Summary: Sermon on the occasion of the induction of our new Senior Pastor. Looking at Joshua and his leadership.
Lessons from Joshua – Joshua 1-8
Gladstone Baptist Church – 15/4/07 am
Well we’ve been anticipating this morning for a long time now haven’t we. It has been 10 months since Pastor Roger informed the Board that he was leaving. He’s been gone now for 4 months. So I want to thank you all for putting up with me over this time and for your support. I officially handball everything to Stewart. I’ve categorised things for you as best I can.
Actually, I would encourage you to give Stewart some breathing space for a month or two. He’s going to need all that time and probably more to sort out the problems I’ve created. Seriously, though - He needs to find his feet and work himself into the role here. In many ways he will be reshaping this role to fit him. So please go easy on him and be patient. He’ll come up to speed soon enough.
As I began to think about what to preach about this morning, my mind went to what is perhaps my favourite book in the bible. Joshua. If you have got your bibles there, I’d like you to turn to the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Joshua would have to be my all time favourite Bible character. There seems to be so many things we can learn from this man of God.
And as I thought about it, I realised that the situation Joshua and the people of Israel found themselves is very much like the situation that Stewart and us as the congregation of the GBC find ourselves in today. Our old leader is gone and the new one has come. As I looked at it more, I found what I believe will be some really helpful things for us to consider as we welcome Stewart on board here.
So today we are going to look at Joshua 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8. I’m serious … We’ve got to show Stewart how committed we are to the Word of God today – so settle in back for our meander through the first 8 chapters.
It is more going to be like a skimming across the top. Like a stone thrown across the top of a pool – we are going to make about 8 quick bounces to pick out some of the gems in these chapters.
God Chooses his Leaders (1:1-9)
To set the scene for you – The people of Israel had been wandering around in the desert for 40 years under the leadership of Moses. But Moses had just died. And God has commissioned Joshua to take his place.
Let’s read a bit from Josh 1:1
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead.
Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Moses is dead and there is a leadership change. Joshua was chosen – not by popular vote or by random chance, but by God. He was God’s appointed. And we are convinced here this morning that Stewart is God’s appointed Man for GBC. I believe that God has perfectly brought us together at this moment for some reason known only to himself. Roger was God’s man, but now a change has come. Now don’t forget that fact when maybe Stewart does something in the future that you don’t like. Don’t forget that Stewart is GOD’S CHOICE when he has to make some of those tough decisions that a leader has to make. Don’t forget this when he disappoints you. He is God’s man and is appointed by God to serve Him here at GBC.