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8: Be Strong and Courageous

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2023 7:00 pm

8: Be Strong and Courageous

Crossroads Connection / Pastor Andy George

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But today, for just the next few moments, I want to preach a message that's simply called Be Strong and Courageous. I want you to turn to Joshua chapter 1. And I think this is a very timely message for us as we explore the words that God spoke Joshua when Joshua was stepping in to lead an entire nation on the heels of Moses, who had been their leader up to this point. So Joshua, just real quickly before we read, we're going to be in Joshua 1 verses 1 to 9.

That's our main text. And I want to give us four reasons why you and I need strength and courage today. So four reasons why we have to have strength and courage, how God gives us that strength and courage for what we have to do today. And what's amazing is Joshua is the next up. And Joshua is known as a military leader. So in the Old Testament, you have different leaders that are leading the nation at different times.

Sometimes there are military leaders, then it was the judges, and eventually it was a king. But at this time, Moses, who is one of the greatest leaders, not just in scripture, but probably arguably one of the greatest leaders of all time, who had just led millions of people out of Egypt. They've been wandering the desert now for years, and now God is taking Moses away. So Moses goes up to the mountain and he dies in the mountain. He's of good health, good eyesight, as scripture says, but it was just his time and God just took him because it was time for the next generation to enter the promised land.

And you can imagine this moment with me. Moses, who had been raised in Egypt, his parents basically put him in a river. He's raised in Egypt as an Egyptian. He murders a guy in Egypt, escapes and flees Egypt. Years later, this is Moses as the burning bush experience where God tells him, go free my people. He goes back into Egypt to the Pharaoh.

This is where the plagues come in. And he leads not just a few hundred thousand, but millions of people out of Egypt. They've lived there for 400 years enslaved.

So God's people, the Israelites, the Hebrews were slaves for 400 years in Egypt. And so they're now out of Egypt, parting the Red Sea. Moses is leading them, and he sends spies into the promised land because here's one of the reasons why they left. Because God told them, take my people, get out of Egypt, and I've got a promised land for you.

I've got a place for you to go that flows with milk and honey that my people, my nation can thrive. And so once they get out into the wilderness, Moses sends spies into the promised land. There's 12 spies to go. The reason why there's 12 spies is because there's 12 tribes. So somebody from each tribe goes. And they all go. When they come back, only two spies say, let's go take it. We can conquer it.

We can take it today. One of them is Joshua. Ten of them say, we're not going. There's giants in the land. We're going to get destroyed. We're going to lose. That was the heart of most of the tribes of Israel.

Can you imagine that? You just saw God split the Red Sea. You've heard God's voice shouting from a mountaintop, and now you're too afraid to actually go get the promised land out of fear. They said, we're not going to go. So this is what God says.

Okay. You and your generation will never see the promised land then. But Moses led them. Moses gets to the top of the mountain. And it's a heartbreaking verse. In fact, if you want to read a great ending to a life, read the last couple of chapters of the book of Deuteronomy. The last couple of chapters of the book of Deuteronomy is Moses' farewell address to the people. It is powerful.

It's powerful. But Moses goes to the mountaintop and there's a verse in the Bible that says, Moses can see the promised land and he never goes in it and he dies on the mountain. God takes his body and God actually buries Moses' body so nobody knows where it's buried. You might say, well, why is that? These are the Israelites that at any given time, they're going to build a golden calf to something.

That's why. So these Israelites leave Egypt, but Egypt hasn't left the Israelites yet. So they're still kind of stuck in their old ways. My thought is that if they had Moses' body, what do you think they would do? They would sit there and just worship Moses and never leave that spot.

They would just make him one of their gods and they would just do that. So instead, God takes them, God removes his body, and now, Joshua chapter one. Now God is having a conversation with Joshua where he is basically telling Joshua on repeat, be strong and be courageous. Because everything I told Moses is going to happen to you, but you've got to be strong, you've got to be courageous, and I'm going to be with you every single step of the way. So let's now read Joshua chapter one, verse one to nine. It says, after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses' assistant, Moses, my servant, is dead.

That was his opening line to Joshua. Now therefore, get up, go over the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I'm going to give them to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given you just as I promised to Moses.

From the wilderness in this Lebanon, as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the great sea toward the going down of the sun will be your territory. No man shall ever be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you, I will not forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you will cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous. Be careful to do according to all the law that Moses, my servant, commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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. Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Here we go, four reasons why you and I need strength and courage today.

Number one is this, based off what we just read. The first one is because you and I need strength and courage just to simply move forward. Just to simply move forward. Sometimes we need strength and courage in our life just to get up and get on with our life. Just to get up and actually move towards the direction that God's calling us to go towards. That takes strength, that takes courage.

That was the very first message that the Lord spoke to Joshua, listen Moses is dead, he's done, his time is over. So get up and get moving. Yet I find often times in our life we get stuck. You ever been stuck before? Stuck maybe financially, educationally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.

So we get stuck. And I'm just here to tell you that some of you in this room, you're living in the past. You're stuck in the way things used to be. You're stuck in how things used to get done. You're stuck in the past failures of your life. You're stuck in past sins of your life. Some of you are stuck in past successes. You're the people at the T-ball game going crazy for your kid.

Listen, you're 48. You can't run the first base anymore without pulling a hamstring, it's over. It's done.

It's done. Your game of basketball is now called horse, that's your level. You play horse, you stand on one spot, you're like, oh, off the backboard, boom. H, that's your level now. You're not going to make it anymore. You're not making it to the league. Get over it.

Get on. Some of you are stuck in your past success in business and the heydays of how I used to be, but you haven't done anything in 20 years. See, we get stuck sometimes in life, don't we? We all get stuck. We get stuck, we get in ruts, we get times in our life where we just feel like we've been in the same spot for so long. And I think that just like the Lord spoke to Joshua, some of you this morning need to hear, just get up, get moving. God's got a plan for your life.

God's got something next for you. The thing that used to be is no longer, I think sometimes, and I know this is true in my life and others, you get so stuck in now and what used to be that you kind of miss what God has for you next. Or you miss what's actually that step forward. And sometimes it's just that strength and courage, sometimes literally just to get up and just move, just to go forward in life. We need strength. We need courage. Nelson Mandela has a great quote around courage. He says, I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. So it's not that we don't ever feel afraid, right?

We have those moments where we feel the caution or we feel a little fear. But what courage is, courage is actually, well, I'm going to, I'm going to let go and I'm going to move forward. I'm going to let go and I'm going to step into the unknown. I'm going to let go of what used to be and I'm going to grab a hold of what's next.

I'm going to move forward. Have you ever done a high ropes course, by the way? Did you ever do a high ropes course before?

There was a time I took a bunch of students from here years and years and years ago when I was a student pastor and we were on a retreat and at the retreat there was this high ropes course and it was really high, like really high up there. I do not like heights. I am not a heights fan. I don't mind roller coasters because I'm strapped in, but I like ladders, like nope.

At Christmas time, it's a running joke in my neighborhood. I'm holding the ladder and Stacy's up on the roof and I'm mad enough to admit that. I don't care. I'm not going up on a ladder.

I'm like, Stacy, you weigh 100 pounds. If you fall, you're just going to float to the ground. If I fall, I'm hitting that ground hard.

Like there's going to be a hole in the ground. I'm not going on a ladder. I'm not going up there.

That kind of hurt my feelings because you laughed at that. And so we're up on this high ropes course and as the fearless leader, remember I don't like heights. I went first.

I didn't make it past the first thing. And then in order to get down, guess what you have to do? You got to let go and like literally fall. And they're like, don't worry, I got you. I'm like, you're a 14 year old kid. Like, what do you mean you got me? Like, no, trust us, we got you. And I swear I probably was up there for like 20 minutes.

And the students were like, let's go. Finally, I got down off of there. I don't like heights.

I don't like it. But in life, in life, there's probably a lot of us that were kind of just stuck. You know, it's kind of like, honestly, the high ropes was kind of like this. It was like a pillar, like a telephone pole. And I was like, I was here and all I had to do was grab here.

That was like, what's next? And Chris, I'm like, I'm not grabbing that because it's like 40 feet down and I'm strapped in. Like I know in my mind I'm going, I'm not going to fall.

Like surely they're going to catch me. But I could not let go. I just wonder how many of you in your life, you're kind of just doing this. You're kind of just hanging on. And what's next is like right here. And you're like, but I might fall. I might fail.

I don't know what's going to happen. And hopefully I'm just here maybe to push you off the ledge a little. To say that, hey, what God has for you next, I can just guarantee you is better than what you have right now. Amen.

It really is. What God has for you next is better than what you have now. The second reason, number two is this. We need strength and courage sometimes. Strength and courage just to believe on the promises of God.

Can we just agree to that sometimes? Sometimes I need strength and courage just to actually believe in his promises. I know that might sound kind of strange, but listen to the promises he gave Joshua. And these are the promises. He says, every place the sole of your foot will tread, I will give it to you. Just I gave it to Moses.

And then he gives them kind of the parameters. And then in verse five, he says, no one's going to be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I will never leave you.

And I will never forsake you. Those are promises that he gave Joshua. In order for Joshua to go, and guess what? One of Joshua's first battles after taking on as leader, what was it? It was Jericho. Massive fortified city, Jericho.

Such walls so big that they would race on top of it with chariots. That was one of his first battles he had to face to get in the promised land. You can imagine Joshua going, okay, be strong and courageous.

Be strong and courageous. God, you said everywhere I step, you're going to give me. You led us to Jericho. And now, and because of his faithfulness, guess what? Jericho fell. And they were able to get into the promised land. This is being strong but he had to believe.

He had to trust. And then when he actually got to Jericho, guess what the Lord's orders were for him? It was, hey, here's the game plan, Joshua. Just walk silently around the city for like a week. That was the plan.

It's like, where's the host of heavenly armies coming down and just destroying it? No, you're just going to walk quietly. And then on the last day, you're going to walk around a couple times, then you're going to shout, and the walls are going to fall down. Like that was the game plan.

That was it. Joshua had to go back to the people and say, all right, I got a good plan. Here we go. You ready for this? This is what we're going to do.

Remember, massive city, massive walls. Here's the plan. We're just going to walk around it. All right, what are we going to do next? Nothing.

In fact, I don't want anybody to talk at all. Just walk around. And then we're going to get real crazy on the last day. We're going to walk around a bunch of times and then we're going to shout and the walls are going to fall down.

But here's what's crazier. The people followed him. The people followed him.

Why? Because they trusted his leadership, because he was a man of God, and he stepped where God would lead him. God's promises to reassure Joshua. But here's the promise to us.

I love the echo, by the way. By the way, Joshua's name, when you transliterate it from Hebrew, is the name of Jesus in the New Testament, by the way. So Jesus' name is a transliterated name of Joshua. Joshua means Yahweh saves. There's a lot of parallels between Joshua and Jesus around salvation, around the threat of salvation, which Pastor Lee spoke about even last week. So there's a lot of similarities of how Joshua saved the people and led the people and how Jesus saves us and leads us.

But here's an echo that I love. Did you notice it? God said it twice in the first nine verses. He said, I'm going to with you. I'm with you always.

Does that sound familiar, by the way? Do you remember hearing that Jesus also said that same thing to his disciples and to us? Matthew 28, 20 says, I am with you always even to the ends of the age. In Hebrews 13, 5, it says, I will never leave you.

I will never forsake you. These are promises that Jesus has made us. He's not going to leave us. He's not going to forsake us.

He's just going to let us just wander around without us. There are promises. Here's a few promises that I think we should be excited about.

How about the promise of salvation? That's a good promise to be excited about, isn't it? That's a good promise to believe and to receive that God, you promise that anyone, anyone, I'm an anyone, anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There's promises there. He also promises to guide us. That's a great promise. He promises to guide us that everywhere we go, Proverbs 3, 5 to 6, he says, trust in the Lord with all your heart.

Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and guess what he'll do? He'll make your path straight. There's a promise that if we will follow you, if we will trust you, Lord, that you're going to guide us on the path. How about the promise of provision?

What a great promise that is. My God shall supply all your needs, all of them, not just some of them, all your needs. But do we believe that?

See, these are the verses where I'm talking about, William. As we read those, do we actually believe it though? Do we believe that he's going to make every path straight? Do we believe that he's going to provide every provision that we actually need in life, that he's going to do that for us? Do we really believe that he's going to give us peace? The promise of peace is another one, John 14, 27, peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. Not as the world gives, but I give you peace, so don't let your hearts be troubled.

That's a promise that he has. Yet how many times do we struggle without peace in our life? Well, how do we struggle with no peace when the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the creator of the universe, just told us, I have peace. You can have peace. But do we believe that? Do we trust in those promises, the promise that will strengthen us?

I love Isaiah. It's one of my favorite verses as we think about strength, Isaiah 40, verse 31. But they who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not be weary.

They will walk and will not faint. Anybody need that verse to be true in your life recently? But did you see the first part of it, though? What did the first part say? But they that wait on the Lord, not run ahead of the Lord, not run way behind the Lord, waiting on the Lord.

Why? Because his promises are for us. His provisions are for us.

And you just never know what happens when we trust in his promise, when we just obey what he's telling us to do, when we trust that he's going to provide every step of the way. I was reminded especially about the provision and the love for God this past week when I was in Chihuahua. I was in Chihuahua City in the summer, but only for an overnight stay, a real quick stay. And then we were going to other places. And in that quick 12-hour stay in Chihuahua City, I ran into a young adult.

He was in his young 20s. And I met this young guy. And it was one of those moments where you just felt, I just felt like the Lord told me to do something.

And there's a clear language barrier there. And so I'm trying to navigate it through the interpreter because I wasn't sure how it would be taken because I wanted to give him something. And there's something that I had that I've been hanging on to that the Lord said, I want you to give this to this young guy.

And so it's kind of awkward when you're in a different country, you don't know the person. And here's this guy going, hey, I want to give you something. And so I did. I obeyed it and the interpreter helped me out. And I remember it really blessed this young man.

Well, fast forward almost a year later, there's almost a million people in the city of Chihuahua City. And I rung into this young guy again. And when I ran into him again, he came up to me and he opened his wallet and he still had the thing I gave him eight months ago. And he said that, basically, you don't know how much that meant to me because I've been waiting on something and this is a confirmation of what God's doing. And I was just reminded at that moment of what happens when we are just obedient to the Lord. And I was also reminded of how God just knows what we need. God knows what you need.

It was just a reminder that God knew that this young man needed whatever I did for him eight months ago. But he also knows what you need today. And he also knows what people around you need. And when we trust him and obey him, it's amazing how God would just open up doors for us either to be that for somebody else, but then sometimes we need that in our life as well. Third one is this, number three, the third reason why we need strength and courage.

And this is a critical one. We need strength and courage to stay faithful to his word. Strength and courage to be faithful to his word. In Joshua 1 verse 1 to 9, God reminds him time and time again to be strong and courageous.

And the reason for it, we know because he's going to send him and everywhere he's going to go, God's going to be with him. But did you notice the way that Joshua would be successful? It wasn't through military means. It wasn't because he was smart enough.

It wasn't because he had more people than the enemy. The way to success was this. Be strong and courageous. Be careful to do according to all the law of Moses my servant commanded you.

Do not turn from the right or to the left that you may have good success wherever you go. Watch verse eight again. The book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you'll meditate on it day and night. So you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it for then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will have good success. Church, I would say that that is a word for us right now today.

You want to know how to be successful, prosperous? You want to know how to receive whatever God has for you? Stay in his word. Stay faithful to his word.

And guess what? In our culture, in our time, you and I are going to need some strength and courage to remain faithful to his word. We are already seeing people fail and fall away. We're seeing pastors, churches, people just peeling off like crazy from God's word. And it's heartbreaking to see, but also at the same time, you see why? Because of the pressure that you and I are constantly feeling from the world and from culture.

We're constantly seeing this. There's importance to the law. Now, the law that God was speaking to Joshua, these are what we would call now the Mosaic covenant, which is if you're in our reading plan, you would have already read through the Mosaic covenant, which is all the laws that God gave Moses to create a nation. So when the Israelites came out of Egypt, this is important information by the way to know, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were very much Egyptian in most of their ways, which is why God takes Moses and says, Moses, I'm going to give you a lot of laws, right? How many of you just read through the Pentateuch and you're like, wow, these are a lot of laws. There's a lot of stuff happening here.

There's chapter upon chapter upon chapter, and there's basically three categories of laws. I'm not going to preach on it today. I did this a while ago. I'll probably bring it back.

I did a post on it. So important for you to know. There are ceremonial laws. There are civil laws and there's moral laws. Ceremonial laws of how you run your worship, the sacrifices they did, how you do sacrifices, how you pray, when to do all the celebration, when to do all those kinds of things, all the different meanings of all the different celebrations that they would do to be in covenant with God. These are the ceremonial laws that the priests would do and the people of God would do. That's kind of the ceremonial. We don't follow the ceremonial laws.

Then you got the civil laws. This is what happens when you break the rules. This is what happens when you're sick.

This is what happens when things happen. We don't follow those anymore, which is why we don't send people out of the outskirts of Raleigh when they're not feeling well to sit at the city gate for a week, right? You might do that in your house, but it's called the couch, you know?

So you kind of do it in your house, like get out of the bedroom, you go to the couch because you're not feeling well. But there's a whole lot of laws. Like if you stole somebody's animal, you pretty much died. Like there's those kind of laws that happening. But there's moral laws.

The moral laws we still follow. And then reading God's word, you have to understand the difference. Because this is why people today, this is why, by the way, this is why people are peeling off of the gospel because they're using flaky excuses that say, well, that's not relevant for me anymore. One more theologian or pastor abused that.

I'm going to lose my mind, William. Like the Old Testament is important. If anybody tells you the Old Testament doesn't matter, never go back to that church or person again.

The Old Testament is important. Now Jesus came and fulfilled the ceremonial laws. He fulfilled the covenant laws. He fulfilled the civil law. He fulfilled all those laws, which is why today we're not bringing out an animal and sacrificing it for all your sins.

Right? That's why we don't do that anymore. Because Jesus came and fulfilled all that. But we're still under the 10 commandments. Those are moral laws. The gospel is filled with moral laws and we're still under those. So all that to say, that's a whole nother sermon a whole nother time. The importance of obeying God's word is so critical for us. Here's a couple reasons why. I'm going to give you just a real quick, I'm going to give you like four quick reasons why obeying the law is critical.

Write these down. Number one, obeying God's word leads to a righteous life. If you and I want to know how to live our life right, it's based on God's word. It's not based on culture. It's not based on your emotions, by the way.

It's not based on your experiences either. It is based on God's word. Second Timothy 3 16. All scripture, come on, everybody say all scripture. Guess what that means in the original language? All.

Like there's no hidden meaning there. All the Bible, all the scripture is breathed out by God. It's profitable for teaching, for reproof, correction, and for training in righteousness. If you want to know how to live right, you don't have to go to some self-help guide. You don't got to download 15 reasons to be happy, right? It's right in scripture.

It's right there. That's how we live a righteous life. We have to obey it though. The other reason to be obedient to God's word is, you might not realize this, it is an actual act of love.

Did you catch that? When we obey God's word, it's an act of love. In John 14 15, it says, if you love me, you'll keep my commands. That's what Jesus says. If you love me, you're going to do what I say to do. You're going to keep my commands.

And that's still today. If we love him, we will follow what scripture says. Obedience for God's word is salvation. It is the power of salvation. Let's not forget that the good news, the gospel, the scripture, that is the power for salvation. It's not trying to argue our way to it.

It's not trying to convince somebody. It's just the power of salvation. Romans 1 16, I am not ashamed of the gospel.

And I hope I'm talking to a bunch of people that are not ashamed of some good news. It's the gospel. It just is the gospel.

It's the good news. And here's why it's the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. We also need it to share good news, the obedience and the power and the love that God has for us. It's also blessings. If we're looking for blessings in life, blessings in how to live our life, it is found in God's very word. I love the psalmist when he writes, and he writes this often, but Psalm 1 verse 1 to 2, it starts off by saying, blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked nor stands in the way of sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on it he meditates day and night. So we encourage you to read your scripture.

It's not so on the Bible that you could check the little check marks, although that's kind of fulfilling to do. It's not just to do that. There's a reason why we want you and our church to read God's word. It's because it is obedience. It is power.

There's life in there. I want to close with this. The fourth reason why you and I need strength and courage is because we need strength and courage today, right now. Not just for where we're heading, not just for what's next, but we need it right now today.

And I think that these words that Joshua heard from the Lord, I think we need to hear today. And he says this, have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened.

Do not be dismayed. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. See, this is a call to courage. God was speaking to Joshua because Joshua had to get up at that very moment. There are millions of people looking to him for leadership.

He couldn't wait for another month or year or five years. He had to get up at that moment and he needed strength and courage at that moment. Brennan Manning says this, he says, courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment.

I want you to hear this. I think it's a great quote. It is the assessment that something else is more important than fear.

Isn't that a good quote? That it's not about, it's not the absence of fear because fear is going to be around. But what it's saying is like, God, what you have for me, I'm going to assess it. And that's more important than the fear I'm fearing. That's more important than what I'm feeling. It's more important than what I'm thinking because God, what you have for me next is greater than what you had for me before. I'm going to give you a couple of real reasons why we need strength and courage today, like right now.

The first one is this, and you should jot some of these down. These are good reminders. We need strength and courage today because we have to face adversary today. We have adversity today. There's a real enemy of your soul called the great adversary that will love nothing more than to seek out and devour you. You have an adversary. And you and I, if we stand in God's word, if we actually put into practice what we're talking about, immediately, immediately you will have adversity. The moment you stand on God's word and say, this is how I choose to live my life, you will have adversity. We need strength and courage for that.

And here's why. Nobody wants to be disliked. Nobody wants to be hated.

Yet we know that Jesus says that if you obey me, the world's going to hate you. There's adversity. And we need strength and courage just to say, this is what I believe. Sometimes we need strength and courage just to say no, that this is it.

How about this? We need strength and courage today to resist temptation. Every day we're faced with temptation.

Every day you and I are faced with temptation to bow our knee to the culture or bow our knee to the God of the universe. Every day we're faced with temptation in just sinful issues. I'm so grateful for the reminder that says that there is no temptation that can overcome you because God always gives us a way out. Always. So there is no excuse that says, well, the devil made me do it.

I'm tempted. When you're looking at that chocolate cake and you started your January one diet and you're three months in, you're doing good. And then there's carrots sitting right next to it. Guess what? The devil didn't make you eat chocolate cake. You're just weak.

You just ate chocolate cake. You got to have strength and courage sometimes even in those little things. But we need strength and courage to resist temptation. Temptation is everywhere.

It's on social media. Everywhere we look, there's temptations on stuff we see, stuff we hear, stuff we feel. We have to have that.

How about this? Strength and courage to make good choices even when it's hard. Anybody feel that every single day? We need strength and courage just to make the right choice when they're hard choices. It's easy to make right choices when they're easy choices.

It's easy to make good choices when everybody else and it's the thing and it's easy. But what happens when your decision is a hard decision to make because it's based on your faith, not just based on what the world's doing. See, we need strength and courage just to make the right decisions at the right time even when they're hard.

How about this? Strength and courage to choose godly values over worldly values. And this is one that I know you and I feel the tension of every single day. Every day, all day long, there is a constant temptation and a constant pull to say, okay, I'm going to follow the world values or am I going to follow God's values?

And I get it, right? It's sometimes, it's really hard to feel like you're the only one saying, no, this is the way we're doing it. This is the way that God's doing life. This is how I follow the word of God.

This is it. And we need strength and courage for that because you and I both know we can make a list probably pages long of all the things that the world is saying is okay to do. It's okay to how we treat one another. It's okay how to act. It's okay how to live our life. And the world's already defined what they think is right, but how many of you know that's getting really crazy?

Can we just cut to the chase? It's like nuts the world out there right now. It's so bizarre. I mean, it's just so bizarre. I'm surprised at how much I'm surprised every day. Like every day I'm like, it can't get any weirder than this.

Nope, nope. It just got weirder. It just got more strange and more strange. But at the same time, I honestly think, and I said this before, I think it's getting easier now for Christians to say, you all are crazy. Like this is where I'm standing.

That's wild. I think it's getting easier. Am I the only one? Are we seeing the divide getting bigger and bigger? Like you're seeing it.

Like I'm not the only one that sees us right. Like it's pretty easy to go, oh, nope. That's this way.

But here's the reminder I love that the Lord gave Joshua. Hey, don't go to the left or the right. Just just stay on the path. Don't veer off because there's temptations every day. Oh, man, there's so many temptations every day, isn't there? Like you're walking your good Christian life. You get up every day. You're like, read your words.

It's going to be great. And it's almost like the moment you hit the outside world, it's like you're pulled in all these different directions. And sometimes they're shady. Sometimes they mask themselves a little bit, right? It's not like always easy.

Sometimes they really hide. And so we need prayer and guidance, but we need strength for that. And the last one is this. And this is probably the most critical one for all of us is that you and I need strength and courage just to share the good news. Just to share the good news. You know, you think about what the gospel stands for and you think about what the scripture is and what it stands for. It is a beautiful story, isn't it? It's a beautiful story of redemption. It's a beautiful story of good news that there's this God that so desperately is in love with us that he's so jealous for us.

The Bible says that God is jealous for you, right? But the world needs to hear that. Like, I know you know that.

But how about your neighbors or your coworkers? They need to know that. And I'm amazed at how often we don't feel the strength or we're not courageous enough just to share good news with somebody. The world needs good news. And can I just tell you, the world is open to good news right now.

When I say the world, I mean like your job, your work, your neighbors, your classmates, like the world is ready for some good news. But here's the thing. How many times did we see Jesus saying this, whether it's about his peace or his love or salvation? He reminds us, listen, remind, it's not the way the world does it. It's different.

It's different. So what God has to offer through us, this world is different than what the world is offering themselves. And they need good news. But that requires people like us here in this church to actually go give good news. Because I heard this quote a long time ago, the good news is only good if it gets there on time. So it's good news, but it's only good news if it gets there on time, which means there's people that need good news.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-02 15:11:39 / 2023-04-02 15:27:12 / 16

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