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SUCCESS IN 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

 

On December 30th, I presented a special lesson talking about success in 2019. We are already half way through February, and time is moving fast. I wanted to post and share my outline of that class, because I know there were some who were not able to be in attendance. Plus, it's another reminder for us that indeed we can be successful in 2019. There's so much excitement in December and January when a new year comes around. But things quickly change when our schedules get busy. Hopefully, this will remind us of what we discussed earlier. 

1.    It is the time of year when so many are thinking about 2019. Many are preparing their New Year’s Resolutions. Many have particular goals in mind. I think it’s safe for me to say that everyone wants one thing in 2019: SUCCESS. Am I right?

2.     In life, we want to be successful. People want to be successful when it comes to finances, fitness, and so much more. That’s a great thing. The more we become better in those areas, the more we will be able to do for God. As we talk about success, let’s first define our term.

a.     Define success.

b.     “A favorable result, the gaining of wealth and fame, a successful person or thing.” It could also be achievement, accomplishment, gain, benefit, etc.

3.     The Bible speaks about being successful, Genesis 24:21 ; 1 Samuel 18:14; Nehemiah 1:11, 2:20. There’s a story I want us to consider this morning. It’s a story of the Israelites who were led by Joshua. The God of heaven told them that they could have great success. Yet for them to be successful, there were some things they needed to know and do. The same is true for us. As a congregation, I believe we will be successful in 2019. But it will not be based upon our own strength or wisdom, but rather the wisdom of God.  Like the Israelites, we’re headed into uncharted territory. We don’t know what the year holds. But we know the same God that led Joshua and the Israelites is the same God that is with us. Therefore, we will be successful. Our success is for the glory of God. Our success is so we can stay on track to be with Him in heaven.

The Lesson:

  1. The Story
    1. As we think about Joshua and the Israelites, let’s discuss some details of the story.
      1. What has happened leading up to Joshua 1?
        1. God’s people had been delivered from Egyptian bondage.
        2. They spied out the land of Canaan. Ten spies gave a bad report. Two (Joshua and Caleb) gave a good report.
        3. God punished them to stay in the wilderness until a new generation arose, Numbers 14.
        4. Moses would pass the torch to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:1-9, 14, 23.
      2. Joshua would now be the leader for God’s people. He had been mentored by Moses. While he couldn’t replace Moses, he would still be a mighty leader.
    2. Understanding this background information is important as we look at the story.
      1. Remember the promises God gave to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3
      2. The descendants of Abraham were about to inherit the promise land, Joshua 21:43-45.
  2. Rules For Success
    1. When we read Joshua chapter one, notice a couple of things. 
      1. What rules do you see God give to the people if they wanted to be successful?
        1. Verse 1: Leave the past behind.
          1. Moses was dead. Joshua needed to move forward. The Israelites had a hard time letting go of the past. They wanted to return to Egypt. Now a new leader had risen. He wasn’t Moses. They knew him, but how can anyone replace Moses? They would have to move forward.
          2. While we can learn from the past, if not careful it can hold someone back. Leave the past behind.
        2. Verses 2-4: Trust in God.
          1. God speaks as if the land already belongs to them. That’s because it did (Read Numbers 13). “I have given it to you…”
          2. He speaks as if they are already victorious. That’s because they were, Joshua 1:5.
        3. Verses 6-9: Be obedient to God’s word.
          1. As they journeyed into a new land, they would have to follow what God directed them to do. This would require knowledge on their part.
          2. They would have to hear God’s word and carry it out, Joshua 1:7-9.
        4. Verse 11-16: Take action.
          1. After receiving God’s instructions, they would have to take action.
          2. Joshua had to lead. The people had to respond. Action was necessary.
        5. Verse 18: Discipline if necessary.
          1. For those who didn’t listen to God’s instructions, discipline was to be carried out.
          2. It was a necessity.
      2. Can you find anything else in Joshua 1? From the list above, which of these instructions do you think may have been the hardest to carry out or follow through? 
    2. These instructions given to the Israelites are great for us to remember as we go into 2019.
      1. God wanted His people then to have great success.
      2. He desires the same thing for us. We are His people, 1 Peter 2:9.
      3. These instructions will cover every aspect of our lives. From a congregational standpoint, these rules will lead us to great success.
        1. While we have had great success in 2018, we must continue to move forward, particularly when it comes to Evangelism.
          1. This certainly applies to conversions in 2018. We rejoice with the souls that were saved. But we continue to move forward and look for more opportunities.
          2. We trust in the power of the gospel, Romans 1:16. We trust what God says in John 4:30-34. We will be successful when we do.
          3. We shine our lights (be obedient)
          4. We take action (invite, pray, study)
        2. In what other areas might these rules help us in 2019?
          1. Families.
            1. A memorial was set up in Joshua 4:20-24, where instructions and teaching were to be given to children. Children would ask questions about these stones, and their parents were to discuss what those stones meant. This is a great example for us to follow. We can help our families to be successful spiritual when we discuss what God has done for us and is doing for us. 
            2. Joshua followed the rules of success in his life. He was a leader for his family. He was determined to lead them the right way, Joshua 23:15. This is the mindset we must have. 
  3. Rules Carried Out
    1. God prepared His people. They would carry out His instructions.
      1. They would take action and spy on the land of Jericho, Joshua 2:1-10. They would eventually conquer the city of Jericho, 6-7. They took action, trusted God, and were obedient.
      2. They had to trust God when they crossed the Jordan River, Joshua 3:5. Joshua spoke with great faith: “Tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
      3.  They also carried out discipline when necessary, Joshua 7. The story of Achan is a powerful reminder of discipline being carried out.
    2. What other stories in Joshua help us to see how they carried out God’s rules for success?
      1. The countless battles they faced as they conquered the land.
      2. The trust they had during the seven years to carry out God’s instructions.
      3. What about us? When we follow these rules, we will also be successful. But we will have to have follow through in 2019.
        1. Many churches are on the decline. 
        2. We must all do our part if we are going to be successful.
      4. In fact, there’s a warning of what happens when God’s people forget His recipe for spiritual success.
  4. A Warning
    1. God kept His word, Joshua 23:1. His people were successful. But He also warned them.
      1. They were to firmly cling to God’s word, Joshua 23:1-10. If they did they would continue to be successful. But if not, they would perish.
      2. Joshua was resolute obeying God, Joshua 24:15.
    2.  How long did it take before God’s people forgot about the success He gave to them?
      1. God’s people in a short period of time went from victory to defeat.
      2. When a new generation arose, they quickly forgot about God.
        1. They failed to fully drive out who God told them to drive out.
        2. They forgot what God had done.
        3. They did not keep His commandments.
      3. It’s easy to learn from the story of Joshua, Judges 1-2.
      4. As a congregation, this warning is real. As individuals, this warning in real. We can be successful as Christians.

Conclusion:

1.    God desires to bless us.

2.    Let’s give Him the glory in all we do.

I believe we will continue to be successful in 2019. Let's continue to ARISE and BUILD. 

Lord willing this Sunday, I will be preaching from Luke 7. There are some interesting stories in that chapter. 

WHO ARE YOU LIKE?

Thursday, February 07, 2019

In Luke 6:46-49 Jesus said, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."

Who are we like? 

These words of Jesus should cause us pause so we can examine our hearts. What Jesus taught earlier in Luke 6 is indeed challenging. Yet He calls us to hear His words and to act on them. This is what a wise person will do. 

But we get to decide who we will be like. Will we be like a wise man or a foolish man (Matthew 7:24-27)? 

My two sermons for this Sunday are called "An Unusual Funeral" and "What Jesus Teaches Us About Authority." I look forward to seeing you all. 

God Bless, 

Benjamin 

Make Time To Pray

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

You have the time. We have the time. Everyday, we have another opportunity to draw closer to God. Everyday we have the time to pause and go to Him in prayer.

A simple reading through the gospels and one will see how Jesus would often slip away to pray. Read passages like Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Mark 1:35.

We have the time to pray.

We have time to scroll on Instagram. We have time to like and post on Facebook. We have time to even text while driving (admit it). We have time to watch plenty of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.

Time is really not the issue. Focus is the issue. Prioritizing is the issue. Seeing the value of prayer is the issue. Jesus taught about being consistent and persistent when it comes to prayer, Luke 18:1. Let us never lose heart when it comes to spending Time Alone with God.

Go to Him in prayer. God bless you. Have a great morning! Don’t forget to pray.

"IT IS WRITTEN"

Friday, January 25, 2019

In our Bible reading, we see where the devil tempted Jesus. From the responses of Jesus, we can learn a lot about how to be victorious in the spiritual battles we will face. 

In Luke 4:4, 8, and 10, Jesus responded to whatever the devil said with "IT IS WRITTEN." Jesus was not going to be deceived by the tactics of the devil. He knew the scriptures and how to resist the devil. 

The question is, do we? More than ever we need to know the word of God. We need to know what is written. The devil is our enemy. The apostle Peter said concerning the devil that he, "...prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 

The good news is that we don't have to be devoured by him. We can resist him, and he will flee. In Luke 4:13, it says, "When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time." Jesus was victorious. We can be victorious as well. 

As we prepare to gather on Sunday to worship our great God, let's remember what is written. Let's remember what's written about the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Let's remember what's written about heaven. Let's remember what's written about the great sacrifice of the Prince of Life. 

Lord willing, this Sunday we will begin at 9 a.m. We will sing from 9-9:40 a.m. My sermon for this Sunday is called, "The inspiration of the scriptures." I will begin a series of lessons focusing on the authority of the scriptures. 

I look forward to worshipping with the saints. 

Let's begin to make preparations to worship our great king. 

God Bless, 

Benjamin Lee. 

A New Weekly Blog

Friday, January 18, 2019

Hello everyone,

I hope and pray that 2019 has been good so far. I'm thankful and excited to see another year. I believe 2019 will be great.  Lord willing, we will be gathering this Sunday at 9 a.m. to worship our Great God. God is good, not just some of the time, but all the time!

My sermon at 9 a.m. is entitled, “A Prayer Never Found.” At 10:40 I will be preaching on “What Makes The Resurrection of Jesus Unique?”

Each Friday I will send out a new blog. It will be something encouraging and to also update you with what we will be studying on Sundays.

Let's continue to look for opportunities to share the gospel with others. The gospel has the power to save. Let us never be ashamed of our faith. 

I look forward to seeing you all Lord willing this Sunday morning.

God is good!

Benjamin Lee

 

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