Church, if you would turn with me to Joshua Joshua chapter 23, I were not going to read any of Joshua 23, but I feel like it's important to kind of set the stage.
So I want you to turn there.
Bear with me we'll get there.
Now and I've I've had several comments this morning to about how I'm dressed.
I want you to know.
This is not a new Leaf that I'm turning over.
I will not wear a suit jacket every week just until I can get rid of everything.
I ate the last two weeks.
I'll be wearing this.
Gear on the last Sunday of 2018 we come to our last message together in the Book of Joshua and the Book of Joshua.
We've been looking at it and it's all about faith moving forward.
How do the people of God receive the call of God?
And do it.
That's what we've been looking at and we've looked at things that we should emulate and and guys that we should look up to his Heroes of the faith because they move forward in faith, even when the odds were stacked against them and we've looked at examples of things we shouldn't do how we shouldn't be how we shouldn't forget the Lord how we shouldn't fail to believe his promise of provision for how we should be willing to again move forward in faith becomes really really crucial that we know how to move forward especially as we come to the end of something.
We come to the end of 2018 and we have a whole year that we can look back at the whole year.
We could look back at and if you're like me, you've got some regrets about 2018.
Some of you had absolutely brutal 2018.
Some of you face circumstances losses of loved ones illnesses disasters that that came into your life, and it was just brutal and you can't wait to say goodbye to 2018.
Some of you though you had a really good time 2018.
Some of you life was great and things went well.
And yeah, there were a few bumps in the road, but overall you can't complain and so you look back at 2018 and it's it's not a sense of dread what was but maybe there's a sense of man of 2018.
Was that good?
Must be storing something up for 2019 because when we come to the end of something whether it was good or whether it was bad.
We automatically this is human nature.
We automatically begin to shift our Focus to what's next.
We as humans aren't very good at living in now.
We're always looking back or we're always looking forward.
I think that's not something we should just reject out-of-hand or or think that that's necessarily a bad thing.
I think that's actually part of how God wired us.
That's kind of how he designed us to do that.
That's why I think it's appropriate here at the end of 2018 to say.
Alright, this is over whether it was great while it was not so great.
Turn your attention now to what comes next.
And here's my question for you.
What are you looking forward to in 2019 you guys ask this question of each other earlier, didn't you?
What is it that you're that you're focused on that?
I can't wait for this how many of you are making New Year's resolutions.
I know you guys got the smarts, haven't you?
What's a New Year's resolution?
It's a list of things to do the first week of January.
That's the way I look at it.
The biggest thing I think that we look at is humans when we come to this new year when we come to looking forward to something is wheat, we think about all the possibilities about all of the choices and often times.
That's what are resolutions are focused on the really just our choosing a choice about what we want to be in a most New Year's resolutions are focused on I want to be a more fit me a less heavy me not that those are personal resolutions for me or anything.
Sometimes we focus on I want to learn something new.
I'm going to learn a new language in 2019 minutes go someplace.
I'm going to travel to this place in 2019 and most of our choices.
Most of my resolutions are focused on making us a better us making us a better human.
Okay, but here's my question to you.
You're sitting in a church on the last Sunday of 2018.
You have a lot of different places.
You could be this morning instead.
You're here why I'm assuming that most of you are here because you love the guy who started the church you love Jesus.
That's my assumption now if you're sitting here this morning, and you don't love Jesus.
I'm still glad that you're here.
And I'm thinking that you're here because you're looking for something you're imagining.
There's a bag of 2018.
My life good bad indifferent doesn't seem quite complete and I think that you're here because you're expecting to find something.
Well, I want to say to both both crowds whether you're following Jesus or or whether you don't follow Jesus, but you're curious enough to show up at church this morning.
Here's what I want to know instead of focusing 2019 on being a better you What is 2019 was about doing what God wanted you to do?
What is 2019 was about being a better christ-follower?
What is 2019 was about being what God intended you to be?
Now most resolutions fail by January 15th.
Ke certainly certainly by March 15th, but what if I could guarantee you that if your commitment was I want to be a better Christ follower if I am one or I want to know more about how God made me I want to be the best me.
I can possibly be what if I could guarantee you success in that endeavor in 2019.
Would anybody take me up on that deal?
You just have to follow three simple steps.
Nnn knows we've been here for a while, you know, this isn't the kind of sermon that I normally preach but when I looked at Joshua 23 and 24 we come to Joshua at a kind of a pivotal time in his life just like we're at a pivotal time in the calendar year.
Joshua is a Dependable time in his life because he's in Joshua chapter 23.
Like I said, we're not going to read it, but you got it in front of you so you can check me on this.
Joshua is old and very advanced in years.
He's really old is 110 actually and he's coming to that point where he's looking back at his life and he wants to know what's my legacy what's behind me and with Joshua we see that it's it's what God called him to do.
So he gathers the leaders of Israel and he says look, the one thing my life has been focused on has been on getting you to do what God wanted you to do.
And now here's my challenge to you moving forward Joshua recognize that he's not going to be there in the future.
But when he dies the people of Israel going to be looking to the Future and he gives them three simple steps.
To ensure success in what God has called them to be and to do and so that's where we pick up for ourselves when we say hey, maybe what Joshua told Israel then could apply to our lives today in Joshua 23 calls them all together and he says this is what is happening.
I'm about to die.
He doesn't say it in quite so many words, but that's essentially what he saying.
I'm about to die.
And now it's going to be up to you guys too.
Kind of carry the torch so he tells the leaders make sure you focus on what God has called you to make sure you remember who God is and why it is it you are who you are.
Make sure you keep your focus on God.
And so then he says I'm going to die.
Thank you leaders for coming to my deathbed then he calls together all the people in chapter 24 in this is where we're actually going to read part of the text because this is where Joshua begins to give us as he's at the end of his life.
He says these are the three things that will ensure success as you try to be the best that God has made you to be Joshua chapter 24 Starting in verse 1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to shake him and some of the elders that had the judges in the officers of Israel and they presented themselves before God and Joshua said to all the people thus says the Lord the god of Israel long ago, your father's lived beyond the Euphrates Tara the father of Abraham and of neighbor and they served other gods then I took your father Abraham from beyond the river and I let him through all the land of Canaan and made his offspring many I gave him Isaac.
And the Isaac, I gave Jacob a Nissan I gave Esau the Hill Country of Sarah to possess but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.
And I sent Moses and Aaron I plagued to Egypt with what I did in the midst of it and afterwards I brought you out.
Then I brought your father's out of Egypt and you came to the Sea and the Egyptians pursued your father's with chariots and Horsemen to the Red Sea and when they cried out to the Lord, he put Darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them in your eyes.
Saw what I did in Egypt and you lived in the wilderness a long time.
Then I brought you to the land of the amorites who lived on the other side of the Jordan they fought with you and I gave them into your hand.
You took possession of their land and I destroyed them before you then balok the son of zip or king of Moab arose and fought against Israel.
He sent and invited Balaam the son of beor to curse you but I would not listen to Bailon indeed.
He blessed you.
So I delivered you out of his hand and he went over the Jordan and came to Jericho and the leaders of Jericho fought against you in the amorites in the parasites in the Canaanites the Hittites the girgashites the hivites and the jebusites and I gave them into your hand and I sent the Hornet before you which drove them out before you the two kings of the amorites.
It was not by your sword or by your bow.
I gave you a land on which you had not A bird and cities that you had not built and you dwell in them.
You eat the fruit.