Archives For Joshua

The curse of mediocrity has infested the Western Church. Instead of blazing a trail of fire for the sake of the Kingdom, or even disappearing from the scene with cold hearts, we do just enough to let people know we’re still around, but never enough to make a difference. It’s disgusting to me in my own life and it’s intolerable for Jesus (Revelation 3:15-16). I learned the word mediocre has its origin in two Latin words which, translated literally, mean “halfway to the peak.” Half-way. Unfinished. Lazy. Uncommitted. This is the curse of mediocrity.

curse of mediocrity,mediocre,mediocrity,passion,purpose,priorities,commitment,John 14:12,you will do greater things,Joshua 24:15choose this day whom you will serve,Luke 10:19,I have given you authority,Revelation 3:15-16,spit you out,vomit you out

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A.W. Tozer noted of the origin of the word mediocre: “This makes it an apt description of the progress of many Christians. They are halfway up to the peak…. They are morally above the hardened sinner but they are spiritually beneath the shining saint…. Do we really think that this halfway Christian life is the best that Christ offers—the best that we can know? In the face of what Christ offers us, how can we settle for so little?”

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Everyone wants to make a difference. We all want to live a life of significance, to live a powerful life. Why then do so many lead lives of quiet desperation? Should Christ followers even aspire to any form of greatness or recognition? Nelson Mandela said there is no passion in playing small, in living a life less than you are capable of living.

Live a Powerful Life,quiet desperation,Nelson Mandela,Henry David Thoreau,be strong and courageous,Joshua 1:9,beattitudes,2 Timothy 1:7,1 Corinthians 16:13,Mark 16:15,1 John 4:18,Matthew 5:5,Philippians 4:13,humility,love,purpose,God's will,I can do all things through Christ

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I think Jesus would agree. He created you with a unique blend of skills and passions to do the work He designed for you to do. He created you for a reason. If Jesus is your Lord, the very Spirit of God resides within you. How then could you not live a powerful life?

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“When whole regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too smug to be ashamed, surely it must bring an astringent smile to the face of the enemy; and it should bring a blush to the cheeks of the whole Church of Christ.” This is certainly no less true today than it was when A.W. Tozer wrote those words over fifty years ago.

fight,a.w. tozer,tozer,2 Corinthians 10:3-5,Daniel 10:12-13,John 14:21,Luke 11:23,Joshua 24:15,spiritual warfare,if God is for us,power of Christ

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Many of us look back and lament the days when the Church took the fight to the enemy, but Tozer’s observation of his own times shows those days are further behind us than we dare think or imagine. As a whole, the Church has lost the will to fight and refuses to be ashamed at the weakness of its plight.
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steven furtick,elevation church,battle of jericho,commitment,persevere,perseverance,commitment,stay strong

In a recent sermon, I heard Steven Furtick give an interesting twist on the familiar story of the battle of Jericho. If you are unfamiliar with the story, you can read about it in Joshua, the sixth book in the Bible, in chapter six. The quick summary of the story is that Joshua marched the troops of Israel around the fortified city of Jericho in silence once a day for six straight days. On the seventh day, they marched seven times around the city and then blew their trumpets and gave a great shout. At that, the walls of the city came crumbling down. Pastor Furtick noticed that the Scriptures say that God told Joshua the plan, but they do not say if Joshua then laid out the whole plan for his army. It only says he told them to start marching.

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live like you were dying,life for today,live for the moment

I turn forty-five later this week and it occurred to me that I’m probably about half-way through my life. I’m in good health, decent shape, and I take care of myself. It would seem that living to the age of ninety would not be too much of a stretch. But what if I’m wrong? What if I only have thirty years remaining? What about twenty, or ten? What if my life should unexpectedly end next week? As Jesus said, none of us have any guarantee of tomorrow (Luke 12:16-20). Any of us could find that our next breath is actually our last. That should affect the way we live. Knowing tomorrow could be our last day on earth should have radical implications on how we live today.

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Thanksgiving,reflection,grateful,being thankful,giving thanks,personal inventory,remember,journaling

It’s a holiday here in the United States, and I struggled considering whether or not to write about being thankful on Thanksgiving. It seemed just a little too easy and far too cliché. At the same time, I have been learning the importance of reflection, so I know it’s important to take the time to pause and consider how much God has done for us. Holidays are ideal for this sort of activity. They are markers along the road of our lives. Just as Joshua set up a pillar of stones to mark the passage into the Promised Land and as a reminder of where they had been (Joshua 4), days like Thanksgiving can serve to remind us of all that Christ has done for us.

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God is powerful,God is not weak

At what point in our relationship with God did we begin to shrink Him down into a more manageable size? Remember when you first came to know Christ and recognized what a beautiful, awesome and powerful Creator He was? Remember when you prayed bold prayers and fully expected to see them come to fruition? There was a time when you cast all your worries and concerns on Him and left them there because you knew God was far greater than any of your problems. But somewhere along the way we stopped believing all of that. Oh, we still say that we believe He is all powerful and capable of anything because that’s what Christians are supposed to say. Deep down though, I wonder if you still believe it to be true.

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Earnestly Praying Woman

In a recent message, Pastor Craig Groeschel asked a brilliant question: “If God had answered all of your prayers last week, how would the world be different?” His point was that most of us pray small and selfish prayers so that even if they were all to be answered the way we wanted them to be, the world would hardly notice. Our lives might be a little better, but the rest of the planet would go on as usual. From my own experience and observation, I sadly have to agree with him. Take a look back over the past week and see how many prayers you prayed that would, if answered in the way you desired, have had a kingdom impact on the world.

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