Taking the Next Step…
I. It is TIME to move FORWARD. (3:1-5)
A. One TEXT, several VOICES. (3:1-4:24)
B. The NARRATIVE is a bit CLUNKY. (3:6,14; 3:12,4:2; 3:17,4:12)
Last week we saw God’s call of Joshua to lead the people (by follow God) into the promised land. This week, it’s time to move forward. They’ve sent spies into Jericho and they are preparing to cross the Jordan River and begin taking the land that God has promised them.
1. Kid’s Question: If you had been one of the people carrying the ark, how would you have felt stepping into the flooding Jordan River?
2. What stands out to you initially as you read this story in chapter 3-4?
II. Some THINGS that STAND out.
A. The LINKS to the LARGER story. (3:13 & Ex.14:16; 4:19 & 5:10; Ex.12:3)
B. The FOCAL point of the FOLLOWING. (3:3,4)
C. The CALL to CONSECRATE themselves. (3:5)
D. The RISK and the REMEMBERING. (3:15-4:24)
So the story is clunky, and that forces us to read carefully. And as we read carefully there are a lot of things that stand out. God is once again teaching His people what it means to follow Him as their leader.
3. God is echoing some of the events of the liberation from Egypt in this move to the promised land. When has God brought back around certain ideas to you in your life that helped you remember who He was?
4. What are some practical ways to “fix your focus on Jesus” through your day to day life?
5. What does “consecrating yourself” – setting yourself apart for God’s use – look like in your daily routines? How do you live life as a consecrated person?
III. Today’s LESSON in the school of FOLLOWING. (Mt. 11:29)
A. Discipleship is MOVEMENT not ARRIVAL. (3:4a; Mark 8:34)
B. The SINGULAR focus of CONSECRATION. (3:5; I Cor. 6:19-20; Gal. 2:20)
C. The REALITY and NECESSITY of risk. (3:4,13,15-16; Mt. 9:9; Lk 1:38)
D. Setting up STONES that SPEAK. (4:19-24; Deut. 6:4-9)
Just as God teaches Joshua and the people experientially about what it means to follow His leadership, there are a lot of things that crossover into our own lives in regard to follow Jesus.
6. How can you tell if your idea of being a Christian is more about following or arrival?
7. Are the habits or rhythms you could set up to help you consecrate each day toGod?
8. Where might God be calling you to risk? Where is there a “stone of remembrance”you might need to raise or remember?