I’m a Caleb Fan

Every time Caleb shows up in the Old Testament, he is being faithful, obedient and courageous.

When I get to heaven, I want to meet him.

He’s not a central character in the Bible – he doesn’t have a main story line.   He’s never the star but he does an awesome job in his supporting role.

Caleb shows up as Joshua’s sidekick a couple of times and every time he’s right on target.  He  is always choosing to believe what God has promised.  He is willing to take God’s word and act on it.  He’s brave.  He doesn’t forget what God has already done in his life.  He’s consistent.

“I, however, followed the Lord my God wholeheartedly.”  Joshua 14:8.  This is how Caleb described himself when comparing his actions with those of the other spies who brought back a negative report about the Promised Land.

Wholeheartedly.  What a good word!

Even though he was surrounded by other Israelites who lacked trust in God and were weak in their faith, Caleb never waivered.  He stood strong.  His faith in God defined his life.

I am encouraged and challenged by Caleb.  I’m encouraged because he was always faithful through many years in good times and bad.  I’m challenged by Caleb because I would like that same thing to be said my life.

When I leave this earth, I want this to be true of my life – that I walked closely with God for a very long time.

Just like Caleb.

They Weren’t the Superstars

They aren’t the people in the Bible who get quoted all the time.

There are no statues of them and very few babies have been named after them.

There are a couple of people in the Bible who weren’t the superstars but they stick out of the crowd to me and their lives encourage me.  Their faithfulness inspires me to continue to grow in my relationship with God.

In the Old Testament, my favorite second lead actor is Caleb.  He was Joshua’s sidekick.  I’m sure you remember Joshua – he was the one who led the Israelites into the Promised Land and brought down the walls of Jericho.  You may not remember Caleb.  He was the other faithful spy who went into the Promised Land with Joshua.  They were the only two who came back saying that they knew God would keep his promise and give them the land no matter how big and intimidating the people currently living there were.

Caleb wondered the desert with the rest of the Israelites and was the only Israelite other than Joshua who was over 40 years-old when they entered the Promised Land.  He shows up later when the land is being divided and given to the different tribes of Israel.  Joshua gave Caleb a territory belonging to the Anakites who were giants.  Caleb didn’t care how big and intimidating they were.  He had no problem clearing the land for his people because he trusted that God would keep his promises.  Caleb was not the prominent character in the Bible that Joshua was but he was just as faithful and obedient.  I’m inspired by his life.

Now I’m reading about Barnabus in the New Testament.  You probably haven’t heard very much about Barnabus.  There aren’t any sermons written about him.  The first mention of him in the Bible is when he sold a field and gave all the money to the Way – the first name of the early, struggling Christian church.

The next time I read about him, he is standing up in the middle of the controversy about the recently redeemed Saul.  Saul was a Christ-follower killer who was now filled with God’s Holy Spirit and his name was changed to Paul.  Barnabus was in tune with God and knew God was moving, doing something big with Paul.  So Barnabas brought Paul into the group of disciples – a brave thing to do –  and vouched for him, helping the others to accept Paul and his ministry.

Later, Barnabus shows up at Antioch where he encourages the Gentiles and ‘a great number of people are brought to the Lord.’ (Acts 11:24)  Barnabus became Paul’s wingman during Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles.  You’ve heard a lot about Paul, haven’t you?

But we don’t hear a lot about Barnabus.  He was faithfully following God and significantly helping to grow the church, most of the time in Paul’s shadow.

Since God has not given me a ministry up on a stage or in front of a camera, I am drawn to these people in the Bible who followed God faithfully and sacrificially, supporting the superstars and ministering in their shadows.

Are you like me?  There a lot of us.  Regular people, loving God with all our hearts and obediently serving God with whatever he has called us to do.  We are not the Christ-followers in the spotlight that everyone hears about.

But we are faithful – like Caleb and Barnabus were faithful.  Their examples encourage me and I know they have already heard “Well done, good and faithful servant” from our Father God.

Amen!  Hallelujah!

Not Everybody

It may seem like everybody’s morals and ethics are disintegrating today.  It may seem like nobody has any respect for anyone anymore.

If you feel that way, you are probably watching too much “news” on TV and on-line.

What you are hearing about and seeing is not ‘everybody’.

There is a solid core of people in our country that still have morals.

And respect for others.

And integrity.

In Jeremiah 35, God tells us about the Rebakites who were obeying all of the commands of their ancestors while, all around them, the general culture of the Israelites was rapidly decaying into idol worship and disobedience.August 7 2016 not everybody

The Rebakites were standing their ground and refusing to jump on the popular band wagon of rebellion and selfishness.

The unfaithful.

The faithful.

Which group are you in?

Please give us wisdom, Abba Father.