New Starts

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Joshua 1:1-9; Eph. 3:1-13; Matt. 8:5-17

I have been longing for a fresh, new start.  Sometime do you ever feel like your life is in a rut?  Like you need a kick start?

Not surprisingly, renewal and hope are constant themes in scripture.  It is everywhere!  From the Exodus to the miracles of Jesus, from Noah to the Final Battle, God is interested in the reconciliation of humanity – of bringing the people closer to him, mending that which is broken.  We see God not only as a shepherd, but like here in Joshua today, as the fearless leader of the people.

Joshua turns the page on the story.  Moses has died, it is time to enter the Promised Land, and frankly the Israelites are ready for a fresh new start.  A mantra of being strong and courageous emerges.  “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you, wherever you go.”

Some thought they were following Moses.  With Joshua taking over, it becomes a reminder that Moses was just God’s instrument.  It is God they are truly following into their future.

And so it is with us.  No matter what our struggles or conflicts at the time, we must always remember that God is there in the midst of the pain or difficulty and is longing to see us make it out.  God wants us to be whole, alive, vibrant, healthy, Spirit-filled people.

Another thing we learn is scripture is that God is there whether we acknowledge it or not.  Often, the only element missing is the reminder.

What a gift this Joshua passage was to me this morning!

-Matt

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