Church service this past Sunday, the last Sunday of 2014, was an inspiring message for the new year. The sermon came from
I want to share with you the message I received through the sermon and more that inspired me through my own personal study.
I would also like to say how thankful I am for my church and pastor. It is becoming rare to find a pastor who preaches with such passion each week, and a pastor who obviously puts much study into his sermons from the Word of God. I thank God for a pastor who doesn't feed his church watered-down sermons or the same message on salvation Sunday after Sunday. Don't get me wrong, the message of salvation is vital, but we need the "meat" of the word as well.
In Joshua Chapter 1 the Lord spoke to Joshua. In verse two, the Lord told Joshua,
"Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them."
It was a new beginning.
Moses was now dead, and the Children of Israel were on the edge of the Promised Land. They were about to enter into something new. Like the new year we are about to enter, Joshua and the people could not foresee what this new beginning would bring. In verse 5, God told Joshua,
"...as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
This is a promise is the same for us today as we enter the year 2015.
As we look at the world around us, we could easily become fearful or anxious about the future. However, God instructs Joshua and the people over and over again to be strong and of a good courage.
In verse 9, the Lord says,
"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."
Let us remember those words as we enter into 2015!
Let us also do as God instructs in verse 7.
"Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest."
God also says in verse 8,
"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."
Too many Christians are turning from what God's Word says!
Sadly, many churches are not only tolerating sin, but they are not preaching against it. Furthermore, many denominations are embracing many of the sins that the Bible clearly teaches are wrong.
Reading the news, it is obvious that Christianity is under attack, or should I say the Words of our Lord are under attack.
Joshua chapter 1 tells us to meditate on God's word day and night, and not to turn from it to the right or left.
That is how we will prosper in the new year!
In verse 5 God says,
"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."
This doesn't mean that we won't have adversity or battles to fight, but if we
- let not the book of the law depart out of our mouth
- meditate therein day and night
- observe to do all that is written
- turn not from it to the right hand or the left
- do all that God commands us to do
- and go whithersoever He sends us
- rebel not against His commandments
- and be strong and of good courage
You see, the Jordan River was a divide between the two lands. As we approach midnight December 31, we will be crossing over into 2015. May we have a newness with God, a spiritual refreshing from the river we cross!
As we cross over, it can be an opportune time to set up our stones so others may ask,"What Mean Ye These Stones?" , not to dwell on any trials in the past, but to remember and share with others how God brought us through over the past year.
2015 may be our best year ever, or we may face persecution, grief from loss, sickness, injury, natural disasters, or any other trail. Come what may, we can have a supernatural ability and assurance to overcome through the promises of our Lord that
He will be with us. He will not fail us, nor forsake us.
What a precious promise for the new year!
As I think about these scriptures, I reflect on this past year and many situations in my own personal life and my family. I see ways God did not fail or forsake me. I think about Connie and how she has battled with illness this year, yet God has not failed or forsaken her. I think about all the pain and sickness little Taylor has endured, and how God has touched her.
I wonder what the new year will hold for all those on Cheryl's blog at Homespun Devotions like the Brown family, Baby Obed, Jimmy, and Lauren who have been through so much this year.
Joshua 1 beautifully shows us how God wants to bring us over and into His "Promises".
Whether it's through to another day or through to the glories of Heaven, God never fails us or forsakes us. I think about this as I pray for Lauren and Jimmy who are both terminally ill. Be strong and of good courage, God will see you safely through. He is still the same God today as He was when He raised Lazarus, healed the sick, opened blinded eyes, and made the lame to walk. Perhaps we will see a healing miracle. Only God know what His perfect will is.
Whatever we may face, it is a sweet comfort to know that
the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.(vs.9)
As I look towards the new year, I want to have the courage to "arise and go over" to where God leads me! I want to meditate in His word day and night. I want to turn not to the right or left, but STAND firm on the Word of God!
I want to be armed with the Word and be strong in prayer against any spiritual warfare that comes against me and my fellow brothers and sisters.
but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
Until the Lord have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you...Joshua 1:14&15
We can get so much out of Joshua Chapter 1 and apply it to our new year!
There is no doubt that we can be blessed throughout 2015!
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
Here is another perfect Psalm to pray for the new year!
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. Psalm 91
I pray that God's church will be revived in
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