DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
I entered Romania on January 1, 1990, during the close of the revolution sweeping the nation. I had ministered in the country for almost a decade before being arrested by the communist regime and told I would never be allowed back in the country. I didn’t know what I would face as our car approached the border. The guards came to our vehicle and said, “Get out.” Before the revolution, the first question asked at the border was always, “Do you have any Bibles?” If you had Bibles, you had big problems.
I was quite nervous as the soldiers with guns ordered us out of the car. I had been arrested in 1988 for preaching the gospel in Romania and told I would never be allowed back. Now the soldiers proceeded to ask, “Are you Christians?” My heart began to beat rapidly. “Yes,” I said. “We’re Christians.” I’ll never forget what that soldier did next. He threw his arms wide and said, “Welcome to the new Romania!” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. On the very spot where I had been told in 1988 that I would never be allowed back, I knelt and gave glory to God.
I went into the country and saw things I never dreamed I’d see. Ordinary people on the streets would run up to me and begin to yell, “There is a God! There is a God!” These people had been brainwashed all of their lives with atheism. But faith had erupted in their hearts. That awesome moment has been etched into my memory.
There was one interesting thing I observed during the revolution. The Romanian flag was flying from most of the apartments, houses, and office buildings. But all the flags had a hole in the center. The people had cut from the flags the symbol of communism. Unknowingly, they had created another symbol. The nation had rid itself of communism, but it was left with a void in its heart. As I saw those flags, I realized the importance of that symbol. It spoke volumes about the needs of the nation.
Similarly, the children of Israel experienced the mighty hand of God under Joshua’s leadership. God brought them into the Promised Land with a mighty miracle. He stopped the Jordan River, and the people crossed into the land. He then told them to establish a place of remembrance. Joshua was to take stones out of Jordan and set them up as a place to remember what God had done. Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground’” (Joshua 4:21, 22).
But there was a second symbol for the children of Israel. This one would ensure they would never forget they had been delivered from their bondage to the Egyptians. God told Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again” (Joshua 5:2). The stones reminded the people of their victory. Their circumcision reminded them of their deliverance.
There was one final symbol for the children of Israel. This was to remind them of the price that had to be paid for their deliverance. The Bible says, “On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover” (Joshua 5:10). These symbols were simple testimonies and reminders of the wonder, beauty, and greatness of their God.
Jesus has given symbols to every believer. The first symbol He gave was the cross. Jesus told His disciples, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24 kjv). We must never, never forget we are what we are because of what He did on the cross. The cross is the centerpiece of our salvation. We need to remember every day what Jesus did for us.
The second symbol is a yoke. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt.11:29 kjv). The cross reminds us of that Jesus is our Savior, but the yoke reminds us that He is our Lord. Many want to be reminded that their sins are forgiven, but few want to be reminded that we have His yoke upon us. If He says, “Turn right,” we must turn right. If He says, “Go left,” we must go left. We need to be reminded we’re under His lordship.
The final symbol for the believer is a towel. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet with a towel, then He gave them a towel. He said, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. (John 13:13, 14 kjv). This was a reminder that He was, above all, a servant — and they must also be servants of one another.
Every believer needs to always remember that Jesus is our Savior and our Lord, and that we are His servants. Write these things on the tablets of your heart. Never forget them. They are powerful symbols of the victorious Christian life.
Joshua : Chapter 4
1) When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2) “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3) and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.” 4) So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5) and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6) to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7) tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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