You are to help them until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you. (Josh. 1:14–15)
What if your blessings were the greatest obstacle to your holiness? Most of us see sainthood as attained through great acts of merit; but often it’s no more than small, consistent demonstrations of sacrificial love.
The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh (1:12) had already received their land under the leadership of Moses. By all rights, God’s promise to them was fulfilled. They were entitled to rest. Rather than allowing them to settle into the rest God had promised them, however, Joshua reminded them of the need to suffer and fight with those who had not yet received their inheritance.
God’s people are known for sacrifice in solidarity with those who suffer. But as we worry about paying bills and planning for the future, we often forget that our belongings are not meant to be consumed, but to be sent on mission. What if before you bought another piece of clothing you don’t need, you bought food to invite your neighbors over? What if before you wrote a government official about an issue that concerns your financial future, you wrote about an issue that plagues someone in a different income bracket? What if before saving more money to pass down to your own children, you helped a financially strapped student in your community pay for education?
In short: What if you sacrificed uncomfortably for someone who can’t pay you back?
Identify one way you can sacrifice for the well-being of a neighbor.
Ethan Linder is the college, young adult, and connections pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, Indiana, where he resides with his wife and son. Ethan enjoys running, reading, and roasting coffee.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.
Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.