Summary: A New Year’s sermon that tries to help the listener find success by following Joshua’s example.
"How To Find Success In 2003"
Through long years of preparation and finally a burning bush experience, God called Moses to lead the Children Of Israel out of Egypt. At the conclusion of Moses’ life and calling, in Deuteronomy 34, we read that God had finished preparing Joshua, Moses’ greatest general, to become the leader of Israel. Joshua had been faithful to God and to Moses’ leadership and now in Deuteronomy 34 and Joshua 1, we see the beginning of a new chapter (Or could we say calendar?) in the history of Israel.
For 40 years Moses had led the Children of Israel. He led them through the plagues of Egypt. Lead them to safety at the first Passover. He led them out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. He led them to water in the
desert. To food of manna and quail. He led them to Mt Sinai and to the Law Of God. For 40 years he did his best to follow God and to lead his flock to God’s promises. For Moses, time on earth was complete. We stand on the brink of a new year, 2003. It seems just like last week that I gave you a new calendar in July, when the year was half over. I wanted you to think about how you had spent the first six months of the year and how you planned to spend the last six months of 2002. Wow! Time flies. Moses led Israel for 40 years. As we end 2002 and begin 2003 I recently realized that I have been leading the Children of God at Falmouth for 10 years. My leadership now composes one half of the years of leadership of this church.(Church is 20 years old.) One fourth of the time, or twenty five percent of the time Moses lead Israel. My how time flies when we are having fun and God is blessing. Poor Moses had to lead in the wilderness. I have had the joy of leading on beautiful Cape Cod.
Moses died and was buried. Now God was ready to use Joshua to lead the Children of Israel to the next steps in filling the covenant that He had made with Abraham decades earlier. A land of their own. Descendants in numbers that could not be counted. A future in which the whole world would be blessed. God promised him success: And in this section of Scripture God tells him how to obtain success.
A definition of success is, " A favorable course of termination of anything attempted. The gaining of position, wealth, fame, etc." For the Christian, it is being obedient to God’s will.(The Christian’s
definitions and the world’s definitions differ.) We all want to enjoy success in 2003. As we prepare for a new year, a happy new year, let us look closely at five principles for success contained in this chapter.
I. UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF GOD.
Moses had been faithful in his leading of Israel. He had been a good steward of the task God had given him to complete. Now God tells Joshua exactly what to do. "You and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them."(v. 1-2) Joshua did not argue with God as Moses had done over forty years earlier. Neither did the thousands of Jews that he was to lead. Forty years in the desert had taught them to obey God. God said, "Joshua is the boss… Now let’s roll…" Joshua knew God’s purpose for his life.
In what does God want you to find success in 2003? What has He prepared you for during 2002 to get you ready for his purpose for your life in 2003? What does He want for our church? The songwriter wrote, "Where He
leads me I will follow… I’ll go with Him all the way."
II. HAVE FAITH IN GOD’S PROMISES.
Look at verses 2, 3 and 4 to see how God tells Israel and Joshua exactly what He is going to give them. A map. A global positioning system. The Non-Christian-Arabs and Muslims today, refuse to acknowledge God’s
promise of the land God had pledged. They threaten, bargain, fight, and die, to try and destroy Israel. But God keeps His promises.
We are taught that "without faith, it is impossible to please God." As we prepare for 2003, how is your "faith?"
III. BE ASSURED OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD.
God promised Joshua, "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you."(v. 5) Jesus makes the same promises to we Christians. Wow! God the Holy Spirit will live in us and move in us and give us reason for being.(Acts 17:29) Remember now, we are to live by faith and not by feeling. "God said it, and I believe it, and that settles it for me."(Adams & Braun)