Bethany Lutheran Brethren Church
Staten Island, NY
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Bethany Blog

Bethany Blog


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Summer Reading - July 31

Joshua 7 & Acts 7

How has God convicted me of sin in these readings?

I see more Achan in me than I would like to admit.  He, though having time to confess his sin before God and Joshua, waited till he was caught.  He did not believe the warning that God gave him and he was destroyed.  I am warned here not to take God’s word lightly.  I am warned that God is always watching me and knows everything that I do and say, even everything I think.  He sees that my heart is a lot like those of Stephen’s audience who are stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart.  I know that the inward attitude of my heart is desiring my own way, and I regularly deceive myself into thinking that God does not see.  O wretched man I am!  God please forgive me!

How has God comforted me with grace in these readings?

Though I deserve to be stoned and burned just as Achan was, Acts 7 reminds me that instead God allowed His Son Jesus to be betrayed and murdered so that I could be forgiven.  The words that Stephen shouts out on behalf of his murderers, Jesus shouted out for me on the cross; “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).  And at the death of Jesus “The LORD turned from his burning anger” (Joshua 7:26).  I am forgiven. 

Where do I see Jesus in these readings?

Joshua’s names comes from the same root as Jesus: He saves.  Joshua is a forerunner of Jesus Christ.  The one who led the people of Israel into the promised land gives way to the One who opened up the door for all who believe to enter into the presence of the Holy God.  I also see Jesus in the life of Stephen, who is so full of Christ’s Spirit that He speaks with the same boldness and is willing to be unjustly killed for the glory of God.  The mercy he proclaims in the face of his stoning is the supernatural power of Christ flowing out of Him.  Jesus reigns!

How is God calling me to respond to His word today?

God is calling me to stand honestly before God and men in admission of my sinfulness and in boldness of God’s grace to forgive me and make me whole.As I proclaim both of these things God gets the glory!