COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"Joshua" Tagged Sermons

WHAT SHAPES OUR FUTURE?

Dr. Michael Heiser in his book: “The Unseen Realm” makes this statement:
“The seeds of that failure were sown in the events of the conquest. For whatever reasons – lack of faith or lack of effort, or both – Israel failed to drive out their enemies. They allowed vestiges of the targeted bloodlines to remain in the land in the Philistine cities. They chose to coexist (Judges 1:27-36). The visible Yahweh, the Angel, asks the rhetorical question, “Why would you do such a thing?” and he announces the consequences: “Now I say, I will not drive them out from before you; they will become as thorns for you, and their gods will be a trap for you” (Judges 2:2-3). The name of the place where he uttered these words was thereafter appropriately remembered as Bochim, a Hebrew word that means “weeping”.

John North wrote the foreword to Malcolm Muggeridge’s book titled: “The End of Christendom”
The book is based on Malcolm Muggeridge’s lecture series given in 1978 at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
“Most of the great universities of the West were founded with the conviction that theology is the queen of the disciplines, and that the key to man’s wholeness is the pursuit of the truth of God through Jesus Christ. Apart from that truth, it was believed, all other expressions of truth are fragmentary and sterile. Now, in the latter part of the twentieth century, that tradition has almost disappeared. Where Jesus Christ and Christian doctrine are the subject of formal study, it is usually as a minor are of Comparative Religion or in a divinity school well segregated from the general student body. Religious enthusiasm among students is an embarrassment; belief in the authority of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ is treated as naivety to be enlightened rather than life to be nourished. Scholars in the arts, letters, and sciences who show signs of Christian devotion are likely to be shrugged off as simplistic and eccentric. Coincidentally, truth itself has become devalued, especially in the humanities and social sciences and increasingly in the pure sciences, its consequence and even existence of matter of doubt.
Universities seem to promote fragmentation, in part by undermining general studies in favor of specialized and practical studies, in part by ignoring the signs of decay in the spiritual, moral, and emotional health of the academic community.”

FAITH DEMANDS UNCERTAINTY

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary ON ACTS:
“The Lord used the old covenant to prove that HEARING the word of God isn’t our primary problem. HEEDING the word of God is our constant challenge. With the inauguration of the new covenant, our Master has taken a different approach. Instead of standing before us to issue orders, He now lives within us to transform our minds (Romans 12:1-2) so that we begin to think His thoughts. As the Spirit gradually takes over, defeating our old, selfish, vain, foolish manner of life, we begin to cherish what God cherishes, make decisions according to His values, and view life from His eternal perspective.” Chuck Swindoll

In his essay on prayer, C.S. Lewis suggested that God treats new Christians with a special kind of tenderness, much as a parent does with a newborn. He quotes an experienced Christian: “I have seen many striking answers to prayer and more than one that I thought miraculous. But they usually come at the beginning before conversion, or soon after it. As the Christian life proceeds, they tend to be rarer. The refusals, too, are not only more frequent; they become more unmistakable, more emphatic.”
C.S. Lewis asks: “Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” When God becomes man, that Man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery there which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.”

The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, in his book “Philosophical Fragments”
“Christians remind me of schoolboys who want to look up the answers to their math problems in the back of the book rather than work them through.”

“Faith like Job’s cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken.” Rabbi Abraham Heschel

THE COVENANT KEEPING GOD

Luke 1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember HIS HOLY COVENANT.
People did not believe God and wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. It looked like God is done with Israel. But He is 100% committed to His covenant and His covenant people.
Before God chose David to be the king of Israel, the nation was ruled by 15 judges over a period of about 450 years. Some of the most widely known names are Samson and Samuel.
During that time the enemies of Israel started to infiltrate God’s land over and over again despite the fact that under Joshua’s leadership they were defeated and chased out of the promised land.
The history of the rise and fall of the Hebrew nation are found in the history books (Genesis-Esther). The prophets appeared during the days of the fall of the Hebrew nation. At the moment of the apostasy of the 10 tribes at the close of Solomon’s reign and Israel’s golden age the ministry of the prophets began. The prophets gave a wake up call as soon as people began to forget God.
God warned Israel and Judah over and over again through the prophets. The people forsook God, worshiped idols, did injustice, and loved evil. But God was kind enough to forewarn them of coming judgments because of sin and apostasy, and he would do marvelous miracles through the prophets that would give them hope and encouragement. The prophets even revived their faith in the coming Messiah and His glorious Kingdom. Elijah and Elisha are some of the names that come to mind when talking about prophets.

PREPARED FOR HIS PROMISES

The book of Joshua follows the first 5 books of Moses. In those 5 books we find a great amount of God’s promises that are the foundation of Joshua’s faith in God Almighty. Without those promises, there would have never been a Joshua. Yet, God prepared, protected and also provided for this man everything necessary to become a mighty witness of God’s faithfulness to not just the Hebrews, but also the entire world.
Joshua must first know what the law which Moses wrote down is all about. You cannot observe what you do not know. And if you don’t know what God commanded, you cannot be a witness of God’s faithfulness.
God also commanded Joshua to MEDITATE IN IT DAY AND NIGHT. This was not a weekend course. It was not “when I have time left I will look into it”. Joshua exemplified what Paul wrote later in the book of Romans.
This preparation starts at birth. It is God’s doing. Joshua’s lineage had everything to do with God’s choice. His parents were slaves, experiencing the bitterness of bondage. However, Joshua’s parents never lost faith in God’s promises. They somehow believed that God is faithful even if the circumstances for 400 years pointed into the opposite direction.
At birth, his parents named this newborn boy HOSHEA, meaning SALVATION. In other words, this young boy was nurtured in an atmosphere of HOPE. Still in bondage to the Egyptians, his parents from the tribe of Ephraim, a tribe that comes from Joseph, the very son of Jacob that was sold into slavery by his own brothers.
God prepared Joshua for future battles. How did God prepare him? By example of others who are not fighting with him in the physical, but in the spiritual realm. THE BATTLE IS THE LORDS.
Joshua was alongside Moses for 40 years. He witnessed most of what God did during Moses wilderness wandering. He was taught to KNOW GOD and by observing Israel he was taught to KNOW MAN. Also, Moses’ tent was Joshua’s college.
What can we learn from that? This truth contains the very essence of the Gospel. God’s plan of redemption is very clear throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament.
The law brings no one into God’s heritage. Was Moses could not do Joshua was prepared to accomplish. If you and I want to enter into God’s inheritance, we must turn from Moses (from the law) and look to Joshua.
Just as Joshua was prepared by God to live under the law, under the authority of Moses, so have we been prepared by God to live under the law for a season. It is this preparation that brought us eventually into the promises of God. And people who have not gone through that process cannot be witnesses of God’s faithfulness. God has prepared a way for us to experience His promises. And once we experience them, we become true witnesses of God’s faithfulness.

Keep On Believing

The birth of Jesus Christ was the beginning, not the end of God’s good news to all men. The Christian life begins with a new birth, which is great news and brings much joy. However, that is just the beginning.
Growing in grace and in faith is necessary to see the promises of God being fulfilled in our lives.
Today, we claim to believe in the saving Grace of God Almighty, but that’s about how far it goes. When confronted with biblical truth, we simply say: Well, I just have a hard time believing that God would do that for me. That’s what the Hebrew writer means when he says that God has no pleasure in those who draw back.
Spiritual strength has never come to us by OBEYING COMMANDMENTS. Those people who drop out of the race, AND who have no perseverance to the end have simply stopped trusting the promises of the living God. They are children of the living God, they have been protected by the blood of the lamb, but they are being robbed of all the promises God has given them for their future.
The Apostle Peter simply explains that it is these promises that draw the heart to God in faith. In fact, the great command of the New Covenant is TO BELIEVE. The Israelites did not have many words of God they could hang unto, but what they were given was enough to lead them out of bondage.
You and I have the written word of God, but without feeding on the promises of the Word, not faith life will be strong. Without the word we are not able to continue on and persevere.

God’s Glory – Part 2

No one will be able to enter the temple of God UNTIL THE 7 PLAGUES of the seven angels are completed. That is, at the end of the 7 year tribulation period.
We traced the appearance of God’s glory from the Garden of Eden, through Moses’ life and eventually ended up in the wilderness Tabernacle where God’s glory was manifested among the Hebrews.
Now, we pick up from there and jump to the Joshua and Judges period in the Old Testament.
After Joshua’s time came the period of Judges of which Samuel was the last ruling judge of Israel. It was Samuel that was chosen by God to eventually anoint the first King of Israel. And it was Samuel that anointed King David, the man after God’s own heart.
Just as the first King of Israel was chosen by the people, and eventually rejected by God, so will be the first world ruler, the antichrist, chosen by the people, but rejected by God. It will be the second world ruler, the man after God’s own heart, that will be God’s chosen one.
However, just as Moses prayed earlier that the visible manifestation of God’s glory would dwell in the tabernacle forever, so did Solomon here pray to God that the visible manifestation of His Shechinah Glory would dwell in the temple forever.
But God would not answer the prayer of Moses and Solomon at their time.
What happened to the glory of God? Today, people get all excited about the arch of the covenant, asking the question: WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ARK OF THE COVENANT? Well, that piece of furniture is just that. The real question should be. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SHECHINAH GLORY?

What Do You Long For?

What about those who call themselves followers of Jesus, people who have been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and who want to follow the Lord wherever he goes, what is their deepest desire?
Of all the people who received an inheritance in the Promised Land, Caleb was the only one to completely drive out the enemy. And remember, it was Caleb who faced some of the most formidable enemies in the entire land. GIANTS WHERE LIVING THERE. Caleb had the longing to live where God promised him he would live one day. His longing was stronger than his physical limitations. Caleb longed to have fellowship and communion with God and God’s people. Caleb never longed for the approval of man, but he longed for the approval of God. He was not afraid of what the consequences would be if he longed for God’s approval and therefore would lose most friendships.

The Blessings of Goshen

Joseph divinely positioned and prepared for such a time as this by God himself, he is inviting his family to move to Egypt, and there they would live in a land called Goshen, which means: ‘DRAWING NEAR’.
But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete. In other words, Jacob and his entire clan was exposed to incredible evil. That’s one of the reasons God wanted Jacob and his family to be separated from these people. When they went down to Goshen, the place was prepared by God for them. When we draw near to God, which means we are separated from the wickedness of this world. The Hebrew writer is telling us that Jesus’ blood allows us to enter into God’s presence at any time. There are blessings in Goshen, blessings we can only receive when we DRAW NEAR TO GOD. Separation from the ways of the world. Provision by God Himself. Protection from the judgment of God upon this world.