God does what he says he will do. Joshua 21:43-45 “And so the LORD gave Israel the entire land he had sworn to their ancestors he would give them. Once they had taken possession of it and dwelt in it, the LORD gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of their enemies could withstand them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their power. Not a single word of the blessing that the LORD had promised to the house of Israel failed; it all came true.” What has God said to us that he would do? We also hear in these chapters the idea of corporate responsibility. We are in this together for better or worse. There is no such thing as a private sin against God. Our sin, our turning away from God, affects others. While Jesus will speak out about blaming the tragedies of one person on the sin of others, Jesus will call us to see our responsibility for the care of others. The Covenant ceremonies of Israel always had some physical sign to help the people recall the commitment they were making with God. In Joshua 22:27, “And Joshua said to all the people, ‘This stone shall be our witness, for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us. It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God.’” I encourage you to place the cross of Christ before you. The cross is that physical sign of God's commitment to us to free us from the power of sin and call us to eternal life with Christ. If you have a crucifix on your wall, I encourage you to take it down and hold it in prayer.
In 1 Cor. 1:3 Paul opens his letter by saying, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” May you hear those words in your heart. Our God desires you to know him through his graced presence with you and to know the peace that comes from being in a relationship with him and his Son, our brother Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us of the power of Christ’s cross. Hold on to that power. Trust the gift God has given us in Jesus Christ.