My outline of Sunday's sermon is below (listen to it here)
They were called by God (Josh 1v1-5) God had called His people out of Egypt and into a promised land; As God was with Moses, so he promised to be with Joshua... Incredibly we live in greater days than these!!! We are called by the same God yet His Spirit dwells within us! And we have a different calling as a people: to become a growing, Jesus-centred community; serving the town of Reading and beyond. We are a community with a God-given destiny, set apart to herald hope & usher in the kingdom of God.
They were rallied by Men (Josh 1v10-11) Joshua sent officers through the camp to rally God’s people and they resolved to follow… But we don’t rally to a mere man (albeit Joshua) rather we follow one greater, the God-Man Jesus! We rally to His banner, we march under His orders, to extend His kingdom. Jesus has sent His officers (Julian Adams & Chris Hall) through our camp preparing us for ‘suddenlies’ of a building & new people. As pastors we sense that Jesus is rallying us through prophecy to ‘get our supplies ready, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you’.
They responded as One (Josh1v16-17) The entire Israelite community prepared & positioned themselves to come into a good land; it required faith & trust, courage & unity to move forward as ONE people… 10 years ago we were 30 people with a sense of unity & destiny. Now we are 300. Our history teaches us that in the next decade we could double the amount of people we gather. Very soon our Sunday venues will start to tell new-comers we don’t need them because most seats are taken. We need to seriously explore leasing a building so that we can do everything from under one big roof. One of the ways we can get our supplies ready as a community is with a ‘Vision Fund’ – a fund we all give to, over & above our regular giving, to seed things like a bigger venue, new staff & ministries.
They dedicated themselves (Josh 3v5). God’s people under Joshua dedicated themselves to God and prepared for an amazing tomorrow... How much more so should we who follow Christ?! Let’s believe God has an amazing tomorrow for us as we become a growing, Jesus-centred community; serving the town of Reading and beyond. Let’s start this next season by setting ourselves apart, to pray, give, serve, love and worship our great God.