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Summary: This sermon is an encouragement to stay the course in your service to God.

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Introduction- When the world trade center was bombed in 2001 President Bush used a phrase that is commonly used by politicians, “stay the course.” He said we would “stay the course” in our fight against terror. To stay the course is “to stand firm in pursuing a goal or course of action, to persevere in the face of whatever challenges or obstacles one may encounter. “ I was curious as to the origin of this term so I looked it up on the internet. The first use of the phrase in print, in 1885, comes from another sort of “course,” the racetrack. “To stay the course” in this sense referred to the ability of a horse to endure the race and reach the finish line, preferably in a winning position. Politicians have adopted this phrase and often use it to encourage their constituents. (www.word-detective.com)

I want to use this phrase as the title for this message. I want my message to be an encouragement for you to stay the course.

-in serving the Lord

-in your battle against discouragement

-in your battle against disease

-in your struggles at home

-in your struggles with other people

All of us need help staying the course from time to time.

Ill- It seems that one day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. They got one boot on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were.

It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots."

She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off than he said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em today."

Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?"

To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots."(Contributed to Sermon Central by: Ken Kersten)

That teacher had a challenging day! She needed to stay the course.

For a text I want you to follow along as I read several passages. These passages are all found in the book of Joshua. (Joshua 13:1; 23:14-16; 24:14-16) Joshua was a man who “stayed the course.” I want to share some lessons we learn from a study of Joshua’s life. All of us need help in staying the course.

I. Lesson one is to Be Courageous.

When Joshua began his ministry career he faced a huge task. God knew he faced a huge task. In fact we find recorded (three different times in Joshua 1:6,7,9) where God encouraged Joshua to be courageous. Joshua displayed his courage in a number of ways. He faced a number of trials but I just want to mention three of them.


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