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Keep Your Head in the Game

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Keep Your Head in the Game

Introduction
It is always a joy to go and see our youngest son play ball! We were able to attend family weekend at Midwestern State the other weekend. Watching Caleb play is sometimes watching intensity at its highest peak when the game is on the line. Something can happen that causes Caleb to lose focus, I think, sometimes. My word to him, if he could hear me, would be…Get Your Head in the Game!
Origin: This is a sports idiom, but of course you can use it outside of sports. If you are playing a basketball game, don't think about school, or cute girls/boys, or dinner. If you do, your body is in the game, but your mind (your head) is somewhere else.

I. Don’t Allow Dead Things to Keep You from Living (1-4)

Life can be full of distractions. We are in a season where we cannot allow nonessential and unimportant things distract us from what God has intended for us. Things and people can be a distraction to us.
God has a great task for us. God is holding us responsible to move the church from here to there. God is holding us responsible to move the church from now to later. How many of you are willing to used by God to move the church forward! How many of you are willing to say “If the Lord needs somebody, here am I?” How many of you are willing to say for God I’ll live, and for God I’ll die! How many of you are willing to say, “I’ll go if I have to go by myself!” “I’ll sing, if I have to sing by myself!” “I’ll pray, if I pray by myself!” I want to share a few things that will hopefully help you GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME, AND KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!

I. Don’t Allow Dead Things to Keep You from Living (1-4)

You wouldn’t think that dead stuff would distract you! I say this because if something is dead, it has no life! But, the truth of the matter is this…we can give life to dead stuff! Give attention to the nonessential things in life. Give credence to the unimportant things in life.
Let’s dive into the text....
v.1 - Moses’ death was an important event in the life of the new nation of Israel. He is the towering figure who casts his shadow not only across the entire corpus of Exodus-Deuteronomy, but also across the Book of Joshua and later Scriptures. Deuteronomy ends by affirming,
Moses’ death was an important event in the life of the new nation of Israel. He is the towering figure who casts his shadow not only across the entire corpus of Exodus-Deuteronomy, but also across the Book of Joshua and later Scriptures. Deuteronomy ends by affirming,
“Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel” ().
The New American Commentary: Joshua (1) God’s Charge to Joshua (1:1–9)

Moses’ death should not cripple the nation.

v. 2 - “...Moses’ death should not cripple the nation.”
Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those miraculous signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel ().1
v. 3-4 - There’s a lot of ground to cover! There are many blessings in store for you! But if you stay in one place, you will never experience those blessings.
Don’t allow failure to hinder, nor stop you.
v. 4 - GO GET YOUR BLESSING(S)!!!
Wilderness - Land that is basically wild, nonarable, and sparsely inhabited or unfit for permanent settlement. It may be desert, mountains, forest, or marsh.
Land that is basically wild, nonarable, and sparsely inhabited or unfit for permanent settlement. It may be desert, mountains, forest, or marsh.
In the Near East the wilderness is characteristically dry, desolate, and mostly rock and sand. It is rough, uneven, and interlaced with dry watercourses. The wilderness is not completely barren but provides seasonal pasture for flocks, depending on the former and latter rains.
Lebanon - Mountains (referred to simply as “[the] Lebanon” or occasionally “Mt. Lebanon” in the OT []) rise to an elevation of more than 10,000 ft...
Mountains (referred to simply as “[the] Lebanon” or occasionally “Mt. Lebanon” in the OT []) rise to an elevation of more than 10,000 ft
Euphrates River - Largest river in western Asia
Largest river in western Asia
Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Euphrates River.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 729. Print.
Smith, Robert Houston. “Lebanon.” Ed. David Noel Freedman. The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary 1992 : 269. Print.
Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Wilderness.” Baker encyclopedia of the Bible 1988 : 2141. Print.
Howard, David M., Jr. Joshua. Vol. 5. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998. Print. The New American Commentary.

II. God is as Much God Now (in the Present) as He was Then (in the Past) (5)

II. God is as Much God Now (in the Present) as He was Then (in the Past) (5)

II. God is as Much God Now (in the Present) as He was Then (in the Past) (5)

v. 5 - “All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.”
All your life, no one will be able to hold out against you. In the same way I was with Moses, I’ll be with you. I won’t give up on you; I won’t leave you.
Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.
God’s promises are true!
HIs protection
His presence
His provision
His patience
God is Immutable (unchanging over time)

III. The Word of God will Give You the Courage You Need to Win Every Game/Battle (6-9)

Be strong and resolute/stand firm...
“Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.”
ILLUSTRATION
Make sure you carry out The Revelation that Moses commanded you, every bit of it. Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed.
I took my car to Auto Zone one day and while I was waiting on the attendant to get something for the car, I decided to open the glove compartment and start reading through it. I realized something that I had seen before and that was how to change the time on the clock. All this time, I didn’t know how to change it. I had no idea that I could change it with just a few clicks.
“I was ignorant of the provision. I didn’t know what was provided and I certainly didn’t know how to take advantage of it. What the Bible, the grace manual, is designed to do is show you all the provisions that God has provided for every believer. The problem is I not only need to know that the manual is there, but I also need to know what it tells me I can do and how things work.”
Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.
CONCLUSION
IF by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated, don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools...
If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
Let me say, IF wanna know how to keep your head in the game, here it is...
, “1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
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