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Being a Leader for Christ (Closed Captioned)

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January 29, 2012 Sermon Text: JOSHUA 1:1-9 Pastor Dave Zion Ev. Lutheran Church Let us rise for the reading of this morning's Sermon Text recorded for us in the Book of Joshua, where we read the opening 9 verses: AFTER THE DEATH OF MOSES THE SERVANT OF THE LORD, THE LORD SAID TO JOSHUA SON OF NUN, MOSES' AIDE: "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. I WILL GIVE YOU EVERY PLACE WHERE YOU SET YOUR FOOT, AS I PROMISED MOSES. 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. 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. BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS, BECAUSE YOU WILL LEAD THESE PEOPLE TO INHERIT THE LAND I SWORE TO THEIR FOREFATHERS TO GIVE THEM. 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. 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. HAVE I NOT COMMANDED YOU? BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS. DO NOT BE TERRIFIED; DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED, FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL BE WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight, our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. [Text taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION; 1973, 1978, 1984, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers] Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: Just imagine being a part of that group of the children of Israel. Gathered at the Jordan River. About to enter in to the Promised Land. The land that they had been traveling to for years. Waiting. Waiting for that opportunity to be free and be that kingdom of their own. That group of people that were gathered there at the Jordan River had only HEARD about the wonderful and miraculous things that God had done when He rasied up Moses to be their leader. When He heard their cry for someone to deliver them from Egypt and the bondage and the slavery that was there. And God had sent to them one of their own. Had sent to them Moses who went to Pharoah and performed awesome and miraculous deeds showing the strength and the power that only the true God - the God of heaven and earth could hold in His hand and wield an effect. Culminating in the death of the firstborn of the Egyptians. And yet beginning that glorious celebration that was theirs ... the Passover when the Angel of Death passed over those homes that bore the blood of the lamb, and the trust of God. The stories that those people must have heard from their grandparents and their parents as they traveled through that dry ground on the Red Sea, seeing that pillar of fire and that pillar of clouds to guide them throughout all of their wanderings and now here they are. On the brink of taking over their Promised Land. And the news comes that Moses had died. That great and awesome leader. The one that they had seen as the person who spoke with God and spoke with them ... who had brought down the Law of God for them to learn and to know and to live by. And that news comes to his aid - Joshua: Moses is dead. And now you ... will lead My people. will lead My people. We can barely imagine what went through the mind of Joshua. Or the minds of all of those people. Will we have another Moses? Will he be a great leader? How can we go on and continue? Will we have that blessing of God remaining upon us? And God comes to Joshua to reassure him and say: You ARE My leader! And I AM with you! So therefore I want you to be strong and be courageous. I want you to know that I am giving you the land. You and these people, the Israelites, that I promised to Moses. That great land that was going to be large and extensive ... that was going to be for them filled with blessings of bounty for their use and for their enjoyment. God came to Joshua and He made it clear that He WAS WITH Joshua just as He was with Moses. And what He had promised to Moses, and through Moses, He also promised to Joshua: To carry out the work that He had laid plans for. He'd also reminded Joshua that it was the same promise to their forefathers ... to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob that that land would be theirs. He would give it to them as an inheritance. And God came to Joshua, and wanted Joshua to understand and be clear that the Lord WAS still with him. And the Lord would never leave him or forsake him. And THAT was his confidence in being the leader of God's people. To stand before this group of God's children with the knowledge that God WAS with him; that God was going to carry out His work through him just as He had through all of the leaders before, and all of the leaders that would come after him. Those who obeyed God's Law and kept His Word God would accomplish His goal and the good of His people. And Joshua knew that, and could stand before those people with confidence ringing in his ears that promise that God would never leave him or forsake him. And we, as the Church today, have that same confidence ringing in our ears. That God is not going to abandon His Church. God is not going to leave us alone in this world but He is always with us. He is always blessing the labors of our hands when we work in His name in accord with His will. And as His Church, we have the confidence of knowing that He is with us. That He keeps His Word! That He keeps His promises! We saw how God fulfilled that Word to Joshua as they went into that Promised Land and God still did wonderful and miraculous things for His people. They marched around the City of Jericho and blew their horns and it crumbled in their presence. God did amazing things. And God STILL comes to His Church today doing even greater and amazing things ... taking hearts that are enemies of God and causing them to beat with the love of God. Bringing people to faith who don't want that faith. Who would rather remain hostile to God when He comes with the power of the Holy Spirit in His Word to tell people of His love for them. To tell them what He has done. How He has always been with His Church ... with His believers. How He has always come to them in a love that defies human understanding. Because it is a love that sacrificed His One and only Son that sacrificed His One and only Son so that His enemies would be at peace with Him. That they would have life ... eternal life through what His Son had accomplished for them. Jesus Himself promised the Church that He would be with them to the very end of the age before He was taken up before the disciples eyes into heaven ... where He sits at the right hand of God STILL ruling His Church, still guiding His Church, and praying for it and interceding for it ... for its leaders. For the people of the congregations who play roles that govern congregations. And those people in those positions go back to hear that promise that the Lord will not leave us or forsake us. But living in the world is a difficult thing. Being a leader of God's people is not always easy. Moses became frustrated. Moses went to God and said: These people! Joshua had difficulties in leading. We live in a sinful world and it IS easy to become discouraged. It is easy to become disheartened. It is easy to forget that the Lord has promised to be with us. That the Lord has said to us: Be strong and be courageous. He said to Joshua: Have I not commanded you? Be strong and be very courageous! He comes back to Joshua again and again and again in these verses reminding him to BE strong! And our sinful nature needs to hear that. Because Satan wants to whittle away at that strength and our courage each and every day. He wants us to become disheartened. He wants us to become disillusioned. He wants us to sit back and not do anything! He doesn't want us to lead. He doesn't want us to follow. He just wants us to sit and be content. And not do anything in fear. Because we have fear, something bad may happen. Our human nature reads those words that Paul wrote to Timothy about what it is to be a Godly leader. And we read through that list and we see how each of us falls short of that. I am not always temperate. I am not always gentle. There are things in that list that I break in my sinful life. The leaders of our church; the deacons of our church look at that same list and realize that they sin against that, too. The wives and the women that are mentioned there to be ... to be reverent and not be malicious, and to be temperate. We know that we sin against that and Satan wants to come into our hearts and our lives and say: You don't deserve what God has given you. You CAN'T be a leader because of that sin that is in you. But when we hear that, we need to come back to what God told Joshua: Be strong and courageous. Be IN the Word. Meditate on the Book of the Law day and night so that you know what it says. So that you will be empowered by it. So that you will live according to it. Keep yourself active in God's Word and be strong. Commit to that. Make that commitment and stick with that commitment. To be courageous in our life. To have the courage to be the leader that God has called you to be. If you are the leader of your house, take that roll and lead your family for the good of their spiritual welfare. If you are a mother, take that roll of leadership in teaching your children and giving them the joy of salvation and leading them in the devotion of meditating on God's Word. If God has placed you as a councilman in this congregation to take that roll and be strong in it and with courage to live in it. Because God has given us the strength. God has given us each other. He has given us leaders in our homes, in our communities, in our churches ... to bless His name. To proclaim His Word. And we need to take ownership of that. To stop the voice of Satan in our heads. To silence our own fears and doubts. And to be strong ... and to be courageous! Because HE, our loving Lord, will never leave us. Nor will He forsake us and He will bless the work that we do in His name. We stand at a crossroads in this congregation. This is a crossroad that the children of Israel faced going into a new land, a new territory, and we as the Church of Zion face that same newness. That same newness in July is how are we going to continue Christian Education among us? How are we going to commit ourselves as a congregation to still [be] teaching children? And still bringing Bible Study to adults that are hungering and thirsting for that message of God's Word. And how do we do that to the best of our abilities? And God has given us each other with people here to be strong and courageous. To stand up and to take rolls of leadership. And to do the work that God has asked us to do. To do it in His name. For His glory. Mindful that He is the One who keeps His promises to us. That He will be with us. That He will never leave us or forsake us. So today we stand united as the Church of God strong in faith. Strong in the knowledge of God's Word; growing as we continue to meditate on His Word. And we stand today, courageous. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds, and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 18 minutes and 21 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 65
Posted by: hischild on Feb 3, 2012

Taking a close look at Chapter 1 of the Book of Joshua, verses 1-9, Pastor Dave reminds us how to not let Satan interfere in our rolls of leadership. To contact Pastor Dave: www.ziontorrance.info

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