Summary: As the year begins, God calls us to risk in order to move into the Promised Land.
January 4, 2008
If I were to ask you to pick a number, any number, what number would you choose? (Pause) How many picked a number between 1 and 100? How about 100 and 1,000? Or maybe you picked an even higher number. Anyone pick a number over one million? If you didn’t, why not?
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded a company with a very strange name, Google. Google is now the most preferred Internet search engine in the world. There are over 2 billion searches a day on the Google search engine. One study recently showed that Google processes 20 petabytes of information per day. That’s 10 million times 100 million. Suffice it to say, no search engine comes close.
So, how did they get so big? I mean in just 10 years, they are far and away the largest search engine.
Those who started with Google, say it began with their initial vision. You see, the word Google comes from another word, googol. Googol is a mathematical term for the number 10 followed by 100 zeroes. While most people are likely to pick a number like 14 or 88, Brin and Page decided to pick googol — 1 with 100 zeroes. Now, to get an idea of what that looks like, this is the number googol.
Jim Reese, the chief operations engineer of Google, said: “It takes a lot of confidence and courage to go ahead and be huge. It’s rare to find people who think on such a grand scale and are able to create a great product at the same time.” (From “Preaching Today - Citation: FreshMinistry.org (11-5-02))
To be able to think and dream on such a grand scale. Isn’t that exciting. Isn’t it great to be with people who are excited about what they see in the future?
Now, let me ask you this – how big are you willing to dream? What are you willing to believe God can do in our church? Do you believe God can increase the size of this church by 10 people, or 20, or 30 people by the end of 2009? Or maybe more? What do you believe God can do right here at FBC!
Do you believe 10 people will receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior? Are you willing to believe you can make a difference in this church and in our community? Do you believe the miraculous can happen in our church? Do you believe amazing new ministries can be started and thrive, even ones that are not so
Are you willing to believe we can do all of this and more, right here at First Baptist Church in Alexandria, Indiana?
I believe we are on the brink of greatness. In fact, I don’t just believe it, I know it. I know that’s exactly what God has in store for us. More than anything I need you to begin to believe, to trust, and to expect that this will be true for our church.
I believe God desires that we trust Him. We trust Him in a manner which is so outrageous, so passion-filled, so extravagant that the only way we could accomplish His plan would be to place 100% trust in God to work in our midst.
I believe this is what happened in Joshua 3. I could spend the next month unpacking all that happened in this passage, but that isn’t what I want to focus on today. There were a number of significant events which took place in the life of Israel and I believe there are many parallels for us to look at.
The Israelites had traveled through the desert for 40 years, their great leader Moses was never able to enter the promised land and he is now dead. There’s a new leader who was going to lead the people into this great land. His name was Joshua; and he was anxious, how was he going to lead these stiff-necked and stubborn people into the land flowing with milk and honey?
They’re standing at the edge of the Jordan River, finally ready to enter their new land. But can they do it? Were they ready for their new home, Israel? None of the original people who left Egypt are alive, except for Caleb, the fierce warrior, and Joshua, their leader.
There had been discouragement and disappointments along the way – but now it was time to look forward. There was no time to look back and recount the many times they were on the brink of entering the land, but refused. The people had been afraid to take the risk, yet now was the time to move forward. It was time for something new.
Sometimes we’re afraid that if we take a risk, we will fail. We’re afraid of all the “what ifs . . .” So many times in our lives, we have allowed the “what ifs” to hold us back and we end up dying a slow and painful death. Robert Quinn says the very change we want to make, which we don’t make will lead us to a slow death. Ultimately, the very thing we did not want to happen, happens. Because we’re afraid to risk, we’re afraid to make that DEEP CHANGE.