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Caleb was a dreamer, wasn’t he? For 45 years Caleb had been dreaming of this land that God promised to him. So now, 85 years old, he steps up & says, "I want what God has promised me. See that hill country? I want it." He had dreamed about it, & now it was time for his dream to come true.
ILL. A few years ago a study was made of 200 people that we would call "very successful." It was discovered that all 200 had one common denominator: each had dared to dream big dreams & set goals, & reach out to achieve those goals.
ILL. The apostle Paul dared to dream of a world where all mankind would hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. And even though he was persecuted & beaten, shipwrecked & imprisoned, Paul kept on following his dream.
ILL. Martin Luther dared to dream of a church where the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ could be preached freely, & common people could hear & understand the message of the Bible. And before he died, millions of people were able to have the Bible in their own language, to read & study it for themselves.
ILL. Alexander Campbell & Barton W. Stone & Raccoon John Smith dared to dream of a church where there would be no denominational walls, no denominational names or creeds or organizations to separate us from each other, where we could all just be Christians. "Not the only Christians, but Christians only." And we are a result of their dreams.
Maybe we need to dream, too. As a congregation we need to see the greatness of our potential, & the possibilities that God sets before us, because little dreams lead to little service. But big dreams lead to big service, & eternal results. So let’s ask ourselves, "How big are our dreams? And what are we going to do about them?"
PROP. Now let’s look more closely at this scripture, & as we do, I believe that there are at least 3 lessons that we can learn from Caleb this morning.
I. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO DREAM
A. The first lesson is found in vs. 10 where Caleb says, "Now then, just as the Lord promised, He has kept me alive for 45 years since the time He said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, 85 years old."
Now usually by age 85 people have pulled over & parked. I mean, by age 85 they’re often preoccupied with dying. They’re not usually thinking about starting out on some new adventure, right? But Caleb teaches us that we are never too old to dream, & I like that.
ILL. Are you familiar with George Foreman, the former heavyweight boxing champion? You may not be a boxing fan, but you’ve got to admire him. He is now a preacher. A few years ago, at age 42, he came out of retirement to box once again in order to support his ministry. Foreman said, "I decided to go back & challenge the heavyweight champion because I needed the money to build more recreation centers for young boys & get them off the streets & out of trouble."
Evander Holyfield, the heavyweight champion, was 28 years old & 215 pounds of solid muscle. George Foreman was 42 & weighed 257 pounds, & not all of that was solid muscle. But that was a whole lot better than the 350 lbs. he weighed
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