Summary: A sermon examining the life of a faithful servant of God.
An Epitaph Of A Faithful Servant
An "Epitaph" is a short statement intended to honor a person who has passed away. When we think of an epitaph we usually think of those phrases that are etched on someone's tombstone.
- A young man named Michael Luther was addicted to arcade games. When he passed away in 2007 his sister designed his headstone and it read "Game Over".
- Merv Griffin's (the famous talk show host from yesteryear) has a tombstone that reads "I will not be right back after this message".
- John Newton, the author of the beloved hymn Amazing Grace, has an epitaph on his tombstone that shares his testimony: JOHN NEWTON, Once an Infidel and Libertine, A servant of slaves in Africa , Was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, Preserved, restored, pardoned, And appointed to preach the Faith He had long laboured to destroy,
- The Apostle Paul's shared his own personal epitaph in - 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
What would your family say about you when you are gone? When someone dies it quickly becomes apparent where their priorities were when they were alive. Mourners will gather around and talk about how much he loved to hunt, fish or who his favorite team was. The same is true when a lady passes away. Folks will talk about her smile, sense of humor, love for her family and so on. There is nothing wrong with these things. But for the Christian, Jesus should have place in the conversation as well.
Your life ought to point people to Christ And if you live your life for Christ, your legacy will point others to faith in Jesus as well! I may not leave my family with many material goods, but I hope to leave them with the assurance that though I may be absent from the body, I AM PRESENT WITH THE LORD.
Our lives ought to be marked by our faith in Christ. When this is true, our testimony even after our time on earth is through. This is the kind of life that Joshua lived. Our selected text serves as his epitaph. I would like to briefly examine his life and consider the thought "An Epitaph Of A Faithful Servant". Let's begin by examining:
I. Joshua's Remarkable Life - v29 And it came to pass after these things, that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
- Joshua is one of the most noteworthy characters in the Word of God. He truly lived a remarkable life. Notice that:
A. He Was Chosen By The Lord
Joshua was Moses' second in command. When Moses died, God raised Joshua up to lead His people. - Joshua 1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister
Moses' death was no shock to God. He knew that a successor would be needed. Of all of the multitudes of people, God personally selected Joshua. I believe that God had a plan for Joshua before he was ever born. As is the case for your and I. God had a plan for us long before we were ever conceived. Remember what God told Jeremiah "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations". (Jeremiah 1:5)
- Not only was Joshua chosen by God...
B. He Was Commissioned By The Lord
Joshua was commissioned or "sent out" to serve the Lord. God told Joshua where to go, what to do, and how to do it. - Joshua 1:2 (GOd said to Joshua) Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
Not only did God instruct Joshua, He encouraged him. God made it clear that He would be with him and that He was in control. Our Heavenly Father has done the same for us. He has called us and He has commissioned us. God has called us unto salvation and He has commissioned us for service. There is a universal work that all of God's children are to be apart of. (That is the fulfillment of the Great Commission).