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July 12, 2020 3:00 pm
Make sure you don't lose spiritual ground are not moving forward your backsliding that there is no standing still listing a Bible teacher and grandma walks on living in the light and importuning her message from Joshua's last words, today's encouragement for each of us is to keep working but be busy about the father's peers and in her introduction from Joshua 22 verse five. Be very careful to love the Lord your God with all your hearts on all your strength with all your soul because you know something Joshua knew what Jesus of course told us if you love the Lord your God with all of your heart mind soul and strength.
Everything else falls into place.
As for the obedience. If you love them, you will pay if you live in your trusting. If you love and read your word if you love and spend time in prayer, if you love and share the gospel. If you love and will keep on working.
If you love and will keep on walking right you keep on witnessing the nation's so what will you do to make sure you don't lose your first love, make assignments come into your life that has crowded out that love because I think sin and the camp has one of the things it does, and when one of the dangerous was that gods are no longer be with you.
You know you will never lose our salvation, but we can think with lost if the sin in our hearts is there is not confessed and were toying with it in our attitude or thoughts or memories or habits or actions are wherever the sin is known and it put it does is rob us of how much I'm here to tell you whatever that sin is a hunk of the pleasure you get from and how much you deserve it. It just isn't worth the trade-off because you can have the sin but you can't have love relationship with Jesus. If it's forgiving other people. That's a hard one to do it, especially when they've been as bad as I've been cruel and unjust. Some of the evil and not just because I can't bear to lose my first and I forgive him for his sake. And you know what I take comfort in the fact that he is the avenger he's going to hold him accountable. He keeps the books he won't let them get by with it. So vengeance is mine says the Lord. He will repay, and I pray they come to repentance. But if they don't I just leave that with him, but it sets me free to forgive them and allow them to maintain our first love.
So it's critical as a leader that we leave from the heart that you are larger and that's how you abandon that trust. So Joshua, saying make sure that you maintain your love for Jesus, your obedience, your trust when he gives a little warning.
Verse 14, you know, with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God has given you has failed every promise is been fulfilled not one is failed. And we know that, don't wait and what we have done together. The way we have served them together now with had some disappointments with had some things that maybe were different, but God is kept his promises I can stand right here and tell you look you and I tell you for fact he's been faithful to me in the promises he hasn't kept.
I go back and look at him either.
I miss read them or misapplied them.
You know, but but there's some of those promises lately, but off the page and he has kept his word to me so I know that's and then he says in verse 16.
If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God. You don't trust them. You don't obey him. You lose your love, you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you, and I'm just going to give it.
This application, you will lose spiritual ground. You'll be like the lease in Isaiah 64. Remember the sin that caused the leaf to wither and blow away like chaff and I think that's one reason the apostle Paul said that he pummeled his body and he brought it under subjection lust after preaching to others are teaching others are leading others. He himself will be cast away from service and I think somehow he saw the danger that you could live in the past and you would know you could preach and teach. But if it wasn't from your heart. If you yourself are loving God and trusting him and obeying him and developing and maintaining a personal relationship with him. Then you could be like a leaf that withers and becomes like chaff, even though you got a ministry going out there so just a little warning, Joshua puts him here to make sure you don't lose spiritual ground if you're not moving forward your backsliding that there is no standing still.
You know you're either going forward.
Are you going back to make sure you keep moving forward.
So as you look ahead which you keep walking. Would you keep worshiping and build in your life. Those discipline that will enable you to maintain your obedience and your trust in your love because I want to tell you something we never run out of God, but I think sometimes he runs out of and we pour out, but he has to pour in and I think there are times and we can dry up and not have something to pour out because we haven't been a body you nuts if and using that example that Jesus did in John chapter 15 of the. The branch that about it in the bank. It was organically attached to the barn and so the pouring in came from the sap that came from the sap into the branch right so if the branch for some reason had an obstruction, then the sap was there but it couldn't slow it couldn't pour into the branch and I think sin, disobedience, resistance, neglect, apathy, complacency, all the things it would grieve our stand or quench the Holy Spirit are things that can come into our lives and affect the flow of that sat so although God pours into us. Could it be that our capacity to receive what he pours in a small because it is an obstruction getting rid of the obstructions that we might be still with the sap filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus said you bear much eternal fruit and for the last we want to be fruitful will have to try hard to be fruitful. You know I never saw Appletree trying hard to have apples or purging truck they just do what they do they stay planted.
They have the water in the sun and the fertilizer and in the sap comes up through the trunk and goes out into the branches and the fruit comes in its season, the and I want to have much eternal fruit that remains forever and in order for that to be have to maintain a clean channel between myself and the Lord have to abide trusting and obeying and laughing and incorporated in all that is. That's short accounts confessing your sin and not being so ashamed of it that you don't go back and tell him because he knows it. He saw he heard it.
Every time you go back to the cross like that. It's like radium on cancer and the sin is a cancer but you keep coming back to the cross and back to the cross and you plow the blood again again and pretty soon a sort of dissolves that sin and you can be freed from even the worst habits and patterns and but you just have to keep coming back to the cross and applying the so keep walking and keep worshiping. And thirdly, keep working, and now Joshua calls together the entire nation.
In chapter 24 and I just had to stop for a moment, because he called them together in verse one, he assembled them at Shechem and Shechem was a place when God called Abraham to leave of the Chaldees and falling in the life of faith and if if he would he would give him land that he would give them descendents to all the nations of the earth would be blessed Abraham left and went down to Canaan and it says he arrived in Genesis chapter 12 Abraham arrived in Canaan and where he landed with Shechem and that he built an altar and he called on the name of the Lord and God spoke to Abraham's Abraham I'm going to give you this land so Joshua gathers all the people in this very special place that God promised he would give the Abraham's descendents. And this is now what may be 500 years later. Oh God keeps his word. God keeps his word is faithful to all generations in so here he gathers all these people together it's also the place we did look at this, but after they overcame Jericho and the simple troops of the Aion.
They were defeated. Joshua got on his face and said God of you brought us in just to be defeated God's and get up you're off your face is not a time to pray. It's time to repent and they go to the camp and Aiken found the sin that's in the can't put them out putting the best and then have the challenge of going back to Aion and to retake territory or lost is very hard and if you read that in chapter 7 I think there is a chapter 8, the military strategy was unbelievable all the complications and they had to send every single soldier. The AR before they could take it but they did and after they took a about a way never again will they defeated the promised land.
They learn their lesson but they went to Shechem after a and they built an altar and they gave praise to God for giving them the victory and Joshua gathers them now in the same grassy amphitheater for Abraham and to receive that initial promise and where God given them the victory after Aion. They praise him and thank you Matt when June think that altar of stones is probably right there. The same altar that is the same on Abraham and build on data for the same one that they had after Aion they could remember look back and remember what God had done for them at Jericho and Ayotte all things are done for them now and then you the same God was going to help them in the present day, but as they looked ahead they needed to keep working and so Joshua calls them together in this very special place and tells them that's basically work working for the Lord is a choice and I know you know that it's a choice that's compelled to me because of who God is. Verse two.
Joshua said to all the people. This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said, and now he puts his message to them in the first person 18 times in this passage, he speaks in the first person.
This is God speaking through Joshua to his people. The reason I would serve the Lord is because he said and I want you to serve me and you are after arguing with them for a while and I gave him so many different excuses and ball down the him St. Anna and us in Revelation chapter 3 have opened a door for you.
Nobody can shut. I want you to walk through that open door and I told him all the reasons I couldn't and ball down to you either walk through it and call me Lord, you don't and I might be your Lord and and so I just said you know yes sir, and you walk through the open door because Steve Hallford said if he's not Lord of all, he's not Lord at all.
And so when he calls you in the service action at that point, you have no option. We serve because he says so and so Joshua in the first person is telling the children of God, but they are to keep working because God says so is a choice because of who God is and is a choice. It's clear in verse 14. Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness, throw away the God.
You they had God 20 years or 30 years after they had come into the promised land. They were already into idolatry. What a shocker. Wonder what they were busy Families God and our ministries, via God and our comfort in the plans we have for our children. What is a God that was collected along the way threw away your God, the just can't be anything you it's really called the God abandoned ourselves to serve more here I am. I just lay myself down.
You can help yourself to anything you can help yourself to everything. Throw away the gods.
He says the choice is clear. Verse 15 but if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve as a clear choice.
You either abandon yourself to serve the Lord, or what. For me it wasn't an option. I don't believe he wants to be tacked on. Darla, you know, it's like everything we do we worship him and out of our worship flows.
Our work so that everything we do becomes our service. All that we do is serving the Lord, but to do it with intentionality and keeping one out on him and one on what were doing and that we might do it with the idea that were serving him because he says the choice is clear. The choice is contagious and you all have given testimony to this very precious because he says at the end of verse 15 but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord as Joshua same, regardless of what you choose. I'm going to serve the Lord. I'm going to abandon myself to him. I'll make my life available. Verse 16 then and I just underlined it. Then when Joshua said I'm going to serve the Lord, then the people said, far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods, it was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt land of slavery. They were looking back, and he performed those great signs before as he protected us on our entire journey.
Among all the nations through which we travel we look back and listing what is done in verse 18 we looked around in the Lord is driving up before us all the nations including the Amorites, who lived in the land. As we look ahead, Joshua. We need to serve the Lord because he is God, and Joshua's choice to serve the Lord was contagious. And there's something when I saw Miss Johnson the way she serve the Lord. I saw my mother and wish you love the Lord is something contagious about business.
We want that I want that might not know quite but I want that and is contagious. Who's looking at you and saying I want Pat's. I want what you have because you worship in your walk in your work is so intermingled and coming bubbling out of a heart of love for Jesus and they want Pat's increasingly at the end of the age that kind of life is going to stand out people within the church outside the church, you will stand outsourcing like a sore thumb.
His heart thumped like a shining light like a beacon in the night you will stand out and that choice is contagious. But I want you to look at the way Joshua responds them is absent twice. We will serve the Lord will throw any other gods.
We will serve the Lord, giving them the very answer he wanted. And Joshua said verse 19 know you won't. You're not able to do it and so you wonder where they just emotional and sometimes you can make a decision in a group with every body is saying the same thing in all been praying and would been reading the Bible than would been sharing together when this beautiful place. We talk on the same conclusion and we all just say that you know because it's an emotion of the moment and did you know that was it. Six weeks after the end of the promised land and it escaped Egypt they were worshiping the Golden calf and was it a year after they left Egypt that they were begging to go back wanting the leaks in the car like in the pleasures and so he says you know something. If this is an emotional response. Don't even go there because you're not able to do it. I love the verse from Jude in the last verse was one last two verses were ones that mother had written in my first bobble and now on to him was able to keep you from calling and we can't keep this commitment only. He is able to see us through to the end.
Every day I pray Lord help me endure to the end and not just endure like some help it triumphantly that we can live for him in a world melting down that we can be that shining lights but we can't do it on our home.
I can't do it just because I decide to do it has to be the Holy Spirit in me that gives me the power and enabling the see it through to the end to be faithful to the answer.
He says people you can't do this or not able. But the people said to Joshua know this is the third that we will serve the Lord and again and again they were saying we want to make this choice were going to serve the Lord. The choices compelled because God is our God, and it's clear and we've made it and is contagious. We want what you have. Joshua and so at that point's there was nothing left except to make a covenant with them and offer them a covenant to enter into and so Joshua after hundred thousand people at all shouted in unison three times. We will serve the Lord. We will serve the Lord. We will serve the Lord and Joshua says all right.
In verse 23 on that day. Verse 23 now then Joshua said, throw away the gods that are among you, and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel, and that phrase struck me because service working for the Lord comes from the heart does and so he didn't just say reschedule your priorities or make your checklist or it was yield your hearts, and if your heart is fully yielded, then God puts his Holy Spirit therein will see you through to the end and keep you faithful so yield your hearts you say were going to serve in first things first. Throw away the gods given your heart may Joshua said all right on that day Joshua made a covenant for the people he couldn't do anything else yet led them out of the world and meant to lead them through the Jordan led them into that place where God wanted them to be yet led them to overcome the enemy stronghold of Jericho been defeated Ayotte to chaotic every other city that was before them had gotten settled in the promised land and now he was getting ready to leave. This was his last word, and he wanted to make sure that they continued as they looked ahead they continued to walk with the Lord and worship the Lord and works you the most interesting thing very encouraging.
They did these people. After Joshua left all of his days that they did this generation did. So I wonder who will be walking with the Lord and worshiping the Lord in working for the Lord because of you. The challenge that you give. But this points. He was challenging them to make a life's commitment.
This wasn't just a decision of the moments. It was, not just tech and got on it was just not response to a seminar. It was a lifelong commitment for the rest of my life until I see you face-to-face Jesus. I make the choice to keep walking and to keep worshiping in the keep working for you. So that's my challenge to you as you look ahead, we don't know what the world holds, we don't know where health holds we don't know what our family holds. We don't know you know it, but we don't have to know God knows we just have to know him so would you make that commitment is worriedly worthy of all that we can given the Lamb who was slain worthy of all honor and praise and glory and every life. The only regret I have is only have one life to lead. So would you make that commitment enter into that covenant. Look ahead, make sure there's nothing obstructing his pouring again something that would block the flow of that precious than would you make the commitment to choice that's compelled because I believe this is God speaking compelled by who he is and it's a clear choice and it's a contagious choice and it's a choice that actually is a covenant that you make before God. The keep walking. Don't neglect your Bible reading your prayer life. I'm speaking to myself sharing it with others keep worshiping Abaddon cries trust and obey him loving. Keep short accounts and then would you keep working. Jesus said in Matthew 24 would be good if that servant when the master comes finds her so doing busy about the father's work. Now here's a man with this final word. Jesus is coming, and I believe he's coming soon. Time is running out to unbelievers will lose any opportunity to work for him on earth. Jesus said as long as it's day we must do the work of him who sent me.
Night is coming when no one can work. When the night comes either at death or the rapture of believers.
Our work on earth will cease five minutes before that takes place. What will you wish you had done differently in your life will you we should talk that Sunday school class or open your home for Bible study or neighborhood prayer group are gone on that mission trip or made yourself available to your church for any service needed or written those notes of encouragement to missionaries. You always meant to write or start a worship service in the restroom when you visit your elderly parent. What will you wish you'd done at that too late time.
Whatever it is just doing now before it's too late to help and encourage you in your work for the Lord, we invite you to and Graham wants.org. It's a great opportunity to further read, study, live by and love God's word. You'll find Anne's daily blog her messages, Bible studies, books, audio and video that will enhance your study you're going forward that and spoke of today and plan to join us again for living in the light