Crossing Jordan 8 Covenant Renewal
Crossing Jordan 8 – Covenant Renewal (Jos. 24) nv 7/30/05 am
OS: Have you ever been driving along in another world and passed by the turn off? Funny when we’re driving, sad when we do that in life. At some point in time we must stop and take a look at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed.
I. In our text this morning we find Joshua doing just that with Israel.
A. Remember – the basic conquering of the land has taken place – not complete, but God had given the land peace for now.
B. Joshua is old, and this is the final opportunity for him to express his concerns to the nation he has led.
1. He gathers the people before the Lord in a special place – Shechem – Gen. 12 (Abraham’s first stop) Gen. 35 (Jacob cleansed his family of foreign gods and buried them under an oak) Joshua 8 – (lumming above was mt. Ebal where they had renewed the covenant when they first entered Canaan.)
2. Covenant renewal – decision time. (Moses Deut. 29-30, “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live…” 1 Kings 18:21, Elijah said to the people, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
C. As a church we stand on the brink of the most momentous occasion Northview has ever experienced since it’s beginning.
1. It is covenant renewal time.
2. It’s a time to look at where we’ve been, where we are, where we are headed and how all of that fits with the covenant we’ve made.
II. Notice how everything centers on the covenant.
A. If you are a Christian this morning you are in a covenant relationship with God. Fellowship with God brought about by the blood of Jesus.
1. Luke 2220 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
2. 1 John 15 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
3. Baptism – Covenant, “I’m going to live for You and You alone” / When we lay claim to being God’s church (Church of Christ – Assembly belong to Jesus, or assembly of Jesus people)
4. This text today speaks to us in so many ways.
III. Text: Joshua 24:1, Then Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges and officials of Israel, and they presented themselves before God. , 14-23
1. Joshua’s farewell speech.
TS] Guidelines for covenant renewal (4 R’s)
I. Remember what God has done. (2-13)
A. Text: God speaking, “I took…I gave…etc.”
B. Some can remember the first meeting of Northview – then Statesville Church of Christ.
C. Remember what God has done for you personally.
1. Forgiveness – sin is real, heaven and hell are a reality!
2. A cartoon in the New Yorker magazine depicts two clean-shaven, middle-aged men sitting together in a jail cell. One of them turns to the other and says, "All along I thought our level of corruption fell within community standards."
3. "A pastor I know, Stephen Belynskyj, starts each confirmation class with a jar full of beans. He asks his students to guess how many beans are in the jar and on a big pad of paper writes down their estimates. Then, next to those estimates, he helps them make another list: their favorite songs. "When the lists are complete, he reveals the actual number of beans in the jar. The whole class looks over their guesses to see which estimate was closest to being right. "Belynskyj then turns to the list of favorite songs. 'And which one of these is closest to being right?' he asks. The students protest that there is no 'right answer'; a person's favorite song is purely a matter of taste. "Belynskyj, who holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Notre Dame, asks, 'When you decide what to believe in terms of your faith, is that more like guessing the number of beans or more like choosing your favorite song?' "Always, Belynskyj says, from old as well as young, he gets the same answer: Choosing one's faith is more like choosing a favorite song. "When Belynskyj told me this, it took my breath away. 'After they say that, do you confirm them?' I asked him. "'Well,' smiled Belynskyj, 'first I try to argue them out of it.'" Tim Stafford calls this mentality "favorite-song theology," the notion that one's faith is a matter of taste more than fact.
--Stafford, "'Favorite-song' Theology," Christianity Today, 14 September 1992, 36-37.
II. Reaffirm your devotion to Him. (14-16)
III. Realign your actions to your purpose. (22)
IV. Refocus your vision (27-28)
A. Every child goes through a stage when their favorite word is “no” – “terrible twos” – Then comes the “me want” stage that last until age 106. “Me want” is the cornerstone of our consumer culture. We are never satisfied, and the marketplace loves it.
B. We don’t want to give up anything or lose anything so we attempt to have everything.
C. Not just material items, but other areas of life.
TS] Covenant renewal is reaffirming to ourselves that God is more important than this world – there is more to life than this life – This will help us avoid the common pitfalls of living in this world. (Pitfall #1 - adhesion)
V. Pitfall #2 - Relativism
A. This postmodern culture leads us to moral and ethical fuzziness.
1. One answer is always as good as another.
B. Sometimes things really are good or bad, right or wrong. Sometimes the answer is “No”.
VI. Covenant renewal will be the issue at the end of your life.
A. “Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.”