How the Jordan River Reflects Your Spiritual Life

Have you noticed how often hymn writers use the Jordan River as a metaphor for transitions in the spiritual life? That may be because the Bible does the same.

How the Jordan River Reflects Your Spiritual Life

(Photo: Jordan River north of Sea of Galilee. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The Jordan River usually flowed a hundred feet wide at the place across from Jericho where Israel crossed over into Canaan after the Exodus (Joshua 3:14–4:23). But because the Israelites crossed at flood stage, the river surged much wider and deeper.

  • When the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant stepped into the Jordan, the water ceased its flow 16 miles upstream.
  • This left a stretch of dry land some 20 miles wide for the nation to cross en masse, perhaps several thousand abreast.

Joshua compared the miracle of the parting of the Jordan River with the miraculous parting of the Red Sea (Joshua 4:23). He linked the power of God that allowed them to enter Canaan with the power that freed them from Egypt.

This was a critical comparison. Why? The same grace that redeemed them from bondage led them home.

This also reflects our own spiritual lives.

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Thankfulness Comes from One Simple Word

Thanksgiving always brings bittersweet flavors. My mother died ten years ago Thanksgiving week. In fact, we got the phone call on Thanksgiving morning.

Thankfulness Comes from One Simple Word

(Photo by Photodune)

Mom’s untimely death was tough enough, but having the memory perpetually linked with Thanksgiving has forced some reflection I never would have considered otherwise.

I’ve come to understand how loss in life is one of God’s greatest ways to cultivate a grateful heart.

Thankfulness comes from one simple word.

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Envy Grabbing You? Here are 4 Tips for Freedom

For some reason, we tend to envy others. Big time. Be it a car, a position, a house, or a spouse, we want it. There just seems to be part of our nature that sees what we don’t have as what we need.

Envy got you?

(Photo by iofoto, via Vivozoom)

No matter what season of life we’re in, we tend to feel dissatisfied with who we are, or what we have, compared to someone else.

  • The teenager wants to be an adult.
  • The single wants to be married.
  • Those with no kids want kids.
  • Those with kids look forward to the empty nest.
  • The retired person longs for the seasons past.

If you’re not enjoying where you are today—and always looking for something better, something new, something else—then you’ll never have freedom in life.

Never.

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Send a Thank-You Note Today

Think about one person who has inspired you, encouraged you, or helped you. Got that person in your mind? Now, let me ask you a question: Have you ever sent a thank-you note to that person?

Send a thank you note today!

(Photo: Monkey Business Images, via Vivozoom)

Not long ago a client sent a thank-you note to the editors in our department, expressing appreciation for their excellent work. The client told me of the editors’ surprising reply: “No one has ever thanked us before.”

That tragic statement got me thinking.

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3 Ways to Beat a Complaining Attitude

Sometimes the new life God is leading you toward doesn’t seem as great as the one He has redeemed you from.

(Photo: vivozoom)

Remember the complaining of those redeemed from Egypt?

We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic. —Numbers 11:5

We all struggle with complaining. But in those moments, we betray our selective memories.

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Living Now But Looking Forward to Heaven [Podcast]

Leviticus 23:15-44

In Israel’s fall festivals we learn enduring truths for today.

The Feast of Pentecost revealed that part of thanksgiving always involves giving back to God and helping others. The Feast of Booths celebrated the fact that everything we possess—both physically and spiritually—comes from God. The Feast of Trumpets anticipated God’s call to leave the mundane labors of earth in order to serve the Lord in our heavenly home.

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How to Respond to God’s Grace [Podcast]

Leviticus 2; 6:14-23

What should be the response of one who has been given access to God? He or she recognizes that they owe everything to the Lord.

Following the burnt offering, the meal offering (sometimes called the cereal offering or grain offering) was given to represent that God owned it all. The priests’ eating the offering gave the worshipper the assurance his or her acts of dedication pleased the Lord.

Those today who have received forgiveness through Jesus Christ should dedicate their lives and bodies as a living sacrifice to God, knowing such a sacrifice pleases the Lord (Romans 12:1-2).

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