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And just like that the summer is basically over.
Wow! That flew by at mach speed. I sure hope you were able to spend some time with God over your summer break whether while on vacation, on a hike in the woods, camping in the great outdoors, or even watching the solar eclipse. Our God is a great and mighty God, able to deliver His people from any and every situation that comes our way. Some of you have encountered loss over the summer, some of you have had significant change stake place in your life and home, some of you have encountered disappointments and discouragements.
I was recently thinking about God’s commandments one morning while walking and reviewing Bible promises. Ecclesiastes12:13 was brought to my attention - "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” As I was reflecting on that passage another one came to mind found in Joshua 1:9 - "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Often when we think of keeping God’s commandments, our minds are drawn to Exodus 20:1-17 where we find the 10 Commandments. These are fine and well, as they are a transcript of God’s character of love. But... have you ever thought about that commandment in Joshua 1:9, the one that commands us to be strong and of a good courage?
Our family has been blessed to be here, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been without its challenges. There’s a lot of stress involved in moving and getting settled, new people to get to know, new office, new church culture, new environment, new home, new community… etc… I’ve found myself homesick at times, missing family that we lived closer to, the things we grew accustomed to. Yet, God has given us great and exceeding promises to encourage us and to remind us of the great God we serve. The One who has "loved us with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you” Jeremiah 31:3. He’s reminded me that I don’t have the strength or the courage to press forward, in and of myself, but His promise is to be “with me” wherever I go - and that includes Klamath Falls.
I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the events that have transpired this summer. Some good, some bad. While you reflect on those events, ask God to remind you how He was with you - especially in those challenging times. Ask Him to remain with you moving forward with school starting soon, new schedules, less daytime, colder weather, and most likely new challenges on the horizon. As Paul encouraged those in Ephesus - "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” Ephesians 6:10, so I encourage you. May this “commandment" be true to your heart and soul as God brings it closer to you through His presence and Word.
Pastor Jon Holland