Written by Onome Ogbajibrede
Thought of the Day:
Grace knows no boundaries and when the human effort fails, grace elevates. A fellow that carries grace can never be disgraced by any foe.
‘‘But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’’ (KJV)
I Corinthians 15: 10 (KJV)
A few years ago, in my homeland of Nigeria, there was this incidence of a lady, whose compound was infiltrated by armed bandits.
Having witnessed her neighbors being robbed, the lady placed her tithe card on her doorstop, reminding God of her faithfulness in tithing. Did you know that she was not robbed by the bandits? She had grace for exemption, and God was faithful to her. To God be the glory! Through grace, the race is won.
Apostle Paul is one Bible character I have cherished so much. As an unbeliever, he persecuted the Church of Christ a great deal and was committing people to prison with reckless abandon. The persecutor became the preacher, and he was able to acknowledge the grace of God upon his life in our above Bible reference. The life he lived became solely for Christ (Galatians 2:20), and he was always recounting the grace of God upon his life. This same grace became sufficient for him, and he was able to accomplish his Christian race to the finish line (2 Timothy 4:7).
The God of all grace is the giver of strength to the weak, and He has all humankind at heart. He knows that all mortals have limited strength, and He is always on standby to help all. God Almighty wants us to always call on Him to give us grace daily to live above sin and to conquer each day. When we do that, He will always respond to our clarion call, and He will send us His grace speedily from His sanctuary. God is too faithful to fail, and He will continue to renew our strength each new day.
The grace of God is the divine grease that governs the life of all mortals. Let us always ask for grace in all that we do, and above all, let us ask for the grace to make it to Heaven, which is the fulfillment of our destiny.
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge You today as the only original Savior, for I cannot help myself. Release upon me Your fresh grace daily so that I can succeed in all that I do. Amen.
Spend time today remembering all the ways that God has given you favor and showed you mercy. A personal reflection on God’s faithfulness to us will help us to understand His grace better.
Written by Lynne Phipps
Thought for the Day:
“Salvation is God’s way of making us real people.”
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
As I grabbed my ringing phone, I heard my daughter saying that Frank was in the greenhouse. Dropping the receiver, I made a dash out of the house and arrived at the greenhouse to discover Frank had indeed broken in and was contently munching all the tender lettuce plants down to their roots.
Frank is my miniature horse. He is extremely nosy and very determined. Unaware of my arrival, he was chomping away when I asked him what he was doing. He almost leapt out of his skin and then gave me one of the guiltiest looks I had ever seen. Who knew? A horse could look guilty? Not until I caught him red-handed.
Trying not to laugh at this unexpected reaction, I chastised him and pointed my finger for him to get out, which he at least had the humility to obey.
Frank is not the only one who gets caught out in his sin though. The Holy Spirit is pretty adept at catching me as well and then pointing the way out and the way to go. And the way out and forward is through God’s grace in Christ: Grace which allows me to acknowledge my sin, be forgiven of it – as well as the guilt of it – and then go forward with a clean slate to set things as right as possible concerning the situation. Not that I deserve forgiveness but because God’s grace is undeserved. He extends it freely to all those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— “
This marvelous gift of grace is something that I am becoming more and more aware of as I age, due to the fact that I am often awake during the night.
And during these periods of wakefulness, the Holy Spirit brings things to my mind. I remember occurrences of sin from years ago, even though I was often not aware that they were sin at the time. They are not huge things but rather those everyday instances when I did not love my neighbor as myself. I acted hastily, rudely, and in an unthinking and unkind manner. I did not take the time to help when I could and should have. I used harsh words or a manner which was totally uncalled for. I left undone what I should have done. All these things I either justified at the time or was simply blind to.
And yet, God was aware of them and because He loves me so much, He wants me to be holy in Christ, which also means becoming aware of any ungodliness within and dealing with it, through His grace, which I am obediently doing step by step, as He lovingly catches me out.
Father God, thank You for Your grace through Jesus Christ. Thank You that it is always available to us through faith that we might not only be forgiven of our sins but also the guilt of them that is so often the cause of depression, discouragement, and hopelessness. May each of us learn to accept and rest in that grace that we might become more and more like You. In Christ’s name. Amen.
How about you? What does God’s grace mean to you?
How aware of it are you in your daily life?
Have you been saved by grace, through faith – if so, this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God. And if not, ask yourself, why not? For one day, we will each be found out, much like I found Frank out. Our life will come to its earthly end, and we shall stand before God. And how we have accepted or refused His grace in Christ will be the judge of our eternity.
This devotional was published on the 5th November 2019 on PresbyCan Daily Devotional.
Jacob’s Ladder Artist’s Page is a space on our blog, which we have dedicated to showcasing Christian ministries that express themselves through creative mediums such as music, literature, photography, painting, and more.
We are humbled and thrilled to be able to come together with the British duo Land & Salt and share their music ministry with you.
We hope you enjoy learning more about them and their missional call to spread God’s Word, and we pray that their music will provide you with further revelation of God’s love, grace, and mercy.
Jacob’s Ladder: Thank you for being a part of our Artist’s Page. We are so grateful to have this opportunity to get to know you!
Charlie: Thanks for inviting us! (laughs)
Let’s start at the very beginning: Who is Land & Salt?
We are husband and wife – Charlie and Marie Collis. Music was the beginning of our relationship and we began playing music together long before we were married.
What does Land & Salt mean?
Land & Salt was a gift to us; in fact, it actually has a few meanings for us. We prayed for a name that was grounding and strong. ‘Salt’ was the first word that God spoke to us. Where we live, we can see an estuary that fills with thousands of tonnes of seawater each day. The land literally shifts and changes twice a day. ‘Land and Salt’ are the backdrop to our lives, so it seemed fitting.
Also, salt being the preservative and flavoring described in the Bible sat well with us. We felt the term ‘Land and Salt’ really was our calling – to go out into the world carrying the Good News from place to place and then to ‘land’ and add ‘salt’ to each life we come across.
I like how God spoke your band name into your hearts. So, how did you and Marie meet?
We met at music college; music really was the beginning of our friendship and our lives together.
What instruments do you both play?
Our core is acoustic guitar and vocals, but we both play other instruments. We like our songs to be able to ‘stand alone’ as good songs without having to add anything at all, so we begin with guitar and vocals.
When we record, we might add some concertina, banjo, piano, extra guitar, or percussion. We worked with a gifted violinist Robyn Welsby on our last EP Salve, and we love working with other musicians. Our time with Robyn was an incredibly blessed time of prayer and worship, and we are so thankful for these sessions.
When did you and Marie start playing music?
We are both from musical backgrounds. Our heritage spans from opera singers and orchestral players to Irish singers and country pianists.
Marie began singing in public at the age of 11, with her father’s traveling Irish and country band. She had a very raw introduction to having to capture people’s attention quickly.
As for myself, l became enchanted by music the day my father bought me a harmonica from the fair at the age of four.
How early on in your musical career did you feel God’s influence?
All in all, God began a work of creating music in us long before we could even begin to perceive how He would bring it to fruition.
We both worked for many years as musicians in the secular music industry doing session work and writing for projects, until we set up our own label for independent artists. Although we were thriving, we were unhappy musically. Our lives had become self-driven. We were striving and playing for the wrong reasons, and we knew that something was wrong. We were burnt-out and longed for peace.
After taking a break from touring, we discovered that we were expecting our first child and this incredible news began a work in us that would very soon lead us to meeting Jesus in a powerful way.
And how did your encounter with Jesus lead you to your current ministry?
As I explained, we were musicians working in the music industry well before we became Christians, and we had well and truly given up music for what we thought was indefinitely. Music was driving us to compete with others, drive ourselves, and sell ourselves, and we didn’t like it. The more success we experienced, the further we drifted from our own sense of integrity.
We feel that the moment we gave up music all those years ago was ironically the moment our calling began, which sounds very upside down. However, our striving for our own ends was the thing that was holding us back from God.
Looking back, God had been tapping at our door for a long time. We both experienced very thwarted religious upbringings, we both came from homes with difficult marriages, and we both experienced the painful and sudden loss of a parent by the time we were teenagers. But through these difficulties, God gave us two constant things to cling to – the ability to cry out to Him in prayer and the ability to play music. We hadn’t yet met Jesus, but we knew there was a God.
When we finally gave our lives to Jesus, it took a few years to discern what the calling on our lives was. We looked into missionary work, ordination, and other spheres of ministry, but in our hearts, we knew it would be music that God used in our lives.
Can you describe Land & Salt’s sound to us?
We are English hymnals. We are folk and blues – this is the genesis of our sound. Really, ‘folk’ is a stretch of the musical term, because our sound is more ‘cooked-up’ than that. We blend blues, fingerpicking, folk, and early gospel together to create an accessible way of ministering to the community around us. We like to describe ourselves as ‘gospel led folk for gospel led folk’, because we really are living a ‘gospel led’ life.
Folk music has always been an aural expression of our surroundings, our past, our purpose, and above all, our culture. This is what Land and Salt is born from – we are just allowing God to use what He has shaped us into so that we can spread the gospel through music.
What creative roles do you and Marie assume in Land & Salt?
We both love using all of God’s gifts and so we balance out lots of creative roles together. Marie generally writes the melodies over guitar parts that I string together. We do our own artwork, photography, and filmmaking.
What is your music influenced by?
Foremost, Jesus. (smiles) We are so grateful that He has chosen us – firstly to know Him, but also now to create in His name. It’s mind-blowing that we get to play and sing to His glory, and He is honored by it.
How does the Holy Spirit inspire you creatively?
The Holy Spirit is so creative. We get to explore this every day in so many ways: We have six children, who inspire us; we live in a wood on the banks of a river, which inspires us; we have so many good people in our lives, who give and share even though they have little or nothing, which also inspires us. Also, seeing friends, who are facing a crisis with calm and love – well, that inspires us as well. All of this fills our songbooks, knowing that the Holy Spirit is the author in all of this.
Do you have a key Scripture that motivates you to create?
God speaks through His Word in so many areas. Of course, the Psalms are our best friend for ancient lyrics, but we don’t have one scripture in particular – it is all thirst-quenching.
What are the creative challenges you face?
We are challenged by the practical parts of bringing our music to people’s ears and finding the time to spread our music so that it can reach new people and minister to people in the right places. The internet can be a blessing and a burden in this area, and it takes a lot of our time promoting and approaching radio stations and magazines.
But we are very blessed to be able to do all our own management from home so that we can balance out the calling of family and ministry.
What is the name of your latest album?
We released our debut EP – Salve in August of this year.
Salve is a beautiful name – so soothing. Can you tell us a bit about the EP?
Salve is a work of grace. It was written on our hearts for many years as we lived out our lives. This album really became a ‘salve’ for us: We were wounded from our former musical lives, and it took many years for God to convince us that we were being called back to create music once again. Salve is the culmination of this calling.
What song from Salve do you feel has made the most impact on your listeners?
‘Homeless Hearts’ certainly has had some amazing responses – from being played in hospitals for the terminally ill to receiving airplay in Bible colleges in America. We have had some very warm invites to visit the USA and certainly feel it has a role to play.
Additionally, “Homeless Hearts” has reached the UK top ten charts and receives a lot of airplay on the radio.
That’s amazing how God has been working in the lives of so many people through “Homeless Hearts”.
Absolutely! It has been a real gift from the Lord.
Do you have any upcoming material?
We have just begun recording our first album, which is due for release early next year. It’s all about being a follower of Jesus in today’s world, and how we can look beyond ourselves – even when facing difficulty – to bless those around us, by the blessings given to us.
Your new album sounds inspiring – I believe that people will be greatly encouraged by your new music.
It’s all in His word – we just proclaim it, set it to harmonies, and add the rawness of ‘gospel folk’.
What is the inspiration behind your new album?
It is a calling. We simply feel the Holy Spirit has inspired this new album. Each song is a gift, and we are still amazed that we have such a huge body of work ready to record. We even have the next album written! (laughs)
All of a sudden, we have been able to write, write, write….in the car, whilst cooking, or tending to the children, whilst working, or driving, or sitting waiting outside the library or shop. We can’t not write at the moment and that is the Holy Spirit at work in us.
What message has the Holy Spirit put in your heart to spread with your new material?
What God has brought out in this new work is really the ‘living out’ of this life that He calls us to; how as followers of Jesus, we can live and love, although every part of our ‘old self’ is still present in our being. The album also addresses how we treat one another and the people around us and what that says about Christians today.
We hope these songs reassure people of the promises God makes, the help He gives, the peace He has won, and the life to come – despite our broken ideas.
What was the spiritual journey you took to make this album?
It has not been an easy journey: We started on our knees, crying out for wisdom. There has been a lot of waiting, feeling confused, and then feeling blessed. And that is not over – it repeats itself again and again.
This week, we have just finished a song that talks about how we can drift away from prayer and talking with God, but He always waits faithfully until we come back to Him and cry out in prayer.
How do you incorporate the Word into your music?
We let the Holy Spirit be our guide and inspiration from conception to completion on all of our songs. We work on a passage of the Bible and see where it leads. The results are always interesting and often lead us in a completely different direction to what we first envisaged.
It’s worth mentioning that we really enjoy playing music as worship, and this encourages us because it’s a mark of the Holy Spirit – doing something for the Lord should bring deep joy.
I totally agree with that! (laughs) Do you believe in incorporating Scripture clearly in your music, or do you prefer to portray your message more discreetly?
It’s all in His Word! (pauses) His Word is power and we believe in using the power of God to change lives, so yes – using Scripture directly is the most precious thing we can do.
That being said, sometimes expounding the Word can be helpful to portray the meaning of it and to bring it to people, who are not really Bible readers. One of the greatest joys so far has been that non-Christians are listening to our music. Knowing that they’ve been spending time with God’s Word really amazes us.
How much does your choice of musical genre influence the Gospel that you wish to portray to your listeners?
We simply feel that God uses all that we are, including the parts of us we are personally challenged by.
Bringing Land & Salt to life meant just saying ‘yes’ to God and letting go of what we feel we should be doing musically. It’s through this trust that He can reach out and touch lives. We pray we can reach ears and touch lives with good music that speaks, especially to those who have not yet heard the Good News.
The musical genres of folk and blues speak with strength into people’s lives, regardless of the message. We really feel a call to use the power of this music to speak to folks who need to hear the Good News; whether in joy and triumph, or sadness and failure – it’s needed.
What role does social media play in informing the world of your ministry?
This is a good example of one of the things we’ve had to say ‘yes’ to, when we were called. We’ve always avoided social media, and it’s been both a learning curve and an eye-opening experience.
It’s abundantly clear that social media is a mission field in itself. We have been able to connect and have relationships with people all over the world – that’s been truly incredible.
We feel that social media should be used with caution – for all that is good with it, it can be a dark place. However, the thing is, it is essential that Jesus should be present in all places to shine light in the darkness, and social media is an effective vehicle for that.
What challenges do you face as a Christian artist, who is trying to make their mark in a mainstream industry?
Happily, we are not looking to make marks in the mainstream – we revel in being a part of the most incredible musical heritage – hymns and sacred church music of the past.
The Christian music industry only fails when it tries to mimic the secular one, which is a shame, as it doesn’t need to. We strive to encourage others to use their gifts for the glory of God and not for the glory of ourselves.
As Christians, we have our own inspired and inspiring culture; we need to be ‘culture makers’ not mimics. It is important for all Christian musicians to remember that we are building a Kingdom, not an industry.
That being said, we have seen that the larger Christian record labels and artists will get more airplay and coverage for obvious reasons, as in the secular music world, but we have also come across some really helpful people, who do want to encourage and introduce new independent Christian music.
I really like your response to this question, as this is a great reminder for Christians to keep their focus on furthering the Kingdom, and not get caught up in abiding by what their mainstream colleagues or even Christian contemporaries are doing.
What is your listener profile?
I’m not sure that we have a ‘profile’, but many people have remarked that they can happily do creative tasks like painting or writing with our music on. And many have remarked that they use our music to ‘soak’ in God’s presence in their quiet and prayer time. We have also had people from all corners of the world listening and contacting us.
We are told in the Bible to ‘encourage’ each other, so along the way we try to always encourage other Christian musicians, and we appreciate and treasure any encouragement and comments we get; nothing is wasted.
How do you interact and respond to your audience?
We love to perform, but in this season of our lives with young children, we are concentrating on recording and releasing music. However, we feel that in the future, God is looking to use us in a setting of intimate worship and fellowship that gives glory and brings people closer to the presence of God.
That’s great that God is calling you to go out and reach people through live music in future.
It has been on our hearts for many years to find other settings to do ‘church and ministry’ and that taking the ‘church worship’ out into the world will help to reach more hearts. We have always been moved by the simplicity of the ‘Early Church’ to break bread, read God’s Word, pray, and sing songs.
We think this mode of simple itinerant worship is so powerful, for it begins in the most loved place of our lives – our homes – and pours out into the world through creativity. Where talking and preaching can fail, Art can speak.
Do you have any upcoming events?
We have a few radio interviews that we are excited about. We will post more details on our social media links as they happen.
But mainly the upcoming album is the focus for us right now. This journey is like driving in the dark and the fog with the headlights on: God only wants us to see what is right in front of us so that we trust His navigation for what lies ahead, and don’t get too overwhelmed with the view.
Where is your music available?
Our music is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Deezer, Tidal, iHeartRadio, and a few other platforms. We also put our videos on YouTube on our channel “Land & Salt”.
However, we appreciate our sales going through our Bandcamp page, as it is a great independent music site that needs more support.
Additionally, our website is where we have our music and videos to listen to, but we also use the following social media handles:
What advice would you give someone, who would also like to start an artistic ministry?
Seek God’s wisdom in all things, and although other people can often offer some good advice, God’s calling on your life is an intimate thing.
Pray and spend time with Him alone until you can discern your direction. And look at your gifts – not just your current ones, but those God has blessed you with since the beginning of your life.
It is often when we look back over our lives that we begin to decipher God’s plan through the footprints that we have left behind. (smiles)
I like your last comment! Finally, what message would you like to pass on to your listeners that will encourage them in their faith walk?
Choose trust. (pauses) When you face obstacles and want to fear – instead choose to trust. When you cannot see the end of a problem – choose trust. When you doubt – choose trust. When you are angry and can’t forgive – choose trust. When you are ashamed or guilt-ridden – choose trust. When you are in need of something – choose trust.
In every situation we can choose to trust Jesus, for He is trustworthy: He has proven that in His actions here on earth.
Our old self wants to trust in our own feelings and emotions, but we have been given another choice – to trust in Jesus instead of feeling fear, hate, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and bitterness. For we are told that in ALL things He longs to ‘prosper’ us and give us hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) – but it is our choice that makes the difference.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today and for sharing the ministry that God has placed on your hearts. We wish you all the best for your upcoming album, and our prayers are with your ministry.
Thank you! We too, wish you all the best with your ministry, and our prayers are with you too!
God does His best work in the silence
Part Three – Studying God’s Word
Welcome to the third and last section of our Jacob’s Ladder Bible Study on Joshua 6.
In an extended version of Part One – “Understanding God’s Word”, we joined the Israelites as they stood before the impregnable walls of the fortified city of Jericho in the land of Canaan.
Having been promised the land as their heritage by God, the Israelites still needed to believe that God was with them and would bring them victory against a superior enemy – the Canaanites.
By obeying God’s commands and praising Him before they saw one stone be dislodged from the mighty wall of Jericho, the Israelite’s kept their faith and endured when the odds looked heavily against their favor.
The result – God made the walls of Jericho fall down!
In Part Two – “Living God’s Word”, we explored the ways that we can partner up with God, the way the Israelites did, in order to live out the blessings and promises He has for our lives.
Part Three – “Studying God’s Word “ is intended as a study guide for those of you who would like to delve deeper into the biblical and life themes presented in Joshua 6.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of studying the Word of God, then l recommend that you read our page “Why study the Bible?”.
The aim of this study section
This study section is intended as a guide to promoting discussion and reflection on Joshua 6.
As a start, I suggest that you read Part One and Part Two of this Bible Study on Joshua 6, in order to fully appreciate the lesson portrayed in this biblical account and to consider the chapter’s themes.
For whom is this study section intended?
You can apply this section within a group setting, such as a house group, a Bible Study group, or a prayer group.
Alternatively, you can also study on your own. If this may be the case, l have written some suggestions below in the section “If you are studying on your own” to assist you in your learning.
I encourage you to customize this study preparation by taking out of it what you wish and adding your own ideas and insight. Have fun with it!
What you will need:
- A Bible, preferable a study Bible. I personally use the “The Everyday Life Bible” from Joyce Meyer Ministries
- An exercise book or journal and a pen
- As an alternative to pen and paper, you could use a tablet or a similar electronic device
This study section composes of six parts:
1. Discussion questions
3.Praise and Worship
4. Suggested reading
5. Journal writing
These are just guidelines to help you structure your group time. Feel free to add or take out elements as you see fit!
Additionally, talk with your group and ask them for suggestions about what they would like to do. The more ideas, the merrier!
If you are studying on your own
If you are not in a group and you would still like to apply this study section of Joshua 6 to your own private study of the Bible, that is also great! Quiet time with God is valuable time, and you can learn a lot about Him during it.
The following are a few suggestions of how you can adapt the 6 sections of this study guide for private study purposes:
1. Discussion questions:
You could start a journal and write down your thoughts to the listed discussion questions.
3.Praise and Worship
Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes.
4. Suggested reading
Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes.
5. Journal writing
Applicable in a group setting as well as for private study purposes.
You can speak the prayer at the end of this section over yourself. Your words have power, especially if you speak them over yourself:
“ So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Let’s look at the 6 sections of our study guide.
The following are some discussion topics l have thought of to assist you in delving deeper into the themes of Joshua 6.
There are no right or wrong answers to these topics; they are merely suggestions to stimulate conversation and an exchange of views within your group. Also, feel free to ask others if they have ideas regarding this topic that they would like to discuss and go with it!
As each person experiences a different walk with God, it is interesting to hear other people’s perspectives and thereby learn from each other and grow together as a Christian community. Happy talking!
Possible discussion topics on Joshua 6:
1. As their first place of conquest in Canaan, God sent the Israelites to the most fortified city in the entire land – Jericho. There was no way they could avoid this if they were to take possession of the land.
Why do you think that God sent them to Jericho? How does this correspond to a difficulty that you are currently facing?
2. Watching the Israelites march around their walls for 7 days, the Canaanites must have thought their military strategy to be ridiculous. Most likely, they even jeered and mocked the Children of God.
Have you been met with disbelief whilst in the process of acting in obedience about something that God has put on your heart? Have others even mocked you for it?
3. In Joshua 6:21, the Israelites destroy every living thing in Jericho according to God’s commands.
Considering what we learned in Part 1.3 about the devoted things – charam in ancient Hebrew – what do you think about God’s punishment of the Canaanites?
4. God told Joshua of the promise to bring down the walls of Jericho, however, He also made it clear that the Israelites were to do their part and fulfill His commands in absolute obedience (Joshua 6:2-5).
Do you think that God would have brought the walls of Jericho down if the Israelites hadn’t obeyed Him?
How much is our own obedience dependent on God’s fulfillment of His promises over our lives?
5. Whilst marching around the walls of Jericho, the Israelites refused to get distracted by the enormity of the challenge that lay before them. Instead, they kept their hearts and minds on God and focused on what He could do to help them (Joshua 6:8-16).
What are ways that we can keep our focus on God when faced with adversity, instead of becoming distracted by the enormity of our situation?
6. Are you waiting on God to work in a particular situation in your life right now? Is He working in a way contrary to how you thought He would work? Is His solution to your problem far better than the solution you were originally hoping for?
How important a role does praise and worship play in your quiet time with God? Have you experienced a major breakthrough after dedicating time to God in praise and worship? Share this experience with the other members of your group.
8. We know that God makes the impossible, possible. He provides us with signs, wonders, and miracles (Hebrews 2:4). With one shout of praise, He made the impregnable walls of Jericho fall down (Joshua 6:20).
Could it be that when God blesses us with signs, wonders, and miracles in our own lives, that it still comes as a surprise to us? Why is that so, do you think?
Sharing your life experiences and the victories that God has vouchsafed you is a verbal expression of your gratitude. It gives not only our Father glory, but it encourages fellow Christians who may be going through the same trial that you have undergone.
“I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
Possible testimony topics on Joshua 6:
1. Aware that the Israelites were outmatched physically and that they lacked military experience, God gave the Israelites victory at Jericho through unconventional means – faith, obedience, endurance, courage, and praise.
Give a testimony of a time when God used unconventional means to give you victory in an area of your life.
2. Upon entering the land of Canaan, God gave the Israelite’s what looked like an impossible challenge – overcoming Jericho, a fortified city that was famous throughout the land for its impregnable walls. And yet, God chose this city for the Israelite’s to conquer, when He could have made it easier for the Israelites to claim their inheritance.
Have you also faced what seemed like the biggest challenge in your life? How did you keep your eyes on God during this difficult period? Are there any Bible passages, books, or worship songs that you can share with the group that helped you and which will encourage others?
When God brought a breakthrough in your situation, what did you learn about Him from your experience? What did you learn about your own faith walk?
3. Prior to them entering Canaan, the Canaanites had already heard of the Israelite’s faith and knew of God’s power and provision for them (Joshua 2:9-11). The Israelite’s reputation as children of God preceded them.
How do you think that people recognize you as being a follower of Christ? What are some of the actions or mindsets you have that can encourage someone, who doesn’t know Christ, to pick up their cross and follow Him?
3. Praise and Worship
Spending time with God in praise and worship is an integral part of every Christian’s faith walk. By praising God, you are honoring His majesty, His goodness, His love, and His kindness.
By worshipping God, You are honoring His presence and are inviting Him to be a part of your life. Also, praise and worship is an expression of thanks for the many times He has offered you grace when you were undeserving of it. Alone for His gift of Salvation, He is worthy of our praise and worship!
Basically, if you love God, praise and worship is the way to show Him it!
The Bible calls for us to praise and worship God:
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.”
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendor.”
In Revelation 4:11, it states that we were created for the purpose of praising our Creator:
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
How to praise God every day
So, how do you praise God?
As you would start a church service by giving thanks to God through praise and worship, you can start off your day, as well as your prayers, by thanking Him for all the wonderful things He has done for you, as Psalm 100:4 commands us. Also, you can thank Him throughout the day for the mercies He gives you, no matter how big or small they are.
Additionally, you can start a gratitude journal. I highly recommend “The 5 Minute Journal” from Intelligent Change.
How to worship God every day
Worship is a physical manifestation of your praise. You can express yourself by dancing, marching around your home and praising Him loudly, playing an instrument, or singing to worship songs. Alternatively, you can bow down on your knees to Him and worship Him that way. God is pleased with every form of worship you express to Him.
Finally living a God-intentional life, where we do our best to abide by His commands, walk in love with others, and honor Him by respecting our bodies, hearts, and minds, is the best form of praise and worship that you can show God.
How to implement praise and worship in your Bible study group:
You can start off your Bible Study session by each member of the group expressing gratitude to God for something that He did for them that week.
Following that, you can play some worship music and sing. If someone in the group plays an instrument, it can be used as a musical accompaniment. Together with a tambourine, you have the making of a great worship session!
Alternatively, you could play worship songs from the internet or a CD.
Play worship songs with our Jacob’s Ladder Blog account on Spotify!
If you would like to have a ready-made list of worship songs available to you at a mouse click, l have set up our own public Jacob’s Ladder Blog account on Spotify.
The music in our account is organized according to our themes for transparency, but feel free to jump between playlists as you please.
To find our account, type in Jacob’s Ladder Blog in the search bar at the top left hand corner of your Spotify screen.
If you don’t have Spotify and you would like to download it, here is the link to their main page. They offer free and premium accounts.
4. Suggested reading
Reading the Word of God teaches us about how much God loves us and gives us guidelines on how to live the life He wants us to live – a life of victory and joy.
The following is reading material that relates to the themes we have been discussing in Joshua 6.
Listening to God in the silence
The voice of God
Resting in God’s presence during adversity
Partnering with God
Bible chapters on trusting God in the silence
- I Kings 19 – Elijah the prophet hears the still, soft voice of God
- Psalms – The Psalms offer many encouraging verses on trusting God in the silence. Here are a few examples: Psalm 46:10, Psalm 62:5, Psalm 37:7, Psalm 62:1, Psalm 16, Psalm 27
Interesting online articles relating to Joshua 6:
charismamag.com, “How to Recognize God’s Still, Small Voice,” Dr. Mark Virkler.
crosswalk.com, “How to Obey God, Even When You Don’t Feel Like It,” Dawn Wilson.
shegznstuff.com, “Identifying the Strongholds in Your Life (5 Areas to consider),” Segun Aiyegbusi.
ymi.today, “Three ways to push through a dry season,” Madeline Twooney.
Inspirational quotes relating to Joshua 6:
- “I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you’re able to be more patient. Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.” – Joyce Meyer
- “I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open up new doors.” – Joel Osteen
- “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Theresa
- “God will meet you where you are in order to take you where He wants you to go.” – Tony Evans
- “God never said that the journey would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.” – Max Lucado
5. Journal writing
Writing down all the good things that God has done in your life is a very powerful tool for a Christian. Not only does it help us to remember what God has done for us; reading over God’s past victories and blessings over you provide encouragement and empowerment in times of trouble. All you need to start is an empty exercise book and a pen. Alternatively, you can keep a digital journal.
There are a number of forms of journals, where regular writing in it will strengthen you in your walk with God:
- A testimony journal
- A dreams and visions journal
- A blessings journal
- My favorite – a gratitude journal
Try to write once a day in your journal. All you need is 5-10 min to jot down everything good that has happened to you during the course of your day, no matter how trivial.
Meditate upon what you wrote and acknowledge that it is God who was responsible for these good things happening today, and not you or your own works.
‘”Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.’
Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)
Journaling in your group:
You can e.g. allot 10-15min for journaling in your group, and afterwards share your written thoughts with each other.
An alternate suggestion is to incorporate journal writing as part of your quiet time with God, then discuss your results when you meet as a group.
Journaling on Joshua 6
1. From our reading section, write down 5 key scriptures that resonated with you. Read these every day for the following week and try and commit these to memory (Psalm 119:11).
2. Rahab was the only inhabitant of Jericho who sought repentance in the Lord when the two Israeli spies did a reconnaissance of Jericho. Her Salvation meant that she and her family survived the slaughter at Jericho and that her progeny carried the line of David, and ultimately Jesus.
Write in your journal of your own journey to Salvation. How has being in a relationship with Jesus changed your life for the better? What blessings and opportunities has He provided you with that would not have been realized if you hadn’t have given your life to Christ?
3. Are you currently going through a season of adversity? Are you weighed down by worry, ill health, or fears for the future?
Write down all that is troubling you, and hand it over to God. Then, leave a few lines free at the end of your entry and place a bookmark or some kind of place marker on the page.
From personal experience, God will work in your situation and will give you breakthrough in the specific situation you have written about. Use that space that you have left free to write the date of that breakthrough and write down how He worked in your situation.
I assure you, that feeling of relief, victory over triumph, and confident reliance in God is amazing! Remember that feeling and tap into it when you are confronted with your next challenge. It will fortify your faith that God has helped you before, and He will do so again!
4. As an extension of No. 3, start a journal, where you can record every breakthrough that God has given you. I call mine my “Miracle Book”.
As a friend once described it, writing in this book is akin to giving a deposit in the bank; every time you are feeling worried or overwhelmed, you can read over your previous entries and gain encouragement from all the times God has helped you in the past. By doing so, you make a spiritual “withdrawal” that will fortify your faith that God will help you in your current situation.
I do this and it gives me comfort and encouragement to keep my eyes on God, and watch with hope and expectation for His timing. He is a way maker and a miracle worker!
What is your personal Jericho? What situation are you currently facing that is burdening you and where you can’t see a feasible solution in sight?
Let us bring your concern to God in prayer, for what is impossible for man, is possible with God!
Normally l write prayers that can be read aloud in a study group; however this time around, I have written this prayer to be prayed over individually, out of respect for the sensitivity of individual situations.
That being said, if you are seeking God’s help as a family, or a church group, then feel free to use this prayer in a corporate capacity.
Some final pieces of advice before you speak our prayer:
*Be specific in your prayer request. Tell God exactly what is challenging you currently. He, of course, knows what is going on in your life, but He wants a two-way communication with you.
+Additionally, tell God how you are feeling. Give all your emotions to Him. In 2 Kings 20:5, it states that God hears our prayers and sees our tears; He will heal us.
Merciful Father, wonderful Savior,
Father, You came to me in the darkness, when l was dead to You in sin. You saved me through the blood of Your precious Son, in order that l may become Your child, a son or daughter of the Most High.
And now, that l am Yours, You will not loosen Your hold on me. You will not fail me nor forsake me in my hour of need. For my heart is heavy with worry, and my soul is weary with carrying around the burdens of the problems l face. I look around for a solution, but all l see are walls; l yearn for even the slightest sliver of light to fill me with hope of a better future.
Therefore, l come to You and lay my situation before You.* All the worry, fear, and anxiety that is threatening to overwhelm me, l lay at Your feet.+ I will cast my care on You and trust in You to help me.
Tell me how l can best obey You during this season of my life; teach me to walk with faith and trust that You are working in my situation, even when l don’t see any change. Give me courage to face each new day and provide me with endurance to keep on fighting the good fight, even when the odds seem against me.
And lastly, put a new song in my heart every morning, in order that l may sing Your praise before l see the victory that You have already planned for me.
Precious Lord, You always make a way, where there is no way, for nothing is impossible for You! We thank You that by Your Spirit, You will make the walls that are surrounding me fall down.
In Jesus’ name,
We hope that you enjoyed our Bible study on Joshua in our series Jacob’s Ladder Bible Studies.
For our next theme, we will be studying 2 Samuel 9 and exploring the theme of grace through King David’s act of kindness to Mephibosheth, the son of David’s dear departed friend, Jonathan. We would love for you to join us!
Until then, my friends, be safe and may God’s love and blessings be upon you!
bibleorg.com, “5. Destroying Fortresses; Victory at Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27)”
enduring word.com, “Joshua 6 – The fall of Jericho”
thetorah.com, “How Many Years Were the Israelites in Egypt?”
christiancourier.com, “Joshua 6:2, 16 – The Gift of Jericho”
desiringgod.org, “The Conquest of Canaan”
gotquestions.org, “Who was Joshua in the Bible?”
thejc.com, “What is Pesach?”
ligonier.org, „Why Did God Command the Children of Israel to Kill Every Man, Woman, and Child in the Promised Land?”
biblehub.com, „1 Kings 16:34“
churchofjesuschrist.org, „Joshua 1-24”
answersingenesis.org, “The Walls of Jericho”
focusmagazine.org, „Devoted Things”
compellingtruth.org, „Why did God give the Mosaic Law? What is the purpose of the Mosaic Law?“
rccg.org, „First fruit offering“
biblestudytools.com, „First fruits“
openbible.info, „Tithe In The New Testament”
compellingtruth.org, “What does the Bible say about spiritual strongholds?”
gotquestions.org, “Spiritual strongholds – what is the biblical view?”
christianity.com, “What Is a Tithe? – Meaning and Importance of Tithing in the Bible”
biblestudytools.com, „Tithing in the Bible“
ryanhart.org, “27 Inspiring Bible Verses About Tithing and Offerings”
crosswalk.com, “Tithing in the Bible – Is Tithing for the New Testament Believer?”
gospelweb.net, “Partnership with God”
mmnbs.com, “Lesson 6 – Joshua 6”
studyandobey.com, “Inductive Bible Study on Joshua 6“
foundationsforfreedom.net, “Bible Study Questions on Joshua 6,” Paul J. Bucknell.
ministrymaker.com, “What is the Purpose of Praise and Worship?” Dr. Gary Linton.
winninggodsway.com, “Winning God’s way”
allaboutgod.com, “All about…Praise and Worship”
biblestudytools.com, “Obedience Bible Verses”
bible.knowing-jesus.com, “30 Bible Verses about partnership”