Spiritual reflections on the subject of Christian pilgrimage, arranged as 40 daily readings. Very suitable for Lent, but can be used at any time. Includes a daily Bible reading plan.
LENT READINGS EXTRACT:
Day 38: Pursue Excellence
Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honour, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels (Genesis 49:1–4, 19)
These are the words of Jacob to his sons Reuben and Gad, at the end of his life. With Reuben’s and Gad’s track records, Jacob knew that they were happy to just get by in life and wouldn’t be interested in the effort it would take to take hold of God’s best for them, and for their descendants. They could live the way they did without having to exercise any great faith in God. Life was comfortable.
We may at first think that their tribes settled east of Jordan because they had no heart to do battle to inherit the promised land. That is of course not true, they went ahead of the other tribes to fight together with them until the war was won. However, by remaining across the other side of Jordan they settled in God’s second best for them. Spending time in the wilderness was intended to prepare them to cross the Jordan. But they weren’t interested in God’s plan for their lives. However, Jacob’s other sons and their descendants chose to make the journey, and after many battles received God’s best for their families.
Some people are willing to pay the price to receive God’s best, and persevere, but others are not.
What about you? Is second best good enough for you? After all, it could be a lot worse. Do you have an “it will do” mentality? Or are you prepared to put in the effort required to live on the west side of your Jordan?
What spiritual, or natural, inheritance are we storing up for the generations who follow us?