THE CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP

Scripture Reading:  Joshua 22:1-9

“Only be very careful to observe the commandments and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments and to cling to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  (Joshua 22:5)

Upon reaching the Jordan River and before crossing into the Promised Land, the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh asked Moses to let them have the land east of the Jordan for their possession.  At first Moses denied their request, but later he agreed to it upon the condition that they would not settle it until after the conquest.  They were needed to fight with the other tribes until the conquest was complete.

The time had now come for the two and a half tribes to take possession of their inheritance.  It was an emotional time, a time for them to say farewell to the other tribes after seven years of fighting.  Joshua honored them — “You have not forsaken your brothers these many days, down to this day, but you have been careful to keep the charge of the Lord your God” (v. 3).  Joshua then gave them permission to return to their lands — “Therefore turn and go to your tents in the land where your possession lies, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan” (v. 4).

Before Joshua released them, he gave a charge to them — “Only be very careful to observe the commandments and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all His ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to Him and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (v. 5).

The Lord Jesus Christ gave a similar command to His followers.  He said the first and foremost commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37).  Jesus also told His followers that they were to walk in all of His ways, that a total commitment to Him was necessary (Matthew 16:24).  He also told His followers that if they loved Him they would obey Him (John 14:15).  Jesus emphasized the importance of faith, of clinging to Him no matter what.  And He called His followers to a life of service and ministry.  This is what true discipleship is all about.

Lord Jesus Christ, let me be very careful to observe all that You have commanded me, to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind.  Let me cling to You and serve You to the best of my ability.

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