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Summary: Many Christians want to receive miracles from God, but they are not willing to obey him. However, we need to first consecrate our lives in order to see wonders from God. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give a brief feedback.

INTRODUCTION (SECURE ATTENTION) & BACKGROUND OF THE PASSAGE:

PRAY before starting the sermon.

How many of you want to receive blessings from God?

I’m sure all of us want to be blessed.

However, very few Christians are willing to live the way God wants us to live.

They like to listen to preachers who only talk about material blessings rather than living for God.

However, we need to understand that when we live the way God wants us to live, blessings will often follow us.

In order for us to see miraculous things in our lives, we need to consecrate ourselves.

That’s the promise that the Lord has given for our Church this year.

Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to JOSHUA 3:5 (READ)?

I have entitled today’s sermon as: “CONSECRATE YOURSELVES!” (Slide# 2)

After forty years in the wilderness, the children of Israel were about to cross over the Jordan River into the Promised Land.

They were then given a command and a promise in Joshua 3:5.

Israel needed to remember what type of people God was calling them to be.

Israel was moving into the Promised Land to establish a nation that would display God’s character and will, thereby fulfilling the promise to bless all nations though His people (cf. Gen. 12:1–3).

They were to do this by living under his rule with his Presence in their midst.

This sanctifying Presence would mark Israel as a holy people, set apart for his work and required holiness of life in response.

This lifestyle would demonstrate to the surrounding nations the benefits of being a people living under God’s rule.

THE EXEGETICAL IDEA: In this passage, Joshua tells the Israelites to prepare themselves to see amazing things from God by consecrating themselves.

This was both an order and a promise, and the fulfillment of the promise depended on their obedience to the order.

Some of God's promises are unconditional, and all we have to do is believe them; while other promises require that we meet certain conditions.

In meeting these conditions, we're not earning God's blessing; we're making sure our hearts are ready for God's blessing.

FALLEN CONDITION FOCUS: Already dealt with.

PROPOSITION: I have used inductive proposition for this sermon.

PURPOSE STATEMENT: I pray that each one of you will truly consecrate yourselves so that you can see amazing things from God.

I. THE NEED FOR CONSECRATION. (Slide# 3)

Read Joshua 3:5.

First, we need to understand what consecration means.

There are 2 aspects to consecration.

Consecration simply means that we have to separate ourselves from sin and draw near to God.

If the experience of Israel at Mount Sinai was the pattern (Read Ex 19:9-15), "sanctify yourselves" here meant that everybody bathed and changed their clothes and that the married couples devoted themselves wholly to the Lord (Refer 1 Cor. 7:1-6).

In the Near East, however, water was a luxury that wasn't used too often for personal hygiene.

In our modern world we're accustomed to comfortable bathing facilities; but these were unknown to most of the people in Bible times.

In the Bible the imagery of washing one's body and changing clothes symbolized making a new beginning with the Lord.

Since sin is pictured as defilement (Refer Ps. 51:2, 7), God has to cleanse us before we can truly follow Him.

When Jacob made a new beginning with the Lord and returned to Bethel, he and his family washed themselves and changed their garments (Refer Gen. 35:1-3).

After King David confessed his sin, he bathed, changed clothes, and worshiped the Lord (Refer 2 Sam. 12:20).

The imagery is carried over into the New Testament in 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; Eph. 4:26-27, and Col. 3:8-14.

As the day for the crossing approached Joshua commanded the people to sanctify or consecrate themselves.

It would be easier to understand if Joshua had said, "Sharpen your swords and check your shields!"

But spiritual not military preparation was needed at this time because God was about to reveal Himself by performing a great miracle in Israel's midst.

As a person would prepare scrupulously to meet someone of earthly fame so it was appropriate for the Israelites to prepare for a manifestation of the God of all the earth.

We need to consecrate ourselves because we live in a sinful world and possess a sinful heart.

ILLUSTRATION: {“Sins are like circles in the water when a stone is thrown into it: one produces another.

When anger was in Cain’s heart, murder was not far off.”

–Philip Henry 1631-1696}.

We have to separate ourselves from the world (Read 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).

However, consecration does not mean that we have to cut off ourselves completely from the world (Read 1 Cor. 5:9-10).

At the same time, I have to emphasize that it is helpful to cut off ourselves from our old friends (who can lead us into sin) for some time until we are really strong in our spiritual lives.

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