Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 7 - Joshua 19

Today's reading in our daily plan is Joshua 19. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • You may recall that in chapter 18 we read about lots being cast (i.e. drawing straws) to determine which group of people received each plot of land. This chapter contains more details about who got what. 
  • Throughout this entire process of land being allotted to various tribes, Joshua (the leader) never set apart any for himself. His people recognize this act of humility, and in verse 49-51 they grant him the perfect piece of land.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Joshua could have easily used his power to take all the land that would have given him an advantage. Instead, he made it a priority to ensure that the people around him were taken care of. We must be willing to put the needs of others above our own. 
  • Jesus reinforces this idea in the New Testament, in Matthew 20:27-28. Jesus had the ultimate power to pursue his own desires, but instead he came to serve others.
  • To love God, love people, and turn the world upside-down, we need to love ourselves less. We need to look for ways to love other people. One of the main ways we do this is by serving them.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Is there an area of your life where you've been seeking to give yourself an advantage over others? Maybe you've skewed a situation at work to make you look better, or developed selfish tendencies in your marriage, or started to take advantage of a friend's willingness to help out.
  • Ask God to open your eyes to these areas of your life, then commit to put others first in them.
  • You can start making this change today by taking advantage of opportunities to serve other people. For instance:
    • At work you can start to do helpful things for people you might consider to be "below" you.
    • You could give up time this evening doing something you want to do to do something your spouse wants to do.
  • Continue to look for ways to orient your lives around loving God and loving people. You'll learn how great it feels to serve others, and how doing so can lead you closer to God.