Be Strong

Homiletics Practicum  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Good afternoon! Open your Bibles to the book of Joshua. We will read Joshua 1:5-9 this afternoon and kindly focus our attention on verses 5-9, but we will read the whole thing for context. Read Passage
Imagine you’re sitting on the couch, reading your devotions (maybe on your phone, even) and you get a text. And in that text, we see that something terrible has happened to someone you love. What would our first reaction be to that crisis? Now, if you’re me, you would want to dive straight into the situation. Now, our first reaction would probably not be to take the lead in handling the crisis.
But in the book of Joshua, the nation of Israel is facing a crisis. Moses has died and they are faced with entering the promised land with a new leader. And through that transition, the Lord comes to Joshua and He gives him some instructions. In these instructions, God was commanding Joshua to be strong. He commanded him to be strong because He will never leave him, and He will keep his promises to them.
Homiletic Proposition:
Be strong in the Lord!
And today we will learn that we must be strong in the Lord!
1. First, be strong because of our ever-present God.
“I will be with thee”
Joshua 1:5 KJV 1900
There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
“the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest[1]”
Joshua 1:9 KJV 1900
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
To Jacob -- Genesis 28:15
Genesis 28:15 KJV 1900
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
To the Israelites -- Deuteronomy 31:6
Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV 1900
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
To Us -- Matthew 28:20
Matthew 28:20 KJV 1900
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Hebrews 13:5 KJV 1900
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
The courage that we should have should not be centered on our strength. That’s the whole point! The reason why Joshua was able to lead the Israelites into the promised land was not because he was some super-human leader. But because God was with him.
Warren Wiersbe says that there are three things that Joshua believed about God.
Joshua believed that God was all-powerful
Joshua believed that God always keeps His promises.
Joshua believed that God would always be with him.
And when we believe that we have an all-powerful God who never leaves us, we can be strong!
“God never commands us to do something and then leaves us alone to do it.” -unknown
2. Second, be strong because of our promise-keeping God.
God kept His promise to Joshua’s predecessors to give their children the land of Canaan. And in Joshua’s lifetime, that promise was fulfilled.
To Abraham
Genesis 12:2–3 KJV 1900
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
Genesis 12:7 KJV 1900
And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him.
To the Israelites
Exodus 23:31 KJV 1900
And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.
All these passages remind us that because we have a God who keeps His promises, we must be strong through the difficulties in our lives. When crisis comes, we must be strong because of the God who will keep His promises to us.
3. Third, be strong because of our ever-faithful God.
a. God is faithful to His Word.
Titus 1:2–3 KJV 1900
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;
What He has promised will happen. He was with Joshua and brought him into the promised land safely. He will be with you through life’s crisis’.
b. Meditate in His Word.
Meditate therein – “To read with thoughtfulness, to linger over God’s Word. The parts of Scripture they possessed have always been the main spiritual food of those who served Him, e.g., Job (Job 23:12); the psalmist (Ps. 1:1–3); Jeremiah (Jer. 15:16); and Jesus (John 4:34).”
To be a courageous soldier of Jesus Christ, you must stay in God’s Word! There is no possible way to obey God and to disregard His Word. When the crisis comes, you must be in God’s Word to be a strong and courageous leader. Joshua meditated on God’s Law. The Mosaic Law.
Today, the Word of God calls us to be strong. Don’t give up faith. We have a God who will never leave us and never forsake us. We can trust in Him to keep us. “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil 1:6 And what should be our response to a promise-keeping, ever-by-our-side God? We should….
Final Application:
There are three simple applications of our passage this afternoon.
· Stay in God’s Word!
· Know God will never forsake His own!
· Be Strong!
Final Appeal:
Today, when you’re going through crisis, be strong in the Lord!
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