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Old Years 1998 - Remember God's Goodness

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Reading: Joshua 4:1-24
He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God.” Joshua 4:24 (NIV)

I.   An Altar of Memories

     A.  By God’s orders

           1.  God tells Joshua to create a memorial.

                 a.  Joshua didn’t just decide “Hey, this is pretty cool, let’s stack up some stones.”

                 b.  The people enter the promised land by God’s power.

           2.  The point is to remember what God had done, not Joshua.

                 a.  This wasn’t a memorial to Joshua, or even Joshua’s submission to God.

                 b.  This was a memorial to what God did

     B.  From the Middle of the river

           1.  Crossing the bed of the Jordan couldn’t have been easy.

                 a.  Transitions never are.

                 b.  Still, without God’s help crossing wouldn’t have been possible.

           2.  Not fancy or decorated stones.

                 a.  God didn’t ask Joshua to have the artisans make a memorial.

                 b.  They took some of the stones they had stumbled over.

                 c.  They picked them out of the middle of the river bed.

           3.  Not the last stones of the old life, or the first stones of the new.

                 a.  Rather, the stones of transition.

                 b.  The stones that could only be gotten because God was making a way.

     C.  From near the Ark

           1.  Where the priests had stood.

                 a.  Those who were carrying the ark stood in the middle until all had crossed.

                 b.  They served God and the people by simply standing their ground.

           2.  Where God had stood.

                 a.  God told the priests to stand in the middle, because that’s where He was.

                 b.  This was ground where God was.

           3.  These are stones touched by God!

                 a.  The stones have been in his presence.

                 b.  As had been all the people of Israel!

II.  Remember God’s Goodness!

     A.  So Easy to forget

           1.  Some perhaps, thought they couldn’t forget

                 a.  Can you relate?

                 b.  Sometimes it takes a picture, or a story to remind us of some wonderful event

           2.  Some perhaps, didn’t think this was something they ought to remember.

                 a.  We don’t always see the significance of things as we’re going through them.

                 b.  Sometimes it is only later we realize just how significant something was/is.

     B.  God Wants us to remember

           1.  God’s orders are because he knows us.

                 a.  He knows how easily we forget.

                 b.  He knows how discouraged we can get

                 c.  He knows how much we need to be reminded of his power.

           2.  God wants this memorial

                 a.  The people are receiving the promise.

                 b.  They will need to be reminded how they got it — not by their achievement!

                 c.  This is a memorial to God’s faithfulness

           3.  It is God who fulfills his promises to us.

                 a.  We easily forget that.

                 b.  This is a reminder about bragging rights

     C.  It is Good for us to remember

           1.  We need to remember that God is here.

           2.  When we remember God’s goodness, we are inspired to look for it more often

                 a.  It’s always here. We don’t always see it.

                 b.  Part of seeing is knowing how to look

           3.  When we remember God’s goodness and power, we have courage to face the future.

III. Tell it to Others!

     A.  Tell it to your Children

           1.  It is right and good to tell your children about what God has done in your life.

                 a.  It is good for the parents!

                 b.  It is good for kids to see that one’s faith isn’t just an exercise.

           2.  It is our obligation to pass on the goodness of God to each other

                 a.  The riches of God’s grace are for investing in each other’s lives.

                 b.  Not for burying in a hole somewhere.

           3.  Every once in a while we are able to learn something, but not the hard way.

                 a.  We can learn from each other.

                 b.  We can learn to see God in new ways.

     B.  Let the whole World know

           1.  This memorial is for the whole world
He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God. Joshua 4:24 (NIV)

                 a.  It is our obligation to pass on God’s goodness to those who don’t know.

                 b.  When we talk about “witnessing” we are talking about exactly this.

           2.  We don’t build stone memorials anymore.

                 a.  But this building stands as a memorial to what God has done in the past.

                 b.  Our lives stand as living memorials to what God has done.

The Bottom Line:

Remember what God has done Throughout this year. Take Courage for the next.

R/G #40 Great is Thy Faithfulness

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