Summary: Decisions we make today impact our future for His kingdom; Pain may play a role in your future; truth today will transform your future; pleasing God is the purpose of your future
DEFINING MOMENTS – PART THREE
TRUSTING IN THE FUTURES
JOSHUA 24:14-18 - DR. LARRY L. THOMPSON (2015)
(Pastor opens with story of visit by President of Insurance Company – “You’ve just made the biggest mistake in your life!”)
Cody Delistraty has published his study, “Seven Ways People Define Us.”
Sociologists say one of the best ways to judge a person’s character is by watching the way they order coffee. Ordering coffee is such a daily mundane task and yet listen to what the author says:
“Pay close attention to how people order their coffee. There’s no practical reason to be kind, patient or even to tip decently to the person waiting on you. Most people only see the cup a coffee; they fail to see the person who serves them. Many people are talking about their own personal “defining moments” in life. However, in their preoccupation with self, they have missed great opportunities to be the catalyst for a defining moment in the lives of others.” Dr. Cody Delistraty
Let’s start with clarifying a defining moment in life: A defining moments is a choice that you make, or an incident that happens to you, which causes something in your life to dramatically change. The defining moment is something that will forever define some aspect of your life.
All of us will experience many opportunities of defining moments throughout our lifetimes. Some major defining moments would include:
• Getting Married
• Having Children
• Your first job
• College Graduation
• A Divorce
• The Death of a Family Member
• Committing your life to Jesus Christ
Two important facts about defining moments:
• You are not limited to just one defining moment in life.
• Defining moments will impact your life; so much so, you will never be the same again.
The Bible is a great place to see good examples defining moments. Today I want us to look at the futures. Some people say it is good idea to invest in futures, others tell us to stay away from futures. However, today I want to illustrate a sure bet when you consider your spiritual futures and I want to use Joshua as the example. Here is a young man that was mentored by Moses and when the time came for his more important challenge in a defining moment he was ready to meet the challenge with faith.
“When Moses had finished giving these instructions to all the people of Israel, 2 he said, “I am now 120 years old, and I am no longer able to lead you. The LORD has told me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan River.’ 3 But the LORD your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy the nations living there, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua will lead you across the river, just as the LORD promised.” Deut. 31:1-3 (NLT)
This was a defining moment for Moses, it was a defining moment for Joshua, it was a defining moment for the Children of Israel and it would be an historical and spiritual defining moment for who love the Lord and are followers of Christ.
Joshua would have several other defining moments in leading the children of Israel.
• Preparing the people to cross into the Promised Land
• Standing at the Jordan River and trusting God to get His people across safely.
• Joshua’s defining moments became defining moments for those who followed him as he was following God.
• They put their feet into the Jordan and God parted the waters for them, just as He had done for them at Red Sea a generation earlier.
• The impossible task of taking the walled city of Jericho; yet they obeyed God and created a defining moment memory.
• Defining moments are not only triumph, they can also be found in tragedy. Following the victory at Jericho they faced defeat at Ai. How would God’s people respond to defeat? How they responded would also be a defining moment for Gods’ people and His historians. YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR DEFEAT: BUT YOU ARE DEFINED AT HOW YOU RESPOND TO YOUR DEFEAT! You are either a Conquer or Coward…and that too is a defining moment in life.
Finally, after the wars had been fought, just as Moses passed the mantle of leadership to Joshua to help prepare God’s people for the future, now Joshua would continue that pattern and prepare God’s people for their own defining moments as a nation. Listen to this great leader of the Lord’s people…
“So fear the LORD and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:14-15 (NLT)