Joshua Sermon Notes

“Strong and Courageous” – Part 15 (7/22/18) (series conclusion)

“Passing it on”


Personal story of family friends who have passed down the trade of fine carpentry to the third generation.

Joshua not only had a commitment to “finish strong” (as we saw previously), he also wanted to pass the faith along to the next generation.

Let’s look at his words concerning future generations:

Read Joshua 23:14-24:33

I. God is a Faithful Father (v. 14)

(therefore v.23:15)

A. God rewards – (v.15 and Matthew 6:4,6,18)

B. God disciplines – (Proverbs 3:11 and Hebrews 12:5-6)

C. God guides – (Joshua 24:2-13, John 16:13, and Romans 8:28, 37-39)

II. We are to be Faithful Children

(therefore v.24:14)

A. Fear the Lord – (healthy respect and honor)

B. Serve Him in sincerity – (genuineness)

C. Put away worldly beliefs – (Colossians 3:18-14 “put off/put on”)

III. We are to Give Public Witness to Both

Read 24:15-16, 26-27

A. Joshua’s declaration (v.15)

B. Paul’s declaration – (Romans 1:16-17)

C. Our declaration


Question: “Is your life a public witness?” “How are you passing it on?”


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 14 (7/15/18)

“Finishing Strong”


Time is an interesting part of life. It can be a welcome friend or a challenging enemy. I was thinking about time regarding my neighbor and the old Ford Mustang he’s working on. Among other things, the car represents changes in engineering and cultural attitudes since the 1960s. Time has a way of framing decisions in new ways that are removed from another timeframe, which may loosen the previous commitments.

So how do we finish strong over time? Let’s look at Joshua’s approach:

Read Joshua 23:1-13

I. Acting on the Truth of the Word

(obeying the Word v.6)

A. Don’t veer to the left

  • No acceptance of “universalism”
  • No acceptance of “hyper-grace”
  • No acceptance of redefining gender and sexuality

B. Don’t veer to the right

  • No acceptance of legalism
  • No acceptance of lovelessness

(diligently and objectively searching the scriptures can surprise us both ways)

II. Remembering the Giver of the Word

(holding fast to the Lord v.8)

A. Acknowledging His sovereignty – (He has the right to define right and wrong)

B. Seek Him first – (not last or only in a panic)

III. Stay Focused on the Relationship

(loving the Lord v.11)

A. Outward love – (like wearing a wedding a ring)

B. Inward love – (heart-centered I John 2:15-17)

III. Upholding the Standards of the Lord

(avoiding the traps, snares, scourges and thorns v. 12-13)

A. When it becomes old-fashioned (remember Romans 12:1-2)

B. When it becomes unwelcome (right being called wrong and wrong being called right)

IV. Conclusion

Question: “Do you want to finish strong?” “How are you going about it?”


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 13 (7/8/18)

“Standing on the Promises”


Last week, we looked at “Facing the Giants”, and this week we move into considering the promises of God. Unfortunately, we live in a culture of broken promises which can subconsciously influence the way that we think of God and His promises. However, God is unchanging, and His Word is unchanging. There is a pause in the Joshua narrative that comments on it:

Read Joshua 21:43-45

I. Embracing His Promises

A. We must admit our need to embrace (v.8-9)

  • We live on promises not explanations
  • Not everything is going to be explained
  • Neither is it a naïve philosophy of the song “Living on a Prayer”…it’s more like the hymn “Standing on the Promises”

B. We must realize the purpose of His promises are His own (v.11) (God-centered not me-centered)

II. Possessing His Promises

Read Joshua 21:43 (again)

A. There must be an appropriation of His promises (Deut. 6:4-9)

B. There must be an appreciation of His promises (Joshua 1:8)

III. Dwelling in His Promises (v.43)

Read v.43 (again)

A. There is freedom in the “dwelling” (John 8:31-36)

B. There is confidence in the dwelling (Matthew 24:35)

IV. Resting in His Promises (v.44)

Read v.44 (it’s not a lack of work, it’s a “soul-rest”)

A. Rest for today (Matthew 11:28-30)

B. Rest for eternity (John 10:22-30)

V. Conclusion

Question: “Are you standing on His promises?”

  • Embracing them?
  • Possessing them?
  • Dwelling in them?
  • Resting in them?


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 12 (7/1/18)

“Facing the Giants”


In the 1770s, the British Empire was a “super power”. They had troops and navy posted all over the world. Colonies and trade were a central part of the crown’s growing wealth. With all kinds of systems and people to control, the business of empire management would have been a busy affair. Then one day, in the middle of it all, a letter arrives. It begins like this:

In Congress, July 4th, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, when in the course of human events…

In other words, they were ready to take on the giant…

Today, I want to talk about “Facing the Giants”

  • At the beginning of the story of taking Canaan (Numbers 13:27-28) there were “giants in the land”.
  • After 40+ years of wandering in the desert and the initial battles, there were still “giants in the land” (in particular, Mt. Hebron, Caleb’s inheritance)

Read Joshua 14:6-12a

I. Caleb was Bold but not Arrogant

A. “A different spirit” was in him (Numbers 14:24)

B. He stated the facts (often, all it takes to get people upset with you is to state the facts)

C. He voiced his request (fear did not prevent him from expressing his desire)

II. Caleb was confidant but not foolish

Read v.12b

A. He made a realistic assessment of the enemy

B. He understood the odds (fortified cities at 3,050 ft elevation, tactical disadvantage)

C. His hope was in the Lord (we’re marching and trusting)

III. Caleb was successful but not selfish

Read v.13-15 & 15:13-19

A. He directed glory to an apprentice

B. He gave away land and resources

C. He left a legacy of peace through strength (Joshua 14:15 & Judges 3:11)

IV. Conclusion

Question: “What giants are you facing?”

  • Be bold in the Lord but not arrogant
  • Be confident in the Lord but not foolish
  • Be successful in the Lord but not selfish
  • Go slay the giants!


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 11 (6/24/18)

“Unconventional Warfare”


Last week we finished up with Ephesians chapter 6 and the importance of keeping our guard up. Spiritual warfare is often “unconventional” and involves surprises.

Read Joshua 10:1-7

I. The Enemy Conspires (v.1-7

A. There was a mutual interest to be against God’s people (not unlike today where the world system is instinctively arrayed against the people of God)

B. There was a change of attitude toward Gibeon after they made peace with God’s people

II. God is Ready (v.8)

A. Do not fear (even though they had already seen much)

B. “I have delivered” (past tense again)

C. Completely delivered (not just help but Sovereign deliverance)

III. Effort is Required (v.9)

A. Joshua had living faith (James 2)

B. The road was uphill and 20 miles (significant)

C. No break before the battle (often no rest before the spiritual battle)

IV. God Delivers

Read v.10-15

A. The Lord empowered them

B. The Lord used an unconventional weapon

C. The Lord paused the laws of physics (that He set)

V. Conclusion

We are called to “unconventional warfare”. Are you ready?


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 10 (6/18/18)

Intro: “Keeping up Your Guard”

“Diligence is a hard discipline to maintain, rarely celebrated, but incredibly effective.”

Today, I want to look at “Keeping up Your Guard”

Read Joshua 9:1-13

I. The Deception (v.1-13)

Read Ephesians 6:11-12

A. Our enemy deceives with appearance (like the set of a movie scene)

B. Our enemy deceives with words

  • Somehow knew of Deut. 20:15 and offered an agreement consistent with it
  • Satan used the same approach with Jesus by mis-quoting scripture

C. Our enemy deceives with timing – (“limited time offer” type incentives)

II. The Response (v.14-15)

Read verses 14-15

A. Gathered the evidence (took provisions)

B. Made their decision (talked among themselves)

C. Formalized the decision

D. Failed to seek the Lord’s counsel

III. The Solution (v.16-27)

Story v.16-26

A. Came to terms with their mistake (didn’t cast blame or dishonor their vow)

B. Chose to honor the covenant (they gave their word ultimately to God)

C. Made a decision that was spiritually beneficial (in the future they would known as the “Nithinim”, ‘”given ones”, and would serve faithfully in the Tabernacle/Temple)

IV. Conclusion

Question – “In what area do you need to strengthen your guard?”


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 9 (6/10/18)

Intro: “Trying Again” – (Thomas Edison story about 1,000+ attempts at practical lightbulb)

  • Discouragement is one of the most lethal weapons the enemy uses
  • Joshua knew discouragement (40 years earlier)
  • Quote by A. Whyte – “The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings.”

Today, I want to look at “trying again” and how to be encouraged

I. Be Encouraged by God’s Reassurance (v.1a)

Read Joshua 8:1

A. Do not be afraid (don’t look at the enemy, look to the Lord)

B. Do not be dismayed (discouraged, “un-courageous)

II. Be Encouraged by God’s Declaration (v.1b)

A. I have given (emphasis on Him and what he has done/will do)

B. Past tense (again, like 6:2)

  • We walk from victory
  • We walk in victory
  • We walk to victory

III. Be Encouraged by God’s Method (v.2-8)

Read v.2-8

A. God is infinitely creative and resourceful (walls fell once)

B. The enemy is generally overconfident because of pride

C. The enemy’s end is defeat

IV. Be Encouraged by God’s Word

Read v.30-35

A. Renewal of the Covenant (two-way street)

B. Remembering the blessings AND the curses (v.34)

C. Passing on the truth (what really matters) (v.35)

V. Conclusion

Question: “In what area do you need to try again?”

  • Your walk with the Lord?
  • A relationship?
  • Something at work?
  • An old goal?


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 8 (6/3/18)

Intro: “Following Instructions” – (personal story of someone not following instructions)

Read Joshua 7:1

I. We Can Reject the Lord’s Instructions (v.1)

A. Instructions were clearly communicated and known

B. Achan was clearly seen by the Lord (identified and singled out)

C. The “but” signals a teachable moment (we do well to pause and take notice of the teachable moments)

II. We Can Go Without the Lord’s Instructions (v.2-9)

Read v.2-9

A. No record of pausing to seek the Lord (v.2)

B. Acceptance of bad advice (v.3)

C. Speaking before asking and listening (v.7)

Here’s the reality:

III. There is Authority in the Lord’s Instructions (v.10-15)

Read v.10-15

A. “Get up” and own it (you’re the leader) (v.10)

  • As a parent
  • As a manager/employer
  • As a mentor

B. “Israel has sinned” (v.11)

  • It wasn’t just a “poor choice”
  • God has the right to define sin, and He did/does

C. “Reset” before the Lord (v.13)

D. Ask for clarification (come before the Lord)

IV. There are Consequences to the Lord’s Instructions

Read v.16-26

A. Confession (v.21)

B. Process revealed (v.21) (like James 1:14-15)

  • First desire
  • Next, acting on the desire
  • Then, changing the definition (from “treasure” set aside for the Lord to “spoils”)
  • Then, sin
  • Finally, death

C. Lasting effects

Re-read v. 24-26

  • We live in a culture that attempts to remove all consequences of bad choices
  • We must be different

IV. Conclusion

Question: “How do you view the Lord’s instructions?”

  • He is a loving parent
  • He is firm and cannot be ok with destructive choices of His children
  • Is there any “sin in the camp”?


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 7 (5/27/18)

Intro: “3 General Principles of Victory” – Story of “Three General Orders”

Read Joshua 7:1-5

I. We Walk from Victory (1-5)

Question – What does that look like in daily life?

Answer – It’s means to “Consider the Word”.

A. Statement in verse 2 is past tense – (In God’s plan, it’s already happened)

B. Jesus made a similar statement (John 16:33) – (He had already conquered the world, but had not yet physically gone to the Cross, but it was a “done deal”)

C. Our source of power (Gal. 2:20) – (crucified with Him (past tense), but living!)

II. We Walk in Victory (v.6-8)

Read v.6-8

Question – What does that look like in daily life?

Answer – It means to “Act on the Word”.

A. The daily walks may have seemed pointless

  • Day-after-day, walking and not attacking
  • 600,000 Hebrew soldiers against a city of 15,000 (no apparent need to wait)

B. Our daily walk may seem pointless

  • Day-after-day “walking in a circle”
  • We may be tempted to feel like there isn’t any need to wait on the Lord
  • We must not give up on day 4, 5, 6, or even the first 6 times around on the 7th
  • We must keep walking

C. The daily walks were for a purpose, and ARE for a purpose – (Hebrews 11:30, the walls came down “by faith”)

III. We Walk to Victory (v.16-19)

Read v.16-19

Question – What does that look like in daily life?

Answer – It means “Stick to the Word”.

A. Our enemy is doomed (v.17)

B. The faithful will be spared (v.17 & Heb. 11:31)

C. We must finish well – (which is sometimes the hardest part!)

IV. Conclusion

“Christian victory isn’t a feeling, it’s a Biblical principle to walk in.”


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 6 (5/20/18)

Intro: “Preparation for Victory” – Story of the race for “World’s Tallest Building” in New York City during the 1930s and Van Alen’s strategy of a hidden spire (which was revealed at the last moment to win the title with the Chrysler Building.)

Read Joshua 5:1-2

I. Remember God’s Timing (v.1)

A. Miracle of the crossing – (there was momentum afterwards)

B. Enemy was petrified (v.1) – (They had heard the stories)

C. The natural choice would to attack – (Strike while the iron is hot!)

However, “The Lord said…” (v.2)

II. Remember God’s Salvation (v.9-10)

Read v.9-10

A. It was God that delivered them from Egypt

B. They needed to renew the Covenant

C. They needed to qualify for Passover – (doing things right)

III. Remember God’s Provision (v.11-12)

Read v.11-12

A. Realization of God’s promise

B. Evidence can be overlooked – (like when their ancestors were comfortably eating manna and quail but deciding against trusting God earlier)

C. Canaan food replaced manna – (Canaan “milk and honey” didn’t include manna as a back-up plan)

IV. Remember God’s Authority (v.13-15)

Read v.13-15

A. God is present (v.13)

B. God is holy (v.15)

C. We are to yield to His leadership (v.14)

V. Conclusion

As New Testament believers:

  • We are more than conquerors in Christ (Romans 8:37), But before he wrote that verse, Paul wrote verse 28:
  • All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to HIS purpose. And before He wrote that verse, Paul wrote verse 26:
  • We are to pray in the Spirit to be on board with His purposes.


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 5 (5/6/18)


Read I Corinthians 1:4-9

Personal story: “Spiritual mediocrity promises an oasis of rest, but is only a mirage in the spiritual desert.”

Read Joshua 3:9-17

I. God’s Timing

A. The Original Plan (Numbers ch.13)

  • Mt. Sinai first, then
  • Giving of the Law, followed by
  • The Promised Land

B. Moses, Joshua, and Caleb

  • They were not at fault when the people chose fear over trust
  • Sometimes the faithful are affected by the unfaithful

C. The Second Plan

  • Flood season (v.15)
  • Overflowing its banks meant 100ft wide, 10ft. deep and swift current
  • There was no opportunity for critics to give credit to a drought or other natural explanation

II. God’s Boundaries

A. He clearly defined the borders (1:4)

B. Some settled for less

  • The Eastern Tribes
  • They considered it “close enough”
  • Often there is a strong temptation to settle for “close enough” to what God has planned. Close enough to see, but not necessarily experience it.
  • Keep going!

III. God’s Direction (v.3-4)

A. It’s often unknown (unknown to us, but not Him!)

B. It’s often intimidating (intimidating to us, but not Him!)

IV. God’s Power

Read 4:19-24

A. He made it happen

B. He is to get the glory

C. We are to rely on Him

V. Conclusion

Question – “Do you possess the gift?”

  • East of the Jordan – “close enough”
  • Crossing the Jordan – in faith


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 4 (4/29/18)

Intro: In a recent GQ magazine editorial, the Bible was listed as one of the most overrated books in history and in their opinion one not to bother to read.

So, why read the Bible?

Simply put, it’s the history of the world and the revelation of a scarlet thread of redemption woven all the way through.

Many recorded stories include it and “Rahab of Jericho” is one of them.

Let’s take a look:

Read Joshua 2:1-13

I. The Scarlet Thread of Faith (v.1-13)

A. Her Previous Life

  • No glossing over (a Biblical norm)
  • Pagan
  • Prominent
  • Independent

B. Her Acknowledgement of Jehovah (9-11)

  • There was a turning of her heart
  • An embracing of God for who He really is

C. Her Request

  • For herself
  • For her family (even though there may have been separation between them and no record of them having faith in Jehovah)

I. The Scarlet Thread of Redemption (v.14-20)

Read v.14-20

A. The Godly Response (from spies – v.14)

  • Kindness
  • Mercy

B. The Call to Action

  • Doorposts in Egypt
  • Public Profession (then and now)

III. The Scarlet Thread of Legacy (v.21)

A. Her response (v.21)

B. Her lineage – Married Salmon which produced Boaz-Obed-Jesse-David, and ultimately Jesus

C. Her Testimony

  • Hebrews 11:30-31
  • James 2:25
  • Rahab’s life is the very picture of redemption
  • Isaiah 1:18-20 – cleansed, new, white

IV. Conclusion

Question – “What does the scarlet thread mean to you?”


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 3 (4/22/18)

Intro: Last week we considered “God’s charge to the Hebrews, Joshua, and us”. There were two main points, and that was the remembering, and the directives received.

Thinking about that, it reminds me of a manufactured product known by the brand name “Kevlar” which consists of tough fibers woven with resin into an incredibly strong composite. It’s amazingly strong, and durable.

Over the course of Joshua’s life, there was a weaving together of a strong constitution. It’s very much like the weaving of the composite with tough fibers and resin. His upbringing, the miraculous delivery from Egypt, his experience with Moses on Mt. Sinai, and the wilderness years all served to strengthen his faith. When God instructs him to meditate on the words written down by Moses (v.8), it was a directive to stay focused every day and respond with a “Word-Strong” attitude.

Today I want to look at what a “Word-strong” attitude looks like:

Read Joshua 1:10-18

I. Joshua’s Word-Strong Response

A. Go do (v.11)

  • Prepare for action
  • It’s “really happening”

B. Remember (v.13)

  • Context of the situation
  • The promises of God
  • God’s faithfulness

C. Keep Doing (v.15)

  • Keep your word (agreement of tribes who settled on the east side of the Jordan)
  • Keep going until the job is done

II. The People’s Word-Strong Response

A. We will do (v.16)

B. We will remember Who’s in charge (v.17)

C. We will keep doing (v.18)

  • We will stay strong (even when it gets tough)
  • You stay strong (even when it gets tough)

III. Our Word-Strong Response

Read Philippians 4:8-9

Based on the foundation of a growing relationship with the Lord, we are to meditate on these things and let the Word strengthen us “layer upon layer” (like the weaving of a strong composite).

A. To do (v.9)

B. To remember (.8)

C. To keep doing (v.9)

IV. Conclusion

Question – Are you “Word-Strong”?

Consider the points of the Philippians passage:

  • Think on things that are true, noble, just, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy.
  • In the process, the God of Peace is there with us…


“Strong and Courageous” – Part 2 (4/15/18)

Intro: The significance of the “Roman Arch” in history

In scripture, there’s something I call the “Arch of Strength”. On the one side is ‘remembrance” and on the other is the directives that God gives us based on (and tied to)

I. God’s Charge to the Hebrews

A. Remembrance (Ex. 20:2)

Based on that…

B. God’s Directive (Deut. 6:4-9)

  • Matters of the heart
  • Matters of the hands
  • Matters of the words

II. God’s Charge to Joshua

Read Joshua 1:1-9

A. Remembrance (v.5)

  • Remember God’s deliverance from Egypt
  • Remember being on Mt. Sinai (w/ Moses) and God’s powerful presence
  • Remember the desert provision

B. God’s Directive

  • Be strong and courageous (as leader v.6)
  • Be strong and courageous (as follower v.7)
  • Be strong and courageous (as teacher v.8-9)

C. In the meditating on/communicating the Word, there is

  • Personal consideration first, then
  • Personal appropriation next, followed by
  • Communication to others

III. God’s Charge to Us

A. Remembrance – Read Hebrews 10:19-23

(The one side of “the arch” is what was of old, “The Law”, and the other side of “the arch” is what’s new, redemption and welcome into His presence-“the arch of strength”)

B. God’s Directive (the picture of Joshua)

  • For the tasks each day (I will be with you)
  • For following as a disciple (observe, read, meditate, pray)
  • For teaching others (not letting the words depart from your mouth)

IV. Conclusion

Question – What does “your arch” look like?


“Strong and Courageous” – Joshua – Part 1 (4/8/18)

Intro: Snoopy and Lucy (the example of her as a discouraging presence)

Life can be very discouraging at times…

Joshua is a transitional figure in the history of Israel

  • Pivotal time
  • Pivotal person
  • Truth stands against the wind of discouragement (the “Lucys” of the world)

Three observations about Joshua’s approach to life:

Read Exodus 17:8-16

I. God is our Banner

A. There will always be “Amalekites”

  • Descendants of Esau (what that means)
  • Unprovoked anger toward Israel
  • Saw Israel as a threat

B. God is our standard to look at (Moses and the rod)

C. God leads from a different perspective (v.16)

  • Big picture of Israel’s purpose
  • Big picture of Amalekites condition and history

II. God is our Rock

A. Joshua grew confident in the Lord

  • On Mt. Sinai with Moses (Exodus 24:13)
  • Saw the glory of God
  • Heard the voice of God

B. Joshua’s name was changed (Numbers 13:16)

  • Names carried significant meanings
  • Meaning “salvation” first, but changed to mean “Jehovah is Salvation”
  • The change more properly reflected Joshua’s character

Question: What has your name come to represent?

III. God is our Provider

Read Numbers 14:6-10

Joshua was no naïve, idealistic youngster. He made the comments from a confidence in the Lord. He trusted God for:

A. Emotional provision

  • Against fear
  • Against doubt
  • Other weak areas

B. Physical provision

  • Land itself
  • Protection from enemies

C. Spiritual protection

  • Read Exodus 19:5-6a
  • Read I Peter 2:9

IV. Conclusion

How would you finish this sentence? God is my __________________.

How does your life reflect that?


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