by Steve Reeves
After facing bankruptcy, Ulysses S. Grant sold firewood on street corners to make ends meet. When war broke out, his application to join the army was rejected. He finally took a job selling bread to the army. He was an unlikely candidate to become the leader of the Union Army and President of the United States. (He became President when he was 46.)
Joshua was a young man who grew up under difficult circumstances. His parents were slaves living under Egyptian bondage. Yet Joshua became a dynamic spiritual leader.
Blessing Those Who Serve
God told Joshua, “My servant Moses is dead, now you are my servant.” A servant’s heart is teachable. Joshua had learned early in life that serving others is better than expecting others to serve you. Joshua was familiar with heartache and suffering. As a child in Egypt he saw his people suffer at the hands of the Egyptians. Regardless of the past, God can still use those who are willing to serve.
Blessing Those Who Obey
“Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left” (Joshua 1:7). The parent who says, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say” is asking for trouble. Words without obedience are meaningless. When you offend God or others by your inconsistency, confess your failures, ask for forgiveness, and recommit to a life of integrity and consistent love.
Blessing Those Who Trust
Joshua was told, “Be strong and courageous.” You may face situations at work or home that seem overwhelming. God will give you the strength you need. Joshua undertook a heavy responsibility as the new leader of the Israelites—600,000 fighting men plus their families. No wonder God said, “Be strong and courageous.”
Have you recently lost your job? Are you facing new responsibilities and uncertainties? Do not be discouraged. Joshua found encouragement in God and the same God is ready to reassure you.
Steve Reeves is lead minister at Connection Pointe Christian Church in Brownsburg, Indiana. He and his wife Kristen have three grown children.