Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you will go with this people into the land the Lord swore to give to their fathers. You will enable them to take possession of it.’” Deuteronomy 31:7 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be a source of inspiration and encouragement for others.”
There’s an interesting theme that God has woven all throughout scripture, which appears over and over again. It’s the truth that He does not want His people to live in fear and doubt. Instead, He wants us to have courage and confidence as we walk through life obeying Him, fulfilling His will, and bringing Him glory. He has promised that He will go with us, He will empower us, He will fight for us, and He will protect us. For our part, we are to obey Him and trust Him. And then, we are not to live in fear.
Although I haven’t actually counted them myself, I’ve read from numerous authors and Bible scholars that the command to “fear not” appears in some form exactly 365 times in the Bible – one for each day of the year. Sometimes that command is delivered directly from God Himself, such as in Joshua 1:9 when God told the young leader Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Or Isaiah 41:10 where He says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.”
At other times God used angels to deliver the command to “fear not”. But actually, the way in which the “fear not” command is delivered most in the Bible, is from one person to another, such as we read in Deuteronomy 31:7. There, Moses was attempting to encourage and inspire the young man Joshua as he was about to assume leadership of the nation of Israel so he urged him to “be strong and courageous …”
More than by any other means, God communicates those words of encouragement and inspiration to us through our brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, this is one of the most important acts of service we can do for each other. It’s a big, bad, mean, and troubled world that we live in, and life can be hard. We need encouragement and inspiration, and often that comes to us through our fellow Christians reminding us of God’s words. Moses was simply repeating to Joshua what he himself had heard from God. Joshua then repeated it numerous times to the people of Israel. Many of the New Testament writers, including Paul, James, Peter, and John, included such words of encouragement in their letters. Preachers, teachers, and everyday Christians have been offering similar words of encouragement and inspiration to us for two thousand years since then.
Many people you encounter today will be hurting and struggling in some manner. We all need to be encouraged and inspired by the truth that our God is always with us, He goes before us, He protects, empowers, guides, and provides for us, and therefore we can live with courage and confidence instead of in fear and doubt. Remind someone of that important truth today.