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Daily Devotion

boldstardex

Moderator
Edward Payson was a famous preacher in a bygone era. One stormy Sunday, he had only one person in his audience. Some months later, his lone attendee called on him: “I was led to the Savior through that service,” he said. “For whenever you talked about sin and salvation, I glanced around to see to whom you referred, but since there was no one there but me, I had no alternative but to lay every word to my own heart and conscience!”
God saves us one by one. If you have access to one, that is your mission field. “Every soul with Christ is a missionary; every soul without Christ is a mission field,” the slogan goes. One person cannot reach the entire world, but we can love our neighbor. “Who is my neighbor?” we ask. The next person we meet along the way.
The Spirit brought Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch who was reading the Scriptures and needed someone to explain them to him (Acts 8:26-35). The Spirit gave Philip the right words to say, and the eunuch confessed his faith in Christ (v.37).
Ask God to bring you to the one He has prepared. He’ll get you to the right place at the right time to speak to that individual. He will speak through your lips, work through your hands, and fulfill in you the great purpose of His will.
Father, we’ve been called to witness—
Called to speak of Your dear Son;
Holy Spirit, grant discernment;
Lead us to some seeking one. —D. DeHaan
You are a success in God’s kingdom if you are faithful where He has placed you.
Read: Acts 8:26-35
Philip . . . preached Jesus to him. —Acts 8:35
 

boldstardex

Moderator
When God chose dust as His artistic medium to create Adam (Gen. 2:7), He didn’t have to worry about running out of material. According to Hannah Holmes, author of The Secret Life of Dust, “Between 1 and 3 billion tons of desert dust fly up into the sky annually. One billion tons would fill 14 million boxcars in a train that would wrap six times around the Earth’s equator.”
No one has to buy dust, for we all have more than we want. I ignore it as long as I can in my house. My reasoning is this: If I don’t disturb it, it’s not as noticeable. But eventually it accumulates to the point that I can no longer pretend it’s not there. So I haul out my cleaning supplies and start removing it from wherever it has found a resting place.
As I remove the dust, I see myself reflected in the smooth surface. Then I see another thing: I see that God took something worthless, dust, and made it into something priceless—you and me and every other person (Gen. 2:7).
The fact that God used dust to create humans makes me think twice about labeling someone or something worthless. Perhaps the very thing that I want to get rid of—a person or problem that annoys me—is the artistic medium God has given to display His glory.
Lord, too often I want to quickly ignore
or dismiss difficult people and circumstances.
Help me to be open to learn from
You through them and to see Your glory.
Being all fashioned of the self-same dust, let us be merciful as well as just. —Longfellow
Read: Genesis 2:1-7
The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. —Genesis 2:7
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Deborah Kendrick loves to attend Broadway musicals even though she is blind and always struggles to understand the setting and the movements of the characters onstage. Recently, however, she attended a play that used D-Scriptive, a new technology that conveys the visual elements of the stage production through a small FM receiver. A recorded narration, keyed to the show’s light and sound boards, describes the set and the action as it unfolds onstage. Writing in The Columbus Dispatch, Deborah said, “If you ask me if I saw a show last week in New York, my answer is yes . . . I genuinely, unequivocally mean that I saw the show.”
Her experience struck me as a vivid illustration of the Holy Spirit’s role in our understanding of God’s Word. Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His followers that “the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).
As we open the Bible to read or study, the Spirit of Truth is with us to guide us into all truth (16:13). On our own we are blind, but through the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit we can see.
Break Thou the bread of life, dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves beside the sea.
Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee, O Living Word. —Lathbury
The Father gave the Spirit to teach us from the Word.
Read: John 14:15-27
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. —John 14:26
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Years ago I was a camp counselor for some rebellious boys. I found it challenging to deal with their behavior. They would mistreat the animals at the petting zoo and occasionally fight among themselves. So I adopted a calm and firm approach to leading them. And although they often exasperated me, I always made sure their physical needs were taken care of.
Even though I had a kind and loving exterior, I often felt on the inside that I was just “putting up with them.” That caused me to prayerfully reflect on how a loving heavenly Father provides for His rebellious children. In telling the story of the Israelites during the exodus, Paul said, “For a time of about forty years [God] put up with their ways in the wilderness” (Acts 13:18). In Greek “put up with” most likely means to patiently provide for people’s needs despite an ungrateful response.
Some people may not react favorably to our efforts to show care and concern. When this happens, it may help to remember that God is patient with us. And He has given us His Spirit to help us respond with love to those who are hard to love or who are ungrateful (Gal. 5:22-23).
Give us Your patience, Lord, for anyone in our lives who is difficult to love.
I want the love that sweetly bears
Whate’er my Father’s hand may choose to send;
I want the love that patiently endures
The wrongs that come from enemy or friend. —Anon.
Be as patient with others as God has been with you.
Read: Acts 13:13-23
Now for a time of about forty years [God] put up with their ways in the wilderness. —Acts 13:18
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Life is a lot like the weather . . . it’s seasonal. It has a way of pushing us into the next season whether we like it or not. And when pushed into the next season, we are often uncertain and even fearful of what it might hold for us.
This is especially true of later seasons of life, when we are haunted by thoughts such as: Will I be left all alone? Will my health hold up? Will my money last? Will my mind stay fresh? As with every season of life, we have to make a choice—to waste the season in fearful thoughts or, as Paul says, make “the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16 esv).
Regardless of your season, you can count on God’s faithfulness. He says, “‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear’” (Heb. 13:5-6).
Because you have God’s presence and provision, you can make the most of your time in every season by following Jesus closely, spending time in His Word and prayer, loving and forgiving more freely than ever before, and serving others with joy and generosity.
God has blessed us with our present season—make the most of it!
Lord, give me the grace to accept life right where
it has put me, and help me to overcome the fear
that would waste my days. Give me the wisdom
and desire to make every day count for You.
Life matters—make the most of it!
Read: Ephesians 5:15-21
See then that you walk circumspectly, . . . redeeming the time, because the days are evil. —Ephesians 5:15-16
 

boldstardex

Moderator
I am amazed at the unbelievable offers that flood my e-mail box every day. Recently, I added up the offers of free money that came to me in a week, and my “take” totaled $26 million. But each of those offers was a fraud. Every one—from a $1 million prize to a $7 million offer—was nothing but a lie sent by unscrupulous people to squeeze money from me.
We’re all vulnerable to fantastic offers—to scams that in reality pay off with nothing but trouble. We are offered false hope that ends in dashed dreams.
There is one offer, however, that is genuine, though fantastic beyond belief. It’s the offer God makes to us—salvation through faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). It is an offer that cost Him greatly—and we get the benefits. The book of Romans tells us, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification” (4:25 niv).
By saying yes to salvation, we can have hope (Titus 1:2), peace (Rom. 5:1), forgiveness (Eph. 1:7), incomparable riches (2:7), and redemption (4:30). This is the real deal. Jesus’ death and resurrection guarantees it.
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
—John Wesley. © 1951 Singspiration
Our salvation was infinitely costly to God, but it is absolutely free to us.
[God’s] abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. —1 Peter 1:3
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Throughout my life, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. I have boxes of things that at one time were important but over time have lost their intrigue. And, as an unrepentant collector, I’ve realized that the thrill is in searching for and acquiring a new piece to add to the collection. Then my attention turns toward the hunt for the next item.
While we pile up many things that are important to us, very little of it is really precious. In fact, over time I have learned that the most precious things in life are not material items at all. Rather, it’s the people who have loved me and built into my life who are precious. When I find my heart saying, “I don’t know what I’d do without them,” I know that they are indeed precious to me.
So when Peter refers to Jesus as “a chief cornerstone, elect, precious” (1 Peter 2:6), it should resonate in our hearts that He is truly precious—our prized possession above everything and everyone else. Where would we be today without the constant unfailing companionship of His faithful presence, wise and perfect guidance, merciful patience, comfort, and transforming reproof? What would we do without Him? I can’t even imagine!
Lord, help us not to focus on fleeting treasures but on
You, our most precious treasure. Teach us the joy
of reveling in You and Your loving presence
and provision in our lives.
Of all that is precious, Jesus tops the list.
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious. —1 Peter 2:4
 

boldstardex

Moderator
A missionary recently visited the Bible study I was attending. She described what it had been like to pack up her household, part with friends, and relocate to a distant country. When she and her family arrived, they were greeted with a flourishing drug-trade and hazardous roadways. The language barrier brought on bouts of loneliness. They contracted four different stomach viruses. And her oldest daughter narrowly escaped death after falling through a railing on an unsafe stairwell. They needed prayer.
The apostle Paul experienced danger and hardship as a missionary. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked, and beaten. It’s no surprise that his letters contained pleas for prayer. He asked the believers in Thessalonica to pray for success in spreading the gospel—that God’s Word would “run swiftly and be glorified” (2 Thess. 3:1) and that God would deliver him from “unreasonable and wicked men” (v.2). Paul knew he would need to “open [his] mouth boldly” and declare the gospel (Eph. 6:19), which was yet another prayer request.
Do you know people who need supernatural help as they spread the good news of Christ? Remember Paul’s appeal, “Brethren, pray for us” (2 Thess. 3:1), and intercede for them before the throne of our powerful God.
Commit to pray and intercede—
The battle’s strong and great’s the need;
And this one truth can’t be ignored:
Our only help comes from the Lord. —Sper

Intercede for others in prayer; God’s throne is always accessible.Brethren, pray for us.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
I met a delightful woman named “Momma Charlie,” who has raised a dozen or so foster kids. These youngsters were assigned to her by the courts, and she gave them a home with stability, guidance, and love. She told me that every time a new child arrived, the first order of business was to explain “Momma’s Rules.” These included behavioral standards, plus chores that would provide much-needed help in the busy household while teaching accountability to kids with little previous training.
Some of the children may have balked at “Momma’s Rules,” thinking they were robbing them of fun or pleasure—yet nothing would be further from the truth. Those standards allowed for an orderly household where both Momma and the children could find life enjoyable and peaceful.
Similarly, some look at the standards God set forth in the Bible as obstacles that prevent us from enjoying life. However, the boundaries God places actually protect us from our worst inclinations and foster healthy responses to Him.
In Ephesians 4, for example, Paul provides some guidance for how we are to live. As we live by these and other loving instructions from God, we find protection and the opportunity for true, lasting joy.
Father, thank You for the boundaries of life that
protect us from sin and from ourselves. Give us
the wisdom and grace to respond gratefully to
Your Word in areas of danger and temptation.
God’s Word is the compass that keeps us on course.
Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt. —Ephesians 4:22
 

boldstardex

Moderator
King James is famous for the Bible translation that bears his name. But around the same time as the printing of the Bible, he also commissioned The Book of Common Prayer. Still used today, this guide to intercession and worship contains a marvelous prayer for internalizing the Bible: “Blessed Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may . . . hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience, and comfort of [Your] holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life.”
Many centuries earlier, Jeremiah the prophet expressed a similar way of letting the Scriptures nourish our hearts: “Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jer. 15:16). We internalize the Word as we “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” a passage of Scripture through prayerful meditation.
Ask the Lord to help you apply the Bible to your heart today. Take time to ponder the meat and milk of the Word (Heb. 5:12). As you quiet your heart, God will teach you about Himself through His Book.
Lord, I meditate on Your precepts and contemplate
Your ways. I delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your Word. Open my eyes that
I may see wondrous things from Your law.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. —Bacon
Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. —Jeremiah 15:16
 

boldstardex

Moderator
While my son was home for an extended visit, he knocked on my office door one morning and asked me what I was doing. “I’m preparing for Sunday school,” I told him. Then, thinking about all the time I spend in my office, I said, “It seems like I’m always preparing for something.”
I’m grateful for the opportunities God gives me to reach out to others. There’s some stress, though, when you’re always getting something ready for somebody. It’s hard to balance priorities with the pressure to prepare a lesson, a message, or a document continually on your mind.
This idea of constant preparation intrigued me, so I checked the Bible to see if it talks about the subject. I found that we are called to always be preparing. A heart dedicated to God must be prepared to serve Him (1 Sam. 7:3). We are to be ready to do good works (2 Tim. 2:21) and to defend scriptural truth (1 Peter 3:15). And Paul reminds us that even our giving takes planning (2 Cor. 9:5).
That’s just a start. Living a life that pleases the Lord takes mental, spiritual, and physical preparation. But we don’t need to stress, because He will enable us with His power. Let’s ask God to guide us as we prepare to serve, honor, and tell others about Him.
Savior, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare. —Thrupp
The best preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today.
If anyone cleanses himself from [dishonor], he will be a vessel for honor, . . . prepared for every good work. —2 Timothy 2:21
 

boldstardex

Moderator
I know very little about persecution. My physical well-being has never been threatened because of what I believe or what I say. What little I “know” about the subject comes from what I hear and read. But that is not true for many of our brothers and sisters around the world. Some of them live in danger every day simply because they love Jesus and want others to know Him too.
There is another form of persecution that may not be life-threatening, but it is heartbreaking. It’s the persecution that comes from non-Christian family members. When loved ones ridicule our faith and mock us for what we believe and how we express our love for God, we feel rejected and unloved.
Paul warned believers that following Jesus would result in persecution: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12), and we know that sometimes rejection will come from those we love (Matt. 10:34-36). But when people we love reject the God we love, the rejection feels personal.
Jesus told us to pray for those who persecute us (Matt. 5:44), and that includes more than strangers who hate us. God is able to give us grace to persevere through persecution even when it comes from those we love.
Lord, give us grace to pray for those
Who seek our harm and not our good;
And teach us how to show them love
In ways that will be understood. —Sper
People may mock our message but they can’t stop our prayers.
Bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who . . . persecute you. —Matthew 5:44
 

boldstardex

Moderator
My son Mark and I were leaving the Clyde Peterson Ranch in Wyoming to head back to Michigan. In the distance we spotted a huge bird sitting in a solitary tree overlooking a steep canyon. As we approached, the golden eagle leaped from the tree and soared out over the canyon, the golden streaks in its feathers shimmering in the morning sun. Its immense size and beauty filled us with wonder. We felt privileged to witness this magnificent demonstration of God’s awesome creativity.
Creation displays God’s “wondrous works” (Ps. 145:5). And when we stop to meditate on those works, we can’t help but be awed as our minds and spirits are moved to reflect on the character of the God who created them.
That golden eagle told my son and me a story of the creative genius of our mighty God. So does the flitting songbird, the doe with her playful fawn, the pounding surf, and delicate little flowers such as bachelor’s-button and spring beauty. In the most unexpected moments and out-of-the-way places the Lord shines His glory in this world in order to reveal Himself to us. Those serendipitous moments are opportunities to “meditate . . . on [His] wondrous works” (v.5).
This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
His hand the wonders wrought. —Babcock
Always be on the lookout for wonder. —E. B. White
I will meditate . . . on Your wondrous works. —Psalm 145:5
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Last summer, my husband and I hosted a concert and fundraiser for childhood cancer research. We planned to have the event in our backyard, but weather forecasts were dismal. A few hours before the event, we began calling our 100+ guests to inform them of a change in venue. As our friends and family began feverishly toting food, decorations, and equipment from our house to our church gym, our daughter Rosie took a moment to give her dad a hug and remind him on behalf of the kids and grandkids that they were there for him: “Don’t worry, Dad! We’ve got your back.”
Hearing that expression is comforting because it reminds us that we’re not on our own. Someone is saying, “I’m here. I’ll take care of whatever you might miss. I’ll be a second set of eyes and hands for you.”
As the Israelites were escaping a life of slavery, Pharaoh sent his army of chariots and horsemen to give chase (Ex. 14:17). But “the Angel of God . . . and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them” (v.19). In this way, God hid and protected them throughout the night. The next day, He parted the Red Sea so they could safely cross over.
God tells us “Don’t worry” as well. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).
God’s hand that holds the ocean’s depths
Can hold my small affairs;
His hand that guides the universe
Can carry all my cares. —Anon.
Our work is to cast care; God’s work is to take care!
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. —Isaiah 58:8
 

boldstardex

Moderator
In his very first Little League baseball game, a young player on the team I was coaching got hit in the face with a ball. He was not hurt but was understandably shaken. For the rest of the season, he was afraid of the ball. Game after game, he bravely tried, but he just couldn’t seem to hit the ball.
In our final game, we were hopelessly behind, with nothing to cheer about. Then that young man stepped up to take his turn. Thwack! To everyone’s surprise, he hit the ball sharply! His teammates went wild; his parents and his teammates’ parents cheered loudly. Even though we were still losing the game, I was jumping up and down! We all loved this kid and cheered him on.
I imagine that the Lord cheers us on in our lives as well. He loves us deeply and desires that we “may be able to comprehend . . . what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19).
Some think of the Lord as unloving and waiting for us to slip up so He can punish us. So we have the privilege of telling them of His deep love for them. Imagine their joy when they hear about the God who loves them so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for their sin and who wants to cheer them on!
Help us, heavenly Father, to see the many
ways You love and encourage us; then help
us to love and encourage those around
us so that they can see You in us.
The nail-pierced hands of Jesus reveal the love-filled heart of God.
. . . to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. —Ephesians 3:19
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Recently I realized that all of the photos and mementos in my office represent the past. I considered removing them, but wondered if those reminders of people, places, and events might serve some purpose beyond nostalgia. To avoid being mired in the “yesterdays” of life, I needed to discover the value of those items for today and tomorrow.
When God’s people crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, He told their leader, Joshua, to choose 12 men, have each one take a stone from the middle of the river, and carry it to their campsite that night (Josh. 4:1-5). Joshua set up the stones as a memorial so that when future generations asked, “What do these stones mean to you?” they could tell them about God’s faithfulness in holding back the water while they crossed (vv.6-7).
As followers of Christ, it’s good for us to have tangible evidence of God’s help in the past. Those mementos remind us that His faithfulness continues today, and we can follow Him confidently into the future. Our “stones” may also help others know that God’s hand is mighty, as they encourage us to fear the Lord our God forever (v.24).
The memories of what God has done for us can become building blocks for today and tomorrow.
Thinking It Over
How has God shown Himself to be faithful to
you and your family? What would help you to remember?
Is there someone you can talk to about it today?​
Precious memories of yesterday can strengthen our faith today and tomorrow.
That all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty. —Joshua 4:24
 

boldstardex

Moderator
When I was a pastor, I served many women who were moms. I called on them in the hospital and rejoiced with them for their precious babies who had come into the world. I counseled with anxious mothers and tried to assure them that God was watching over their rebellious teenagers. I stood with mothers at the bedside of injured or ill children and felt their pain. And I cried with them in their grief when their son or daughter died.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, also experienced times of joy and sorrow. What joy she must have felt when the Christ-child was born! (Luke 2:7). What excitement when the shepherds and later the wise men came to worship Him (vv.8-20; Matt. 2:1-12). What uneasiness when Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). And what heart-wrenching grief as Mary watched her Son dying on the cross! (John 19:25-30). But her seasons of being a mother didn’t end with that terrible scene. She rejoiced that He rose from the grave.
Mothers, and all of us for that matter, experience many great joys and intense sorrows. But when we submit our lives to the Lord, every season of life can serve His eternal purposes.
Thank You, Lord, for motherhood
With all its vale of tears,
For happy moments never dimmed
Through all the many years. —Strecker
Being a mom is a sacred partnership with God.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Several countries around the world celebrate Tulip Day to welcome the spring. When I think of tulips, I often think of the Netherlands, but commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Middle East. Today these colorful flowers span the globe. An estimated 109 species of tulips now grace parks, thoroughfares, and home gardens all around the world.
Last fall I planted some tulip bulbs. Several months later, they bloomed with vivid colors, announcing the coming of spring. They reminded me that summer was on the way and with it will come even more flowers to delight the eye.
Flowers are wonderful reminders to me of the grace of God in our lives. Our Lord used lilies of the field to remind us of the provision of our heavenly Father. In His great Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field . . . ; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. . . . Will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:28-30).
Tulips alert us to the end of winter and the beginning of spring. But like the lilies of the field, they can also remind us of the One upon whom we can depend to provide food, clothing, and shelter.
In trees and flowers of the field,
In creatures large and small,
We trace the watchful care of Him
Who planned and made them all. —King
If Jesus is concerned about flowers and birds, He certainly cares about you and me.
Consider the lilies of the field . . . ; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. —Matthew 6:28-29
 

boldstardex

Moderator
I grew up in a small town. No famous people. No busy streets. Not much to do. Yet I’ve always been thankful for my quiet, uncomplicated upbringing.
One evening when my husband and I were attending a business dinner, a new acquaintance asked me where I was from. When I told her, she said, “Aren’t you embarrassed to admit it?”
Unsure whether or not she was joking, I simply said, “No.”
Although my town was sometimes belittled for its lack of sophistication, it was not lacking in things that matter. My family was part of a church community in which parents brought up children “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
Jesus also grew up in a small town: Nazareth. A man named Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Jesus proved that the answer is yes. Even though He grew up in an insignificant place, He was the most significant person in all of history.
Experience taught me and Scripture confirms that what matters is notwhere you grow up but how you grow up. Sometimes we feel insignificant compared to sophisticated people from prominent places. But we are significant to God, and He can make us strong in spirit and filled with His wisdom.
O teach me what it cost You, Lord,
To make a sinner whole;
And help me understand anew
The value of one soul! —Anon.
What we become is more important than where we’re from.
Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. —Luke 2:52
 

boldstardex

Moderator
One person’s actions can affect an entire group. This truth became clear to journalist Sebastian Junger as he followed a platoon of soldiers. Junger watched a soldier accost another soldier whose bootlaces were trailing on the ground. He didn’t confront him out of concern for his fashion. He confronted him because his loose laces put the entire platoon at risk—he couldn’t be counted on not to trip and fall at a crucial moment. Junger realized that what happens to one happens to everyone.
Achan’s “bootlaces were loose,” and we learn from his story that sin is never private. After the great victory at Jericho, God gave Joshua specific instructions on how to deal with the city and its loot (Josh. 6:18). The people were to “abstain from the accursed things” and to put all the silver and gold “into the treasury of the Lord” (vv.18-19). But they disobeyed his command to them (7:1). The interesting thing is, not all of Israel sinned; only one person did—Achan. But because of his actions, everyone was affected and God was dishonored.
As followers of Jesus, we belong to one another and our individual actions can impact the entire body and God’s name. Let’s “tie up our laces” so that we may individually and together give God the honor He deserves.
Lord, we know our sin is never private, though we
may try to hide it. Help us to remember that we
belong to You and to one another and that what we do
individually grieves You and impacts fellow Christians.
Private sins will inevitably have public impact.
The children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan . . . took of the accursed things. —Joshua 7:1
 
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