Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Joshua Part 5 - Being a cross over people.

Joshua Part 5

This message which is Part 5 of the series on Joshua  was preached at Word of Grace church  by Colin D Cruz on the  26th of August 2012. You can listen or download  to the Audio recording  of the message by clicking here 
To follow the whole series click here

God wants to bless you. He has plans to bless you more than you can ask or imagine!  Scripture is full of instances of God wanting to bless people. Some references are:

Jer 29: 11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 Eph 2:10 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
 As believers it’s not just about salvation but God has good works for us to do. It’s not just about heaven but here on earth, God has a plan for you. He plans to reward us as we faith fully serve Him.  But in our Christian life often we will hit obstacles". The least quoted verse in the Bible I think is :” In this world you will have many troubles” John 16:33. We all face trails, troubles and difficulties.
Today we will look at the Old Testament and look at the people of Israel and the challenges they faced and how they overcame it. The tile of my message today is ,” being a cross over people”.

Joshua Chapter 3
The Israelites have spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness and now Moses is dead and they are going to enter the promise land under a new leader Joshua. But it’s not easy to enter – there are many challenges ahead. There are enemies that they have to battle, but even before they do that, they have  to take the walled city of Jericho and even before that there is the river Jordan that they have to cross.

God has spoken to Joshua  and the people of Israel and He has assured them that that they were going to possesses it. The promises are there.  But there are obstacles to be overcome and there are some things the people have to do and there are some thing s God said He would do.

So here are 2 million people that need to cross over a river that is in flood. The river Jordan in flood is said to be a mile wide. In Josh 2 we see how 2 spies got across the river to spy on Jericho. Taking 2 million across is another story!

1 God allows challenges to come into our lives and sometimes they are for His glory. Eg) Lazarus, David and Goliath, Elijah and the prophets of Baal, Daniel, feeding the 5000. The Bible is full of example of people who faced insurmountable challenges.
Think about some of the challenges you are facing today. We live in a fallen world with all kinds of problems: illness, finance, relationship issues etc. The challenge Israel faced was the river Jordan. Joshua 3:15 How do two million people cross a river that is in flood?

2. How did they get comforted in their midst of their challenges?
They were comforted by the promises and the presence of God. Josh 1:2, 3, 11. Chap 3:5 the Lord will do amazing things among you. We need to remind ourselves of the promises of God when we are faced with problems.
What are some of the promises? Rom 8:28, Phil 4:19. 2Cor 12:9. Heb 13:5, Is 43:2
Speak to one another about the promises to one another.

They were comforted by the presence of God. Chp 3:6 the strategy was not to build a boat or a bridge to cross the river but to tell the priests to carry the Ark of the covenant and step into the river.
v12 the break through comes. The water stands in a heap. The presence of God was ( Exodus 25 ) represented by the Ark.
The Ark was not a religious charm. Today people have all sorts of religious charms that they have in their homes, ties on themselves etc.
The Ark was not like that.  1Sam- The Philistines had captured the art and as a result they were cursed with all kinds of boils etc. When the Ark was with the Israelites, there was blessing upon them.

1Cor 6:19 Where is the presence of God today? First of all the presence of God is in us and as a people . When we come together I worship God’s presence is there. Let’s be a people who value the presence of God by spending time with Him alone and together.
Spend time with god daily. As disciples of Jesus we need to worship individually and corporately. Do not neglect it. Life Groups, Sunday worship are also a means of grace.

3. Consecrate
They were told to consecrate themselves i.e be set apart. We are called to be set apart. How did they do this. Josh 5:2. For the Israelites circumcision was an external sign. Today the external sign is water baptism. In the OT an 8 day old baby boy was circumcised. In the new Testament spiritual babies were baptized.

Have you been consecrated? Jesus command was to go and make disciple and baptized them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Putting aside sin  – Achin’s sin. The whole family perished. Acts 5 – Annanias and Saphira were struck dead. Sin can destroy you. We need to put aside the deeds of the flesh.
Col 3:9-10 Lets be ones who speak the truth- no cover up or modifying the truth. Sometimes we need to put aside seemingly good things as well if they are coming in the way of you getting your spiritual inheritance. Viz.  overly absorbed with your career, a hobby, and relationships. We need to get the balance right.

2Tim2:20 Articles of noble and ignoble use. We are not to be pre occupied with sin but when it come up we deal with it and move on.

  Sometime What God ask us to do may not make sense  eg) the 5 loaves and 2 fish- God may ask you to do something that is not logical but we need to trust God in it. What steps of faith do you need to take today? As you do that , God’s power is released. Josh 3:16

God want s to do amazing things in your life – take the challenge and allow  the promises of God to work in your life. Pray the promises of God in the Word. As we do that we will see God come in.

How does  God come in ?

1Miracle – a supernatural intervention of God.
2 Providence – come into our situation through natural means. Sometimes a break through does not come quickly but He gives us the grace to see us through and to persevere.

What situation are challenges for you today?
Is there a consecration that is requires? Do you need more of the presence of God. Do you need to take a step of faith?

If that is you I want tot pray for God's grace upon you and  that His Spirit can work in that situation. Amen!

Colin D Cruz
August 2012 

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