My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
The three tribes (the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh) had to leave their place of rest east of the Jordan, which had already been given to them, in order to go and help the other tribes fight the enemy: But to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, Joshua said, remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you. The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land. Your wives, your children, and your livestock may stay in the land that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, fully armed, must cross over ahead of your brothers. You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest as he has done for you and until they too have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving them. (Joshua 1:12-15) It would have been easy for these three tribes to stay in the land that God had given them and not fight to help their brothers attain the land ascribed to them by God. Each of us is on a journey to grow in our faith, and we need the body of Christ to help us grow in our faith. It is essential that we encourage one another in the faith and help one another to possess the land that the Lord is giving us.
What is the land that God is giving us? Spiritually speaking the Lord is calling us to grow into the likeness of Christ and walk in the fullness of our calling. We all need help along the way, and although it is easy to be concerned only with our own journey of faith, God is calling us to help our “brothers and sisters” in Christ to possess the land and to ultimately find rest in Christ. Jesus tells us today that we are to love one another and to lay our lives down for one another. One way we can do this is to help others be victorious in their Christian walk, just as the tribes of Israel helped each other. What are some ways you can encourage someone who is struggling in his/her walk with the Lord? Who do you need to encourage this week?
Help me to remember that I am not alone in this journey of faith. Open my eyes and heart to help others by encouraging and fighting for them to walk in the promises of God’s Word.
Help me to fight the “me first” world that I live in and to be willing to help others helping others to possess their “promised land.”
In Jesus’ name, Amen