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April 23, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ I can get through the next week I can get happens to the best of us remember when God spoke to Moses on the burning bush years as a sheepherder and God tells him what he wants to go back to Egypt and Libya. People in five different times. Moses said what I am not.
I don't do. See, that's what ends up happening when you live by the words I cannot guarantee something will never leave the not ever really say joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana joint Pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows us how God's word. Our world is these words. These are words written in the book of Joshua chapter 21 so the Lord gave Israel all the land which he had sworn to give their fathers, and they possessed and they lived in it.
And the Lord gave them rest on every side, according to all that he had sworn to their fathers, and not one of their enemies stood before them. He says the Lord gave them their enemies into their hand and not one of the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed every one of them came to pass, those words are written after Israel would spend 400 years in slavery and 40 years wandering in the wilderness and then these words are written and in seven years time they conquered seven different nations.
They defeated 31 kings and they grabbed 10,000 mi.² of land.
Seven years of unimaginable success and blessing now would like you to think about your life up till now all the struggles all the failures the heartbreak and the disappointment when you like. These words written you that you like these words to describe what your life can be like in the next seven years I have is blessing you have rest on every side there's nothing that can slow you down or stop you and all winter like that to be your words. Now I know that you're not facing Jericho, but all of us face. What seems to be insurmountable obstacles in our lives are not being stopped by the Canaanites. But for many of us were being stalked by disease or divorce or disappointment for some of you the challenges just seem to grading your life and for others. I think you just run out of fight you just sort of reconcile your fact, your life is not going to get a lot better but that's not true. The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament.
He likens the Christian life to the Exodus generation in the land.
It went from the 40 years in the wilderness into the promised land. He warns his readers and us that many of us end up spending our whole life as a believer saved because wonder the Passover lamb in Egypt but we end up spending our whole life just wandering around in the wilderness and we never enter the promised land and land for Israel that was flowing with milk and honey land that Jesus said Frost is a life of joy and hope, peace, no matter what the circumstances. We never seem to really arrive at those things I think there's a lot we can learn from the Exodus generation from the book of Joshua and so I want to start a new series today: lessons from Joshua and I invite you to open your Bibles to Joshua chapter 1 Joshua chapter 1 and the first thing I want to say today is this God wants all of his children to live in the promised land.
Everyone of us. God wants each and every one of us will put our faith in Jesus Christ and his finished work to live, what Jesus called the abundant life. A life full of joy and hope.
That's his desire for us.
Unfortunately, it's not the reality for many of us notice the circumstances. Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of nun, Moses servant.
The first thing you find out is Moses is dead. Now we know what and they know it even more than we do.
There's no one like Moses. There's nothing like Moses at all. Moses meant more to his people. The Napoleon meant to the French. Then Alexander the great man to the Greeks to Queen Victoria meant to the English the Pope.
Moses meant everything to these people and he's dead to lose.
Moses is to lose everything. And that's what we start the book and so God then once the respondent talk to Joshua and it's kind of surprising.
What he says the next verse, Moses my servant is dead now therefore arise across the Jordan. You and your people to the land that I am giving to them to the sons of Israel and every place on which are soul of your foot treads I have given it to you just as I have spoken to Moses. Notice what God didn't say Moses is dead, you poor people you got agree that I mean Moses is dead. Now what are you going to do.
She Moses is dead.
Maybe you need to retreat.
Maybe need to reorganize maybe need to spend another 40 years, get ready because Moses is dead. Now that's not what he says it all.
God says the Joshua. Okay Moses is dead now arise across the Jordan take the land that simple.
That's straightforward going take the land know what's interesting about that is, is that you wonder like you sure, but notice what God says in these verses.
He said the land to which, in verse two. I am giving them an in verse three says I have given it to you.
I've already done it. Now go get him. Please understand the land is no easy place to go.
It's full of-ites. There are lights everywhere there, Amorites, and Jebusites and parasites Canaanites, Hittites rights everywhere and they are a cesspool of evil.
There probably is evil culture that ever existed and there were like you see. And there were like that's very clear. He says yeah they're so despicable that for over 800 years they have sacrificed not dedicated babies.
They sacrifice babies to their God.
That's who these people are.
Remember 40 years earlier. They sent the 12 spies in the land to them came back Joshua and Caleb and he said let's go get it any other 10, said no we can't take it you see we can't they get their way to were like they have iron chariots. In fact, they use hyperbole and they said were like grasshoppers compared to them their giants in the land you can go in there and take that land and so the people didn't and they spent 40 years just wandering around in the wilderness. No Joshua faces a temptation here and it's a temptation.
You and I face, and we often fail. Joshua faces the temptation here to say two words.
I can't. I can look Moses couldn't do it. II can't.
He's mold I can.
I just can't. I can't do it ever say that I can get through the next week I can get through this night I can get through the next 10 can't a man happens to the best of us remember when God spoke to Moses, the burning bush and he spent 40 years it out and as a sheepherder and God tells him what he wants in the Google backed Egypt deliver the people in five different times. Moses said what I can. I'm not eloquent, they won't listen to me. I don't know what my going to do. See, that's what ends up happening when you live by the words I can, I can guarantee something you'll never leave the wilderness that ever you'll be saved redoing me the wilderness you spend your whole life there and so Joshua has to face that he doesn't use the excuse that Moses is dead. He doesn't say look no idea. My people don't know how to fight. We have 2 million people, about 610,000 men. We know how to fight. We never find anybody these guys are warlike tribes. What can we do against them. He never says that he also never makes the excuse that these people would just make mincemeat of mine my wallet, my people have to go and die for no reason at all.
But God said I'm giving them the land. Notice what God didn't say I might give you the land. If you go and fight hard. It might work out for him. He doesn't see no first thing you have to do by the way is you have to earn the right we have to prove you're worthy God never says anything such as indemnity. It's a done deal from God's point of view when land is yours the inheritance and that's a favorite word in Joshua. It's yours I'm giving to you know it's interesting about that is, is that we would say, but that's them so fast because he says the same thing to us. Go with me now you hold a place in Joshua go with me to Romans chapter 8 Romans chapter 8 verse 35 hears God talking to you and me through the apostle Paul in the church and the question asking Romans eight is this who will separate us from the love of Christ were tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sort which is even death is a rendering it could separate us and that no but notice in verse 37 he said in all these things we overwhelmingly conqueror through him who has loved us. If you go to church every week to see if you have some kind of ministry we pray four times a day now is not contingent on you. Paul said we overwhelmingly conqueror. He thought about you you you feel that is that I do feel you see is an interesting thing.
I've said this over and over again just to try to encourage you, but I read the end of the book, you win.
All right, you win guaranteed to win but he says look we overwhelmingly conqueror and just like with them. Look at verses 16 and 17 in the same chapter. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God and of children errors. Also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, urinary God, not just the child of God, your hair and guess what you inherit everything that Jesus inherit everything the son of God inherits and what does he inherit everything that you feel like that possess the truth. You see, that's the truth you overwhelmingly conqueror your joint heirs with Jesus Christ go with me now. Ephesians chapter 1 Ephesians chapter 1 in verse three Paul says this, he said, Blessed be the Lord God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in these words, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Notice the word blessed past tense moment. You became a Christian. He says he has blessed us with what will it says right here every spiritual blessing that exist in the heavenly places that you and me. He's blessed us with every spiritual blessing. Now if you been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heaven. How nonsensical does it seem to you that you say I can't I can't I can't get through another day. I can't I can't I can't deal with this anxiety and stress. I can't really you have everything what you need, nor that versus what you need. Nothing is all provided gotchas. I provided all for you. In fact if you look down to verse 11 it says. Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to his purpose who works all things after the counsel of his will.
We have an inheritance. Israel had the inheritance the promised land.
You and I have the inheritance of the abundant life living in the promised land. He said yours. I'm giving it to you. He says to them, and he says to us, you have to take what is yours is have to take what yours. I've given it to you to take it. You see when you have the Christian life.
You don't fight for victory. You fight from victory. The battle is already one Lord is already the victor. We don't fight for victory. We fight from it. Think what the Scripture say your new creature in Christ, is how much my past is gone, all the old things are passed away. Your new creature in Christ.
Paul even said we can rejoice in tribulation, even in the worst times James and consider all joy, my brothers, when various trials come your way, is that your experience is. Is that really what you do as long as you live in the wilderness though your life's going to be a struggle if you live in the promised land. You be blessed because your lives can be marked by faith and trust. You see that's the problem back to Joshua. He alludes to in verse three when he said I have given it to you just as I spoke to Moses he said Joshua not telling in a new 40 years ago, I spoke the same words to Moses and these people that yours go get it and they didn't. They couldn't do it at all. They simply said we can't we can do this. He doesn't want to be that way and they ended up struggling in the wilderness for 40 years with the reason this message is so important is it for a typical average church, the majority of you living your lives in the wilderness, so much so last week I was doing with a survey that was done from a church in Chicago and I said it was they had about 12% but this week I find another survey done in 2007 by the REIT. The reveal research project and they started out working for Joshua's. That's what they want to find out, and they wanted to know the percentage of evangelicals a go to church that are actually live out the idea of loving the Lord your God with all the heart mind soul and strength in the neighbors themselves living in the promised land. And here's what they decided after they surveyed hundreds of thousands of Christians around our country 11% of all the people the last week was 12%.
These figures don't lie, 11%, while not nearly 9 out of every 10 believers live their whole life and orders no joy unless the circumstances given to you see no hope, no peace unless the circumstances given to just like a nonbeliever.
The same thing 11%. Now just imagine by the way, if a high school graduated 11% of their students. What would you call that school graduated 11% of our students graduate. What about if the hospital only healed 11% of the patients in the other 89% died winter. Would you go there. One of your favorite baseball football team or what only one, 11% of the games would you consider that a success.
Those that number describes us 11% that we know God wants all of us to live in the promised land.
And yet we don't know. I do believe this one of the problems is the way we view conversion. I think a lot of us view conversion is a carwash analogy. A lot of us view ourselves as a very filthy dirty old conqueror and then you go into the carwash.
You receive Jesus Christ in his finished work on a clause and your forgiving your sins and you come out of the carwash a clean clunker one in a dirty conqueror. You come on a clean clunker, but that's not the word of God says one of God's as you come out a new creature the word of God's as you know, just with your sins forgiven you come up with the presence of God in your life you come up with the Holy Spirit indwelling you the word of God guiding your brothers and sisters in Christ supporting that's what you come out with but you end up living a holy life in the wilderness as a clunker. How often do we say you know something, I'm a child of God. And I'm more than a conqueror bring life one. I wish you said that more you know what I hear. I can't. I'm a victim there's people around me and make me miserable off.
You knew my boss and it just so terrible. No one deserves neighbors. I have that's how we live will you make statements like that you have decided you wanted to spend your whole life in the wilderness. That's what he says now he goes on. He tells him what he's given them. Verse four from the wilderness of this in this Lebanese and even as far as the great River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites as far as the great sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you.
I will not fail or forsake you.
This is God talking you got it.
You see, it's interesting. Now the question is, that's God's part is how do it all what your part is when God comes in is what God says. Here's your part. Verse six be strong and courageous. He said for you should give this people possession of the land which I swear the fathers to give them only be strong and very courageous.
I know what some you think there is there. That's the fine print. That's why my life.
Such a mess is a I got it. God said I have to be strong and courageous. Your misunderstanding you seek God's is be strong and courageous. Okay billing to muster up the strength to be a better man. Don't waste your time thinking like that she is not you, it wasn't you that saved you, and it's not you that keeps you is him you see what you mean he says be strong and courageous. Okay this is what God said you know what I want to be strong and courageous. What kind of courage any good at. You need to believe me when I close it takes.
I tell you something you need to believe Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember that you can Google a great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the Fellowship in the Word online event website you will find on with today's broadcast so many of our previous audio programs as well at Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible.
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