Faithlife Sermons

How to Be Inspired and Inspire Others

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Good Morning, trust that you all had blessed Christmas and that we trust that come upon a New year 2019 that God is going to bring many blessing into our lives and to our Richvale Church Family
What I love about a New Year…
Is that it represents New Possibilities… and Potentials...
A New year is like a blank Canvas Where there are no margins… no lines… only Possibilities
But that is also part of the challenge isn’t it… It would be easier paint by numbers than be confronted with a blank Canvas… the canvas also speaks of creativity.. life seems to be more of a. art more than a science... life is more than a canvas than an equation..
…… Life is not as linear as we would like A - B… the inputs don’t always match the outcomes.. there are not the guarantee that if I do this… this will happen… … Outcomes don’t often match effort and inputs… Just because you got that degree doesn’t necesary guarantee that job or that promotion...
What we put on that Canvas is going to reflect a lot about what we believe about life.. We might put our goals,..or our marriage… family… finaces.., our health.., spiritual life.... all these things are important.,
How do we live our lives with passion and Enthusiasm?
One word…
INSPIRATION
Every Piece of Art or creation came from some Inspiration.... My Dad’s an Artist and he has some amazing Paintings… but every Picture from a photograph… He started off painting wild life in Africa and now he paints — Bridges--- Cobbled streets....
So, I want you take a minute and just imagine with me this blank Canvas in front of you… and I want you to ask to interrogative question....
What ought to be on that Canvas?
When it comes to your goals… your marriage… your family....your fiances.... Your health.... right this second… no condemnation… just a question ---WHAT OUGHT TO BE…
This morning I want to talk to you about the importance of this word INSPIRATION… HOW TO BE INSPIRED AND HOW TO INSPIRE Others.
The English Word inspire means to breathe in… or to inhale...Something that gives you oxygen…Something that gives you inspiration to Aspire to something....
Many of us chose the path we are on because something or someone inspired us to do something… The reason I learned to play the bass guitar… was a young guy called Olli French.. who played in the church band.. I made the decision… I wanted to play bass like Oli.. that inspiration moment led to years of playing in a worship band...
Inspiration can come from many places..
Michael Angelo the famous artist and inventor — would get inspiration from the clouds and from shapes… He would get inspiration by combining two random thoughts together...
There are basically two kinds of Inspirations… Human inspiration and Divine Inspiration or God kind inspiration.. There are many great literary works that are inspired by authors… like Shakespeare.. C.S. Lewis… this is Human inspiration. The Bible is Divinely Inspired… The Greek expression for “God-inspired” is one word theo-pneustos, meaning “God-breathed.” …
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
The Bible claims to be inspired by God..meaning the Bible was not brought about by Human inspiration… It wasn’t brought about by dictation or some mechanical method t… but rather God used reap people, with personalities… experiences to convey his word to us… As the Bible tells us..
2 Peter 1:21 ESV
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Bible was written by some 40 authors who were guided over 4000 years by a common means —they wrote as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit... For the Christian the Word of God is our Primary Source of Inspiration…We are encouraged in scripture to meditate on his laws…day and night… We would find Strength and courage from the word.
David wrote…That God’s word brings light and lumination to our lives...
Psalm 119:105 ESV
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God is … ultimately the source of all creativity…and inspiration... every inventor and innovator is created in the image of God.. With the desire to create… Cisero the Roman Philosopher.. said..
No one was ever great without some portion of divine inspiration.”
Everything comes ultimately Divine Revelation… Human Inspiration is really inhaling - breathing some part of God’s Creation or revelation…Whether it is through general revelation - creation or His word..
One of the best Questions we can ask ourselves ---
Who inspires me? What inspires me? Where do I find inspiration?
I get my inspiration from favorite authors… I’ll often be interested in what Tim Keller, or John Stott, DA. Carson has to say on a topic… because I like their approach to life…
The Book of Joshua was a huge inspiration for the nation of Israel… Joshua is the story of Israel Conquering the land of Canaan and distributing the land among the 12 tribes… It’s about Abundant life and entering into the Rest and blessing that God has for his people…
The first five chapters tell the story of Israel crossing theJordan River… Which was a huge fete in itself…Four decades earlier Moses and Israelites had arrived at the same place on the edge of the Jordan… but didn’t have the faith to enter into the promise… Instead of seeing the possibilities they feared the Giants in the Land… 12 Spies went into the land and only Joshua… and Caleb came back with a positive report…
The nation was swayed by the majority and they spend the next forty years wondering in the Desert… But... This is a new day and new generation standing on the banks of the River --- This younger generations are those who have learned the lessons and pains of disobedience and they are ready to obey and trust God.... They are ready to say yes to God.
Joshua and the people spend three days in preparation…for the crossing… they prepare physically, Emotionally, Spiritually.... One of the big mistakes we can make in life is neglecting inner life…as well our health... we can put all kinds of things ahead of our Physical and spiritual wellbeing… And we can miss opportunities.... because we simply unprepared…
On the day of the crossing Joshua commands the people… when you see the Ark of the Covenant being carried by the priests you are to start following it… God was going to lead the charge into the promised land.... What was required from Joshua and the people was obedience…
A Disciplined life is an Obedient life… The very word disciple means one that is willing to come under another... Israel follow about five miles behind the Ark… about a Sabbath days walk
We are told that as soon as soon as the feet of the priests hit the the water…that water began to slow down....20 miles upstream at a town called Adam the scripture say that the water - The Bible says that water was completely cut off Interesting that the same word for Covenant is used here… God was fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant....extent of the land that God had given the people..
What caused the water to stop...
We are not told whether a ‘natural disaster’ blocked the river or not—but if it were some natural obstruction like an avalanche, it certainly was a miracle that it occurred just at that precise moment. The riverbanks and riverbed drained and the Israelites were able to walk ‘on dry ground’....While the Priests held their position… the people hurried over..
Joshua 4:1–9 ESV
1 When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’ ” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.” 8 And the people of Israel did just as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, just as the Lord told Joshua. And they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged and laid them down there. 9 And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day.
Before we dig into this Text — I want point something maybe somewhat unusual about this text.. Joshua or … more likely or most likely someone else…took some editorial license to add the words “and they are there until this day” — This is called the Etiological Formula and it comes up 15 times in the book of Joshua…speaks of time..passing.... years after the actual event… This time frame could well have been during the times of the kings when Israel was invaded by foreign enemies… People who were now in Captivity… could look at the Stones and Remember ---What God did at the Jordan… The memorial at the Jordan and the Memorial at Gilgal would have been Encouragement and Inspiration for many generations that follow...
The reason we build memorial is so that we won’t forget something… We as human being tend to pick up and move on… But a memorial reminds us what happened.
There are some amazing Memorials around our Country… from Civil war battles… pearl harbor… Vietnam memorial...
A few years ago we got to go to Ground Zero in New York city and to visit the 9/11 memorial - In the ground where the world trade Center used to stand are two foot prints of where the building used to stand — two memorials each about cover about an acre --- and over this beautiful granite rock you have eternity pool flowing over the 30 foot walls .
Around the edges are engraved 2996 people who lost their lives on these days… When you visit you get the sense of the tragedy… people and families that were affected by this..
The Generation that followed would look at the 12 Stones and remember How God brought them into the land in a miraculous way...
T/S We learn that there are different places where we can get Inspiration.. One of the ways that Israel was inspired was by Remembering Joshua.. the name Joshua is means God Saves..
T/s One of the way we get inspired today..

1. The Examples of Great Leaders

What Inspiration do we get from Joshua?
First of all…Joshua had a difficult task ahead of Him… Can you imagine being the leader that took over leadership from Moses… Moses was the Father of the nation of Israel… before Moses they were nomads and shepherds… Moses inspired them to be a nation - He confronted the godlike Pharoah and said “Let my People go.” Not only did He lead Israel — but He defeated Pharoah and his army… through the mirarcle of the Red Sea...
These are big leadership shoes to fill… Remember Joshua was Moses assistant… He was running errands for Moses....answering texts… sending emails.. This is one of those surprises in Scripture… We know that Joshua has already proved to be faithful but was he leadership quality.. did he have that.. Obviously God saw that Joshua was up to the task.…
Joshua 1:1–3 ESV
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
God called Joshua and raised him up to be the leader of Israel…
He had two Difficult tasks...
First task was to take on the Kings of Canaan..
When you measured the military might of Kings of Canaan against Israel… there is no way that they would have had a Chance.. So... Canaan could never conquered by military might. The only way that Joshua could posses the land was through a venture of faith…
What quality did Joshua have..
What we find in Joshua is man who of Faith — Who believed God… and was willing to listen and to obey God’s voice..
God had said to Joshua that he was going to give Joshua the land and that every place they stepped upon would be theirs...…
There was a condition to that Promises in verse 7 that the needed to be Strong and Courageous and be careful to do everything that Moses had commanded… Do not turn from it from the left or to the Right and the Lord would give them Great success…
Joshua 1:9 ESV
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
God urges Joshua to obey the law of Moses carefully—like a straight path, from which it is dangerous to stray. Joshua obeys God’s law, then he will be prosperous and successful… What qualifed Joshua was as a leader wash his obedience
The second Challege Joshua had was
2. Unite the People and win over their confidence in His leadership.
One thing you learn quickly in leadership… is that influence never just comes with a title… Influence comes out relationship and trust…
All of these things were going to be tested right away..
What became evident about Joshua is the the same spirit which had been upon Moses was now upon Joshua—and they saw it!
He was Moses’ servant before, but now he is exalted before the people by God’s authority which rests upon him.
Joshua 4:14 ESV
14 On that day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life.
In this leadership position, all he did was direct the people to look to the ark and to follow it! Look to Jesus! Look to Jesus! Follow him. He will lead you through to victory! That is all a leader must do—point the way to Jesus Christ!
When the people looked at those 12 Stones… They remembered that God used Joshua an Assistant to Moses… The were inspired by His Faith.... and remember the importance of obedience..
T/s Find inspiration from
1. The Examples of Great Leaders

2. Exploring the Jordan Experience

Jordan was an Experience for Israel… Can you imagine walking across he river bed… We are told that Israel made haste.... There is the sense of Danger… little eery — little like the tsunami when the water drys up.... What happens when it comes back
For Israel, crossing the Jordan symbolized the means to enter the ‘new world’ of God’s promises. For the Christian, the picture of the new birth symbolizes entering into a new life of God’s blessing and salvation.
What Inspires us about the Crossing of the Jordan is what we have received in our personal Salvation
The Crossing of the Red sea out of Egyptian bondage and the the crossing over the Jordan into the promises that God has given his people are anti-types or shadows of what we have in Salvation..
Joshua, representing the Lord Jesus, was God’s appointed saviour to take them into the land of promise, which, spiritually speaking, was purchased for us by the Lord Jesus: the land of the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ— Like Israel we have entered into the experience with Christ… And as Christians fully Identify with Christ Death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:4 ESV
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Our Jordan Experience we were ‘buried with him … into death’; ‘united together in the likeness of his death … we also shall be in the likeness of his resurrection’;
Just like the promised land was only attained by faith in God -So, Saving Faith is only attain by Grace through Faith..
Another parallel to Salvation is the celebration of Passover that takes place days after the crossing of the Jordan — This is the first time passover is Celebrated in the Promised land..
b. Removes Reproach of Egypt
For the Israelites, now the promises were theirs, the land was theirs and God’s riches and full blessing were theirs. Passing through Jordan was but a transition from one form of existence—that of wandering aimlessly in the desert—to another which was far more useful, purposeful and satisfying: that of life in a settled community where agriculture, animal husbandry and, consequently, riches would result.
Abundant life replaced an insecure and anxious one. It is the same today: those who are identified with him in his death live with him in his vibrant and overflowing life.
They enter by faith into the river of death, identifying with the ark, with the One who has gone before, and pass through with him on to the other side.
We Find inspiration from ---
1. The Examples of Great Leaders
2. Exploring the Jordan Experience

3. Edification from Enduring Faith

Have you ever been on Vacation at the beach where there are pebbles and you look search interesting looking stone… You may put in your pocket… Why would you do that? Because it would remind you of what you felt on the beach.... Memorials inspire and jog the memory… they help refocus on what is important..
The purpose of the 12 Stones were establish a memorial by which future generations will learn of the identity of the people of Israel as the one nation whose God was JHWH was the true God --- mighty God who was always able to save them.
Joshua 4:5–7 ESV
5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”
We learn from our text that there at two sets of memorials… there is one that is set up at the feet of the priests…in the middle of the Jordan and another that is set up in Gilgal… which will become the center of Worship for Israel....
Why would Joshua have the men of Israel build a memorial submerged in the middle of the Jordan? .
One reason was that during the summer months during the dry season the stones would become partially visible…You could tell upcoming generations… see that spot in the River…That uncrossable body of water is where God did something amazing and performed a miracle… that’s where we walked on dry land..
That’s where the priest stood strong and fearless… while 2 million Israelites walked on the Riverbed… across the Jordan…
The author tells Parents how they are to train up their children in the knowledge of God… He shows how parents can use the stones as a object a method Pedagogy to teach Children --- When they see the stones it is going to cause curiosity?
When you children see these stones they are going to ask the question...
What do these Stones mean? These Stones are going to cause curiosity… We need to...

Aspire to live a Life that makes others Curious!

We had a wonderful Julotta Service on Christmas morning… and I was talking to one young man… He said to me… pointing to the back… he said this is where I used to sit when he was a teenager and get board in church… My first Response was to apologize..that should never have happened..... When you think about the Gospel --- It is the most compelling thing in the world… people have given their lives for the gospel… There was a cost involved...
Cost...
It cost the 12 unnamed Israelite men who carried the stones from the bed of the Jordan a good deal of effort, and most probably some pain, to bring those stones to the site where the memorial would be erected. But their memorial would be worth its cost. So shall we find our memorials to be worth their cost as they help our children to make the faith their own.
What aids to faith these memorials were! The people could look at them again and again and remember the wonderful deliverance God had wrought. Down the years parents would tell their children what these stones meant:
Their great God had led them through. If he had done this for them, they could trust him for anything. He would not let them go until all his purposes were complete. What wonder, what worship and gratitude, did the sight of those stones inspire!
When we set up Memorials it causes the Enemy to tremble.. Our text doesn’t really end in chapter 4 but rather in chapter 5
Joshua 5:1 ESV
1 As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.
So many time the Enemy — the thief who seek to steal kill and destroy comes in and occupies our lives
John 10:10 ESV
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
The awesome spectacle of a nation crossing the river would cause the inhabitants of Canaan to be devastated psychologically.
The plains of Jericho…were
level and open ground between Jericho and the point where Israel crossed the Jordan River extended about six miles west of the Jordan, approaching the beginning of the slopes of the Benjaminite (Judean) hill country.
Israel did nothing to hide their crossing and their approach from the view of Jericho’s defenders. Quite the opposite; intimidation was part of Joshua’s preparation for battle.
“The stones were to tell the other nations round about that this God is different. He really exists; he is a living God, a God of real power who is immanent in the world.” Francis Schaeffer
Conclusion
Challenge you in 2019 to

Aspire to live a Life that makes others Curious!

What is it that inspires you this morning? As you contemplate 2019 What are the possibilities… What ought to be on that Canvas....
We must never forget God’s mighty acts in grace...
b. When people look at your life -- Does it cause curiosity..What does this mean?
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