Toe Dipping – Sermon Summary   Leave a comment

Joshua 3:7-17.

We have assembled many of our ideas and dreams as a church.  Some ideas may be spot on while others may be a bit off target.  If we look at things through the lens of target practice, we see the bulls-eye as the primary target.  When we shoot and miss, we don’t give up.  We don’t put our tools away, admit defeat, and quit without ever trying again.  When it comes to the church moving forward in seeking God’s will, our bulls-eye is what we would call the center of God’s will.  If we don’t hit the target with our first shot, we cannot allow ourselves to feel defeated and lose our desire to try again.

In other words, we must learn from our past if we plan to continue to move forward again.

Muddy Creek Baptist Church is preparing to celebrate our 235th anniversary.  We have a remarkable heritage to build upon.  Think back to churches started, missions inspired, community activities that have survived and grown, and so on.  When you combine your heritage with your wildest dreams, the result is concentrated efforts to find the center of God’s will.

One key to this is togetherness.  The mighty redwoods are pictures of majesty and strength, yet their root systems are amazingly poor.  But because they have root systems that intertwine and seemingly wrap themselves around one another, the resulting support system is powerful and true.  The church can do much more than any individual.  We must work together and rely upon one another.

To face the future while honoring the past takes COURAGE.

Vv. 7-8.  Joshua is God’s chosen leader for the people.  He must show that his leadership is inspired by no one else than God above.  I am a firm believer that God chooses leaders and puts them in the places He chooses.  I also firmly believe that all of God’s leaders must lead as led from above.  There is no room for leaders with personal agendas in God’s work.

Vv. 9-13.  Joshua’s first task is to ensure the people that what is being instructed is God’s plan because it would be nothing short of miraculous.  Are the plans you have for your church things that we can achieve?  Are we relying on what we already know and know about ourselves or are we thinking even bigger?  If our dreams do not include any elements of faith required, then our dreams are too small.  Ask God to give us something that we can NOT achieve without Him.  Make God-sized plans.

Vv. 14-17.  The faithful obedience of the people produced the miracle.  God provided the miracle and the people got to see it because they believed His instructions through His leader.

What would have happened if Joshua had chosen not to lead?  What would have happened if those under Joshua had chosen to ignore Joshua’s words and hesitated at the river’s edge?  What if the priests had stopped at the water and dipped their toes in the water instead of walking directly into it as they had been instructed?  I think that they’d still be there today!

When Moses was priming Joshua to take command, he kept telling him to be strong and courageous.  When the Lord was communicating with Joshua about what He was going to do, He told Joshua to be strong and courageous.  When Joshua stood before the people, they told him to be strong and courageous.

Church – be strong and courageous.

It takes courage to be the church in the community.  It takes courage to be the loving church family we are supposed to be.  It takes courage to be a leader within the church, regardless of the position.  It takes courage to live the Christian life.  It takes courage to become a Christian.

What is your courage level today?  Is it where it should be?  Please, don’t get caught dipping your toes in the river’s edge because the blessing of a miraculous gift from above awaits your faithful response!

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