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Determination and Courage Get the Job Done

Daily Reading: Joshua 16-17

Scripture Focus: To Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, were allotted Gilead and Bashan, because he was a man of war. (Joshua 17.1)

Devotional Thought: The rights of the firstborn sons were an important entitlement in ancient Israelite culture. The firstborn was to receive a special portion, equal to twice that of the shares of the other sons. Machir, the firstborn descendant of Manasseh, was allotted Gilead and Bashan," two portions of land east of the Jordan. In one sense, this inheritance was an entitlement. But, that is not the whole story. The generous and challenging allotment was also given "because he was a man of war." There was work to be done in possessing and taming the land, requiring more than entitlement. Determination and courage were needed to get the job done.

The Christian life is a wonderful "entitlement," granted to us by the grace of God. But, that is not the whole story. Living out the life given us requires determination and courage. Ministry and service to God takes work! I've heard it said that "God always calls a busy person." Why do you suppose that is? Because serving God is more than an entitlement. It requires determination and courage to get the job done.

Jesus has the rights of the firstborn as the "only begotten of the father" and the "firstborn from the dead." But, the blessing of the firstborn brought with it the cross. Jesus was a man of war. He went to the cross and the grave, defeating sin and death, so that he could share the rights of the firstborn with us. Are we now willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done?

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that while you are the Prince of Peace, you also are a man of war. You defeated sin and death on my behalf. Help me to live for you today, with determination, vision, and courage. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 40.9-17

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord. 10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation; I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.

11 As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! 12 For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me! 14 Let those be put to shame and disappointed altogether who seek to snatch away my life; let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who delight in my hurt! 15 Let those be appalled because of their shame who say to me, “Aha, Aha!”

16 But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, “Great is the Lord!” 17 As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!

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