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Crossing the Jordan 2 – The Edge of Greatness; nv 6/12/05 a.m.

OS: 1 We are all faced with innumerable opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations. Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

I.       God’s desire for every congregation of His people is for them to enter into greatness.

A.     Mega-church? Not at all.

B.     Greatness = not determined by attendance, offerings, size of facilities, - it is reflected by being all that we can be in the place that God has placed us.

II.    Every church at some point comes to a crossroads, at this point the church decides whether or not it will enter into greatness. (same for life)

A.     This decision is made in a very significant location – “The edge of Greatness” or “The Banks of the Jordan”

                       1.       It was the Jordan River that divided the wilderness from the promise land in a sense. It was part of the Promise Land, but in a later lesson we will see it prominence (Joshua 3)

B.     2 The edge of greatness is always found at the intersection of opportunity and choice.

C.     If you just stand there and choose to do nothing life will just pass you by.

III. This morning we will go further into the life of the nation of Israel at their first intersection of opportunity and choice.

A.     First encounter on the edge of Greatness. There is no doubt that God had brought them to this moment.

                       1.       Slaves in Egypt – God sent Moses to lead them out. 10 plagues.

                       2.       Dividing of the Red Sea – pillar of fire by night, and cloud by day.

                       3.       They met with God at the mountain, received the covenant, and laws of God – were fed by God, and God provided water.

                       4.       They are now standing on the edge of the new Promised Land, a land flowing with milk and honey. They camp in the Desert of Paran, and they seek a picture of what can be.

B.     At the edge of Greatness came their crises of belief.

C.     TEXT – Numbers 13:1-3; 17-20 3-4

                       1.       5 1 Corinthians 10 11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

                       2.       6 Northview stands at the edge of greatness.

                       3.       An individuals you stand at the edge of greatness.

D.     The evidence of the past shows God’s definite leadership.

                       1.       1972 – began with a handful of believers.

                       2.       Moved to this location – bold step of faith. Likewise when this auditorium was built.

                       3.       Our vision in relocating, even with the sacrifices we face, do not seem so large when viewed through the perspective of history.

                       4.       We decided some time ago, at God’s leading, to make the journey of relocation. Over the coming weeks and months we must decide whether to press on to greatness or retreat to a wilderness of mediocrity.

E.      Between where we are today, and where God leads us toward tomorrow lies a great challenge.

                       1.       On the first day we worship on Amity Hill Road we will be faced with the reality of what it means to be the church that God wants us to be. We have set aside that day to take a one time offering along with an attendance drive that would allow us the opportunity to make a statement to God. “God, we believe in You and we are willing to do what it takes to be the church You want us to be.”

TS] 3 characteristics of a person or a church that moves on to greatness.

I.       If I move on to greatness I must begin with a vision of the opportunities. (13:2)

A.     Vision = what?

                       1.       “the ability to see God’s presence, to perceive God’s power, to focus on God’s plan in spite of the obstacles”

                       2.       A preferred future.(Look and see what I have prepared) This is still one of the functions of leadership today – explore the vision of tomorrow and bring back a word for direction today.

B.     Vision alone is insufficient – proper attitude is a must.

                       1.       Six shoe company executives were sent out to scout out prospects for expansion in a new country just emerging from a primitive state. They looked around conferred, and disagreed about the potential market. Four cabled their majority report; “No market here. Everyone goes barefoot.” The minority of two advised, “Everyone here needs shoes. Recommend opening a branch factory and office immediately.” All the executives noted that the people were barefoot. It was how they interpreted the situation and applied it to themselves that counted.”

C.     Can you see the opportunities God provides?

                       1.       For your life – a brand new outlook on the problems, struggles, and difficulties in life. A walk with God that is close and personal that provides confidence and assurance of the unkown tomorrow? God offers you a greater tomorrow for your life.

                       2.       For Northview – a sea of new faces, lives being changed, families made strong, and people coming to know Jesus? Thousand members joining together in worship and service to the community? Every person that lives in this area knows about Northview and is thankful for their presence in the community? God offers us a greater tomorrow.

                       3.       If you don’t know where you’re going – you don’t know how to get there! And, you’ll never come to point number 2.

II.    7 If I move on to greatness I will do so by a decision to get my feet wet.

A.     Did you notice vs. 2 – “the land which I am giving to the Israelites”?

                       1.       They had a sure promise of God. The land was already theirs.

                       2.       It would be up to them to make that decision, cross over, and possess it.

                       3.       They all saw the greatness of the opportunity to some extent – 13:26-33 (8,9,10)

B.     11 Once again attitude comes in to play.

                       1.       :Choice #1 = the threat outweighs the blessing of greatness.

a.       “It can’t be done”

b.      When their original negativism was not enough, they began to imagine that things were worse than they were. “grasshoppers”

c.       Their report was “bad” – it was to postpone, hesitate, resist, wit, digress, and go back. Unbelief always waits for a more convenient season.

d.      We could take this option – giants of economic uncertainties, future unknowns, and shadows of the undetected we cannot see.

                       2.       :Choice #2 = the blessings outweigh the threat.

a.       Caleb and Joshua also saw the giants, but they knew God was greater than any giant.

b.      They knew that God had led them this far and would not abandon them on the edge of greatness.

C.     Greatness is ultimately determined by a decision to crossover.

                       1.       Like: jumping off a cliff into the lake. You make the climb, its there before you, the thrill of a lifetime. But you have to decide to jump!

TS] If I move on to greatness I must begin with a vision of the opportunities, and then I must make that decision to go.

III.  12 If I am to move on to greatness I must recognize there are consequences. (no such thing as no decision)

A.     13 Notice 14:1-4

B.     When a church refuses greatness, it turns on itself.

                       1.       A church will either give itself to growth, conquest, and vision or pettiness and arguments about procedures, policies, and the preservation of the status quo.

                       2.       You will either give yourself to growth and God’s vision for your life, or to being stagnant, frustrated, and set yourself up for many regrets.

                       3.       That is the real decision being made when you stand on the banks of the Jordan.

C.     Many people have the tendency to live in the past.

                       1.       On the edge of greatness a church may decide to turn around and go back.

                       2.       “You can’t go home again” – he was right. Instead of going home Israel was caught in a wilderness of wandering for 40 years of lost opportunity.

                       3.       A church cannot go back to the way it was. When a church says no to greatness, there are years of slow death and decline.

IV.  14 If I move on to greatness I must begin with a vision of the opportunities, and then I must make that decision to go, understanding the consequences of my choice.

A.     What will be your response? Will you choose to go forward for the Lord or remain the same? We are at the edge of greatness, at the inter-section of opportunity and choice. Will we go forward in this year and seize the opportunities that God has for us. Or, will we refuse? Let us go up at once and possess it; for God is well able to overcome.

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