John Nunnikhoven

John Nunnikhoven is a member of The Fellowship of Ailbe and has begun working toward what, Lord willing, will become a re-awakening of the Church as a body directed into living the Kingdom in the here and now as it awaits the yet to come.

Joshua 10:5-8

May 25, 2018

Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.”

At least two lessons here. The first is one of continuing entanglement as Israel was drawn into the battles of the Canaanites. They found themselves to be the armed protectors of Gibeon. So often the case when I run ahead of the LORD, it becomes more and more difficult, He has not made the path straight.

The second lesson is that the LORD stood with Israel as they honored their covenant with Gibeon. Not only did He stand with them but He used the failure of turning to Him for counsel to further their conquest of Canaan. If I mistakenly make a promise without seeking His guidance, I must keep my promise to the best of my capabilities. It dishonors Him to fail to keep my word. I must trust Him; He has promised that all things work together for good, even my lapses when I don't seek His guidance.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 106

Mid-day: 119:121-128

Evening: Psalm 29

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

 

 

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Joshua 10:23-25, Joshua 11:1-6

And they did so, and brought those five kings out to him from the cave, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon. And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”

When Jabin, king of Hazor, heard of this, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, and to the king of Shimron, and to the king of Achshaph, and to the kings who were in the northern hill country, and in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, and in the lowland, and in Naphoth-dor on the west, to the Canaanites in the east and the west, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites under Hermon in the land of Mizpah. And they came out with all their troops, a great horde, in number like the sand that is on the seashore, with very many horses and chariots. And all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight against Israel. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, for tomorrow at this time I will give over all of them, slain, to Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.”

To put these two examples into today's context, Joshua and the Israelites were facing the combined might of all the secular forces of their day. The Supreme Court, Congress, ACLU, the media, the ultra-liberal states, cultural Christianity, and on and on. All the forces of Satan arrayed against them as they are against the Body of Christ today.

But His promise to them remains true to us today. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or dismayed; for I will do thus against all your enemies against whom you fight. BUT I MUST FIGHT, FIGHT USING THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD. I MUST NOT USE THE WEAPONS OF MAN.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 104

Mid-day: 119:129-136

Evening: Psalm 30

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us.” ...So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country said to us, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants. Come now, make a covenant with us.”’ Here is our bread. It was still warm when we took it from our houses as our food for the journey on the day we set out to come to you, but now, behold, it is dry and crumbly. These wineskins were new when we filled them, and behold, they have burst. And these garments and sandals of ours are worn out from the very long journey.” So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them.

Oops! The leaders of Israel fell for the devil's cleverly devised story, accepted the offered evidence as factual and jumped into Satan's trap wholeheartedly. They did not ask counsel from the LORD.Could this have been one of the many stories that Solomon had in mind when he wrote, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 It certainly is a good lesson that to live in the fear of the LORD, we must seek His guidance.

How easy it is to forget that Satan is the father of lies, to take the story at face value, especially when I think it is within my capabilities to rectify the situation and demonstrate the love of the LORD to a needy person. Yes, I may be called to do so, but only after I have sought the LORD's counsel.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 102

Mid-day: 119:113-120

Evening: Psalm 28

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 8:1-2

May 23, 2018

And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land. And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behind it.”

It's impossible to read this short passage without grinning. The Israelites repented of the sin which had infected them, cleansed themselves as the LORD directed, and reentered into their appointed relationship with the LORD, God the Almighty. Not only did He promise victory over the enemy but He gave permission to keep the spoils, i.e., as opposed to the spoils taken from Jericho without His permission. Another good lesson in being careful to pursue my calling within the shelter of His will, not my own self-centered pigheadedness.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 101

Mid-day: 119:105-112

Evening: Psalm 27

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 7:6-13

May 22, 2018

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord GOD, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” The LORD said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. Get up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow; for thus says the LORD, God of Israel, “There are devoted things in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted things from among you.”

Lesson 2 Joshua did not call together a committee to analyze the defeat, call his generals on the carpet to account for their lousy leadership, revise their order of worship and install a different form of music. He, and I am sure others, humbled themselves and went before the ark of the LORD face on the ground until evening. Then after an extended period of silence, he began to pray. It was not a prayer of defense and justification but a plea for enlightenment. He did not blame the LORD, and appealed for knowledge. Importantly, he recognized that this was a situation that marred the great name of the Holy One of Israel.

The LORD responded succinctly, without identifying who sinned; it was a corporate sin, a sin attributed to the nation of Israel. He laid out precisely the consequences and declared that these would stand until Israel took corrective action.

How does the Church suffer today because we allow actions, ideas, practices to continue among so-called believers, those who have said the sinner's prayer but whose lives do not indicate any hint of transformation or even a desire to seek transformation?

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 1097-1040

Mid-day: 119:26

Evening: Psalm

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 7:1-5

May 21, 2018

But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the LORD burned against the people of Israel. Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.

How often have I decided that I knew God's will in a particular issue and didn't bother to check with Him? Sure, Joshua and his boys had heard the promise of the LORD, He gave them the land of Canaan for an inheritance, didn't He? Look at the way weleveled Jericho? We are good!Let's take a few of the lads and continue the housecleaning.

Wrong! There's the little matter of Achan and his loot. Lesson 1 is that I need to continue checking to see if I am still working and walking in His will. Romans 12:2 promises that I will be able to recognize His good and perfect and acceptable will. But, BIG BUT is to not forget Romans 12:1, to be a living, obedient sacrifice, my spiritual act of Worship.

Israel had fallen out of the fear of the LORD. So can I!

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 99

Mid-day: 119:89-96

Evening: Psalm 25

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Psalm 119:113-120

May 20, 2018

I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain. All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments.

Lord, the theme here seems to be the dangers caused by double-mindedness both in others and in myself. I need to guard against its effects in those around me—where and when the men profess to be saintly in the chapel yet live lives of the world in their living units. That needs to be prominent in my teaching.

But first, it needs to be prominent in my life—is my walk before you one of loving my fellowman and in humility, seeking justice and mercy for all? Am I a faithful messenger of the Word? Do I speak of the power of your love to all I meet and touch? Do I walk as one called to You; one empowered by You to be Your witness? No! I am weak and cowardly, a double-minded man. Forgive me, Lord.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 98

Mid-day: 119:81-88

Evening: Psalm 24

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 4:21-24

May 19, 2018

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever.”

The people of Israel walked through the Jordan on dry ground. He has set my feet on dry ground to walk through the fetid mess that is the culture around me. He has brought me out of my personal Egypt into the Kingdom of God in the here and now, my Promised Land.

LORD, forgive me for not sharing the story with my children. I bear the burden of that grievous sin, that offense against You and a demonstration that my love for my family is weak, weak beyond description.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 97

Mid-day: 119:73-80

Evening: Psalm 23

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 2:8-11

May 18, 2018

Before the men lay down, she (Rehab—ed.) came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.

Do I realize today that those stories that reflect His love for me are as important a witness to my personal mission field as the stories of the Israelite's rescue from Egypt were to Rehab? My mouth must be filled with the events of my transformation, with the healings that I have experienced, with the evidences of answered prayers, with recognition of His blessings and His love as expressed through discipline.

I don't see all the answers, sometimes He speaks and moves without my awareness, but sometimes His answer is so immediate it is breathtaking. I need to be bold in my testimony as I praise Him.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 96

Mid-day: 119:65-72

Evening: Psalm 22

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

Joshua 1:7-9

May 17, 2018

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Do I hear the thunderous voice of the LORD, God the Almighty? "BELIEVE ME, TRUST ME, COMMIT TO ME, OBEY ME, HAVE FAITH IN ME!"? Do I? Do I really hear Him? Or do I blithely mouth the words, "He will never leave me nor forsake me"? And go merrily on my way bending His precious Word to fit my desires.

Please don't mistake my emphasis on the BTCOF cycle to indicate an urging to earn one's salvation. No, it must be an upwelling of thanksgiving and gratitude for His great love, mercy, and grace which is revealed through that cycle.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 95

Mid-day: 119:57-94

Evening: Psalm 21

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

“The LORD saw it and spurned them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters. And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them; I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness. They have made me jealous with what is no god; they have provoked me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are no people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.“‘And I will heap disasters upon them; I will spend my arrows on them; they shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured by plague and poisonous pestilence; I will send the teeth of beasts against them, with the venom of things that crawl in the dust. Outdoors the sword shall bereave, and indoors terror, for young man and woman alike, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs. I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces; I will wipe them from human memory,” had I not feared provocation by the enemy, lest their adversaries should misunderstand, lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant, it was not the LORD who did all this.”’

I'm very curious. The LORD states clearly that He is withholding His hand from dealing with Israel as they deserved. Is His hand being withheld from dealing with His church as we deserve as the result of our apostasy? Maybe the post-tribers are almost right, but will the Tribulation be a cleansing of the Church?

I don't know but my only acceptable recourse is to keep hearing and learning the Word, hiding it in my heart, seeking to live out each day as a disciple of Jesus Christ in the here and now in every venue where He has placed me.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 94

Mid-day: 119:49-56

Evening: Psalm 20

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

“But Jeshurun (Israel--ed.) grew fat, and kicked; you grew fat, stout, and sleek; then he forsook God who made him and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation. They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded. You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.

Addressed to Israel but certainly applies to those of us who have been grafted in. We, His Body, His people, His Church have abandoned hearing and learning of the Word so that we can be accepted by the culture in which we live. We have adopted a buffet faith; we follow strange gods (try the god of Choice on for size), We sanction all abominations, not by the culture around us, but by the culture within us. We practice forms of entertainment and call them worship. What a farce!

Then we have the temerity to curse Him because He does not hear our prayers. They are an abomination unto Him (Proverbs 28:9)

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 93

Mid-day: 119:41-48

Evening: Psalm 19

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.

Do I see this significant relationship? That an understanding of the fear of the LORD, God the Almighty comes through hearing and studying all Word of the LORD, God, the Almighty. Not just through reading the red lettered words, not just through studying the New Testament, but allthe Words of the LORD, God, the Almighty.

It means taking up the never-ending process of hiding His word in my heart so that I might not sin against the LORD, God, the Almighty. (Psalm 119:11) Taking it up constantly and consistently.

Today's readings in the Psalms:

Morning: Psalm 92

Mid-day: 119:33-40

Evening: Psalm 18

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"Voices Together" is available as an annual daily devotional and can be purchased at theFellowship Of Ailbe bookstore.  A weekly edition, formatted as a bi-fold insert and suitable for distribution can be downloaded at https://www.ailbe.org/resources/item/7251-2016-voices-together-weekly-format. The next edition is available by Thursday of the prior week.

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