By Faith the Prostitute Rahab…

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. Hebrews 11:31

With the exception of possibly Sarah (Hebrews 11:11), Rahab is the only woman listed by name in this long list of Faith Warriors. Rahab was not Jewish, yet she is named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:5. She was a known prostitute. She lied to the King's men when they came looking for the two spies. Then she asked the spies to have mercy on her and her family because of what she did for them (Joshua 2:12)

And God spared her life. Rahab acted on the faith she knew, and she sought mercy. God delivered on that mercy.

A man once told me, "There will be three surprises in Heaven: you'll be surprised that some people are there that you didn't think would be. You'll be surprised that some people aren't there that you thought would be, and lastly, you'll be surprised that you're there." I think Rahab clearly fits into the first category.

Rahab. A prostitute, a protector of spies, and a Hall of Faith listing. Who could have guessed that?

Praise God for His mercy.

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Jericho

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. Hebrews 11:30

I've always loved the Jericho story. I've always seen it as faith AND obedience. First, the people had to have faith that going around the walls even once was a good things. Seven priests accompanied the ark of the covenant and the people along with seven blaring trumpets. They marched around Jericho one time for six days. On the seventh day, they marched around the walls of the city seven times. On the seventh time around they shouted and "the walls came tumbling down." Each day for the people marching was a step of faith. They really didn't know how it was going to end.

Joshua had to obey the Lord and the people had to obey Joshua. The Lord told Joshua how it would all go down. If they had marched around the city and nothing had happened, they would be look foolish or worse. They were blindly obeying a man who had heard from the Lord. Faith and obedience were closely aligned here. Both had to occur for this to work.

Fortunately they had followed Joshua in other instances so it wasn't new to them. They had come to realize that if Joshua said he had heard from the Lord, it must be true and worthy of obedience.

Leaders are like that. When you find one you can trust, you will do what you can to please. When he/she speaks something into your life, you can trust it because of his/her previous track record of doing just that.

Pray for your pastor today. Pray that he will continue to hear from the Lord regarding your church body. And pray that he will be able to recognize and overcome the wiles of the Enemy.

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Opportunities

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20

Immediately before Jesus ascended into Heaven, he met the remaining Disciples in Galilee. He was to instill in them one last command, one final charge. They were it. The eleven disciples were about ready to change the world upside down after they were clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). This is where the rubber met the road for them. He had lived and taught among them for three years before being crucified. If we didn't read the rest of the story, we'd be thinking that Jesus really may not have known what he was doing. They cowered while He was being arrested, and Peter denied the Lord three times. How would they ever carry out his mission.

Those reading this, if Believers, are the fruit of eleven terrified individuals. That's what I'd call a legacy!

But it doesn't end there.

You see, we have opportunities throughout the day to expand that legacy. Know clearly that if you've made it known to those around that you are a Christian, you are being watched.

The pressure isn't on us to be perfect; the pressure's on us to be faithful.

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The Easter Story

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood before them. Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again." Luke 24:1-7

The women came. The stone was rolled away. They entered and found an empty tomb. Just like He said. Jesus Christ was gone.

Gone.

Two men appeared, probably angels. He's not here, just like He said.

He's not here. He is risen.

The takeaway from this little story is simple: "The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again."

That's what happened. That's the Good News.

Be encouraged as you celebrate the Risen Lord this Easter.

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They Were Terrified

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" Matthew 27:54

Was it the earthquake that terrified the centurion and his men? Hard to tell. But the combination of the earthquake and Jesus dying had to put a fear into these otherwise brave soldiers.

Was it too late for those men to repent of their ways? No. It's never too late. In fact, you could easily make a case that Jesus had to die first and the earthquake occur before those men would be 'true believers.'

Things happen for a reason all the time, we know that. Seldom, though, do we realize that those things happen for our benefit. I know that it's not about us all the time (as I've stated elsewhere in this space), but occasionally it is.

Take the crucifixion, for example. It was about us.

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