Day 121

It's Already Yours

Wisdom Proverbs 10:31–11:8
New Testament John 1:29–51
Old Testament Joshua 17:1–18:28


My maternal grandparents lived in the small fishing village of Pittenweem near Edinburgh in Scotland. They owned a house there. In 1939, at the start of World War II, they let their home to tenants. When the war ended, they wanted to return to their home but they were unable to. The law at the time allowed the tenants to remain in the house for as long as they lived, at approximately the same rent (with no adjustment for inflation!).

For fifty years my grandparents were unable to get possession of the house they owned. My uncle inherited the house from my grandparents. By the time he got possession, the condition of the house had deteriorated greatly. He sold it for a very small sum.

Although my family owned this house in Pittenweem, they never took possession of it. There is a big difference between ownership and possession.

The people of Israel had been given ownership of Canaan, the promised land. Now Joshua says to the Israelites, ‘How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land…?’ (Joshua 18:3). The New Testament presents the ‘land’ as a picture of the Christian life (Hebrews 4). Realise what is already yours in Christ Jesus and then take possession of it.


Proverbs 10:31–11:8

31 From the mouth of the righteous comes the fruit of wisdom,
   but a perverse tongue will be silenced.

32 The lips of the righteous know what finds favour,
   but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.

11 The LORD detests dishonest scales,
   but accurate weights find favour with him.

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
   but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
   but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

4 Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
   but righteousness delivers from death.

5 The righteousness of the blameless makes their paths straight,
   but the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
   but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

7 Hopes placed in mortals die with them;
   all the promise of their power comes to nothing.

8 The righteous person is rescued from trouble,
   and it falls on the wicked instead.


Gift of righteousness

Do you realise that God has already given to you the gift of righteousness? Have you taken possession of this gift?

The writer of Proverbs contrasts ‘the wicked’ with ‘the righteous’. Wickedness will lead to destruction – ‘the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity… the wicked are brought down by their own wickedness’ (11:3b,5b). Most significantly of all, wickedness is undone by death: ‘When the wicked die, their hope perishes; all they expected from their power comes to nothing’ (v.7).

On the other hand, ‘righteousness delivers from death’ (v.4b). This is one of the arguments the apostle Peter uses about Jesus on the Day of Pentecost – righteousness cannot rot: ‘It was impossible for death to keep its hold on him’ (Acts 2:24).

No one is totally righteous except Jesus. Righteousness means right relationships, both with God and with other people. You receive this righteousness from God as a gift by faith (Romans 3:22; Philippians 3:9) but you have to take possession of it. You have to live it out.

In this passage we see some examples of what this means.

1. Wisdom

‘A good person’s mouth is a clear fountain of wisdom; a foul mouth is a stagnant swamp. The speech of a good person clears the air; the words of the wicked pollute it’ (Proverbs 10:31a,32a, MSG).

2. Humility

‘The stuck-up fall flat on their faces, but down-to-earth people stand firm’ (11:2, MSG).

3. Integrity

‘The integrity of the upright guides them... a principled life can stand up to the worst’ (v.3a,4b, MSG). Integrity should be our guide. The first question to ask is always, 'What is the right thing to do in this situation?'

4. Character

‘Moral character makes for smooth travelling... Good character is the best insurance’ (v.5a,6a, MSG).


Lord, I take possession of your gift of righteousness by faith. Help me to live a life of wisdom, humility, integrity and good character.

New Testament

John 1:29–51

John Testifies About Jesus

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote —Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”


Gift of the Holy Spirit

Are you enjoying everything Jesus has made possible for you? Or are you still feeling guilty and powerless? Jesus came to bring forgiveness, new life and the power of the Holy Spirit to you. Make sure you take possession of what is already yours, today.

In this passage we see a remarkable sequence of the titles given to Jesus. Jesus is the ‘Son of God’ (vv.34,49), ‘Messiah’ (v.41), ‘King of Israel’ (v.49) and ‘Son of Man’ (v.51).

I want to focus particularly on two titles in this passage that describe the ministry of Jesus.

1. Sin remover

The blood of the lamb saved the Israelites from slavery and allowed them to walk in freedom to the promised land (Exodus 11–15). John says of Jesus, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29). As you come to Jesus, he takes away your sins. Claim, trust, believe in the forgiveness bought for you. Actively reject feelings of guilt, shame or unworthiness. It is a proactive, practical, daily choice to take possession of the forgiveness that Jesus has made possible for you.

2. Spirit baptiser

John the Baptist describes Jesus as ‘the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit’ (v.33). Jesus fills you with his Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus has made possible for you. However, you have to take possession of this wonderful gift that God has made available for you.

Jesus invited Philip, ‘follow me’ (v.43). The Greek word for ‘to follow’ means not only ‘to walk in the footsteps’ but also to accompany, to be with. When they ask Jesus, ‘Where are you staying?’, the Greek for ‘staying’ is the same word Jesus uses in John 15 – ‘remain in me as I remain in you’. They see where Jesus is staying and remain with him. Jesus invites you, too, into a deep, personal friendship with him.

Jesus also gives you the opportunity to do what John the Baptist did – to point others to him. Of course, God does not need a human agent. Jesus could continue his ministry without our help. However, we see in this passage how God uses his disciples to call people.

They bring their friends to Jesus: John the Baptist introduces Andrew (vv.35–36); Andrew introduces Peter (v.41) and Philip introduces Nathanael (v.45). Nathanael was suspicious at first, but then he came and immediately found that Jesus really was the Son of God (v.49).

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, wrote a commentary on John’s Gospel. When he came to the words ‘and he [Andrew] brought him [Simon Peter] to Jesus’ (v.42a), Temple wrote a short but momentous sentence: ‘The greatest service that one [person] can do to another.’

Simon Peter went on to be one of the most significant influences in the history of Christianity. You may not be able to do what Peter did, but you can do what his brother Andrew did – you can bring someone to Jesus.

Or, just like Philip, you can say ‘come and see’ (v.46) to your friends, family and work colleagues. You can be a part of God’s plan for people to hear about and respond to Jesus as you invite them to ‘come and see’.

I have found that there is nothing more exciting in life than being involved in the ministry of Jesus. It is so gracious of God to involve us, imperfect human beings, in his perfect plan.


Lord, help me today to enjoy this gift of forgiveness and the fullness of life in the Holy Spirit. Help me also to introduce others to you – to invite people to ‘come and see’ (v.46).

Old Testament

Joshua 17:1–18:28

17 This was the land allotted to the tribe of Manasseh as Joseph’s firstborn, that is, for Makir, Manasseh’s firstborn. Makir was the ancestor of the Gileadites, who had received Gilead and Bashan because the Makirites were great soldiers. 2 So this land was allotted to the rest of the people of Manasseh —the clans of Abiezer, Helek, Asriel, Shechem, Hepher and Shemida. These are the other male descendants of Manasseh son of Joseph by their clans.

3 Now Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons but only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. 4 They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our relatives.” So Joshua gave them an inheritance along with the brothers of their father, according to the LORD’s command. 5 Manasseh’s share consisted of ten tracts of land besides Gilead and Bashan east of the Jordan, 6 because the daughters of the tribe of Manasseh received an inheritance among the sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the descendants of Manasseh.

7 The territory of Manasseh extended from Asher to Mikmethath east of Shechem. The boundary ran southward from there to include the people living at En Tappuah. 8 (Manasseh had the land of Tappuah, but Tappuah itself, on the boundary of Manasseh, belonged to the Ephraimites.) 9 Then the boundary continued south to the Kanah Ravine. There were towns belonging to Ephraim lying among the towns of Manasseh, but the boundary of Manasseh was the northern side of the ravine and ended at the Mediterranean Sea. 10 On the south the land belonged to Ephraim, on the north to Manasseh. The territory of Manasseh reached the Mediterranean Sea and bordered Asher on the north and Issachar on the east.

11 Within Issachar and Asher, Manasseh also had Beth Shan, Ibleam and the people of Dor, Endor, Taanach and Megiddo, together with their surrounding settlements (the third in the list is Naphoth).

12 Yet the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region. 13 However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labour but did not drive them out completely.

14 The people of Joseph said to Joshua, “Why have you allotted us only one portion of land and one share for an inheritance? We are a numerous people, and the LORD has blessed us abundantly.”

15 “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites. ”

16 The people of Joseph replied, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have chariots fitted with iron, both those in Beth Shan and its settlements and those in the Valley of Jezreel.”

17 But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one portion of land allotted to you 18 but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out.”

Division of the Rest of the Land

18 The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The country was brought under their control, 2 but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance.

3 So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you? 4 Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. Then they will return to me. 5 You are to divide the land into seven parts. Judah is to remain in its territory on the south and the tribes of Joseph in their territory on the north. 6 After you have written descriptions of the seven parts of the land, bring them here to me and I will cast lots for you in the presence of the LORD our God. 7 The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the Lord is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan. Moses the servant of the LORD gave it to them. ”

8 As the men started on their way to map out the land, Joshua instructed them, “Go and make a survey of the land and write a description of it. Then return to me, and I will cast lots for you here at Shiloh in the presence of the LORD” 9 So the men left and went through the land. They wrote its description on a scroll, town by town, in seven parts, and returned to Joshua in the camp at Shiloh. 10 Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions.

Allotment for Benjamin

11 The first lot came up for the tribe of Benjamin according to its clans. Their allotted territory lay between the tribes of Judah and Joseph:

12 On the north side their boundary began at the Jordan, passed the northern slope of Jericho and headed west into the hill country, coming out at the wilderness of Beth Aven. 13 From there it crossed to the south slope of Luz (that is, Bethel ) and went down to Ataroth Addar on the hill south of Lower Beth Horon.

14 From the hill facing Beth Horon on the south the boundary turned south along the western side and came out at Kiriath Baal (that is, Kiriath Jearim), a town of the people of Judah. This was the western side.

15 The southern side began at the outskirts of Kiriath Jearim on the west, and the boundary came out at the spring of the waters of Nephtoah. 16 The boundary went down to the foot of the hill facing the Valley of Ben Hinnom, north of the Valley of Rephaim. It continued down the Hinnom Valley along the southern slope of the Jebusite city and so to En Rogel. 17 It then curved north, went to En Shemesh, continued to Geliloth, which faces the Pass of Adummim, and ran down to the Stone of Bohan son of Reuben. 18 It continued to the northern slope of Beth Arabah and on down into the Arabah. 19 It then went to the northern slope of Beth Hoglah and came out at the northern bay of the Dead Sea, at the mouth of the Jordan in the south. This was the southern boundary.

20 The Jordan formed the boundary on the eastern side.

These were the boundaries that marked out the inheritance of the clans of Benjamin on all sides.

21 The tribe of Benjamin, according to its clans, had the following towns:

Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Kephar Ammoni, Ophni and Geba —twelve towns and their villages.

25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpah, Kephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel, Taralah, 28 Zelah, Haeleph, the Jebusite city (that is, Jerusalem ), Gibeah and Kiriath—fourteen towns and their villages.

This was the inheritance of Benjamin for its clans.


Gift of your inheritance

Is there some area of your life where you are still not enjoying your inheritance in Christ?

The land was the inheritance of the people of God (17:4,7; 18:7,20,27). ‘Joshua addressed the People of Israel: “How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors, has given you?”’ (18:3, MSG).

Here, once again, we see the great difference between ownership and possession and enjoyment of the land. Israel was given the ownership of the land before they took possession and enjoyment.

When you follow Jesus, you become his friend. You receive forgiveness, justification, the righteousness of God and the Holy Spirit. You become a child of God. You have power over sin and access to God. You have victory over demonic powers. You have peace with God. You have authority over evil in your life and the lives of others. All the promises of God belong to you. This is your inheritance in Christ.

But you may not always, necessarily, take possession and fully enjoy the blessing of all these things in your life. Here God says, in effect, to his people: ‘Don’t you realise I have given all of this to you? What are you waiting for?’

You may have given your life to Jesus, but have you allowed him to possess every aspect of how you live – your finances, work, prayer life, friends and family. In my experience this is a lifetime task.

St Paul writes that you need to take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). In some areas the victory may be immediate. In others it may be more gradual. You have to drive out even the little pockets of resistance.

As Israel received the land as a gift from the Lord (Joshua 18:3), so you and I have received, in Jesus, every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). The question is, ‘How long will you wait before you begin to take possession’ of these gifts? (Joshua 18:3).


Lord, thank you that you have blessed me in Christ with every spiritual blessing. Help me today to take possession of what is already mine by faith through Jesus.

Pippa adds

In John 1:48 it says:

‘“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig-tree before Philip called you.”’

Jesus sees you wherever you are and whatever you are doing. You are known by him.



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William Temple, Readings in St. John’s Gospel, (MacMillan, 1952).

The Bible with Nicky and Pippa Gumbel (commentary formerly known as Bible in One Year) ©Alpha International 2009. All Rights Reserved.

Compilation of daily Bible readings © Hodder & Stoughton Limited 1988. Published by Hodder & Stoughton Limited as the Bible in One Year.

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture quotations marked (AMP) taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (

Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from The Message, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers.

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