Summary: A sermon on the importance in leaving a godly heritage.
Introduction: Building Up and Tearing Down
History (Num. 14:29)
Ante-theme: 3 generations are mentioned
Proposition: In order to avoid the sin of Israel we must…
I. Raise up godly leaders (v. 8-9)
A. Joshua is dead (Moses)
1. There is no one to replace him
2. In his absence the people turn from God
B. State of America today
1. Post-Christian culture
2. Personality over godliness
C. Cultivate people to replace us
1. Drop the ego
a. Frog and the Ducks Illustration
2. The work of God must go on
a. our congregations goal ought to be bear fruit
II. Know God personally (v. 6-7)
A. Read His love letter to you
1. Do you have a personal daily time of Scripture reading?
2. Walls of Jericho Illustration
3. Ignorance of Scripture today
B. Talk with Him daily
1. How is your prayer life?
2. Stephen Curtis Chapman lyrics Illustration
C. Note His work in your life
1. Where is God working in your life?
2. Panic if called upon to give a testimony?
III. Leave spiritual heirs (v. 10)
A. If not you, who?
1. Present situation (especially kids)
a. Biblical illiteracy
b. Spirituality instead of relationship
2. Gun violence problems with kids. Guns are a symptom not the disease. Most of us grew up with a loaded shotgun in our parents bedroom
a. It’s not guns it’s godlessness
B. Not just good advice, it’s commanded of us
1. Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
2. Sitting in the tool shed Illustration
Conclusion: which generation are you in? What are you doing to raise up godly leaders/ spiritual heirs/ new disciples?
Building Up and Tearing Down Illustration
It can take a long time to build something worthwhile. A year or longer to build a large office building. People like to watch the progress of new construction, but even more than that they love to watch the demolition man come and tear down old structures. It is usually quick and very dramatic. So it was with the nation of Israel. It took years to get where they were when they finally arrived in the promise land with Joshua, but it all exploded into turmoil very quickly.
Numbers 14:29 “your corpses shall fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.”
Two Ducks and a Frog Illustration
The story is told of two ducks and a frog who lived happily together in a farm pond. The best of friends, the three would amuse themselves and play together in their waterhole. When the hot summer days came, however, the pond began to dry up, and soon it was evident they would have to move. This was no problem for the ducks, who could easily fly to another pond. But the frog was stuck. So it was decided that they would put a stick in the bill of each duck that the frog could hang onto with his mouth as they flew to another pond.
The plan worked well—so well, in fact, that as they were flying along a farmer looked up in admiration and mused, “Well, isn’t that a clever idea! I wonder who thought of it?”
The frog said, “I did…”
Walls of Jericho Illustration
The new minister was asked to teach boys’ class in the absence of the regular teacher. He decided to see what they knew, so he asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho. All the boys denied having done it, and the preacher was appalled by their ignorance.
At the next deacons’ meeting he told about the experience. “Not one of them knows who knocked down the walls of Jericho,” he lamented. The group was silent until finally one seasoned veteran of disputes spoke up. “Preacher, this appears to be bothering you a lot. But I’ve known all those boys since they were born and they’re good boys. If they said they didn’t know, I believe them. Let’s just take some money out of the repair and maintenance fund, fix the walls, and let it go at that.”
Matt 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Sitting in the Toolshed Illustration
Paul W. Powell, in The Complete Disciple, described this condition: “Many churches today remind me of a laboring crew trying to gather in a harvest while they sit in the toolshed. They go to the toolshed every Sunday and they study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and then get up and go home. Then they come back that night, study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and go home again. They come back Wednesday night, and again study bigger and better methods of agriculture, sharpen their hoes, grease their tractors, and get up and go home. They do this week in and week out, year in and year out, and nobody ever goes out into the fields to gather in the harvest.