Summary: How to get people to listen to you,
A. WHY PEOPLE RESENT BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO
1. They know better than you.
2. They don’t respect your opinion.
3. They are blinded to God’s work and your ideas.
4. They have a hidden agenda.
5. They are not yielded to God’s will.
6. They are ignorant – never learned Christian principles.
7. They have sin in their life and they don’t want to change.
B. HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO LISTEN TO YOU
“Joshua gathered all Israel, including priests, military and social leaders to Shechem. God had given him a message for them, ‘Thus says the Lord, your Father came from Mesopotamia. I called Abraham and gave him the Promised Land and many descendants. Then I sent Moses to you when you were in bondage in Egypt. I judged Egypt with 10 plagues, then delivered your father from slavery’” (Joshua 24:1-5, Amplified).
1. Get them all together. “Gathered all” (v. 1).
2. Call them into the presence of God. “Presented themselves before God” (v. 1).
3. Your authority is God’s Word. “Thus said the LORD God” (v. 2).
4. Remind them that God has called them. “I called Abraham” (v. 3).
5. Point out the promises of God. “I . . . gave him the Promised Land” (v. 3).
6. Call attention to past victory over sin and bondage (v. 5).
“The Lord said, “When Egypt chased you, I put darkness between them and you. I brought the Red Sea on them and destroyed them. You were in the desert 40 years then, I brought you to the other side of Jordan and you destroyed the Amorites. I wouldn’t let Balam curse you. I brought you over the Jordan and you destroyed Jericho, then 7 nations. I delivered them all to your hand. Then I sent hornets to drive out 2 kings. I’ve given you crops that you did not plant, houses you did not build, and vineyards and olive trees you didn’t nurture” (Joshua 24:6-13, Amplified).
7. Remind them of dangers and threats. “Egyptians pursued” (v. 6).
8. Remind them of God’s intervention. “The Red Sea covered them” (v. 7).
9. Remind them of the obstacles and barriers (v. 7).
10. Remind them the size and number of enemies.
11. Don’t forget the little things God did for you. “I sent the hornets” (v. 12).
12. Look around at the things you have. “Crops . . . houses . . . vineyards” (v. 13).
What Motivates You Most?
? Fear of God’s punishment
? Gratitude from past blessings
? Praise for what you have
? Anticipating future rewards
? Doing right because of training
? To please the heavenly Father
C. JOSHUA’S THREE-FOLD CHALLENGE
1. “Now, fear the Lord” (v. 14). Reverential fear.
2. “Serve Him in sincerity and truth” (v. 14). Obedient work.
3. “Put away the gods . . . from Egypt” (v. 14). Separation and holiness.
“Make a total decision for God. Choose right now whether you will serve the gods of Egypt or the gods of enemies in this land. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15, Amplified).
D. THE PEOPLE’S REACTION
“Joshua warned the people, ‘If you forsake the LORD, He will punish you. If you do not serve the Lord, He will not forgive your trespasses.’ The people said, ‘We will serve the Lord.’ Joshua answered, ‘Your vow will make you do what you promise. So put away your idols.’ The people said again, ‘We will serve the Lord.’ Joshua responded, ‘So put away your idols.’ Joshua and the people agreed and made a covenant. Joshua built a memorial by the Tabernacle to remind the people and he wrote their promise in a book. He didn’t want the people to break the promise they made” (Joshua 24:19-27).
1. Warn what will happen for disobedience; no forgiveness (v. 21).
2. Warn what happens if they sin; punishment (v. 22).
3. People answered the positive, but ignored the negative (v. 24).
4. People are not sure they can give up their sins. Left out “put away idols.”
5. Point out what people leave out. “The truth, the whole truth . . .”
6. Make an agreement, a commitment of the will (v. 26).
7. Make commitment church-centered, “by the Tabernacle” (v. 26).
8. Arrive at a conclusion, “each depart” (v. 28).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.