Through the Word in 2020 / April 1 –

We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from:

Today’s 4 readings are: Mark 1:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 72, Joshua 1-2.  

As a church, we at ECF are reading the Bible through together this year. We’re using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. 
And we invite you to along with us. It wouldn’t hurt to jump right in where we are now. If you’d like to do that, you can download the plan free of charge from:    Under Resources, look for the Bible reading plans. 
Each day there are readings from 4 different parts of the Bible, and then I try to bring you some useful comments on one or more of that day’s readings. 
Today’s 4 readings are: Mark 1:1-8; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 72:Title -20, Joshua 1:1-2:24.
People NEED strong and courageous leadership. 4 times in Joshua 1 this is noted concerning Joshua and his charge to take Israel into Canaan. This feature of courage – is perhaps the most important feature of a good leader, excepting true godliness. In fact, without courage, there can be no true godliness either. For it takes courage to look our sins in the eye in all of their ugliness and vileness. And only when we fearlessly challenge them in the name of the Lord will we gain the territory He has promised us.
And this is where our passage applies not just to Joshua or leaders – but to all of us called to go over and “possess the Land.” In other words, This is central to battling sin.  
Charles Spurgeon the great Victorian preacher once related a rather humorous story of Luther being visited by the Devil and accused of all his sins. Spurgeon quipped that should Satan visit him to list all of his sins before him in order to horrify him – that he would have to rise up and tell the Devil he had missed quite a few. 
Christians are the ones who ought to be first in owning our sins, and last in trying to cover them up, minimize them or justify them. But how quick we are to defend ourselves when anyone – even our own conscience – dares to bring an accusation against us. The truth is, the seeds of every sin still lie within us. I learned long ago that any human being, saved or unsaved, is potentially capable of any atrocity. Don’t fool yourself you are not. Given the right conditions, you and I would sink into the worst kind of evil savagery. 
It is only the grace of God that has spared us such trials. 
But! As we prosecute this war with our sins – as we face the enemy eyeball-to-eyeball in brutal honesty, it is there we will find victory. Anything less will bring defeat. Call your sins what they are. Face them. Own them. Do not try to whitewash them in any way. When we do own them, God will not only bring deliverance in due time, it will do a work of great compassion in our own souls for the sins of others. Harshness with others is almost always a sign we know little of our own sin. Or, that we are miserable in trying to deny the sin we are hiding from others and ourselves. 
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is without wherever you go. (vs. 9) He has purposed and is pleased to give you the Kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
God bless, and God willing – See you again tomorrow. 

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