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Category Archives: Belief

Rahab was Rehabbed

Abilene North City

If the city of JERICHO had a yearbook, Rahab probably would have been voted “least likely to be saved”… well, that or “most popular!”

Rahab was young, a Canaanite, and a woman, which meant she was someone’s property. She was also perceptive, intelligent and well informed, AND she was a prostitute…not a hostess or tavern keeper as some theologians have tried to argue…NO…she sold her body to men for money. In fact, this designation stuck with her even after she was saved from destruction. The writer of Hebrews referred her as “the prostitute Rahab” (11:31) and James refers to her as “Rahab the prostitute” (2:25).

But, Rahab was Rehabbed!

She was redeemed! She went from HARLOT to HERO! She believed in God AND acted on what she believed. She followed the instructions the spies gave to her, immediately. She hung a scarlet rope out of her window. Simple, yet powerful. But it changed everything for her and her family. 

  • Rahab became the FIRST recorded Gentile convert.
  • Rahab married Salmon, one of the two spies whose life she saved. Rahab and Salmon had a son named Boaz…and Boaz married Ruth.
  • Rahab is listed in the genealogy of Jesus as one of the great-great-great-great (you get the picture) grandmothers of Jesus. She is one of only four women mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus’ family; three of them were adulterers. Women were typically NOT included in genealogies. (Matthew 1:5)
  • Rahab’s name is included in among the great company of magnificent examples of faith — Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Noah, and Joseph. (Hebrews 11:31) 
  • Rahab is a supreme example of the power of putting faith into practice. (James 2:25) 

God is in the business of redeeming people

In my experience I’ve noticed that God doesn’t redeem someone to impress others; he redeems us because he loves us and wants us to be useful for the purpose for which he created us in the first place. It’s easy to discount someone, isn’t it? Had you met Rahab you might have said, (under your breath) “I think she still needs a little work!” “Clearly, God isn’t done with her yet.”

If you want divine results then follow her example by putting your faith to work. Put your actions where your faith is.  Like it or not, the truth of our words is proven by the work of our life! We can say anything we like, but what we really are is proven by what we do! A life that belongs to Jesus will be a life that wants to be involved in the things of God! The fruit of your life proves the root of your life!

Scriptures: Joshua 2:1-24, 6:17, 22-25; Matthew 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25

(Photo Cred: Beth Holland, on a rooftop in Abilene, Texas, 2016)

 

 

 

 

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Time Escapes

ashleys-painting-time-escapes

“Time Escapes” by Ashley Holland, Acrylic on Canvas

My dad was a preacher and my role model.  One of the things he modeled to me was coming up with a theme for the coming year.  This has proven to be a great habit that keeps time from becoming elusive and escaping.  For example, “Knees to the Floor in ’74” was one of dad’s themes.  He would then use that as the theme of our annual New Year’s Eve youth rally in Winslow, Arizona, where I grew up during elementary and middle school, to kick-start the New Year.  Then for the entirety of 1974 he focused on understanding and integrating prayer into his teaching and daily life.  It was a lot of fun even if at times a bit cheesy.  I have tried to follow his example of having a theme each year in my own life, albeit without his flare for rhyming.

Write Your Personal Theme for 2017

My primary thought for 2016 has been Solomon’s wisdom:  “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)  That wisdom has captured my imagination because it means that the most important leadership tool I have is something other than my experience, knowledge, skill or network.  Each of those qualities matter for sure, but the more important and lasting concern is the health of my heart because that is the beginning point of everything else in my life.  I encourage you to write down your personal theme for 2017 which might be a word or scripture or quote.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”― Soren Kierkegaard

Think New Thoughts 

Let your thoughts be guided by your theme for 2017. According to Solomon, the beginning point for a new life is a new heart!  It stands to reason that when you learn to think in a new way, that you will start to live in a new way.  A person’s mindset is the beginning point for a new life.  Our mindset is the sum of our beliefs and thoughts.  Having a theme is helpful because it helps you to become an observer of yourself.  For example, does what you say and do reflect your new thoughts?

Be You 

Another reason I have focused on that verse is that what I feel and think in my heart is who I truly am.  That is what I need to pay attention to.  I am not what I am outwardly but what I am inwardly.  I’m not necessarily who others think I am but rather who I am in my heart.  I may put on a good face for others to see, but that is not necessarily who I am.  I am what I think, say and do in private.  Haven’t you noticed that what is private today often becomes public tomorrow?  And so, I’ve paid close attention this past year to the set point of my heart.  When necessary, I’ve worked to reset my heart in the same way that we reset the thermostat in our homes.  The temperature in our homes always returns to the set point.  That’s always been the case for God’s people.  God always does his part.  He just needs us to do our part by guarding our heart.

As 2016 comes to a close and a new year is on the horizon, let’s guard our hearts, hope in the Lord, enjoy the journey, plan well, apply wisdom and see what good things the Lord provides in 2017.

https://danholland2819.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/want-to-make-a-difference/

 

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