“Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.” (Deuteronomy 1:38)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Moses would not lead Israel into the Promised Land. He would die just outside the land, because he sinned against God. Thankfully, God raised up a man like Moses named Joshua. He would guide Israel into the Promised Land and lead the Israelites into battle against the Canaanites.
Therefore, Moses tells Israel to encourage Joshua. All the responsibility has been laid on his shoulders. Use your words to build him up, so that he can bear it. With their amazing God-given faculties, humans can achieve difficult tasks, but insults and criticisms can break a man’s spirit and cause him to fail. Words of kindness and praise, on the other hand, can make a man stand tall, even when he is confronted by a mountain of problems.
Jesus opened the way to the true Promised Land—eternity in the new creation. Sin should exclude us from entering Paradise, but Jesus took our sins and He died for them. The way is open! The risen Lord gives you pastors to help lead you into the Promised Land. They announce the Gospel, telling you that the way is open. They address your fears and doubts with the Word. They help you resist the devil through meditation and prayer. They feed you the Bread from heaven to give you the strength to move forward.
Therefore, encourage your pastor. A lot of responsibility has been put on his shoulders. He needs your help bearing it. Speak kindly to him. Praise his successes. Ask him if he needs any prayer. Be ready to comfort him when he experiences his own troubles and tribulations. Encourage him, for by his preaching of the Word he shall cause you to inherit the Promised Land. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Keep me from saying words That later need recalling; Guard me lest idle speech May from my lips befalling; But when within my place I must and ought to speak, Then to my words give grace Lest I offend the weak. (“O God, My Faithful God” LSB 696, st.3)
-Pastor Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House