Week of April 13

Telling The Story

Have you ever forgotten an important date? Maybe it was a friend’s birthday or your wedding anniversary. With our hectic schedules, sometimes we forget the important things—including the past blessings of God. We take for granted our relationships, our health, and the possessions that God has entrusted to us. Almost as soon as we set foot on land, we forget how God has guided us through the storm.

Throughout the book of Joshua, God supernaturally carried the Israelites through one insurmountable task after the other. The Lord stopped the flow of the Jordan River. He caused the walls of Jericho to crumble. He gave victory to the Israelites again and again. Yet by the end of the book, the Israelites already had forgotten God’s goodness and generosity.

Read Joshua 24. In this passage, we see God speaking through Joshua, reminding the people of how He has faithfully provided for them in the past. Joshua chose a special place to remind the people of God’s faithfulness: “Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem” (Joshua 24:1). Shechem was near the same location that 600 years earlier Abraham received God’s promise of that land. What better place to praise God’s faithfulness and to pledge a response to His blessings?

We all have our own personal Shechem—the places where God has met us in a special way. These are the places where God has provided for us and has fulfilled His promises. These are the places where God has answered our prayers and has intervened on our behalf. Our Shechems are where God has showed Himself faithful—even when we have been unfaithful.

But God has not given us these many blessings so that we may become complacent in them. He has blessed us for a purpose, and we are called to respond. God wants us to use our resources and circumstances to bring Him glory and to testify to His goodness. He wants us to tell the story of how He transformed our lives. He wants to see our willingness to share about His love for us.

God doesn’t want our half-hearted response. Joshua told the people, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

We should not just worship God half-heartedly, or serve Him out of feelings of obligation. God does not want us to just go through the motions while our hearts are focused on worldly things. God wants us to serve Him alone, regardless of what others are doing or what people will think of us.

Have you been suffering from “spiritual amnesia”? Have you forgotten God’s past mercies as if you had never received them? Have you allowed your present troubles to blot out all memory of God’s past faithfulness and interventions? Have you neglected to praise Him for His past provision and blessings?

Don’t allow your forgetfulness to distract you from God’s present work for you. If you are holding back from sharing about Christ because of spiritual complacency, then seek God’s forgiveness. If you have forgotten how God has given you past victories and are fearful of stepping out in faith, then repent of that today.

Think about the times in the past when God has prepared you for His work. Think about the many resources, circumstances, and blessings He has given you in order to be an apostle in your community. Write those victories and those blessings below. Whenever you begin forgetting God’s mercies, review the list and praise God for His faithfulness.

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