Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-17-21

Romans 11:25-32 (VOICE)
25 My brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be in the dark about this mystery [sacred secret]—I am going to let you in on the plan so that you will not think too highly of yourselves. A part of Israel has been hardened [stubborn and unwilling to learn something new] to the good news until the full number of those outside the Jewish family have entered in.

26 This is the way that all of Israel will be saved. As it was written, so it also stands:
The Deliverer [Rescuer] will come from Zion;
    He will drive away wickedness [the evil one] from Jacob [Israel].
And this is My covenant promise to them,
    on the day when I take away their sins.

28 It may seem strange. When it comes to the work of the gospel, the fact that they oppose it is actually for your benefit. But when you factor in God’s election, they are truly loved because they descended from faithful forefathers. 29 You see, when God gives a grace gift and issues a call to a people, He does not change His mind and take it back. 30 There was a time when you outsiders were disobedient to God and at odds with His purpose, but now you have experienced mercy as a result of their disobedience. 31 In the same way, their disobedience now will make a way for them to receive mercy as a result of the mercy shown to you. 32 For God has assigned all of us together—Jews and non-Jews, insiders and outsiders—to disobedience so He can show His mercy to all.

The other day a dear friend thanked me for having a graphic “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem” on the Connect2Christ Church electronic sign. I am not surprised at all by her comment, but it blessed me that she affirmed the magnitude of the message. Do you pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem which is also known as Mt. Zion?

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul imparts the Truth of God’s sacred plan to the believers in Rome and beyond. He encourages believers to identify with Jerusalem; to nurture a kinship with Israel. No arrogance against the Jews is valid before God. Jesus himself taught there and attended the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:14). So many of Christ’s teachings and miracles took place in and around Jerusalem. It remains the Cornerstone that joins the Jewish and Christian faith in worship of our Creator and Lord. As believers, we are instructed to pray for Jerusalem, because our spiritual life and energy flows from the root, Israel. God is the Gardner who has engrafted non-Jews with Jews. We pray for Israel to recognize Jesus and receive their Christ—Messiah. It was always a part of God’s plan to connect the human creation with himself—He is the Tree of Life.

Next Monday, we begin our celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles—Sukkot—recognizing the miracle of when God delivered Israel from Egypt—a land that played two roles: a place of refuge from famine or threat, as well as a place of bondage and slavery. This world can be both, right? God always wanted to be the King of his creation and to tabernacle with us; for this reason the Lord came to save and redeem the world with his own holiness. One day, Christ will return to rule in the realm called the New Jerusalem or Zion filled with people who have been clothed with glory and beauty because they have chosen Christ as King (Rev. 14:1-2).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for connecting your spiritual family to the root of Israel in order to bring salvation. Please come and bring the world under

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-16-21

Proverbs 30:5-9 (TPT) A Pure Heart Is Filled with God’s Word

Every promise from the faithful God
    is pure and proves to be true.
    He is a wraparound shield of protection for all his lovers
    who run to hide in him.

Never add to his words,
    or he will have to rebuke you and prove that you’re a liar.

God, there are two things I’m asking you for before I die, only two:

Empty out of my heart everything that is false—
    every lie, and every crooked thing.
    And give me neither undue poverty nor undue wealth—
    but rather, feed my soul with the measure of prosperity
    that pleases you.

May my satisfaction be found in you.
    Don’t let me be so rich that I don’t need you
    or so poor that I have to resort to dishonesty
    just to make ends meet.
    Then my life will never detract from bringing glory to your name.

According to the main writer of Proverbs—King Solomon—“The fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom which [if you live right according to the Word] will result in good judgment…multiply your days…and, add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer” (Prov 9:10-12). In our passage from Proverbs today, we witness the sayings of Agur who is known as being a wise teacher [he models wisdom]. So Agur, knowing the value of wisdom and applying it to his life, asks God for two things before he dies: 1) To rid him of everything false hiding in his heart, so he can live according to the Truth of God’s Word and promises; and 2) To meet his needs for survival, but feed his soul [mind/will/emotions] with prosperity, so the Lord remains first in his life.

If you were given an opportunity to make only two requests of God between today and when you die, what would you ask God to do? This is a hard question to answer, because there are so many people and situations in our world that need the miracle-working touch of God. However, Agur wisely chooses to ask God to help him get his heart right before he dies.

For the believer, this is exactly what Christ—our High Priest—serves to do in a person’s life. Christ has been made wisdom for us and we need to listen to the Word and ask Christ to rid our soul of lies and help us live in the Truth, so He can be the wisdom and prosperity that satisfies our souls (1 Cor. 1:30). There is nothing in this world that can satisfy or replace the abiding presence and shalom of God. Be wise like Agur by making sure today your heart is right before the Lord.

Last evening, began what is called the Sabbath of Sabbaths or Yom Kippur—a solemn day of atonement when we seek to shed our sin and be reconciled with Creator God—and tonight it will end. This is your appointed time to ask the Lord to forgive your sins of dishonest living against His holy commands of Truth, so you can get your heart right before Almighty God, because only He can satisfy your life and give rest for your soul.

Prayer: Lord, I pray for you to rid my heart of any lie hiding within—take away any hypocrisy so I am genuinely living in the Truth. And, Lord, make my soul prosper as only you can. Impart to me the sense of well-being that only you can give. Draw people worldwide to your heart today, help them ask for forgiveness, and impart the life of Christ to them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-15-21

Colossians 3:5-11 (TPT) New Creation Life
5 Live as one who has died to every form of sexual sin and impurity. Live as one who has died to the desires for forbidden things, [evil/darkness] including the desire for wealth (greed), which is the essence of idol worship. 6 When you live in these vices you ignite the anger of God against these acts of disobedience.

7–8 That’s how you once behaved, characterized by your evil deeds. But now it’s time to eliminate them from your lives once and for all—anger, fits of rage, all forms of hatred,[including self-hatred] cursing [slander], filthy speech, 9 and lying [living a lie]. Lay aside [take off the old life] your old Adam-self with its masquerade and disguise.

10 For you have acquired new creation life which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created you; giving you the full revelation of God. 11 In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, nor your ethnicity, education, nor economic status—they matter nothing. For it is Christ that means everything as he lives in every one of us!

Our passage today is a continuation from yesterday and how we are to be One with Christ in his Glory. Here’s what we must do: shed our old lives. I think the word “shed” (eject or slough off) is a very good word for Christians to remember. Sinful stuff must be shed. Christ shed his life for our sins to bring us eternal life and we shed our old life in order to reveal the new one. Wow, such exciting news! We are being made into a new image—His! We are like the caterpillar shedding its chrysalis and emerging a butterfly. We supernaturally put on his attitude and character, allow the Word to be developed in the inner places of the heart, and change comes (Phil 2:5; Col 3:12-15). You are a new creation, my friend! Live out of that miracle!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for bringing me into your character and working to make me in your image. I know it must delight you to see your children being formed in your likeness. Blessings and honor be yours, Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-14-21

Colossians 3:1-4 (TPT) One with Christ in Glory
1 Christ’s resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the place of all power, honor, and authority! [glory] 2 Yes, feast on all the treasures of the heavenly realm and fill your thoughts with heavenly realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.

3 Your crucifixion [your life and death are hidden in Messiah] with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ. 4 And as Christ himself is seen for who he really is, who you really are will also be revealed, for you are now one with him in his glory!

Yesterday, I was doing some “baking therapy” and as I was reading the banana bread recipe I noticed the words “add,” “combine,” and “mix.” In order for me to enjoy the finished product, I had to carefully measure, add every item on the list, and blend all the ingredients together; otherwise, I would be wrong to expect bread goodness coming out of my oven. So, I followed the instructions perfectly. Mmmm…so good!

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is pretty much telling the church at Colossae about the recipe they must follow to be One with Christ. But, this recipe is more about what NOT to “add,” “combine,” and “mix.” If they expect the goodness and power of God to be revealed in their lives, they must NOT combine themselves with a sinful world. Christ has disconnected us from the world in order to connect us to himself! We belong to him, now! He chooses the recipe for his followers.

As Christians, we cannot allow the thoughts of the natural world to alter the power of the Living Bread in our lives. May the Spirit help us remain disconnected from the sin of this world. Remember, good things are supposed to flow from our lives; otherwise Jesus is not our Lord. Jesus told the crowd, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” (Luke 6:45).

Prayer: Lord, thank you for correcting your children to yourself and helping us follow your recipe for Christian living. We need your help and power leading us to victory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-13-21

What is most valuable to you? If you write a list does your character, make that list? If so, where does it fall? Is your character beneath Jesus, Who is hopefully #1? Or does your family, friends, house, career, stuff, hobbies, activities, etc. come before your character? If we are made new in Christ Jesus, then our character should reflect Him in every aspect of our lives. Thus, it only makes sense that our character is of great value and should follow as a close #2 behind Jesus on our list.

So, keeping your character in mind, how would your family or close friends describe you? Basically, what is the impression that you leave with people? We know that Jesus embodied the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23), and it was witnessed by everyone who had encounters with Him that He had the perfect character. Yet, those who chose to judge Him spoke of His reputation. They had ulterior motives and never sought to truly know Jesus’s character, rather they made determinations and created a false reputation for Him.

One of my favorite quotes is: “Worry about your character not your reputation. Your character is who you are, and your reputation is who people think you are.” For my life, I added to this quote: “Worry about your character not your reputation. Your character is who you are in CHRIST JESUS, and your reputation is who people think you are as they judge you from a worldly perspective”.

Proverbs 22:1-21 (NLT)

1 Choose a good reputation over great riches;
being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold.

2 The rich and poor have this in common:
The Lord made them both.

3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions.
The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

4 True humility and fear of the Lord
lead to riches, honor, and long life.

5 Corrupt people walk a thorny, treacherous road;
whoever values life will avoid it.

6 Direct your children onto the right path,
and when they are older, they will not leave it.

7 Just as the rich rule the poor,
so the borrower is servant to the lender.

8 Those who plant injustice will harvest disaster,
and their reign of terror will come to an end.

9 Blessed are those who are generous,
because they feed the poor.

10 Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
Quarrels and insults will disappear.

11 Whoever loves a pure heart and gracious speech
will have the king as a friend.

12 The Lord preserves those with knowledge,
but he ruins the plans of the treacherous.

13 The lazy person claims, “There’s a lion out there!
If I go outside, I might be killed!”

14 The mouth of an immoral woman is a dangerous trap;
those who make the Lord angry will fall into it.

15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
but physical discipline will drive it far away.

16 A person who gets ahead by oppressing the poor
or by showering gifts on the rich will end in poverty.

Sayings of the Wise

17 Listen to the words of the wise;
apply your heart to my instruction.
18 For it is good to keep these sayings in your heart
and always ready on your lips.
19 I am teaching you today—yes, you—
so you will trust in the Lord.
20 I have written thirty sayings for you,
filled with advice and knowledge.
21 In this way, you may know the truth
and take an accurate report to those who sent you.

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for being the perfect example for my life. Please continue to groom my character so that it may be reflective of You and help me to live by the Fruits of the Spirit. I want to leave an impression of You with people. I love You, Lord, and ask this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-10-21

James 2:17-24 (TPT)

17 So then faith that doesn’t involve action is phony [dead/fruitless].
18 But someone might object and say, “One person has faith and another person has works”[ good deeds]. Go ahead then and prove to me that you have faith without works and I will show you faith by my works as proof that I believe. 19 You can believe all you want that there is one true God, that’s wonderful! But even the demons know this and tremble with fear before him, yet they’re unchanged—they remain demons.

20 O feeble sons of Adam [empty man], do you need further evidence that faith divorced from good works is phony? 21 Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham found righteous before God because of his works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 Can’t you see how his action cooperated with his faith and by his action faith found its full expression? 23 So in this way the Scripture was fulfilled:
Because Abraham believed God, his faith was exchanged for God’s righteousness.

So he became known as the lover of God! [one whom God loves—love that binds friends together] 24 So now it’s clear that a person is seen as righteous in God’s eyes not merely by faith alone, but by his works.

In our passage today, James addresses the potential for people to make an intellectual assent to God and claim it as faith. These folks may agree with the teachings of Jesus, but that does not mean they are following Christ or operating in saving faith. Salvation is all based upon grace and the kindness of the Savior; we cannot and will never earn our salvation through good deeds, nor gain it by our intellectual prowess. Faith—which is really our active and ongoing trust, devotion and obedience to God—must be connected to deeds done out of pure love; otherwise, we are not bearing the Spirit-driven “fruit” of our salvation. Our Savior does good deeds for us out of his love for us; we are made new in his image.

Jesus reminds us we can easily identify true believers; Christians are like trees. A good tree produces good fruit. He goes on to say, “Just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (Mat 7:20). True faith changes us from the inside out; it renews our thinking and that renewal transforms us into fruit-producing followers of Christ. We leave people better than we found them. If we are not producing the fruit of our salvation—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—we have a phony or dead faith (Gal 5:22-23). Let’s be like trees bearing the righteous fruit of Christ our Tree of Life.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping me live by faith and producing the fruit of loving deeds. In a world that is bent on selfishness, may your children reveal a whole different attitude and lifestyle. Help us Lord to touch the lives of people each day with your love and leave them better than we found them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-9-21

Hebrews 11:17-22 (VOICE)
17 By faith Abraham, when he endured God’s testing, offered his beloved son Isaac as a sacrifice. The one who had received God’s promise was willing to offer his only son; 18 God had told him, “It is through Isaac that your descendants will bear your name,” 19 and he concluded that God was capable of raising him from the dead, which, figuratively, is indeed what happened.

20 By faith Isaac spoke blessings upon his sons, Jacob and Esau, concerning things yet to come.
21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed the sons of his son Joseph, bowing in worship as he leaned upon his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, at his life’s end, predicted that the children of Israel would make an exodus from Egypt; and he gave instructions that his bones be buried in the land they would someday reach.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul asks us to look to the heroes of the Old Testament in order to better understand the journey people of holy faith make with God. Abraham experiences the progressive testing of his faith while he learns to live by a new identity. He leaves everything he has ever known—everything comfortable—in order to obediently go where God instructs. The testing of his faith culminates when he is instructed to offer his only son to God. Abraham’s faith has been tested to such an extent by this time that he KNOWS if God asks him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, He will raise him from the dead if necessary because God has promised him many descendants. Abraham has learned to trust his faithful God. Keep in mind, Abraham asks for a son, but God generously gives him a people and nation. Our faith will also endure progressive testing and we must grow in our trust that God flawlessly loves us and His promise is rock solid no matter how it looks or feels at times. God wants to BE our prized possession in Christ and if we are willing to give Him first place (and become a NEW PERSON living in His righteousness), even though our faith will also be tested, He will provide abundant blessings.

Issac experiences the prophetic eyes of faith—even while he is physically blind—because God allows him to see into the future so he can speak words of blessing over his sons, Jacob and Esau. God promises Issac a land of plenty and to be with him on his faith journey until everything He has promised comes to pass. God opens our eyes to spiritual things in Christ—gives us a NEW PERSPECTIVE—and he has a destiny and plan for each of us as we follow with the eyes of faith.

Jacob has selfishly manipulated people his whole life in order to have what he wants, but in time he is prompted to faith by a dream God gives him accompanied by a promise to provide a company of nations, as well making his descendants kings. No more manipulating; God changes his name and asks him to obey. God prompts our faith and calls us to live with a NEW PURPOSE—we no longer selfishly live for the things of this world, but for the advancement of the King and his Kingdom.

Finally, we witnessed how Joseph has been motivated by faith to cooperate with the promises of God. Through Joseph’s faith in God’s wisdom and power, he learns about forgiveness, righteousness, and protection in the midst of famine. As believers, God feeds us truth—in the midst of the world’s spiritual starvation—and asks that our faith be motivated by His redeeming NEW POWER. In the Spirit, we have the power to fulfill every promise God has made because he wants to save the world.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the ongoing work of Your faith in my life. Thank you for making me a new person, giving me spiritual eyes with a new perspective, offering me a new purpose for my life that gives eternal meaning, and providing me the power to accomplish everything you have designed for me to be and do as your daughter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-8-21

Matthew 17:14:21 (TPT) Unbelief Hinders Healing
14 They came to where a large crowd had gathered to wait for Jesus. A man came and knelt before him 15 and said, “Lord, please show your tender mercy toward my son. He has a demon who afflicts him. He has epilepsy, and he suffers horribly from seizures. He often falls into the cooking fire or into the river. 16 I brought him to your followers, but they weren’t able to heal him.”

17 Jesus replied, “Where is your faith? Can’t you see how wayward and wrong this generation is?[those who deny me]. How much longer do I stay with you and put up with your doubts? Bring your son to me.”

18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and the boy was instantly healed!
19 Later the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”
20 He told them, “It was because of your lack of faith. I promise you, if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there,’ and you will see it move![Mountain moving faith brings the power of God’s kingdom on earth]. There is nothing you couldn’t do![nothing beyond your power]. 21 But this kind is cast out only through prayer and fasting.”

In our passage today, we witness a problem that faces every disciple of Christ. Before we name that problem, let’s revisit Chapter 17 from the beginning. Peter, James, and John have followed Jesus up the mountain to witness heaven and earth coming together in what Scripture calls the Transfiguration. Elijah and Moses—both deceased 450+ years earlier—are seen visiting on the mountain top with Jesus, the appearance of Christ is suddenly miraculously changed, and the voice of the Father is heard affirming the identity of Jesus as His Son. After witnessing this supernatural event, we might be tempted to think, “Wow, if I saw all that happening before my eyes, I would never doubt the power of God or cease to do great things.”

The disciples descend the mountain of revelation and the next day they experience faith failure. A man brings his demon possessed son to Jesus; the disciples fail to cast the demon out. Wait! In Chapter 10, Jesus sends the disciples out and gives them the power to cast out demons and they are successful at that time (Mat 10:1). What is going on? Let’s remember Jesus knows all things, so he knows the disciples are going to fail from weak faith. However, Jesus knows even though this faith failure will humble the disciples now, it will bring the Kingdom greater victory through them in the future. Their faith will supernaturally grow by this experience.

The problem is not God’s lack of power; all things are possible with God (Mat 19:26). Jesus demonstrates his superior power in our passage; he is glorified and his power is exalted because he is completely devoted to God’s purpose. He fasts and he prays and he lives in power to do the Father’s will. The problem is the disciples need to grow in their love and dependance upon Christ and HIS power. Human strength will always fail to produce miracles, so we must learn how to humble ourselves before the Lord and receive HIS strength. Jesus knows it will be the work of the Spirit to make these same disciples devotedly successful in the future. So, he allows them to fail in order to one day flourish! And, they do just that!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for equipping me with every good and perfect gift, as well as causing my faith to grow stronger each day. I humble myself before your mighty hand and rest in your will and purpose for my life as you bring forth your Kingdom on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-7-21

Hebrews 12:3-6
3 So consider carefully how Jesus faced such intense opposition from sinners who opposed their own souls [be their own stumbling block] so that you won’t become worn down and cave in under life’s pressures. 4 After all, you have not yet reached the point of sweating blood in your opposition to sin.

5 And have you forgotten his encouraging words spoken to you as his children? He said,
“My child, don’t underestimate the value
    of the discipline and training of the Lord God,
    or get depressed when he has to correct you [when he puts you under his scrutiny].

For the Lord’s training of your life
    is the evidence of his faithful love [a motherly nurturing love for those he is sanctifying].
    And when he draws you to himself,
    it proves you are his delightful child”[a child he receives].

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul wants us to remember we really can be our own worst enemy; our own stumbling block when it comes to enjoying abundant life with the heavenly Father. I once read a quote, “Make sure your worst enemy is not living between your own two ears.” How we think about Father God, Christ’s authority as the Word, and the role of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference when it comes to living in right standing with God. As believers, we are to live in a way that opposes sin. That is how Christ lived—his perfect example for us—and how we are now to live in his Spirit as we are being perfected or made spiritually mature. We must never forget this world is our “training ground” and God’s correction is the greatest part of what it means to be a son or daughter of the Most High. Correction of our souls is God’s purest love for us in action; as we cooperate we are invited to enjoy spiritual intimacy with the heart of God.

No one loves being corrected or having our souls scrutinized by God. The Light of Truth dispels the darkness. Satan wants to hide in our souls, but the Word expels—deprives Satan of power—because the Spirit exalts the Word operating in our lives. Honestly, there is pain involved in Father’s correction. We hold onto sin [trying to legitimize it in our thoughts] while the Word wants to curse it and separate us from it. We literally fight against God during these times. Let’s makes sure we have things correct between our two ears!

Prayer: Father, I know you want to renew my thoughts so I can be made righteous by your grace. Accepting Christ’s sacrifice for me begins my journey, but spiritually walking with you each day brings the ongoing correction I need. Jesus, may I leave my selfish desires behind today and embrace the power outflowing your resurrection. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-6-21

I can remember being a kid in Catholic school and singing the “Battle of Jericho”. I loved the fast-paced tempo, and the chorus was my favorite: “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho; Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down!” Looking back, I can vividly recall not really believing that the events of Jericho were possible, and to some degree, my young self was right. Joshua and the Israelites were not humanly capable of directly causing the walls of Jericho to tumble down by themselves and through their own strength and/or actions. However, what my young self was not accounting for is what we read in verses 2 and 16 of today’s passage.

In verse 2 the LORD says to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors”. It’s really important to remember that this verse comes before the Lord’s instructions of what Joshua and the Israelites are to do for the next seven days, and before they will successfully capture Jericho. The Lord knows Joshua’s heart and the hearts of the Israelites thus, He assures Joshua of His reward for their obedience and His favor through the soon to be deliverance of Jericho to them.

In verse 16 we see that on “the seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the town!’”. I love how Joshua’s confident and obedient faith in the Lord is exhibited here in his instructions that directly align with the words the Lord spoke to him in verse 2. Joshua tells the Lord’s people to shout for Him because He has “given” you the town, and this is just before the walls will come tumbling down and they will concur Jericho. I wonder if some of the Israelites were thinking like I did when I was young and in Catholic school? Even though they had experienced the Lord’s power at the Jordan River and partook in His blessings in the desert; they still had doubts during those events. Now, they find themselves up against these strong warriors, and here Joshua was instructing them to shout after they have walked around 7 times, for days, and blowing horns.

Friends, we are no different than the Israelites. How many times do we find ourselves in situations where our minds are not capable to understand how we will conquer an obstacle? Well, “we” are not capable of conquering any obstacle, only God can do that for us. We forget that God has already “given” us the tools to know that no walls are never too high, because He knows what we will face before we even face it. What we need to be focused on is Him, not any obstacle, only HIM and our faith, trust, and obedience to Him in the midst of the obstacles.

Joshua 6:1-21 (NLT)
The Fall of Jericho

1 Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in. 2 But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. 3 You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. 4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. 5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.”

6 So Joshua called together the priests and said, “Take up the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant, and assign seven priests to walk in front of it, each carrying a ram’s horn.” 7 Then he gave orders to the people: “March around the town, and the armed men will lead the way in front of the Ark of the Lord.”

8 After Joshua spoke to the people, the seven priests with the rams’ horns started marching in the presence of the Lord, blowing the horns as they marched. And the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant followed behind them. 9 Some of the armed men marched in front of the priests with the horns and some behind the Ark, with the priests continually blowing the horns. 10 “Do not shout; do not even talk,” Joshua commanded. “Not a single word from any of you until I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11 So the Ark of the Lord was carried around the town once that day, and then everyone returned to spend the night in the camp.

12 Joshua got up early the next morning, and the priests again carried the Ark of the Lord. 13 The seven priests with the rams’ horns marched in front of the Ark of the Lord, blowing their horns. Again the armed men marched both in front of the priests with the horns and behind the Ark of the Lord. All this time the priests were blowing their horns. 14 On the second day they again marched around the town once and returned to the camp. They followed this pattern for six days.

15 On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the town as they had done before. But this time they went around the town seven times. 16 The seventh time around, as the priests sounded the long blast on their horns, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the town! 17 Jericho and everything in it must be completely destroyed[a] as an offering to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and the others in her house will be spared, for she protected our spies.

18 “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. 19 Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.”

20 When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it. 21 They completely destroyed everything in it with their swords—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys.

Prayer: Jesus, we LOVE You! Help our unbelief, strengthen us to have faith like Joshua, and allow us to trust that no walls are too high for You. We submit our human minds to You today, and ask that You allow the work of Your Holy Spirit to guide our every thought, speak every word spoken, and perform every action taken. We ask all of this in Your Holy Name, Jesus. Amen.

Written by: Jennifer Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant