Title: I am good student
Text: Joshua 1:1-9
Introduction: We all are aware of the importance of a having a good education and the factors of making a good education possible. However, no matter how many programs are in place, salaries raised and resources are available, increased parental involvement, it is still an individual choice to take advantage of that opportunity. Young people have to want it. A high school diploma just won’t do it anymore to be able to compete in the world marketplace. This challenge to become a good student is not just for our young men anymore. Our young women have been falling off course and are entering the penal system at astronomical rates. But being a good student is not just confined to academics. You have to be a good student of life. You have to know what life is and what life is all about. You have to know who you are in this life and the purpose that God has required you to fulfill. That is why young people have to know who they are in Christ. Jesus came to give you life an abundant life in Him if you become a good student. We know all about bad students. They fail test. They get left behind. They don’t prepare and are not prepared. They don’t have any initiative. They don’t’ get help or ask for it. They quit because of loss of drive, focus and direction. The only difference between a good student and a bad student is how one follows the instructions. Instructions are your guide to success. They are given by those who know how to be successful. And there is no greater success in life than Jesus Christ. If He was victorious over death, He can show can young people how to be victorious in life.
Background: Today, our story is about a man who I believe was a good student and reaped the benefits of it. Here we have Joshua. His name means Jehovah is my help, or Jehovah the Savior. A good student knows where his help comes from. Joshua was under good tutelage and was blessed by it. He was apart of the old generation of the Israelites that Moses led out of captivity. He was Moses’ assistant. He was born in Egypt. He shared in all the events of the Exodus, and was the commander of Israelites at their great battle against the Amalekites. He accompanied Moses half of the way when he ascended Mount Sinai to receive the two tables from God. He was also one of the twelve who were sent out by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. And before Moses death, God transferred the authority to Joshua to be Israel’s next leader. He was successful because he was a good student.
Relative Question: What will make you a good student?
I. A Good Student knows their purpose vv.2b,6
Joshua’s encounter with God shows us that we need to know our purpose in order to become a good student. In order to know your purpose, first you have to hear from God. Looking at the text, Moses is now dead. He is now gone and God now speaks directly to Joshua. This is first time that the Bible records God speaking to Joshua. One thing I learned about being a good student is that you have to hear the teacher’s voice. Moses’ death is a metaphor for things that may have to be removed before you can hear the teacher’s voice. You may have to move your seat. You may have to make so new friends that are like minded. You may have to stop hanging out at certain places. No matter what it is, you can not let anything distract you from hearing the teacher so you can have good success. Spiritually, we have hear from God to achieve the blessings ahead.
Good students have a purpose, strong sense of direction for their life. They are focused on where they are going: graduation. God gives Joshua an assignment to lead the people into the land of milk and honey. This was his purpose therefore He had to be focused. God makes sure Joshua is focused by telling him to arise and crossover of this Jordan. My Beloved, it is time for you now to rise up because good student rises to the occasion. Not only do you have to arise from where you are, you have to cross over the Jordan rivers of life. Jordan in Hebrew means “descender”. The river flows down hill from north to south. What God is saying here is that you are going to have to cross over people, places and things that are going down that have the potential of bringing you down. Everybody is not going up where you are going therefore, you to have cross over them. Cross over negative people. Cross over people who don’t want anything in their life. Cross over people who don’t want to take advantage of God giving opportunities. Cross over people who don’t believe in your Jesus. But cross over into the blessings and promises of God. You have to cross right over and be determined that nothing is going to stop you because you have a purpose! God has plan for your life and chose you and ordained you!
Transition: And now because you know your purpose, you are motivated to get what you are promised
II. A Good Student holds on to the promise vv. 3, 4
That is their motivation. They see the vision and like the outcome.
God’s promises for you are tied to your purpose. For example, Jesus’ purpose was to suffer and die but the promise was salvation for the world. Part of knowing your purpose is to possess what God has promised you. You must take hold of your promise! Joshua knew his purpose but now it was time to possess his promise. In verse 3, God promises Joshua everywhere that the sole of feet touches, it is yours! God is not a man that he should lie! So if God said it, that settles it and I believe it! So I am going to start put my foot down on some things He promised and claim its mine! Put your foot down and not join a gang, be a victim of premature pregnancy, use drugs etc…But put your foot down on to be success…! Just like when you were a little kid walking down the street. When you saw a dollar you put your foot on it to claim it is yours and nobody else was going to take it away! And because God had a promise for Joshua, the enemy tried to stop him from possessing that promise. Joshua had to fight the enemy in order to possess what was already his. Point: because you have been chosen by God and know your purpose, the enemy is going to try to stop you. But all he can do is try to distract you with a fight. But he can’t stop you because he is already defeated. The promise is yours if you take it! So when the attacks come, be strong and be of good courage because every battle that is coming to you is not yours, it is the Lord’s! And He will give you victory over your enemies and you will inherit the promise.
Transition: God ensures that these promises are ever before you and He helps you in times of difficulty by being an omnipresent good teacher.
III. Wherever you find a good student a good teacher is always present. vv. 5, 9
You always remember the impact, influence and insight of a good teacher. It is always with you. This is why God is such a good teacher because His impact, influence and insight are always with you. A good student is always around a good teacher. That is why some people put a negative label on good students as the teacher’s pet. The teacher’s pet never gets into trouble like other students because the teacher is always looking out for him or her. I am glad the Lord is the good teacher and we are the teacher’s pets. Because Joshua was a good student look how the Lord is looked out for him in verse 5. “No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you”. Just like God was with Moses, He will perform miracles, signs, wonders, fight battles and deliver you from the enemy! This is the benefit of being a good student you will the teacher’s favor.
In verse 9, we see more of the impact of good teacher’s presence in a good student life. God seems to change his tone with Joshua not for reprimand but to give him assurance. He tells Joshua to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or distressed to where God is taking him. God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Therefore, fear is not an option where God is taking you.
This text also says “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. His presence is with you making sure you are successful in life. With God on your side, what can come against you?
Transition: God, being the good teacher, always prepares His students. To that end:
IV. A good student is always prepared vv. 7a, 8a
Good students never fail test because they are always prepared for it. God, the Good teacher gives Joshua, the good student good instructions. Good students follow instructions well. God is telling Joshua to obey what you learned in the Law, the first 5 books of the bible (Pentateuch) study it and meditate on it. Joshua only had 5 books to prepare on the promises of God. How much better are we since we have all 66 to draw from?
Also, good students are prepared because they learn from the mistakes other students so they won’t make the same mistakes themselves. Joshua seen God work through Moses. He had seen God’s glory displayed. But he has also seen the consequences of a rebellious people. Children of God, you have seen God work. You have seen miracles. You have seen people delivered but you also have seen the judgment of God due to disobedience and rebellion. However, God allowed you to survive the wilderness to give you some tools, wisdom, gifts and abilities to handle what may come your way. You are a good student and you prepared for victory!
V. A Good student always gets promoted vv. 7b, 8b
A Good Student always graduates with honors and is productive. As a result of being a good student, David in Ps. 1 tells us that if we meditated on His Word, we will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water and bring fruit in season. That season is now if you obeyed His Word! You will prosper! As a result of being a good student you will enter in the promise land. This is your promotion! Joshua’s promotion was to enter the land of milk and honey. Your land of milk and honey is in the area of rewards that God has you for you: scholarship, business success, family life and financial freedom. All of that is milk and honey of being a good student.
Celebration: A good student also has another name associated with it, a nerd. But I am here to tell you that God loves nerds! Nerds are the smart guys, the outcast, and the funny dressers. Believers are nerds because we are the outcast, set apart to be holy. We are smart because we have heavenly wisdom. We dress funny because we wear a garment of praise. But God blesses the nerds. Nerd stands for “the New Era of Reaching their Destiny”. I am here to declare I am a NERD and I am ready to go into the promise land and reach my destiny. I don’t know about you but I am ready to cross some “Jordan Rivers” and enter into my promise and nothing is going to stop me! I got a heavenly Joshua that’s with me because He is a Good Teacher!