle of spiritual success, rather continue to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2Peter3:18). Jesus reminds us in John15:16 that He chose us to “go and bear fruit.” The result of healthy growth is continuing to bear spiritual fruit throughout our lives. Our Lord promises: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit”
In a steady and faithful progression to become more and more like the One we love and serve, we can be confident that He who began “a good work” in us will continue it until it is finally finished on the day when He returns (Phil1:6).
God’s unseen work in our hearts produces fruit in our lives.

“…you may be sure that your sin will find you out”– Numbers 32:23
Old wrongs have a way of catching up with us. And old sins that have not been dealt with can lead to serious consequences. As David laments in Psalm 32 “when I kept silent, my bones wasted away”. But confessing our wrong restores our fellowship with the Lord: “I acknowledged my sin to you…and you forgave the guilt of my sin”. Through confession, we can enjoy God’s forgiveness.
God, it is time to come clean with You. I’ve held onto ____ for too long. Thank you that this sin is under the blood of Christ. Restore me to fellowship with You.
Christians can erase from their memory what God has erased from their record.