Take a moment. Close your eyes and mind to everything around you. Let the noise of the world fade.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

In the quiet of this time, rest in that promise.

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Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders of Israel, its leaders, judges, and officers. They presented themselves before God. Then Joshua said to the entire people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates. They served other gods. Among them was Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor. I took Abraham your ancestor from the other side of the Euphrates. I led him around through the whole land of Canaan. I added to his descendants and gave him Isaac.”

Joshua 24:1-3

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Sometimes we need to get back to basics. Here, Joshua, the successor to Moses and a dynamic warrior for Israel, was nearing the end of his leadership. He brings Israel together in a special place to make sure the people understand just who they are as a nation – where they came from. Using the words of God, he reminds them that God started all of this. God made the nation of Israel from people who originally didn’t know God. God deserves their service.

Too often, I lose my spiritual compass and overvalue my role in who I am or have become. The simple truth is that God started all of this. God made you, and God made me. God made us deliberately and has plans for our lives. It’s our role – through a process of spiritual deliberation and growth – to live into God’s purpose for us. Today your purpose might be showing kindness to a friend, offering forgiveness and mercy to someone who harmed you, or simply being compassionate in a divided world.

God started our stories. Serve God by searching for and living into God’s purpose for you.

Bill Ogletree

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God, bring me back to basics today. You started all of this, and you have a plan for my life. Help me to know and follow your plans for me, and re-direct me when I get off course. I want to serve you. Amen.

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Go from this time asking, “Whom will I serve today?”

Remember, you’re not a random accident. God, the author of all things, started your story and has your back.

God is worthy of your service.

Bill Ogletree

Billy T. Ogletree is a professor at Western Carolina University. He is forever grateful for the love of his wife and two adult children and appreciates little more than living in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. Dr. Ogletree is the author of the 2018 book Mean Christianity: Finding Our Way Back to Christ’s Likeness available through Wipf and Stock, Amazon, Kindle, and Audible.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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