Sunday, January 1, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

A HAPPY AND BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL
 

“I will be with You” 


Rt. Rev. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius
Diocesan Episcopa
Mumbai Diocese of the Mar Thoma Syrian Church

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”         Joshua 1:9

New Year is a fresh occasion God grants us for an absolute and irrevocable surrender of our life. God remains unchanging. We change and we journey through changing times. The divine call is to obey God. Joshua shows how!

The book of Joshua begins by saying two things: (1.) Moses is dead. (2.) Get ready to cross the River Jordan. Forty years ago, the people of Israel stood with Moses on the side of the Red Sea; now they are with Joshua near the River Jordan. Crossing the border means changing to a new environment that awaits fresh starts and fresh experiences. Today, as we also stand on the threshold of a new year, there awaits fresh starts and fresh experiences. The promise of God, as to Joshua is: “I am with you.”

The book of Joshua is a book of hope. Israelites who had the slave mentality and who lived with fear and anxiety all died in the desert, except Joshua and Caleb. When the Israelites are called to cross the Jordan (no boat, no bridge) they were moving to face the nations,  without chariots and horses. Here Joshua is called to take leadership to face two main tasks: (1.) direct a military campaign to occupy the Promised Land and (2.) parcel out the land among the tribes of Israel. What made it possible? It was Joshua’s submission to the promises of God.

When Yahweh commissioned Joshua, He promised, “…I will be with you, as I was with Moses…be strong and courageous.” Joshua expressed his love for God through his obedience. New Year is a time for us to reaffirm our love for God. Let us examine our lives to see how much we love God today.

Joshua is to make the Law of God his Rule. He is charged to meditate day and night to understand them. All of Joshua’s words to the people and his judgements must be according to the law of God. The Holy Bible carries for us all that is necessary for our salvation. If our love for God is expressed through our study and meditation of the Holy Bible daily, God will reveal to us His will for us and the New Year will witness the quality of service God desires from each of us. 

The human limits need not dishearten us. God Almighty, who called, commended and commissioned Joshua asks us to be strong and bold. The promises of God and the presence of God are the encouraging factors even today when God demands our life- our total all. So let us commit our lives to the purpose of God in this New Year.

PRAYER

Lord, help us to realize that having a strong determination to obey You is a matter of will. Help our unbelief. Amen. 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Faith is trusting God in advance which makes sense only in reverse .