THINK: If you're like most young people, you dream of success. But how do you define or measure success, and how will you know if you've achieved it? Some people's view of success amounts to little more than a self-centered pursuit of wealth, fame or power. But true success isn't a selfish ideal. God created you with a desire for significance and He wants to develop in you the drive to have a positive influence in the world. But you won't find or fulfill your ultimate purpose by doing things your own way. God's plans must be carried out according to His principles and by His power. That can only happen as you base your life on God's Word - the pattern for true success. Getting into the Word and letting the Word get into you can ensure that you become all you were created to be.
RESPOND: What kind of man was Joshua, and what can you learn from his example? (See 1:1 note.) How does Joshua's role in the Old Testament symbolize what Jesus did in the New Testament? What does the "promised land" represent for New Testament believers? (See 1:2 note, subpoint 1.) How does Israel's conquest and possession of the promised land represent how Christians today must persevere in their relationship with Christ? (See 1:2 note, subpoints 2 & 3.) How does God's promise to Joshua apply to you? (See 1:5 note.) What's the condition for receiving God's promise-then and now? (See 1:7 note.) What can you do to help ensure that you obey God's Word? (See 1:8 first note.) What does it mean to meditate on God's Word, and what's the benefit of doing it? (See 1:8 second note.) How does living according to God's Word make you successful? (See 1:8 third note.) Despite her sinful past, why would Rahab and her family be saved when Jericho fell to the Israelites? (See 2:1 second note.) What does Rahab's rescue illustrate about God's plan of salvation? In what way did Rahab show faith, despite her obvious flaws at the time she hid the spies? (See 2:5 note.) What did the scarlet chord symbolize in Old Testament terms? (See 2:21 note.)
PRAY: Thank Jesus for never leaving or forsaking you and for giving you victory over your spiritual enemies as you trust and obey Him. Ask God to give you insight from His Word as you meditate on it and apply it.
ACT: Select one or two Bible verses or passages that have challenged or inspired you recently. Write these verses out on something you can keep with you at all times. Throughout the day, meditate on these passages, quietly rehearsing each aspect of the passages over and over in your mind. Rely on the Holy Spirit for insight, mulling over what these verses mean and considering how you can apply them in your current situations.
THINK: How do you reach a destination you've never been to before? How do you make your way around an unfamiliar place? Do you ask for directions, or do you prefer to wander aimlessly on your own? When it comes to your life's direction, don't leave things to chance-or to your own inclinations. Trust the One who knows every route and will go with you every step of the way. God sees the big picture of your life. He knows where you need to be and how to get there from where you are right now. His Word is your road map for life, and the Holy Spirit will help you interpret and follow as you rely on Him. Just as living by God's Word will bring success in the overall scope of your life, it also provides guidance and direction for each new aspect of your journey with Jesus.
RESPOND: How can we know where to go and what to do when facing something we've never been through before (3:3-5)? (See 3:3 note.) What did it mean when Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you"? (See 3:5 note.) Why was this necessary? What example does this set for Jesus' followers today, and how do they consecrate themselves? How do you think God's parting of the Jordan inspired the Israelites, and how would that miracle have inspired you? (See 3:13 note.) What was significant about the tribal leaders each taking a rock from the riverbed to set up a monument on the river bank? Why is it sometimes valuable to have places, ceremonies or traditions that remind future generations of great spiritual events and victories? (See 4:6 note.) In what way must we be careful about how we view and handle such things? (See 4:21 note.) Why is it good to recall the victories and milestones God has helped us to achieve in the past?
PRAY: Thank Jesus for going ahead of you on every new road and through each new adventure. Consecrate yourself to God by renewing your commitment to godly purity and purpose and by submitting to the Holy Spirit's guidance.
ACT: Think back on significant events and victories in your spiritual journey with Christ. Consider how they challenge your current level of commitment and inspire faith in your life today. Then examine your life and remove any hint of impurity or hesitation to follow God's purposes. Get ready for God to do amazing things in and through you.