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May 6, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ is interesting in the light of Joshua's failure is that one word right in the middle that verse vessel were used twice in chapter 7 allies goal you set up twice to get out, stand up, get going arise in self-pity. She don't be dismayed to get up and get going. Even in the context of your failure. Joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world with pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana doing pastoral Gebhardt now is once again shows us how God's word. I can still remember 1986 watching on TV is the space Challenger shuttle 73 seconds after launch exploded losing everybody on board. Cataclysmic failure history is marked with the failures of man from the leaning Tower of Pisa to the Hindenburg zeppelin from Pickett's charge at Gettysburg to the nuclear failure at Chernobyl from the building of the Edsel in the 1950s to blind referees in last year's NFC camera failure. Dogs the past of all humans, including you and me. In fact, failure as part of the biblical narrative for some of the great characters of the Bible.
Noah got drunk and exposed himself. Abraham lied twice about Sarah being his sister in order to save his own skin, and Isaac his son did the same thing with his wife Jacob deceived his father and cheated his brother out of a birthright. David sin with Bathsheba and then Uriah the Hittite murdered the disciples of Jesus Christ abandon him during the crucifixion and they even doubted his resurrection, Peter denied Jesus and later, much later even waffled about the gospel when the Judaizers showed up in the book of acts. John Mark bailed out of the first missionary journey. Think of Moses. He murders in Egyptian entities rejected by his fellow Jews, and he flees for his life.
He hides in the desert for the next 40 years. DL Moody said Moses spent his first 40 years, thinking he was somebody. He spent the second 40 years learning he was nobody in any spent the third 40 years discovering what God can do with the nobody is a very important thing for all of us.
Failure visits all of our lives all of our lives are marked with failure.
But just like with Moses are failure should never be fatal. Not ever want to think this morning about the worst failures in your life the worst things you've ever done the greatest failures you've ever had.
I want you to think about those because I want you to understand that it's very important that you don't think about those.
I think it's a very important thing for you to understand how do you deal with failure in your life.
I believe God uses our failures for the building blocks of our success. I think the Scripture will back that up. I want to start and springboard from Psalm 37 versus 23 and 24 Psalm 3723 and 24 is a Psalm of David.
He knows failure. He's done it on many occasions as a matter of fact had this feeling man.
David is called a man after God's own heart not because he was so always right now because he always did the right thing because he had deep faith in the Lord and here David writes in verses 23 and 24. He said the steps of the manner established by the Lord. He delights in his way. God is involved in our lives and then he says this and when he fails, he shall not be hurled headlong because the Lord is the one who holds his hand, the assumption of David as and when he fails, the living Bible I think is really good. Here, the living Bible paraphrase as if they feel it isn't fatal for the Lord holds him with his hand. When you and I feel it isn't fatal.
We have to understand that because when we start feeling we start thinking. Don't worry, we get a lot of self-doubt.
We have a lot of condemnation.
We feel a lot of guilt and we keep thinking about ourselves as a failure. But God says that's not the case at all. I want to use the failures in your life. You don't get much help outside these walls with dealing with failure. Think of all the books that are written on success. I mean hundreds you go to success seminars. How many of you been to a failing seminar really how many books have you read on failing failing. For dummies an idiot's guide to feeling you see there like books on failing and yet all of us fail and we allow our failure sometimes to define our own lives, and God says look it's real simple. I just want to take two steps. Two things to do with the failures of your life. So now let's go to Joshua chapter 8 Joshua chapter 8 we been in Joshua for some time. Chapter 7 is a chapter dedicated to feeling there's a lot of failure in chapter 7, Aiken fails he's not supposed to take any of the booty and he takes it in the hygienist tent gets in the whole world of trouble to cost him his life.
Joshua fills Joshua's own faith fails and he says, Lord, why do you ever have us cross the Jordan.
Maybe she was just lived in in the wilderness. Why did you do this what you bring us over here, his faith becomes very weak and we come to chapter 8 and God is going to deal with. Josh was weak faith is failing faith and God's going to say something here in this verse that he said twice in chapter 7 and it's a very important first point of the message. He says now the Lord said to Joshua do not fear or be dismayed. That's interesting I were dismayed self condemning Joshua now knows he felt and he says no and I don't want you to start condemning yourself and boy I'm just not what I ought to be. I didn't do what I should've done all those kind of things he said don't do that. He said take all the people of war with you and arise, go up day I see I have given into your hand, the King of AIS people were sitting aslant God says here what he said in the beginning of the book. He said past tense.
I've given it to you AI shores. Go take it George disco get that many were gone there yet. Got severe when I told you give the promised land.
Your name across the Jordan I said yours. But there's interesting in the light of Joshua's failure. There's that one word right in the middle that verse. That's the word to use twice in chapter 7 arrives. Coleman descended twice to get up, stand up, get going arise. Don't wallow in self-pity usually don't be dismayed.
You gotta get up and get going.
Even in the context of your failure.
He says in verse two, he said, you shall due to AI and its king, just as you did to Jericho and its king you shall take only its foil and its cattle was plunder for yourselves. You set an ambush. He said for the city behind it and they do you can read the rest of that in that category, but there's something different about AI God said this time. When you get AI by the way the plunder is all yours. You take AI take all the plunder now. He told them what Jericho don't take any will plunder the plunder is mine. Now he says you can take it all even take the cattle just go and do it and is an ingenious plan of God sets up and you can read the rest of the story, but what I'm interested in is this idea of filler failure. Here we have to get up from our failures. That's what he is saying we have to be able to use this. I want to think about being Joshua at this time, he buried 36 soldiers.
He thought it was because somehow he misunderstood the Lord and have enough faith.
He also I'm sure since the stairs of all the people. How many times you think Joshua walked to the camp, or 2 million people and they said he's no Moses is not Moses sees her a broad failure and from Josh was inward part on his own. He does what we often do.
This is all my fault I must've done something wrong here must be my fault and failure. If you dwell in your failures you are living in quicksand. You can get out you to sink deeper and deeper in it and you'll start defining yourself on the basis of your failure. You can do that. God knows exactly what to say.
And God uses Joshua's failure to bring about success. Real success. You see what God is saying there is I've already given it to you sister you and me.
That's what you said it's only done is called grace want to think about that. What is grace what we have grace because were failures. That's why am I good enough to save myself nope my religious enough to save myself nope Wilhelm I go to be saved. Grace glasses all Savior failures building to the gospel all sin fall short of the glory of God. That's us. You seem God to my grace is sufficient here. My grace will get you through is my grace and aware little work here God's grace is greater than our failures. The one true none of us would have eternal life. That's how we came to Christ.
But how do we respond so I try to figure out where is the greatest case of feeling.
I kind of knowing that in the Scriptures is probably greater when there's a lot of them but I want to now look at Luke chapter 15 in the New Testament, Luke 15 very very famous chapter is the lost chapter you got lost things and move 15 and Jesus's got an interesting audience the context of Luke 15's and first verse. This is not all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming there to listen to on all the tax gatherers. Everyone hated them.
The sinners are publicans and prostitutes. These are the lowest level society and are all coming to get the come to Jesus and then there's another group. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble. That's the other group, the Pharisees and the scribes see themselves success and see the publicans and the sinners as failures. But Jesus says it is not really the case. In fact, the publicans and sinners are failures that can become a success but your successful people who are failure see that's what you see lay itself out here in this chapter, and so he uses two analogies that doesn't offend anybody. Even the scribes and Pharisees was able to make some sense to me. The first one he uses as though the lost sheep is what who among you if you work you had a bunch of sheep and you lost 11.
Leave the leave the flock going find the one who was lost on your shoulders and bring them back when you bring them back to me great joy and celebration everyone's going to be happy, and even the scribes and Pharisees were probably nods a gap that makes that's a really good Shepherd would go after lost sheep, the second one was a woman who had a lost coin likely part of her diary and she lost the coin and have dirt floors and she couldn't find it. So she goes diligently after that loss point she's going to find out lost coin, and she finds it and then she says rejoice with me, let's celebrate together because I found this point was lost, and he says that's the way it is in heaven. When any lost person comes to saving faith. But this third analogy really really bothers the scribes and Pharisees.
Everything about the story is repugnant to them and that's Wade uses the story itself. He starts out then and he says in verse 11. A man had two sons, the younger of them. Some do's father. Father give me the share of the estate that falls to me, not you, and I would just read that the poor you have to understand something here. The culture first of all, he had two sons, according to the mission of the Jewish writing the oldest son gets two thirds of the estate.
The younger son get one third of the estate get 130 oldest brother will get two thirds but there's something else about this culture. This Middle Eastern culture everything that you do in the culture comes down to two words within the culture. The two words are honor and shame either. What you do brings honor what you do brings shame. This story is leaving was shame there is shame everywhere in the story and the scribes and the Pharisees hear it and that's the way they would interpret what Jesus is saying. He says the younger son says to me what's mine the Pharisee would be like that's unthinkable. No Jewish boy would do that that's that's shameful. That's an insult to all about you can't do that. First of all, you can inherit heading into the father's dad but no one would go while his father is alive and say give me that and what's interesting about it. He said father give me the share that workshare is toss UCO's in Greek it means the Goodman property. They don't have currency too much currency on and a lot of goods and property is a give me that you find out among some to sell it so fast. There were some things you couldn't take the younger send them something to couldn't take because it only could occur with the death of the father, but he said give me my share and all of this is like an outrage to them. This is an outrage.
No one would ever do such a thing. This is a cataclysmic failure of the young son gets worse.
He then says so he divided his wealth between them.
What now is what no Jewish father would do such a thing. No Jewish father would get you don't do that. You tell me another way, Tom did like everybody else does honor at stake here. You're not given it to one, but remember the father. Here is a picture of God, and God often lets us have what we want, even when he knows it so terrible for us to see God often do this and so he says no. The father was going to give it and it's like wow this is awful and then it says and not many days later.
A few days later he took all the goods in the property within a few days, he converted all the cash, what is that that's a firesale see that's a fire so I'll sell everything a dime on a dollar, whatever. I was so everything I have quickly take a long time to sell these goods which you can find out because his family is wealthy.
This family is really wealthy. This family has all kinds of assets and becomes clear in the story when you see it all the things of this family has it has servants. They have hired men they hire musicians. They have a fatted calf that many fans Jewish families would have a fatted calf that usually only for a season of a reason. And yet this young man sacrifices the whole future and the honor of the family for the immediate to make a stupid mistake like that ever do something is always going to be a good idea for an evening turn out to be one of the worst failures of your life. See that's what happens here is interesting. It says not many days later, the younger men son gathered everything together. He went on a journey into a distant country and there he squandered his and state with loose living spent all he want to live among the Gentiles good Jewish boy went to live among the Gentiles and it says he squandered he squandered everything that he had in a very short time. He sounds like a lot of lottery winners.
Let me your reader stories all the time someone wins the lottery and within just a couple years all monies gone when the how and the what happened. You see, that's what he did and it was his intention in the beginning. The only reason I want my money so I know never Gentiles alike squandered everything and he does well defined on verse 31. His older brother speaks that he squandered a lot of his money on prostitutes. His older brother. Find out about that is is now when he had spent everything he had nothing left severe famine occurred in that country and he began to be impoverished. So now they have a severe famine and he is impoverished when you read about famines and not part of the world. In ancient days. It's incredible that can store food very well when they had a famine. People starve to death. I was reading this week that a common practice from people would be that he garbage some people would eat their own sandals because they were so hungry. Any stray animal that they found eight in matter what was that you needed and among the Jews. When a Jewish woman gave birth to a child. They ate the afterbirth. That's a hungry they are. That's a severe famine. That's what this guy is saying. So it says after he became impoverished. He said so he went and he hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country. Jewish boy becomes a hired man of a Gentile that is shameful, and then it gets worse. Next race and he sent them into the fields to feed swine is gotta feed the pigs unclean animal to the Jews can't touch them as an unclean animal what you see in this story is shame and you see it everywhere there shame everywhere there's failure every level there shame in approaching his father. That way there shame and the father funding the rebellion there shame of selling everything for his estate. Keep the shame of turning it all into cash. The shame of funding your gross, the funding of your gross tomorrow living the shame of becoming a bigger attached to a Gentile.
Now the shame of feeding pigs is shameful is failure nebula. Jesus is trying to make that point.
Now notice what happens to it says and he would've gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the fine swine were eating and no one was giving him anything anything to him. He would've loved it. Just eat what they ate their wheat and carob pods.
The carob pod comes off the carob tree and it's like a long green with peas and it got a little dark brown black kind peas and it the pretty nutritious they're unbelievably bitter.
Humans can really eat it. It's too bitter for them to eat and he said notice. He said he would be glad eat those, but he didn't but he said I'd been glad to but it could needed was so bad and so consequently what you find here is he one seat. These carob pods is failure is that a catastrophic level and everything changes in verse 17 she had of what we do when we feel like this first step. Notice what he does, and when he came to his senses that's for step of repentance, you come to your senses and what am I doing why why did I do that.
You see, comes to his senses. He starts thinking about it. From that point of view is when it came to his senses, he said, how many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread. I'm dying here. Hunger notices a lot. By the way, about the father because he talks about the father's hired men November the father's wealthy is a landowner. One of the things that have been a culture is yes tenant farmers, workers, landform, and they get a percentage of they give him a percentage of negative percentage.
So yes tenant farmers. He also has indentured servants and will run in one of them.
Later he runs into indentured servant.
These are people that owe money and become slaves or indentured servants to pay it off there treated more like family.
But after the tenant farmers and indentured servants, and you have hired men hired man is just like a guy go to Lowe's or Home Depot every morning and wait for someone to pick him up and take them off in a truck and get a day's work hired man works for one day at according the book of Leviticus. Once you finish your days work. You have to be paid that day they needed the money immediately so we hired a man you pay them at the end of the day.
He said I like to be like one of my by my father's hired men a day labor. Notice what he said about them know it's really intriguing because he said how many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread to take about his father is generous is a very generous man is representing God here, but he's very generous. He gives him more than enough bread while and then it says next step. I will get up and go.
There is a rise stand up, get going move do something you see, whatever you and I feel get up and go to bathroom you on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world. If you ever miss one of our broadcast or maybe you just like listening to the message one more time.
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We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help with radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's messages original format that is is a sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that SBC 10 oh LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series were looking for. You can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for an online work you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own. And remember all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt, unseasoned and hard. Thank you for listening to fellowship in order