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Get Your Feet Wet! | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2023 3:00 am

Get Your Feet Wet! | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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October 8, 2023 3:00 am

Pastor Greg Laurie gives us wisdom from Joshua 3–4, where we see the Israelites cross the Jordan River.

Notes:

The Christian life is not a playground but a battleground, and there’s not really a choice of fighting or not fighting; it’s a choice of victory or defeat.

Deuteronomy 6:23

“He brought us out, that He might bring us in.”

The people of Canaan were wicked.

When people repent, God relents!

Read: Joshua 3:4–8

If we want to enter the land of promises, we must be bold and strong!

Joshua 3:4

Habakkuk 3:2

“Lord, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath, remember mercy.”

The Three R’s of Revival:

Remember, repent, and repeat.

If you want to live in the land of promises, you must keep your eyes on God.

Joshua 3:4

When we are looking to Jesus, it will change the way we see our circumstances!

If you want to live in the land of promises, you must take risks!

If you are called to lead, you must go first and set the pace.

Joshua 3:7

If you want to be a good leader, first be a good follower.

Joshua and the people of Israel moved in faith!

Faith is like a muscle; it gets stronger through use, but if you don’t use it, it will atrophy!

If you are called to be a leader, then lead!

Romans 12:7–8

Sometimes a step of faith will not necessarily make much sense!

Remember to give thanks with as much passion as you prayed for help!

Read: Joshua 4:21–24

Judges 2:8–10

Children will remember the time you made for them. Children will remember the way you interacted with your spouse. Your kids will remember your words of affirmation and criticism.

To train up means, “to create a thirst in.”

It’s never too late for a new beginning!

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Learn more about Greg Laurie and Harvest Ministries at harvest.org.

This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

Support the show: https://harvest.org/support

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you. If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.

Well, okay. Who wants to hear a Bible study? Raise your hand. You've come to the right place. We're going through the book of Joshua, subtitled A Book of Promises. And we're in Joshua chapter three. So I want you to turn there with me today. Joshua chapter three, and the title of my message is Get Your Feet Wet. That'll make more sense in a few moments.

Get your feet wet. Let's pray now. Lord, bless this time as we open your Word. Help us after we hear this message to have a desire in our hearts to take bold steps of faith. And to trust you, even when we're facing great obstacles and difficulties. Help us to see how this applies to us, and we ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

So let me start my message with a few questions. Are you satisfied with your present spiritual state? Do you wish you could be stronger as a Christian in your faith and even be used by God more? Do you feel like maybe you're stagnant spiritually and maybe have even lost some ground in your Christian experience?

And would you like to overcome sin in your life and take new ground as a follower of Jesus Christ? And the most important question of all, don't you think that Prius drivers should get out of the fast lane altogether because they can't seem to drive the speed limit? I want you to think about that. Not really.

But these are questions that we maybe all ask it from time to time. How can I grow more? How can I do more? How can I see more happen in my life as a follower of Jesus? Well, here we are in the book of Joshua. This is a pivotal moment. The wilderness wanderings are done. The spies have gone into the land, and they've come back with a good report. Rahab has been a great hero of the faith, and she has protected the spies, and so now they're poised and ready to enter into this promised land.

There was just one really big problem, an obstacle in their path. It was the mighty, rushing Jordan River. So it was time for them to get their feet wet. Now, for them, it was entering the promised land. But for us as Christians, it's entering what we might call the land of promises. And when you say, I'm going to go forward as a follower of Jesus Christ, you better brace yourself for spiritual warfare.

Because the Christian life is not a playground. It's a battleground. And we have to understand that it's not really a choice of fighting or not fighting.

It's a choice of victory or defeat, advancing or retreating, winning or losing. As believers, we're either gaining ground or we're losing ground. We're either going to be overcomers or we're going to be overcome. We're either going to be victims or we're going to be victors.

It's really up to us. God brought us out of sin to live a new life in Jesus Christ, a life of power over sin. And for the Israelites, God brought them out of Egypt to bring them into the new land. He didn't want them wandering around in some wilderness experience. As Scripture says in Deuteronomy 6 23, He brought us out that He might bring us in.

And in the same way, He doesn't want us as followers of Christ to be living some wilderness experience. Because this new land was pivotal to the plan of God. This promised land would become known as the nation of Israel.

And it would play an important role in biblical history. Israel, of course, would be the place where King David would be born there in Bethlehem, fulfilling the role that God had for him. Bethlehem would also be the birthplace of our Lord, fulfilling Bible prophecy. Jerusalem, also here in this promised land, would be the capital of Israel, still is today. And David would be the greatest king in their history. It is here in this land that the Messianic prophecies would be fulfilled. Because Christ would be born, as I said, here in Bethlehem.

In Jerusalem, He would be crucified and He would rise from the dead and He would ascend to heaven. And it is also here in this land of Israel that end times events will unfold. So the devil opposes this. He didn't want the Israelites to enter into this promised land. And they had an enemy in the people of Canaan. Now know this about the inhabitants of this land. These were extremely wicked people. They worshiped false gods.

They lived extremely evil lives. They even sacrificed their children to their Canaanite gods. And they heard about the mighty works of God. You remember as Jonathan spoke last time.

He reminded us of the fact that Rahab and the people in general of Canaan knew about the power of God. And if they had turned to God, the Lord would have spared them and He would not have judged them as He did. Because when people repent, God relents.

Right? When people repent, God relents. God does not want to pour His judgment upon any nation or on any person.

But if we continue to violate what He says and oppose Him and do everything we can to undermine the work that He wants to do, there will be consequences. Now take as an example Nineveh. That was a city renowned for their wickedness and atrocities.

The wickedness of Nineveh was so great it literally stunk to high heaven. And so God was going to judge it. But He sent a prophet named Jonah to go through the streets of the city and warn them, 40 days in Nineveh will be overthrown. And shockingly, amazingly, beautifully, they turned to God. And God does not judge them. The same would have been true for the people of Canaan, but they refused to believe. In fact, in Joshua 2 10 we have Rahab saying to the spies, We've heard from the Lord how He made a dry path for you to the Red Sea.

No wonder our hearts have melted in fear. No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things, for your God is a supreme God. In other words, we know your God is God, but they refused to believe. So just understand that as we see Israel conquering these people as they enter into the Promised Land. So let's read now Joshua chapter 3 as the Israelites come to the point of entry of the Promised Land and they face the Jordan River. Joshua 3 starting at verse 8.

I'm reading from the New Living Translation. When you see the Levitical priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them, for you've never passed this way before. You might underline that phrase.

I'm going to come back to it. You have never passed this way before. They will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them. Keep a clear distance between you and the ark.

Make sure you don't come any closer. Then Joshua said to the people, purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you. In the morning, Joshua said to the priests, lift up the ark of the covenant and lead the people across the river.

And they started out and went ahead of the people. The Lord told Joshua, today I'll begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of the Israelites. They'll know that I'm with you just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the ark of the covenant.

When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there. Okay, we'll stop here. And here's point number one. If you want to enter the land of promises, you must be bold and strong.

Let me say it again. If you want to enter this land of promises, you must be bold and strong. Look at verse four. They had never passed this way before. They were making history.

The problem with the people in the book of Joshua is they had never read the book of Joshua. They didn't know what happened next. They just saw this incredible obstacle before them.

But they were experiencing this all real time. And by the way, this is a whole new generation because you might say, well, wait, didn't they see the parting of the Red Sea? Actually, they didn't. Those were their parents that saw it. And that generation was gone. They died in the wilderness.

The only survivors of that first generation were Joshua and Caleb. They heard about it, but they didn't see it for themselves. Now they need to see their own miracle, reminding us that every generation needs to have their own encounter with God. You know, the job of my generation and the generation before me and the generation before them is to pass these truths on, right? Pass these truths on to the next generation.

And then they need to have their own encounter with God. Habakkuk 3, 2 says, Lord, I've heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds. Lord, repeat them in our day and our time.

Make them known. And in judgment, remember mercy. That should be the prayer of you who are younger.

Lord, we've heard about what you've done in the past, and it's awesome. But we want to have our own spiritual awakening. We've heard about the Jesus movement, but we want our own Jesus revolution.

That's a prayer that you should all be praying. You know, when we made the Jesus revolution film, our hope was to sort of take people back in time and have them almost experience it for themselves. And we wanted you to feel as though you were there. And I think the movie did a pretty good job of that. I had a lot of people tell me how moved they were as they watched this film, and they've watched it over and over. And some people have watched it so many times.

It's almost weird, but I like it, you know. I love that people have really come to identify with this film. But there's a statement I've made before. The fame of revival spreads the flame of revival. So we thought if we told a revival story in a way that people could almost experience it and feel it, then maybe they would say, Lord, do it again in our generation.

And we've had a lot of people pray for that. But here's what I say to you. If you want to see a revival, do revival-like things. Don't wait for something to happen.

Just go do it. You say, I don't understand what you mean. Well, let's go back to the Jesus movement as a point of reference. We had a passionate love for the study of the Word of God. Everybody came to church with a Bible. You know, when I guest speak, which is not that often, but I go to another church, I can take the spiritual temperature of that church in about four minutes when I begin to preach. Number one, I notice if people are or are not carrying Bibles to church. If no one's bringing a Bible to church, I think, this is not a good sign, right?

I know you have it on your tablets and your phone, so we're going to excuse you. But I actually think it's a really good idea to get yourself an actual Bible, a Bible. See, this is a Bible. Get a Bible and bring your Bible with you to church and mark up your Bible. Because a Bible that's falling apart is usually an indication of a life that isn't, okay?

But still, you know, you can follow along in your tablet or phone, too. But we love the Word of God. We loved worship. People engaged in worship.

Check this out. No one was ever late for church, and they didn't leave early. These are just things that we did. We can do these things today. We can have that same passion for the Word of God. We had a desire to share the gospel. It wasn't uncommon when you would just be out and about on a Saturday afternoon to see people walking around telling other people about Jesus. Yes, Lord, send another awakening.

We want to see that again. Why do you need another awakening to do that? Just go out and start talking to people about Jesus again, you see? And you will have a personal revival. It will revive you. So if you want to see revival, do revival-like things.

Going back to what Jesus said to the church of Ephesus in the book of Revelation, he says, loose paraphrase, I know you guys are working hard, you're discerning, you're doing everything right, but I have an issue with you. I have this problem. You have left your first love. But then he says, so remember from where you have fallen, repent and do the first works quickly. Hey, you guys, you used to have a greater passion for me.

You seem to have lost it. So here now are the three R's of getting right with God. Remember, repent and repeat. So I remember, oh, there was a time when I was closer to Jesus. There was a time when I started every day with the word of God.

There was a time when I did engage people with the gospel pretty much wherever I went. Remember, now repent. Lord, I'm sorry I'm not doing that. Now repeat.

Go back and do those first works quickly. So Joshua said, you guys, you've never passed this way before. Maybe I'm talking to somebody right now who's in a new season of life. Maybe you've just moved out of your parents' house. You are 50, but still, you've done it, so that's good.

And they're very happy about that, by the way. Maybe you're newly married. Maybe you just had your first child. Maybe you've started a new career. Or maybe you've started a new ministry and you're kind of afraid. I don't know what's going to happen next.

You've never passed this way before. God was with the people of Israel. He'll be with you as well. Point number two, if you want to live in the land of promises, keep your eyes on God. Keep your eyes on God. The key for the Israelites was the Ark of the Covenant. Look at verse four. They had to keep their eyes on the priests and the ark leading the way. Verse four says, when you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them. The Ark of the Covenant.

Now many of us know more about it because of the Indiana Jones film. And we think, isn't that stored in a warehouse somewhere? Well, there was an Ark of the Covenant given to the people of Israel.

It's mentioned, by the way, 16 times in chapters three and four. What was in the ark were the commandments of God. The Ten Commandments were in the ark.

Aaron's rod and a jar of manna. It was a visible symbol of the presence of God. So the priests would pick it up. They would carry it on their shoulders. They were not to put it on a cart.

They were to carry it by hand. And that visible symbol of God's presence was to be at the forefront of what they are doing. So the people of Israel are told, keep your eyes on the ark and keep your eyes on the priests who are leading the way.

And the same is true for us. When you're going through life following Jesus, keep your eyes on the Lord. Don't put your eyes on people because people are going to let you down. People are going to disappoint you. Guess what?

You're going to disappoint someone, right? And so keep your eyes on the Lord, as the author of Hebrews 12 says, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. Lay aside the weight and the sin that so easily besets you. He says before that, and keep your eyes on the Lord. I don't want to go anywhere if God isn't going there first. I want to be where the Lord is. I'd rather be in a lion's den with Jesus than in a palace without Him. I'd rather be in a fiery furnace with Jesus and on a tropical island without Him. I'd rather be in a storm with Jesus and on dry land without Him.

I want to be where He is. And this is what the Lord is saying. Keep your eyes on the ark. Because when you keep your eyes on the Lord, you see your problems differently. You know, when you came to church today, I'm sure you've come with some big problems.

Maybe you had a disagreement with your spouse, or trouble with the kids, or you're not feeling that well, or you have some other issue looming large in your life. And so much so you thought maybe we shouldn't even go to church today, but you made a decision to come. And something begins to happen when you worship the Lord, right?

And now you open up the Word of God. And it's not like your problem is changing, but your view is changing. Because when you see God in His greatness, you see your problem in its relative smallness. Your problem hasn't gone away, but you see it differently. Because if you have a big God, you have relatively small problems. But if you have big problems, is your God too small? So we need to keep our eyes focused on the Lord and be looking to Him as we're going through our challenges.

Point number three. If you want to live in the land of promises, you need to take risks. Here was their challenge. You have to cross the Jordan River. This is flood season. This river moves at about 10 miles per hour. There's no way you want to cross this river with your little kids and your livestock and your belongings.

It's not possible. So they're standing in front of this rushing river. There were no bridges. It reminds me of a story of three men who came to a powerful rushing river and they needed to get across. So their first one prayed, God, give me the strength to cross this river.

Suddenly, poof, he had bulging biceps. And he got into the river and started to swim. He almost drowned two times, but after about three hours he made it to the other side. So the other man, one of the other men saw him do that and he prayed, Lord, give me the strength and the tools to cross the river. Boom, he too had bulging biceps and a massive chest, but he had a boat. And he got in his boat and he began to make his way across. He capsized two times, but he did get to the other side. The third guy watching this said, Lord, give me the strength and the tools and the intelligence to cross the river.

Poof, he became a woman. She walked about 30 feet up and walked over the bridge to the other side. But there were no bridges here for the Israelites to cross.

There was just an impassable river, as I said, in flood season. But they yet began to walk, bringing me to point number four. If you're called to lead, you must go first and set the pace. If you're called to lead, you need to go first and set the pace. God made a promise to Joshua in Joshua 3.7. He said, today I'll begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of the Israelites and they'll know I am with you just as I was with Moses.

Wow. I'm going to make you a great leader in their eyes. King James says, I'm going to magnify you. But it's interesting that Joshua doesn't go and say that to the people. He didn't say, hey, by the way, God just spoke to me and said he's going to magnify me and make me a great leader. He says something different.

He says to them instead, in verse 10, you'll know now that the living God is among you. No pride or arrogance about it. You know, sometimes it's best to keep your dreams to yourself. Let me explain. God revealed to Joseph that he was going to be the second most powerful man in all of Egypt. He had this dream, this vision of his future, and he went and told his brothers and it did not play well in Peoria. They were angry. They were jealous.

They were resentful. And you know that story, how they betrayed him and sold him into slavery and all the rest. And then ultimately Joseph's dream came true and he was exalted to be this man of influence and power. But sometimes the Lord might reveal something to you, but that doesn't mean you need to tell everybody else. Just wait on the Lord and trust in the Lord and be humble before the Lord.

And if it is meant to be, it will be and it will happen. And so Joshua is humble about this. And I think if you want to be used by God, you need to be humble. Now you can act like you're humble, you know, when you're not humble at all. You know, you can talk so much about how humble you are. You know, I'm just so humble.

You're so humble you drop the H. I'm just so humble. Now you're British too. You're Cockney actually. You talk like Michael Caine.

That's bad, Michael Caine. But you know, you're not really humble. You can talk so much about being humble.

It becomes prideful. Just do your job and do what God has called you to do. And the Lord will guide and the Lord will direct.

Bringing me to point number five. Joshua and the people of Israel moved in faith. It took faith to put their feet into the water. Oswald Chambers said, and I quote, Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.

That's a great statement. Faith enables the believing soul to see the future as present and the invisible as seen. Reminds me of a story of a woman who came to a pastor and said, Pastor, my husband is not a believer and he does not like me coming to your church.

And he said to me, if I come here again, he's going to kill me. The pastor said, now trust in God. Have faith. You'll be fine. The Lord will protect you.

She came back a couple days later. My husband said, if I keep coming to this church, he's going to kill me. Now, now, just trust the Lord. He'll protect you.

He'll take care of you. Have faith in God. She came back a couple days later and said, pastor, my husband just said, if I keep coming to this church, he's going to kill you. The pastor said, you know, I heard about a great little church on the other side of town.

You might want to start going there. See, it's easy for us to tell someone else to have faith. Have faith.

Trust God. Then it comes to our doorstep. And now we have the physical problem. We have the financial crisis.

We have problems with the kids. We have whatever it is we're facing. And all of a sudden, our faith collapses. But we already have faith.

And here's the key. It's not just have faith. I don't have faith in faith. Faith is a power.

Speak things into existence with the power of faith. That's not what faith is. It's faith in God.

That's where the power is. My faith is in God. What is faith? Hebrews 11 says, faith is the substance of things hoped for. It's the evidence of things not seen. Whereas the New Living Translation puts it, faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It's the evidence of things we cannot yet see. So I put my faith in God.

Now, you say, well, I don't know. I believe in this scene. I have to see something before I believe it.

Oh, shut up. You apply faith in the most random things each and every day, right? You board a 747 weighing 900,000 pounds. You know nothing about the rules of aerodynamics, but you trust that that giant heap of metal is gonna get up off the ground, take you to your destination, and land. If it's even a bumpy landing, you're upset about it. But what did you put faith in? Well, put faith in the aerodynamics and in the pilots.

I hope they're not on drugs or something, you know. Well, see, that's an application of faith. You get into an elevator. You push that button. That's faith.

You go to the drug store and the pharmacist fills your prescription, and you take those pills. You don't know. You have faith that they did their job. We apply faith each and every day, and then we say it's hard to have faith. You live by faith effectively, and now what does the Bible say? Have faith in God. What better place to place your faith than God himself?

So they needed to have faith in God, and we need to have the same. Here's the thing with faith. Faith gets stronger through use. Faith is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. The less you use it, the weaker it becomes. If you don't use your faith, it will atrophy.

You need to apply it. We treat faith like it's a museum piece or something to talk about and admire where it's like an egg. Don't drop the egg.

Why is it whenever I go to the market and I have three or four bags filled with groceries, if I drop one, it's not the bag with the cans in it. It's the bag with the eggs in it, and they crack, and that's faith. Oh, we have to be careful.

No, faith needs to be used, and the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Point number six. If you're called to be a leader, then lead. If you're called to be a leader, then lead.

Notice the priest had to take point and do this first. Now, maybe God is calling some of you to be a leader. You think, well, that's very prideful to say I want to be a leader. Well, I think it's prideful to not obey God. If he's called you to lead, then lead.

I can guarantee this. He's called everyone to do something. We all have certain spiritual gifts that God has placed in our life. Romans 12, seven to eight says, if your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you're a teacher, teach well. If your gift is encouraging others, then be encouraging.

If your gift is giving, then give generously. If God has given you a leadership ability, take that responsibility seriously. If you think that maybe God has called you to be a leader, here's a good way to find out. Just lead and see if anyone follows.

Hey, everybody, come on, let's go. If you're by yourself, maybe you're not a leader. You know leaders when you see them. They just have that ability.

They have that gifting. They have that something that makes you want to listen to what they say. Follow them where they tell you you ought to go.

One definition I heard of leadership is a leader is someone who takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but when they get there, they're glad they went. I think that's a good definition. So you gotta get your feet wet, and I would encourage you to get your feet wet. You go, what do you mean get my feet wet?

Well, the Israelites had to put their feet in the water in the Jordan before it parted, okay? So we need to do the same. There are so many opportunities to serve here at Harvest. Last Sunday, Jonathan spoke.

I listened to his message, and it was a great message, wasn't it, on Rahab. But I also took the opportunity to walk around our facilities here, and I wanted to see how the kids were doing. Sunday school, so I went up there, and I was so impressed with everything that I saw, and I was amazed at the volunteers. So many people volunteering their time. These people are not paid.

They're not on staff here at Harvest. They're just people that say I want to help out, and here's another thing I noticed. They did it with joy. Everyone from Sunday school teachers to people doing security to people helping people park their cars to folks helping people find a seat to whatever it was people were doing. They were having a good time, and it doesn't surprise me because it's a joyful thing to serve the Lord, isn't it?

It's more blessed to give than to receive. I saw that joy. I saw that commitment.

It impressed me. So here's what I would encourage you to do. You need to be serving here at the church. You need to find a place where you can use the gifts that God has given you. Now you say, well, how do I know what God has gifted me to do? Here's the answer. Volunteer for everything.

Literally, volunteer for everything. One person agrees, thank you. I'm gonna call on you later, and I know who you are. Black hat, black shirt, got you. But thank you. He took his hat off. Bald guy with beard. Bald guy who put his hat back on.

Okay, only bald people can call out bald people. Okay, I'm just saying. Anyway, so here's what I mean by volunteer for everything. It's like process of elimination. Sometimes, though, find out what I'm good at.

I have to find out first what I'm not good at. I remember back in the early days of the Jesus movement that bands were starting every week, this new Christian band every week, and they'd put them up on the stage, and they'd play, and I was at some little home Bible study, and we were singing some song. One guy wrote a song. He was a good songwriter, singer, and another guy played a beautiful flute, and I was sort of keeping beat on a coffee table, and they said, let's form a band, and all of a sudden, we had a name, and we went over to Calvary Chapel. We're a brand new Christian band. We want to play tonight. Okay, you can play tonight, and next thing I know, I am on a stage with a conga drum.

I've never played a conga drum before, but because I kind of kept beat on the tabletop, I was in the band. I did it. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, and I said, I never want to do this again. I don't have any skill here whatsoever, but you know, you just get out there. You volunteer. It doesn't always go great the first time, right, but then you do it again, and then you say, maybe God's called me here. Maybe God's gifted me here, so there's one final point I want to make, and we'll wrap this message up, and it is this.

Remember to give thanks with as much passion as you prayed for help. Remember to give thanks with as much passion as you prayed for help, so the Israelites step into the water following the priests who have the Ark of the Covenant aloft where everyone can see it. Suddenly, they're going through the water.

It pulls away. Now, it's different than the Red Sea. When they came to the Red Sea, their parents saw this. They didn't, but they came to the brink of it.

Moses holds up his staff, and the Red Sea parts, and it's like walls of water on each side. The difference here is they had to get in the water. How high did it go? It's moving fast. Maybe it got up to their ankles.

Maybe up to their knees. I don't know, and all of a sudden, whoom, the water pulls aside. They walk over to the other side, and that brings us to this last point. Go to Joshua chapter four. They are to commemorate this event with stones of remembrance. Joshua four, verse 21. Then Joshua said to the Israelites, in the future, your children will ask, what do these stones mean?

They piled up a bunch of stones. You can tell them this is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground. For the Lord your God dried up the river before your eyes. He kept it dry until you were all across, just as he did at the Red Sea when he dried it up and we all had crossed over. He did this so all the nations on the earth will know that the Lord's hand is powerful and that you might fear the Lord your God forever.

We'll stop there. So, as I said earlier, it is our job to pass on what we have learned to the next generation. We don't want to live in the past, but we don't want to forget it either. It's good to keep a record of what God has done. My wife has a little notebook where she writes prayer requests down. She'll say, do you know what we were praying for on this day one year ago?

I'll say, know what? She said, we were praying about this. I remember, oh wow, that was a big thing. We were wondering how we were going to get through that challenge. Look how the Lord answered that prayer. When you reflect back on what God has done for you in the past, it helps you as you're facing the present and then looking forward to the future. Let me ask you, has God been faithful to you in the past?

Yes or no? Yes, okay. But sometimes we have spiritual amnesia. We forget what the Lord has done. So it's good to commemorate these things.

They were to set up 12 stones. We need to remember as well. You know, the thing is is sometimes people want to live in the past and they don't want to move forward into the present and certainly not into the future and that's not a good thing. I like to hang out with younger people. I love to hang out with my grandkids.

I've told you that before. But I like to spend time with younger people in general and one of the reasons is is when you hang around old people and I am an old person, that may come as a shock to me. But sometimes when I hang around older people, it's not long until everyone starts talking about their latest operation, right? Or their newest ache or pain and that just gets kind of old to me, frankly. You know, old people like to say things like back in my day, right? Or I'm just gonna sit here for a minute and rest my eyes. Okay, whatever.

Let's go get the early bird special. Yeah, okay, old people. Hanging around young people, sometimes you don't even know what they're saying anymore.

They have their own language. I was sitting with my granddaughters the other day and one of them said, that's sus. I said, what? She said, that's sus. How many of you know what sus means? Don't act like you do. All these younger people here, the rest of you, you don't know what it means.

No, you may. Sus means suspicious. So if I see something that doesn't look right or someone doesn't seem right, I'll say he's sus. So if some kid says you're sus, that's not a good thing. Just be aware. And I heard that one of my granddaughters said to her mom the other day, bro, listen. I'm your mother.

Stop calling me bro. Right, and there's another one. They have Riz.

They have Riz. You ever heard that one? How many of you know what that means?

Okay, you guys. That's a good thing. If you have Riz, it means that you have charisma. It's short for charisma. So if someone, some kid says you have Riz, thank you. You're sus. Wait, what? We'll never find that out. If you hang around young people, you'll be around old people saying things like that's hunky dory and that's malarkey.

Or that's far out, man. It's a good thing to remember what God has done. We're getting ready to celebrate 50 years as a church.

Isn't that great? So in the very near future, we're gonna have a special service to commemorate it. We're actually building a super cool exhibit that you'll be able to walk through and kind of take a trip down memory lane and look at our remembrance stones, if you will, some of the highlights of what God has done over these many years at harvest. But we're also looking forward to the future as well.

But it's good to remember these things because it's easy to forget. Listen, when Joshua finished his task, he was sadly forgotten in one generation. In Judges 2, it says, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of 110. After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.

Wow. One generation. Next generation didn't know any of it.

They had forgotten all of it. All the great things God had done through Joshua were largely forgotten, bringing us back to our responsibility as parents to raise our children in the way of the Lord. That's so very important. That's our job. That's not the school's job. That's not even Sunday school's job, though we thank God for all the folks that do it. That's not the job of the Christian school, though we're thankful for the Christian school. It's our job as parents to teach these things to our children.

And we need to take it seriously. Moses said in Deuteronomy 6, and he said this to me personally, these commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. I love this. Repeat them again and again and again to your children. Talk about them when you're at home, when you're on the road, when you're going to bed, and when you're getting up.

I love that. Just integrate it into your life. By the way, I think it's a good idea to do devotions with your kids, just a thought about devotions.

Don't make them too long. You don't need to take your kids to 19 chapters of Leviticus, okay? Five chapters will suffice. No, but seriously, you know, there's some great resources out there that you can use. I actually would recommend the New Believers' Bible that I wrote the notes for. There's a lot of little guides in there and tracks that you can follow that will take you through a lot of important things in Scripture. So you could use a tool like that, but read a passage, interact, ask your child questions, listen to what they say.

It's not for you to pontificate and sermonize. It's for you to integrate those truths into their little lives and show them how they apply to what they are facing. It's so important. Because one day we'll be gone as parents, and I wonder what our children will remember about us.

I can tell you this much. Your kids will remember the time you made for them. They'll remember all of those games you showed up for, all of those recitals, all of those events, and you were there taking pictures, you know, being crazy, mom and dad. They remember. Oh, they looked embarrassed at the time. The first thing they did when they got up there is they looked for mom and dad out in that audience.

They'll remember what did that for them. I remember hearing President George H.W. Bush make an amazing statement. He was asked what his greatest accomplishment was in life. So George H.W. Bush was the head of the CIA. He was the ambassador of the United States to China.

He was the vice president and the president of the United States. So this man, who's very accomplished, has asked what his greatest accomplishment was. He says, my greatest accomplishment is my kids still come home to see me.

I love that. He understood something that's very important. They'll remember that. Your kids will remember the way you interacted with your spouse because you're effectively now giving them a template for their future. You're saying this is the way that a husband should treat a wife.

This is a way that a wife should treat her husband. They're watching it, they're observing it, and most likely they're gonna repeat it for better or for worse. So when you think it's a good idea to have arguments in front of your kids and raise your voice and slam doors and have your kids take sides in your debates, you're doing a great disservice to those children. Model for them what they need to see. They'll remember that as well.

They'll also remember your words of affirmation and your words of criticism. Some parents beat their children down. Other parents lift their children up.

That doesn't mean we should not correct our children. That is the job of a parent. Not necessarily the job of a grandparent, I might add. Though a grandparent might need to do that, I feel the job of the parent is to raise the child. The job of the grandparent is to fill them up with sugar, spoil them, indulge them, be delighted by everything they say and do, and then give them back to the parents.

Right, so. But grandparents play such an important role right now. I've heard so many stories, as you have, of delinquent parents who have failed in their responsibilities and grandparents have stepped in. Sometimes ended up raising the child. And how important that is.

My grandparents made a great impact on my life when I lived with them for a time when my mom was living her crazy life. But we are to train them up in the way that they should go. And so this is something we all should do. Now I'm sure every one of us, as we've heard this, have thought, well, I've fallen short in a lot of these things, right? We've made a mess of our life. Maybe I'm talking to someone who's made decisions they deeply regret.

You've lost precious time with your kids, as an example. And you say, it's too late for me, I can't change. Well, you can't change the past, but you can make decisions that will affect your future. And you can say, okay, I'm not gonna live that way anymore and I'm going to repent. Remember, when we repent, God relents. God gave to Nineveh another chance. He'll give you another chance as well. Acknowledge where you've fallen short.

Ask God to help you and move forward. Now let's wrap this up and pull the camera back for a moment and look at the bigger picture of Israel entering the promised land. What was this all about? This land that they were entering into was going to be the very geographical location of the most important event in all of human history. This is where the Son of God was gonna come down from heaven and enter our world. This is where Jesus Christ would be crucified for the sins of humanity and of every person. This is where He would rise again and ascend to heaven. And this is the place that He would return to as well.

This is what it was all about. And now we're told to put our faith in Him. Put your faith in Him. And I can't think of anyone I'd rather put my faith in. Don't put your faith in objects or possessions.

They'll let you down. Don't put your faith in accomplishments. Don't put your faith in other people. You can love them and respect them but don't put your ultimate faith in them. Don't put your faith in politicians. They're gonna disappoint you.

Don't put your faith in preachers. They'll disappoint you too, except me. No, I'll disappoint you as well. I don't even have to say that.

Why did I even say that? Yeah, but I won't. I will, yes. No, put your faith in God.

That's where your faith belongs. He will never let you down. Ever.

Let me close by saying there might be somebody here who hasn't done that yet. But Jesus said, for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son who soever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Do you need a second chance in life? Do you need your sin forgiven?

Do you have the certainty that you will go to heaven when you die? If not, Jesus Christ who died on that cross and rose again from the dead is standing at the door of your life right now and He is knocking and He is saying if you'll hear His voice and open the door He will come in. If you've never asked Jesus to come into your life why don't you respond to this invitation right now as we close in prayer. Let's all pray. Father, thank you for your word to us.

Thank you for your love for us. And I pray for everyone that is here if they don't know you, if they don't have a relationship with you, if they've not put their faith in you let them do that right now and while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed and we're praying, if you want Christ to come into your life, if you want Him to forgive you of your sin, if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven, if you're ready to say yes to Jesus, wherever you are I want you to lift your hand up and I want to just pray for you. Lead you in a prayer where you can ask Christ to come into your life. Raise your hand up wherever you are saying I need Jesus today. God bless you. God bless you.

Raise it up higher where I can see it. God bless you as well. Wherever you are just raise your hand up. God bless you.

God bless all of you. I can't see you guys everywhere but wherever you are, whatever campus you're on, you raise your hand and I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. God bless all of you who raised your hand. Hey listen, every one of you that raised your hand, I want you to stand to your feet right now and I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. So if you raised your hand even if you did not but you want Christ to come into your life, just stand up and I'm gonna lead you in a prayer. Stand up, that's right. Others are standing, you won't be alone. Stand up, wherever you are. Whatever campus you're on, stand up, we're gonna pray. Get this settled right here right now. Wait one more moment.

Anybody else? You want Christ to come into your life or you want a second chance in life because you failed and fallen short. This is your opportunity to get right with God. Stand up and let's pray together.

God bless you. All of you that are standing, would you just pray this prayer out loud after me. Again as I pray, pray this out loud after me. Pray this now.

Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I turn from my sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer and answering this prayer. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. God bless all of you that prayed that prayer. God bless you. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to this podcast. To learn more about Harvest Ministries, follow this show and consider supporting it. Just go to Harvest.org. And to find out how to know God personally, go to Harvest.org and click on Know God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-25 08:04:19 / 2023-10-25 08:24:28 / 20

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