Summary: To complete God’s best means having a heart for Him.
A HEART FOR GOD
*Emerson said, "A man is what he thinks about all day long."
*The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way, "A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it."
* William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
* In the New Testament the Bible teaches us much about the heart. It says “out of the overflow of the heart” the mouth speaks. It also says that “with the heart man believes.” Further it says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.....
* That’s why we have adopted the words “invite Jesus into your heart” for salvation. Jesus “in the heart” is not the object of salvation but rather the outcome of salvation.
* About the heart, we see it as our control center, and ask “what do you have a heart for?”
* This is a pertinent question for tonight, “what do you have a heart for?” Maybe a better way to ask is this; “what fills your heart every day?” And “what SHOULD fill your heart?” So as not to appear trite or deceptive, I will give the answer. As a born-again believer in Jesus, we should have a heart for God. Our hearts should be filled with Him and His.
* Turn with me to Joshua 8:28 and following. When I consider all the people mentioned in the Old Testament, Joshua and Caleb are the two whom I consider to have a proven heart. They never gave up the dream. They didn’t allow the detours of life to detour them from life. With every bump in the road and year of age, they seem to grow. Now given mantle of leadership, Joshua still makes mistakes, but because of His heart for God and desire to serve Him faithfully every action becomes a learning experience. This may well be the reason the Bible teaches us not to give leadership to the immature. Without the immaturity one will get arrogant, prideful, and even complacent & refuse to listen or learn. Consider Joshua’s situation.
* Joshua led the people to victory over Jericho. It was an easy victory because he totally depended on God. Then something happened, He lost His edge (eye of tiger).
* He may have lost His dependence on God and it cost him greatly. They suffered a defeat & 35+ men died at AI.
* However, he regained the spiritual ground He had lost. Once again, He was in God’s will which means asking first, then depending on and doing what God had commanded.
* Let’s read this portion of the story.
* Personally, I am convinced that our undoing is our undepending on God. We may lose a battle in our life and we run into a wall trying to get back on track. May I suggest that what is required is like Joshua, have a heart for God.
1. FINISH WHAT GOD TELLS YOU TO DO verses 28-29
* When they defeated Jericho, it seems Joshua just trusted all the things to be destroyed and the job to be completed according to God’s plan, but he didn’t have anyone oversee and confirm that it had been done. He drop the ball and didn’t see it through.
* Have you ever got in the middle of some task & either quit too soon or left it to someone else who let it go? Can you imagine painting your house and then leaving up the tape and leaving down the drop cloth?
* For Joshua, this time would be different. In Verse 28 he burned AI, verse 29 he hung the King, He also ordered and watched the burial. This time Joshua was highly involved from beginning to end. God had given Him a task & to demonstrate His heart for God, he saw it completely thru.
* There are some in this room that God has given a task, it may be teaching, singing, or serving. Truthfully, you started it & then, for some reason, you gave it up. Maybe, like Joshua, this task was undesirable to you. But the cost of not finishing is very high.
* We could spend a great deal of time on this thought but listen, “don’t expect God to tell you something else until you have acted on & finished what He has already told you”
* Satan will make it easy for you to stop, quit, and become discouraged or even dessert. What you do will demonstrate where your heart is.
2) FIND A WAY TO HONOR GOD v30-33
a) Joshua didn’t leave anything to chance. He determined to honor God. So he built an altar according to law & offered both “burnt” & “Fellowship” “peace) offerings. C