Old Testament reading: Joshua 11-12
Today’s text details the conquest of the northern region of Canaan. Of interest is God’s providence exercised in the Canaanites gathering themselves for war against Israel as opposed to seeking terms of peace as did the Gibeonites. Joshua 11:16-23 teaches us that God used their hardness of heart as a means of destroying them for their sin, that he might keep the promise made to Moses.
New Testament reading: James
James is the most practical epistle in the New Testament. It is a “How to” of Christian living written by the very brother of our Lord. If anyone had experience in instructing us in the example of Jesus, James was the one. Chock full of great everyday admonitions, we would all do well to consider its great themes: Chapter One – Continue in God’s word; Chapter Two – Do not show respect to the rich, and Faith without works cannot save; Chapter Three – Guard your tongue; Chapter 4 – Beware of Pride; Chapter 5 – Be patient, empathetic and prayerful. James 1 contains a host of practical material for faithful Christian living. Consider these thoughts: Endure trials by faith and prayer (vv 2-8); Serve God regardless of where or what you are (vv 9-11); Understand the nature of temptation and sin – it is not a sin to be tempted! (vv 12-16; cf Heb 4:15); Recognize God’s gifts (v 17); Reflect the image of your Father (vv 18-20); Remove all filthiness and wickedness far from you (v 21a); Receive the Word of God that saves your soul (v 21b); Be a doer of God’s word and not a hearer only (vv 22-24); Doing the Word means doing the work (v 25); Let your light shine through your self control and love for others (vv 26-27, cf Matt 5:13ff).