One of my favourite all-time church songs is ‘Be Strong and Courageous’ by Colin Buchanan.
It’s one of those rare songs that is able to mix simplicity with depth of meaning, and it brings people of all ages together in a powerful anthem that leads us to grow our trust in the Lord.
The context of the song is the famous verse that was said by the Lord to Joshua in the time before he was to boldly lead God’s people to the Promised Land.
We know now that the story ends in victory, but for the people at the time you would have expected that there was genuine fear in the hearts of all.
To make matters worse, their trusted leader Moses had passed away, and the new leader Joshua needed to stand up and lead through a challenging time.
With all this in mind, God graciously speaks directly to Joshua, saying these words:
Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. […] This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:6-9)
When it seems hard to obey God’s good word to us, we can take these comforting words to heart: “be strong and courageous… do not be afraid or discouraged”.
When the true Lord of the universe is on our side, we should not be afraid to follow his loving rule over our lives, even if to do so seems scary.
We should be strong and very courageous, for the Lord is with us.
Someone asked me this week about how church is going, and I was delighted to share that lots of people are joining us every week. If you’re thinking about coming along for the first time, then it’s likely that others will be new, too!
Our Bible Talk for this week is the topic ‘The Limitations of Negotiations’ from Judges 10:6-12:15, as we continue our series from the book of Judges in the Bible, in our series ‘Hope Beyond Chaos’. It certainly was a time of chaos in this era more than twelve centuries before Christ. In this episode we see how one guy tried some fancy negotiations with others and with God, and how they turned out to be a tragic disaster.
We’ve got a bunch of questions that have been asked by you over the past two weeks, and of these, here are seven that I’m going to answer this week (with the other five carried over to later weeks):
1 Why did God lead his people into battle when it’s a sin to kill or murder?
2 Why did Abimelech scatter salt over the ground after he captured the city?
3 What is going to happen in the ‘end times’?
4 Can people predict the second coming of Jesus?
5 What is ‘the Rapture’ and the seven years of tribulation?
6 When we pray “your kingdom come” are we praying for the coming of the Millennium?
7 How can you rebuke someone if they won’t listen?
So, please come along and join us this weekend, and tell your friends to come, too! We meet at 5pm on Saturdays, with creche, kids’ program, dinner, then youth group. Also we meet at 9am on Sundays, with a more ‘classic’ Anglican service, followed by tasty morning tea with espresso coffee.
We’d really, really love to see you this weekend!
Grace and peace, Jodie.