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Be strong & Courageous!

Book of Joshua: Lo, I Am With You   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Title: Be strong & courageous!
Title: Be strong & courageous!
Text:
Series: "Lo, I am with you" [Book of Joshua]
Introduction:
What is the presence of God?
We are not speaking of his omnipresence.
It is what Adam & Eve hid themselves from in shame after they sinned.
It is what Cain fled from after killing Abel.
It is what God wanted to reestablish with the Tabernacle/Temple sacrificial system - a means for God’s presence to be among his people.
It is why John, the gospel writer said that the Word “tabernacled” with us.
Thus, the scripture seems to indicate a difference in the omnipresence of God and the abiding presence of God.
One is his attribute, while the other is primarily speaking of the way God relates to man.
Why did it matter so much in the OT?
It is a phrase that implies accountability.
It is a phrase that shows intent: the Lord’s desire.
It is a phrase that shows relationship.
It was a phrase that indicated power.
Why should it matter to people today?
God is the One from whom our life flows
In Him we find purpose [ILL: think of all the people trying to find their heritage “Ancestry.com”]
There is something crying out from within man to be with his Father, in a Creator sense (not salvation) [ILL: me and my brother…]
So, it is not that it should matter. It is that it does matter because we are created in the image of God, we are linked to him.
What we find in this passage is that the presence of God is the source of strength and courage for conquest. Maybe you remember that after Jesus Christ had risen from the dead, it was his presence that He promised for the conquest that he commissioned:
- How do I think of his presence? Spooky? Feeling?
Matthew 28:18–20 KJV 1900
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.
- How do I reconcile bad circumstances and the presence of God?
Proposition:
- How does the presence of God relate to conquest today? Lo, I am with thee always...
Proposition:
Be strong & courageous in the conquest!
Why?

(1) The presence of the Lord does not end with the death of his servants (v. 1 - 6)

(i) The promises made to past dead generations are good for this generation (v. 2 - 4, 6)
(ii) The power available to past dead generations is good for this generation (v. 5)
*all based on the promise of his presence
Principle: the presence of the Lord is available today.
Illustration: it is like the left over Thanksgiving Sweet Potato casserole that just keeps getting better and better, only the presence of the Lord is always available.
Application:

(2) The presence of the Lord does lead to the strength and courage of his servants (v. 7 - 9)

(i) The command to be strong/courageous is necessary for obedience to the law. (v. 7)
(ii) Obedience to the law flows from commitment to the law. (v. 8)
(iii) Success is the result of full commitment to the law. (v. 8)
(iv) The command to be strong/courageous is rooted in the presence of the Lord. (v. 9)
Principle:
If you want to obey the word of God, then you must have the presence of the Lord in your life.
Illustration:
It seems like the tug of war battle for which you want to make sure that you have the strongest and biggest people on your side.
There is one problem. While it is true that the presence of the Lord is required for obedience to the Law, we know that obedience to the Law is also required for a man to be able to continue in the presence of the Lord - so, how do we resolve this? We don’t, but God did.
With Adam & Eve, God provided the coats of skins
With Israel, God provided the sacrificial system
With all of mankind, God has provided Jesus Christ - He is the One who has obeyed the Word of God so that we could experience the presence of God.
In experiencing the presence of God through Christ, we now are encouraged and strengthened to obey the word of God.

(3) The presence of the Lord is still the source of strength & courage today

(i) The presence of the Lord has come in the True Conqueror - ,
Colossians 2:13–15 KJV 1900
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Colossians 2:13–15 KJV 1900
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Hebrews 9:24 KJV 1900
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Matthew 28:18–20 KJV 1900
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 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.
Romans 8:34–37 KJV 1900
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
(ii) The presence of the Lord is regularly experienced through the word (both reading/faithful obedience)
(ii) The presence of the Lord is regularly experienced through the word (both reading/faithful obedience)
(iii) The presence of the Lord is promised for the conquest - lo, I am with you....

Conclusion:

Today, the presence of the Lord means that you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior, and he abides with you forever. This is a fact!
Today, the presence of the Lord means that not only are you saved, but you are living by the strength and power of His presence as you faithfully read and obey His Word.
For some, today the presence of the Lord is something you must shamefully attempt to hide yourself from because of sin. The unbeliever hides and tries to cover up in his rebellion.
The believer, like Jonah, lives a life that does not abide or rest in Christ. -
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