In the Word

NKJV Giant-Print Personal-Size Reference Bible; Imitation Leather Blackhttps://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?event=Bibles|1000153

I’m in the book of Ezekiel this week. Ezekiel follows Lamentations, and frankly I dreaded reading it. That’s where Jeremiah cries because of the pain of seeing God’s judgment on Israel. Lamentations turned out to be small, so I carried on to Ezekiel in just a little time.

It’s so hard to understand, and I tried to picture the wheel within a wheel, filled with eyes. Disconcerting, actually.

What always comes through is that God has standards and when evil prevails, He finally sends judgment. One of the sayings that kept coming up was, “That you may know that I am the Lord.”

Another verse: Ezekiel 11:5, (ESV), And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.”

Now, I’m fully aware that God knows all things, but tonight the idea that He knows every thought that comes into my mind felt intimidating because I’m not perfect. In Proverbs 1:7, (NKJV), it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

I definitely felt fear or awe of God when I realized He knows my every thought. On the other hand, tonight I was thinking that when I’m struggling, only God knows what kind of spiritual attack I might be under that is causing me to feel discouraged or sick or lonely or whatever malady may come my way.

He knows when I willfully disobey Him and choose to rebel. He knows when I make a mistake. He knows when I get deceived. He knows when I take credit for giftings that He placed within me. He knows everything. It’s a comfort and it’s a reason to consider what my attitude and my actions are going to be.

He sets things out so clearly in Deuteronomy 8:11-20, (ESV), “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,

Deu 8:12  lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,

Deu 8:13  and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,

Deu 8:14  then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

Deu 8:15  who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,

Deu 8:16  who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

Deu 8:17  Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’

Deu 8:18  You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Deu 8:19  And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.

Deu 8:20  Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

God is loving but He’s also tough. He’s not wishy-washy.

Well, in this time of joy and shopping and visiting with many others, as I read along in the Word of God, my thoughts get carried away to what I think God is concerned about.

I hope you’re taking time to ask God what He would have you read and pursue. You may be surprised what He has in mind for you.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This was written to the Jewish people when they were being warned about the length of their captivity by the Babylonians. At this point, some of them were already taken to that far away land.

These verses remind me that God is a fair judge, yet He’s got the welfare of the people He loves in mind, even when disciplining them. He tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That gives me hope.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving Wishes

Hi! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to enjoy family and/or friends, food, and able to give at least one blessing you’re grateful for this November.

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As we sat around a large rectangular table borrowed from the church, I looked at each individual adult and child and love filled my heart and mind.

 

As our middle grandson said our Thanksgiving prayer, I savored his quick acceptance to the question, “Who wants to pray before the meal?”

 

The adults and other children quickly agreed to his response and bowed their heads. It was short and to the point and it moved this grandmother’s heart.

 

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psa 37:4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (NKJV)

 

May God bless you!

 

 

Are We All Connected?

Sunday was my day to play guitar and worship the Lord at morning service, at a nursing home church meeting at 2:00 p.m., and again at night for the gathering of the saints.

One of our pastors has a great grandchild two years old. She has grandchildren in their teens and one who just turned twenty or twenty-one. When she came into our building in the evening, she told us about the shooting in East Texas at a small church. We cried for the victims and their families and for the man wielding the weapon who is no longer alive.

I had chosen a song about the goodness of the Father. God is good even when evil spouts its ugliness unexpectedly.

We sang, “I’ll Fly Away,” written by Albert Brumley in 1929 and recorded by Johnny Cash in 2003 according to this YouTube link to the song sung by Johnny Cash: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Ash+June+Carter+%26+Johnny+Cash+I%27ll+Fly+Away&&view=detail&mid=3ADF54C81EE47C9FC9E73ADF54C81EE47C9FC9E7&rvsmid=BFA57F1FFF1EF618A692BFA57F1FFF1EF618A692&FORM=VDRVRV. That was near the end of our song service and I think it brought comfort.

I spoke to the crowd about God knowing all and having a plan for our lives. He alone can turn a tragedy into something good, but it may take years for the good to manifest or months. Right now, it causes tears and questions and anger and all the different steps that people go through when they’re grieving.

So, we prayed for the families of everyone involved.

Our hearts are heavy. One of the ladies at our church got into such a slump she had to grab hold of her emotions this morning and force herself outside of the house. So, she came to our church and started working the garden and pulling weeds. She got to express her emotions to my husband and then later to me.

It wasn’t part of my agenda to stop and listen, I had an appointment elsewhere. I don’t know how to say to someone, “Not now,” when it’s of that magnitude.

I listened and then texted the person I was about to see that I got detained. They didn’t get the message and greeted me with an exasperated tone, “I was just about to call you!”
The minute I explained, they softened and they felt bad for the folks in Texas as well.

We humans have a capacity for compassion and the ability to “walk in another’s moccasins,” if we so choose. I used to hear a quote my parents told me was wisdom from the American Indian nations about not really knowing someone until you’ve walked in their moccasins.

I think anyone who has lost a loved one, and especially as a result of violence, will be able to empathize with the people in that small Texas town. “Holy Spirit, Comforter, please be with all mourning the lost lives of the people, especially for the deceased members’ families and for their friends and acquaintances. We need your help to cope and to heal and to forgive. I ask in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

God of All Comfort is the heading in this section of the New King James Version of the Bible:
2Corinthians 1:3  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
2Co 1:4  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

In my opinion, we share a connection with people all over the world. May God bless us all.

 

 

God’s Gift of Friendship

In early October, my husband and I drove south to PA to visit friends.

We got to see hills dotted with green trees and some foliage in the orange and yellow range. The further we went, the higher the hills until we came to small mountains.

Our friends moved closer to their children and grandchildren, leaving some loved ones behind. I knew I missed them, but when we exchanged hugs and then later, deep discussions, I thanked God for the opportunity to visit.

Sometimes, I expect things to stay the same. When their daughter decided to move, I felt strongly that she would meet someone and get married. Sure enough, it happened and their wedding date is set. What I did not anticipate was our friends moving a few months after she left.

It took me a while to get past acquaintanceship to becoming more open with her. To visit in their home, eat meals together and lodge under their roof deepened the relationship.

Even after finding out God wants us to know Him and love Him and speak to Him, I discovered over the years a deepening relationship as I took steps towards Him.

I attended a large church in Upstate, NY and a visiting Christian worker with the main preacher invited us to come forward if we wanted prayer for more of God’s gifts as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12.

I went forward but admittedly, I was afraid. The helper asked if I thought God would give me a gift I couldn’t handle. I said, “No.”

“Do you want to continue with your request?”

I said yes and so she prayed a powerful prayer. God answered by giving me a small gift to go along with my few years as a born-again Christian.

People move away. Some decide to stop being a friend. It hurts.

Jesus promised to never leave us nor forsake us.

How blessed we are.

 

Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Learning Curve

I got online to check my e-mail account and found some business information from blogs. I have a friend who used to work in a bridal shop as a seamstress for alterations. She’s handy with a skillet in the kitchen and had an impressive garden in the backyard. She has what I’ve heard called “good people skills.”

 

She used to help her husband with building projects around the house and she quilts beautifully. One day after I complimented her on all the skills she possesses and puts to use she said, “Oh yeah, I’m a ‘Jack of all trades and a master at none.’”

 

I disagreed but it didn’t really matter that much if she agreed with me or not. She’s a doer and a good friend. After reading about marketing and SEO’s and business plans and professional photographic head shots for LinkedIn, etc., I felt like a “Jack of all trades and a master at none.”

 

It’s not true for me either, but there is so much information in the world. I remember hearing about the expert on peanuts, George Washington Carver.

 

“Faith has played a key role in the history of black Americans. It’s what inspired the famous inventor George Washington Carver.

He once asked God to show him the secrets of the universe. However according to Carver, God started him out with something smaller – the peanut.

Carver took those secrets and produced hundreds of inventions that are still in use today.”

This article excerpt was written by Charlene Aaron and published by CBN on the following website on February 15, 2011:

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2010/february/george-washington-carver-master-inventor-artist/?mobile=false

 

I enjoyed researching George Washington Carver’s life story. He was an amazing person, dedicated to serving others.George Washington Carver   This photo is from: https://i2.wp.com/www.truenorthquest.com/wp- .

I’ll bet he faced lots of learning curves and from some of his quotes, he relished pursuing knowledge and doing things with a spirit of excellence.

 

God bless you!

 

The Book of Job

I’ve been reading the book of Job, and I have to tell you, I am blessed by my friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place of hurt and had my friends say, “You sinner, if you’d only stop sinning your crisis would disappear.”

I have some friends I’ve known for the majority of my life. I have had good times and bad times in childhood and beyond, but overall, I count myself fortunate. God came into my horizon early. Some folks never hear of God other than in a swear word. I found that out some time ago in a small town in Upstate, NY.

I heard a little girl swearing up a storm. I asked her to stop using Jesus’ name as a swear word. She asked me what I was talking about, so I told her Jesus is God’s Son, or maybe I said, “God the Son.”

She never knew that and before I could say much more, off she ran. How my heart broke for her. We moved away so I never saw her again, but I prayed for that little one.

God knows right where she is and He loves her.

I hope this finds you well, and not suffering like Job, although if you have a relationship with God like Job did, you can count yourself very favored by God. Not that I understand everything about the book of Job and definitely not everything about God. I don’t think that’s possible.

What do you think of the book of Job?

God bless you!

Visiting a Friend

I had a chance to visit a friend today and I took her sister along, because she doesn’t drive. This is my second time in a few months going to see this lady who used to attend our church. She lives in another town now after experiencing a stroke. She worked hard to get into an apartment. With the help of a couple of aids, she’s able to manage. She even hopes to continue to improve enough to get her car back. She said today that when her health returns she won’t need workers to come to her home for help with household and personal assistance. I think she’ll miss these people, but she won’t mind being independent again. I think she has some time before she’s self-sufficient again.

I got to know her sister better this time. In the book, Univited by Lysa TerKeurst, published by Thomas Nelson with their imprint Nelson Books, Nashville, TN which was copyrighted in 2016, there is a section on page 228 entitled, ‘What’s It Like to Do Life with Me? Assessment.”

I told the ladies in our Bible study that they might want to take advantage of that segment and since it sounded personal to go ahead and do it at home. I fully intended to go through it. Maybe subconsciously I didn’t want to do that, I don’t know. It’s been months.

Today, with my friends’ sister, I could see that she acted exactly the same way I do at times. This morning, my husband pointed out some things I do way differently than he does. He didn’t criticize; he just talked about the traits and said he didn’t understand the reasoning. For instance, “Why do you take the long slower route to see the lake when you’ve seen it so much already?”

Then I got thinking about the chapter or the addendum at the end of Mrs. TerKeurst’s book, and I thought maybe God wants me to look at the questions and ponder what life looks like with me to my husband. I’ve heard it said many times that God loves us too much to leave us the same.

When I consider God’s rules, I can see that people around me and I will benefit if I follow His commands. Sometimes it’s easier to say, “Yes, Lord,” than at other times. The result is always the same. When I get around to doing it His way, there is peace, joy and satisfying results. Usually, I receive some kind of blessing I didn’t expect afterwards, too. Not that I can predict what God will do. I know Jesus says in the Gospel of John that if we love Him we will obey Him.

My husband tells me and others that he used to do things right for his parents because he wanted to please them. He loved them and respected them. He wasn’t afraid of his folks, although his dad disciplined and he didn’t want to be at the receiving end of that action. His dad used corporal punishment, but he never went overboard.

Well, I’m not going to look into what it’s like to live with me for a couple of weeks at least. I have company coming and I want to get ready for them. I think I’ll put it in my planner for a quiet day when I find a few moments alone.

I hope to see another gal in July. We spoke on the phone last week. It can be months or years apart between seeing my friend, depending on lots of things. There are a handful that are so deep in my heart, it’s as if we were never apart.

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

2 Kings

I started reading 2 Kings yesterday and it occurred to me that God asks what do you want in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Was it because of where I was reading that I felt as if God asked me what did I want today? Whatever the reason, I did ponder that question.

If the God of the universe is asking me what I want as He asked Solomon and as Jesus asked the two blind men calling him from the side of the road in Matthew 20: 30-34, then it’s worth serious consideration.

What would you ask God for if you thought He was asking, “What do you want?”

Would you ask for healing for the short amount of time we have on this earth compared to all of eternity? Would you ask for a mate to marry and then possibly have children with that mate if you’re in child-bearing years? Would you ask for a better job? Would you ask for wisdom or riches? Would you ask for a skill to better the world for all of mankind? Would you ask for help in a faltering relationship? How about asking for social justice?

When Elijah neared the end of his life, his protégé Elisha stayed close by him even when Elijah tried to get him to leave. Finally, before the chariot from heaven came to collect Elijah, he asked his apprentice what he wanted from him. He wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. After the request was granted, stories of God’s power in the hands of Elisha got me thinking of the wondrous nature of God.

God removed poison from the pot of stew, He restored the life of a young boy, He allowed Elisha to call down a curse on a large group of young men that mocked Elisha and two mother bears came and attacked 42 of the boys.

I’ve heard that story before and it never occurred to me that that number of young men was a sizable group. I wouldn’t want to meet up with a gang that size and them looking for trouble.

Also, in the Jewish culture, respect for parents was part of their law. Lev 20:9, (CEV):  If you curse your father or mother, you will be put to death, and it will be your own fault.

Honoring elders was a part of their culture, so for them to mock Elisha showed a lack of morals. In addition, if they knew he was a prophet, then the offense would have been worse.

I love reading the Bible, yet in the book of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, it shows the kings of Israel and sometimes Judah, turning from God to false gods and what a mess that results from that choice. The Moabites worshiped Molech and they threw their children into the fire as a human sacrifice. God abhors that and the penalty for that in Leviticus 20:2 is stoning of the offenders.

I know God sometimes asks us what we want, but how often do we ask God what He wants? I don’t know about you, but I don’t ask often enough.

May God bless you.

Freedom

Joshua_10:12 , (Webster): Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Jos_10:13  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

I heard that when scientists calculated time, they ran into some hours where daylight was extended and they were not sure why. Someone told them to consider the Bible and the battle of Joshua where the sun stayed in the sky beyond the normal amount of time. When they added in those extra hours their puzzle was solved.

The book of Joshua is intriguing because it tells the story of Joshua, Moses’ assistant taking over the leadership of the Israeli’s as they enter the Promised Land soon after Moses died.

Joshua needed to negotiate with the two and a half tribes that decided to stay on the opposite side of the Jordan in regards to fighting with the inhabitants of the land. Their warriors chose to fight for the benefit of their brothers and sisters going into the Promised Land and after the pledge got completed, they would return to their portion of property and to their families.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think I’m communicating well with someone and then I find out that they didn’t understand what I was saying. Occasionally, I’ll listen to someone and they are clearly articulating their opinion and I will respond and think they agree with me, but they quiet down. Then when I finally realize I missed their point completely, we’re either free to move forward or they decide it’s too much work and they bail out of the relationship.

Joshua found he had to talk to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh to keep things going smoothly for the entire nation of Israel and then Phinehas the priest and heads of the nine tribes needed to address them as recorded in Joshua chapter 22.

Joshua 13:7, (Webster) says:  Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Jos 13:8  With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

They wanted to make sure that just because the Jordan divided them that they would not become a divided nation.

Jesus knew about divisiveness and He took an opportunity to instruct His disciples and the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:22, (Webster): Then was brought to him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb; and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.

Mat 12:23  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

Mat 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself, is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

Mat 12:26  And if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your children expel them? therefore they shall be your judges.

Mat 12:28  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

Mat 12:29  Or else, how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and seize his goods, except he shall first bind the strong man? and then he will plunder his house.

Mat 12:30  He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.

Mat 12:32  And whoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35  A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things.

Mat 12:36  But I say to you, That for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Mat 12:38  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mat 12:41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Mat 12:42  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Joshua’s name means Jesus, also interpreted as Yahweh is salvation. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua

http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4122/if-joshua-can-be-translated-why-is-the-name-of-jesus-translated-jesus-but-his

So, Joshua continued the quest to deliver Israel from a slave mentality to the mindset that they were free and cherished by God and capable warriors against evil.

Jesus came from heaven as God the Son, the Son of David to set people free from sin and from the power of the enemy. He defeated the devil at the cross and purchased our redemption from God’s wrath due to our sinful nature and reconciled us to God. The devil got defeated and his power got short-circuited and Jesus enabled mankind to be victorious through Him.

According to a professor I heard way back in the 1990’s from Elim Bible Institute, whose name I forget, Satan is held on a tight leash when people love God and seek to follow His ways. When mankind turns away from God and lives a life pleasing to them, disregarding God, the leash loosens, so to speak, and the enemies’ power over people increases.

That’s why every time the Israelites served false gods and idols, God allowed them to go their separate ways and in effect said, “Let your other gods take care of you.”

Sometimes they repented and called out to God after seven years, sometimes they suffered for decades. In the book of Judges, God sent them another judge to fight on their behalf many times.

Why did the generations not learn from their grandfathers or their fathers or older brothers? I don’t know. Sometimes I figure things out right away. Other times, I’m learning and re-learning and re-learning and then it clicks and sinks in.

I’m very grateful for a compassionate and loving and merciful God. When I see young people making the same mistakes I made years ago, and I see the times we’re living in, I pray that God will get through to them quicker than He got through to me. Some sins will keep Christians out of heaven because they think God winks at sin. Paul continually said to the Gentiles that they needed to stay on the narrow path, with other words. In 1 Corinthians 6:8, (Webster), Paul says to Christians, “But ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for lewdness, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1Co 6:14  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

1Co 6:15  Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? By no means.

1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

1Co 6:18  Flee lewdness. Every sin that a man doeth, is without the body; but he that committeth lewdness, sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul keeps admonishing the Corinthians, so they’ll know how to live in a manner that pleases God. They used to be Gentiles and serve idols. He gives them hope in 1 Cor. 10:13, (Webster) :

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And in verse 14 he tells them to flee idolatry. He wants them to be set free from sin, addictions, people pleasing, afflictions, and oppression from the devil, etc.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a famous saying that is repeated often today, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”Martin Luther King Jr.

The source for that quote and image is: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/10538-free-at-last-free-at-last-thank-god-almighty-we

May God bless you.