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Weekly Bible Challenge

Hello to all,

This week we will focus on the meaning of one word. The text is Joshua 3:5 which states: “Then Joshua said to the people; “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” This order is given by Joshua as we follow the nation of Israel into the Promised Land. They are about to cross the Jordan River into Canaan, where the Lord will work miracles in their presence. The word that we are to study is translated here as consecrate. What does this mean? This isn’t a word that you hear in any other place other than a rare usage in church. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that it means “dedicate to a sacred purpose,” but what did that mean to an ancient Hebrew listening to these words from the mouth of Joshua? The word evaluated is qodesh, and it is a word that is used to denote the holiness of God. We observe the Law of God in Leviticus 11:45 which reads: “For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” In this text the same word to denote holiness is used in describing what the Lord is commanding the people to be, and used describing the Lord Himself. The word as it is used back in Joshua can mean “cause yourself to be holy.”

I think we have a degraded view of consecration in the Christian church at times. This idea caused the Israelites to take good drinking water and bathe in it. It caused them to intentionally and deliberately seek after cleanliness of the heart, soul, and body. Hopefully, we all take showers or bathe at least daily, but how often do we intentionally clean out hearts and souls? This isn’t a Bible study on what God’s Word says is right or wrong. It is a study on the action of cleaning out what we already know is wrong. It is an intentional search of our inner thoughts, and placing them next to Scripture to see where they fall. It is an exhortation to seek God’s holiness in our hearts, souls, and bodies. It is not looking around and saying confidently that we are better than that guy over there. After all, in our line of work there is no shortage of people to compare ourselves to that make us look great. There is a higher standard that we are to seek after. It is God’s standard.

I wonder how many plans God has for our lives that He won’t start because of our lack of action in this area. I wonder if the Lord wants to do wonders among us as He did for the Nation of Israel so many years ago, but He has not because of our lack of intentionally consecrating ourselves towards His principles. It should also be noted that Jeremiah uses this word nine times in his book, and four of the uses are translated with the idea of preparation. These two ideas are linked. We are to consecrate ourselves as holy; this sets us apart, and prepares us for His service.

Please accept this encouragement this week. Let us consecrate ourselves towards the Lord. Let us clean not only our bodies, but our hearts, souls, and our minds. Let us be intentional in this area of our faith in and with our God.

Joshua 3:5 – “Then Joshua said to the people; “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”



NCSO Devotional for 02-23-2015

“I know there are people that do not like to travel very much. Especially some that has little children. Are we there yet is the cry frequently heard from the back seat of your vehicle. Stopping at every other exit for a gift shop, bathroom break, or to fuel up are things that drive some people crazy. However, there are those that are challenged to see if they can break their best time record to make it from point “A” to point “B”. So the bottom line is that you have to determine is the journey worth the destination.

My family and I love to travel. A couple years ago we decided to take our family vacation out west. Our journey would take us into Phoenix, Arizona and then we would drive through two of our countries national parks, Zion and Grand Canyon. We as a family were excited never having seen what was in store for us. As we were driving towards the Grand Canyon from Tusayan, Arizona we drove on relatively flat lands surrounded by a sparse pine forest. Gradually, the forest begins to thin out, and then out of nowhere, there it is, the Grand Canyon. WOW! This is definitely a bucket list item for everyone. We pulled into the parking lot, got out of our rental vehicle, and walked out onto the site seeing platform. The sites to behold were awesome.  After about fifteen minutes of looking in awe and amazement, my son who was fourteen years old at the time, said, “Okay, can we go, its just a big hole.” Working, saving money, planning, setting schedules, reserving flights, and coordinating hotels all to be stopped in time with one statement. Had all our effort came to this? Just looking at a big hole in the ground? No, we continued our family vacation and had a great time. However, this makes me stop and think. What are you expecting at the end of the journey you are currently on?

We all start working with an end in mind, RETIREMENT! We all walk paths that take each of us on our own journey. If you don’t prepare for the journey, your destination can be problematic. Whether it is retirement, marriage, your job, your family, or your eternal destination, you must pay attention along the way to make sure you are doing the right things to finish well. Proverbs 27:12 put’s this into perspective: ‘The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” (NIV) Are you being prudent and preparing for your future or are you being simple and going to suffer tomorrow for your choices today?

So ask yourself some important questions!

  1. Am I ready to step out into eternity if I were to die today?
  2. Am I storing up treasures here on earth or up in heaven?
  3. Am I putting forth the efforts in my personal relationships with my spouse, fiancé, girlfriend/boyfriend, to make our relationship last forever?
  4. Am I spending time building relationships with my children early to make sure they want to be around me later?
  5. Am I putting forth the loyalty in my job to insure my future?

John 14:6 states it best! Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

By: Chaplain Tom Tyer F-813″

NCSO Devotional for March 23, 2015

Do you ever get anxious about circumstances that you are going through? Sometimes we can’t help the situations that life deals us. The uncertainty of how things are going to play out tends to bring on anxiety. During those times of anxiety if we are not careful we can become stressed. It’s during these times of stress and anxiety that we must be careful to protect those we love the most from, our knee jerk reactions. Too many times our families have been the victims of our stressed out moments.

I’d like to share with you for just a moment from the Bible how we can learn to de-stress during those anxious moments. First of all, can you imagine how Moses must have felt when he lead the Israelites out of Egypt, found himself at the Red Sea and there was no where else to turn? I’m sure he was having an anxiety attach not knowing what to do next. It’s happen to all of us at one time or another. It’s happened to me many times over the years, but when it does I try to remind myself what the Bible has to say about anxiety. In Philippians chapter 3 Paul tell us that when those anxious moments come, we are to turn to God with prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving present our request unto God. When Moses was trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptians, he didn’t just walk off the job, no he cried out to God for help. I want you to understand that when we find ourselves in desperate circumstances we need to cry out to God for help. The Bible goes on to tell us that when we present our request to God through prayer and thanksgiving that the peace of God which transcends (or surpasses) all our understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The second thing that I want you to notice is that God will bring peace to your heart and mind when you give him these difficult situations. You may not be able to handle it, but God can. To me the word transcends is better translated as surpasses all our understanding. This word ‘surpasses’ tells it all, because when God is invited into the situation he has a way of working things out in ways that I could have never even imagined. His ways surpass my ability to understand. Who would have ever dreamed that the Red Sea would dry up so that the Israelites could walk across it to escape from the Egyptians? Or who would have ever dreamed that Joshua could march around the city of Jericho 7 times and the walls would fall down and give the Israelites the victory over the city without having to fight with the sword. If we will learn to take those anxious moments and turn them over to God in prayer, He will give us peace and fight our battles for us. I pray you have a great Week! And remember that your Chaplains are lifting you up in prayer.

Chaplain Arlie Johns, F-808

Office 904-845-2642 or Cell 904-424-1998