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Monday, March 30, 2015

Protection: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 20

“These were the cities designated for all the Israelites and for the aliens residing among them…until there was a trial before the congregation.” Joshua 20: 9

Long before they settled the land, Moses had appointed cities of refuge according to the Lord’s directions. Now the time had come to implement the protection that would be necessary to uphold justice for both Israelites and aliens in their midst.

Refuge—not pardon.

Sins of error—not sins of deliberate intent.

Real justice—not revenge.

Time for adrenaline, and fury, and searing emotional pain, to subside from a roaring firestorm into a focused trial. To examine all the circumstances and separate out the innocent from the guilty before more death occurred.

Time for mercy to be examined both for the accused and the bereaved.

Time before time existed, before the foundation of the world, the Lord prepared a refuge for us in Jesus to give hope instead of death in the face of all sins. As a costly gift from God.

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scouring we are healed.” Isaiah 53: 5

Thank you, Lord, for the protection You offer us in all circumstances. Thank you for Your gifts of justice, and mercy, and faithfulness, when we do not deserve it and can never earn it. Thank you for Your deliverance from ourselves, both the enemies within and without. Thank you for

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 140: 7, 12

“O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer, you have covered my head in the day of battle.”

“I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor.”

Friday, March 20, 2015

Settle: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Distributed by lot

before the Lord

received at tent of meeting

accepted inheritance

by His hand

still needed to

settle in

rebuild ruins

diligence needed

to fulfill opportunity

faith unto completion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reflection Territory: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What does your inheritance look like in family, friends, gifts, and place?

2.     Are you grateful or resistant or uncertain?

3.     Are there areas that need to be rebuilt or begin planting?

4.     How does each affect your faith walk with purpose?

Share: What has kept you from being settled in God’s inheritance?  What have you embraced with joy?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Territory: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 19

“…distributed by lot at Shiloh before the Lord, at the entrance of the house of meeting.” Joshua 19:51

Before the Lord, at His tent of meeting, the lots were drawn. Some were tribe general and some were tribe specific. Judah had a higher portion but as the share was too big for them, the tribe of Simeon “obtained an inheritance within their inheritance.”

And by the Lord’s command Joshua was given a town, which he chose, in the hill country of Ephraim, and then he rebuilt and settled there.

The tribe of Danites lost their territory and so fought against Leshom to take possession there. And there they settled in. None of these lots were wrapped up in a completed package. Each required a choice to settle the land. Their inheritance needed to become a lived in experience.

We also have received from the Lord an inheritance, actually a double heritage, to be lived within another’s inheritance. We receive our physical inheritance into a life of cultural heritage and family, and we receive our gift of spiritual heritage by Jesus’ cross of sacrifice. Each individual’s gifts and talents and boundaries unique and yet a portion of His whole. If we accept them.

With choices for each distribution how much we are to settle in and build, or resist and rebel.

Jesus is present. His door of meeting is always open. Are we living in the lot He has given or seeking a different portion? Does our faith continue to grow and expand with new opportunities?

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 139: 10, 16

“Even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.”

“Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

Accept: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


                        Promise made
                        gift given
                        still needs acceptance
                        willingness to act
                        with faith in

                        Still requires steps
                        with courage to

                        Heart and soul
                        mind and body
                        to beginning
                        new work
new life

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reflection: Slack: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     Is there an area in your faith walk in which you are slack? Why?

2.     What are the possible steps you might need to act upon to see it take shape?

3.     Are you ready to walk unknown territory in prayer? Or ask for others to walk alongside?

Share: What commitment did you follow through with that brought fulfillment?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Slack: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 18

“How long will you be slack about going in and taking possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18: 3

The land was subdued. Israel gathered together at the tent of meeting. But seven tribes had still not divided their inheritance.

Overwhelmed? Insecure? No clear job description? Extreme courtesy towards each other?

Joshua first chastised them and then gave them concrete tasks to follow, “… go throughout the land, writing a description of it with a view to their inheritance.” When they returned with all the details written down in a book he cast lots for them. Boundary-by-boundary all around each one.

How often I wonder do we, do I, freeze at the possibility of a new inheritance in the Lord. Perhaps we stepped out in a blind act of faith and suddenly have a whole new recognition of God’s character, but we don’t know how to respond. Or a new responsibility has been given to us and we have no idea where to start, or how to pursue a whole new beginning. What if we can’t fulfill the call? So we become slack.

Sometimes we need to trust the words given to us in scripture and in prayer. Write them down. Look at the land and the boundaries and choose a particular lot—a concrete goal to live into. Listen carefully to the desires God places in our hearts and follow those nudges with commitment. The ones He has already given.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 138: 3, 8

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

Friday, March 6, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Reflection Possess: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reflection Questions

1.     What do you see as limitations in your life right now?

2.     How would your perspective change if you knew God had appointed this situation?

3.     What do you need to possess the circumstances thorough His promises?

4.     Where can you see promise where the world might see failure?

Share: What boundaries have you found to become a blessing in your life?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Possess: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry

Reading: Joshua 17

“But the hill country shall be yours for though it is a forest, you shall clear it and possess it to its farthest borders; for you shall drive out the Canaanites…”.
 Joshua 17: 18

Often we see boundaries as limitations—not always as blessings. Or we see only the complications before us with no vision for possibility.

As Joshua continued the allotments more questions and, perhaps, attitudes of entitlement arose. The house of Joseph only received one lot of the inhabited land and the inheritance of both sons continued to have Canaanites in their midst.

Why? They asked. We are a numerous people. And Joseph pointed out that the forest of the hill country was theirs as well. It would be more than enough but they would need to clear it to possess it. And as a numerous people they had the means if they stepped out in faith. 

One line of Manasseh had no sons, but only daughters, and they came to Joshua and reminded him, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers” And Joshua honored that commitment reminding Israel of the foundation that in God both male and female receive an inheritance. Unheard of in the surrounding tribes—but from the very beginning in the Lord’s creation. If they had not had the courage and faith to speak, would they have received?

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3: 28-29

Lord, help us to accept the boundaries You choose for us and look only to You for the work that You ask of us. Not in comparison to other fields, or other positions, but the ones that You provide. Let us not place automatic limitations on ourselves, or others, but look to Your counsel and stand on Your promises. Help us to truly live and possess the terrain You have given each of us in You.

Psalm of Worship: Psalm 137: 4

“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”

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