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Joshua Chapter 23:1-13

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
April 21, 2024 1:00 am

Joshua Chapter 23:1-13

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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April 21, 2024 1:00 am

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Cross the Bridge
David McGee

I am not alone.

And you know what? You are not alone. And when you begin to feel like you're alone, you're starting to believe the lie that the enemy would have you to believe that you're all by yourself. And you're not. If you could pick anybody in this room, including God, to be on your side and to be fighting with you, you'd pick God.

Guess what? He's on your side already. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David McGee. David is the senior pastor of the bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As a Christian, you are not alone. Pastor David encourages us with this important truth as he continues in the book of Joshua chapter 23. But first, do you ever feel like God is cutting away parts of you like a gardener pruning a tree?

Well, I hope you said yes to this question because it means God is shaping you so that you can bear even more fruit in your life. We want to help you embrace God's pruning in your life by sending you Pastor David McGee's three-part audio series, Abiding in Christ, Keys to a Fruitful Life. It's our way of saying thank you for your gift to help share the truth of Scripture with more people around the world through Cross the Bridge. So get your copy of Abiding in Christ when you give today at crossthebridge.com and discover how you can bear more fruit for God's kingdom.

Now here's David McGee with part two of his teaching, You Are Not Alone. We find ourselves in the last two chapters of the book of Joshua and this begins the farewell address of Joshua. It's this chapter in the next or the farewell address. So Joshua 23 verse 1 says, Now it came to pass a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about that Joshua was old, advanced in age. And Joshua called for all Israel, for their elders, for their heads, for their judges, for their officers and said to them, I am old advanced in age. You have seen all that the Lord your God has done to all these nations because of you for the Lord your God is he who has fought for you. Verse 4, See I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain to be an inheritance free of triumphs from the Jordan with all the nations that I have cut off as far as the great sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them before you and drive them out of your sight so you shall possess their land as the Lord your God promised you.

Therefore be very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses lest you turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left. Verse 7, Unless you go among these nations these who remain among you you shall not make mention of the name of their gods nor cause anyone to swear by them you shall not serve them nor bow down to them but you shall hold fast to the Lord your God as you have done to this day. He's having to warn them not to follow the gods of the people who lost.

I mean is it just me or is this a little ironic? I mean if their gods would have been all that they would have been winning the battles. Now I could understand some confusion at that point. My God lost maybe I should serve your God. That's not what happened. Their God won. Why would they sit there and go well your God lost. I think I'll follow him. That doesn't make any sense to me that but you know such as we are we need to be reminded to follow the God who wins.

Amen. So and what's interesting in this phrase hold fast is the word tibach. It means to cling or to adhere or to catch by pursuit. I like that pursuing God. It's not that he's running from you but that we need to be in pursuit of him and making sure that nothing gets in the way and when stuff gets in the way get it out of the way because you know what and life happens and as life happens stuff gets in the way and we got to remove the stuff out of the way and follow the Lord. That theme is throughout scripture.

Matthew 6 33 says but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Now some people say well that's a that's an oversimplification. No it's not.

No it's not. My life has been such when I when I wasn't seeking first the kingdom of God everything else was in turmoil but as I seek God first everything else somehow seems to get structured and ordered. You ever notice that? So as you passionately follow the Lord the new living translation puts us first like this it says and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern. I like the way that's worded. Make the kingdom of God your primary concern. Brother sister what's your primary concern tonight?

Well I've got this problem and I've got that problem. You're not going to settle it. You're not going to fix it but God makes us a promise here that if we make his kingdom our primary concern that all this will get in order.

It'll get in place. Now does that make real sense if you sit down and analyze it? Maybe not but you know what it's a supernatural thing and let me tell you God is faithful to do just this.

If you follow him and make him your concern all this gets in order. I firmly believe that the reason that God is blessing this fellowship it's not because we have contemporary worship. There's other people out there that are doing contemporary worship. It's not the fact that we have casual dressers.

Churches out there they're doing casual dress thing. I believe it is because we are giving reverence to God's word. We are teaching God's word here and so many people come here and time after time I hear this I didn't know how starving I was till I sat in the service here and listened to the word of God. Amen. Praise the Lord.

And I am watching God bless this. You know I think honestly I could just sit up here and read the chapter and say amen and walk off and God would be blessing him because he blesses his word. This is also the easiest and the best way to avoid any type of heresy, any type of apostasy or doctrinal error is to teach the whole counsel of God verse by verse and chapter by chapter. Because you know if I go oh that one doesn't really line up with what we teach here I'm gonna skip those few verses. Y'all are gonna go he skipped a few verses.

But that keeps us more doctrinally sound. Do you remember in John chapter 21 what was the thing that Jesus told Peter? Feed my sheep. He didn't say beat my sheep. He said feed my sheep. So I'm not sure why in a lot of churches they feel compelled to beat the sheep when Jesus said feed the sheep. What do sheep eat? Sheep eat the word of God. We eat the word of God.

And so it's an important thing. And you know what? I've wondered why more people, why more churches don't teach the word of God the way we teach it here. I don't know.

I don't know. And you know to be honest I'm not responsible for those churches. But I am responsible for what happens here. And let me tell you I have a commitment. It is an unwavering, non-negotiable, not up for discussion commitment to teach the word of God verse by verse, chapter by chapter. And that's gonna happen until Jesus comes back or I go to be home with the Lord. Verse nine, for the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations but as for you no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand for the Lord your God is he who fights for you as he promised you. Again we were reminded that the Lord is fighting for him. And you know what? A lot of times we can read this and we go oh isn't that, that's great. You know the Lord really blessed him back then.

Wait a minute now. What do you mean blessed him back then? We could go through some modern history. We could talk about the war of 1967. We could talk about the Yom Kippur War in 73.

Amazing things happened. We can talk about the war that five nations declared on Israel the day that it became a nation. They didn't have an army. They didn't have a military. And five nations equipped and backed with Russian technology declared war on this little nation. And Israel won.

That doesn't make any sense. And the Yom Kippur War almost the same scenario. They were invaded by these nations again equipped with all this technology. And within the first 24 hours they had wiped out I think 117 fighter planes and not one Israeli jet had been taken out.

117 to zero. I'm thinking God's still with them. There's a little nation about the size of New Jersey that is the sixth most powerful nation in the world. That nation is Israel.

Again that doesn't make any sense. But in God's economy God's favor is still upon him. And the amazing thing is you can go oh that's cool.

That's great. That's great that God is still blessing Israel. He took him out of Egypt against the most powerful man in the world. He took him across the desert and he fought all these people the Canaanites and they had a lot of military technology.

I won't go into that but these guys were fighters and they got well southern expression they got whooped. And so then they have all this land and now they're back in the land and you can look at that go praise God I'm glad God is with Israel. No the point is God is with you. The same God that did all this stuff is on your side. He's fighting for you.

He's fighting with you. And yet at some point you somehow think you're fighting by yourself. That's a lie.

That's a lie. You're never fighting by yourself. Next life lesson is you are not alone. You are not alone.

I don't mean that in some weird UFO type of thing. I mean you're spiritually not alone. God is with you. One of the things that I used to really struggle with to be honest was loneliness. Yes I was successful in rock music and all this stuff and in crowds and in big parties and all this stuff but man I was always so lonely. I was so alone. And you know what? I'm never alone anymore. I am not alone.

And you know what? You are not alone. And when you begin to feel like you're alone you're starting to believe the lie. You're starting to believe the lie that the enemy would have you to believe that you're all by yourself and you're not. If you could pick anybody in this room including God to be on your side and to be fighting with you who would you pick?

You'd pick God. Guess what? He's on your side already.

Isn't that awesome stuff? Praise the Lord. And I understand. I understand in the midst of some battles in life and midst of some tough stuff you may be overwhelmed. You may be overwhelmed and if so you know welcome to the human race. I understand what you're saying but let me assure you he that is watching over you neither slumbers or sleeps and he will never be overwhelmed. So in the midst of you being overwhelmed realize God is walking with you. You're not alone and he's not overwhelmed. He's not caught by surprise. He's not going to look at your life and go oh well what happened? When did that happen? My goodness.

Why don't I understand? He's never going to do that. He's never going to be caught by surprise. What a blessing. What a blessing it is. 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 what does it mean when God prunes away at parts of your life? Is he angry at you? Have you done something wrong?

Far from it. Jesus teaches in John 15 that God lovingly removes things from your life so that you can grow into the person he created you to be and bear more fruit for Christ. We want to help you do that by sending you Abiding in Christ, Keys to a Fruitful Life, a three-part audio series from Pastor David McGee on what it means to be pruned by God and how you can embrace the process. This encouraging resource is our way of thanking you for your gift to help reach more people with the powerful truth of the gospel through Cross the Bridge. So go to crossthebridge.com today and request your copy of this series.

Now back to today's message. Verse 11, therefore take careful heed to yourselves that you love the Lord your God. Take heed, careful heed to yourselves that you love the Lord your God. This is saying guard your love for the Lord and that's just that's not just here. That's a concept throughout the Bible. If you remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 22 37. Jesus said to him you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment and the second is like you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

See Jesus took that first part you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart all your soul and with all your mind and if you remember in the passage in Deuteronomy he starts with hero Israel which is Shema in the Hebrew. So whenever you hear the word Shema that's the Hebrew word for this prayer. As a matter of fact if you if you go out here it used to be the main entryway into the offices up here you'll notice a little silver thing a little silver tube.

You may have walked past and thought what in the world is that? That's called a mezuzah. Mezuzah is the Hebrew word for doorway. Inside that mezuzah is the Shema written in Hebrew to remind us to love the Lord our God with all our heart all our mind and all our soul. It's important and then Jesus takes that and Jesus goes well that's not hard enough I'm gonna lift the bar here a little bit and love your neighbor as yourself just in case we thought we could hit coast with the other thing but let me ask you what does that look like? I mean it's easy to sit in a middle of worship service go yeah I'm doing that I'm loving the Lord my God with all my heart all my mind all my soul what is that? What does that look like?

There's a couple real practical things you can look at little life inventories if you will. We're told 1st John chapter 4 verse 20 says if someone says I love God and hates his brother he's a liar for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen how can he love God whom he has not seen? So you want to do a little inventory of how you're loving God how are you loving your brothers and sisters? If you're not loving your brothers and sisters then you're struggling in your love for God and an amazing thing happens as you love the Lord the Lord gives you a love for other people the Lord will do that so that's one inventory how are you loving other people? 1st John chapter 5 verse 2 says by this we know that we love the children of God when we love God and keep his commandments that's in the New Testament and it's telling us if we love God we're going to keep his commandments does that mean you never mess up? No but it means that you're following the Lord and you are trying to keep his commandments that's what that means so there's another life inventory am I obeying God am I obedient in the things that I know to do and that's a hard attitude there Deuteronomy chapter 10 verse 12 kind of parallel passage and it says now Israel what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God to walk in all his ways and to love him and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul so we keep coming back to that word all know what the word all means in Hebrew means all that's right so all with all your heart and all your mind and all your soul this verse mentions four things number one to fear or give reverence to the Lord mentions fear the Lord I've heard this put it's a healthy respect for the Lord it's a it's a reverence it's a it's an awe A-W-E it's awe of God the fear of the Lord second thing was to walk in his ways to walk in his ways we've been talking about that tonight to follow the Lord to hear his word to apply it and begin to walk in it the third thing it says again to love him and again this test of loving him as being obedient and loving others loving God loving others and being obedient being obedient to what the Lord says because let's be honest you know it can you can say you you love anybody yeah I love you man yeah I mean you can say that but do you see with the Lord it there's a commitment there I heard about a bumper sticker that said um tithe if you love Jesus anybody can honk I didn't order any or anything for the church but I thought that's kind of cool you know because I mean what's the commitment honk I love Jesus yeah I love Jesus I have a really big commitment beeping that horn won't it but if you do love the Lord you should be following him and being obedient and the fourth thing was and guess we're back to this service thing because God keeps talking about it the fourth thing is to serve the Lord this is something we're all supposed to do and what happens here is we give you the opportunity and we'll train you in the ability to serve the Lord and that's an opportunity that we all have to make a difference in somebody else's life and we talked about loving one another do you realize that in serving here do you realize that you would be serving people that are already serving you see if you're not serving here right now there's a whole lot of people that are serving you and you're accepting that service without doing anything in return that's that's not Christ-like so serving is a way of expressing that love verse 12 or else if you indeed if indeed you do go back and cling to the remnant of these nations them that remain among you and make marriages with them and go into them and they to you know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations from among you but there shall be snares and traps to you and scourges on your sides and thorns in your eyes until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you see there's a concept in here and we need to be we need to be clear on something because there's some confusion in the body of Christ about this we don't take our enemies and pick up their doctrine we don't take enemies of the faith and go oh you know that's a good point I never thought about you don't do that you pray for your enemies you even love your enemies but be very careful of being won over to a different philosophy or a different truth than you receive from the word of God see there's great compromise going on in the body of Christ today compromise where I don't get it and may I never get it I don't understand how some people can meet with other unchristian people and call it fellowship you you can't do that there's a huge movement right in this area of all this interfaith stuff it's not biblical guys now I talk about our jewish roots but I talk about it in terms of scripture and and to go to heaven let me let me be real clear to go to heaven you have to accept Jesus as the messiah there's a line drawn and and here God is reminding there is a line drawn between you and these people these people worship idols they don't worship the God of Israel and we need to remember that have compassion on them you bet you have prayers for them you bet you love them yes understanding yes borrowing their doctrine or their theology absolutely not because what we can do is water the message down to the point that it's no longer has any meaning it's no longer relevant and when the church loses its message of hope and salvation we got nothing we got nothing we have nothing to offer the world at that point and Jesus wants us to proclaim him not watered down here's what's going on in the world today is we're going okay well let's water it down let's let's put it in a palatable form let's put it in a form that tastes good and let's not talk about sin and hell and death and all those things let's let's become actually we've thought it's a mature spiritual thing to be tolerant now tolerant people use that word like it's a good thing oh he's tolerant oh don't be anti-tolerant you should be tolerant of the beliefs of you know I understand them but tolerant of them you're asking me to be okay with the fact that somebody else is going to hell I can't do that how did Jesus feel about tolerance I don't know why don't you ask the money changers I think if you ask them to go he's not very tolerant tall he's he's pretty he's pretty one-sided and never minded in this whole thing you betcha you betcha and you know what I'm following Jesus I am following Jesus and I want to see people one in the kingdom you don't know the burden I have you don't know the burden I have but you know and if you're not following Jesus and you're in here tonight the only thing that's holding you back is you it's not your goodness it's not that you got to be so good for so long so you can follow no Jesus is even tonight saying to you you know what you can follow me you can follow me well I've done stuff wrong Jesus died for those wrongs he died for those sins and he wants to lead you he wants you to follow him and it's interesting in this chapter Joshua reminds them of what God has done reminds them of what God has said then of what God would do if they didn't listen that's an important three things what God has done what God has said and what will happen if they didn't listen now very often guys we start out with number three and talking to people here's what's going to happen if you don't listen to God oh start out with what God has done because God has loved them so much that he gave his son for them he loves them so much that he wrote a book to them a love letter asking them to come follow him now certainly if somebody disregards those things and and is arrogant and is prideful then you probably should tell them what's going to happen and their arrogance and their pride if they keep rejecting the Lord 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 Jesus said he would not turn anybody away who comes to him and he came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness those who were sick not the righteous not the righteous 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 do you feel like you're bearing fruit for Christ yet God keeps pruning away at your life and you're not sure why if so we'd love to send you pastor David McGee's series abiding in Christ keys to a fruitful life this encouraging resource shares from Jesus's own words as found in John 15 where he teaches that God's pruning is a sign that he is pleased with you and wants to prepare you to bear even more fruit for his kingdom this series is our way of thanking you for your gift today to help share the gospel with thousands around the world who need to hear God's word in clear straightforward language so visit cross the bridge.com today to request your copy of abiding in Christ when you give 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 cross the bridge.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 cross the bridge.com and be sure to join us next time on cross the bridge as we continue in the book of Joshua we'll see you then.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-21 00:08:54 / 2024-04-21 00:19:05 / 10

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