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God's Checklist?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Joshua 1:6-8

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."

Many of you know that I am fascinated by the space program. It is a delight to watch flights of the Space Shuttle from the time of its lift-off until touchdown. But throughout the mission there is a function that might completely by-pass most people, but it is of particular interest to me---the checklist!

In my colorful past, I once was a missile launch control officer for the Minuteman Missile program. Each of our capsules controlled ten missiles. Our control centers were located deep underground and over ten miles from even the closest missile.

Before we were ever allowed to serve as a missile crew member, we had to go through a considerable amount of training. We also had to spend time in a training capsule that simulated the real thing. Through all of this training we had to learn to follow the checklist. Each crew member carried a large briefcase with our checklist notebooks. We were never allowed to do things on our own, but always did things in sequence and checked them off the list.

As I watch the space crew on the shuttle and the space station, I notice that they are always following their own checklists. Many times you will hear the controllers on ground calling out pages and numbers for them to take actions in the correct order.

In today's Scripture, God is speaking directly to Joshua about his new position as leader of the Israelites. He is not to rely upon his experience of serving as an assistant to Moses, but rather rely upon the law which Moses wrote down and left for Joshua. It was not simply Moses' words, but the inspired words which God gave for him to write.

The Lord is saying to Joshua---Follow the checklist! Let's take a little visit to the list God gave Joshua:

_____ 1. "Be strong and very courageous." Things may seem to be threatening and overwhelming, but we read the checklist and see that we are to react with His strength and our courage to believe what God says, not simply what we see.

_____ 2. "Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left." Not part of God's law, but all of His law. It is not a selective process, a pick and choose which of His laws we will obey. We are to have a totally obedient heart.

_____ 3. "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth." Not only are we to read God's Word and obey it, we are to make it a part of our conversation.

_____ 4. "Meditate on it day and night." It is impossible to meditate upon God's Word if we have not spent time reading and studying it.

You will notice that I left spaces at the beginning of each item to check. How many of them can you check off on a daily basis? As a motivation, look at what God promises for following His checklist: "That you may be successful wherever you go... then you will be prosperous and successful."

God has provided us with checklists throughout His Word. May we be careful to obey and check them off!

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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