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Remember and Respond #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
April 13, 2023 12:00 am

Remember and Respond #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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April 13, 2023 12:00 am

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When we hold a Bible in our hands, we hold the greatest thing in the universe that is tangible, and we treasure it. And we're not ashamed to treasure it, because this is our life.

This is our joy. This is God's Word. Thanks for joining us on the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hi, I'm Bill Wright, and as Don continues to teach God's people God's Word, we've come to the final installment of our series, The Justice and Deliverance of God.

Don has part two of a message titled, Remember and Respond. Last time, Don gave us the first two of four timeless takeaways from the book of Joshua. We must always respect God's Word and remember His power. On today's broadcast, Don will draw our attention to God's faithfulness and our response. So have your Bible open to the book of Joshua.

Let's join our teacher now in the Truth Pulpit. Respect the Word of God. Remember the power of God.

Thirdly, remember the faithfulness of God. Joshua calls his people to in these simple, direct statements that he makes to them. Chapter 23 verse 14. Joshua says, Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth.

I'm going to die soon. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed. All have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed. What he is saying is, as I am about to depart, let me remind you of what you already know. God made promises to His people and you here as my audience here today, Joshua says, you have been on the receiving end of that faithfulness. You have been an eyewitness to it.

You know for yourself that God has done what He said He would do. Therefore, be faithful. Be obedient. Don't intermingle with these nations that remain to be driven out.

There's no excuse for that. You now are under a responsibility of complete allegiance to this God who has been so good to you, is what he's saying. He lays out the faithfulness of God to them in the past as a motivation for them to be faithful to God in the future. The same for us as Christians going about our daily walk. Oh, beloved, haven't you yourself been on the receiving end of the faithfulness of God?

Didn't God come to you with power through His Word and convict you of sin and turn your heart away from falsehood, away from sin in such a powerful way that you receive new life through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? Isn't that true? That's true, isn't it? You've seen that.

You know that for yourself, don't you? You've personally experienced that as a converted Christian. Since then, haven't you seen God answer prayer for you? Haven't you seen Him provide for you in ways that were unexpected? Hasn't He made the fellowship with other Christians sweet to you? Hasn't His Word been opened up to you in your private reading and in your study, and those truths have become so precious to you and sweeter to you than the honeycomb and better than the finest things that this world has to offer? Isn't that your spiritual experience as a Christian?

Well, you see, this is the same thing that Joshua is saying. You have seen the goodness of God. That should strengthen your resolve. That should bring forth from you a heart commitment that says, even though I've staggered in the past few days, even though I have quivered at times, tonight I am going to recommit myself to fidelity and allegiance to Christ because I remember afresh all of the way that He has been good to me in addition to all that He said and promised in His Word. In response to the goodness of God, the only thing that we as His people can do is respond with allegiance and fidelity and loyalty and love and obedience and trust.

That is the only right thing to do. I am appealing directly to your conscience to embrace these things and to understand the responsibility and the privilege that is ours to be committed to our Christ in this way without a divided heart. And for those of you, especially some of you younger ones, that you've been sitting on the fence or playing the game, it's time for you to come out of that spiritual mediocrity and give yourself to Christ.

It's time to realize, even at your young teenage age, not to take for granted the blessing of God in your life. God has put you in a family that's taught you the Word of God. God has put you in a church that has taught you the Word of God. You have heard more of the Word of God than what billions of people will ever hear in their lifetime.

And you're responsible for that. And you've seen from a distance the goodness of God. Now it is time for you to submit yourself to Christ and to hand your life to Christ that you might serve Him in the allegiance of which He is worthy.

To turn from your sinful life and to give yourself to Christ and ask Him to save you. It is time for that. It is wrong. It is disobedient. It is dishonorable for you in light of the goodness of God that has been shown to you to stand at a distance as if that didn't apply to you.

Of course it does. And you're responsible for it, young people. Look at Joshua chapter 24 verse 2. Joshua reminding them of the faithfulness of God. It says in verse 2, as he speaks to all the people, Thus says the Lord the God of Israel, From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the river, namely Terah the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods.

Abraham was a pagan before God called him. Then I took, this is God speaking, then I took your father Abraham from beyond the river, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it. But Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt by what I did in its midst, and afterward I brought you out.

He's given them a summary of the Pentateuch, isn't he, in just a few short verses. Verse 6, I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea, and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. But when they cried out to the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them.

And your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt, and you lived in the wilderness for a long time. Verse 8, I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you. So, what Joshua's doing here is he's recounting the faithfulness of God, going back generations, going back many centuries to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he gives them the whole sweep of biblical history up to that point, and says, look at the way that God has acted upon his people, and for his people. He made promises to Abraham, and here you are 700 years later enjoying the benefit of it. Here you are, now you are in the land which Abraham only heard about in promise.

Even Moses didn't get to come into this land, and here you are in the midst of it. God has blessed you, God has been good to you, God has been faithful to you. Look at verse 13, and he squeezes out, God squeezes out any sense of pride or self-accomplishment from the people as he reminds them of his faithfulness. I gave you a land on which you had not labored, in cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them, you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.

The faithfulness of God, the goodness of God. Here you are, you have all of these rich blessings given to you as a gift, given to you out of my faithfulness, God says to them. I have given you things that you did not earn, but now you enjoy the blessing of them. Flash forward 3,500 years to today, here we are standing in Christ in the sufficiency of his merit, the sufficiency of his blood, all of our sins forgiven, the Spirit of God dwelling within us, the hope of heaven certain for us, endless ages of perfect bliss and joy and peace ahead of us, all of our sins washed away by what someone else did for us, possessing blessings given to us that we did not earn. When we hold a Bible in our hands, we hold the greatest thing in the universe that is tangible, received from the invisible God who alone dwells in unapproachable light, and we treasure it and we're not ashamed to treasure it because this is our life, this is our joy, this is God's Word. And as we recognize the blessings that have come undeserved to us, and realize that God has mediated that blessing through this written page, then we give our affection to the page as an expression of our allegiance to the God who gave it to us.

And I'll just say it one more time, it's the clarity and the simplicity of these things out of which the conviction that makes great lives come forth. There is no one, there is no Christian who has a low view of God who will ever do great things for Christ. Never.

Never. There is no one who is not taught to treasure Calvary that will ever be a giant in the kingdom of God. And when you remember the sin from which you've been delivered, when you remember the judgment which you have now escaped by the mercy of Christ upon you, then the conviction is born for you to be someone who will stand, and that's what we want to do. Now, with all of that in mind, Joshua having reminded them of the respect that they should have for the Word of God, the power of God exercised in their national history, how that reflects the faithfulness of God, point number four, he calls them to respond to the call of God.

Joshua calls them to a decision. The Word of God and the works of God always place a demand on the will of those who hear. This is meant to influence our volition and our affections. You see, this is meant to shape us in our inner man. This is not about simply making life a little bit better for today or tomorrow.

It's not about that at all. These things that we're talking about here go to the very fundamental convictions that frame the way that you live the Christian life. To love the Word of God, to respect the power of God, to honor the faithfulness of God. Now, in our situation on the other side of the cross, to remember the cross and the resurrection of Christ.

Remember, remember, remember, and then act upon it is the idea. Look at Joshua 24 verse 14. Joshua says, having completed his review of all of these great works of God, he says, now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and truth, and put away the gods which your father served beyond the river and in Egypt and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve. Whether the gods which your father served which were beyond the river or the gods of the Amorites and whose land you are living, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. He calls them to a commitment of heart. He calls them to a conscious dedication of their allegiance. In light of everything that God has done for you, I call upon you to fear the Lord and to serve Him in simplicity and in truth, in sincerity and in truth.

Beloved, as you were nodding with the things that I said earlier, reminding yourselves of the way that God has worked in your life, there should be a sense welling up within you. You know what? I'm as committed as ever that I am going to be one, no matter what anyone else does, I will be one who fears the Lord and serves Him with my life without fear, without apology, with great trust and devotion. Well, you know the story.

You know how the people responded. They pledged their loyalty in response to this. Verse 16, The people answered and said, Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for the Lord is our God. It's He who brought us up and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed.

The Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God. Joshua says, You do what you want, my house and me, we're serving the Lord.

They said, We will too. Now Joshua wasn't content to just leave it at that because he knows how prone people are to lighthearted commitments, to say one thing when their heart isn't fully engaged in it. And so he warns them. He admonishes them in order to purify their faith. He says to them in verse 19, You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.

If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you. You young people that I was talking to earlier, let me say it to you again. I want to be as clear and decisive and pointed with you as I can possibly be. In light of all of the goodness of God that you have experienced, if you would turn away and walk away and say, I don't care, if you would say in your heart, I reject it still, understand that you are positioning yourself for an unspeakable level of judgment from God.

You can't do that. You can't trivialize these things. And what comes out of your mouth is showing what is actually residing and presiding in your heart. For all of us, when was the last time that the praise of God joyfully came out of your mouth, as opposed to just engaging in another mundane, slightly sinful conversation about the things of this world?

Your mouth is telling you what is in your heart. And I say these things not because I'm angry with you, it's because I care about you. It's because I want you to know Christ. It's because I want you to be delivered from the judgment that comes. And because I know what it's like to be a young man and to sit under God's Word and to reject it in its heart while you're in the midst of the preaching of it.

And to just let it roll off and be utterly indifferent to it. If you're like I used to be, God have mercy on them. You must fear God if you are to be saved. Look at verse 20 there again. He says, You forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods.

He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you. Well, the people said to Joshua, No, but we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said to the people, You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the Lord to serve Him. He's saying, You're saying you want to serve the Lord, right? Right!

That's what we want. We're witnesses. Joshua says to them, Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are in your midst and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel. The people said to Joshua, We will serve the Lord our God and we will obey His voice. And so Joshua made a covenant with the people that day and made for them a statute and ordinance in Shechem. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God. He took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. Verse 27, Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. Thus it shall be for a witness against you so that you do not deny your God.

Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his inheritance. There's a final touch of the faithfulness of God at the end of the book. Look at this in verse 32.

This is remarkable. Speaking of God's faithfulness. All of this being a testimony to the way that God remembers His word throughout generations. Remember when we finished Genesis and started Exodus?

The last four words of the book of Genesis. In a coffin in Egypt. Joseph was in a coffin in Egypt. And before he died, he asked the people to take him and bury his bones in the land that was to come. Here we go 400 years later. And what did God do?

What had God done providentially? Verse 32, Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money. And they became the inheritance of Joseph's sons. 400 years later.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph. Joseph being one of the great men of patriarchal times, desired to have his bones buried in the land. And 400 years after the fact, the children of Israel did just that.

Do you know what that tells us? God simply can't break a promise. God keeps his word.

We're under the hand of a loving gracious father, who doesn't miss a detail. Whether it's a promise to do good to those who trust and obey him, or to curse those who disobey him, God keeps his word. And as we've said in this series in times past, God keeps it on his timetable. Beloved, don't get flustered by what you see in the news. Don't get frightened by the advance of Muslim extremists, or homosexual advocates, or whatever else you see in the collapse of society around us. I say to you with absolute certainty on the authority of God, more certain than us getting to the parking lot before this night is over. God's righteousness will prevail.

God will not allow sin to prevail forever. We may not see it in our lifetime, but that does not diminish the confidence and the certainty with which we move forward in life. We serve a God who reigns. We serve a God who knows his people, who accomplishes his will in his time, and if we belong to him, all is going to be well in the end.

And so we can endure whatever personal, or national, or ecclesiastical setbacks we see in the meantime. The Lord Jesus Christ said, I will build my church. And if we belong to Christ, and if we walk in the Word, we will see the goodness of the Lord displayed in the land of the living.

Without fear, without fail, God keeps his promises. And so in light of that, we respect God's Word, we remember his power, we remember his faithfulness, and we respond to the call of God. Yes, Lord, we will be loyal. We will give our allegiance to Christ.

We will follow you as long as you give us breath. We set that as the high aspiration of our heart. We set that as the controlling, defining principle of our existence. And realize that when it's all said and done, that even then, we'll appear before the Lord and say, we're unprofitable servants, we've only done what we should have done. And we'll bow down and we'll worship this God who has been incredibly good, powerful, and faithful to us.

We are your destiny in Christ. And with that, we've come to the end of our series, The Justice and Deliverance of God. And Don, in an uncertain world, it's very comforting to know that God's promises hold true 3,500 years later and forever.

Well, you know, my friend, what I would say as we close out this series is just to remind you and encourage you that you can anchor your life in the word of God. You can trust him to be faithful to everything that he has said in his word. God is a God who does what he says he will do. He is faithful. Scripture says it is impossible for him to lie. And you know that comforts you in your trials, my Christian friend, because it means something special.

It means that there is security for you. Scripture says that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And so if you have trusted Christ for your salvation, you can trust him to bring you safely home. Thanks, Don. And friend, remember to visit TheTruthPulpit.com where you can learn more about podcasts and free CDs of Don's teaching. That's all at TheTruthPulpit.com. I'm Bill Wright inviting you back next time as Don Green teaches God's people God's word from the truth pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-13 04:47:01 / 2023-04-13 04:56:11 / 9

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