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Joshua Chapter 1:7-8

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
September 2, 2023 1:00 am

Joshua Chapter 1:7-8

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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September 2, 2023 1:00 am

Cross the Bridge 43201-2

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We are to serve Him.

Why? Because He's already come to serve us. Remember He said, I came to serve you and to give my life as a ransom to many. And as a model that we should lay our lives down and in turn and serve Him. Again, not service and some trying to earn my salvation or something. Service and love and gratitude, a decision to serve the Lord.

Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the Bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. We should be servants of the Lord in love, humility and gratitude. Be encouraged in this today as Pastor David continues his study in the book of Joshua chapter one. But first, have you ever experienced the time when you felt spiritually drained?

Well, the Bible holds the cure that will bring joy and vitality back into your life. That's why we want to send you a copy of Pastor David McGee's video message, A Checkup from the Neck Up. In this inspiring teaching, you'll find biblical truths that can restore your spiritual health. A Checkup from the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life.

So please visit crossthebridge.com to get your copy of A Checkup from the Neck Up. Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, Servants of the Lord. Turn with me to Joshua chapter one, verse seven. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses, my servant, commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Now notice something about midway down there, there's a period, do according to all that is written in it, period, for then. When? Well, after the first part. That's an important little two words, for then.

For when? For when you do this first part, then you will be prosperous and have good success. But a lot of people, in the prosperity gospel and stuff, they try to grab hold of the last part of that verse. I just like that prosperity and success part.

I love, I'll claim that one, that's a good one. But wait a minute, what does it say before that? The book of the law being in your mouth. What does that mean?

It means speaking the word of God. And then look what it says, but you shall meditate. Oh, that's just wrong. That is just wrong. Meditation is just, it's bad.

Everybody knows meditation is bad, right? But you know what happened? Here's what happened, guys. We got ripped off. The New Agers ripped off a Hebrew biblical concept of meditating on the word of God and meditating on the Lord's goodness.

They got it from us. Now, don't get me wrong, sitting there trying to think of nothingness so you can get into nirvana or whatever, there's no way my mind would ever do that anyway. But you know, to do that, that's wrong.

Don't do that. But to sit and think about the goodness of God, you should do that. See, so often we're like, well, I got to read this and I got to read that and I got to read that.

And then, you know, so many of us read devotions. Okay, done. All right. Praise God. Wait a minute.

You know what? Maybe just read one verse and sit and think on it for five or 10 minutes and consider it and meditate on that one verse. And this isn't the only time we're told to meditate. If you remember Psalm chapter one, verse one said, blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful, but his delight is in the law of the Lord. And in his law, he meditates day and night. We are to meditate on the word of God. We are to meditate also on the goodness of God. Now it's interesting because I mentioned, I think it was Sunday I was talking about, you know, don't get counsel from people who are not godly.

Here we see it again. I could run through about a dozen scriptures that say that, but don't sit, don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Delight in the law of the Lord, sit and meditate. And there's a couple of pictures here of this word. One is haga, which it means to murmur or ponder, not murmur in a negative concept, but to sit and just repeat and repeat and repeat and sit there and kind of, hmm.

And again, guys, isn't this interesting? It says to sit there and repeat a phrase, talking about God's word over and over and over. I'm telling you, we got ripped off on this whole meditation thing, man, because they sit and what do they do? Repeat and repeat. And they sit in there and they chant.

They got that from us. Not the weird part of it, but the good part of it, of sitting there and thinking about the word of God and thinking about being in Christ and being strong in the Lord, be strong in the Lord. Man, that's good. Be strong in the Lord. Oh, that's good stuff.

I would encourage you to do that. I mean, we've really lost something that was powerful. That was powerful. And you want to flip somebody out. Be talking to somebody that, oh, well, I meditate to find peace and, you know, and blah, blah, blah. And you say, oh, yeah, that's so cool. I meditate too. What do you meditate? I meditate on nothingness.

Oh, that's a bummer. I meditate on God's word and how much He loves me. Which do you think is going to help? Meditating on nothingness or meditating on God's word and the fact that He loves you so much? That's interesting. The Hebrew word for meditate is hagah. The Hebrew word to complain is hagig.

They're very close. Why is that important? Because you're either going to murmur one thing or another. You're either going to be muttering over and over and over and over about the goodness of God or you're going to be whining and complaining all the time.

But you know what? You can't do them both at the same time. You can't sit there and whine and complain while you're repeating how much God loves you and how special you are to Him.

The two just can't exist in the same space, can they? The other picture there is in meditate, and this is a little weird, not weird in the meditate way, but there's a connection with the Hebrew word picture of a cow chewing his cud. That's rich, isn't it? See, and you thought because you read X number of verses in a day that God was really impressed.

No, God would probably be more impressed if you just read a few and stopped and thought about what you read. Mention success. Make your way prosperous. Who gets to define what that success is? Now, what does this verse mean?

By success. I believe it's a simple definition. I believe it means living a life that makes a difference. I believe it means living a life that makes a difference. Now, maybe you're sitting there and go, well, I didn't get that out of it.

Well, let me ask you a question. At the end of this life, should the Lord tear you? We're all going to die. What will you be thinking about your life? What will you be reflecting back about your life?

Will you be thinking, oh, this is so cool. I got so much stuff. I got so much stuff.

I don't even know what to do at all. I got a bigger house to keep all my stuff in there, and it still didn't fit. So I got a bigger house to keep all my stuff in there, and then that still wasn't big enough. So I got a storage room to put some of my stuff in there, and that still wasn't enough. So I bought another house.

I kept two houses that had a storage place, and that was to keep all my stuff. No, you're not going to be thinking about all your stuff. You're going to be thinking about whether your life made a difference or not.

You're going to be thinking about how your family was impacted by your life, how your friends were impacted by your life. I mean, isn't that what's going to matter? Yeah. That's what God desires for you. God's not going to be...

He's not going to be... And understand, I am not anti... I've not taken a personal vow of poverty or anything. I don't have any problem with a believer who's been blessed with material goods. As a matter of fact, I think when you see that in a believer's life, it usually means that they've been very faithful in what they've been given. Sometimes... Not always, but a lot of times. And God loves to bless His people in those ways, but it almost always comes after they come to the realization that it's not all about stuff. And when we approach stuff like that, God is freed up to bless us. But I don't think that is the way we need to define success.

Because I've met people who were very godly people that didn't have a lot of material goods. But man, if you asked me if they were successful, I'd say, absolutely. They impacted so many people in their lives.

Yes, they were successful. Let's take that one step further. That's as far as individuals. What is success as a church, as a fellowship? How do we define that? I think that's very important. I think that is mission critical because, you know, if we don't know where we're going, how are we going to get there? And I think it's important for myself and the leadership to prayerfully consider these things. Habakkuk, chapter 2, verse 2, says, Then the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. So the vision has to be cast.

It has to be out there. And then you need to say, okay, well, that's where we're going. Let's run for it.

Let's go for it. If we don't do that, we wind up, what do we wind up like? Oh, I know what we, you ever played that game where you put the bat on your head and you go like this and you spin around for like 20 times and then you try to run in a straight line? Raise your hand if you've ever done that.

Oh, some of you guys are missing out. Look, here's what you do when you get home, take a baseball bat, do it in your garage and you spin around like 20 times and then you go, you take off running just as fast as you can. Don't do it in your garage. You'll run into a wall. You have to do it on an open field.

Why? Because you're like, oh, you know, it looks bad, but you know, you can't really run in a straight line. Well, if we don't know where we're going, how do we run in a straight line?

How do we run towards you? You're listening to Pastor David McGee on Cross the Bridge. He'll be back with more powerful insight from God's word in just a moment. But first, your enemy, the devil, doesn't want you to experience the life-giving truths of God's word. He wants to rob you of the full life God wants for you.

But you can overcome his attacks because there is supernatural power in the word of God. That's why we want to send you Pastor David McGee's video message called A Checkup from the Neck Up. This powerful resource will show you how to revitalize your spiritual health and grow in your faith daily by meditating on God's powerful word. A Checkup from the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life.

So please visit crossthebridge.com now to get your copy of A Checkup from the Neck Up. Now, back to today's message. I guarantee I'm going to be the most convicted person in the room for the next few minutes. Because if I ask you right now, what are we all about as a church and what judges our success? Think about that for a moment. If you couldn't answer just like that, that's not your fault.

It's my fault. Now, maybe you said something, you know, teach the Bible. Yes, teach the Bible. No doubt about it. And we're not going to vary from that. And as we look at this, how do we define this word success as a church, as a body? I can tell you it's not going to be like most people define it.

I mean, most people, sadly, a lot of churches would define it. Well, you know, success is if we got a bunch of people. Success is if we got a big, nice building. Success is if we got a huge budget.

To me, that's not success. When we started this fellowship, you know, I was just, I was desiring to teach the Bible and to see people equipped for ministry and to see people get saved. And I was willing to be happy if we had 15 people.

I didn't care. I just wanted to do what God had told me to do and watch him bring the fruit. And it's blown my mind what has happened in the last few years.

And when I sit down and especially in talking about planning and talking about the next few years, to imagine where God is going to have us in a few years, man, I just get really excited. You know, if you've been here for very long, you've seen stuff and you're going, wow. But that's not what I'm about. That's not something that I'm living for. You know, if I was living for big crowds, let me be honest, I would have kept traveling and kept teaching and kept ministry in that venue. Because, you know, if I was living for big crowds, let me be honest with you. Because, I don't know how it happened, but you know, I mean, I was teaching to huge churches, six, eight, 10,000 people.

But that's not what it's about. You can find it in the first two words of our little four-word thing. First two words are reach and teach. The other two words are mend and send. But mending and sending kind of happen as the first two happen. If we take care of the first two, the second two just happen as a natural progression. The first two we have to identify and we have to aim for.

The first thing is to reach. Reach the community, reach the lost, reach the unchurched, reach the disillusioned. What do I mean by disillusioned? Those are people who have been to church and were very disappointed in what they found. See, it was interesting, after 9-11, church attendance spiked up and then went back down.

You know why? Because people went to the church for answers and so many of them said, well, we don't have any answers. And those are the people that you get that are really angry at God, really angry at Christianity. You know, the lady that had so much about getting prayer out of schools, Madeline O'Hare. I often wondered, what happened to her? Something bad happened to her.

And I wonder if it happened at the hands of a Christian. See, because what happens, people go and they go to hear the truth and they don't get the truth. They want some reality and they get hypocrisy. They want reality, they get ritual. And they go, man, this is useless.

This is useless. And I'll tell you what it's like. Have you ever gone up to a drink machine and put your money in? You invest into this drink machine, you push the button and nothing comes out? Phew, that'll get you in the flesh, won't it? I mean, when that happens, that just, boy, it flies all over me.

It does. I think I shared the story. We were up at Stone Mountain, North Carolina Park, and man, we hiked everywhere. And if you ever go there, they lie on those hiking signs. When it says 2.7, it means it's closer to like 800 miles. And the kids that had enough, they were chanting, I'm never going hiking again.

I'm never going hiking again. So we finally get back to civilization. And I go up to this drink machine and put the money in. Well, you guessed it. Nothing's coming out. And I look in the coin slot and I can see my money. It's gotten stuck right there. And I'm like, oh my goodness.

So I thought, okay, let's see. I pick up a stick. So I pick up a stick and I'm sitting there.

You're about to be embarrassed for your pastor, but that's okay. So I got this stick and I'm trying to push the coins in there, but the sticks keep breaking. And I'm trying to push the coins in there, but the sticks keep breaking. And I'm sitting there going, oh, come on, come on machine, come on. And about that time, some people come around the corner. Hi, how you doing? They said, do you need some change?

No, it's broken. It really, that's what happens sometimes. And those people need what we're offering here. The reality, not pomp and circumstance or empty ritualism, but the reality of Jesus Christ. And this is a place those people can come and be real and be themselves and experience the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. And they do that through the teaching of the Word, but we have to keep that in front of us. Why? Because anything that gets in the way of that, we need to get it out of the way.

Now, bear with me. This is the first part. The next part is to teach. Teach what? Well, we could label this, the we ones, the kids, the youth, and adults. We could label this as discipleship, or you could say reach the unsaved and teach the saved, would be a good way to break it out. Now, see, those two things are what we're about, reach and teach. It's so important that we do both of these things, and that you understand both of these things are important.

You know why? Because here's what happens in the church world. They look at the reach part, and they go, well, we got to reach the unsaved. Amen. Work together on that. And they say, okay, so what we need to do is we need to remove everything that's in the way of that. Amen. We're still on the same page. Oh, and you know what? We need to water it down so it's a little easier going down. We need to get away from talking about absolute truth and sin and hell and the law, which leads you to the good news.

Let's not talk about the bad news. Let's just affirm people and make them feel good, and we'll draw them in that way. Yeah, you'll draw them in that way, but what are you drawing them to?

What are you drawing them to? See, and here's what happens. I was talking to a guy yesterday, local church, and he's been there for years and years, but he wants to leave the church. You know why? Because every Sunday morning, everything is about a gospel message to the lost. Sounds good, sounds noble, right?

Problem is 80, 90, 95% of the people that are sitting there on Sunday morning are believers, and they're wanting meat, and they're getting milk. So that's why it's important that we understand we want to reach the lost, and we want to teach the saved. And this is a place where you can bring unsaved people and know that it's going to be a safe place. And this is a place that you know on Sunday morning there's going to be an invitation. There's going to be an invitation. There's going to be a gospel presentation, and there's going to be an invitation. There's not just going to be milk. There's going to be meat. There's going to be meat for those who are already saved, and there's going to be an offering of the gospel. I tell you, quite honestly, when I'm preparing my teachings, I try to present three things, milk, meat, and the gospel. In other words, if somebody's a young Christian, I want them to get something that they walk away with. If they're an older Christian, I want to give them something to ponder and to think about and to change the way they live. If they're not a believer, I want them to understand what the gospel is. And at the end of that, giving them an invitation to respond to that.

So teaching or discipling, you can say, okay, well, you know, how do you know when that happens? Well, it's pretty straightforward because you guys begin to change, and I can watch it. And it's awesome. It is awesome to see people walk in here and, you know, they don't like this, and they don't like that.

Not that any of y'all ever did this. This is a whole other group of people. And they kind of think it's about them.

Why? Because that's the way they've been taught. But then they begin to understand it's not about them.

It's about Jesus. They begin to understand the concept that they should be serving. They begin to understand the concept that they should be giving. They begin to understand the concept they should be loving one another.

And it's so awesome to see people begin to change and begin to walk in those things. And if you're not loving, giving, serving, you're not there yet. That's a part of being a mature believer in the body of Christ. You know, we talked Sunday about the four things, about praying, was it praying, giving, serving, coming. Those are four important things.

So that's the teach or the disciple part. What about the reach part? How can you see when that's working? When that's working. It's not hard here.

It's not hard. You'll see it just about every Sunday morning. As the invitation is given, and week after week after week, this altar fills up with people.

Some people coming back to the Lord, some people getting saved. It's an awesome, awesome thing. Now here's something else that's convicting to me that I'm going to share with y'all. What should our response be to that? See, in the past, you know, and you've seen me do this, and some of you probably wondered why I did that. You know, I'd say, hey, let's give the Lord a hand for what is happening this morning.

And some people are like, yeah, and some people are like, and some people are like, go to lunch. But what should, as believers, what should our response be to that? What happens in heaven? Luke, chapter 15, verse 7 says, I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15, 10, parable of the lost coin. Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

One, just one. And yet every Sunday morning, there's more than one. Luke 15, 20, parable of the prodigal son. And he arose and came to his father, but when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet and bring the fatted calf here and kill it and lift it up and put it on his neck and put it on his ear and kill it and let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found and they began to be merry. I've pointed out before, the only way the father could have seen him from a long ways off is if he was sitting there watching and waiting. You realize that's what goes on here on Sunday morning. The father looks down and somebody's heart gets stirred and they, you can see them, they're, I should, I really should, I should go down there.

I should really go down there. And the father's looking and he's drawing them and then they stand and the father's like, yes. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.

Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days in Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again.

So congratulations, friend, you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If you prayed that prayer with David for the first time, we'd love to hear from you. You can call us toll free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ.

Modern life just keeps getting busier and busier by the day. As a result, a lot of Christians are missing out on the life-giving nourishment of daily time in God's Word. That's why Pastor David McGee wants to help revitalize your spiritual health by sending you his video message titled, A Checkup from the Neck Up. This resource shows you how to meditate daily on God's Word so that His truth can transform your life. A Checkup from the Neck Up is our way to thank you for your gift this month to help more people on this station and beyond cross the bridge from death to life. So please visit CrossTheBridge.com now to get your copy of A Checkup from the Neck Up.

You know each day comes with its share of stresses. So what better way to wake up than with an encouraging word from the Lord? Visit CrossTheBridge.com and sign up now for David McGee's email devotionals. Each devotion includes scripture and a message from the heart of David McGee. It's easy and it's free. Sign up today at CrossTheBridge.com. And be sure to join us next time on Cross the Bridge with David McGee to hear more from the book of Joshua. We'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-02 03:24:17 / 2023-09-02 03:35:22 / 11

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