Caleb: The Picture of a Faithful Follower

Footprints in SandLast night in our prayer meeting, we took a few moments to examine the life of Caleb. I love to do character studies on the lives of those that we find within the pages of Scripture. I also enjoy reading loud reviews of great Christians great preachers. So, when I came across the life of Caleb, I was excited to learn from him and to see how God used him during his time on this earth.  What I found did not disappoint and I hope it will be as much of an encouragement and challenge to you as it was to me.

There are only about 30 verses written in Scripture about Caleb.  Not very much when you consider who he was and what he did for God.  Nevertheless, the verses that we do have are power packed and of a great challenge.  Joshua 14:8-15 pick up at the end of his life when he is getting the inheritance that God had promised to him for his faithfulness. It is one of the shortest and yet one of the most powerful passages of Scripture describing one man’s devotion to God.

Here are some things that we see about Caleb’s life:

1.  He was a man of Conviction

Numbers 13:25-33 tell us that when it came time for the spies to give a report of what they found in the promised land, ten of the spies described it as a wonderful land that would be impossible for them to conquer.  Joshua and Caleb on the other hand believed God and encouraged the people to move forward and to do what God had told them to do.  This kind of conviction caused Caleb to stand out from the other spies and even the rest of the people.  The main reason for his standing out was his conviction to stand up for God.  This is true conviction!  Standing for God despite the obstacles and then being willing to put your words of conviction to action…just as Caleb and Joshua did.

2.  He was a man of Consecration

Joshua 14 uses a phrase three different time to describe Caleb (vv. 8; 9; 14).  That phrase is that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord…”  This word, “wholly” has the idea of “being filled completely or to fill and hand so full that there is no space left.” Caleb followed God in such a way that there was no room in his life for doing his own will or following his own desires. His only focus and desire was to follow the Lord and to do what God wanted him to do. What a summary of true discipleship! I hope that I can say this at the end of my life!  I hope that those that knew me would be able to put on my grave stone…”He wholly followed the Lord!”  What a testimony and what a challenge!

3.  He was a man of Courage

Joshua 14:10-11 tell us of the courage of Caleb.  It was a courage that never left him.  It was a courage that causes him to follow and fight for the Lord and then to wait 45 years to receive the blessings that God had promised him.  Now at the age of 85, he states that he would be willing to do it all again, even at his current age, because God meant that much to him.

God greatly blessed Caleb for his service.  The end of Joshua 14 tells us of at least three blessings that the Lord gave to him.  First, he received a long life.  Second, he received great blessing.  God gave him and his descendants one of the best portions of the land as a reward for his faithfulness.  Third, Caleb received peace and rest.  The rest of Caleb’s life was marked by peace and the land was at rest.  God allowed Caleb the chance to enjoy the blessings that he was given.

May the Lord help all of us to learn from the life of Caleb.  May these same characteristics be true of us for the glory of God!

VBS UPDATE: THURSDAY

IMG_4411We are thankful for another great night at Treasure Island. We had a total attendance of 30 children. Pastor Ben did not have to get a pie in the face once again for which he was probably thankful! This was our final night and it ended with great celebration. The pirates had gotten the key to the fair and as of Wednesday, there would be no fair!!  But alas, the good guys were able to recapture the key and all was well with the world once again! :)

There were many very good things about this week for which we are thankful. We were able to make contact with several new families and other families that previously had contact with our church. The children had a lot of fun learning songs about the Gospel and hearing the gospel preached each night. Pastor Ben would do an object lesson each night that related to our memory verse for the night and then challenge the children about the Gospel and about their relationship with Christ. We are happy to report that one young man came to faith in Christ last night after the lesson! The focus of this week was not on numbers for attendance or for salvation decisions. This week was all about gospel centered ministry and we are sure that ongoing ministry with families will take place as a result of what transpired this week and we praise the Lord for His work in that way.

Tonight, the parents are invited to come to our closing program where the children will be sharing the songs they’ve learned all week. Following the program, we have the VBS fair complete with games, prizes, a dunk tank, and a jumpy house. Please pray for us as we seek to develop Gospel focused relationships with these families and as we finish our VBS for good following tonight’s events.

Here are some pictures from last night as well as a few from earlier in the week. Thanks so much for your prayers!

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VBS UPDATE: WEDNESDAY

IMG_4411The Lord gave us another wonderful time at Vacation Bible school last night. Our attendance was down just a little from the last two nights. We had a total of 25 children with lots of fun and excitement. Still no pie for Pastor Ben. But the challenge is still on and we will see if the children are able to make that happen tonight. We need to have a total of 40 in attendance.

Some may read this update and see that we have only had 25 to 35 children and our Bible school so far this week. When I was growing up in Milwaukee, we would have Bible Schools that averaged 1000 kids! The area in which our church ministers is a small, rural area so these kinds of numbers are good and are about average for what we have had in the past. The most encouraging parts is nothing numbers but the new children that we have had come visit our church in the new contacts with parents.

Please pray for us tonight as we have our final night of VBS tonight. It should be a great time for the children and workers. We will be having our closing program and VBS fair tomorrow evening beginning at 7 PM. This will be a time for the parents to come and have a part in what we’ve been doing here at Central all week

Here are some pictures from Wednesday VBS:

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VBS UPDATE: TUESDAY

Black & White VBS SignWe had another GREAT night at Treasure Island! We had a total of 34 children in attendance.  Unfortunately, that meant that Pastor Ben did NOT get a pie in the face.  They missed it by six!  The challenge is still on and once again if we have 40 or more in attendance tonight, pie will fly!

Some of the other things that the kids have been doing include, crafts, games, and learning Bible songs.  This Friday night at 7pm, we will be having our closing program and VBS Fair.  The kids will be singing all of their songs, having one final penny competition, and enjoying some food and fun along with their moms and dads.  Everyone is invited to come and join us!

Here are just a few pictures of VBS.  Thanks for your prayers!

 

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